The Analyzer News Roundup For May 7, 2020

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Payroll processing company ADP announced Wednesday that the private sector lost more than 20 million jobs in April, a decrease that transcended company size and industry sector. 

The service industry, unsurprisingly, bore the brunt of the downturn with about 16 million job losses, followed by trade and transportation with nearly 3.5 million losses.. Large companies with more than 500 employees underwent nearly 9 million losses.

“Job losses of this scale are unprecedented. The total number of job losses for the month of April alone was more than double the total jobs lost during the Great Recession,” said co-head of the ADP Research Institute Ahu Yildirmaz in a statement.

The Labor Department is releasing its own numbers on payroll losses on Friday.

A group of online retailers that includes Amazon and CVS launched a multi-million dollar advertising campaign Wednesday opposing President Donald Trump’s call for higher postal service delivery rates. The so-called Package Coalition ran an advertisement during Wednesday night’s Hannity broadcast, a known favorite of Trump’s, claiming that the proposed 400 percent delivery price increase is “a massive package tax” to small business owners. 

This comes as Democrats are trying to whip up support for a $25 billion inclusion to the next coronavirus relief package for the United States Postal Service, which has been hit hard by the pandemic as mail volume is down significantly. Trump is a critic of USPS, claiming that the service undercharges Amazon for delivering small packages. USPS has said that at the current rate, they will run out of cash by September.

Hospitals and healthcare workers around the country are criticizing how the federal government is distributing Covid-19 drug remdesivir. After some data from a preliminary trial showed the drug effectively treating patients, the Food and Drug Administration granted it an emergency use authorization. Gilead Science, the company that produces the drug, announced it would donate 1.5 million doses, which is enough to treat about 140,000 patients.

About two dozen hospitals have received the drug to treat patients outside of a trial setting so far, but physicians are unclear on how those hospitals were chosen to get coveted doses. Daniel Kaul, an infectious disease physician at the University of Michigan, told STAT News on Wednesday that there is a “complete lack of transparency” about who is selecting where the drug goes. According to FEMA, the Department of Health and Human Services is in charge of remdesivir distribution.

The Infectious Disease Society of America published a letter Wednesday afternoon addressed to Vice President Mike Pence urging the federal government to adhere to a transparent process of distribution. 

“The plan for distributing remdesivir should be transparent and should be based on state and regional COVID-19 case data and hospitalization rates,” the signatories wrote. “Supplies of remdesivir should be distributed on a regional basis with equitable distribution within the region to states and within states to hospitals.”

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