EP 164: Vax Up, Masks down: Biden as US limps to normalcy, India getting 4 more Rafales

Colonial Pipeline normalcy restored, Vax Up Masks Down says, President Biden. Woke & Non-Woke take different approaches, Indian Railways delivers more than 8700 Tons of liquid medical oxygen, COVAXIN Capacity to be augmented, & more

Sree Iyer: Namaskar, it is May 17 2021 and you are watching episode number 164 of Daily Global Insights with Sri and Sree. We start with some captivating videos on the ongoing bombing of Israel by Hamas and Israel’s retaliation. We’re going to be showing you two short clips of how Iron Dome works in life motion and how one of the Rockets fired by Hamas sneak through and the kind of damage it causes on the ground. So here you go.

And, as we continue our News. We first start with United States news, Colonial pipeline normalcy has been restored and Gas has started reaching many states. Sridhar ji, what is the latest? Now, are all the petrol pumps are up and running, sir?

Sridhar Chityala: They’re all up and running, I think, everybody seems to be getting back to normal and people are quite happy that the reset has occurred within a short span of time.

Sree Iyer: Vaccs Up Masks Down, says the president. Woke and Non-Woke corporations take different approaches. So the president has decreed that you no longer need to wear the mask. If you have taken the vaccination that much, I understand sir. Now, Woke and Non-Woke corporations are taking different approaches. Meaning some are saying that you have to wear masks at workplaces and others are saying it’s optional.

Sridhar Chityala: Well, For example, Walmart and Costco are indicating that, if you’re fully vaccinated, you don’t need to wear masks that applies to the store staff, as well as applies to customers coming in. How do you monitor it? It’s a self-declaration policy. Obviously, you may carry some identification that says, you have been vaccinated.  As far as Non-Woke corporations such as you know Starbucks and Target and so on they basically say it’s a mask on policy.

Sree Iyer: Biden Administration diverts more than 2 billion dollars aid, allocated for COVID testing to fund Migrant shelters. This is what we’ve been warning off. Isn’t it sir?

Sridhar Chityala: Well, this is very specific if you recall that there’s a number of numbers that didn’t add up within the infrastructure 1.9 trillion dollar plan that was released in December. We still have money allocated in the infrastructure plan which is 2.25. It looks like 2 billion dollars have been set aside or diverted to about accommodating 45,000 people, who are young migrants who have come in and to support the service centres. It is nothing to do with COVID. But, this is what we have talked about increasing proliferation and propagation of money, which is not meant for purpose but all padded up under the pretext of the debt and diverted for these purposes.

Sree Iyer: All I can say Sir is, it looks like the United States is sliding into the Banana Republic.

Sridhar Chityala: The United States under the present regime run by Democrats is now reflecting the progressive agenda of socialization and diversion of funds under the pretext of welfare, which is not been mandated. This was not the mandate. The approval for the money, it was neither the Mandate that was given by Congress. But you know, all these things would come out when they due take place at some stage.

Sree Iyer: In Police Week, Biden statement of a deep sense of distrust towards cops from black and brown Americans causes a ripple.  Was this a rally or a meeting that he was addressing sir?

Sridhar Chityala: Well, I think that this is the Police Week, Biden over the weekend made a statement just as many statements that he makes which unbeknownst causes Ripple, then he retracts back. He basically made the statement that there’s a deep sense of distrust that prevails towards cops from specific communities, like black and brown which is namely other types of minority communities. And that is something that deficit needs to be fixed that in turn caused a ripple and the police Officers, you know, have spoken against this which is to say this is a most unwarranted statement by the president of the United States.

Sree Iyer: At least 16 States opted out of the Federal unemployment Benefit program before the lapse. Well, the states can exhibit but would that not be hurting the people who are living in those States. I am just ignorant. I’m asking this question.

Sridhar Chityala: Yes, of course, it impacts people because the reason is, supposes you are giving every couple of weeks, you’re a $1500, $2000, $3000 dollars pops up of $1,600 pops up in your account. And when it doesn’t pop up, then you’re going to be very worried as to why I’m not doing anything. But, money comes into my account and I can spend it and so generally of the people get worried. Now, what is the corollary? The corollary is because you’re getting $1,600, and then you add the, you know if you happen to have four children, you have another $1200. So you have $2800 or $2600, which is $1400 plus the $1200 plus you have other benefits that may flow in. So, when you have all of that, do you want to go to work? The answer is, no. You got close to $3,000 that might be coming into your account. Why would you go to work? So naturally, you would be worried. But what’s happened in these states is small businesses are complaining that these people are not coming to work and we have an unemployment issue. So, therefore, these allowances are meant for people who are not being able to get gainful employment, where you have a demand for employment and people do not want to go back to work, then you have the problem. So they are saying okay, we remove the unemployment benefits. Let’s see how many of you sleep at home and if you come to work, great, if you have not been able to find work, then, you know, the unemployment benefits can be applied, but it’s not unilateral.

Sree Iyer: In Indian news, Indian railways delivers more than 8700 Tons of liquid medical oxygen. That’s an impressive achievement sir.

Sridhar Chityala: It is. And I think the objective of communicating is all you see is very adversarial and negative news in the mainstream media. You constantly see and hear that there’s no oxygen and there’s no oxygen and there’s no oxygen. There’s no medicine, there are no vaccines etc., but they have added the most important pivot. We said this yesterday that the Indian railways or on Friday, Indian railways is now an important part of the supply chain in terms of the distribution of critical medical supplies, the fact that they have moved, 8,700, tons of liquid medical oxygen is a reflection that it’s really beginning to now, reach very, very soon India will have an excess supply of oxygen relative to any given point in time in the history of India, across available around the country.

Sree Iyer: Covaxin capacity to be augmented 100 million vaccines per month, by September 21st and second Sputnik V Consignment arrives. So India is now beginning to start the vaccine program in realness, and I’m hearing across the country that many people have gotten both their Vaccinations done too.

Sridhar Chityala: 180 million vaccines have been done. That doesn’t mean both two doses, but it could be one dose but 180 million people have been vaccinated. 320 million samples have been tested, this clearly a ramp-up.  And we again, reported it is pretty close to 180 million vaccines are going to be manufactured by the time we came to the August-September timeframe per month, this is within the context of Covaxin and Covishield. Now, we are beginning to hear that this Covaxin, is further going to be augmented from 70 million to 100 million, of five manufacturing units in Gujarat have stepped up, they plan to do manufacture about 20-30, the Sputnik is now I think the provisional order was about 20 million. My numbers may be a little off track here, but they’re now moving with the second tranche of vaccines that are coming from Russia. Also, if people are not aware, that just subtly, you know, made its way Eli Lilly has struck deal with 5 manufacturing companies in India to produce and deliver its covid-19 vaccine. So, Eli Lilly could be the surprise packet, you know, within the overseas, manufacturers coming into India may be given a surprise to Pfizer.

Sree Iyer: Indian Airforce deploys more than 16 transport and 18 helicopters focus on relief operations. So with all the different arms of the Armed Forces jumping in, I think pretty soon it’s going to be very smooth and no matter what some of these naysayers and doubters keep expressing their doubts, I think the country is going to get vaccinated and normalcy is going to be restored very soon, sir.

Sridhar Chityala:  Well, I think this particular one relates to the cyclonic storm, which is coming to the Saurashtra-Kutch coast and few areas around that is likely to be impacted by the Cyclone. So, thinking ahead of time, they have deployed relief helicopters and relief transportation planes, so they can normally move supplies but also potentially evacuate people from to be affected areas in case they are affected. So again, thinking ahead of time, rather than saying, Has Modi’s government gone to sleep because they’re dealing with COVID, they are dealing with other types of issues than they have security at the border and then they have this cyclone and flood relief, plus you have migrant workers, Etc. So it’s dealing with a number of concurrent issues at the same time, this is to say state that he was not dropping the ball on this. But remember it’s India and you know it has had a very checkered history and it’s slowly finding its feet and in terms of its advanced planning and Logistics in managing various different crisis and responses that that crisis is want.

Sree Iyer: For more Rafale Fighter jets to arrive this month, taking the tally to 24. Satellite images show Chinese troops and equipment near Pangong Lake again.

Sridhar Chityala: They’ve not moved from the disengagement. This is one of the areas they have not moved. We discussed it even in covid whether there is a security consequence when we had the fireside chat with Mohan, he said, we have 1.3 million people, our army is 1.3 million people. they are quite strong in terms of any deterrent. So this is a reference that they have satellite images (we can share the link in the PGurus). This is the part of the broadcast that is available but these Chinese are deeply entrenched in the Pangong lake area and they don’t want to move, this is one of the areas where they played Hardball. So India is saying no problem, we started with five, today, India has gotten 24 Rafale Jets, most of it targeted towards the Himalayan-Ladakh-Leh sectors. And in case there is some deterrence they will probably deploy them even in the western sector. It is a reflection that this security area is also being addressed adjacently.

Sree Iyer: Recovery in India’s exports broad-based is expected to reach 400 billion, by the fiscal year 2022. Pharma sector shows the growth driven by covid, sir. So Pharma is going to be one of the new growth engines for India for exports.

Sridhar Chityala: It is, I think there was a growth of close to 64%. It is obviously natural buoyancy, driven by medications that are warranted resulting from covid and there have also been consequences of this fungal diseases, and also cases of heart ailments that are coming in. So to get to the most positive side of the story, if you go back in time, we talked about what could be the Indian economy drivers, exports are considered to be one of the prime drivers and that was lagging. They’re very much marching towards their initial target of 500 billion number. In fact, they had set out a target of $500 billion in the Indo-US trade during the Trump Administration of which 150 billion came from the bilateral trade on the crude and energy sector, where the United States replaced Saudi Arabia. So this augurs very well for India in an economic context.

One of the things that have kept the Indian economy going with all these adversities is the export sector and the 8 core sectors, which we discussed again, showing tremendous growth during this adversity.

Sree Iyer: In Global news, Israel bombs the house of the top Hamas leader and its Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar. Israel PM and President Biden speak over the weekend. Now, we are also seeing that United Nations is calling for a ceasefire and the progressives call for Palestinian support. I saw one really ill-thought tweet from a congresswoman in which she was trying to equate what Israel was doing to apartheid. Very poor comparison, I might say. Sir, your thoughts.

Sridhar Chityala: My thoughts are, this is like East and West. For the first time, I’m seeing within the United States, in recent memory, people talking about support for Hamas and the rocket launches that are going on. There has always been supporting for a sympathetic outcome to the Palestinians. There never ever was any support for the Hamas as well as Hizbullah rockets that get fired from Gaza and these areas causing unmitigated damage to the civilians. So this is the first time we are beginning to see these issues. May I also add from a covid-19 budget, $125 million of aid has gone! Then, there was a blockage during the Trump administration of 235 million dollars aid that used to go to the Palestinian territories has again been restored. You can see what was quite over the four years of the Trump Administration, now with so much money at their hands this instability has sprung up again in the Palestine-Israel region.

Sree Iyer: Violent anti-Israeli protests spread across Europe, French police fired, tear gas, and used water cannons. I also saw some videos where they were saying some really nasty words in it. I think it was in London. But clearly, there are processions going on. Sir, what is this going on now? Palestinians started this thing, they have fired 2000 rockets at the Israeli civilian population and when Israelis come and try to control them, they put all their children and women in the front. I mean, this is asymmetric Warfare. This is really, really sad the way they are trying to wield their power.

Sridhar Chityala: Historically, these things spring up, when you have a vacuum in the global power. They perceive the United States in a position of weakness. That’s number one. Number 2, there is also your belief amongst various groups that the administration is in the United States is potentially in a position of compromise. This is the best opportunity to strike and negotiate and bargain for a deal.

There is also this Iran issue that is popping up. As you know Iran is sympathetic and supportive of Hamas and Hizbullah and the Palestinian cause. So, I think we are beginning to see the confluence of some of these in conjunction with the political situation. As I mentioned, you have Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden making a set of statements. Then you have Bernie Sanders, Ilhan, AOC and others making a different set of statements. All this implies that there is a divided family in the United States and there is a gap.

Sree Iyer: Japan lashes out against the alleged Chinese military cyber attacks. And Japan cautiously explores the US returning to TPP. So first off on the cyberattacks, now, looks like Japan also has been a victim. We saw that the US had a cyberattack problem, which may not be from China. Taiwan had a cyber attack problem, again, may not be from China. And now Japan is directly pointing fingers at the Chinese military for a cyber attack. So, is there any correlation between these three attacks, in your opinion?

Sridhar Chityala: No. The US has had Chinese attacks in the power grid and the defence. Taiwan has had an attack, especially in the defence. India had its cyberattack on the power grid and in the Serum Institute. Now, Japan is saying it has had attacks not only on industrial espionage, on technology, but also on defence. So they basically are complaining that it’s time the Chinese military stop these unwarranted operations and just focus on their own business.

Sree Iyer: In covid-19 news, the world continues to make progress battling covid while more cases prop up in Asia, EU calls for more US vaccine exports. Your thoughts on how things are progressing across the world. I know India is improving.

Sridhar Chityala: Just to wrap up on TPP,  the reason why it was put, there is a perceptive fear amongst the Japanese whether the United States will be lukewarm in its approach to South China and Asian interest. So, that’s why they want them to join to TPP so they are far anchored relative to President Trump.

Now, coming back to covid, the most important message, this is especially directed at the Indian Community who seem to think that everything is hunky-dory and the problem is attributable to the government. Yes. Government has a problem. There’s no doubt about it. But what I’m referring to here is that, for example, in Taiwan, the cases have begun to prop up. So there is no defined end state for this virus, these are people who are vaccinated. Small islands like Seychelles which is completely vaccinated have seen cases spring up. Singapore is now beginning to isolate and they have got a one-month shutdown. So the point that we’re trying to make here in this news item is that there is no complacency as Indians did after phase 1 of the covid. This is going to be here for some time and we are beginning to see even vaccinated people or vaccinated countries this variant and covid resurfacing. So a word of caution as India comes out of phase 2 and probably goes into phase 3, phase 4. So it is not the question of how well the government is prepared, it is how well the people are equally prepared to recognize that this is going to be with us for some time. That’s also the case for US citizens.

As far as the vaccines are concerned, the EU is saying, now you got more than 50-60 % of the population vaccinated, you have plenty of vaccines available, why not start releasing some of them because we are short. That’s the message from the European Union.

Sree Iyer: In markets news, Standard & Poor’s, 1.5% gain as tech stocks rebound.

With that, we come to the end of today’s episode. Sridharji, do you want to take a look at the markets ahead for this before we wrap up?

Sridhar Chityala: The markets will continue to go through a period of gyration. Inflation is very much here. That is going to be uppermost in the minds of the people. There’s nothing to point out that there is going to be a bubble burst. So you will begin to see most of the stocks going up and down predicate driven by earnings. We are almost at the yearend target levels in terms of the various indices.

Sree Iyer: We come to an end of today’s news. We’ll see you tomorrow, Tuesday, bright, and early, as always. Thanks for joining. Do subscribe to our channel. Namaskar.

Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar, have a good day and we look forward to seeing you tomorrow.



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