Sree Iyer: Welcome to Daily Global Insights with Sri and Sree. This is episode number 165. We have a lot to cover today and shall jump straight into US news.
Sridharji, in US News, Biden approval rating drops to 48.3%. Sir, with your permission, I’m going to put up a graphic that shows his approval rating. There is strongly approved 35.8% approved 12.5% so, they’ve added both of those to give come up with 48.3%. Sir, your thoughts?
Sridhar Chityala: My thoughts, when I look at two numbers, which stand out in the chart. Strongly disapprove 41.9% and strongly approved 35.8% that just basically tells you the story in the first 100 days, the policies have not worked. I give the benefit of the doubt to the quality of the Sample that just came out yesterday morning. It could be 1500 if you take 5,000 but, the fact is Trafalgar Square is revealing these numbers relative to one month ago, it was 57%. This is uncurated content because there’s a lot of curated content on Biden that is presented but, it’s a reflection of the Ground events, whether it surges, be it the vaccinations, be it all these dole-outs that are going out based on discrimination that’s occurring, based on the imposition of some of these critical race theory policies. So, when you look at this and then, this unemployment benefits dispensation that is going on and there is a looming concern now, that this inflation knocking at the doors, there’s no surprise that this is 48.3%, but that’s a significant drop, almost 10 percentage points.
Sree Iyer: The Democrats campaign to make expanded Child Tax Credit Permanent. Janet Yellen says that the first payments are going to be made on the 15th of July. Now, this is I think $300 per child if I’m correct, sir?
Sridhar Chityala: Correct, this is $300. So that’s 3000 dollars that will be added to not only child care but also the expanded home care as well as the parents are taking on leave etc. So they’re trying to make this permanent affair. Sorry, there’s more to come on those things, which is that 1.8 trillion dollars, that is the 800 billion dollars extra. This is the one trillion dollars that cover this extent expanded Child Tax, Benefit payments. So, Yellen is saying that the checks are going to go by July 15 and they want to make it permanent. The permanent this is no longer part of the COVID, but it would be part of the budget and as a, the mandatory expense that sits within the budget of the US.
Sree Iyer: And in other news, the White House insists that the US will not implement COVID-19 passport. Now, this passport thing, it’s also been called a vaccine passport. And I think it’s a little confusing, perhaps you can walk us through. What was the concept behind this? Was it for Interstate travel or inter-country travel? What was it, Sir?
Sridhar Chityala: A passport is meant to be a Universal consistent document that one can use in the event of someone asking what is your status on vaccinations. They don’t want vaccinations themselves to be permanent only 50% of 52% of the population, seems inclined towards taking the vaccines. So they do not want to have this documentation, the documentation can be asked if you’re wearing masks or not, but at the moment you have seen this flip flop that is going on, you know, which is to say, if you have fully vaccinated, you don’t need to have a mask, that’s the famous vax up mask down, or vax up or mask up. So, this is the theory, there are many states that are opposing. Many people are opposing their feeling that there’s been a lot of confidential data that is going to be stored which don’t want like you know, name date of birth etc., which is going to be recorded. Asked to carry my little card in which there is a handwritten document, which shows that I am vaccinated but many people don’t want this universe Passports.
Sree Iyer: Yes. And as far as California is concerned. We still have to wear masks in public places. In fact, I just made a trip to the local Costco. Everybody was masked up didn’t matter whether you had a vaccine or not, you are in public, you’re expected to wear it. So at least California has not relaxed this. In fact, on June 15, this is 15 days from now. They are going to make complete normalcy, but everyone outside has to wear a mask.
The US Supreme Court rebuffs Warrantless searches for handguns. So this is gun control law-related and how can you have a search without a warrant, sir?
Sridhar Chityala: Well, this was the rule that they brought in which is to say that anybody can be intercepted and asked and searched and frisk, whether you have a gun. This is part of that gun control act that basically came in if you recall which was opposed. And also that they wanted those who have had permissions to carry guns are needed to have those permissions and upon request, they should show it and they may even not be allowed to carry it even with permission, these are all the permutations combinations. So, the Supreme Court deals, another blow to Biden, which is to say that we have, no warrant, no mandate to search anybody.
Sree Iyer: Target, CVS, Starbucks, Chipotle, Mexican Grill update mask policies, vax up mask down. So am I given to understand that you could go to Starbucks now without a mask.
Sridhar Chityala: Yes.
Sree Iyer: Ok, because for the longest time, you couldn’t go into a Starbucks and sit down and have coffee, the best you could do was to drive up order ahead of time or order it right there. They would make it for you and you would take it away that was how it was up until like today. I will test it out and I hooked onto Starbucks coffee. So, another avenue of income for them. I will check it, sir, your thoughts.
Sridhar Chityala: No. They basically are saying that state rules prevail.
Sree Iyer: ok. I see. So, I can’t go there.
Sridhar Chityala: They’re resetting the policies by saying that they will not mandate, you know, whenever you apply a rule when you try to force it then people don’t. When you find Walmart and Costco two of the biggest congregations of people saying you know, we’re not going to ask you, nor our staff going to be masked. But you have to carry something to make sure that you are fully vaccinated, our staff are fully vaccinated. So, then you found that all these other fellows are saying, I’m not going to be left out of this so therefore I have reset my policies and now, you don’t need to be masked up. So, the corporation’s will self-select and move things forward. So, that’s the story. I’m sorry about the noise that you hear, we are notwithstanding, the fact that high-end, high about lords almighty, we can’t stop some of these noises because we are completely reliant on buildings. I don’t have a vacuum, sound, proof room here.
Sree Iyer: In India news based on research, it is not reported that. It is not Kumbh Mela but Farmers stir that was responsible for triggering the second wave. The link we are going to be attaching along with details in the show more section. Sir, your thoughts and we had long suspected this isn’t it?
Sridhar Chityala: It is. It is. So, what I want to do is I don’t want to read the entire thing but what they have done is, they have done research on March 11th on the Maha Shivaratri Festival. They are apparently, no less than 32.37 lakhs people attended, and they have done the assessment of the COVID-19 case is almost growing up to 20 days after this specific event, and they find that there was only in the state 293 and in Haridwar only 70 cases. Then, they looked at the Shani Snans, which happens on April 12th, 14th and 27th happen then they again looked at the assessment of the numbers post. Then, they looked at this Kumbh Mela itself which is at which happened in Haridwar and they found out what was the number of cases. So they have given the number of cases by virtue of various data that comes in. What you’re finding here is the numbers nowhere the reflex this perception that prevailed at that he cause of this is the congregation of the Hindu festivals. This is one more left-wing, propagation that constantly happens in India. Just as you saw the dead, bodies getting burnt. But, then when you further go down, they do say that there was some inflation in cases and then they compared it to the Farmers agitation when you look at the Punjab data. They look at some of the data in the UK where some of this fellow seems to have come from and how the cases inflated. They have a very good case made and you can read the document link and then figure out for yourself, the facts of the case.
Sree Iyer: We will and in other news of the world needs to learn how to manage pandemic and migrant crisis from CM Yogi, says a Harvard study no less and I have the graphic up here for you sir. So perhaps you can run on this a little bit.
Sridhar Chityala: Yes. They looked at obviously the Yogi as the chief minister has been studied by Harvard. This is subsequently backed by a comparative study that has been done by the Guardian. They have looked at the three states which had the prolific initial proliferation of the covid cases, like the UP, Maharashtra and Kerala. Of course, Maharashtra was the biggest almost 40 to 45% initially. So, they’ve looked at the numbers and they’re measured these numbers and assessed along, you know, quite a few Dimensions. You know, the number of deaths, when you look at a number of deaths again, Maharashtra tops with 78,000 and UP has 16,000 deaths. You can look at the data chart, as to, which period of time. Then, looked at the number of tests that were conducted, you saw Maharashtra has conducted close to 5.8 million tests compared to more than 8 million tests conducted by Uttar Pradesh the more tests, you do the more, the chances are that you will discover this presence of the virus. Then, they look at the number of active cases in the last 10 days, it is dated. Then, you find that the number of active cases, is close to 506,000 in the case of Maharashtra and in the case of Uttar Pradesh is 225,000. And this is the number of roughly close to 3.2 million cases that is today, pending in India. So, you have then looked at the total number of cases across these three states. Everywhere you find that you know, Uttar Pradesh seems to have managed. How did they manage this? They manage this, you know quite well by regularly going around, meeting people, doing door-to-door inquiries, conducting tests, having district facilities, when, they ran out of oxygen there they quickly reached out and quite a few Industries supplied oxygen. At one point Haryana and Uttar Pradesh were ready to actually Supply excess oxygen to both Maharashtra and New Delhi to augment the needs that were coming up. But, continuing on with this, you see more and more infrastructure being built by the Uttar Pradesh government particularly around the districts centres. We ourselves have covered in DGI. There are paediatric ICU units that are being built. So all this implies a healthcare infrastructure, which doesn’t seem to have been developed, is being done as part of this Covid crisis management. So there is medium to long-term Health Care Provisions that are being put in place as part of this Covid management. And when you look at the WHO, Covid is not going to go away. So this is going to stay on unlike the mistake that they committed in the first wave, they should have done it. But the fact is that they have done it and Yogi is being credited for exceptional work that he has done in the largest state in the country.
Sree Iyer: And India is COVID “R” the recovery count falls below 1 for the first time since February 16th and I have the chart up here sir.
Sridhar Chityala: Well I think that there are two important pieces of data that we want to highlight. The mainstream media, we have been tweeting, time and time again, they only point out two cases one was the total cases and the second they point out is, the Active cases went up all or death today crossed 4000, they do not mention a very critical number. The critical number is what is the number of recoveries, about 12 days ago, India crossed more than 300,000 recoveries in a day. Agreed those points of time 350,000 was the total Active cases, so, there is a net positive number of acting cases getting added to the total Universe. India went from 500,000 to 3.2 million. It could have happened without the active, but India has yesterday, flipped the curve, by May 17th data, when you look at the data, you find that you have 281,000 Active cases and you find 378,000 recoveries giving a net reduction in the Active cases number by about 101. So that’s a significant number. We have almost given every day that chart. If you look at the last 6-7 days of charts, you can see the numbers for yourself. On the number of vaccinations, you have 182 million people vaccinated. So the R curve inversion is a very good number. The variant issue has been addressed and now it’s a question of monitoring and making sure that stringent procedures are being put in place. But this is not something that the mainstream media covers. Constantly you know belittling about lack of availability, this is a pandemic, we still have issues in the United States notwithstanding the fact, we have made close to 50% of the population vaccinated.
Sree Iyer: Vedanta group is to set up a hundred-bed covid care facility in Gurugram. Five states to receive similar facilities. So the private sector also is now stepping up, isn’t it, sir?
Sridhar Chityala: Vedanta group, I specifically mentioned because this was one of the companies whose image was tarnished by a whole bunch of vested groups saying that Sterlite illegal and so on. Subsequently, you find that this was vandalism, missionaries’ vested interest involved. But the fact is that Anil Agarwal has come back. Those who are from the United States will be very familiar with Anil Agarwal. He conducts annual events like Money 2020, or Money 2021, or Money 2019. He conducts these mega-events which about 200-300 thousand people attend in Las Vegas. It is one of the most popular events attended by anybody. So this is the man who has gone back and said ‘you guys, try to do it. I first established in Bangalore, I established in New Delhi and now in Gurugram, Haryana, and then he’s expanding to five other states. So he’s beginning to pile on the facilities demonstrating his good intent and goodwill. So you have the private sector as well, working its way into the system.
Sree Iyer: Sputnik to deliver 215 million doses or enough to vaccinate 125 million people or 12.5 crores. That’s about 10% of India’s population, isn’t it?
Sridhar Chityala: 10% of the Indian from one which is Sputnik. And then we already reported close to 200 million which is 100 plus 70 plus another 25 million of Covaxin to be manufactured by five people in Gujarat, we had reported. So 200 million vaccines coming a month. So it’s not going to take 10 years for India to vaccinate if India chooses to vaccinate the entire universe. Already, 200 million people or 180 million people are vaccinated. So when you reach that 25% – 30% threshold you’ll begin to see the inversion in that curve. So this augurs well for India in terms of the third big player coming into play which Sputnik.
Sree Iyer: In Global News, Israel takes out Islamic Jihad Commander. He will not be committing any more terrorist acts says IDF. We’re going to show you a small video of the actual launch and the bomb finding the target. It is now, displayed sir, and it will run out in just a few seconds. And we are back again, to looking at the next item. Sir, do you have something to say?
Sridhar Chityala: I think that the IDF is exceptionally smart, targeted and clinical in this. They have also established the fact that the AP building which had many offices, was taken down as to how there were critical activities going on by Hamas. They have also shown AP evidence either in Morocco or one of the West African nations being entangled with this group. So they’re very clear about their research as well as their investigative activity and conducting their affairs.
Sree Iyer: Secretary of State Anthony Blinken states that there is no immediate pressure for a ceasefire. Well, that’s an interesting observation, sir!
Sridhar Chityala: He says it is a new policy. We don’t intervene unless we are asked to come in and help but we condone all the terrorist activities and Israel has a right to defend itself. In the Copenhagen press conference, he made the statement that we’re not under pressure to intervene and it’s up to the two countries to sort out its matters.
Sree Iyer: I think it’s good in a way. We have to wait and see when such conflicts occur in other places.
Sridhar Chityala: I stand corrected. Sorry. I said two countries, it is up to Hamas and Israel – two warring groups to intervene. So it’s not two countries, my apologies.
Sree Iyer: Thank you, sir. I guess what I’m saying is, in future, if two other entities do engage in this kind of conflict, we have to see how the United States responds at that point in time.
Biden Administration approved 735 million arms sale to Israel. So now Israel is also beefing up.
Sridhar Chityala: Well, this is a deal that was probably done some time ago. Maybe the timing is inappropriate. But the reason we are highlighting this is the fact that 735 million is some of this relates to some of the smart bombs and other things. This is a reciprocal gesture to the Iron Dome that was asked by US Army, and two of them were supplied to them. So the arms supplies did not stop because this was an obligation that was made. Remember, $125 million went to the Palestinian territory as part of the covid-19 relief. $235 million was the original funding that used to go to the Palestinian territories stopped by President Trump has restarted. So, therefore, that aid has not stopped either.
Sree Iyer: The United States and EU agree to talk on Tariffs and Trade, prepared to negotiate on aluminium and steel. What is special about aluminium and steel, sir?
Sridhar Chityala: These are two things where tariff was imposed both as national security by Trump. The reason is that there has been… This is the rust belt, iron belt, reduction in jobs and bringing back the manufacturing jobs while the others have protective barriers in terms of tariffs and the United States was disadvantaged and was saying, ‘no, we’re going to impose around tariffs and therefore we have an embargo on aluminium and steel. Now, of course, Biden says that we will negotiate and we’ll figure a way out. Biden seems to be everything to figure the way out so I don’t know how low his percentage is going to dip. Already, he’s down by 10% points in terms of some of the policy actions and the outcomes that are flowing from it.
Sree Iyer: The United States military offers to assist the South Korean military with J&J vaccines. So the US military now is offering to assist the South Korean military by giving them J&J vaccines? I guess J&J vaccines are now again allowed worldwide. What’s the latest on that?
Sridhar Chityala: Selectively, some of the countries are using the J&J vaccines. The United States doesn’t decide what Korea decides. So Korea chooses J&J, it seems to be palatable. One has to look at a lot of factors like genetic, and many other characteristics. Why AstraZeneca works in Europe, and doesn’t work in some other parts of the World? Why it is perfect in Australia whereas it seems to be imperfect with blood clots somewhere else? I can’t answer these questions but you take a look at the data make your way forward. Even WHO doesn’t impose its will, which it is supposed to do. So in the event when the South Korean military needs assistance, what the US is saying is that it is the US Armed Forces’ doctors there will be able to vaccinate. This is also a reflection of some of the challenges the world is facing by vaccinations as well as the on-ground staff, who conduct these programs.
Sree Iyer: WHO says pandemic is far from over as the cases in Asia rise and with more lockdowns.
Sridhar Chityala: Well, Japan is in selective lockdown. Singapore has seen a rise in cases. So Singapore has a shutdown and they were to start the Hong Kong bubble. They have stopped or postponed the Hong Kong bubble. Taiwan, which is considered to be one of the top countries. They have had challenges so they are considering the lockdown. We have rising cases in Thailand. Even a small Indian Ocean Island like Seychelles that is fully vaccinated is seeing a rise in cases. So there are these little-little nations, in addition to not having enough vaccinations, you find that those which are vaccinated, the cases are recurring. So much for planning and so much for vaccinations and so much for criticism that has been levied at many countries, but the world is still struggling. I think that’s the message.
Sree Iyer: Japan is going to restrict the use of foreign techs in Telecom and Power Grids. Sound policy as long as Japan can source it within itself, right?
Sridhar Chityala: Well, Japan is going to be leading the efforts, one consortium, leading the efforts of the 5G side of it. These power grids have become… If they go to electrical grids and they are trying to look at the Alternative Energy model. As an integral part of the policy, it’s very fascinating because these are the two segments where the United States has been under attack. These are the two territories or two sectors where India has been under attack. This is one of the sectors where Japan was under attack. It is the same place where Taiwan got into an attack. So what has happened is this telecommunication and the power sector has become vulnerable points in terms of cyberattacks. Whether it is a ransomware-type of attack or whether it is the manipulated attack from China or Russia, these two sectors have been identified by many developed nations and developing nations as the vulnerable points as they move towards 5G technology. They want to make sure that they have a much stronger infrastructure relative to what we are seeing.
Sree Iyer: In Markets news, the fear of inflation jitters the markets. Markets fell a little bit today. Crude settled at $66.31. More importantly, Bitcoin is now at 44,215. Perhaps, you can touch upon inflation fears as well as our favourite Bitcoin.
Sridhar Chityala: Inflation fears are real because the markets have been growing. There’s so much liquidity in the system. The fact that the 10-year is at 1.64 is a reflection that there is a genuine concern that 2% will be within the striking distance purely because of more and more liquidity being put in the system. It is also reflecting the rise in crude prices. We are around less than $70.
As far as Bitcoin is concerned, I think people are taking some profits. It’s very speculative. This is notwithstanding the fact, Elon Musk made a comment today in the Press saying I’m not selling Bitcoin. I’m not cashing up. I’m going to use Bitcoin, I may buy more. So this is Elon Musk statement. One of the reasons why the market went up is when he said I am buying. I’ve got $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoins. So, these are the gyrations. Two experts who I talked to mentioned this as a buying opportunity. I’m not suggesting any of you to go tomorrow and buy Bitcoin. But the people who I talked to mention to me that I want to get an independent opinion. What’s my personal opinion? Maybe I’ll add a little bit to my Bitcoin stocks personally.
Sree Iyer: That brings us to a close on today’s news segment. We will be back bright and early tomorrow morning, do watch us, subscribe to our channel, refers us to your friends, share our links. And as always, it’s a pleasure, having you on the channel Sridharji. Namaskar and see you tomorrow.
Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar. Thank you. Have a wonderful day and I’ll have more exciting news to bring tomorrow.
1. Poll: Joe Biden’s Approval Rating Drops to 47.5 Percent in May
2. Data reveals protesting farmers and not Kumbh Mela caused spike in 2nd Wave
3. Learnings from Uttar Pradesh’s management of second Covid-19 wave
4. WATCH: Israel Takes out Islamic Jihad Commander; ‘He Won’t Be Committing Any More Terrorist Attacks’