Iran has over 21,600 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus amid 1,685 reported deaths, according to government figures released Sunday. That means that 1 in every 3800 people have a confirmed case and it’s worse than that sounds. 21 million of their 83 million inhabitants live in rural areas, and the concentration of cases are in the urban ares. Compare that to the U.S. who has much better medical capacity and only has a confirmed case rate of 1 in every 9300 Americans. 

This is why it’s just plain dumb that Iran refused help from the United States to deal with the spread of the pandemic in their country. The reason given for the refusal borders on the absurd. It would’ve been understandable if the Iranian government had said, “you want to help? Remove the crippling sanctions,” but that would mean they’d have to admit the sanctions are working.   

No, they basically said they can’t have the U.S. in country seeing first hand how our own virus weapon was working. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei basically parroted Chinese government spokesman Lijian Zhao who tweeted earlier this month that it “might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent!” Khamenei went on to say, the virus “is specifically built for Iran using the genetic data of Iranians which they have obtained through different means…who in their right mind would trust you to bring them medication?” This guy is certainly not in his right mind. Iranian hard-liners have supported conspiracy theories in the past when it suited their interests, but to suggest the U.S. would poison China, South Korea and Italy, not to mention ourselves, then need to come to Iran to see how it worked is beyond idiotic. That infection curve isn’t flattening anytime soon.  

Healthcare Stocks

Eli Lilly starts Drive-thru Testing 

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Eli Lilly and Company (LLY:NYSE) has announced it will offer drive-thru testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to Indianapolis area health care workers beginning Monday. 

They actually started it on Sunday , as lines of cars pulled in one gate and out the other at Eli Lilly headquarters in Indianapolis IN,  but the company confirmed to local newscasters that these were all local health-care workers invited to test out the process. 

Signs and cones had been out for days, but no announcement made until now. New signage has gone up,  that instructed drivers to stay in their vehicles as they drove past a white check-in tent at the entrance and traffic snaked around the south side of Lilly’s headquarters, before entering a covered parking facility with vehicles exiting near the entrance of the corporate headquarters. This is the first drive-thru testng facility in the U.S., a concept that was used with great success in South Korea. LLY stock is down over 19% since the highs in February and is down 3 straight sessions. 

This Economic Lockdown Could End Tesla

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Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) has a falling stock price to deal with just like many other companies during this COVID-19 bear market, but this virus could actually bankrupt the company. It’s not just oil prices cratering making less expensive carbon powered vehicles even less expensive to operate, although that’s part of it. Tesla is in no position to handle even a short work stoppage, where no revenue is coming in.

The only have a $8.8 billion in cash, which may seem like a lot, but by some estimates, even if they lose the cost of production during a work stoppage, they could burn through $1 billion of that in 5-6 weeks. Add that to the hardship of no revenue coming in and it’s a nightmare for Tesla CEO Elon Musk. 

Then there’s the recession/depression that could come once work resumes. Very few $40,000+ autombiles can increase sales in a downturn as BMW found out between between 2007 and 2009, when their auto sales fell 17% and profits disappeared.

Then there’s the loans Musk took out, amounting to over $500 million, all backed by Tesla stock. If the stock falls too much, those creditors could come calling, along with suppliers who will be trying to get paid. These kinds of problems tend to spread fast…like a virus. 

Do you want to buy the dip in TSLA or short the hell out of it? Let us know. 

Young and Old Need to Separate 

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Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Benett shared yesterday what that country has found to be the most effective way of mitigating the coronavirus pandemic. In my own words, with more and more of the population catching this nasty little bugger, we are noticing a trend…the majority of individuals losing their lives to this virus are 70 and above. The chances of everyone getting the coronavirus at one point or another in time is extremely high, and most won’t even realize they’ve had it. 

So, the most important thing we must do, according to Benett, is stay away from old people, better yet, old people…stay away from us. Anyone with a compromised immune system or of a certain age should remain in isolation until this pandemic pass. Doesn’t matter how long it takes. Stay home, do not pass go, do not collect $200. 

If you need supplies, have friends or family members leave them outside your door. Don’t allow them inside. Don’t talk to them. Wipe down everything they bring you and wash your hands before you touch anything, especially your face.  The isolation could take a month, it could take 5. Either way, being stuck at home watching tv on your couch and eating whatever the heck you want sure beats dying. Stay home and stay safe!

Happy Tail Syndrome

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Imagine being so happy, you sprained the muscles in your face that allow you to smile. Something quite similar has happened to Rolo, an adorable little Dachshund and his poor little tail. He has been so happy that his humans have been quarantined, that he’s overworked his tiny tush! 

Amid all of the craziness of the virus; the fear, the worry, the stress. Being on lockdown just makes it worse. But our pups have been in heaven! This is their dream life so don’t be surprised if your pooch too, gets ‘Happy Tail Syndrome’.  (That is the legit term!!)

If you want to see how the poor pup is doing, follow him on Instagram under ‘Rolo the hotdog’.