COVID-19 STATS FOR January23, 2022
Debra Schrishuhn for PDA National Staff
* France surpasses U.K. in number of cases.
** Turkey surpasses Russia in number of cases.
*** Now 50 countries report more than one million cases of COVID-19, with the remainder being, Argentina, Iran, Colombia, Mexico, Poland, Indonesia, Ukraine, Netherlands (surpassing South Africa), South Africa, Philippines, Peru (surpassing Czechia, Canada, and Malaysia), Canada (surpassing Malaysia), Malaysia, Czechia, Belgium, Thailand, Israel (surpassing Portugal, Japan, Chile, Romania, Vietnam, and Iraq), Australia (also surpassing Portugal, Japan, Chile, Romania, Vietnam, and Iraq), Portugal (surpassing Iraq), Iraq, Vietnam, Japan (surpassing Chile and Romania), Romania, Chile, Switzerland, Sweden (surpassing Bangladesh and Greece), Greece, Bangladesh, Austria, Serbia, Slovakia, Hungary, Pakistan, Denmark (surpassing Kazakhstan), Kazakhstan, Ireland (surpassing Jordan), Jordan, Morocco, and newcomers Georgia and Cuba.
Top Ten states with COVID-19 cases:
- California+ 7,660,930
New York 4,666,630
N. Carolina++ 2,204,205
Top Ten states with COVID-19 deaths:
- California 78,775
New York 62,632
+California tops 7M cases; New Jersey tops 2M cases, but is surpassed by Michigan, topping 2M cases.
++North Carolina surpasses Georgia in cases.
+++Now 25 states post more than 1M cases, the remainder being New Jersey, Arizona, Tennessee, Massachusetts (surpassing Indiana), Indiana, Virginia, Wisconsin, Missouri, South Carolina, Minnesota, Colorado, Washington, Alabama, and newcomers Kentucky and Louisiana.
++++Michigan surpasses Georgia in number of deaths; Georgia; Michigan surpasses New Jersey
+++++Still 28 states with more than 10K COVID-19 deaths, the remainder being Arizona, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Indiana, North Carolina, Missouri, Alabama, Virginia, Louisiana, South Carolina, Maryland, Kentucky, Wisconsin (surpassing Oklahoma), Oklahoma, , Minnesota, Colorado, Mississippi, and Washington.
CNN, 1/22: “A new program in New Mexico is streamlining the process to allow state workers and National Guard members to work as substitute teachers and aides as staffing shortages caused by the Omicron variant continue — and that includes Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.”
The Economist, 1/22: “In some parts of America, the Omicron variant appears to have peaked. Many states in the north-east and mid-Atlantic regions seem to have reached their highest point of covid-19 cases and hospitalisations over the past few days. There is reason to believe that infections in those places will quickly decline from here. This is promising, but the wave in other parts of America has yet to crest… States in the middle and western parts of the country are experiencing a quick rise in Omicron cases. These states differ from the early-outbreak ones. Many have much lower vaccination rates, with potentially grim implications for the impact on health.”
Political Wire, 1/22: A new article in the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, says that after the current Omicron wave — perhaps by March — Covid-19 will continue but the end of the pandemic is near.
Political Wire, 1/22: Tucker Carlson compared President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate to Nazi experiments on concentration camp captives. Said Carlson: “After watching what the imperial Japanese army and the Nazis did in their medical experiments, I thought that American physicians agreed that compulsory medical care was unethical, it was immoral, and it could never be imposed on anyone. When did we forget that?”
Alex Pareene Newsletter, 1/22: “This is why I find the tenor of discussion around Covid-19 restrictions genuinely bewildering. There basically aren’t any. The United States is powering through the Omicron wave with its usual enforced individualism. The hard restrictions on our activities are, for the most part, not mandated or enforced by the state, acting at the behest of liberals who refuse to go back to normal because they are addicted to panic and quarantine; the limits are imposed by the virus that isn’t going away. My kid’s school class went remote for a while because people had Covid-19. He’s back in school now even though his principal has Covid-19. As usual in the United States, the people who won the political argument are now complaining the loudest that they’re dissatisfied with the results, and, apparently, it’s all the fault of the losers.”
Wall Street Journal, 1/21: “A federal judge Friday blocked the Biden administration’s Covid-19 vaccine requirement for federal employees, the latest legal setback for the president’s push to inoculate workers. The judge’s ruling said that the case wasn’t about whether people should be vaccinated, “it is instead about whether the President can, with the stroke of a pen and without the input of Congress, require millions of federal employees to undergo a medical procedure as a condition of their employment.”
Washington Post, 1/21: “As anti-vaccine activists from across the country prepare to gather on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday, they are hoping their rally will mark a once-fringe movement’s arrival as a lasting force in American society. Almost two years into the coronavirus pandemic, the movement to challenge vaccines’ safety — and reject vaccine mandates — has never been stronger. An ideology whose most notable adherents were once religious fundamentalists and minor celebrities is now firmly entrenched among tens of millions of Americans.”
The Guardian, 1/21: Anecdotal reports of Covid reinfection in the UK are growing, including people testing positive just weeks apart in December and January, or having had the virus three or even four times. Children are also being seen with reinfections. We take a look at the science behind catching Covid multiple times.
What is a reinfection? Reinfection figures tend to refer to the detection of a second, or subsequent, Covid infection, regardless of the variant involved. The risk of reinfection is likely to depend on a range of factors: for example, data suggests it is higher in unvaccinated people and potentially in those whose previous infection was more mild with a lower immune response. It also depends on the variant: one expert said the risk of reinfection with Omicron soon after a first Omicron infection would be lower than Delta followed by Omicron, and how long ago someone was vaccinated. Experts say the dose to which someone is exposed may also be important. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) uses the definition of a possible reinfection as a case 90 days or more after a previous confirmed Covid infection, in part because it excludes those who simply shed the virus for longer after infection.
How many reinfections have there been? According to the latest figures for England from the UKHSA, from the start of the pandemic up to 9 January this year there were 425,890 possible reinfections, with 109,936 found in the week ending 9 January, accounting for almost 11% of all cases that week. Very few possible reinfections are “confirmed” as that requires genetic sequencing. What’s more, with few people in the community having access to tests in the first wave, many first infections may not have been counted. “With the combination of being two years into the pandemic, a few rounds of antibody waning, two major waves of immune evasion by Delta and then Omicron, there’s fairly rampant reinfection,” said Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College London.
Is it easier to be reinfected with some variants? In short, yes. According to scientists at Imperial College London, after taking into account a host of factors Omicron was associated with somewhere between a 4.38 and 6.63-fold higher risk of reinfection, compared with Delta. The team add that this means protection against catching Covid arising from a previous infection within the past six months has fallen from about 85% before Omicron turned up to somewhere between 0% and 27%. The drop is not surprising given that Omicron has been found to have the ability to dodge the body’s immune responses to a significant degree.
Do Omicron reinfections happen in a shorter space of time? Potentially, yes. UKHSA data shows that for cases with a specimen date between 1 November and 29 December 2021 there were 2,855 probable reinfections 29 to 89 days after a previous infection – although some of these may reflect ongoing detection from an initial infection. While the UKHSA notes it is difficult to directly compare the situation between variants – as there are many important changing factors at play, including overall levels of immunity in the population – Omicron’s immunity-dodging powers are likely to play a role in these reinfections. It is not yet clear how well immune responses to Omicron protect against a second Omicron infection, or infections with new variants. “I would expect the risk of a second Omicron infection is a lot lower than the risk of Omicron following Delta after all you have developed antibodies to the actual Omicron spike protein,” said Paul Hunter, a professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia.
Why has my child had Covid twice this winter? That could well be due to different variants: according to data from the Office for National Statistics released in December, school-age children with Covid at that time were much less likely to have Omicron than Covid-positive adults. In other words, a previous recent infection could well have been Delta, while their latest is Omicron. A UKHSA spokesperson said: “Data shows that those testing positive for coronavirus between 29 and 89 days of a prior infection accounts for a small proportion of all reinfections. Many of these shorter interval reinfections are likely to be school-age children because they had the highest levels of infection in September and October, just before Omicron emerged.”
Are reinfections milder? That may seem logical given the body’s prior immune response, and Hunter notes data suggests the viral load in reinfections is lower than in primary infections, suggesting the disease may, in general, be less severe. However, the severity of a reinfection depends on many factors, including the variant involved and a person’s vaccination status. ONS data suggests that when the Alpha variant became dominant, symptoms were less common for reinfections – but this reversed when Delta became dominant. When Omicron became dominant, data suggests people were just as likely to have Covid symptoms in their second infection as their first infection. “There’s no shortage of reinfections, some pretty severe, although not requiring hospitalisations,” said Altmann.
How many times can people get Covid? Among those who have had Covid twice are the politicians Kier Starmer and Matt Hancock, while there have also been reports of people having a Covid infection three or even four times, some just a few weeks apart. The UKHSA do not break down reinfections by episode, although they have identified some possible third reinfections. What is clear is that the longer Covid is with us, the more reinfections a person may potentially experience.
Washington Post, 1/21: “Vaccine boosters provide robust protection against severe disease from the omicron variant in the United States, according to three reports released Friday that offer the first real-world data in this country showing the utility of the additional shots in keeping vaccinated people out of the hospital.”
Political Wire, 1/20: A new Economist-YouGov poll finds Republicans are significantly more likely to report having contracted the Covid-19 than are Democrats. “That’s been the case for a while. The three-week average of responses to the question showed more reported positive tests among Republicans back in the fall of 2020. In recent weeks, though, the gap has widened.”
The New Yorker, John Cassidy, 1/20: “Two years to the week after the first Covid-19 cases in this country were confirmed, it’s increasingly clear who the biggest economic winners have been. The tech giants that benefited from the shift to remote work, such as Amazon and Microsoft, are the most obvious ones, but the list also includes major Wall Street banks and large financial firms. Last Friday, JPMorgan Chase, the biggest bank in the country, announced that it had made a post-tax profit of $48.3 billion in 2021. Nearly fifty billion dollars. That’s about thirty-five per cent more than the thirty-six billion dollars that JPMorgan Chase made in 2019, the year before the pandemic, which was itself a record figure. On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs announced record post-tax profits of $21.6 billion for 2021. The past twelve months have been such a stellar period for the firm that, according to Bloomberg News, it is preparing to give some of its most senior employees two year-end bonuses. It’s hard to exaggerate the extent to which the current Wall Street bonanza is a product of the stimulative policies that the Fed and Congress introduced to lessen the pain of the pandemic.”
Reuters, 1/20: “People who had previously been infected with Covid-19 were better protected against the Delta variant than those who were vaccinated alone, suggesting that natural immunity was a more potent shield than vaccines against that variant. Protection against Delta was highest, however, among people who were both vaccinated and had survived a previous Covid infection, and lowest among those who had never been infected or vaccinated.”
Electoral-vote.com, 1/20: Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that OSHA, which was created by Congress to make sure workplaces are safe for the workers, doesn’t have the authority to order companies with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccinations for employees. After all, what connection is there between workers spreading potentially fatal diseases and workplace safety? But the Court didn’t tell the companies themselves what they should do, and so we are getting a mixed bag of responses.
Starbucks, for example, has dropped its plan to require vaccinations of all its U.S. workers. The company’s COO, John Culver, apparently didn’t talk with the company’s lawyers when he said: “We will respect the court’s ruling and will comply.” The court said absolutely nothing about whether companies could implement their own vaccine mandates because they felt it was good for business. It merely said that OSHA couldn’t force them to do it. Similarly, General Electric will also drop its vaccination mandate.
On the other hand, a number of companies have decided they feel that a mandate is needed to protect their workers and, in some cases, their customers. Carhartt, a manufacturer of work clothes popular with, well, workers, is going to enforce a vaccination mandate. CEO Mark Valade said: “We put workplace safety at the very top of our priority list and the Supreme Court’s recent ruling doesn’t impact that core value.” Carhartt employees who won’t get vaxxed will get fired instead. Citigroup is another company that will keep its mandate.
As to the political fallout here, while the Democrats would have preferred the OSHA rule to hold, the real goal is to stamp out the coronavirus. If enough big companies decide to require vaccinations of all employees, that is almost as good as a government mandate, and tougher for Republicans to criticize. As soon as a Republican says he doesn’t think Carhartt or Citigroup or some other company should mandate vaccines, the instant response is going to be: “Oh, so you don’t believe private companies should be able to run their businesses as they see fit? When did you begin opposing capitalism?”
There are also companies taking a somewhat different approach to getting unvaccinated employees to roll up their sleeves: jab them in their wallets, instead. Delta Airlines, for example, has raised the health-plan contribution of unvaccinated employees by $200/month. Taking a $2,400 annual pay cut is surely going to motivate some workers to think about how much their “freedom from vaccination” is really worth. It is one thing to have a big mouth about your freedom, but it is something quite different when you have to put $2,400 of your own money where your mouth is. (V)
Political Wire, 1/20: A new Gallup poll finds that 20% of Americans think the pandemic is improving, while 22% think it’s staying same and 58% say it’s getting worse.
Electoral-vote.com, 1/20: Despite the setback on the OSHA rule, Joe Biden is working on other ways to contain the pandemic. One of them is to make 400 million N95 masks available for free through tens of thousands of drug stores around the country. These masks are more effective at stopping the omicron virus than the (cheaper) surgical masks that many people have been using. There is a robust mask manufacturing sector in the U.S. and 142 U.S. companies are bidding to get federal contracts to supply the masks.
Early in the pandemic, the C.D.C. discouraged ordinary Americans from using N95 masks, since it wanted to reserve the small supply for medical professionals. Now there are plenty of masks available from domestic suppliers, so the next step in masking is to distribute the N95 masks and get people to use them.
One issue that has been a problem in the campaign to get people masked up is that Amazon and Facebook haven’t been taking ads for masks due to the huge number of low-grade and counterfeit masks flooding the market. To prevent inferior masks from being sold, they blocked all mask ads. There is a government agency that vets masks, NIOSH, but it has been inundated and doesn’t have the staff to test all the applicants. Normally, it gets 8-10 applications per year. In 2021 it got 119 of them. Of course, if the masks are made available in drugstores, community centers, and other locations for free, the issue of not being able to buy them on Amazon is moot for many people.
A number of Democratic politicians commended Biden on this move. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said: “I applaud the Biden Administration for making 400 million N95 masks available for free around the country.” But he also added: “It is a good first step, and more must be done.” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) said: “As these top-of-the-line masks are made available, please do your patriotic duty and #MaskUp.” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) said: “If we’re asking folks to wear a mask, it’s on us to provide one.” So far, no high-profile Republicans have condemned the free-mask program as another government boondoggle, but there is still hope one could do so very soon. (V)
Salt Lake Tribune, 1/19: After testing positive for Covid-19 last week, Utah Senate President Stuart Adams (R) “opened the 2022 session unmasked, conducting business as normal and trying to reassure senators and the public he was fully recovered. Adams initially said he’d tested positive twice for COVID-19 since yesterday but backtracked seconds later. ‘I tested negative twice,’ he said, joking that he’d misspoken to make sure people were listening. In reality, the senator had indeed tested positive twice Tuesday morning.”
Texas Tribune, 1/19: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) has tested positive for Covid-19. It’s not known whether Paxton was vaccinated but he has used to office to fight against federal vaccine mandates.
CNN, 1/19: “Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said the panel’s chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), has requested that members receive a negative Covid test before they participate in an upcoming committee briefing. Turner, however, said Republicans on the committee will not comply with Schiff’s request.”
New York Times, David Leonhardt, 1/19: “Omicron appears to be in retreat, even if the official national data doesn’t yet reflect that reality. Omicron also appears to be mild in a vast majority of cases, especially for the vaccinated. This combination means that the U.S. may be only a few weeks away from the most encouraging Covid situation since early last summer, before the Delta variant emerged.”
Orlando Sentinel, 1/19: The head of Florida’s Orange County Department of Health has been placed on administrative leave for an email he sent this month encouraging members of his staff to get vaccinated against Covid-19,
Washington Post, 1/19: “After a period when Biden’s vaccination focus appeared to be paying off, many of those problems have roared back as the delta variant, and then omicron, tore across the country. Once again, doctors and nurses are pleading for relief, as hospitalizations set new daily records and more facilities move to ration care. Many Americans say they’re confused by government pronouncements and losing faith in the agencies handling the response. Essential workers in packing plants, food service and emergency response say they still feel endangered by a virus that Biden had vowed to control.”
AP, 1/19: “The Biden administration will begin making 400 million N95 masks available for free to Americans starting next week, now that federal officials are emphasizing their better protection against the omicron variant of COVID-19 over cloth face coverings.”
Politico, 1/18: “House Republicans are edging toward harder hits at President Joe Biden while he struggles to contain Covid’s Omicron variant. Just don’t expect it to become a centerpiece of their midterm-election messaging.That’s in part because the GOP has to walk a fine line on the pandemic — thanks to Donald Trump. One problem: Members say it wouldn’t resonate well with their base, compared with issues like the economy, education and national security. Republicans also see it as a tough point to underscore given their broad dismissal of Covid precautions after the nation’s first round of vaccinations, as well as their growing rebukes of mask and vaccine mandates.”
Political Wire, 1/18: When President Biden said anyone could find free Covid testing by Googling “Covid test near me,” Libby Watson took him up on the challenge and found it’s not that easy — especially in rural areas. Meanwhile, the federal website to request free Covid tests by postal delivery was launched a day early.
CBS News, 1/18: A group of men detained at an Arkansas jail say that the facility’s medical staff gave them the anti-parasite drug ivermectin last year, without their consent, to treat COVID-19, while telling them the pills were “vitamins.”
The Hill, 1/18: The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a request to block a federal mask mandate for air travel,
Stat, 1/18: “As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc, an expert panel at the World Economic Forum delivered a mix of good news and bad news on Monday: More variants will emerge, but vaccine production is accelerating and research is progressing toward a combined shot that may be able to attack these different variants.”
Political Wire, 1/18: “Leading Novak Djokovic sponsor Lacoste has said it plans to ‘review’ the events that led to the tennis star’s deportation from Australia, highlighting the potential fallout for athletes who remain unvaccinated against Covid-19,” the Financial Times reports. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports Djokovic got a “hero’s welcome” upon his return to Serbia.
New York Times, 1/18: “China had already barred foreign spectators from attending the Winter Games that begin in Beijing in less than a month. On Monday, it announced that most Chinese people won’t be able to attend either. Citing the evolving threat from the coronavirus pandemic, the Beijing 2022 organizing committee announced that it was ending ticket sales to the events ‘to ensure the safety of all participants and spectators. The decision came less than two days after health authorities reported Beijing’s first case of the Omicron variant and ordered an immediate lockdown and mass testing in one of the capital’s neighborhoods.”
NPR, 1/18: “Sotomayor did not feel safe in close proximity to people who were unmasked. Chief Justice John Roberts, understanding that, in some form asked the other justices to mask up. They all did. Except Gorsuch, who, as it happens, sits next to Sotomayor on the bench. His continued refusal since then has also meant that Sotomayor has not attended the justices’ weekly conference in person, joining instead by telephone.Gorsuch, from the beginning of his tenure, has proved a prickly justice, not exactly beloved even by his conservative soulmates on the court.”
Bloomberg, 1/18: “China’s zero tolerance approach to Covid has idled Toyota Motor Corp. and Volkswagen AG factories the past week, a troubling sign for global carmakers as the omicron variant begins to spread in the world’s biggest auto production hub,”
Electoral-vote.com, 1/17: Donald Trump is suddenly boosting boosters. What happened? He is not great at math. In 1988, he paid $408 million for the Plaza Hotel and spent millions upgrading it. Then he sold it in 1995 for $325 million. The staff economist advises us that, in business, you’re actually supposed to try to increase the value of your assets. Trump seems to have missed that lecture in Business 101. There is an old line that the best way to make a small fortune in the restaurant business is to begin with a large fortune. It would seem that applies to real estate, too.
Anyhow, given his poor track record, numbers-wise, we are dubious that Trump has conducted a detailed analysis of the pandemic trends. Our guess is that somebody on his staff pointed out that the people dying of COVID-19 are largely his voters and losing 1,000+ voters a day to the disease isn’t going to help his 2024 chances much. We have had many questions about this very issue, but other people are also doing the math, including a recently retired New York Times reporter, Donald McNeil Jr. He agrees with us that someone must have clued Trump in on what’s going on.
A recent C.D.C. study showed that 91% of recent deaths are among unvaccinated people. In Texas, it is 95%. So who are the unvaxxed? At the outset of the pandemic, many Black folks were hesitant to get it because they remembered the 1932-73 Tuskegee experiment, even if they were born half a century later. Latinos were also hesitant because many of them also don’t trust the government. But that has changed. Vaccine resistance is now a white phenomenon. Currently, 86% of Democrats and 60% of Republicans are vaxxed. Also, 90% of atheists but only 57% of white evangelicals have gotten jabbed. In short, if you’re white, Republican, and you love Jesus, you are disproportionately likely to be unvaccinated. Sound like the base of anyone you know? So it’s no surprise COVID-19 death rates in Trump counties are three times higher than in Biden counties.
Currently, about 1,800 Americans are dying every day of COVID-19. The C.D.C. expects that to soon hit 2,600/day. That’s currently 60 Arizonans, 36 Georgians, and 34 Wisconsinites per day. Trump lost Arizona by 10,000 votes, Georgia by 12,000, and Wisconsin by 21,000, To save you the trouble of firing up a calculator app, 10,000/60 is 167 days, 12,000/36 = 333 days, and 21,000/34 = 618 days. Hopefully those numbers are right; we asked the staff mathematician to double check them, but as you might imagine, he was “indisposed.” Anyhow, the math is bad for Trump, and if death rates continue climbing, those numbers get worse.
And that’s not all. The top five causes of death in America now are heart disease, cancer, COVID-19, accidents, and stroke. Four of the five mostly take down the old, the overweight, and people who live far from hospitals. In other words, Trump’s rural base. Maybe with some prompting, Trump has seen the handwriting on the wall, and it is equations like: 10,000/60 = 167. But when he tries to tell his voters to get vaccinated, he gets booed. If he had championed anti-pandemic measures from the beginning, he might have won in 2020. But now it could be too little, too late. (V)
Newsweek, 1/17: Former President Donald Trump falsely claimed that white people are being discriminated against and sent to the “back of the line” when it comes to receiving Covid-19 vaccines and treatment. Said Trump: “The left is now rationing life-saving therapeutics based on race, discriminating against and denigrating, just denigrating white people to determine who lives and who dies. He added: “You get it based on race. In fact, in New York state, if you’re white, you have to go to the back of the line to get medical help. If you’re white, you go right to the back of the line.”
Intelligencer, Jonathan Chait, 1/17: “The furnace-hot backlash seemed to be triggered by [Nate] Silver’s assumption that school closings were not only a mistake — a possibility many progressives have quietly begun to accept — but an error of judgment that was sufficiently consequential and foreseeable that we can’t just shrug it off as a bad dice roll. It was a historic blunder that reveals some deeper flaw in the methods that produced it and which demands corrective action. That unnerving implication has a mounting pile of evidence to support it. It is now indisputable, and almost undisputed, that the year and a quarter of virtual school imposed devastating consequences on the students who endured it… The damage to a generation of children’s social development and educational attainment, and particularly to the social mobility prospects of its most marginalized members, will be irrecoverable. It is nearly as clear that these measures did little to contain the pandemic.”
Political Wire, 1/17: A new CBS/YouGov poll finds that among respondents who said President Biden is doing a bad job handling the pandemic, 69% said “information has been confusing. As the anniversary of President Biden’s inauguration approaches this week, American opinion of his efforts to contain the pandemic is lower than ever,” according to a CBS News/YouGov poll. The poll, released on Sunday, found just 36% of respondents believed U.S. efforts to deal with the coronavirus was ‘going well.’ Just 49% of Americans approved of the president’s management of the pandemic, compared to 66 percent of Americans who gave the same response in July, in a previous version of the poll.”
Washington Post, 1/17: “Worker shortages caused by the omicron coronavirus variant and haggling over a new dockworkers contract are likely to aggravate costly supply chain jams over the next several months, clouding prospects for quick relief from the highest inflation in four decades.”
New York Times, 1/17: “Companies are bracing for another round of potentially debilitating supply chain disruptions as China, home to about a third of global manufacturing, imposes sweeping lockdowns in an attempt to keep the Omicron variant at bay.”