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Increasing number of Republican states projected to see a spike in coronavirus deaths

According to a Yahoo Finance analysis of the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s (IHME) coronavirus death toll model, there is an increasing number of Republican states that are projected to have the highest increases in COVID-19-related deaths.

A previous analysis of the death toll projections for all 50 states and Washington, D.C. found that eight of the top 10 states with the greatest estimated death increases had Republican governors. That figure has now been increased to nine. 

What’s more, the analysis found that Republicans govern roughly 70% of the states in the country with the highest increases in death projections.

Yahoo Finance looked at the current death toll projections through October 1, and compared them with the number of recorded deaths in May. For consistency, the analysis uses IHME figures for all data. 

The top state on the list is Texas, leaping up from its previous

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‘A scary number’ of retail companies are facing bankruptcy amid the coronavirus pandemic

GNC has walked through death’s door after knocking on it for years. And it’s likely others will follow suit this year as the COVID-19 pandemic continues its devastation of America’s retail sector.

The 85-year-old vitamin seller filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday after years of battling waning sales and a debt load north of $1 billion. GNC plans to shutter up to 1,200 stores across the U.S. The company operates more than 5,800 stores.

Meantime, fellow debt-laden mall dweller J.C. Penney said on Tuesday it will close another 13 stores as part of its recent bankruptcy filing. The company told the courts in May it would shutter a total of 250 stores by the end of summer 2021, leaving it with a shade under 600 locations.

To be sure, 2020 is shaping up to be one of the deadliest ever for the former icons of the mall and various shopping centers.

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Novavax begins vaccine trials; Brazil reports second-highest number of cases in world

Eased lockdowns and lifted restrictions have placed significant pressure on the global drug pipeline.

The global pandemic, which has affected more than 5.5 million, is forcing drugmakers and biotech firms of all sizes to shorten the timeline for a vaccine, which is essential to easing fears about returning to work and school. To-date, nearly a dozen companies in the U.S., Europe and China have started human trials for more than 100 vaccine candidates.

Most recently, Novavax (NVAX) announced it would begin human trials, for its coronavirus vaccine, making it the fourth company in the U.S. to do so. The biotech company is starting its clinical trials in Australia, and intends to produce 100 million doses by the end of the year and a billion doses in 2021.

Meanwhile, Merck (MRK), one of the largest players in the vaccine race, finally unveiled details of its efforts Tuesday. The company announced

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Dallas Fed’s Kaplan expects ‘substantial number’ of bankruptcies amid oil crunch

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan told Yahoo Finance on Wednesday that plummeting oil prices will have to result in some bankruptcies and restructurings. But he clarified that the Fed will not step in to save insolvent companies that had pre-existing credit issues.

“There are a number of companies in this industry, either drillers or service providers, that went into this highly leveraged, and I think they’re going to have to pursue other actions in order to restructure their debt,” Kaplan told Yahoo Finance’s “On The Move.”

Kaplan said creditworthy companies that pass lenders’ cash flow tests will be eligible for loans through the Fed’s forthcoming Main Street Lending facility. 

Last Thursday the Fed expanded the scope of the program to offer low-cost, four-year loans to larger companies with as many as 15,000 employees or up to $5 billion in annual revenue. The loans would allow companies to

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Confirmed U.S. coronavirus cases ‘a small fraction of the actual number’

The official count of the number of people with coronavirus, or COVID-19, is likely to grossly underestimate the actual stats, according to a public health expert.

“Remember, we did not have testing rolled out when we should have… a couple of months ago,” Dr. Robyn Gershon, a clinical professor of epidemiology at New York University’s School of Global Public Health, told Yahoo Finance’s The Ticker. “We were delayed — now some of those tests are coming forward… [and] the numbers I’ve seen have indicated that this number is a small fraction of the actual number of positive cases in the U.S. I’ve seen estimates from anywhere [between] five to 15 times that number.”

There are currently more than 770,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide, with 20% — or 157,000 — of those cases are in the U.S. as of midday March 30.

On Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary

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