Alexis Christophorus: All is well, I want to dig it up with Chris Meckins now. He is a Health Care Policy Analyst at Raymond James. Chris, thanks for being with us. So to talk about Anjali, to tell about this AstraZeneca news, we know that President Trump is potentially calling and insisting on getting vaccinated before the election. What is this news from AstraZeneca, do you think, do it for the President at that time?
Chris MEEKINS: Yes, I think this is really encouraging for the scientific community. The fact that the company was willing to stop things shows that the system is indeed working and should give the public more confidence if we obtain an Emergency Use Authority or we get FDA approval of a vaccine . So this is indeed an encouraging step, even though we never want to see any adverse consequences. So we’ll get to the bottom of whether this was a result of the vaccine or maybe not and then we can continue to move forward.
Regarding the President’s deadline, I think he will continue to move to obtain an Emergency Use Authority before the election. He believes that it is important for his election opportunities to get vaccinated. They believe that largely in COVID response administration and other areas may be that if a vaccine is approved in record time, the public will forgive some other obstacles.
BRIAN SOZZI: Chris, Anzale here. President Trump recently tweeted about new steps to lower Medicare premiums and drug prices, and that’s something we’re hearing from the administration. I think the idea behind all these efforts seems at least harmonious, you know, private markets, commercial insurers and prefer to follow suit. With the coming of elections, what is happening with all this noise?
Chris MEEKINS: Yes, the president has said – talked a lot about lowering prices, and he promises new actions to do it, and we are continuing to wait. You may remember the end of July, we had a big conversation about the president issuing these executive orders on drug pricing, and the most frequent result was that prices for some drugs in Europe tied up was given. He said, okay, I have signed it, but I am going to give Pharma 30 days to negotiate.
Well, they came 30 days and they went. He tweeted that he had signed the executive order on 22 August. I think no one has ever seen it, so it’s hidden in the White House. I think if we were to see real action, real executive order, it is difficult to implement before the election, and there is no question after that.
So I think he wants pharma at low prices. He wants the commercial industry to cut things down so that seniors feel better, because if you look at voting now, he is not doing the same to seniors as he did four years ago. So he is going to remove everything from his pack that could possibly be between now and the election, a lot of promises, and we really have to be careful to check whether the original versus what is just rhetoric.
BRIAN SOZZI: Chris, finally, do you think that before President Trump’s election day, one way or the other is to get the vaccine in the market?
Chris MEEKINS: I don’t think it rests on that. I think one of the things they are appreciating is how many people are already voting. North Carolina sent its ballots on September 4, so people are literally voting in America. It is entirely possible that the weekend before the election, more than half of the votes in the country would have been cast either through mail-in, absentee or early voting at this point.
So you actually get to a point where if he is assuming that he might be surprised by such a late, as if the Comey announcement was right before the 2016 election, then actually those very small number of unspecified voters He may be late to swing to get the route. So he needs to do something sooner than later. And I really only think from a time perspective, when I talk to my colleague Steve Sedhouse, he is one of our biotech analysts who actually monitors vaccine progress, he tells us to get the data What is really difficult is that the public will feel comfortable at first. Election.
Alexis Christophorus: Chris, since we are here with you, I got you to ask me a question about the stimulus, as the Senate Republicans are ready to vote, I think, on their so-called slim plan as of yesterday. This is much lower in dollar volume than what Democrats were looking for. What are the chances that it is actually passed in its current form?
Chris MEEKINS: Yes, I think it’s really unlikely that we see the $ 300 billion package in its current form. Democrats in the House want $ 3 trillion. Republicans in the Senate are proposing $ 300 billion, so this is a very wide four. By that point, the White House was saying that they would be on board, like, trillions, trillions and a half. Democrats in the House said they were willing to fall below 2.5.
So we are still really at the heart of this dialogue. And the fact that just last week the Treasury Secretary said that he and Speaker Pelosi had negotiated a clean continuing resolution to fund the government at the end of September, it was actually the next pivot point for a bigger deal Necessary action could have been taken. If it is going to be clear, then we have difficulty before the election that this day falls. And I’m real – I wonder if the market is so concerned about the fact that we don’t have this next financial relief package.
BRIAN SOZZI: Chris, what is the deal before the election? For its point, the market has barely moved on it. Will the full-on stock market route have to be taken outside of these hot tech stocks to complete the deal?
Chris MEEKINS: Yes, I mean, obviously I’m not encouraging the market to go down so that we can get a deal. But I think you need some pressure on the Senate Republicans to take action. And I think the President may want to be lessened by the stock market shrinking – to see additional action and be more flexible on numbers. But at the same time, at the end of the day, we are in the middle of an election season.
The number one goal of the Speaker of the House is to ensure that President Trump loses. President Trump’s number one goal is to make sure he wins. They are very conflicting views. And if you see another round of excitement and it can help improve the economic outlook before the election, there are a lot of people in Congress right now who don’t have the incentive to move forward.
Alexis Christophorus: All is well, Chris McKins, health care policy analyst at Raymond James. Thank you for being with us this morning.
Chris MEEKINS: Thanks for being me, Alexis.