Category Archives: Economy and Meltdown

Why Illinois Governor Pritzker’s Congressional Testimony On COVID-19 Was False And Hypocritical

Why Illinois Governor Pritzker’s Congressional Testimony On COVID-19 Was False And Hypocritical

Tyler Durden

Sun, 07/12/2020 – 20:00

Authored by Mark Glennon via Wirepoints.org,

Let’s start with a central claim Governor JB Pritzker made Wednesday in his testimony about COVID-19 policy before the United States House Committee on Homeland Security:

“We instituted [his mandate to wear masks] in Illinois on May 1st, one of the first in the nation, and it aligns with our most significant downward shifts in our infection rate,” he said.

That’s simply untrue and his own administration’s data show why. Infections turned down well before his mask order went into effect on May 1. We laid it out in detail in early June.

The evidence of the day-to-day course of the virus closest to being timely is hospitalizations for it, as Pritzker himself has said. Deaths provide another index. However, hospitalizations and deaths lag the actual course of the virus, and that lag time is provided directly by the Center for Disease Control. Adjusting for those lags shows that the virus peaked in Illinois around April 15 or April 18 – before the mask order even went into effect.

Progress from the mask order would not have shown up until mid-May, which is when Pritzker’s “science and data” projected the virus would peak. Those projections are now proved to have been wrong even before they were announced. Our full analysis, using the state’s own numbers and the CDC adjustments, includes the details.

Gov. JB Pritzker testifying remotely

And what about Pritzker’s suggestion for going forward, which made national headlines — a federal mask mandate for the whole nation?

In his testimony Pritzker said,

“If there’s one job government has, it’s to respond to a life-threatening emergency. But when the same emergency is crashing down on every state at once, that’s a national emergency, and it requires a national response.”

But remember what he said in April when President Trump and Vice President Pence were roundly rebuked – properly – for claiming that the federal government could override state emergency orders and reopening plans? Pritzker was among the critics.

“Well, I think [Trump] is going to issue some advice about it, but it is true that it’s up to the governors to make decisions about the executive orders we put in place,” Pritzker said.

And Pritzker says Trump alone should issue the national mask order, with no legislation. Executive authority for that is highly questionable. On executive power, at least he is consistent. It’s also his position that he can micromanage much of the state through an emergency order he claims can be renewed for as long as he alone chooses.

Watch the video of the rest of his testimony and you will see that the gist of it is that, when the federal government failed, it was his administration that stepped up with the right response, which is how much of the press summarized his testimony. When asked later to elaborate on what lessons Illinois officials gained from handling the pandemic, Pritzker offered no specifics, saying only, “There’s an awful lot of learning that’s taken place from March until now, so yes I think we’ve created a path for someone in the future to follow.”

His leadership showed the country how to do it, in other words.

But here’s what Pritzker didn’t tell Congress: Illinois has suffered 42% more deaths per capita than America as a whole. Per 100,000 of population, 58 Illinoisans have died from the virus but just 41, nationally. Yes, the virus is spiking in states like Florida, Texas and Arizona, but their deaths per capita remain far behind Illinois’ at 19, 10 and 28, respectively, per 100,000.

Given that record so far, nobody should be telling Congress that Illinois provides the model for others to follow.

Another matter Pritzker omitted is the growing question of whether lockdown orders make a difference at all. As we have often written, many experts have found it hard to match state and national success fighting the virus with current or prior emergency rules; the virus seems to have a life of its own, often surprising the experts.

A good, current illustration is California, which is also among the states where the virus is surging, though it has had strict lockdown rules.

The latest evidence on that issue is particularly intriguing. It’s a study authored by two University of Chicago economists, one of whom is Austan Goolsby, who served on the Council of Economic Advisors during the Obama Administration.

They concluded that it’s individual choice that determines how people have conducted themselves during the pandemic, not rules. Legal shutdown orders account for only 7 percentage points of what was a 60 percentage points drop in consumer traffic due to the virus, they found.

That conclusion is consistent with another recent study in Wisconsin that we wrote about. It found virtually no change in social distancing behavior after the Wisconsin Supreme Court voided the state’s shutdown order on May 13.

*  *  *

The truth is that the verdict is still out on much of what works, and Illinois is certainly not in a position to be telling Congress that it knows. What we can say for certain is that the entire nation at all levels of government – as well as most educational institutions and many businesses — were tragically unprepared. That failure most clearly includes the absence of any planning for what levels of government are responsible for what – the very issue on which Pritzker plays both sides.

Let’s hope that, when this is over, a quality review is undertaken that produces a useful assessment akin to the 911 Commission’s report. Hopefully, it will be free of self-aggrandizing politicians who have plagued the debate so far.

Goldman Expects A 60% Drop In Q2 EPS, Much Worse Than Consensus

Goldman Expects A 60% Drop In Q2 EPS, Much Worse Than Consensus

Tyler Durden

Sun, 07/12/2020 – 19:30

While Morgan Stanley continues to cheerlead some imaginary V-shaped recovery that is increasingly just in the heads of its research analysts who are running out of time to convince the bank’s clients to buy everything the bank’s prop desks have to sell (while pointing to the market’s surge as if central bank manipulation in the form of trillions of money printed is somehow equivalent to discounting the future, something which the market used to do before central banks took over “price discovery”), Goldman has increasingly become the bearish foil to Stanley’s mind-numbing cheerleading, and in his latest note, Goldman’s chief equity strategist David Kostin looks at Q2 earnings, writing that “investors seek answers about the size of the downturn and the scope for recovery”, and warns that the earnings reality about to be revealed will be far uglier than even the pessimists expect.

Which is why, unlike consensus which expects an already catastrophic 44% drop in Q2 EPS Y/Y, Goldman is even more downbeat with Kostin predicting that “earnings will fall by 60% in the quarter“, the worst print since the financial crisis.

As was the case in Q1, when historical earnings reports were largely ignored, investors will be looking below the surface of aggregate results to better understand the earnings impact of shutdowns and how quickly earnings can recover as the world reopens. Given the recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the US, we expect management commentary will prove more important to gauging the forward path of earnings than actual 2Q results. That is, assuming that companies will not eliminated guidance for the second quarter in a row.

We’ll find out as soon as Tuesday, when the largest US Banks, including C, JPM, WFC, and BAC, report second quarter results, with 66% of S&P 500 companies set to report earnings during the two-week period between July 20 and July 31.

Here are some more details from Goldman on why an already dismal consensus will likely end up being overly optimistic:

Consensus expects S&P 500 earnings will decline by 44% in 2Q, but aggregate results will mask wide dispersion by sector. Equity analysts forecast S&P 500 sales will decline by 12% and net profit margins will contract by 400 bp to 6.8%.  If realized, 2Q 2020 EPS growth would be the weakest since 4Q 2009 (-65%).

Energy and Consumer Discretionary are expected to post outright losses in the quarter due to the sharp decline in oil prices and direct impact from coronavirus shutdowns. Financials results will also be weak as Banks build additional reserves ahead of an expected surge in bankruptcies and nonperforming loans. Goldman’s Banks team expects earnings to decline by 69%.

At the other end of the distribution, analysts expect Info Tech EPS to decline by just 9%. The defensive Utilities is the only sector expected to grow EPS in 2Q (+2%).

Looking at the big picture, Goldman believes Q2 earnings results will be worse than consensus currently forecasts. With economic growth the primary driver of S&P 500 EPS growth; 65% of the variation in quarterly year/year EPS growth can be explained by US economic activity in the quarter. Goldman’s US Current Activity Indicator averaged -12% in 2Q, improving from -25% in April to -1.4% in June. The bank forecasts S&P 500 EPS will decline by 60% year/year.

The S&P 500 comprises large, profitable firms and should be insulated from the economic damage relative to smaller firms. Analyst estimates show Russell 2000 EPS falling by 120% in the second quarter.

Investors continue to look through 2020 EPS and focus on the earnings outlook for 2021 and 2022. Many investors expect the coronavirus-induced collapse in profits will be concentrated in 2020.

In order to shift attention even further away from the current collapse in profits, Goldman believes FY+2 earnings and valuation multiples “more accurately reflect the investing environment” and the bank “adjusts our baseline forecast for S&P 500 2020 EPS to $115 (-30%) from $110, maintain our 2021 EPS estimate of $170 (+48%), and introduce a 2022 EPS estimate of $188 (+11%).”

Goldman’s 2021 EPS forecast is 4% above realized 2019 EPS, while in 2020, Goldman assumes average annual US GDP growth of -4.6%, average Brent crude oil price of $41/bbl (-35% year/year), and a 5% stronger trade-weighted US dollar relative to 2019.

The bank’s 2021 and 2022 forecasts incorporate expectations of modestly higher oil prices, a weaker USD, and US real economic growth that averages +5.8% in 2021 and +3.5% in 2022. The bank’s economists also expect slack to persist in the labor market through 2022, providing additional flexibility for corporate profit margins.

According to Kostin, “more of the 2020 decline in earnings is driven by margin contraction than by a drop in sales” as many companies have adjusted their revenue models (e.g., online, curbside) but are experiencing increased costs to reopen safely. Excluding Financials and Utilities, Goldman forecasts S&P 500 sales growth of -8% in 2020, +13% in 2021, and +7% in 2022, and net profit margins of 8.6% (-205 bp) in 2020, 11.1% (+250 bp) in 2021, and 11.5% (+40 bp) in 2022.

While Goldman is especially downbeat on Q2 earnings, it is far more optimistic looking at the year ahead, and its estimates for 2021 and 2022 remain above bottom-up consensus and most buy-side estimates. Consensus continues to look for a rebound in earnings through 2022 following a 24% decline in 2020. However, revisions have been steadily negative in the past month. Consensus now expects 2021 EPS of $162 (+30%) and 2022 EPS of $187 (+15%), both below Goldman’s top-down estimates.

What if Goldman is – as usual – wrong about everything? Well, in a downside scenario, Kostin expects that S&P 500 EPS would equal just $105 in 2020, $135 in 2021, and $160 in 2022, with the downside estimates implying EPS growth of -36% in 2020, +29% in 2021, and +19% in 2022, meaning 2022 EPS would remain 3% below 2019 levels.

These estimates are broadly consistent with the downside scenario outlined by Goldman’s economists and represent a “check-mark” rather than a “V-shaped” recovery. The bank expects this downside scenario to occur if reopening plans are meaningfully pushed back because the virus is uncontained or if damage to the labor market and businesses becomes more long-lasting in nature. For example, large company bankruptcies have increased sharply in the past few weeks. Based on Goldman’s top-down model, every 100 bp change in US GDP growth equates to $6 of S&P 500 EPS.

On the other hand, if a vaccine were approved and distributed rapidly, it would generate only modest upside to the bank’s optimistic baseline 2021 EPS estimate.

The election wildcard: The 2020 elections add to the earnings uncertainty created by the coronavirus. The odds of a Democratic sweep in November have increased substantially since February and now stand above 50%.

If enacted, the Biden tax plan would reduce our S&P 500 earnings estimate for 2021 by $20 per share, from $170 to $150.

This estimate includes raising the statutory federal tax rate on domestic income from 21% to 28%, doubling the GILTI tax  rate on certain foreign income, imposing a minimum tax rate of 15%, adding an additional payroll tax on high earners, and a drag on US GDP of a similar magnitude to the boost the TCJA created in 2018.

Outside of tax reform, Goldman sees regulation, infrastructure, and trade policy represent potential upside and downside risk to S&P 500 EPS. It’s not just bad news from a Biden beat: Kostin reminds us that this week, Biden outlined a $700 bn economic plan focused on fiscal stimulus. Large fiscal expansion would likely provide a tailwind to economic growth and S&P 500 EPS. Meanwhile, JPMOrgan has published a matrix showing that no matter if Trump or Biden wins, the outcome will be bullish for stocks in either case.

 

Okinawa Bases Locked Down As COVID-19 Outbreak Grows; Florida Smashes US Single-Day Record: Live Updates

Okinawa Bases Locked Down As COVID-19 Outbreak Grows; Florida Smashes US Single-Day Record: Live Updates

Tyler Durden

Sun, 07/12/2020 – 19:03

Summary:

  • Japan shutters US bases on Okinawa
  • Phoenix mayor sets record for ventilator usage
  • South Carolina positivity rate tops 22%
  • French official warns we shouldn’t expect vaccine by year’s end
  • US hospitals see severe shortages of remdesivir
  • WHO reports another single-day global record
  • Florida shatters US single-day record, surpassing NY
  • US 7-day average for deaths hits highest level since June 16
  • Mexico deaths on track to surpass Italy
  • India outbreak surpasses 250k
  • Israelis protest in Tel Aviv

* * *

Update (1840ET): Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego told CNN Sunday during an interview with Dana Bash that the state’s positivity rates and record-setting ventilator usage are plaguing Phoenix.

“Our health care workers are telling us they are already tired and they are worried that there could be additional growth after the 4th of July,” Gallego said.

She also claimed that people in Phoenix are waiting up to 13 hours to get tested.

“We have had people waiting, eight, 10, 13 hours” to get tested, Gallego said.

We wonder: will she need to walk back any of these claims, too.

Meanwhile, as Iran suffers a dramatic resurgence of its deadly coronavirus outbreak, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a televised speech on Sunday said the situation is “truly sad” and encouraged citizens to take appropriate measures to help shorten the chain of transmission “before bringing the country to the shore of salvation,” according to Khamenei’s office.

While Florida’s daily numbers were undoubtedly the highlight of the weekend, it’s worth noting that the total number of test results reported yesterday in South Carolina was 8,769, with the % positive hitting 22.3%. A total of 538,022 tests were conducted in the state, according to the state’s latest press release, while there were 1,952 new cases of coronavirus and 10 new deaths reported for a total of 56,485 confirmed cases and 163 probable cases. There have also been 950 confirmed deaths and 11 probable deaths statewide.

In vaccine news, after an Australian official warned that we shouldn’t expect a vaccine by the end of the year, French epidemiologist Arnaud Fontanet says that despite ‘unprecedented effort’ a vaccine is still not likely before next year.

As more countries scramble to secure stocks of Gilead’s remdesivir, in the US, hospitals in some bad hit areas are complaining that they don’t have enough of the stuff, while hospitals in places like NYC are saying they have more than they need.

Finally, after 61 US marines tested positive for the virus at two US bases in Okinawa, a Japan-controlled island, the Japanese and the US just announced that they would be placing the base on lockdown to prevent further spread. Japan is reportedly “shocked” and furious at the US after a major coronavirus outbreak at 2 Marine bases in Okinawa.

* * *

Update (1400ET): Like Brazil, Chile and Peru, Mexico’s cases from the coronavirus have been surging as the country struggles to compensate for its lackluster early response.

On Sunday, As Reuters reports, Mexico is set to overtake Italy and shoot above 35,000 deaths on Sunday, leaving Mexico on track to become the world’s fourth most deadly outbreak, according to Reuters’ tally. On Saturday, Mexico recorded 539 additional fatalities to bring its coronavirus toll to 34,730, with 295,268 confirmed cases.

Italy has recorded 34,945 deaths and 242,827 cases, though it’s only diagnosing a hundred or so new cases a day for the entire country, along with a handful of deaths.

Mexico’s coronavirus death toll per million residents is the 16th highest in the world. The country’s population is about 120 million.

Meanwhile, after Fla. reported the largest single-day jump in new cases for any US state, Miami-Dade County officials warned that some hospitals in the state’s hardest-hit county are reaching capacity in both available beds and ICU beds. The shortages are being found at some of the county’s largest and most critical hospitals, Mayor Carlos Gimenez told CNN in an interview earlier.

“Our ventilator usage has gone up, close to 200 now, so we definitely had a sharp increase in the number of people going to the hospital,” Gimenez said.

In the first look at the number of new cases reported globally on Sunday, the WHO just reported 230,370 new cases for its Sunday total, the latest global record as outbreaks in Latin America, India and the US continue to intensify. The new cases bring the total number of cases reported to WHO from around the world to 12,552,765.

* * *

Update (1120ET): It was only a matter of time, but Florida has finally smashed the one-day coronavirus record set by New York State during the spring peak, reporting 15,300 new cases (15,299, to be exact) – a higher daily total than most countries have ever reported – bringing the state’s total to 269,811.

Another 45 deaths were reported on Sunday as well, bringing the statewide death toll to 4,242. Though the 45 number was roughly half the number from the day before.

#Florida shatters one-day record for #USA with 15,300 new #COVID cases today. That’s more than one-fourth of ALL the new cases across EVERY state yesterday.

Now more than ever we need reliable data. https://t.co/82kNK8a3QC

— Rebekah Jones aka #Insubordinate #scientist (@GeoRebekah) July 12, 2020

That number will probably account for roughly a quarter of all cases reported over the last 24 hours once all  of Sunday’s reports are in.

However, this new daily record comes with an important caveat: A massive increase in tests was reported yesterday, with 143,000 being run, roughly double the 7-day total from earlier this month.

The positivity rate fell to 13.6%.

* * *

Though the various daily tallies are starting to diverge more noticeably (Johns Hopkins reports another record jump in new cases, while worldometer reported a pullback from the 70k+ high from Friday), they all reported another day of 60k+ new cases as the US’s 7-day average continues to move to ever-higher records.

As of Sunday morning, the 7-day average reported by Worldometer was 58,340, while the US reported 61,719 new cases on Saturday (numbers across the US are reported with a 24-hour delay).

The US reported 732 new deaths on Saturday, which was lower than the prior three days, but not low enough to stop the 7-day average from climbing to its highest level since June 16.

All told, there were 3,357,928 cases as of Sunday morning in the US, along with 137,429 deaths. Globally, Worldometer counted 12,898,827 total cases and 568,815 deaths.

 

Outside of the US, India’s coronavirus outbreak has continued to expand at its explosive pace, nearing 850,000 with a record surge of 28,637 cases in the past 24 hours, prompting authorities to announce the return to lockdown measures in the southern tech hub of Bangalore. India’s other major hot spots, including Mumbai and New Delhi, are implementing strict new procedures focusing on proactive testing to try to eradicate the virus in the country’s most densely packed slums.

In Israel, thousands filled Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square Saturday night to protest the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. The public is furious over Israel’s failure to prevent an outbreak, despite strict and early steps taken, including lockdowns and travel restrictions.

Protesters waved yellow and black signs chastising the country’s “disconnected” political leaders and saying “enough,” while others held up signs calling this an “economic war” and demanding the government “release the money.”

We can’t imagine this will make Israel’s famed contact tracing effort any easier.

Extreme “Heat Dome” To Fry US With Record Temperatures Up To 121F For Several Weeks

Extreme “Heat Dome” To Fry US With Record Temperatures Up To 121F For Several Weeks

Tyler Durden

Sun, 07/12/2020 – 19:00

Authored by Elias Marat via TheMindUnleashed.com,

It was only to be expected that in an already brutal year, the summer of 2020 was going to be the absolute worst.

And now, it appears that a sizzling “heat dome” will be frying most of the continental United States for several weeks starting this weekend.

What this means is that over 80 percent of the U.S. population – encompassing 265 million people – can expect sweltering heat over the next week with highs exceeding 90. Another 45 million people will be facing highs in the triple digits.

Additionally, we can expect a full season of lethal heat ranging from 90°F to 121°F, not to mention extreme tropical storms, wildfires, and extreme weather related to La Niña conditions, reports the Independent.

On Friday, the National Weather Service issued excessive heat watch alerts for “dangerously hot conditions” and forecast that between Friday and Tuesday, over 75 record high temperatures would be reached or exceeded, with heat expected to increase in the following week.

Summer is in full swing! Tropical Storm Fay formed in the Atlantic. Thunderstorms, some severe, in the Plains and Upper Midwest. Excessive heat up to 121 F possible in the Desert Southwest into early next week. Critical fire weather threats continue for portions of the West. pic.twitter.com/iUODiRglYd

— National Weather Service (@NWS) July 10, 2020

On Saturday, temperature in Las Vegas reached a sweltering 112°F with the temperature expected to increase to 114°F on Sunday, while in Phoenix temperatures hit 115°F with Sunday expected to bring a withering 116°F before coasting at or above 110°F through the next week.

The new extremes sharply raise the danger of heat-related illness and death, further adding to the woes of hospitals struggling with surging COVID-19 infections in hard-hit regions and states like Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas.

“The heat wave will be very long-lived, lasting multiple weeks in some areas with only a few days of near-normal temperatures during that span,” Jeff Masters, Ph.D. and founder of the popular site Weather Underground, told CBS News.

 “This will increase the odds of heat illness and heat-related deaths.”

Indeed, that’s the highest I see—although their record only goes back to 1949. https://t.co/CIRg2Px5V1

— Bob Henson (@bhensonweather) July 11, 2020

And for those who may be feeling a little bored sheltering at home, there could be some excitement in store for you in the form of thunderstorms in the Midwest and Northeast, hurricanes in the South, and wildfires in the Southwest and West Coast.

This less-than-good news comes as the east coast buckles down and braces itself for Tropical Storm Fay, which is set to thrash the New England region, deluge New York, and inundate parts of New Jersey with flash floods.

Those dew points in the mid to upper 70’s in Oklahoma and Texas making it feel like the 110’s! ☀️🔥 pic.twitter.com/MLBARPM0Kb

— Collin Gross (@CollinGrossWx) July 11, 2020

The news comes as many are already struggling to stay cool during the COVID-19 lockdown without air conditioning, or even the jobs and income to keep their AC units operational if they do have them.

Heat domes occur when the atmosphere keeps hot ocean air trapped as if it were under a lid or cap, with the end result being conditions of persistent high pressure and sustained heat for a prolonged period of time, sprawled over massive geographical regions.

To make matters worse, the larger the heat dome becomes, the hotter and more longer-lasting it will be.

According to a team of National Ocean Services researchers who set up the Modeling, Analysis Predictions and Projections program to figure out why heat domes occur, they found that the primary cause was strong changes in ocean temperatures from west to east in the tropical Pacific Ocean during the prior winter.

“This happens when strong, high-pressure atmospheric conditions combine with influences from La Niña, creating vast areas of sweltering heat that get trapped under the high-pressure ‘dome’,” the ocean service said.

Warnings of the brutal heat dome come one day after the NWS issued a La Niña watch Thursday predicting a 50 to 55 percent chance that the phenomenon would develop in the coming months, ensuring an intensification of the Atlantic hurricane season and a growing number of hurricanes and tropical storms.

More Media-Hyped Hysteria? Fearmongering NBC Doctor Who ‘Battled COVID’ Admits Never Had Virus

More Media-Hyped Hysteria? Fearmongering NBC Doctor Who ‘Battled COVID’ Admits Never Had Virus

Tyler Durden

Sun, 07/12/2020 – 18:30

Make no mistake about it: no matter what your take on the coronavirus pandemic, most people seem to understand that the media is likely making the situation out to be far more dire than it is. And why wouldn’t they – most media outlets spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week of live coverage looking for anything possible to undermine the Trump administration.

As it relates to coronavirus, the media rarely ever offers details when it touts awful sounding things like the “death count”. MSM outlets never take the time to detail the age group and underlying health conditions – and even the primary cause of death – behind all of the deaths included in the coronavirus death count. They report every time a celebrity tests positive for the virus, but never cover when someone recovers from the virus. The reporting on the virus is selective, to say the least. 

Which is why we weren’t the least bit surprised to read that NBC News spent weeks documenting the coronavirus “journey” of one of its contributors with Covid-19 – despite the fact that he never tested positive for the virus!

The contributor, Dr. Joseph Fair, believed he had the virus, according to the Daily Wire, and subsequently appeared on the air on NBC several times to discuss his struggle with the illness in May and June.

“I had a mask on, I had gloves on, I did my normal wipes routine … but obviously, you can still get it through your eyes. And, of course, I wasn’t wearing goggles on the flight,” Fair said in the appearance on the “TODAY” show from the hospital.

Host Hoda Kotb said during the segment about the tests:

“Every time it came back negative, but clearly you have it.”

A negative test indicates the patient does not have the virus.

But last week, Fair admitted that he never tested positive for the virus and also tested negative when he was administered and antibody test. 

He Tweeted out last week: “My undiagnosed/suspected COVID illness from nearly 2 months ago remains an undiagnosed mystery as a recent antibody test was negative. I had myriad COVID symptoms, was hospitalized in a COVID ward & treated for COVID-related co-morbidities, despite testing negative by nasal swab.”

Fair said he had a myriad of COVID-19 symptoms, was hospitalized in a ward along with other patients with the new disease, and treated for “COVID-related co-morbidities.”

I was severely ill for 2 weeks, 4 days of it in critical condition, resulting in pneumonia, diffuse lung injury & 18lbs of weight loss. My path forward is a 2nd AB test, & follow-up with a pulmonologist & tropical medicine specialist in an effort to diagnose what made me so ill,” he wrote.

He said he plans to take another antibody test.

Fair said he was humbled by what happened and hit back at his critics, writing in a missive:

“I have absolutely nothing to hide. I got really sick, brought up my test results upfront, and reported the follow-up. A somewhat funny irony is that no one would have ever known I had any negative tests had I not reported them.”

But back in May, Fair had suggested on the air on the “Today” show that he may have gotten the virus through his eye during a flight that he took. He gave the interview from a hospital bed in New Orleans.

Even better, NBC knew about the negative tests and failed to mention them, according to the Daily Wire. They wrote: “During a June 14 interview with Chuck Todd on ‘Meet the Press,’ no one noted that Fair had already tested negative at least five times.”

Steve Krakauer, author of the “Fourth Watch” newsletter, wrote: “In the end, NBC’s viewers were left with two very alarming – and false – impressions. First, that an expert virologist can take every precaution but can still catch COVID-19 through his eyes. False. Second, that tests can be so untrustworthy that you can have multiple negative tests and still have coronavirus.”