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Macklem says central bankers must speak simply or risk losing public trust – Yahoo Canada Finance

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Macklem says central bankers must speak simply or risk losing public trust

OTTAWA — The head of the Bank of Canada is making an international pitch to his fellow central bankers to better connect with average citizens lest they lose public trust and face an existential crisis.

Governor Tiff Macklem said Thursday maintaining trust is key for central banks during the economic crisis caused by COVID-19, as well as for rebuilding once the pandemic passes.

He points to declining trust in public institutions and experts, as well as the rise of political populism in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis as trends central bankers cannot brush off.

Macklem says it’s more important, yet harder, for central banks to be trusted sources of information at a time when they have rates near-zero and are using unconventional policy tools.

For the Bank of Canada, that has meant a foray into what’s known as quantitative easing, which is a way for central banks to push money into the economy to encourage lending and investment.’

Speaking at an annual meeting hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Macklem said central bankers shouldn’t sound like “oracles delivering messages from an ivory tower.”

“The imperative is to step boldly beyond market transparency and engage with the public to explain how our actions serve our economy-wide objectives,” Macklem said.

“This means listening to more people, understanding their perceptions — accurate or not — factoring in broader public views into our policy decisions and communicating with people on their terms, not ours.”

The remarks to the meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyo., capped a week of messages from the Bank of Canada about reaching a broader audience as it looks to renew the foundation of its policy decisions.

The foundation for some 25 years as been targeting an annual inflation rate of two per cent, and adjusting its key interest rate to keep prices and the economy steady. The path of the bank’s policy rate influences the rates charged for loans and mortgages, for example.

Inflation has collapsed as economic restrictions have been put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19. National inflation readings in April and May showed price declines, or deflation. Inflation itself is expected to stay low this year and next.

What the Bank of Canada has heard is that people don’t feel like prices are coming down, but rather going up. They are spending less on things that cost less, like gasoline, and more on things where prices are rising.

“We need to find out and understand what is preoccupying the public, including the perspectives of communities and groups we have not been very good at reaching,” Macklem said. “And we need to address those preoccupations.”

The bank has slashed its key rate to 0.25 per cent, which is as low as it will go and where Macklem says it will stay until the economy rebounds. The pronouncement provided a forward-looking statement to markets and marked a shift from Macklem’s predecessor, Stephen Poloz.

In his talk Thursday, Macklem said central banks can’t keep talking to what a Bank of England officials labelled “MEN,” meaning markets, economists and news services.

He noted that the Bank of Canada has seen a sharp increase in traffic to its website, with its plain-language guide to the economy and social media posts getting twice as many views than before the pandemic.

More traditional content like speeches and the bank’s monetary policy report has seen an increase in traffic of over 10 per cent, Macklem said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 27, 2020.

Jordan Press, The Canadian Press

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Moderna Plans to Produce 20 Million Doses of Its COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate in 2020 – The Motley Fool

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As the phase 3 clinical trial of Moderna‘s (NASDAQ:MRNA) COVID-19 vaccine candidate continues, the company on Friday said it expects to produce 20 million doses of it by the end of 2020.

The biotech company‘s candidate, mRNA-1273, uses messenger RNA to induce the body to create antibodies against the novel coronavirus, decreasing the chances that an inoculated person exposed to it will become infected. 

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

In August, management announced it was slowing enrollment in the late-stage study to allow for enrollment of a more diverse population, including younger people and people with other viruses, including hepatitis. 

Nevertheless, CEO Stephane Bancel still believes Moderna is on track to have gleaned enough data from the study to know by November whether or not mRNA-1273 is effective. 

The company has already signed an agreement to provide the U.S. government with up to 100 million doses of mRNA-1273 for $1.525 billion, assuming it wins approval. Similarly, Moderna has said it’s in negotiations for a deal to supply the European Union with up to 160 million doses.

In total, Moderna’s manufacturing investments have it targeting the capacity to produce up to 1 billion doses in 2021.

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Will we be wearing masks forever? Here's what experts think – Yahoo News Canada

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We’re now more than six months into the global pandemic, and it’s starting to feel like this bizarre version of normal might be here for a while. But, while many biopharmaceutical companies continue to work on making a safe and effective vaccine to protect against COVID-19, new comments from several prominent public health officials suggest that mask-wearing may be here to stay.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday during testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies that face masks may be more protective than a vaccine. “We have clear scientific evidence they work, and they are our best defense,” he said. “I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine.”” data-reactid=”17″>Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday during testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies that face masks may be more protective than a vaccine. “We have clear scientific evidence they work, and they are our best defense,” he said. “I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently told Business Insider that “a combination of an effective vaccine&nbsp;and&nbsp;adherence to certain public health principles will get us to the point where we want to be, by the end of 2021.”” data-reactid=”18″>Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently told Business Insider that “a combination of an effective vaccine and adherence to certain public health principles will get us to the point where we want to be, by the end of 2021.”

“I never said just the vaccine,” he continued. “You never should abandon the public health measures. And the intensity of the public health measures would depend on the level of infection in the community.” If there’s little to no spread of COVID-19 in any given community, then, Fauci says, “together with the vaccine, you might want to be able to say, ‘I can safely congregate with people.’ You may want to do it with a mask, or without a mask.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine in June also found that regions in the world where people more commonly used face masks had milder COVID-19 epidemics. The authors specifically cited Hong Kong, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand, among other countries, as having good mask usage and lower rates.” data-reactid=”20″>Research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine in June also found that regions in the world where people more commonly used face masks had milder COVID-19 epidemics. The authors specifically cited Hong Kong, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand, among other countries, as having good mask usage and lower rates.

“These results suggest that early public interest with face mask may be an independently important factor in controlling the COVID-19 epidemic on a population scale,” the researchers wrote.

All this raises a huge question: Are face masks here to stay? Experts say they just might be.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, tells Yahoo Life that he’s thought about this “a lot” lately, and there are a few reasons why he thinks masks have staying power.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“Most of us think that a COVID-19 vaccine will be a good — but not perfect — vaccine,” he says. If a COVID-19 vaccine is 70 percent effective, which is more effective than the flu vaccine has been in recent years, “that means for every 10 people vaccinated, three will remain as susceptible as they were before they were vaccinated,” Schaffner says. “That means the only way they can be protected and the only way we can protect them is to keep wearing masks,” he adds.&nbsp;&nbsp;” data-reactid=”24″>“Most of us think that a COVID-19 vaccine will be a good — but not perfect — vaccine,” he says. If a COVID-19 vaccine is 70 percent effective, which is more effective than the flu vaccine has been in recent years, “that means for every 10 people vaccinated, three will remain as susceptible as they were before they were vaccinated,” Schaffner says. “That means the only way they can be protected and the only way we can protect them is to keep wearing masks,” he adds.  

Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, agrees. “A COVID-19 vaccine is likely not going to provide sterilizing immunity the way the measles vaccine does,” he tells Yahoo Life. “We’re going to still need to take protective measures for some time period, potentially until a second-generation vaccine is developed.”

Getting the population fully vaccinated once a vaccine is developed will also take some time and, with that, mask-wearing may become more ingrained in our culture, Adalja says.

Even once a vaccine is widely disseminated, it’s expected that some people won’t get it — and that could allow the virus to continue to spread. “The only logical thing is we will have to continue wearing masks and social distancing for quite some time,” Schaffner says.

Data has also shown that wearing masks could help affect the spread of other respiratory viruses, such as the flu. “In the Southern Hemisphere, there were very low flu rates this season — their winter — which have been partially attributed to the lockdowns and other measures,” Dr. David Cennimo, assistant professor of medicine-pediatrics infectious disease at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, tells Yahoo Life. “So, why wouldn’t we keep using masks, at least in the winter?”

Cennimo says masks may be a good option in the future for high-risk settings and settings with close contact “even after COVID-19 has died down.” Masks could also help prevent the spread of the common cold, rhinoviruses and the flu “just the same” as COVID-19, since they’re transmitted similarly, he says. 

Schaffner says that masks may eventually become more common in the U.S., similarly to how they’re used in Eastern countries. “Perhaps we are moving more toward what’s happened for years in countries in the East where, during cold and flu season, many people wear masks to protect themselves and others,” he says. “Masks may simply become part of life.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”44″>For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read more from Yahoo Life” data-reactid=”59″>Read more from Yahoo Life

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Want lifestyle and wellness news delivered to your inbox?&nbsp;Sign up here&nbsp;for Yahoo Life’s newsletter.” data-reactid=”64″>Want lifestyle and wellness news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Life’s newsletter.

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Air Canada Introduces COVID-19 Cover Following WestJet – Simple Flying

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Continuing a widespread industry trend, Air Canada today announced that it is including complimentary COVID-19 insurance for eligible customers. This move by Canada’s largest airline follows carriers such as WestJet, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, and more in offering COVID coverage to its passengers. 

Air Canada is heading back to Athens this month. Photo: Heathrow Media Hub

“At Air Canada, we know people have personal, family and business reasons to travel. To give them greater confidence as they do so, we have engaged Manulife to offer all Canadian residents complimentary COVID-19 emergency medical & quarantine insurance when they book round-trip flights for travel outside of Canada.” -Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Air Canada

Coverage details

This coverage provides “emergency medical and quarantine insurance designed to give customers added confidence when booking flights and traveling abroad.”

According to the airline, if customers traveling abroad test positive for COVID-19, the coverage provided will give eligible customers the following assurances:

  • Up to Can$200,000 per insured for COVID-19 treatment medical expenses.
  • Up to Can$150 per person for quarantine costs (meals + accommodation); Up to Can$300 per family per day up to a maximum of 14 days.
  • Up to Can$500 for expenses related to returning home if the advisory from the Canadian government goes from Level 3 to Level 4 while at the destination.
Air Canada, Toronto Airport, COVID-19 Tests
Canadians traveling internationally with Air Canada now have an added level of assurance should they contract the coronavirus. Photo: Air Canada

Air Canada calls this “the most extensive geographical coverage included by a Canadian airline for Canadian residents, covering every international destination Air Canada serves.”

Air Canada’s holiday division also recently announced that coverage was being offered to customers. In fact, those booking with Air Canada Vacations will have a “COVID-19 Coverage and Assistance Plan” provided at no additional cost. The Air Canada Vacations policy is available to all eligible customers who book a vacation package for travel by April 30th, 2021, to eligible destinations.

More conditions than other airlines

This coverage appears to be more restrictive and has more conditions than other airline offerings. The carrier’s COVID coverage is available only to new international round-trip bookings made in Canada from September 17th until October 31st, 2020. Coverage is for travel completed by April 12th, 2021. 

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This stands in stark contrast to what Etihad is offering, where all Etihad tickets, regardless of the date of the booking, traveling between September 7th and December 31st will include COVID-19 insurance. Furthermore, guests with existing bookings won’t need to do anything as they are automatically enrolled in the program.

WestJet 787
Air Canada’s coverage for medical expenses is twice the amount covered by WestJet. Photo: WestJet

The monetary coverage itself is less than other airlines as well. At Can$200,000 for treatment and medical expenses, it is much lower than Virgin Atlantic’s £500,000 cover and the 150,000 offered by Emirates and Etihad. At least Air Canada’s medical expense coverage is more than WestJet’s maximum of Can$100,000.

What do you think of Air Canada’s COVID-19 insurance coverage? Would it persuade you to travel? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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