- This cybersecurity company has the perfect solution for a remote work environment
- Google’s latest “privacy improvement” is nothing more than a PR stunt
- This COVID-19 drug is bringing our supply chain issues to light…
Over the weekend, I was reviewing the latest “Weekly Surveillance Summary of U.S. COVID-19 Activity” report. The report is issued every week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
I’ve been paying close attention to these reports over the last several weeks. We’re seeing a dramatic divergence between the increasing number of COVID-19 cases and the continued decline of daily deaths attributed to COVID-19.
I know I can’t get the truth from the media, so I just go directly to the source.
The “spike” in cases began a month ago on June 8. We’re now almost exactly a month later, and we continue to see the same pattern… a decline in deaths.
The media consistently and perhaps intentionally refuses to show the above chart. But the CDC can’t ignore the numbers. In fact, in the update just published for the week ending June 27, it stated, “Mortality attributed to COVID-19 decreased compared to last week and is currently at the epidemic threshold…”
That means if the mortality attributed to COVID-19 continues to drop, the CDC will no longer be able to deem COVID-19 an epidemic. It will lose its status. Incredible, right?
Almost as if the CDC wants the epidemic to continue, the rest of the sentence reads, “[Mortality] will likely increase as additional death certificates are processed.”
Again, this was the report for the week ending June 27. We’ll have to wait until Friday or Saturday before the next report for the week ending July 3 is out. But we can already see that the overall decline continues.
And assuming that this trend continues for another week, the CDC could be forced to drop the epidemic status. After all, there are clear guidelines regarding the threshold for epidemic status.
That threshold changes a bit throughout the year to account for seasonal factors. But right now the threshold is at 5.9% of all deaths. And right now, total pneumonia, influenza, and COVID-19 (PIC) deaths are exactly at the threshold. And according to the CDC, “[This is] the tenth week of a declining percentage of deaths due to PIC.”
And what does CNN do to counter what it already knows is going to happen with regard to COVID-19? It appears to have “created” a new pandemic. A headline a few days ago read, “China researchers discover new swine flu with ‘pandemic potential.’”
I couldn’t make this up if I wanted to.
Here at The Bleeding Edge, we’re not going fall for the continued sleight of hand. We are well-versed in the arts of the Jedi and quickly sense such obvious attempts at mind control.
What the article is referring to is a virus that has similar genetic material to the H1N1 virus from 2009. This virus has been around since 2016 in its current form.
It is nothing “new” at all. And more importantly, it is even less of a concern than H1N1. CNN is just beginning to rev up the next manufactured apocalypse.
Carl Bergstrom, a biologist at the University of Washington, summed it up clearly when referring to the swine virus: “No immediate threat to public health.”
Wouldn’t it be great if the media just reported that?
Now for our insights…
Salesforce’s big investment signals the rise of this early stage cybersecurity firm…
A strategic venture round caught my eye recently. On June 25, Salesforce (CRM) invested roughly $100 million into a venture capital-backed cybersecurity company called Tanium.
Tanium has long been a favorite of mine. It’s been around since 2007, but it has largely been ahead of its time. Until now.
Tanium is the perfect cybersecurity company for a world that favors remote work and digital communications. That’s thanks to its endpoint cybersecurity software. “Endpoint” refers to devices at the edge of networks – desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
Today, more employees are working from home. And many of those people are connecting to their company’s network on multiple devices. Naturally, the more devices connected to a network, the greater the security risks will be.
Tanium’s software can keep tabs on every device on the network in real time.
For example, Tanium’s software is going to know when a device is running an old version of its operating system. It sounds simple, but an outdated operating system is a major security risk.
The old way of handling this problem is to send out an email asking people to update their software.
Maybe they get around to it. Maybe they don’t.
Tanium’s software can upgrade every device that is running on a network and identify and fix any security vulnerabilities. And that’s why Tanium’s tech is the perfect cybersecurity solution for powering a remote workforce.
This investment from Salesforce sends a clear signal to astute tech investors…
Whenever we see a late-stage, corporate-led venture round like this, it tells us that the private company is getting ready to go public.
That’s because companies like Salesforce typically aren’t in the business of venture capital investing. They do make small investments in early stage companies to keep abreast of interesting developments. But when they lead a large, late-stage round like this, it signals something different.
Salesforce wants to strengthen partnerships with companies that will benefit its own business. And occasionally something like this is a precursor to an acquisition. After all, writing a large check gives an interested company the ability to see the financials of the private company and evaluate its technology as part of the due diligence process.
And I’ll add that Salesforce has a great track record of doing this. It invested in Zoom Communications, Dropbox, SurveyMonkey, Twilio, and even DocuSign shortly before those companies went public.
And those have been some of the most successful technology companies in the stock market. In fact, my subscribers made a ton of money investing in Twilio on two separate occasions. Likewise, DocuSign is already one of our biggest winners this year.
We can be confident that we will see Tanium go public within the next 12 months if it isn’t acquired before then. This company absolutely needs to be on our radar.
So I am very excited about Tanium’s upcoming initial public offering. The company will make an incredible investment target when the time is right.
And for Exponential Tech Investor subscribers, Tanium reminds me of Carbon Black. The tech is similar, and it will be a tempting acquisition target for a larger player in the industry.
Carbon Black was quickly acquired just as I predicted. And that allowed us to book gains of over 55% in less than a year. I think the opportunity with Tanium will be even bigger.
Google is trying to make amends for its “incognito” deception…
Last month, we talked about the lawsuit surrounding the privacy feature of Google’s Chrome browser. “Incognito mode” claimed to allow users to browse the web privately.
But as it turns out, Google still tracks everything people do in incognito mode. It isn’t private at all. All incognito mode does is stop our browser from storing a history of the sites we visit on our devices. But Google still retains that information.
Well, last week, Google announced that it will automatically delete user data after 18 months for new users. Previously, it would keep data forever unless consumers changed the setting themselves – which most people didn’t know how to do.
And note that the new defaults will only apply to new users. Existing Google accounts won’t see any settings change automatically. You will have to go to the “Activity Controls” page in Google settings to apply your auto-delete preferences.
Google wants us to think it’s improving privacy and protecting user data. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Think about it – Google is tracking everything we do online. It knows everything we write, what sites we visit, what applications we use, the contents of our emails, and our exact location nearly every minute of every day. Google knows about every phone call we make, who we talk to, and for how long.
In that context, 18 months is a very long time.
Google racks up an immense amount of behavioral surveillance on us. And even if Google does delete our data after 18 months, it still has a profile of us. And that’s what it really wants anyway.
By surveilling us constantly, Google knows our daily routine, our beliefs and preferences, who we communicate with, and it even knows a lot about our home life. It knows if we are married, have children, entertain guests often, and much more.
That’s our profile. And deleting our data and web traffic after a period of time doesn’t change Google’s surveillance apparatus.
So this is nothing more than a PR stunt. Google is banking on the fact that most politicians won’t have a clue what it is really doing. Nor will they understand that it sacrifices nothing by deleting data after 18 months.
My advice remains the same – use alternatives to Google whenever possible. Apple’s products and DuckDuckGo are good places to start.
Data is out on COVID-19 treatment dexamethasone…
Last month, we talked about dexamethasone. This is a common steroid that was approved 59 years ago to treat rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. Yet seemingly out of the blue, a press release came out saying that dexamethasone was effective at treating severe cases of COVID-19.
The press release was very well received by the medical community despite being an odd way of sharing this information with the health care community. Even Dr. Ashish Jha from the Harvard Global Health Institute was excited about this news. He made some upbeat comments on a call I was on with him right after the press release broke.
So it was surprising to see the industry so positive on dexamethasone based on a press release. Typically, medical professionals don’t take anything as truth until there are peer-reviewed results from a clinical trial available.
But I am happy to say that the medical community’s instinct was correct.
Data from the dexamethasone trial just came out, and it is consistent with the press release. The numbers show that dexamethasone is a great alternative to Gilead’s remdesivir when it comes to treating severe cases of COVID-19.
And hospitals are on the case. In fact, suppliers have seen calls for dexamethasone surge 610% since the press release came out. What’s more, the U.K. already authorized the use of dexamethasone for treating COVID-19. It’s rare to see that happen so quickly.
Clearly, there is a lot of demand for anything that can help those patients struggling with severe cases.
Dexamethasone is still widely available in pill format. But the liquid format is now in short supply. The liquid version is more attractive because it can be administered through an IV. That’s critical for patients on a ventilator who cannot easily take a pill.
So this brings to light an issue we have talked about before. The Western world has a supply chain problem. It is facing shortages of common medicines, and it is because most pharmaceutical production occurs in China and India.
The good news is that COVID-19 has exposed these supply chain issues for what they are. And I expect we will see the industry take the steps needed to move supply chains back onshore, where both quality and production levels can be tightly controlled.
That way we can ensure that we always have the production and inventory of common drugs available to meet unexpected surges in demand.
Editor, The Bleeding Edge
P.S. This is just the beginning of all kinds of manufacturing coming back onshore in the U.S. and European markets. And that’s one reason why I am predicting a new Golden Age for the American economy, which also means the U.S. equity markets.
Yes, it will take some time to recover from the economic stresses we’re experiencing related to COVID-19. But the American economy will come roaring back. That’s why I’ve been preparing my readers with a handful of “Golden Age” investment recommendations.
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