U.S. Covid Case Growth Is Worse Than Morgan Stanley Bear Model
Medical workers in protective clothing move the body of a deceased patient. (Photographer: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg)

U.S. Covid Case Growth Is Worse Than Morgan Stanley Bear Model

The surging rate of new U.S. Covid-19 infections has surpassed the bear case laid out by Morgan Stanley and could mean more significant measures are needed to curb the virus’s spread.

As the number of confirmed U.S. cases heads toward 10 million, the government may be forced to implement restrictions similar to those seen across multiple countries in Europe, analysts led by Matthew Harrison wrote. The rate of infection growth is two weeks ahead of Morgan Stanley’s projections, Harrison continued.

All in, testing positivity rates are “spiking broadly and are trending above 20% in many states,” the analysts wrote, warning that those trends are a “harbinger of greater spread in the coming weeks.” While a “preemptive lockdown” is unlikely in U.S., local governments may have to “consider additional ways to slow the virus’ spread” if it continues unabated.

There are currently 14 states at or approaching the rate of 200 or more hospitalizations per million, a level Harrison says appears to have triggered many of the lockdowns in Europe. He also warned that test positive rates are rising in every region and that only the Northeast is still below the key threshold of 5% positivity.

U.S. confirmed cases are nearing 9.3 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, with the U.S. accounting for nearly 20% of global cases.

The virus is hitting states in the Southwest and Midwest more harshly with both regions approaching test positivity near 15%. Morgan Stanley warned that the rise in cases signals that they are surging faster than the testing capacity is increasing. The bank also said that cases per capita are approaching double or even triple that of prior peaks with North and South Dakota being hit particularly hard.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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