Vaccine in the crossfire

Evening Briefing
Bloomberg

One of the world's fastest-moving joint efforts to develop a Covid-19 vaccine is falling behind rivals, apparently stymied by political tension between China and Canada. CanSino Biologics started the world's first human tests on an experimental shot back in March, but has yet to kick off critical final-stage trials. Rivals like U.S.-based Moderna and Britain's AstraZeneca, as well as China's Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm, are well into the last phase, administering vaccines to thousands of people. As for new treatments, experts convened by the U.S. National Institutes of Health just undercut an emergency authorization by another arm of the Trump administration, the Food and Drug Administration, saying there's not enough evidence to recommend convalescent plasma for hospitalized coronavirus patients. —David E. Rovella

Bloomberg is mapping the pandemic globally and across America. For the latest news, sign up for our Covid-19 podcast and daily newsletter.

Here are today's top stories

Seven months into the pandemic, shortages of Covid-19 tests, test components, masks and protective equipment continue to bedevil America. Now, materials for other medical tests are running short, too. Labs are having trouble detecting everyday afflictions like stomach flu or urinary tract infections, as well as sexually-transmitted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. A survey of more than 21,000 American nurses found one-third reported shortages of masks designed to offer maximum virus protection while almost 60% said they're re-using single-use protective equipment for five or more days. And some 68% of nurses said it's even their facility's policy that they re-use such supplies. Here is the latest on the pandemic.

The Federal Reserve has snapped up $1 trillion of mortgage bonds since March, a record pace of purchasing as the U.S. central bank tries to blunt the impact of the recession on homeowners.

Tesla is capitalizing on its status as the world's most valuable automaker with plans to sell as much as $5 billion in shares "from time to time." The company is doubling its factory count while trying to solidify its position as the global market leader for electric cars. 

China's rapid military buildup means the country is closer to joining the U.S. and Russia in being able to deploy nuclear weapons on land, in the air and at sea. Beijing's progress in upgrading its strategic bombers to carry nuclear payloads puts it close to having its own "nuclear triad."

A Taiwanese Air Force fighter, left, shadows a Chinese Air Force bomber that reportedly flew over the Luzon Strait south of Taiwan in 2018. 

Photograph: Taiwan Ministry of National Defense via AP

Democrats are getting antsy about nominee Joe Biden's light travel schedule. Though he gave a fiery speech condemning President Donald Trump Monday in Pittsburgh, supporters are urging the former vice president to make more appearances in battleground states, as some polls show his sizable lead shrinking. Senate Republicans meanwhile are planning a $500 billion version of a second coronavirus bailout, a narrower version of their own $1 trillion plan but still likely to trigger opposition from GOP members who oppose any additional relief. Here is the latest on the general election campaign.

For the first time ever, solar and wind made up the majority of the world's new power generation, marking a seismic shift in how nations get their electricity.

What's Joe Weisenthal thinking about? The Bloomberg news director wants to revisit the problem of "missing" the inflation target. Inflation over the last several years has largely come in below the Fed's 2% target. Now there's a lot of talk about whether the Fed's new approach will enable it to get inflation back up to 2%. Does the central bank have what it takes in terms of tools? Joe says these questions aren't really the point. Missing the inflation target is not the problem. The goal is to avoid the mistake of throttling a labor market recovery due to misplaced fears that inflation is about to take off. 

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'Tenet' Rules the Movies as Theaters Reopen

Moviegoers in the world's largest film market will have to wait a few more days to see the first major Hollywood release since the March shutdown, one that has already won the top-grossing spot among international audiences. The time-travel thriller "Tenet" was the biggest picture globally, taking in $53.6 million this weekend across 41 international markets. But the film won't open in the U.S. until next week.

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