Dear Rundown Reader,

Going along with our deep dive Friday into some CDC statistics on the average U.S. death rates compared with COVID-19, a reader writes:

Very interesting table from the CDC. Note the last two columns; not once have total deaths for a week exceeded the average number of deaths for that week of the previous three years. (Read the fine print at the bottom.)

“The third column shows that they are including flu and pneumonia-coded deaths as presumed COVID-19 deaths.”

Another opinion: “If you list Covid-19 as the primary diagnosis on a medical record, regardless of the fact that the cause of death was something else, hospitals get more money, right? And government coffers are bottomless…

“Not all hospitals in the U.S. are participating, but with patient volumes way down, revenue is way down too.”

On one hand, you have naysayers who contend the pandemic is much ado about nothing; on the other hand, you have those who say shelter-in-place orders are necessary to suppress contagion.

In which camp do you fall? And why?

Send your opinions to,

Your Rundown for Monday, May 4, 2020


If there’s one industry that’s been absolutely gutted by the coronavirus, it’s airlines. “Their share prices have plummeted by a far greater degree than the S&P 500′s 12% drop this year,” CNBC reports.

Let’s compare:

  • Southwest (LUV)… down 46%
  • Delta (DAL)… down 59%
  • American (AAL)… down 63%
  • United (UAL)… down 70%

CNBC continues: “U.S. carriers in recent weeks posted their first losses in years and have warned investors that the second quarter is looking even more dismal as the virus and measures to stop it from spreading like shelter-in-place orders are keeping would-be travelers away from airports.”

The industry is, however, the recipient of government bailout money, including $25 billion in loans and grants to continue to pay some 750,000 employees through September. Airlines are also expected to receive an additional $25 billion per Congress’ CARES Act.

One investor who’s not sticking around to see if airlines can make a comeback? Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway… that sold off all its shares in the aforementioned airlines.

“If we like a business,” Buffett said, “we’re going to buy as much of it as we can and keep it as long as we can. And when we change our mind, we don’t take half measures.”

Market Rundown for Monday, May 4, 2020

The S&P 500 Index is down 12 points to 2,818.

Oil  is up 3% to $20.42 for a barrel of WTI.

Gold’s up $13.30 to $1,714.30 per ounce.

Bitcoin is down $51.71 to $8,841.21.

Send your comments and questions to,

Thanks for reading. We’ll talk again Wednesday.

For the Rundown,

Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler

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Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler is the publisher of Seven Figure Publishing. He is also the editor of The Rundown and has been with Agora Financial / Seven Figure Publishing since 2005. He's been covering technology and markets for over a decade.

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