Well, that was something. Topglove share prices when from RM25.16 to RM20.50 in a massive and sharp waterfall of red. By closing, share prices had recovered to RM23.16
I can say, I was taken by surprise. I wasn't looking at the computer screen when the stampede out of Topglove began. I missed most of the rally up, but I did buy more shares. But being an investor, this stampede didn't make sense. I am not aware of any vaccine, and even if a vaccine was produced, doctors and nurses would need gloves to administer the vaccine. My first thought was that Topglove had a major fire, but I dismissed the idea just as quickly as Topglove has over 40 factories. It just didn’t make sense. So after a bit of internet sleuthing... which amounted too checking Google News, I came across this CNA article reproducing a Reuters article.
US COVID-19 vaccine program to start manufacturing by late summer, says US official
REUTERS: Drugmakers partnered with the US government are on track to begin actively manufacturing a vaccine for COVID-19 by the end of the summer, a senior administration official said on Monday (Jul 13).
"If you say exactly when will literally the vaccine materials be in production and manufacturing, it is probably four to six weeks away, but we will be actively manufacturing by the end of summer," the official, who declined to be identified by name, said.
He added that the administration is already working with companies to equip and outfit manufacturing facilities and acquire raw materials.
The Trump administration has helped finance the development of four COVID-19 vaccines so far though its Operation Warp Speed Program, which aims to produce 300 million vaccine doses by the end of 2021.
The US government has given grants ranging from several hundred million dollars to over US$1 billion to Johnson & Johnson, Moderna Inc, AstraZeneca Plc and Novovax Inc.
On first glance it appears that the fear of all glove investors has occurred, a vaccine has been developed and is just a month away from mass production. The party was over, last one out turns off the light. But if you look at the article closer you realize something very strange is happening. Firstly the existence of a highly coveted COvid19 vaccine was being announced by a senior administrator that did not want to be name. And who had developed this vaccine? Who is making it? Rather than just name whose who, the article diverts to a world salad, about how much the Trump administration has funded research into Covid19 vaccine development. Okay a useless fact that maybe a Trump lie, and it side steps the question of who. A careless reader might be misled to think the list of companies getting government grants had developed the vaccine that they were talking about. But that is wrong.
As for the vaccine, it is pretty much public knowledge which companies are making serious attempts to develope a vaccine.and at what stage they are in relative to clinical trials. Companies are not exactly shy about informing the public as news, even news without scientific merit has a positive impact on their stock prices. So how could the US develop a vaccine without anyone knowing about it. More so without any news about the various phases the vaccine has to go through. A phase I trial has a dozen people. A phase II trial has hundreds of people and a Phase III trial has thousands, even ten thousand of volunteers. So why no data? We don’t see it even from the NIH, which would be keeping track of all these clinical trials within the US.
And of course the time. This is July 14 2020. The US didn’t really start vaccine development until late March (at the earliest). You cannot get a vaccine developed, made and tested in 4 months. Think about this, you need to make a vaccine against an unknown virus that nobody has seen before, conduct at least 2 human trials (normally 3) that involves hundreds to thousands of people (Which you must find and gather together), with one trial normally requiring 1 year to conduct, in just under 4 months. This is not happening unless, you skipped the human trials and are going to inject the first compound that gave a ferret some short term resistance to SARS-Cov2 and called it a day. He// it took time to find out which animal could be infected by SARS-Cov2 virus to do animal test on… It is monkeys, cats and ferrets by the way.
This white house vaccine is an impossibility . I will say it right now. There is no vaccine. Much less a vaccine that is ready to be manufactured. So why this article?
I suspect this ‘news’ was officially leaked by Trump administration to fill the news media with the rumour of a US vaccine that is just around the corner. Trump will just say it up to the doctors, but he is very glad about it. Nice photo op. The purpose here is to shift attention away from how bad the Covid19 pandemic in the US has become. We have US counties that are 2 weeks away from running out of PPE (gloves, mask, face shields), and ICU units in several major cities have reach capacity (not difficult given some regions in the US have 1 ICU bed for every 10,000 people). In some hospitals, 40% of their patients are Covid19 cases. The virus is now threatening to cause states to reclose. And in the state of Mississippi , many of their politicians have contracted Covid19... A case of Republicans beliving their own BS.
This rumour of a Covid19 vaccine would distract the news cycle for a few days, maybe even a week as reporters try to find out more about this secret vaccine. Perhaps even sparking debates on who should get it first. And if they can get Joe Biden to enter this trap and voice his opinion, it will distract the media and people some more. Time for Trump to sneak away and reformulate a new campaign strategy to win the US November 3 elections.