Coronavirus Update 3/18/2020

By Whitney Tilson

Wednesday, March 18, 2020
A A

1) Every day, my analyst prepares two charts for me showing the number of new coronavirus cases by day for the U.S. and the rest of the world (excluding China). Here’s the first:

The U.S. is behind the rest of the developed world, which is great news. This gives us time to react via various measures like social distancing, which means we have a good chance to “flatten the curve.”

But it’s also important to understand that, because we’re earlier in the curve, there are surely far more people infected than the 4,744 we’ve identified so far. Thus, as we ramp up our testing, the number of new cases will almost certainly rise very rapidly for a period – a week or two if we’re lucky, a month or two if we’re not.The U.S. is behind the rest of the developed world, which is great news. This gives us time to react via various measures like social distancing, which means we have a good chance to “flatten the curve.”

Here is the chart for the rest of the world:

It’s great to see the dip in the last day. As you can see in the chart, this has happened a few times before, but I’m cautiously optimistic that we’re at – or at least very close to – a top…

2) Other than the city of Wuhan, China, Italy has been hit harder than anywhere, which has overwhelmed hospitals, led to 2,158 deaths (second only to China), and brought the nation to a virtual standstill. Thus, it’s particularly heartening to see the decline in new cases – again, let’s hope this is the beginning of a downward trend…

Whitney Tilson

Get Whitney Tilson's Empire Financial Daily delivered straight to your inbox.

About Whitney Tilson

Prior to creating Empire Financial Research, Whitney Tilson founded and ran Kase Capital Management, which managed three value-oriented hedge funds and two mutual funds. Starting out of his bedroom with only $1 million, Tilson grew assets under management to nearly $200 million.

Tilson graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with a bachelor's degree in government in 1989. After college, he helped Wendy Kopp launch Teach for America and then spent two years as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. He earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1994, where he graduated in the top 5% of his class and was named a Baker Scholar.

Click here for the full bio