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Business News Roundup, April 12, 2021

Concerns about the Johnson + Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, a shutdown recommendation from the CDC, the potential for negotiations on the infrastructure proposal, a call for an ambitious climate goal, a negative response to a proposed corporate tax hike, higher consumer prices, Innovation Places funds, and a vaccine milestone in Connecticut are among the top business news items this morning.


The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control are pausing the use of the one-shot Johnson + Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and urging states to do the same. The agencies made the recommendation after six of the approximately 7 million people who have received the vaccine developed a rare disease involving blood clots shortly after.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky has warned that vaccination efforts alone are not sufficient to curtail major surges in COVID-19 cases. Walensky recommended that Michigan address an explosion in COVID-19 infections by resuming shutdowns, noting that it takes several weeks for vaccines to take effect and bring down caseloads.

After a meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers, President Joe Biden said he is open to negotiation about the scope and cost of his $2 trillion infrastructure proposal. Biden said he hopes to engage with Republicans, who have called the proposal too broad and criticized the plan to fund it in part through an increase in the corporate tax rate, to determine which infrastructure initiatives they will support.

Ahead of a virtual climate summit the United States is hosting later this month, more than 300 businesses and investors called on the nation to pursue an ambitious goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent compared to 2005 by the year 2030. The coalition said the effort will help support a stronger recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and create millions of jobs.

Business trends

Nearly all respondents in a survey issued to members of the Business Roundtable, an organization of American CEOS, have voiced opposition to President Joe Biden’s proposed corporate tax increase. Three-quarters of the CEOs polled said the increase would force them to curtail spending on research and development.

Consumer prices increased 0.6 percent in March, while the consumer price index was up 2.6 percent on an annual basis. The Biden administration and Federal Reserve expect inflation will increase above the Fed’s traditional 2 percent cap this year, but also anticipate that it will recede once the economy recovers from the pandemic.


CTNext has requested $7.3 million from Connecticut’s Bonding Commission, the bulk of which would support its Innovation Places initiative. This effort would divide funding among four organizations supporting entrepreneurship in Connecticut.

More than half of Connecticut’s adult population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. State leaders are continuing to encourage younger residents to get vaccinated after general eligibility opened at the start of the month; currently, 30 percent of those between the ages of 16 and 44 have received a dose.

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