Still Plenty of Gas in the Base Metal Rally Tank

If I asked you how many hospital beds the U.S. has, what would you say? Two million? Five million?

Try 924,000. That’s right: The U.S. currently has under 1 million hospital beds for a population of approximately 330 million, according to the American Hospital Association (AHA). By my calculation, that comes out to 28 beds per 10,000 people.

This is the real threat posed by the pandemic, as I see it. Supply-demand imbalances can often be favorable when we’re talking about asset prices, but they’re not ideal during a global health crisis.

As of today, more than a third of Americans live in areas that are critically short on intensive care unit (ICU) beds. All of Southern California—a region that’s home to around 25 million people—is now at 0% availability.

And it’s not just beds. Hospitals in half of the states are reporting severe shortages in nurses, doctors and other staff.

I have only admiration for our nation’s frontline medical workers, many of whom have not seen any respite this holiday season. On behalf of everyone at U.S. Global Investors, I extend my sincerest gratitude. The greatest gift we can give them is for us to remain safe and follow precautionary recommendations.