America has one of the best vaccination programs in the world and we're still getting hammered by the Delta variant of COVID. Just imagine how bad the situation is in the rest of the world and you'll understand why investors are selling.
That was Jim Cramer's take on Thursday's action, as he told his Mad Money viewers that we're seeing a failure of global leadership when it comes to ending this pandemic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 259 points, or 0.75%, to 34,421, the S&P 500 declined 0.86% and the Nasdaq fell 0.72%.
At one point during the session the Dow was down 536 points, or 1.5%.
Cramer said some older viewers will remember that when it came to polio and smallpox, vaccinations were mandatory. There were no politics, no debate. Everyone got a shot and these diseases were put to rest. But today, the FDA can't even explain why our COVID vaccines are still not fully approved and continue to operate under emergency use authorizations. These questions lead to skepticism and doubt and hesitation, Cramer said, and that's how the Delta variant has spread so quickly.
But investors aren't only fearing how politicians are handling COVID, they're also fretting how politicians are handling everything from big tech, to trade, to the railroads.
And it's not just America, Cramer said China is an equal opportunity wealth destroyer as it blocks mergers, destroys IPOs and flexes its might wherever possible.
Finally, Cramer said there are mounting fears over cybersecurity, another area where our elected officials could impose stiff penalties for not paying more attention to security and preventing attacks that hurt us all.
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Executive Decision: Good Rx
In his first "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Doug Hirsch, co-founder and co-CEO of GoodRx (GDRX) - Get Report, the pharmacy saving app that's helping members save an average of $2,600 per year on their medication.
Hirsch explained that if the pandemic taught us anything it's that consumers don't like buying prescriptions by mail. That's what makes GoodRx so valuable, he said, patients get the best prices and can still pick up at their favorite pharmacies. He said some stores, like Walmart (WMT) - Get Report, have great prices on some items, but GoodRx gives customers the best price on thousands of medications every day.
Everyone wants patients to save money, including doctors and pharmacists, Hirsch added. That's why GoodRx continues to grow via word of mouth and referrals. The platform is the easiest way to save money and is a far better alternative than not taking medication you can't afford.
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Executive Decision: Poshmark
For his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also spoke with Manish Chandra, chairman and CEO of Poshmark (POSH) - Get Report, the online apparel marketplace with over seven million active buyers.
Chandra said the post-pandemic purge is underway as millions of people sell their old work clothes and fashions for all-new looks. There's no better way to recycle those old garments, he said, than selling them on Poshmark. No one wants their clothes to end up in a landfill, which is why Poshmark is becoming a mainstay for millions of consumers.
Poshmark isn't just about the clothes however. Chandra said that they are also about community and the social component of what they do is also valuable. For the past two years, the company has been holding virtual parties, he said, but now, in-person parties among vaccinated people are beginning again and people are loving them.
When asked about their success, Chandra said Poshmark aims to keep things simple. The company takes 20% of the sale price and hasn't changed their partnership percentage in over 10 years.
Don't Take Recovery for Granted
Vaccination rates may be on the rise, but we can't take the recovery for granted, Cramer told viewers, as he welcomed back Dr. Eric Topol, founder and director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, for an update on what the Delta variant means for our recovery.
Topol explained that in countries with high vaccination rates, like Israel, things are going very well, while in other countries, like the UK, infection rates and hospitalizations continue to rise as they struggle to get shots into arms. That's why countries like Indonesia are experiencing one of the worst waves of infections during the entire pandemic.
Back here in the U.S., Topol said one of the biggest things holding back vaccinations is the FDA's emergency use authorization that was given to Pfizer (PFE) - Get Report, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) - Get Report. There's never been an emergency use given for a vaccine before, he noted, but now that hundreds of millions of doses have been administered, it's long past time to provide these medications full-use authorizations.
The moment that happens, Topol said, health systems, employers and schools can mandate their use, which will add tens of millions of doses. Full-use will also help eliminate the fears that some people have about the speed at which the vaccines were developed.
There's been no word or transparency from the FDA, Topol explained, and that's a big problem. The agency has had over seven months to review all of the data and it's pretty clear by now, these drugs are safe, effective and crucial for controlling COVID variants.
Adjusting to the new Work Environments
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said our new hybrid work environment is here to stay, and as people flee urban areas in favor of the country, that's having a big effect on local economies.
It's becoming all too common to see headlines about towns with not enough workers while other areas have too little housing. Some locales can't handle the influx of new residents while others struggle to fill the gaps left behind.
Cramer said the situation reminds him of a decade ago, when the oil shale revolution led the Bakken oil field (Montana, North Dakota) struggling to find enough workers to meet the exploding demand. Eventually, demand was met by increased wages, Cramer said, but the Bakken can also teach us other valuable lessons as well.
If hybrid working goes away, and workers get recalled back to the office, many of the boom towns will struggle, just as the Bakken region did when oil prices returned to normal levels.
Here's what Cramer had to say about some of the stocks that callers offered up during the Mad Money Lightning Round Thursday evening:
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in WMT.