Trump's Covid Virus Timeline

One year of lies and incompetence that lead to 450,000 deaths

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United States surpasses 600,000 deaths from coronavirus

The precise number is under debate. As of early Wednesday, Reuters said there had been 600,061 reports of covid-linked fatalities since the start of the pandemic, while a Johns Hopkins University tracker placed the death toll at 600,272. Either way, the United States is closing in on the total casualty count across the four-year long Civil War. | Source: Washington Post


America’s pandemic dead deserve accountability after Birx disclosure

“I look at it this way. The first time we have an excuse,” Dr. Deborah Birx told CNN. “There were about a hundred thousand deaths that came from that original surge. All of the rest of them, in my mind, could have been mitigated or decreased substantially.”

The hundreds of thousands of citizens whose deaths from Covid-19 could have been avoided are owed national and political accountability, but the polarization of America that exacerbated the pandemic threatens to deprive them of their due.A haunting admission by Dr. Deborah Birx in a new CNN documentary that after last year’s first infectious wave, the death toll could have been substantially reduced, will prove harrowing for those who lost loved ones. It also throws new scrutiny on the negligent management of the pandemic by former President Donald Trump and his willingness to put economic and political goals above science and the public well-being. | CNN 3/28/2021

Olivia Troye Says There Should Be A Full Investigation Into Trump Admin. Covid Response

Trump Is Guilty of Pandemicide

“There is vast evidence of Trump’s negligence during the pandemic’s third wave. Had I been a member of the House of Representatives during the body’s impeachment deliberations, I would have added to Trump’s indictment the crime of pandemicide, naming him as responsible for most of the COVID-19 deaths that transpired while he, the nation’s leader, was preoccupied with damning Joe Biden’s election victory. Trump’s failure to, as he vowed in his oath of office, “faithfully execute the office of president of the United States” promulgated a scale of lives lost exceeding anything experienced in the country since the Civil War, 160 years ago.” | Continue at Foreign Policy

3/11/21 – One year anniversary of pandemic

Heather Cox Richardson

“On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus crisis a global pandemic. A year later, almost 30 million of us have been infected with the novel coronavirus, and we have lost more than 530,000 of us to Covid-19. Our economy has buckled.

The horror of the past year, exacerbated by the former president’s reluctance to use the government to combat the pandemic, has revealed what seem to be two different camps in America today.”

Heather Cox Richardson


March 9, 2020 was a Monday, the start of a new workweek. It was the day when CNN began to use the term pandemic to describe the outbreak. Dr. Sanjay Gupta explained that day that the WHO and CDC hadn’t taken the step yet, but it was necessary. “Now is the time to prepare for what may be ahead,” he said, previewing closed schools and canceled events.That same day, Fox’s Sean Hannity accused the media of “scaring the living hell out of people” and said “I see it, again, as like, let’s bludgeon Trump with this new hoax.”


Poor handling of virus cost Trump his reelection, campaign autopsy finds

Former president Donald Trump lost the 2020 election largely due to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a post-election autopsy completed by Trump campaign pollster Tony Fabrizio.

Trump did not support a mask mandate — sometimes mocking the wearing of masks — and regularly criticized Fauci, threatening to fire him at times.

Advisers repeatedly encouraged Trump to wear a mask, stop attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci and signal to the public that he was taking the coronavirus more seriously, particularly after he was hospitalized and given an experimental drug. Trump was largely resistant and mocked the virus down the stretch, sarcastically saying “Covid, covid, covid” at his rallies and falsely predicting the virus would leave the news after the election. More than 400,000 people have died of covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. | Source: Washington Post


President Biden remains willing to negotiate with Republicans on an economic relief package

President Biden remains willing to negotiate with Republicans on an economic relief package, but it must pass quickly in order to arrest the Covid-19 pandemic and help keep millions of Americans from going hungry, two top White House economic aides said on Sunday morning.

“We just lived through the worst economic year since the demobilization in the wake of World War II,” said Brian Deese, the director of the White House’s National Economic Council. “We’re in a unique crisis, and the elements of this plan really were designed, and are designed, to take on that crisis head-on.” | Source: CNN


Covid antivirals were doomed from the start

“The clear, unambiguous and compelling lesson from the hydroxychloroquine story for the medical community and the public is that science and politics do not mix,” Dr. Michael Saag of University of Alabama at Birmingham wrote in November in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The lack of centralized coordination meant that many trials for Covid antivirals were doomed from the start — too small and poorly designed to provide useful data, according to Dr. Janet Woodcock, the acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. There’s now a wealth of evidence that the malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine did not work against Covid. | Source: NY Times


Trump’s legacy of mistrust sends Congress into total war

At times on Thursday, it appeared that the whole of Congress was fixated on its own civil wars, cut off from behind its high iron fence from the reality of America’s darkest modern winter. And with more than 432,000 Americans dead from Covid-19 and the economy in ruins, hopes are fading — amid the acrimony — of a bipartisan effort to beef up the crucial vaccine drive.

In an extraordinary comment on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned of the enemy “within” in an apparent reference to some pro-Trump Republicans. | Source: CNN


After Biden’s first week in office – reasons for optimism

New cases in the U.S. have fallen 35 percent over the past three weeks. Hospitalizations have dropped, as well. Deaths have not, but they have stabilized — and the death trend typically lags the cases trend by a few weeks.
“I like the trends we are seeing, and I am personally hopeful that things are going to get better,” Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University, told me. “But there are a number of things that could also wrong.”


Undercounting of Covid-19 deaths is greatest in pro-Trump areas, analysis shows

Tens of thousands of Covid-19 deaths are going unreported in the U.S., with far more missed in counties that strongly supported former President Trump, according to new research. The figures suggest that political leanings have helped suppress the true scale of deaths. | Source: StatNews


Biden administration orders 200 million more doses of Covid-19 vaccines

“(The new agreement) will be enough to fully vaccinate 300 million Americans to beat the pandemic,” President Biden announced today. The agreement would lessen the country’s reliance on getting additional doses on the market from other manufacturers. The Trump administration had passed on buying more doses from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna and was instead betting that additional vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca would come to market. Johnson & Johnson said it will release data for its single-dose vaccine in the coming days. | Source: NBC


Dems press ahead with 2nd impeachment; Biden OK with delaying trial

We need accountability, accountability for Donald Trump and accountability for everyone who participated in (the January 6th) insurrection,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren on CNN’s “Inside Politics”
President Biden signaled an openness to delay the trial by two weeks so that the Senate could confirm more of his Cabinet nominees and take up his initial request of Congress: approval of a $1.9 trillion relief package to address the coronavirus pandemic and the economic fallout it has caused.

Trump’s Covid quakery: “Oh no, this stuff really works!”

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci describes a fraught year as an adviser to President Donald J. Trump on the Covid-19 pandemic.: “It was clear that he was getting input from people who were calling him up, I don’t know who, people he knew from business, saying, “Hey, I heard about this drug, isn’t it great?” or, “Boy, this convalescent plasma is really phenomenal.” And I would try to, you know, calmly explain that you find out if something works by doing an appropriate clinical trial; you get the information, you give it a peer review. And he’d say, “Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, this stuff really works.” | Source NY Times


Dr. Birx: “I saw the president presenting graphs that I never made”

Dr. Fauci: Trump’s Covid approach made “no sense medically and no sense scientifically”


Trump left Biden “nothing” in the fight against Covid virus

“What we’re inheriting is so much worse than we could have imagined,” said President Biden’s coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients in a call with reporters. Another official said: “There is nothing for us to rework. We are going to have to build everything from scratch.”

Meanwhile, an aggregate forecast from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention comprising various independent models projects that 465,000 to 508,000 deaths could be reported by Feb. 13.


Biden says death toll from pandemic likely will top 500,000 next month, says it will take months ‘for us to turn things around’

In an implicit contrast with Trump’s handling of the health crisis, he said the new national strategy “is comprehensive; based on science not politics; based on truth not denial.”


Trump: “We did what we came here to do”
Fauci: “Historic, in the very bad sense”

“We did what we came here to do — and so much more,” Trump said in his final address from the White House on Wednesday.

402,000 Americans have died from Covid-19 under Trump’s presidential watch

Dr. Anthony Fauci, shunned by Trump but embraced by President Biden, appeared in the White House briefing room on Thursday to speak to reporters about the pandemic.

He did not mince words, and appeared to enjoy feeling that he no longer had to.

“Historic, in the very bad sense,” was his take on the pandemic, as total cases in the United States edged near

the 25 million milestone.


Trump leaves Washington with his 30k lies.

Over four years as president, Donald Trump made 30,573 false or misleading claims (aka “Lies”) | Source: Washington Post Fact Checker


Most Americans say the coronavirus pandemic is out of control, Post-ABC poll finds

As President Trump is leaving office, just over 1 in 10 Americans say the coronavirus pandemic in the United States is mostly under control, despite the departing president’s assertions that record case levels are exaggerations, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.


WHO chief warns of ‘catastrophic moral failure’ as rich countries dominate vaccine supplies

The head of the World Health Organization warned Monday that the world is on the brink of a “catastrophic moral failure” if wealthier nations don’t ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanonom Ghebreysus, who has repeatedly warned richer countries against excluding poorer ones by cutting bilateral deals with vaccine suppliers, took his rhetoric up a notch in his opening remarks at an executive board session.


Numbers tell an ominous story

Worldwide and nationwide (per Johns Hopkins University)

  • Worldwide confirmed cases: 94,955,779 (up 660,184 from yesterday*)
  • Worldwide deaths:2,029,032 (up 10,858 from yesterday*)
  • Worldwide recoveries: 52,240,858(up 305,869 from yesterday*)
  • US confirmed cases: 23,911,313 (up 204,311 from yesterday*)
  • US deaths: 397,401 (up 2,206 from yesterday*)
  • Countries/regions affected thus far: 191

Biden’s incoming chief of staff warns that the virus death toll will reach 500,000 by the end of February

“The virus is going to get worse before it gets better,” Mr. Klain said in an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “People who are contracting the virus today will start to get sick next month, will add to the death toll in late February, even March, so it’s going to take a while to turn this around.” | Source: NYTimes

States are scrambling after the Trump administration’s vaccine promise falls apart

“Who’s going to be prosecuted for this?” Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota asked at a news conference on Friday. Mr. Walz said he was “not sleeping” over concerns that Minnesotans would be unable to get their second doses.

Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado said his state would get 79,000 doses this week instead of the 210,000 he had been expecting.

“We should’ve known not to believe a word” from the Trump administration, Mr. Polis said



C.D.C. Warns the New Virus Variant Could Fuel Huge Spikes in Covid Cases

Federal health officials warned on Friday that a far more contagious variant of the coronavirus first identified in Britain could become the dominant source of infection in the United States by March, and would likely lead to a wrenching surge in cases and deaths that would further burden overwhelmed hospitals.

Experts warn of vaccine stumbles ‘out of the gate’ because Trump officials refused to consult with Biden team

As the coronavirus overwhelms U.S. hospitals and kills more than 3,300 people a day on average, the Trump administration has balked at providing access to information and failed to consult with President-elect Biden’s team, including about distributing the vaccines that offer the greatest hope of emerging from the pandemic.


Biden Set to Propose $1.9 Trillion Spending Package to Combat Virus and Downturn

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will propose a $1.9 trillion rescue package to combat the economic downturn and the Covid-19 crisis. Mr. Biden took swift action, seeking to shape the agenda at a time of national crisis and a day after President Trump’s impeachment in the House

W.H.O. arrives in China to Study Source of Pandemic

Experts from the World Health Organization are in Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged more than a year ago, for an investigation that Beijing has repeatedly impeded. Two members of the group were stopped in Singapore.

U.S. to Require Negative Virus Tests From International Air Passengers

Before they board planes to the U.S., passengers will have to produce proof that they are not infected or have recently recovered. The new policy requires all air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, to get a test for current infection within the three days before their flight to the United States departs, and to provide written documentation of their test results or proof of having recovered from Covid-19.

Coronavirus cases among lawmakers who sheltered in lockdown show one vaccine dose may not immediately protect against infection

Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Bradley Schneider (D-Ill.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) tested positive this week. All three of the lawmakers have said they received the first dose of coronavirus vaccine in the days before the Jan. 6 riot.


The US just suffered its worst day ever for Covid-19 deaths.

The US reported its highest number of Covid-19 deaths in one day Tuesday: 4,327, according to Johns Hopkins University. In fact, the five highest daily tallies for new infections and new deaths have all occurred in 2021.


CNN Covid reporter cries on air

Two lawmakers test positive after being in lockdown in Capitol

Two Democratic lawmakers have tested positive for the coronavirus, saying they believe their infections are linked to the time they spent in a secure location with REPUBLICAN colleagues who refused to wear masks during Wednesday’s siege of the U.S. Capitol.

Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey announced her positive test result on Monday, followed early Tuesday by Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington.

“It angers me when they refuse to adhere to the directions about keeping their masks on,” Ms. Watson Coleman said in an interview. “It comes off to me as arrogance and defiance. And you can be both, but not at the expense of someone else.”


House moves to force Trump out by Impeachment or invoking 25th Amendment

The House moved on two fronts Sunday to try to force President Donald Trump from office, escalating pressure on the vice president to strip him of power and committing to quickly begin impeachment proceedings against him for inciting a mob that violently attacked the seat of American government.

In a letter to colleagues, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said the House would move forward Monday with a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, and wrest the powers of the presidency. She called on Pence to respond “within 24 hours” and indicated she expected a Tuesday vote on the resolution. | Source: Boston Globe


Vaccine distribution is a disaster

In the absence of any real federal coronavirus response, all that remains is the hope to vaccinate the nation. In place of an actual plan, we’ll have frantic phone calls to CVS, Walgreens and Sam’s Club by sons and daughters asking whether vaccine is available for their elderly parents. Or similar calls to physicians and other health-care providers. | Source: Washington Post

Florida decided people 65 and older should get the coronavirus vaccine first. But demand has overwhelmed supply, and people are frustrated

Florida decided people 65 and older should get the coronavirus vaccine first. But demand has overwhelmed supply, and people are frustrated. “It’s so disorganized,” she said. “I was hoping the system would be set up so there would be some sort of logic to it.” | Source: NY Times


At least four people died from Wednesday’s MAGA riot, and over four thousand from Covid

While America was distracted by Wednesday’s coup attempt, 4100 more Americans died of Covid-19,
the highest one-day death toll yet


New Covid-19 variants could pose a threat to vaccination

As of January 5, the UK variant had been found in 40 other countries and the South Africa variant in six, according to the World Health Organization. While vaccine manufacturers like Pfizer and BioNTech say their technologies can readily adapt to changes in the virus, we don’t yet know how exactly they’ll work against the new mutations. And as the virus continues to spread and more people get infected, the likelihood of even more dangerous mutations happening rises. So the new variants — and future mutations — may pose a threat to our vaccines and herald a new, potentially even more difficult, chapter in the pandemic. | Source: Vox


U.S. Is Blind to Contagious New Virus Variant, Scientists Warn

The United States has no large-scale, nationwide system for checking coronavirus genomes for new mutations, including the ones carried by the new variant. About 1.4 million people test positive for the virus each week, but researchers are only doing genome sequencing — a method that can definitively spot the new variant — on fewer than 3,000 of those weekly samples. And that work is done by a patchwork of academic, state and commercial laboratories.


Record number of hospitalizations in U.S.

The United States reported 131,195 current Covid-19 hospitalizations on Tuesday, setting a new record high since the pandemic began, according to the Covid Tracking Project (CTP).

This is the 35th consecutive day that the US has remained above 100,000 current hospitalizations.


U.S. Air Travel Hits Pandemic High, Adding to Fears of Yet More Case Surges and the New Variant

With the coronavirus raging in many parts of the country and hospitals dangerously overstretched, public health officials warned on Sunday that more calamitous days may be ahead, as infections tied to holiday gatherings fuel a fresh spate of illness and death.

American airports had their busiest day of the pandemic on Saturday, with 1,192,881 passengers passing through security checkpoints, according to the Transportation Security Administration


Fauci corrects Trump: “The deaths are real deaths”

“When in doubt, call it Covid,’” Trump tweeted, appearing to suggest that was the CDC’s stance on recording pandemic-related statistics. “Fake News!” Surgeon General Jerome Adams and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert on the White House’s coronavirus task force, dismissed Trump’s claim in separate interviews Sunday. “The deaths are real deaths,” Fauci said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.” “All you need to do is to go out into the trenches, go to the hospitals, see what the health care workers are dealing with.” | Source: ABC News

Vaccination is going slowly because nobody is in charge

The failure to vaccinate more quickly is tragic given that more than 3,000 Americans are dying of covid-19 every day. At the current rate, we will surpass 400,000 deaths by Inauguration Day. | Source: Washington Post


Third state identifies more-transmissible variant as U.S. cases surpass 20 million

Florida on Thursday became the third state to identify a case of the coronavirus variant first detected in the United Kingdom, a reminder that the pandemic remains a formidable foe as infections in the United States surpass 20 million. | Source: Washington Post

Nursing homes are a tragedy

The situation in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities has only gotten worse: More than 120,000 workers and residents have died, and residents are now dying at three times the rate they did in July. |Source: NY Times


US surpasses landmark of 20m coronavirus cases on New Year’s Day

US has almost twice as many confirmed coronavirus cases as the next worst-hit country, India, and almost 350,000 have died

More than 10,000 Americans died in the last three days of 2020 as the year finished with the pandemic, which has never been under control in the US since the start of the outbreak last January, breaking all the wrong world records.

“I’m going to lose.” Trump blamed election defeat on Kushner and Covid testing

Donald Trump predicted he would lose the November election, and placed the blame with his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, for his work coordinating the coronavirus testing effort, according to a scathing exposé of the president’s final days in office from the New York Times.

“I’m going to lose,” Mr Trump reportedly told Mr Kushner during debate preparations over the fall. “And it’s going to be your fault, because of the testing,” reiterating his regular, scientifically absurd complaint that too much coronavirus testing is bad because it reveals too many cases. The White House denies the exchange took place. | Source: The Guardian

Evidence of UK virus strain found in Florida man, officials say

Florida health authorities late Thursday reported finding evidence of the latest US case of the new and apparently more contagious coronavirus strain first seen in England, saying it was detected in a man with no recent travel history. Florida’s health statement said the new virus variant was detected in a man in his 20s in Martin County, which abuts the Atlantic Coast above densely populated South Florida

Pharmacist who ‘intentionally’ spoiled more than 500 vaccine doses is arrested

A worker at a Wisconsin hospital allegedly admitted to deliberately damaging more than 500 doses of the Moderna vaccine over the weekend, sparking an investigation by the FBI, FDA and local police |Source: Washington Post


Tens of thousands on Vegas strip despite warning 

Tens of thousands of people were walking on the casino-lined Las Vegas Strip on New Year’s Eve by early evening despite a plea from Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak that people reconsider their plans to go out and celebrate. | Source: Boston Globe

America did not sufficiently plan for how to get millions of people vaccinated

Untold numbers of vaccine doses will expire before they can be injected into American arms, while communities around the country are reporting more corpses than their mortuaries can handle.

Operation Warp Speed has failed to come anywhere close to its original goal of vaccinating 20 million people against the coronavirus by the end of 2020.

Of the 14 million vaccine doses that have been produced and delivered to hospitals and health departments across the country, just an estimated three million people have been vaccinated. The rest of the lifesaving doses, presumably, remain stored in deep freezers — where several million of them could well expire before they can be put to use.

That’s an astonishing failure — one that stands out in a year of astonishing failures.

| Source: NY Times

Highly contagious new virus strain increases pressure to speed up the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations

The discovery of a more contagious coronavirus strain in the United States this week has turned the battle against COVID-19 into a high-stakes race between the newly authorized vaccines and a virus that soon may spread even faster. “We need to be in overdrive now,” one pandemic expert said.| Boston Globe


Fast-Moving Virus Variant Is Making Inroads

A day after Colorado reported the first known case of the variant in the United States, state officials on Wednesday reported a second one. Then later in the day, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California announced that his state, too, had a case.

There is no evidence that the new variant makes people any sicker, but it appears to be much more contagious than older forms. | Source: NY Times

U.S. congressman-elect, 41 years old, died from Covid-19 complications

Luke Letlow, a Republican who was elected to the House of Representatives this month to represent Louisiana’s Fifth Congressional District, died Tuesday evening of complications from Covid-19, a spokesman said. He was 41


Biden: Trump is ‘falling behind’ in vaccine efforts

“The Trump administration’s plan to distribute vaccines is falling behind, far behind,” President-elect Joe Biden said Tuesday afternoon. “As I long feared and warned, the effort to distribute and administer the vaccine is not progressing as it should.”

First case of highly infectious coronavirus variant detected in U.S.

Colorado officials on Tuesday reported the first known case in the United States of a person infected with the mutation-laden coronavirus variant that has been circulating rapidly across much of the United Kingdom and has led to a lockdown of much of southern England.

“We are below where we want to be,” Fauci says about number of administered Covid vaccines

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Jim Sciutto Tuesday that the US is “certainly not at the numbers that we wanted to be at the end of December,” when it comes to the number of Covid-19 vaccines administered. | Source: CNN

Covid Relief bill moves to Senate

The House passed a measure to increase stimulus checks for Americans under a certain income level to $2,000. The measure will now move to the Senate.

‘I Regret Nothing’: Doctor Who Criticized Trump Parade Works Last Day At Walter Reed

Dr. James Phillips, the Walter Reed physician who criticized President Trump’s decision to greet supporters outside the facility where he was being treated for COVID-19, has worked his last shift at the hospital. “I stand by my words, and I regret nothing,” Phillips wrote on Twitter.

The doctor’s pending removal from the work schedule at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center was reported in early December – two months after Phillips slammed the president’s refusal to isolate himself. Phillips has been praised both for his work as a doctor and for speaking out. | Source: NPR

Air travel hits pandemic record amid surging infections and hospitalizations

U.S. air travel hit a pandemic record this weekend as Americans crisscrossed the country for the holidays — a sign, some public health experts warn, that yet another surge could be on the horizon.


Trump’s Veto Threat Did Little to Alter Stimulus Package

“It’s another example of the story of the Trump presidency,” said Michael Steel, who was press secretary for John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, when Mr. Boehner was speaker of the House. “He achieved a few more days of chaos at the end of a chaotic presidency.” | NYTimes


With 332,000 now dead from Covid-19, Republicans continue to attack Dr. Anthony Fauci

“Dr. Fauci lied about masks in March. Dr. Fauci has been distorting the level of vaccination needed for herd immunity,” Rubio wrote on Twitter. Rubio is potentially facing a campaign against Ivanka Trump in 2022 and appears to be desperately trying to appeal to the far-right supporters of President Donald Trump | Source MSN

Fauci: ‘Darkest days’ may be ahead in Covid-19 fight

“We very well might see a post-seasonal, in the sense of Christmas, New Year’s, surge,” said Dr. Fauci. “It is really quite troubling. We are really at a very critical point. … So I share the concern of President-elect Biden that as we get into the next few weeks, it might actually get worse.”| Source: CNN

Mnuchin’s loyalty to Trump could end with painful setback as president shreds stimulus deal

Trump’s demand for $2,000 stimulus checks is a direct rejection of the $600 checks that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had personally proposed and negotiated with Democrats and Republicans. Now, Trump’s rejection of the deal has confounded many leaders on Capitol Hill because they had thought Mnuchin negotiated the package on behalf of the president. The treasury chief’s standing with many lawmakers is now in tatters just days before a full-blown crisis is set to occur.

Mnuchin’s loyalty to Trump could end with painful setback as president shreds stimulus deal. |Source: Washington Post


Unemployment Aid Set to Lapse Saturday as Trump’s Plans for Covid Relief Bill Remain Unclear

At least a temporary lapse in expanded unemployment benefits for millions of Americans is now inevitable because of President Trump’s delay in signing a $900 billion pandemic relief bill. The country is also facing a looming government shutdown on Tuesday and the expiration of a moratorium on evictions at the end of the year because of the president’s refusal to sign the bill.

New strains of Covid detected

Three new variants of COVID-19 have been detected in recent weeks, leading to increased vigilance across the world as officials say a variant found in the United Kingdom could be up to 70 percent more transmissible.

However, none of the variants so far has been found to be more fatal, or more likely to be able to evade vaccines or treatments. | Source: Aljazeera


Fate of $900 billion in pandemic aid will remain in limbo over the Christmas

“Donald Trump’s temper tantrum is threatening to cost millions of jobless workers a week’s worth of income,” said Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon. “The ability of millions of Americans to pay rent and buy groceries hangs in the balance, and Donald Trump spent the day golfing. It’s shameful.” | Source: NY Times


New science reevaluates risks of indoor dining

On the question of COVID-19 safety, science is clear: Going out to eat is associated with increased risk of coronavirus transmission.

“People talk a lot about superspreader events, but there are also superspreader destinations — types of places that are especially risky and lead to especially high rates of infection,” said David Grusky, one of the researchers behind a recent Stanford University study that modeled the coronavirus’s spread in indoor spaces. “One of those types of places is full-service restaurants.” | Source: Boston Globe

How Worried Should We Be About The New U.K. Coronavirus Variant?

The new variant, which contains 17 mutations, appears more transmissible and harder to control in terms of spread.

“Given all the biological and epidemiological evidence that has come together in the past few weeks, I think the picture is getting more and more consistent with something pretty serious,” says mathematical modeler Nick Davies, who led the study. | Source: NPR


Trump Demands Changes to Coronavirus Relief Bill, Calling It a ‘Disgrace’

“It’s called the Covid relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with Covid,” Mr. Trump said in a video posted online. “Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests while sending the bare minimum to the American people.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, who had been pressing for similarly sized checks, welcomed Mr. Trump’s intervention.

“Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks. At last, the President has agreed to $2,000 — Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let’s do it!” she wrote on Twitter.

Pfizer will provide the U.S. with additional 100 million vaccine doses

The U.S. government has reached a deal with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to acquire 100 million additional doses of its coronavirus vaccine, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday, further enlarging the nation’s supply of the product.

Under the agreement, Pfizer will deliver 70 million doses by June 30, 2021, with the following 30 million to be delivered no later than July 31, 2021.


Senate approves huge spending package, sends economic relief measure to Trump for enactment

“Yes, there is more work to do, and it will cost some money, but it will protect jobs and, most importantly, it will meet the needs of the American people — to crush this virus and to do so in a way that brings us all into the future in a very safe way,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said. | Source: Washington Post


Stimulus Deal Provides Economic Relief, for Now

The aid package will keep millions from losing jobless benefits. But it comes too late to prevent lasting damage to many families and businesses. The $900 billion economic relief component of the legislation has received the most attention, but the bill would do many other things, including funding federal agencies through September 2021 and extending tax breaks for numerous businesses for at least the next year. The tax provisions alone would slash taxes by about $150 billion, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Health department warns Christmas surge ‘will completely break our hospitals’

As Tennessee leads the United States in coronavirus cases per capita following a post-Thanksgiving spike, the state’s health commissioner warned Sunday that the hospital system will crumble if residents don’t slow the spread of the virus by staying home, wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings.

“If we have another surge over Christmas, it will break our hospitals,” Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said at a news conference, according to the Tennessean.


Trump’s denial,mismanagement and magical thinking
led to the pandemic’s dark winter

“There isn’t a single light-switch moment where the government has screwed up and we’re going down the wrong path,” said Kyle McGowan, who resigned in August as chief of staff at the CDC under Redfield, the center’s director. “It was a series of multiple decisions that showed a lack of desire to listen to the actual scientists and also a lack of leadership in general, and that put us on this progression of where we’re at today.” | Source: Washington Post


Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine Becomes 2nd To Earn FDA Authorization

Just one week after Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine received a federal green light, the Food and Drug Administration formally authorized a second vaccine for emergency use — this one developed by Moderna. The biotech upstart won authorization for use in adults following extensive federal analysis of the vaccine, which the FDA found to be 94% effectiveat preventing the disease.

Warp Speed chief accepts blame for reduced vaccine doses but creates new confusion about quality control

Gustave Perna, the four-star Army general overseeing the formidable task of distributing coronavirus vaccines, said Saturday he was responsible for the “miscommunication” with states causing them to receive vastly fewer doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the second wave of shipments next week than they had been anticipating.

“I want to assure everybody, and I want to take personal responsibility for the miscommunication,” Perna, who is chief operating officer for the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, told reporters. “I know that’s not done much these days, but I am responsible.”


Vaccine hoaxes are rampant on social media

False theories about the vaccines’ dangers and conspiracies about the government’s plans for it are multiplying.

Researchers at misinformation-research group Zignal Labs found that false narratives claiming that the vaccine contains tracking microchips and that the government will make vaccines mandatory continue to circulate. In some cases, right-leaning figures and news sites pushed the disinformation, as well as dubious websites and followers of bogus conspiracy theory QAnon. | Source: Washington Post

Pence Receives Vaccine in Public Event

The vice president was given a shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the White House. In the last five days, the U.S. has reported over 1 million new cases, and California reported just 3 percent availability of I.C.U. beds statewide on Thursday. “I don’t feel a thing,” Pence said.


NPR: Mounting infections, hospitalizations and deaths

Record numbers of covid-19 patients push hospitals and staffs to the limit

In Boston, pediatric wards are being consolidated to fit all the adults battling covid-19. Philadelphia hospitals are once again barring family visitors due to transmission worries. And in Los Angeles, a public hospital canceled elective and scheduled surgeries because it cannot spare ICU beds.


Robert Reich: Trump and his enablers do not care, and have never cared

“We want them infected … We always knew as you relax and open up, cases will rise …
So the bottom line is if it is more [infectious] the issue is, who cares?”

Those are direct quotes from Paul Alexander, a senior Trump appointee working at Health and Human Services under Michael Caputo, another Trump loyalist.
Throughout the summer, Alexander repeatedly promoted a “herd immunity” strategy that calls for infecting millions of people with Covid in order to build natural immunity. The strategy has been repeatedly decried and debunked by scientists, as it would saddle millions of people with potential long-term complications and put them at risk of death … Make no mistake: Trump and his enablers do not care, and have never cared, about the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have been killed by this virus. They only care about themselves. | Robert Reich

Pompeo quarantining after coronavirus exposure

Secretary Pompeo has been identified as having come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID,” a State Department spokesperson said. “For reasons of privacy we can’t identify that individual.””The Secretary has been tested and is negative. In accordance with CDC guidelines, he will be in quarantine,” they said. “He is being closely monitored by the Department’s medical team.” | Source: CNN

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials go public on the Trump’s manipulation of the agency

The agency created to protect the nation against a public health catastrophe like the coronavirus was largely stifled by the Trump administration. | Source: NY Times


Fauci tells Trump to get vaccinated

Dr. Anthony Fauci would recommend that both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence receive the Covid-19 vaccine, which has been approved for emergency use authorization and is being rolled out nationwide.”You still want to protect people who are, you know, very important to our country right now,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday | Source: CNN

FDA Authorizes 1st Home Coronavirus Test That Doesn’t Require A Prescription

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday authorized the first coronavirus test that people will be able to buy at a local store without a prescription and use for immediate results at home to find out if they’re positive or negative.

The test will cost about $30 and be available by January, according to the Australian company that makes it, Ellume.

Republicans protect corporations, not American workers

At the Tyson meatpacking plant in Iowa, supervisors “took bets on how many workers would get infected with Covid-19, even as they took measures to protect themselves and denied knowledge of the spread of the illness at work.” Despite such stories, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has proposed that workers and customers be forbidden from suing businesses for allowing them to contract covid-19 unless they can prove “gross negligence.” | Source: Washington Post

FDA review clears path for second coronavirus vaccine, this one developed by Moderna

Moderna’s vaccine could be authorized as soon as Friday after a detailed review by the Food and Drug Administration confirmed that the two-shot regimen was 94 percent effective and carried no serious safety concerns.


Trump reverses course on plan to have White House staff get vaccine first

White House officials had said senior members of the administration would receive priority, an announcement that drew criticism in light of the fact Trump and his top advisers have repeatedly downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic while flouting public health guidance.


Comparing Covid Deaths with WWII

More Americans have died from Covid-19 in nine months than in combat over four years in World War II. The virus death toll exceeds 292,000, compared with 291,557 American World War II battle deaths

First Coronavirus Vaccines Head to U.S. States

The Food and Drug Administration’s emergency authorization on Friday night of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech has set in motion the most ambitious vaccination campaign in the nation’s history, a challenge of staggering proportions choreographed against a backdrop of soaring infection rates and deaths. 


At least four college students have died in recent weeks after contracting Covid

Tens of thousands of new coronavirus cases continue to emerge on college campuses. Most cases on college campuses have been announced since students returned to campus for the fall term. Most of the deaths were reported in the spring and involved college employees, not students. But at least four students have died in recent weeks after contracting the virus. | Source: NY Times

FDA authorizes the first coronavirus vaccine, a rare moment of hope in the deadly pandemic

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday gave emergency use authorization to the nation’s first coronavirus vaccine, launching what scientists hope will be a critical counteroffensive against a pathogen that has killed more than 290,000 Americans, shredded the nation’s social and political fabric and devastated the U.S. economy.


Trump threatens top FDA official

Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, told Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, of the Food and Drug Administration, to consider looking for another job if the vaccine was not approved Friday, according to a senior administration official.

Trump on turning over vaccine distribution to Joe Biden: ‘I don’t think so’

Trump on Friday voiced resistance to turning over distribution of vaccines to the incoming Biden administration, writing on Twitter that “they want to come in and take over one of the greatest and fastest medical miracles in modern day history. I don’t think so”

Trump is pushing the Supreme Court to overturn the presidential election results.


“Get that f–king thing off”

White House correspondent Maggie Haberman who has reported on Trump over the past 20 years.

“In meetings [Trump] would say to people, “Get that thing off.’ And he would use an expletive to emphasize his point. With reporters he has said, /Can you take that thing off? It’s really hard to hear you.'”
– Maggie Habberman | Fresh Air interview

FDA Panel Recommends COVID-19 Vaccine For Emergency Use

In a 17-4 vote, with one abstention, a panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration recommended Thursday that the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech be authorized for emergency use during the pandemic.

3,100 deaths yesterday in U.S.

For the first time in the course of the pandemic, the United States reported more than 3,100 deaths in a single day, according to a Washington Post analysis. With overtaxed intensive care units running out of beds in many parts of the country, the number of people hospitalized with covid-19 reached a record 106,000 on Wednesday


Trump Proposes A Rule That Could Stall Biden’s Health Care Agenda

The recently proposed rule would require HHS to analyze within 24 months about 2,400 regulations — rules that affect tens of millions of Americans on everything from Medicare benefits to prescription drug approvals.

The move — widely seen as a political ploy by HHS — met a fierce backlash from consumer advocates and health providers who fear it would hamstring federal health officials in the Biden administration, just as they’re seeking to control the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 280,000 Americans.

Intensive Care Beds Are Nearing Capacity Across the United States

More than a third of Americans live in areas where hospitals are running critically short of intensive care beds, federal data show, revealing a newly detailed picture of the nation’s hospital crisis during the deadliest week of the Covid-19 epidemic. | Source: NY Times


Pfizer tells U.S. officials it cannot supply substantial additional vaccine until late June or July

Pfizer has told the Trump administration it cannot provide substantial additional doses of its coronavirus vaccine until late June or July because other countries have rushed to buy up most of its supply.

That means the U.S. government may not be able to ramp up as rapidly as it had expected. | Source: Washington Post

U.K. Begins Nationwide Coronavirus Immunization, Largest In Nation’s History

The U.K. launched its largest-ever immunization program Tuesday. Health officials began dispensing doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, first vaccinating healthcare workers and residents over the age of 80. British health officials said Tuesday marked a turning point in the country’s battle with the virus, an illness that has infected more than 67 million people around the world and has killed more than 1.5 million people, Johns Hopkins University data shows. The U.K. alone has more than 1.7 million confirmed COVID-19 cases.


‘Natural Immunity’ From Covid Is Not Safer Than a Vaccine

“It’s difficult to predict who will survive an infection unscathed, said Jennifer Gommerman, an immunologist at the University of Toronto. Given all of the unknowns — like a region’s hospital capacity, or the strength of a person’s immune response — choosing the disease over the vaccine is “a very bad decision,” she said. | Source: NY Times

President-elect Joe Biden announces new team

President-elect Joe Biden has selected California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) as his health secretary and Rochelle Walensky, the chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, to run the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Rudy Giuliani tests positive for coronavirus

Rudolph W. Giuliani, who serves as President Trump’s personal attorney and is leading his efforts to overturn the results of the Nov. 3 election, has tested positive for the coronavirus, the president said on Twitter.

Giuliani, 76, traveled to Michigan, Arizona and Georgia last week to meet indoors with state legislators. Videos showed that Giuliani did not wear a face mask, and the Arizona Republican Party tweeted an image of Giuliani and lawmakers flouting coronavirus guidelines.


Trump pledged several hundred million vaccine doses in 2020. Companies will actually ship about 10 percent of that.

Federal officials have slashed the amount of coronavirus vaccine they plan to ship to states in December because of constraints on supply, sending local officials into a scramble to adjust vaccination plans and highlighting how early promises of a vast stockpile before the end of 2020 have fallen short.

Instead of the delivery of 300 million or so doses of vaccine immediately after emergency-use approval and before the end of 2020 as the Trump administration had originally promised, current plans call for availability of around a tenth of that, or 35 to 40 million doses.


Covid Survivors With Long-Term Symptoms Need Urgent Attention, Experts Say

Hundreds of thousands of Americans and millions of people worldwide might experience lingering problems that could impede their ability to work and function normally. “This is a phenomenon that is really quite real and quite extensive,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said at the conference on Thursday.


Between 9,500 and 19,500 Americans could die of COVID-19 during Christmas week, CDC warns

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention forecasts thousands of new COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. over the next four weeks, including an estimated 9,500 to 19,500 deaths the week of Christmas alone.

The overall US death toll from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, could reach 303,000 on the low end and 329,000 on the high end. | Source: Boston Globe

President-elect Biden taps Murthy as nation’s top doctor, offers Fauci key role as covid team takes shape

President-elect Joe Biden began choosing his top health-care officials, naming Vivek H. Murthy and Anthony S. Fauci as he prepares to take office. Fauci, who served on Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, has been attacked by Trump as he has contradicted the White House’s message that the pandemic is under control and on the verge of disappearing. | Source: Washington Post

Job Growth Slows Sharply As Pandemic Takes Toll On Economy

U.S. employers sharply scaled back their hiring last month, as the coronavirus pandemic put new pressure on restaurants, retailers and other businesses.

The Labor Department said Friday employers added just 245,000 jobs in November, down from a revised 610,000 in October.

“Even in a time of high unemployment, workers are hesitant to return to in-person roles where the health risks might be higher,” experts said. | Source: NPR


U.S. hits 100,000 Covid-19 hospitalizations; More than 3,100 Deaths

3,157 new deaths were recorded on Wednesday, surpassing the previous peak of 2,607 deaths on April 15, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The number of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients far outpaces peaks in mid-April and July of about 59,000.

Pompeo invites hundreds to indoor holiday parties after subordinates are warned against hosting ‘non-mission critical events’

A large indoor holiday parties are being planned by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife, Susan, on the eighth floor of the State Department involving hundreds of guests, food and drinks. Invitations have already gone out to 900 people, said two U.S. official. “I’m flabbergasted,” said Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University. “An indoor event of this kind is dangerous on so many levels.” | Source: Washington Post


U.K. Becomes First Country to Approve Pfizer Vaccine

The emergency authorization, before the U.S. and the E.U., paves the way for mass inoculations. As hospitalizations and infections surge across the U.S., California officials warn of severe shortages of beds and staff.

The White House, concerned that Britain would approve a vaccine first, summoned Dr. Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, for a meeting on Tuesday | Source: NYTimes


“We Should Have Protected People, Not Companies” 

2,250 deaths per day now expected in U.S.

The brutal arithmetic: In the U.S. 150,000 cases a day, times 1.5 percent, will lead to 2,250 daily deaths. The new estimates were prepared by Trevor Bedford, a genomic epidemiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle, using data from the COVID Tracking Project. | Source: The Atlantic

The U.S. winter will be “just horrible”

The United States has reached an appalling milestone: more than one million new coronavirus cases every week. Hospitals in some states are full to bursting. The number of deaths is rising and seems on track to easily surpass the 2,200-a-day average in the spring. “The next three months are going to be just horrible,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health | Source: NY Times

Covid was may have been in U.S. earlier than previously known

New findings published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases suggest that the coronavirus, known officially as SARS-CoV-2, had infected people in the U.S. earlier than had been thought.

“SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been present in the U.S. in December 2019, earlier than previously recognized,” the authors said. | Source: NPR

Nov 30

Dr. Scott Atlas resigns from Trump admin

Dr. Scott Atlas, a highly controversial member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, has resigned from his post in the Trump administration. Atlas’ months-long stint in the White House was marked by controversy as he became a close adviser to Trump on the pandemic, adopting public stances on the virus much closer to the President’s – such as pushing for herd immunity.

Fauci: US may see ‘surge upon surge’ of virus in weeks ahead

“When you have the kind of inflection that we have, it doesn’t all of a sudden turn around like that,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told ABC’s “This Week.” “So clearly in the next few weeks, we’re going to have the same sort of thing. And perhaps even two or three weeks down the line … we may see a surge upon a surge.”

Small and medium-size hospitals in surge areas are running out of space for coronavirus patients

With more than 91,000 covid-19 patients in their beds, U.S. hospitals are in danger of buckling beneath the weight of the pandemic and the ongoing needs of other sick people | Source: Washington Post

Obese Americans could be prioritized for coronavirus vaccine

“Being an individual with obesity independently increases the risk of influenza morbidity and mortality, most likely through impairments in innate and adaptive immune responses,” said Barry Popkin, an obesity researcher at the University of North Carolina.

Nov 29

‘It’s going to get worse over the next several weeks,’ U.S. Surgeon General warns

“It’s going to get worse over the next several weeks, but the actions that we take in the next several days will determine how bad it is or whether or not we continue to flatten our curve,” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Fox News on Sunday.

Fears of coronavirus jump intensify in Thanksgiving’s aftermath

Days after millions of Americans ignored health guidance to avoid travel and large Thanksgiving gatherings, it’s still too soon to tell how many people became infected. “It is painful to watch,” said scientist Dave O’Connor, a virologist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. “Like seeing two trains in the distance and knowing they’re about to crash, but you can’t do anything to stop it.”

Nov 28

Record number of hospitalizations

A record number of Americans — 90,000 — are now hospitalized with Covid, and new cases of infection had been climbing to nearly 200,000 daily.

U.S. Hospitals Are Running Out of Beds for Patients

From New Mexico to Minnesota to Florida, hospitals are teeming with record numbers of Covid patients. Staff members at smaller hospitals have had to beg larger medical centers repeatedly to take one more, just one more patient, but many of the bigger hospitals have sharply limited the transfers they will accept, their own halls and wards overflowing. |Source: NYTimes

Nov 27

The Virus Won’t Stop Evolving When the Vaccine Arrives

Vaccines won’t put an end to the evolution of this coronavirus, as David A. Kennedy and Andrew F. Read of The Pennsylvania State University, specialists in viral resistance to vaccines, wrote in PLoS Biology recently. Instead, they could even drive new evolutionary change.

There is always the chance, though small, the authors write, that the virus could evolve resistance to a vaccine, what researchers call “viral escape.” They urge monitoring of vaccine effects and viral response, just in case.

Nov 26

Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, while cities and counties set records for coronavirus infections

Masses of Americans are choosing to ignore experts’ recommendations to avoid travel and instead hold small or virtual gatherings at home, all while the coronavirus soars across the country.
In a Thanksgiving address, President-elect Joe Biden urged Americans to unite in their fight against the coronavirus. He asked Americans to take “simple steps” such as wearing a mask, limiting the size of gatherings and socially distancing from others.

Nov 25

U.S. Record: Two Million New Virus Cases in Two Weeks

For the first time since the coronavirus outbreak hit the United States, the country has added more than one million cases in each of the past two consecutive weeks.

Republicans continue to make mask-wearing political

Biden has consistently worn a mask and has stuck to a consistent message. “Wearing a mask isn’t a political statement — it’s a patriotic duty.”
Face masks have become a potent symbol of the political polarization over the coronavirus in the United States. The division shows up in polling. Gallup found that while a clear majority of Americans say they’re “highly likely” to wear masks in public indoor spaces, Republicans are less likely to do so. | Source: NPR

Nov 24

PPE Stockpile Still Can’t Match The Pandemic’s Latest Surge

The Strategic National Stockpile, which the U.S. has traditionally depended on for emergencies, still lacks critical supplies, nine months into one of the worst public health care crises this country has ever seen.

A combination of long-standing budget shortfalls, lack of domestic manufacturing, snags in the global supply chain, and overwhelming demand has meant that the stockpile is short of the gloves, masks, and other supplies needed to weather this winter’s surge in COVID-19 cases. | Source: NPR

More than 85,000 covid patients hospitalized nationwide, shattering records yet again

The number of coronavirus patients hospitalized across the United States shattered records on Monday, topping 85,700. Although some of the hardest-hit states are beginning to report fewer new infections, Thanksgiving travel and gatherings could reverse that trend. Even after cases peak, deaths will continue rising for several weeks.

Nov 23

AstraZeneca Trial Promises ‘Highly Effective’ COVID-19 Vaccine

U.K.-based pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has developed a vaccine that initial results show to be “highly effective in preventing” COVID-19.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted his excitement early Monday after AstraZeneca and Oxford announced their results.

“Incredibly exciting news the Oxford vaccine has proved so effective in trials. There are still further safety checks ahead, but these are fantastic results,” he said. | Source: NPR

Surgeon general says Trump White House holiday parties and other celebrations ‘can be superspreader events’

“Americans have been told that we can’t even see our families for this holiday, and yet here’s the White House planning to hold these holiday parties indoors,” ABC News senior White House correspondent Cecilia Vega said on “Good Morning America.” “What kind of message is this sending?”

Nov 22

FDA Grants Emergency Authorization For A Second COVID-19 Antibody Treatment

One of the experimental drugs that President Trump received while he was battling the coronavirus has been approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration. The drug, made by the biotech company Regeneron, is the second antibody treatment to win emergency use approval by the FDA.

Nov 21

More than a quarter-million people in the United States have died of covid-19, surpassing even the White House’s worst predictions from the spring. More than 11.7 million cases have been reported nationwide.

Stanford University disowns Trump health advisor Scott Atlas

Stanford University’s faculty senate issued a forceful condemnation of its controversial colleague and President Donald Trump’s health adviser, Scott Atlas.

Atlas, a senior fellow at Stanford’s conservative Hoover Institution, has come under increasing criticism for urging people not to wear face masks or socially distance and to resist lockdown restrictions, all of which health experts recommend to stem the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.

“What Atlas has done is an embarrassment to the university,” said Dr. David Spiegel of the Stanford School of Medicine. “We strongly condemn his behavior.”

Donald Trump Jr tests positive for coronavirus

US President Donald Trump’s oldest son has tested positive for coronavirus, according to his spokesman.

Donald Trump Jr, 42, was diagnosed at the start of this week and has been quarantining at his hunting cabin since the result, the spokesman said.

Nov 20

President-elect Biden: No shut-down. Wear a mask

“No national shutdown,” president-elect Joe Biden said yesterday. “I am not going to shut down the economy. I am going to shut down the virus.”

Biden said wearing a mask was “not a political statement, it’s a patriotic duty” during remarks after the call with both Republican and Democratic state governors.

Remdesivir: don’t use drug Trump took for Covid-19, WHO says

Remdesivir, one of the drugs Donald Trump took when he developed Covid-19, should not be used in hospitals because there is no evidence it works, the World Health Organization has advised.

The US president was an enthusiastic proponent of the drug, to the point where he boasted in July that he had bought up the world’s entire stock for Americans. The WHO’s guidelines committee, however, has said Covid patients may be better off without it. | Source: The Guardian

Pfizer and BioNTech will seek regulatory clearance of their coronavirus vaccine

The companies announced plans to file for regulatory clearance, a landmark moment and a signal that a powerful tool to help control the pandemic could begin to be available within weeks.

Hospitals struggle as new Covid infections now 200,000 each day

The country is close to recording 200,000 new cases a day and setting hospitalization records. Deaths are rising steadily and hospitals are struggling to cope.

CDC warnings about Thanksgiving

“The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is at home with members of your household,” said Erin Sauber-Schatz, who leads the agency’s community intervention and critical population task force. She urged Americans to reassess plans for the coming week.

The C.D.C.’s warning runs counter to messages from Trump administration officials, who have denounced concerns that Thanksgiving celebrations will speed the virus’s spread.

Nov 19

Dozens of public health experts urge Trump administration to allow transition to proceed

“In light of the public health crisis facing the nation, it is imperative that you ascertain Joe Biden as President-elect immediately under the Presidential Transition Act,” health officials wrote, adding: “Doing so will enable the incoming Biden team to liaise with key health officials in the Trump Administration and prepare a robust, coordinated response to the pandemic.”

The letter was written to Emily Murphy, administrator of the General Services Administration, who has not yet signed paperwork that would allow Biden’s transition team to have access to government officials, office space in agencies and other resources.| Source: Washington Post

Biden: U.S. needs a “commander in chief” to fight Covid

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. asked that the government give him access now to federal resources to help him plan a coronavirus response. “This is like going to war,” he said. “You need a commander in chief.”

Nov 18

Mutated virus may be more vulnerable to new vaccines

The mutated form of the new coronavirus that is now the most common strain worldwide is more infectious but may also be more vulnerable to vaccines under development, new research suggests. In experiments reported on Thursday in Science, researchers saw that the newer strain, which originated in Europe, is more efficient at infecting airway cells and at making copies of itself, although it does not appear to produce more severe illness.  | Source: Reuters

12 million Americans could lose unemployment aid by the end of the year

Evictions, hunger, a spiraling economic crisis: A new study paints a portrait of the staggering toll that congressional inaction will have on the ranks of unemployed.

Deadlines set by Congress early in the pandemic will result in about 12 million Americans losing unemployment insurance by the year’s end. Inaction in Washington could exact on the economic health of both individual households and the economy at large.

“Nobody is talking about this,” unemployment researcher Andrew Stettner said in an interview. “We’re just careening into this huge cliff and it’s like it’s not even happening.”

Pfizer vaccine 95% effective

The coronavirus vaccine being developed by Pfizer and German biotechnology firm BioNTech is 95 percent effective at preventing disease, and an application for emergency authorization will be submitted “within days,” according to a news release from the companies.

Nov 17

“There’s no time to waste. We don’t have a day to waste”

The leaders of President-elect Biden’s Covid Advisory Board said they were being prevented from working with government officials who are in charge of distributing the vaccines. And they said that they did not have access to any government data on case counts, deaths or hospitalization, relying instead on media and private reports.

“There’s no time to waste. We don’t have a day to waste,” said Dr. David Kessler, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. “Vaccine distribution is difficult and daunting under any circumstance.”

President-elect Biden: “People may die” without a proper transition

President-elect Joseph R. Biden warned on Monday that “more people may die” from the coronavirus if President Trump does not agree to coordinate planning for the mass distribution of a vaccine when it becomes available.

Republican governors told to mask-up and slow the spread

Republican governors of Iowa and North Dakota have issued mask mandates over the past few days. And in The Wall Street Journal, the Republican health care experts Scott Gottlieb and Mark McClellan wrote an op-ed called “It’s Now Up to Governors to Slow the Spread.” Gottlieb and McClellan wrote: “At least while infections are widespread and surging, governors and local leaders should mandate the use of masks and impose clear and consistent plans to restrict gatherings.”

Nov 16

Task force’s Scott Atlas calls for Michiganders to “rise up” 

Dr. Scott Atlas, controversial member of Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, suggested that Michiganders “rise up” to block prohibitions against indoor dining at restaurants and bowling. Those measures were proposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), who was recently the target of an alleged kidnapping plot.

“Want more mandates & lockdown? Contact your governor,” Atlas wrote. “That’s state controlled. Not federal. Period.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday that he “totally disagrees” with Atlas’s approach. | Source: Washington Post

Trump’s failure to work with Biden is becoming more urgent as Covid spreads

Donald Trump is facing a barrage of calls to permit potentially life-saving transition talks between his health officials and incoming President-elect Joe Biden’s aides on a fast-worsening pandemic he is continuing to ignore in his obsessive effort to discredit an election that he clearly lost.

Early Data Show Moderna’s Coronavirus Vaccine Is 94.5% Effective

Moderna is the second company to report preliminary results from a large trial testing a vaccine. But there are still months to go before it will be widely available to the public. | Source: NY Times

Nov 15

No epicenter of virus in U.S. – It’s everywhere

At the moment, that lesson appears forgotten. The nation is entering its third, and potentially most dreadful, coronavirus surge. Earlier this month, the daily nationwide case count reached 100,000 for the first time. On Thursday it passed the 160,000 mark. Hospitalizations are at their highest point yet. Unlike previous surges, there is no epicenter. The virus is spreading everywhere.

Fauci says Trump does not attend Covid meetings

Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious diseases expert, says Donald Trump last attended a Covid-19 taskforce meeting “months ago”.

Fauci made the comments during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday morning. He said it had been “months” since the president had attended the taskforce in person, but said the vice-president, Mike Pence, attended meetings and passed on information to Trump.

CNN host Jake Tapper asked how history would judge America’s response to Covid-19, and Fauci admitted “it’s not going to be a good report”.

Nov 14

States are at ‘breaking point’ as U.S. shatters coronavirus case record again

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said the state is at a “breaking point” and reinstated the country’s most restrictive statewide measures since the fall surge began. Other states are trying to avoid full-blown shutdowns by enacting almost every other kind of restriction, as the United States reported more than 177,000 new coronavirus cases, a record high for the third straight day.

President-elect Biden to Trump: “Urgent action is needed today”

“I will not be president until next year,” Mr. Biden said. “The crisis does not respect dates on the calendar, it is accelerating right now. Urgent action is needed today, now, by the current administration — starting with an acknowledgment of how serious the current situation is.”

Nov 13

Virus Cases Reach New Highs in U.S., Prompting Talk of More Lockdowns

The coronavirus pandemic is spreading with frightening speed throughout the United States, shattering records on a daily basis, stretching medical resources to the breaking point and once again prompting states, counties and cities to consider economically devastating lockdowns.

Nov 12

New cases and hospitalizations break records

The tally of 145,835 new coronavirus cases came as the number of people hospitalized nationwide topped 65,000 for the first time since the pandemic began. In Illinois, the rate of new infections is so high that a group of doctors sent an urgent letter to the governor. “We’re having to almost decide who gets treatment and who doesn’t,” said one of its leaders. | Source: Washington Post

Nov 11

Pfizer CEO Sold Millions In Stock After Coronavirus Vaccine News, Raising Questions

The chairman and CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, sold $5.6 million worth of stock in the pharmaceutical company on Monday. The sale took place on the same day Pfizer announced that its experimental coronavirus vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90% effective. The company’s stock soared on the news | Source: NPR

Nov 10

Trump officials promise fair distribution of new covid-19 antibody drug, but limited supply and logistical problems loom

Trump administration officials Tuesday promised to fairly and swiftly distribute the first covid-19 treatment that helps to protect people with mild illness from developing severe symptoms. But the drug’s extremely limited supply and logistical difficulties in administering it could restrict how many people get access to it. | Source: Washington Post

Nov 9

HUD Secretary Ben Carson tests positive for the coronavirus

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson has tested positive for the coronavirus, a HUD spokesman confirmed. Carson’s diagnosis comes days after news of a fresh wave of coronavirus infections at the White House, with Mark Meadows and five other Trump aides having received positive test results in the time around Election Day

President-elect Biden announces coronavirus task force made up of physicians and health experts

Biden’s task force will have three co-chairs: Vivek H. Murthy, surgeon general during the Obama administration; David Kessler, Food and Drug Administration commissioner under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton; and Marcella Nunez-Smith, associate dean for health equity research at the Yale School of Medicine. Murthy and Kessler have briefed Biden for months on the pandemic.

Pfizer shares promising coronavirus vaccine results as U.S. cases approach 10 million

On Monday, Pfizer and German biotechnology firm BioNTech announced their coronavirus vaccine candidate was more than 90 percent effective, compared with a placebo. Epidemiologists and health experts were generally pleased by the news but also cautioned that more information is needed on the vaccine’s long-term efficacy and safety.

Nov 8

Six in White House, Including Trump’s Chief of Staff, Have the Coronavirus

At least one gathering at the White House — a celebration of Mr. Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Sept. 26 — is suspected of being a “superspreader” event after more than a dozen aides, reporters and guests who were in attendance or came into contact with people who were there tested positive for the virus.

Nov 7

Mark Meadows, Trump’s Chief of Staff, Has the Coronavirus

Mark Meadows was in the East Room of the White House on election night when the president addressed a crowd of about 150 people. During that event, Meadows worked the room extensively, without a mask, speaking to dozens. | Source: NY Times

Nov 6

Another record amount of new cases in U.S.

NBC News confirms at least 122,365 new COVID cases have been reported in the U.S. today, eclipsing yesterday’s previous single-day record of 121,289 cases.

Counties with worst virus surges overwhelmingly voted Trump

An Associated Press analysis reveals that in 376 counties with the highest number of new cases per capita, the overwhelming majority — 93% of those counties — voted for Trump, a rate above other less severely hit areas. | Source: Associated Press

Steve Bannon loses lawyer after suggesting beheading of Fauci

Mr. Bannon, the former adviser to President Trump, said the heads of the F.B.I. director and Dr. Anthony Fauci should be put on pikes, leading Twitter to ban one of his accounts.

On Friday, a prominent lawyer who was defending Mr. Bannon against fraud charges in federal court in Manhattan abruptly moved to drop him as a client, one person familiar with the matter said | Source: NY Times

Nov 5

Tests Show Genetic Signature of Virus That May Have Infected President Trump

The White House did not take basic steps to investigate its outbreak. The New York Times worked with geneticists to sequence the virus that infected two journalists exposed during the outbreak, providing clues to how it may have spread. At least 11 people who attended a Rose Garden celebration on Sept. 26 for Judge Barrett, which included an indoor event without masks, became infected with the coronavirus, including Mr. Trump. Additional genetic testing could help more clearly establish the role of that event.

Nov 4

United States tops 100,000 new virus cases in a day for first time

The United States reported more than 100,000 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, according to data tracked by The Washington Post. Seventeen states — including Kansas, Tennessee, Virginia, Oklahoma, Montana, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, Nebraska, Minnesota, Indiana and West Virginia — on Wednesday reported record numbers of patients hospitalized with covid-19, the disease caused by the virus

Nov 3

Dr. Birx contradicts president on covid-19 threat, urging all-out response

“This is not about lockdowns. … It’s about an aggressive balanced approach that is not being implemented,” says internal White House report that challenges many of Trump’s pronouncements. President Trump continues to assure rallygoers that the nation is “rounding the turn” on the pandemic

Nov 2

Trump suggests he might fire Fauci after election

President Donald Trump suggested to a Florida crowd he may fire Dr. Anthony Fauci after the election, escalating his feud with the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases and providing a window into a potential post-November 3 administration purge. The crowd broke out into a “Fire Fauci” chant.  “Let me wait until a little bit after the election,” Trump said to cheers

Nov 1

Fauci: We ‘Could Not Be Positioned More Poorly’ On COVID-19

“All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors,” Fauci said.
“You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.” | Source: AOL

White House sidestepped FDA to distribute hydroxychloroquine to pharmacies

Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro wanted to make sure the administration’s top vaccine expert would be on board with a White House plan to distribute the unproven drug to hard-hit cities. | Source: Washington Post

Oct 31

‘A whole lot of hurt’: Fauci warns of covid-19 surge, offers blunt assessment of Trump’s response

The nation’s leading infectious-disease expert said, “We’re in for a whole lot of hurt,” and predicted a long and potentially deadly winter as infections and hospitalizations spike across the country.

Fauci said he phones into (Covid task force) meetings … but largely avoids the West Wing because “of all the infections there.”| Source: Washington Post


Oct 30

Birx warns of “broad surge” across the country, as Trump claims U.S. is “rounding the turn”

Dr. Deborah Birx warned the nation’s governors on Friday of a “broad surge” of the COVID-19 pandemic across the country as the weather cools, contradicting President Trump’s claim that the U.S. is “rounding the turn.”

More than 9 million people have now contracted COVID-19 in the U.S., and over 229,000 have died.| Source: CBS News

Today’s Trump Covid advisory

“What happens is, you get it — if you get it, stay away, if you get it, you’re gonna get better. And then you’re gonna be immune. And it’s a whole thing, and it goes away.”

The worst week yet

The outlook for the pandemic continues to worsen, and many areas of the United States are experiencing their worst weeks yet. The country reported a record of more than 500,000 new coronavirus cases in the past week

The Midwest, which helped deliver Trump the presidency, is now the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.

Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania have all hit new weekly average highs in recent days, and in Florida and Georgia, case counts are growing again after having fallen from summer highs.

“We’re rounding the turn, regardless,” Trump told a Bullhead City, Ariz., crowd Wednesday.

Donald Trump Jr. said covid-19 deaths are at ‘almost nothing.’ The virus killed more than 1,000 Americans the same day

“This is still a high death rate, much higher than we see for flu or other respiratory diseases,” Leora Horwitz, director of NYU Langone’s Center for Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Science, told the Times of the current death rate. “I don’t want to pretend this is benign.”

Oct 28

Kushner interview with Bob Woodward: “Getting the country back from the doctors”

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner in April told journalist Bob Woodward that the country had progressed in its response to the coronavirus pandemic to the point where President Trump was “back in charge” and “getting the country back from the doctors.”

Police say rise in homicides is linked to Covid

In many American cities, where economies have been ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, there been a surge in gun violence, a 40 percent increase in homicides over all. Criminologists studying the rise in the murder rate point to the effects the pandemic has had on everything from mental health to policing in a time of social distancing.| Source: NY Times

Fauci: The time is now for a mandate on mask wearing

Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, said for the first time Wednesday that the United States needs a nationwide mask mandate to combat the rising tide of coronavirus infections. | Source: JAMA

Oct 27

Brains of patients recovering from COVID-19 may age 10 years

A team of researchers, led by a doctor at Imperial College London, analyzed results from 84,285 people who completed a study called the Great British Intelligence Test. “People who had recovered, including those no longer reporting symptoms, exhibited significant cognitive deficits.” | Source: Reuters

White House science office says Trump ended COVID-19 pandemic as US hits record cases

The White House science office listed “ending the COVID-19 pandemic” as the top accomplishment of President Trump‘s first term, even as the U.S. has set records for new daily infections and numerous hospitals across the country are stretched to their breaking points. | Source: The Hill

Oct 26

Stocks Slide as Virus Cases Surge

A rise in coronavirus cases in the United States, new restrictions on activity in Europe and a standoff in Washington over economic relief for struggling businesses and out-of-work Americans left investors reeling on Monday.

The S&P 500 fell about 1.9 percent after recovering some ground in afternoon trading. Still, Monday’s decline was the index’s biggest one-day drop in more than a month.

“You can only pretend that Covid was not a problem for so long,” said Steve Sosnick, chief strategist at Interactive Brokers in Greenwich, Conn. “I think the market has finally kind of gotten it through its head at the same time that there’s very little shot at stimulus.” | Source: NY Times

Trump tweets “Losers!”

Source: Donald Trump’s Twitter

Fox News team told to quarantine

The president of Fox News and key members of the network’s election team have been told to quarantine after they were exposed to someone who tested positive for the coronavirus after last week’s presidential debate.

Covid is hitting sparse populations

The coronavirus pandemic is reaching deep into the nation’s most sparsely populated states and counties, where distance from others has long been part of the appeal and this year had appeared to be a buffer against the virus.

The low-density states of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota now have some of the nation’s highest per capita caseloads

Oct 25

Trump admin now admits they’re “not going to control” Covid-19

Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows said Sunday that the US is “not going to control” the coronavirus pandemic, as cases surge across the country and nearly 225,000 Americans have died from the virus.”We are not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas,”

Fauci: Time to mandate mask wearing

Dr. Anthony Fauci said it is a “great idea” for there to be a uniform mask mandate, as US coronavirus cases surged on Friday.

Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told CNN’s Erin Burnett, “If people are not wearing masks, well then maybe we should be mandating it.” | Source: Boston Globe

Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, tests positive for the coronavirus

A fresh coronavirus outbreak in the White House has infected two of Vice President Pence’s top advisers and a third person who is on his staff, officials said late Saturday night

Oct 24

The Price for Not Wearing Masks: Perhaps 130,000 Lives

The pandemic death toll could be lowered by next spring if more Americans wear masks, a new analysis finds. | Source: NY Times

U.S. sees highest numbers of new virus cases since pandemic began

Friday’s tally, the first time the United States has seen more than 80,000 cases reported in one day,  comes as many states are seeing rising hospitalizations.

Oct 23

As of October 23 , the U.S. has recorded at least 8,380,000 cases since the pandemic began, and more than 222,000 people have died of the coronavirus.

Fact check: U.S. is not “rounding the turn” – Covid virus is again surging

The U.S. is now climbing rapidly toward a new peak in cases that may soon rival the summer surge — when the country hit more than 60,000 infections on average a day for weeks in a row | Source: NPR

Trump at final debate: U.S. is “rounding the turn”on Covid

 President Trump again said the US is “rounding the turn” in the coronavirus pandemic. Thursday was the highest day for new infections since late July.

Department of Health and Human Service Secretary Alex Azar said the President is “trying to give people hope” while acknowledging “we are in a very serious moment.” | Source: CNN

Oct 22

Obama says Trump ‘can’t even take the basic steps to protect himself’ from coronavirus

“Donald Trump isn’t suddenly going to protect all of us,” Obama said at a rally for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, noting that infections were rising again. “He can’t even take the basic steps to protect himself.”

Hospital Bills For Uninsured COVID-19 Patients Are Covered, But No One Tells Them

The problem with the COVID-19 uninsured program is that even doctors don’t always know how it works or that the program exists.| Source: NPR

Oct 21

The coronavirus pandemic has caused nearly 300,000 more deaths than expected in a typical year

The coronavirus pandemic has left about 299,000 more people dead in the United States than would be expected in a typical year, two-thirds of them from covid-19 and the rest from other causes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday

McConnell Moves to Head Off Stimulus Deal as Pelosi Reports Progress

The top Senate Republican told colleagues that he had advised the White House against striking a pre-election deal with Democrats to deliver pandemic aid, fearing political repercussions. A majority of voters say they would support a $2 trillion stimulus package.  | Source: NY Times

Oct 20

‘Herd immunity’ theory draws fire from scientists

“I think it’s wrong, I think it’s unsafe, I think it invites people to act in ways that have the potential to do an enormous amount of harm,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, an infectious disease expert at Harvard University and one of the signatories to the Snow memo. “You don’t roll out disease — you roll out vaccination.” | Source: Boston Globe

Public Grows Increasingly Wary of Trump Vaccines

California and New York plan to review any federally approved coronavirus vaccine, part of a growing skepticism as the Trump administration has pushed for speedy drug development. | Source: NY Times

“People are saying: ‘Whatever. Just leave us alone.’ They’re tired of it. You turn on CNN, that’s all they cover. ‘Covid, Covid, Pandemic, Covid, Covid.’ You know why? They’re trying to talk everybody out of voting. People aren’t buying it. CNN – you dumb bastards.” – Donald Trump

Oct 19

Trump: Fauci is an “Idiot” and a “Disaster”

Trump complained to his campaign staff about Dr. Anthony Fauci, the govt’s top infectious disease expert. “People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots,” he said.
“Every time he goes on television there’s always a bomb. But there is a bigger bomb if you fire him. But Fauci is a disaster. I mean, this guy, if I listened to him, we would have 500,000 deaths.”

Remdesivir Fails to Prevent Covid-19 Deaths in Huge Trial

Remdesivir, the only antiviral drug authorized for treatment of Covid-19 in the United States, fails to prevent deaths among patients, according to a study of more than 11,000 people in 30 countries sponsored by the World Health Organization. Critics said the study, sponsored by the W.H.O., was too poorly conducted to be definitive.

Winter surge in U.S. may hit 400,000 deaths

The U.S. response is increasingly plagued by distrust, infighting and lethargy, as experts predict cases could surge this winter and deaths could reach 400,000 by year’s end | Source: Washington Post

Oct 18

Oct 17

Pfizer Says It Won’t Seek Vaccine Authorization Before Mid-November

The company has repeatedly emphasized the month of October in interviews and public appearances | Source NY Times

Oct 16

Dr. Fauci warns Trump not to use his image in campaign ads

Trump adviser Chris Christie: “I was wrong”

“I believed that when I entered the White House grounds, that I had entered a safe zone, due to the testing that I and many others underwent every day,” Trump adviser Chris Christie said in a statement Thursday. “I was wrong.”

Christie, 58, is among more than a dozen people who have tested positive for the coronavirus after attending an event in the Rose Garden on Sept. 26

“I was wrong to not wear a mask at the Amy Coney Barrett announcement and I was wrong not to wear a mask at my multiple debate prep sessions with the President and the rest of the team,” Christie said. “I hope that my experience shows my fellow citizens that you should follow CDC guidelines in public no matter where you are and wear a mask to protect yourself and others.”

U.S. surpasses 64,000 new coronavirus infections for first time since late July

In 44 states and the District of Columbia, caseloads are higher than they were one month ago. | Source: Washington Post

Oct 15

Remdesivir Fails to Prevent Covid-19 Deaths in Huge Trial

An antiviral widely used to treat hospitalized patients did not lower the mortality rate in a multinational trial. “This puts the issue to rest — there is certainly no mortality benefit,” said Dr. Ilan Schwartz, an infectious-disease physician at the University of Alberta in Canada.

Oct 14

Mass casualty events in U.S. History:

Influenza pandemic, 1918-20: 675,000

Civil War: 600,000

WWII: 400,000

Coronavirus, 2020: 216,000 (so far)

H2N2, 1957-58: 116,000

WWI: 115,000

H3N2, 1968: 100,000

Vietnam: 58,000

Korea: 36,000

H1N1, 2009: 12,469

Iraq: 4,500

Afghanistan: 2,300

Oct 13

Economist says Covid stimulus is wrongheaded

Man caught Covid twice, with the second infection becoming far more dangerous than the first

The 25-year-old needed hospital treatment after his lungs could not get enough oxygen into his body.

Reinfections remain rare and he has now recovered.

But the study in the Lancet Infectious Diseases raises questions about how much immunity can be built up to the virus.

The man from Nevada had no known health problems or immune defects that would make him particularly vulnerable to Covid. | Source: BBC

SCOTUS and the ACA: Will Americans go without health care in the middle of a pandemic?

Democrats set out to make health care central to Amy Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii charged on NPR’s Morning Edition that the ACA case is why Republicans are rushing the nomination through — so that Barrett would be on the court and rule against the health law.

“People are going to be without health care in the middle of a pandemic, no less,” Hirono said.

Herd immunity is said to be “unethical”

The head of the World Health Organization said Monday that allowing the novel coronavirus to spread in an attempt to reach herd immunity was “simply unethical.”

The remark was a sharp rebuke of the approach amid mounting new infections around the world. Recent days have seen the most rapid rise in cases since the pandemic began in March.

“Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy for responding to an outbreak, let alone a pandemic,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a Monday media briefing. “It is scientifically and ethically problematic.”

Nothing funny about the deaths of 214,000 Americans

Is Trump infectious?

Trump arrived in Florida only hours after the White House physician, Dr. Sean P. Conley, said that the president had tested negative “on consecutive days” using a rapid antigen coronavirus test not intended for that purpose. Experts cautioned that the test’s accuracy had not been investigated enough to be sure that the president was virus-free or, as his doctor claimed, “not infectious to others.

Oct 12

Fauci says Trump is “asking for trouble”

Anthony S. Fauci told CNN that it is unwise for the president to stage a campaign event that puts people in close quarters without face coverings.

“We know that that is asking for trouble, when you do that,” Fauci said.

Oct 11

Fauci objects to appearance in Trump campaign ad

Dr. Anthony Fauci appears in new Trump campaign ad saying “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more.”
Fauci today stated “the comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago.”

213,000 deaths in U.S. “It’s going to disappear”

Speaking from the balcony of the White House, Trump continued to downplay the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s going to disappear,” he said, repeating a line he first uttered in February, or more than 213,000 deaths ago. “It is disappearing.”

Oct 10

Fauci says White House had superspreader event as Trump to resume public events

The White House had a “superspreader event”, Anthony S. Fauci — the nation’s top infectious-disease expert — said Friday, as the circle of infections in President Trump’s orbit widens, with many cases identified among attendees at a largely mask-free event in the Rose Garden late last month. | Source: Washington Post

Oct 9

Coronavirus hit the U.S. long before we knew. The data proves it

Disease detectives and reviewed hundreds of pages of genetic, epidemiological and computational research to determine that the coronavirus infiltrated the U.S. much earlier than previously thought | Source: Wall Street Journal

Oct 8

The New England Journal of Medicine calls for Trump’s ouster 

The Trump administration has “taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy” in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The New England Journal of Medicine says in a scathing editorial that essentially calls on American voters to throw the president out of office. The editors accuse Trump’s government of a massive public health failure — and of worsening the pandemic’s effects by prioritizing politics over sound medical guidance | Source: NPR

New COVID-19 cases in past week:

Vietnam – 5
Taiwan – 9
Yemen – 10
New Zealand – 25
Trump White House – 34

McConnell says he’s been avoiding the White House for months because of lack of virus precautions there

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican majority leader, said on Thursday that he had been avoiding the White House since midsummer over concerns that officials there were not taking proper precautions against the coronavirus.

“Their approach to how to handle this was different from mine and what I insisted that we do in the Senate, which is to wear a mask and practice social distancing,” Mr. McConnell said. | Source: NYTimes

Oct 7

Pelosi not confident about a comprehensive relief bill

Conversations between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Republican Senate were suspended Tuesday when Trump tweeted the end to the talks. “Today, once again, President Trump showed his true colors: putting himself first at the expense of the country, with the full complicity of the GOP … You think the [Trump] Administration is going to do another bill? All they want is to have the president’s name on a check going out, $300, and — and that’s all he — he really cares about.” | Source: NY Times

Four more officials from Trump admin test positive

Four more Trump administration officials tested positive, including Stephen Miller, a top adviser. Inside the White House, the West Wing was mostly empty, with many staff members out sick or working from home.

Top military leaders go into quarantine

Top U.S. military leaders — including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — went into quarantine after a senior Coast Guard official tested positive for the virus. The official, Adm. Charles Ray, had attended a White House reception with Trump 10 days ago, where people sat close together and without masks.

Trump tweets he is looking forward to debate while he remains contagious

Trump’s tweet Tuesday that he looks forward to next week’s presidential debate alarmed some medical and public health experts, who warned that his coronavirus infection might still be contagious then and could endanger others. | Source: Washington Post

Oct 6

Fauci: There could be 300,000 to 400,000 Covid deaths unless precautions taken

Speaking at a virtual event hosted by American University, the White House coronavirus specialist said: “If we don’t do what we need to in the fall and winter, we could have 300,000-400,000 Covid-19 deaths.” Fauci added that a vaccine likely won’t be widely available until next summer or fall. | Source: Politico

Joe Biden says no debate if President Trump is still infected with COVID-19

Biden said “we shouldn’t have a debate” if President Trump remains infected with COVID-19. “Too many people have been infected. It’s a very serious problem, so I will be guided by the guidelines,” he said. The next presidential debate is scheduled for October 15.| Source: Associated Press

U.S. financial markets sour as Trump ends coronavirus relief negotiations

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday called off negotiations with Democratic lawmakers on coronavirus relief legislation until after the election, even as cases of the virus are on the rise across much of the country before flu season. Following Trump’s announcement breaking off negotiations, U.S. stocks reversed course to close lower on Tuesday.

Twitter tags Trump covid tweet as “misleading”

“Flu season is coming up!” Trump tweeted this morning. “Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!”

Twitter later flagged the tweet as being in violation of its rules on misinformation. “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19,” the warning said. “However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”

The CDC reports that most years, the US death toll from the flu is 34,000 to 43,000. The coronavirus death toll this year is over 210,000

Oct 5

Trump leaves hospital

Trump: Doctors and scientists are from “let’s-read-the-books” school

“I learned a lot about Covid. I learned it by really going to school. This is the real school. This isn’t the let’s-read-the-books school. And I get it. And I understand it. And it’s a very interesting thing and I’m going to be letting you know about it.”

Alarming details emerging from Walter Reed Hospital

The doctors said that Mr. Trump’s blood oxygen level dropped twice in the two days after he was diagnosed with the coronavirus, requiring medical intervention, and that he had been put on steroids, suggesting his condition might be more serious than initially described.

Oct 4

Trump’s latest photo-op at Walter Reed endangered secret service

Trump: “I had no choice” to refuse mask and to social distance

“I had no choice,” Trump said Sunday, “because I just didn’t want to stay in the White House. I was given that alternative. Stay in the White House. Lock yourself in. Don’t ever leave. Don’t even go to the Oval Office. Just stay upstairs and enjoy it. Don’t see people. Don’t talk to people. And just be done with it.”

Trump doctor “trying to be upbeat” while not “necessarily” lying

Trump is a trend setter: 54,000 new Covid cases in U.S.

There were more than 54,000 positive cases of the coronavirus reported on Friday, the highest single-day case count since Aug. 14, when the country recorded just over 64,000 cases, per Johns Hopkins University data.

Sacrifice grandma for sake of the economy? “No” senior voters say

The biggest declines for Trump in the poll come from seniors who are now backing Biden by a 62 percent-to-35 percent margin

White House shows little effort in contact tracing for hundreds potentially exposed to Trump

The CDC’s contact tracing agency was not mobilized, and in areas where he held events in recent days, local officials said they haven’t heard from the White House. | Source: Washington Post

Oct 3

Trump tells Giulinai he will “beat this”

The president dictated a statement to adviser Rudy Giuliani:

“I am the president of the United States. I can’t lock myself in a room. I had to confront [the virus] so the American people stopped being afraid of it so we could deal with it responsibly.

We have made tremendous progress on treating this disease. Fatality rates are very low compared to [the beginning].

I’m going to beat this.”

A call for Trump to resign

It is entirely plausible that Trump is “Patient Zero” in a number of clusters that are likely to arise from his reckless behavior when he should have been in isolation. If he knowingly put others at risk he must resign from the Presidency.

– Dr. Anthony Moore, Public Health Physician & Health Policy expert

Trump’s vitals “very concerning”

Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff said Trump went through a “very concerning” period over the last day, according to the Associated Press. Meadows also said the next two days will be critical in terms of his health.

AG Barr refuses to quarantine

Attorney General William P. Barr and Kellyanne Conway at the White House reception for Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, last Saturday.
Conway and Barr past Saturday.

Attorney General William Barr has decided not to self-quarantine, despite potential prolonged exposure to the coronavirus. He attended a White House event last Saturday, and several others who attended the same function later tested positive. | Source: NY Times

Americans need an accurate account of Trump’s condition. They do not have one

The president is not well. His health could quite feasibly turn for the worse as the weekend progresses. The wide variability—and the consequences—of the disease’s course mean that small details about his condition will be analyzed intensely, and must be carefully and transparently communicated. The geopolitical order hangs in the balance, waiting for incremental updates on Trump’s pulmonary function. | Source: The Atlantic

White House lies then retracts Trump’s virus timeline

Trump’s physician, Sean Conley, said in a White House memo that he spoke incorrectly about the timing of Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis that conflicted with the White House’s previously stated timeline.

Conley created confusion at his Walter Reed news conference when he referenced Trump’s diagnosis being 72 hours old, which would have meant Trump learned he was ill Wednesday morning. Trump did not reveal his illness until 1 a.m. Friday. | Source: Washington Post

Without this reporter – America still may not know about Trump’s illness

This has been the story from the White House today: to downplay the president’s diagnosis just as he has downplayed the country’s diagnosis for the past nine months … Without Jennifer Jacobs, a dogged Bloomberg reporter who broke the story about Hicks’s illness, the world might still be in the dark about the sickness sweeping through the West Wing and the highest levels of our government. – New York Magazine

Oct 2

Trump flown to Walter Reed Hospital “for several days”


Trump knew he had been exposed, then attended NJ fundraiser

After White House officials learned Hicks was symptomatic and had close contact with the President, Trump attended a fundraiser in New Jersey where he did not wear a mask and interacted with “dozens” of people. The president did not wear a mask Thursday, including at the events at his golf course and on the plane, officials said| Source: Washington Post

Fox News’ Chris Wallace: Trump medical spokesperson “has no training in this area at all”

Trump tests positive for Covid

President Trump, 74, was diagnosed hours after it became publicly known that Hope Hicks, a top Trump aide who traveled with him on Air Force One and Marine One this week, tested positive and after months in which the president has played down a pandemic that has killed more than 205,000 Americans and sickened millions more.

October Surprise

A new study finds that President Trump was “likely the largest driver of… Covid-19 misinformation.” | Source:

Oct 1

Trump says he wears masks “when needed” and mocks Biden’s masks

“I don’t wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask,” Mr. Trump said, adding that Biden “could be speaking 200 feet away” and then “shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”

Sept 30

The presidential debate’s best moment

The overpowering stench of Trump’s hate was so heavy it was hard to take in anything Biden said. But he had one that went to the heart of our darkness. Biden took Trump’s execrable line about the mounting virus deaths, and added one of his own: “It is what it is because you are who you are.” | Source: The Daily Beast

Covid surge in Midwest

Covid-19 deaths now total more than 205,000 Americans. Florida is seeing a surge in new cases since Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order allowing restaurants and bars to reopen. The Midwest is also in a surge, with record numbers of new cases in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Kansas. Wisconsin hospitals are nearing capacity and South Dakota has the highest rate of spread in the country. Experts worry about a dramatic rise in cases as cold weather settles in.

Sept 29

The Joker

Ex-Pence Aide Olivia Troye: ‘A Lot of People in the White House Don’t Believe This Virus is Real’

“… It was trying to fit the data, and the guidelines and everything to the president’s narrative of, ‘Don’t mind this. Everything’s fine. We’re over it. We’ve done great. Time to open back up,’” Troye said. She added, “It’s all part of the greater messaging narrative of what the president is trying to say. It’s not true.” | Source: NY Times

U.N. chief warns that ‘misinformation kills’ as global coronavirus death toll tops 1 million

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said Monday that it was crucial that the international community learn from the mistakes made in the first 10 months of the pandemic. “Responsible leadership matters,” he said. “Science matters. Cooperation matters — and misinformation kills.” | Source: Washington Post

Sept 28

Trump won’t participate in global vaccine initiative

159 countries have joined the UN-led COVID-19 vaccine initiative, or COVAX, though the Trump administration has said the United States will not be participating. the number of global deaths inches towards a staggering 1 million.

Sept 27

“Everything he says is false”

“Everything he says is false,” says CDC head Robert Redfield, in overheard phone call, of new Trump COVID-19 adviser Dr. Scott Atlas. | Source: The Guardian

Sept 26

Trump to send seniors $200 gift card. Says “These cards are incredible”

“Under my plan, 33 million Medicare beneficiaries will soon receive a card in the mail containing $200 that they can use to help pay for prescription drugs,” Trump told a crowd in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday. “Nobody has seen this before. These cards are incredible.” Health policy researchers, advocacy groups, members of Congress and even the pharmaceutical industry say the prescription cards fall short of any lasting way to curb high drug prices.| Source: NPR

Sept 25

Trump demands FDA justify tough standards for coronavirus vaccine

As President Trump blasted the Food and Drug Administration’s plan for tougher standards for a coronavirus vaccine as a “political move,” a top White House aide demanded detailed justifications from the agency in what some fear is an attempt to thwart or block the standards designed to boost public trust in a vaccine.

Sept 24

Tearful nurse reacts to Trump’s failure: “We didn’t have to lose 200,000 people'”

‘You Are Not Listening,’ Fauci Tells Sen. Rand Paul During Senate Coronavirus Hearing

“To those who argue that the lockdown flattened the curve in New York and New Jersey, the evidence argues otherwise,” Se. Rand Paul said, accusing Fauci of being a “big fan” of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York’s “shutdown” despite its high number of COVID-19 deaths. 

“No, you misconstrued that senator, and you’ve done that repeatedly in the past,” Fauci responded.

Fauci also said he “challenged” Paul’s claim that New York has achieved herd immunity, saying around 22% of New York’s residents have likely been exposed to the coronavirus. Sixty to 80% of a population needs to be vaccinated or develop antibodies through natural infection to achieve herd immunity, top World Health Organization officials have said.  | Source: CNBC

Missouri’s governor has refused to mandate masks. Now he’s tested positive for the coronavirus

In May, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R), along with four other Republican governors in the region, wrote an op-ed for The Post promoting their effectiveness on keeping the economy open and maintaining low infection rates.

Sept 23

Money intended for pandemic response was instead sent to defense contractors on unrelated projects

Congressional Democrats sharply criticized a Defense Department decision to repurpose a $1 billion coronavirus fund into an economic stimulus for defense contractors | Source: NYTimes

If the Supreme Court Ends Obamacare

As many as 133 million Americans — roughly half the population under the age of 65 — have pre-existing medical conditions that could disqualify them from buying a health insurance policy or cause them to pay significantly higher premiums if Obamacare were overturned, according to a government analysis done in 2017. An existing medical condition would include coronavirus.

“A very good job”

(Evan Vucci/AP)
In March, President Trump said that keeping the nation’s death toll between 100,000 and 200,000 — numbers that seemed inconceivable at the time — would signal that his administration had done “a very good job.”

Sept 22

U.S. Death toll hits 200,000

During the early months of the pandemic, 200,000 deaths was regarded by many as the maximum number of lives likely to be lost in the United States to the virus.

Trump: ‘It affects virtually nobody’

CDC Publishes — Then Withdraws — Guidance On Aerosol Spread Of Coronavirus

“The consistent inconsistency in this administration’s guidance on COVID-19 has severely compromised the nation’s trust in our public health agencies,” – Dr. Howard Koh, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who served as assistant secretary for health during the Obama administration.

Sept 21

CDC reverses itself and says guidelines it posted on coronavirus airborne transmission were wrong

The agency had posted new guidelines suggesting the virus can transmit over a distance larger than six feet and that indoor ventilation is key to protection against its spread. This is a point that many independent experts have also been advancing, and it had appeared that the agency had come around to their point of view.

But the guidelines were removed late this morning because “that does not reflect our current state of knowledge,” a top CDC official said. | Source: Washington Post

Sept 20

In ‘Power Grab,’ Health Secretary Azar Asserts Authority Over F.D.A.

Alex M. Azar II, Trump’s secretary of health and human services, this week barred the nation’s health agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, from signing any new rules regarding the nation’s foods, medicines, medical devices and other products, including vaccines. | Source: NY Times

In 1918 pandemic deadly second-wave began in October

The deadliest month in American history was an October during a pandemic.

In 1918, after waning through the long summer, Spanish flu came roaring back to claim nearly 200,000 lives, just in that one month, just in the United States.

“Case counts could start spiking just a few weeks from now,” Peter Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, told me. “The most rigorous predictions are that we head into November with 220,000 deaths.”

Sept 19

Fauci disagrees with Trump’s vaccine timeline

Dr Anthony Fauci told The Atlantic that a coronavirus vaccine will not likely be in widespread distribution “until well into 2021.”

Midwest and the Southwest are reporting record infection numbers

Cases are rising sharply in North DakotaColoradoWyoming and particularly dramatically in Wisconsin, where the number of infections being reported each day is now more than double what it was two weeks ago, with more than 2,500 infections reported on Friday, the most ever in the state.

Sept 18

CNN host calls out the lies

C.D.C. Testing Guidance Was Published Against Scientists’ Objections

A controversial guideline saying people without Covid-19 symptoms didn’t need to get tested for the virus came from H.H.S. officials and skipped the C.D.C.’s scientific review process.

CDC director: Face mask may protect better against Covid-19 than a vaccine  - CNN Video
CDC’s Dr. Robert Redfield

The question of the C.D.C.’s independence and effectiveness as the nation’s top public health agency has taken on increasing urgency as the nation approaches 200,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic and Mr. Trump continues to criticize its scientists and disregard their assessments.

Trump contradicts health advisers on coronavirus vaccine timetable as death toll mounts

Science experts say his continued swipes at the government’s own experts are undermining public trust in their guidance — as well as in an eventual vaccine.

“If you want people to have confidence in a national vaccine program, you don’t trash the director of the CDC, especially when he was accurately describing the likely timeline of the program” | Source: Washingston Post

Covid task force adviser says U.S. response is a failure and Trump is the reason

President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic showed a “flat-out disregard for human life” because his “main concern was the economy and his reelection,” according to Olivia Troye, a senior adviser on the White House coronavirus task force who left the White House in August.

“The president’s rhetoric and his own attacks against people in his administration trying to do the work, as well as the promulgation of false narratives and incorrect information of the virus have made this ongoing response a failure.”

Trump told reporters Troye was “some kind of a lower-level person” and said he doesn’t remember meeting her or talking to her.

Sept 17

Poll: A vaccine under Trump admin is not trusted

Barely half of Americans say they will get a coronavirus vaccine, a new poll finds, down from 72 percent in May. | Source: NY Times

AG Barr compares lockdown to slavery

Attorney General William Barr argued Wednesday that coronavirus-related lockdown orders were surpassed only by slavery as the “greatest intrusion on civil liberties” in the nation’s history.

‘Herd mentality’ and waiters should not wear masks

During a live “Town Hall” television appearance last evening, the president spoke of “herd mentality,” rather than “herd immunity,” as the ultimate solution to the covid-19 pandemic. Trump also opined why he thought it was dangerous for waiters in restaurants to wear masks.

Sept 16

CDC’s Redfield testifies before congress: Wear a mask

Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told senators that if all Americans wore masks, the coronavirus could be controlled in six to 12 weeks. Redfield said masks were so vital in fighting Covid-19, that wearing a mask may even more important than a vaccine. Trump commented almost immediately that Redfield “made a mistake,” maintaining that a “vaccine is much more effective than the masks.” | Source: NY Times

Michael Caputo will be gone for 60 days to ‘rest’

Michael Caputo, assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, is taking a 60-day medical leave, three days after urging President Trump’s supporters to prepare for an armed insurrection and accusing government scientists of “sedition,.”the agency announced Wednesday | Source: Washington Post

Trump said he has saved “millions”

Trump said Tuesday that he could not have done more to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, a claim disputed by many epidemiologists and even privately by some members of his own administration. “I think what I did by closing up the country, I think I saved two, maybe two and a half, maybe more than that, lives,” Trump said.

Gates Report is grim

The coronavirus pandemic has scorched away years of work: More families are in dire poverty, malnutrition is increasing, far fewer children are getting immunized. “The longer the pandemic lasts, the worse its economic scars will be,” said tech philanthropist Bill Gates.

If this pandemic produces “an administration and a Congress that are more open-minded, you could really do a grass-roots thing.”

Sept 15

Map showing average daily cases for the last week in each state in the US.

Vaccine Becomes Heated Campaign Issue

North Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham said Monday during a debate that he would be “hesitant” to take a vaccine for COVID-19 approved by U.S. Election Day, leading Republicans nationwide to characterize him and Democrats as “anti-vaxxers.”

“Historically and traditionally I would support and have confidence in the Food and Drug Administration and the processes they go through to approve a drug,” Cunningham said. “But we have seen an extraordinary corruption in Washington.” | Source: NPR

Trump health appointee apologizes to HHS staff after accusing scientists of ‘sedition’

Michael Caputo, assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services – apologized for his remarks and the embarrassment they brought upon the agency, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the proceedings. He also indicated his departure might be imminent, saying he was considering a medical leave. He added that his family had been receiving threats and that his physical health was in question. | Source: Washington Post

The world believes Trump has handled the pandemic poorly

In a new poll of 13 nations released Tuesday, a median of 15 percent of respondents said the United States had handled the pandemic well, while 85 percent said the country had responded poorly.

The data, released by Pew Research Center, suggests that the international reputation of the United States has dropped to a new low in the face of a disorganized response to the novel coronavirus. The country leads the world in virus-related deaths. | Source: BBC News

Sept 14

Trump Health Aide Falsely Alleges Conspiracies and Warns of Armed Revolt

Michael Caputo, the assistant secretary of health for public affairs, told a Facebook audience without evidence that left-wing hit squads were being trained for insurrection, and he accused C.D.C. scientists of “sedition.”

“You understand that they’re going to have to kill me, and unfortunately, I think that’s where this is going,” Mr. Caputo, a Trump loyalist installed by the White House in April, told followers in a video he hosted live on his personal Facebook page | Source: NY Times

Trump #MAGA loyalists refuse masks

Sept 13

Sept 12

“Americans really need to understand the historic emergency unfolding right now: the CDC is trying to get accurate information to the public about a virus that’s killed 200,000 Americans in 6 months, and a longtime *Kremlin agent* is editing and falsifying the CDC reports first” | Source: Newsweek journalist Seth Abramson

Fauci disagrees with Trump’s claim that U.S. has ‘rounded the final turn’ on coronavirus

Top infectious-disease expert Anthony S. Fauci said Friday that he disagrees with President Trump’s claim that the United States has “rounded the final turn” of the coronavirus crisis, calling the country’s latest virus statistics “disturbing.”

Sept 11

Trump Appointees Meddled in C.D.C.’s Health Reports

Political appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services have repeatedly asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to revise, delay and even scuttle reports on the coronavirus that they believed were unflattering to President Trump. | Source: NY Times

Sept 10

Editorial: Hold Trump responsible for the deaths and economic ruin that have occurred on his watch

We have heard Trump admit that he understood the severity of the coronavirus threat but downplayed it to the American public. His refused to take prompt, aggressive action and peddled dangerous quack remedies. He goaded governors to reopen their states prematurely and scorned mask-wearing. Knowing that the virus was an airborne, deadly disease, he continued to hold rallies without social distancing or a mask requirement. His actions almost certainly contributed to the death toll of 187,000 Americans — tens of thousands of lives might have been saved by prompt, effective leadership. 

Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post

Trump acknowledges he intentionally downplayed deadly coronavirus, now says effort was to reduce panic

“So the fact is, I’m a cheerleader for this country. I love our country. And I don’t want people to be frightened,” Trump told reporters at the White House

Ad: Trump knew. Did nothing. Thousand died

Pandemic Financially Imperils Nearly Half Of American Households

The U.S. facing a cascade of economic and health-related problems revealed in a new survey by NPR. The poll finds nearly half the households in America — 46% — report facing serious financial pain during the pandemic

Sept 9

Facebook won’t remove anti-vaccine posts despite Covid concerns

Mark Zuckerberg of the Facebook said he would not remove anti-vaxxer posts, even as the leading virus experts express cautious optimism that a Covid-19 vaccination may become available late this year or early next year.

“If someone is pointing out a case where a vaccine caused harm or that they’re worried about it – you know, that’s a difficult thing to say from my perspective that you shouldn’t be allowed to express at all,” Zuckerberg said. Zuckerberg acknowledged that conservative voices and opinions rank as Facebook’s most engaged content. | Source: The Guardian

Fauci: Lack of masks at Trump rallies frustrating

The nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said that the lack of masks at President Trump’s campaign rallies is frustrating.

“Is that frustrating to you?” host Gayle King asked Fauci on “CBS This Morning,” noting the lack of masks among some attendees at Trump’s rallies amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Well, yes it is, and I’ve said that often,” Fauci, responded. “That situation is we want to set an example.”

Financial Pain From Coronavirus Pandemic ‘Much, Much Worse’ Than Expected

In America’s four largest cities, at least half of people say they have experienced the loss of a job or a reduction in wages or work hours in their household since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. That’s the finding of a new poll published Wednesday by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Bob Woodward’s new book says Trump intentionally downplayed ‘deadly’ virus

Donald Trump told journalist Bob Woodward that he knew the coronavirus was more deadly and contagious than the flu while he continued to downplay its dangers to the public, according to Woodward’s new book “Rage.”

“I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic,” Trump told Woodward on March 19 in excerpts of audio interviews obtained by CNN

N.I.H. Director Undercuts Trump’s Comments Speculating About a Vaccine by Election Day

Two top health officials appeared before a Senate panel the day after AstraZeneca announced a hold in a vaccine trial. Britain will ban most gatherings of more than six people starting Monday.

Major human trial for a coronavirus vaccine stops for an ‘unexplained illness’

As President Trump pushes for a coronavirus vaccine before the November election, one major vaccine trial has been halted after a participant developed symptoms of a “potentially unexplained illness.” After the British participant became sick, AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford paused human trials to evaluate whether the person’s condition could be related to the vaccine | Source: Washington Post

Sept 8

9 Drug Companies Issue a Joint Pledge to Thoroughly Vet Vaccines

Nine drug companies issued a joint pledge on Tuesday that they would “stand with science” and not put forward a vaccine until it had been thoroughly vetted for safety and efficacy. | Source NY Times

Trump’s biker rally cost government 12 billion in health costs

Sept 7

Vice President nominee says she would not trust a vaccine rushed by Trump admin

For Long-Haulers, Covid-19 Takes a Toll on Mind as Well as Body

in recent months has more attention been given to long-haulers. In online support groups like Body Politic and Survivor Corps, long-haulers have produced informal surveys and reports to study their course of illness. Dr. Teodor Postolache, a psychiatrist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, estimates that between one-third and one-half of Covid-19 patients experienced some form of mental health problem including anxiety, depression, fatigue or abnormal sleeping | Source: NY Times

Sept 6

Fauci warns not to send students home

“It’s the worst thing you could do,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on NBC’s “TODAY” show. “When you send them home, particularly when you’re dealing with a university where people come from multiple different locations, you could be seeding the different places with infection,” | Source: NBC

Pharma Companies Plan Joint Pledge on Vaccine Safety

The statement is meant to reassure the public that the companies will not seek a premature approval of vaccines under pressure from the Trump administration. | Source: NY Times

Sept 5

Students expelled and university keeps their tuition

Boston’s Northeastern University says it has dismissed 11 students who gathered in a hotel room in violation of the school’s coronavirus policies and will not refund their tuition, marking one of the most severe punishments that college students have faced for breaking pandemic rules.

Sept 3

Thousand of eviction notices served in U.S.
“Today it’s her, tomorrow it’s me.”

The Election Day Surprise Vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is telling state health officials to be ready to distribute a coronavirus vaccine to health-care workers and other high-priority groups as soon as Nov. 1, heightening fears that the agency is under pressure to approve a vaccine before Election Day.

Experts fear politics will taint COVID-19 vaccine approval

Worries deepened last week when the FDA and the CDC — another federal health agency once considered inviolable — made widely criticized decisions, apparently in response to pressure from the White House. “Any hint of political pressure would feed into the vaccine skeptic and antivaccine groups,” said Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.| Source: Boston Globe

Polling on “Warp Speed”: 35% say they won’t accept a rushed vaccine

Per an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released in August, 60% of Americans say they will choose to be vaccinated if a COVID-19 vaccine is made available to them, and 35% would decline

“While there are no guarantees in science,” Trump officials wrote, “we can assure Americans that [Operation Warp Speed] is structured, resourced and led to maximize the probability of success.”

Sept 2

Trump’s new coronavirus adviser has questioned masks and alarmed government scientists.

Dr. Scott W. Atlas has argued that the science of mask wearing is uncertain, that children cannot pass on the coronavirus and that the role of the government is not to stamp out the virus but to protect its most vulnerable citizens as Covid-19 takes its course. | Source: NY Times

Fauci Debunks Trump’s Death Toll Retweet

Citing Johns Hopkin University data that 6 million coronavirus cases have been recorded in the U.S. and over 183,000 people have died (a number which has since risen to over 184,000), Robach asked Fauci: “can you explain why the president would retweet a theory that suggests only 9,000 people have died of COVID-19?”

“Let [there] not be any confusion about that,” said Dr. Fauci. ” It’s not 9,000 deaths from COVID-19.” | Source: Newsweek

Trump won’t join WHO-linked effort to develop, distribute coronavirus vaccine

The Trump administration said it will not join a global effort to develop, manufacture and equitably distribute a coronavirus vaccine, in part because the World Health Organization is involved, a decision that could shape the course of the pandemic and the country’s role in health diplomacy. “It’s about: Are you a reliable partner, or, at the end of the day, are you going to keep all your toys for yourself?” | Source: Washington Post

Sept 1

FEMA To Stop Paying For Cloth Face Masks For Schools

Some states may face a budget crunch as they try to carry out the protective measures necessary to reopen schools and other aspects of society. | Source: NPR

August 31

Trump’s ‘herd immunity’ strategy, worrying public health officials

Trump adviser Scott Atlas, who does not have a background in infectious diseases or epidemiology, has expanded his influence inside the White House by advocating policies that appeal to Trump’s desire to move past the pandemic and get the economy going, distressing health officials on the White House coronavirus task force and throughout the administration who worry that their advice is being followed less and less. | Source: Washington Post

August 30

Covid patients are still receiving staggering bills

Critics say Trump’s stopgap program is among the strongest evidence that he and his party have no vision for improving health coverage, and instead promote piecemeal solutions, even in a national health crisis. “This is not the way you deal with uninsured people during a public health emergency,” said Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health law and policy at George Washington University. | Source: NY Times

August 29

FDA spokesperson fired 2 weeks into the job

The Food and Drug Administration’s chief spokeswoman, who has been in the job less than two weeks, was removed from that role as of noon Friday, part of continued fallout from a White House news conference featuring inaccurate claims that convalescent plasma dramatically reduced mortality for patients with covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

August 28

The past five days:

Five days

— Largest Countries in Europe (340m pop):   250 deaths

— The United States (330m pop):                5,500+ deaths

No Masks for GOP

August 27

A “dangerous step back” for a country still struggling to contain the virus 

Officials in the Trump administration told the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to begin discouraging people without symptoms from being tested, two federal health officials said Wednesday. President Trump has long complained that the U.S. does too much testing, returning high numbers of infections that make the country look bad.

August 26

Maskless protesters storm Idaho capitol

Protesters broke down a door, ripped up signs and pulled down the rope that was meant to reserve distanced seats for legislators. Authorities arrested and wheeled anti-government activist Ammon Bundy out of the building, still tied to a rolling chair after he refused to leave an auditorium in the statehouse.| Source: Washington Post

August 25

FDA chief apologizes for misleading claim

FDA chief Stephen Hahn on Tuesday apologized for overstating the life-saving benefits of treating COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma. “I have been criticized for remarks I made Sunday night about the benefits of convalescent plasma. The criticism is entirely justified. What I should have said better is that the data show a relative risk reduction not an absolute risk reduction,” Hahn tweeted.

Fauci warns against emergency coronavirus vaccine approval before widespread testing

“The one thing that you would not want to see with a vaccine is getting an EUA [emergency use authorization] before you have a signal of efficacy,” Fauci, a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, said in an interview with Reuters

“One of the potential dangers if you prematurely let a vaccine out is that it would make it difficult, if not impossible, for the other vaccines to enroll people in their trial.”

August 24

F.D.A. Authorizes Blood Plasma as a Virus Treatment

It’s just extraordinary to declare this as a breakthrough…. All this does is jeopardize ever getting the truth.”

Eric Topol, Director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute

The Food and Drug Administration on Sunday gave emergency approval for expanded use of antibody-rich blood plasma to help hospitalized coronavirus patients, allowing President Trump, who has been pressuring the agency to move faster to address the pandemic, to claim progress on the eve of the Republican convention.

August 23

Trump without evidence accuses ‘deep state’ at FDA of slow-walking coronavirus vaccines and treatments

The tweet — an escalation of the president’s campaign against administration scientists — said regulators want to delay approvals until after the Nov. 3 election for political reasons. “The deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics,” Trump said on Twitter | Source: Washington Post

No Covid vaccine before winter of 2021, warns Chief Medical Officer

Britain’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty says it could take another year before a safe vaccine is developed and ready for widespread distribution. | Source: The Telegraph

August 22

Pence: “Couldn’t be more proud” of Trump’s leadership

Vice President Pence said he “couldn’t be more proud” of President Trump’s leadership during the coronavirus pandemic, and said during a “Good Morning America” appearance that if Democratic nominee Joe Biden had been in charge, the losses — 171,000 dead and counting under the current administration — would have been worse.

August 21

Trump’s controversial system of reporting hospital data around COVID-19 will soon be canceled

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working “to build a revolutionary new data system” for COVID-19 hospital data collection that the CDC will run upon completion, according to Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Trump had mandated that hospitals sidestep the agency and send critical information about COVID-19 hospitalizations and equipment to a different federal database | Source: NPR

August 19

Doctors rebuff unproven and potentially dangerous oleander

“Don’t go near this plant,” said Matthew Heinz, M.D., an Arizona-based internal medicine physician currently caring for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Accidentally ingesting even small amounts of oleandrin can kill you, said Heinz. The plant extract has been promoted by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who told Axios he discussed the use of oleandrin as a treatment for COVID-19 during an Oval Office meeting with President Donald Trump.| Source: ABC News

Americans are “embarrassed”

A strong majority of Americans (58%) in a new poll disapproved of President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with 68% saying they’re embarrassed by the US response. The US has the most reported coronavirus cases and fatalities in the world.| Source: Business Insider

Kudlow says unemployed workers don’t need $600 stimulus

Fauci contradicts Trump again

“We’d better be careful when we say ‘Young people who don’t wind up in the hospital are fine, let them get infected, it’s OK.’ No, it’s not OK,” Dr. Fauci said .

Trump said on Fox and Friends Aug. 5.  “If you look at children, children are almost, I would almost say definitely, but almost immune from this disease.”

Young people driving new outbreaks

The World Health Organization said Tuesday that young people are increasingly driving the spread of the coronavirus in many countries. There have been 22 million coronavirus cases reported worldwide.

August 18

Anderson Cooper has heated exchange with MyPillow CEO over unproven and dangerous COVID-19 treatment

August 17

Why Herd Immunity Won’t Save Us

Even in the U.S., at 60,000 cases per day, it would take at least until 2021 — and possibly years of filled hospitals and morgues — before the requisite hundreds of millions of Americans were infected.

“I think if you were to just let this process occur, it’s very difficult to project the number of deaths, but I think we’re certainly talking north of a million, probably much more,” says Dr. Joshua Schiffer, an associate professor in the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. | Source: NPR

Trump now touting oleander plant extract as Covid cure

Donald Trump has expressed enthusiasm for the Food and Drug Administration to permit an extract from the oleander plant to be marketed as a dietary supplement or, alternatively, approved as a drug to cure COVID-19, despite lack of proof that it works. | Source: Axios

August 16

Vaccine: A fiasco hampered by corruption

“Everything hinges on the federal government’s effort to develop and distribute a vaccine: Will it be an honest, well-managed effort based on sound scientific principles, or will it be a fiasco hampered by corruption, cronyism, and the influence of Big Pharma? Unfortunately, we are starting to see signs of the latter.

The New York Times reported worries that the White House is pressuring government researchers and regulators to have a vaccine available before the election” | Source: Bill Moyers , NY Times

Tired of ‘winning’ yet?

New covid-19 deaths, yesterday:
France: 18
Australia: 14
Spain: 12
UK: 11
Japan: 10
Germany: 8
Canada: 5
USA: 1,120

During a pandemic …

“It is what it is”

40% of US Covid-19 Tests come back too late to be clinically meaningful, date shows | Source: CNBC News

August 15

CDC: Americans are suffering from depression, substance abuse

Nearly 41 percent of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse, a new CDC survey revealed.

Romney is only Republican to criticize Trump virus response

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) offered rare Republican criticism of the Trump administration’s coronavirus response Friday, saying the federal government dismissed the virus’s threat and failed to take charge.

“We have 5 percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of the world’s deaths due to covid-19.”

“And there’s no way to spin that in a positive light,” Romney said.

August 14

Is it safe?

Governors face a difficult decision on schools. Many public health experts have argued that their policies on reopenings should account for not only new infections and testing but also the risks of hospitalizations and deaths | Source: NY Times

August 13

Educators, parents don’t trust Trump on virus

Trump has pushed for schools to reopen, yet key constituencies — parents and educators — have largely moved in the other direction.

A July poll by Education Week found that roughly 60 percent of educators said the pandemic had worsened their view of Mr. Trump, who already faired poorly with much of that group. A recent Washington Post poll found that parents disapprove of Mr. Trump’s handling of school reopening by a two-thirds majority. And a new Gallup poll showed that fewer parents want their children to return to school buildings now than they did in the spring.

True Covid deaths probably over 200,000

Across the United States, at least 200,000 more people have died than usual since March, according to a New York Times analysis of estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is about 60,000 higher than the number of deaths that have been directly linked to the coronavirus.

August 11

Russia will approve vaccine

A Russian health care regulator has become the first in the world to approve a possible vaccine against the coronavirus, President Vladimir Putin announced today, although the vaccine has yet to complete clinical trials. The Russian dash for a vaccine has already raised international concerns that the country is rushing approval for political purposes.

August 10

Can schools safely open?

Nearly 100,000 children tested positive in the last two weeks of July, according to a new report. | Source: NY Times

August 9

COVID-19 May Never Go Away — With Or Without A Vaccine

“In three to five years it may be that you’re still getting COVID-19 in certain populations of people or every few years, but the expectation is hopefully that it’ll just be a common cold and it’s something that we can just each deal with and it won’t lead to hospitalization and the shutting down of society.” – Dr. Vineet Menachery, Coronavirus researcher | Listen to the interview at NPR

August 8

Report on children with inflammatory syndrome associated with Covid-19

Hundreds of children in America, most of them previously healthy, have experienced an inflammatory syndrome associated with Covid-19, and most became so ill that they needed intensive care, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Source: NY Times

Governor’s false-positive creates “Covid doubt” for some Republicans

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s false-positive test is troubling public health experts, who on Friday expressed fear that the error will become a misleading data point for those who doubt the coronavirus pandemic’s severity or, in some cases, its very existence. | Source: Washington Post

States struggle without leadership from Washington

Trump’s imprudent decision to leave the pandemic response to the states have left governors overwhelmed, unable to get a foothold in global markets for supplies and equipment. | Source: Washington Post

Aug 7

Nearly 300K could die from COVID-19 by December, model projects

Nearly 300,000 Americans could die from the coronavirus by early December, according to new projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. Yet the number could be lower if more Americans wore masks. | Source: MSNBC News

Coronavirus Cases Are Surging. The Contact Tracing Workforce Is Not

With coronavirus cases increasing in more than half of states, America has neither the staff nor the resources to be able to trace the contacts of every new case — a key step in the COVID-19 public health response | Source: NPR

Aug 6

Dr. Fauci receiving death threats from extreme right wing

“The unseemly things that crises bring out in the world; it brings out the best of people and the worst of people,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN . “And getting death threats to my family and harassing my daughters to the point where I have to get security — it’s amazing.”

Twitter, Facebook Remove Trump Post Over False Claim About Children And COVID-19

Both Twitter and Facebook have removed a post shared by President Trump for breaking their rules against spreading coronavirus misinformation.

Twitter temporarily blocked the Trump election campaign account from tweeting until it removed a post falsely claiming that children are “almost immune from this disease.” | Source: NPR

FDA reassures nation that vaccine will not be rushed for an “October Surprise”

“I have been asked repeatedly whether there has been any inappropriate pressure on the FDA to make decisions that are not based on good data and good science. I have repeatedly said that all FDA decisions have been, and will continue to be, based solely on good science and data. The public can count on that commitment” – Stephen M. Hahn, a physician, is commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

Trump/USA’s unique failure

One country stands alone, as the only affluent nation to have suffered a severe, sustained Covid outbreak for more than four months: the United States. “If you had to summarize our approach, it’s really poor federal leadership — disorganization and denial,” said Andy Slavitt, who ran Medicare and Medicaid from 2015 to 2017.| Source: NY Times

Aug 5

Relief extension now on Trump’s table

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell now says he would support an extension of the now-lapsed $600 federal unemployment insurance relief every week if Trump backs it. | Source: MSNBC

New data show that Americans are suffering from record levels of mental distress

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, roughly one in 12 American adults reported symptoms of an anxiety disorder at this time last year; now it’s more than one in three. Last week, the Kaiser Family Foundation released a tracking poll showing that for the first time, a majority of American adults — 53 percent — believes that the pandemic is taking a toll on their mental health. | Source: NY Times

Cases near 5 Million in U.S.

With coronavirus cases nearing 5 million in the United States and average daily deaths topping 1,000, the United States is the hottest hot spot in the ongoing global pandemic

Americans Support Aggressive Measures To Stop COVID-19

With the national death toll from COVID-19 passing the grim 150,000 mark, an NPR/Ipsos poll finds broad support for a single, national strategy to address the pandemic and more aggressive measures to contain it | Source: NPR

Aug 4

Trump interview shows he is incapable of understanding the crisis

Axios National Political Correspondent, Jonathan Swan, speaks with President Donald Trump

Aug 2

Trump attacks Birks as “pathetic” 

As he has with other pandemic advisers who deliver bad news, President Trump promptly attacked Dr. Deborah Birx, tweeting Monday that the physician “hit us” to appease Democrats critical of the White House response. “Pathetic!” Trump wrote. | Source: Twitter

Dr. Birx warns US is ‘in a new phase’ of coronavirus pandemic with more widespread cases

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator: “What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread. It’s into the rural as equal urban areas,” | Source: CNN

Aug 1

Infections soar in U.S. – particularly in Midwest

The seven-day average for new infections is hovering around 65,000 for two weeks in what amounts to a second wave of cases. The U.S. recorded more than 1.9 million new infections in July, nearly 42 percent of the more than 4.5 million cases reported nationwide since the pandemic began and more than double the number documented in any other month, according to a Times database.

July 31

COVID-19 Hospital Data System That Bypasses CDC Plagued By Delays, Inaccuracies

Earlier this month, when the Trump administration told hospitals to send crucial data about coronavirus cases and intensive care capacity to a new online system, it promised the change would be worth it. Trump’s new public data hub is updated erratically and is rife with inconsistencies and errors, data analysts say. | Source: NPR

Dr. Fauci testifies again before congress

August 1

Distrust may undermine vaccine effort

The current opposition to a coronavirus vaccine is rooted in a climate of conflicting information. Only about half of Americans said in May that they were willing to get a coronavirus vaccine. “We have forces that undermine science, contradictory messages day in and day out that create skepticism and diminish trust in government,” warns Dr. Sandra Quinn| Source: NPR

Dire Warnings

 “If the nation does not change its course — and soon — deaths in the United States could be well into the multiple hundreds of thousands,” 
– the Association of American Medical Colleges

July 30

The U.S. economy suffered its worst quarter since at least 1875

Florida to stop testing because of approaching storm

Florida – which has reported more than 451,000 coronavirus cases -will stop testing for the coronavirus for several days due to concerns about the potential impact from Tropical Storm Isaias. Florida’s tally is second only to California (475,305 cases) among U.S. states.

One American is dying every minute due to Covid-19

More than 1,400 covid-19-related fatalities were reported Wednesday — about one death every minute — as Florida, North Carolina and Idaho set single-day records. So far Thursday, as data rolls in, Florida again broke that record, and two other states reported their highest number of deaths in a single day.

Former presidential candidate Herman Cainhas died after contracting COVID-19

Cain, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 after attending President Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa without wearing a mask, has died at the age of 74. The businessman and onetime Republican presidential candidate was a former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. Cain had been battling cancer and refused to wear mask during the months of lockdown. | Source: ABC News

20 million jobless Americans are set to lose $600 a week in emergency unemployment benefits

Congress’s failure to reach an agreement on a new stimulus package could make the recession even worse. | Source: Washington Post

July 29

Fauci’s warning: “Trouble” ahead

Infectious disease expert Anthony S. Fauci warned Wednesday. “Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana … are starting to show that very subtle increase in percent positives among the total tested, Fauci told ABC News. “Which is a surefire hint that you may be getting into the same sort of trouble with those states that the Southern states got into trouble with.” | Source: ABC News

July 28

Source: NY Times

July 27

WHO chief calls coronavirus ‘the most severe’ health emergency the agency has ever declared

The World Health Organizationsaid Monday it was “easily the most severe” such emergency ever declared by the organization.

Birx: Close the bars

During a visit Sunday to Kentucky, White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx encouraged states with rising infection rates — including Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana and Virginia — to close down bars and reduce the maximum size for social gatherings.

July 26

CDC: One-third of COVID-19 patients who aren’t hospitalized have long-term illness

“COVID-19 can result in prolonged illness even among persons with milder outpatient illness, including young adults,” the report’s authors wrote. | Source: NBC News

July 25

Donald Trump Golfs With Brett Favre as a Thousand People a Day Die From COVID-19

President Donald Trump golfed Saturday with NFL legend Brett Favre, and the White House shared a cheery photo of the two in the sun on the links late in the afternoon. Meanwhile, the nation’s coronavirus crisis continues to worsen. Confirmed cases in the United States topped 4 million this week, far and away the most of any country in the world.

Trump golfs with Favre

Birx warns of new hotspots

White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx is likening the surges in Florida, Texas and California to the early days of the pandemic, when New York was the U.S. epicenter“What we have right now are essentially three New Yorks,” Birx told NBC’s “Today” show.

Fauci: Walk-back reopenings

Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, said states hit hard by the coronavirus in recent weeks need to halt or walk back their reopenings as they deal with the surge of infections | Source: Washington Post

July 24

A new C.D.C. statement on schools calls for reopening and downplays the potential health risks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published the new guidance two weeks after President Trump criticized its earlier recommendations on school reopenings. “The best available evidence indicates if children become infected, they are far less likely to suffer severe symptoms,” the statement said. 

‘Tsunami’ Of Evictions Feared As $600 In Extra Unemployment Payments End

Housing advocates and landlords alike say if Congress doesn’t extend or replace the extra payments expiring this weekend, millions of out-of-work Americans won’t be able to afford to pay their rent. | Source: NPR

July 22

Fauci: Virus will never be eradicated

U.S. reports more than 1,000 coronavirus deaths in a day for first time since early June

States that reopened quickly – Florida, Arizona and Texas — led the nation in reported deaths, each posting more than 130.


The number of people infected with the coronavirus in different parts of the United States has been anywhere from two to 13 times higher than the reported rates for those regions, according to data released Tuesday by the C.D.C. | Sources: New York Times; US CDC

Dr. Anthony Fauci says he wasn’t invited to Tuesday’s White House coronavirus briefing

“I was not invited...” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. During a CNN interview, Fauci said if he were to attend the meeting Tuesday, he would tell state leaders to adopt mask mandates and encourage them to close bars. | Source: CNN

July 21

At press briefing, Trump warns pandemic may ‘get worse before it gets better’

Six months after the first U.S. coronavirus case was confirmed, President Trump’s attempt to re-engage with the pandemic.

He called the virus “the China virus” and repeated his false claim that the United States has one of the lowest mortality rates in the world. He said again that the virus “will disappear,” for which there is no scientific evidence.

U.S accuses China of hacking covid-19 vaccine research

The United States Justice Department accused the Chinese government of sponsoring criminal hackers who are targeting biotech firms around the world working on covid-19 vaccines and treatments.

July 20

Trump makes false claims about Covid progress in Fox interview: “We are the envy of the world”

Progress on vaccine in UK labs

 Three competing laboratories released promising results from early trials in humans… Two of the vaccine developers published their early results as peer-reviewed studies in The Lancet, a British medical journal. | Source: NY Times

Trump continues to assail Fauci

‘Well, I don’t know that he’s a leaker,’ President Trump says of Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. ‘He’s a little bit of an alarmist.’

July 19

Failed experiment

“I just never expected that we would have such a lack of federal leadership, and it’s been deliberate … In a national emergency that is a pandemic, spreading between states, federal leadership is essential. And if there was any doubt about that, we ran that experiment from March and April until now. It failed. So we have to run a different experiment.”

  • Beth Cameron, former senior director for global health security and biodefense on the White House National Security Council

Trump admin pushing to block new money for testing

The Trump administration is trying to block billions of dollars for states to conduct testing and contact tracing in the upcoming coronavirus relief bill. Trump and other White House officials have been pushing for states to own more of the responsibility for testing and have objected to creating national standards

Record high cases in U.S.

Arizona on Saturday reported a single-day high in new deaths, another sign that the surge in fatalities health officials had warned about is underway. And North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Missouri announced record-high new cases | Sources: Washington Post

July 18

How did it get this bad? No leadership from Washington

A New York Times investigation found that President Trump’s failure to contain the virus can be traced to mid-April, when the White House rushed to shift responsibility to the states.

July 17

CDC: Wear a mask.

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the pandemic in the United States could be “under control” in just one or two months if everyone wore masks.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Walmart now requires masks

Walmart , the world’s largest retailer with a strong presence in rural communities, said masks would be mandatory in their stores.Target, CVS, Kroger, Kohl’s and other businesses have followed suit

Trump faces rising disapproval and widespread distrust on coronavirus

The Washington Post-ABC poll shows 38 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the outbreak, down from 46 percent in May and 51 percent in March. Sixty percent disapprove, up from 53 percent in May and 45 percent in March.

More than half of the public — 52 percent — now disapproves “strongly” of Trump’s handling of the outbreak | Source: Washington Post

Dr. Fauci criticizes Trump administration’s response

“You have got to do it correctly,” Fauci said Thursday. “You can’t jump over steps, which is very perilous when you think about rebound. The proof of the pudding is, look what has happened. There really is no reason that we are having 40, 50, 60 thousand (new cases daily), other than we are not doing something correctly.” | Source: Deadline

U.S. Shatters Single-Day Caseload

The daily record of 75,600 new cases comes as more than half the states have enacted mask orders and the number of deaths in the country is increasing.

July 16

In some parts of the U.S., private schools are planning to reopen while public schools are not.

Public schools, which serve roughly 90 percent of American children, have less money, larger class sizes and less flexibility to make changes to things like the curriculum, facilities or work force. | Source: NY Times

July 15

HHS confirms coronavirus hospital data will now be sent to DC instead of CDC

Hospital data on coronavirus patients will now be rerouted to the Trump administration instead of first being sent to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed to CNN on Tuesday. | Source: CNN

In interview, Trump again says testing is “working too well”

Pence: “We don’t want CDC guidance to be the reason people don’t open their schools”

Outbreak July 15

It’s not just Florida, Arizona, Texas and California anymore. States including Oklahoma and Nevada are reporting record numbers of new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths

Weekly trend of daily new reported cases per 100,000 residents | Source Washington Post

Trump wants the National Guard to help hospitals report coronavirus data

The Trump administration is asking governors to consider sending the National Guard to hospitals to help improve data collection — a decision that is sparking controversy about whether the data is reliable. | Washington Post

July 14

“Best testing in the world” – Hardly.

Quest Diagnostics says its average turnaround time for #COVID19 tests is now 7 or more days for non priority 1 patients.
Quest Diagnostics: “We will not be in a position to reduce our turnaround times as long as cases of COVID-19 continue to increase dramatically across much of the United States. This is not just a Quest issue. The surge in COVID-19 cases affects the laboratory industry as a whole.”

July 13

Fauci now marginalized

The White House has moved to sideline Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease specialist, scuttling some of his planned TV appearances and largely keeping him out of the Oval Office for more than a month after his clashes with President Trump

“No Plan” DeVos joins push to reopen schools

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos stressed the importance of getting students back in classrooms.

“[Betsy DeVos,] you have no plan,” tweeted Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.).“I wouldn’t trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child.”

Trump: Doctors are “lying” about Covid-19

Donald Trump has retweeted a claim that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the media, the Democratic party, and “most” doctors are “lying” about Covid-19 | Source: The Guardian

July 12

Source: NY Times

Trump no longer consults with Dr. Fauci

Dr. Fauci no longer briefs Trump and is “never in the Oval [Office] anymore,” said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Fauci last spoke to the president during the first week of June, according to a person with knowledge of Trump’s calendar. | Source: Washington Post

Fauci: U.S. is “not doing great”

“As a country, when you compare us to other countries, I don’t think you can say we’re doing great. I mean, we’re just not,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a podcast interview with FiveThirtyEight

July 11

Texas governor didn’t listen – “and now Texans die”

July 10

WHO: Aerosolized Particles Unlikely To Be Significant Source Of COVID-19 Transmission

Weighing the evidence, WHO maintains that the coronavirus is mostly spread through close contact with infected people but calls for more research into the matter of transmission by aerosolized particles. | Source: NPR

U.S. Nears 60,000 New Cases a Day

The country recorded its sixth single-day record in 10 days. U.S. immigration officials have helped spread the virus, a Times investigation found. The surge has been driven largely by states in the South and the West that were among the first to ease restrictions established during the virus’s initial wave in the spring. | Source: NY Times

July 9

Trump angry with CDC recommendations

The latest clash between the White House and its top public health advisers erupted Wednesday, when the president slammed the agency’s recommendation that schools planning to reopen should keep students’ desks six feet apart … A senior adviser to a top Health and Human Services Department official accused the CDC of “undermining the President” | Source: Washington Post

July 8

US reaches 3m confirmed Covid-19 cases as Pence pushes for schools to reopen

The US has now confirmed more than 3m cases of coronavirus, far more than any other country in the world. As the Johns Hopkins tracker of US cases surpassed 3m, Mike Pence led a White House cororonavirus task force briefing at the US department of education, urging schools to reopen in the fall despite the pandemic.

“Today’s awful — and avoidable — news that America surpassed three million COVID-19 cases is yet another sad reminder of the cost our country is paying for President Trump’s failure to lead us through this crisis,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said in a statement released by his campaign. | Source: The Guardian

U.S Sunbelt is the global virus capital

There is no country in the world where confirmed coronavirus cases are growing as rapidly as they are in Arizona, Florida or South Carolina. The Sun Belt has become the global virus capital.

Trump formally announces U.S. to leave WHO

The Trump administration on Tuesday formally notified the United Nations that it is withdrawing the United States from the WHO, a move that prompted swift criticism from Democrats and showed Trump’s impulse to isolate the country even during a public health crisis.

July 7

Florida unsafe for visitors?

Nearly 1 out of every 100 residents in Florida is infected with the virus, hospital intensive care units are full or filling up and big-name visitors who chose Florida for their first post-isolation events are now mired in questions about safety.

July 6

Scientists urge WHO to address airborne spread of coronavirus

More than 200 scientists from over 30 countries are urging the World Health Organization to take more seriously the possibility of the airborne spread of the novel coronavirus as case numbers rise around the world and surge in the United States.

July 5

Trump: 99% of virus is harmless

 Over the weekend, President Trump again played down the coronavirus as a serious threat, falsely claiming 99 percent of cases are harmlessIn many places, Americans continued to socialize in proximity, without masks.
Much of the rest of the world is taking a very different approach. It is slowly moving back toward more normal functioning, without setting off major new outbreaks.

July 4

“We have tested over 40 million people. By so doing, we show cases, 99 percent of which are totally harmless. Results that no other country will show, because no other country has testing that we have — not in terms of the numbers or in terms of the quality.” – Trump 7/4

July 3

“We need to live with it”

Eager to move forward and reopen the economy amid a recession and a looming presidential election, the White House is now pushing acceptance of the Covis-19 virus.

“The virus is with us, but we need to live with it,” is how one White House official said the administration plans to message on the pandemic. | Source NBC News

For This Fourth of July, Officials Say Celebrate Freedom by Staying Home

In the face of cases reaching disheartening new highs, with at least 15 states setting single-day reporting records this week, health officials around the country have urged Americans to scale back their holiday plans. | Source: NY Times

Texas virus surge forces a new mask mandate

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Thursday issued a statewide mandate requiring Texans to wear masks in public in any county with 20 or more positive covid-19 cases — a dramatic move that comes as cases in the state continue to climb. On Thursday, Texas reported 7,915 new cases of the coronavirus. | Source: Washington Post

Secret Service agents preparing for Pence Arizona trip contracted coronavirus

Vice President Pence’s trip to Arizona this week had to be postponed by a day after several Secret Service agents who helped organize the visit either tested positive for the coronavirus or were showing symptoms of being infected.

July 2

Masks and the Culture Wars

Asked whether Americans should be required to wear them, Trump said he wasn’t sure they should be mandatory but noted: “I’m all for masks. I think masks are good. I would wear one if I were in a group of people and I was close.”

Some Republicans have shunned masks because President Trump has declined to wear them and stressed that doing so was voluntary. “I don’t think I’m going to be doing it,” he said in April.

Mr. Trump also said that he believed the virus was “going to sort of just disappear,” even as cases rise rapidly across the nation. | Source: NY Times

U.S. Sets Record Ahead of Holiday Weekend

The United States set a single-day case record for the fifth time in a little over a week. Heading into the Fourth of July holiday, officials warn residents to stay home

July 1

Fauci before Senate: Death toll “is going to be very disturbing”

Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-diseases expert, warned lawmakers Tuesday that there may be as many as 100,000 new cases per day, 2.5 times the present record rate of infections, if the United States continues on its current trajectory. When asked by the Senate’s health committee what the overall American death toll might be, Fauci said: “I can’t make an accurate prediction, but it is going to be very disturbing.” 

Mushrooming outbreak in U.S.

The United States announced more than 48,000 new coronavirus infections yesterday, another daily record and an increase of 80 percent in the past two weeks. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, warned the Senate that the number could soon reach 100,000 a day if the country does not act quickly | Source: NY Times

The hope that summer’s warm weather would help, that the sacrifices made in March and April would be sufficient, that a miracle cure would arrive — all have been dashed. The United States faces a crisis unseen in recent generations, and if it deepens, the pain won’t be only in illness and death but also in education and economics.

Washington Post

June 30

Dr. Fauci to Testify Before Congress Again

Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top health officials will today speak about the virus, which is surging in at least 30 states. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Eastern, and The New York Times will have live coverage.

June 29

The worldwide toll is continuing to rise, with over 10 million confirmed cases. More than a quarter of deaths have been in the United States.

Trump skips Covid meetings; blocks Fauci from media appearances

  • President Trump no longer participates in many coronavirus meetings, delegating the health crisis to Vice President Pence while the president focuses on his troubled reelection campaign.
  • The White House has blocked Anthony S. Fauci, its blunt-talking expert on infectious diseases, from some media appearances. | Source: Washington Post

Trump’s Covid response called “Amateur Hour” by former NIH head

A former National Institutes of Health chief says the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus has been “amateur hour” and said the administration “doesn’t want to or has no concept of what it takes to protect the American people and the world.” | Source: NPR

Pence now wearing mask, but not Trump

Vice President Mike Pence made a point of wearing a face mask during public events over the weekend as he and top public health officials said face coverings were critical to reversing recent spikes in coronavirus cases.

His actions stood in stark contrast to those of President Trump, who has steadfastly refused to wear a mask as a way of modeling behavior for the public — even as the nation’s top doctors have said they increasingly believe doing so is a critical step in containing the spread of the virus. | Source: NY Times

June 28

The number of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. is surging

Infections nationwide have risen 65 percent over the past two weeks, including in several states that were among the first to reopen. By Saturday evening, more than 41,000 cases of the coronavirus had been announced across the U.S., including single-day records in Nevada, South Carolina and Florida; above Miami on Friday.

June 27

“Something’s not working,” says the country’s top infectious-diseases expert, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci

States reported nearly 38,500 new cases. Texas, Alabama, Missouri and Nevada reported daily highs, | Source: Washington Post

43% of U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Are Linked to Nursing Homes

At least 54,000 residents and workers have died from the coronavirus at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities for older adults in the United States, according to a New York Times database. As of June 26, the virus has infected more than 282,000 people at some 12,000 facilities

June 26

CDC says Covid numbers are actually far worse

CDC Director Robert Redfield acknowledged serology testing the agency has conducted suggests about 20 million Americans, or roughly 6% of the population, has contracted Covid-19. Redfield said for every person who tests positive, another 10 cases have likely gone undiagnosed. | Source: StatNews

All-time high in new U.S. cases

The number of confirmed new coronavirus cases per day in the US hit an all-time high of 40,000 Friday — eclipsing the mark set during one of the deadliest stretches in late April  | Source: Boston Globe

Trump works to end health insurance for 23 million

The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court late Thursday to overturn the Affordable Care Act. If successful, the move would end health-insurance coverage, in the midst of a pandemic, for as many as 23 million Americans

June 25

Highest single-day totals of new cases in U.S.

The U.S. recorded 36,880 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the highest single-day total so far. While some of that reflects an increase in testing, the virus really is spreading more rapidly than it was several weeks ago. Across much of Europe and Asia, by contrast, the situation is less dire. | Source: New York Times

June 24

No kidding

“None of us have ever been told to slow down on testing,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told a congressional panel yesterday. “It’s the opposite. We’re going to be doing more testing, not less.”

Trump has faced criticism for telling a Saturday campaign rally — where most attendees did not wear masks, ignoring CDC recommendations — that he wanted to slow coronavirus testing.

White House aides said the president’s remarks were in jest, but on Tuesday, Trump doubled down.

“I don’t kid,” he told reporters before praising the US testing scheme as the best in the world.
“By having more tests, we find more cases,” Trump said, even suggesting the high number is a political liability for him during an election year.

June 23

Trump claims he was semi-joking about “slowing down” testing during pandemic

Trump described his Tulsa rally call to slow down testing as “semi-tongue-in-cheek,” but he still blamed the country’s rising coronavirus caseload on the large number of tests conducted so far. | Source: Washington Post

Fauci to testify before congress

Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s top infectious-disease expert, is set to testify on Capitol Hill on Tuesday alongside other leading public health officials, as the United States grapples with the course of its response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

USA now has 1 in 5 of the word’s new cases

As the virus spreads at record speeds around the world, the United States accounted for 20 percent of all the new infections worldwide on Sunday, according to New York Times data, even as the country’s population makes up about 4.3 percent of the world’s.

New cases continued to surge over the weekend in 22 states, especially in the West and the South. Oklahoma and Missouri reported their largest single-day case increases yet on Sunday.

June 22

Increased caseload in the U.S. is not solely the result of more testing

As the curve of infections in the United States begins to bulge again after flattening in the spring, the Trump administration tried to reset expectations about its efforts to contain the coronavirus and acknowledged that there would most likely be another wave of cases this fall.

Trump officials Peter Navarro also said that a comment by President Trump over the weekend about wanting to slow down virus testing had been “tongue in cheek.”| Source: NY Times

In USA – one continuous forest fire

In states with recent increases, like Arizona, California, North Carolina and Texas, the number of confirmed cases has been rising almost continually since March. Michael Osterholm, a prominent epidemiologist, said Americans should not be thinking about new waves but rather about one continuous “forest fire.”

June 21

Trump jokes about the “Kung Flu” virus at Tulsa rally

Trump’s Tulsa rally, feared as a ‘superspreader,’ is lightly attended

President Trump, ignoring the health guidance of local officials in Tulsa, Okla., held his first campaign-style rally in several months Saturday night. Speaking to a sparse, mostly mask-free crowd in a 19,000-seat indoor arena that he had hoped to pack, Mr. Trump claimed he wanted to slow down testing of the virus that has killed 121,000 Americans. | Source: NY Times

Florida and South Carolina break new-cases records for the third straight day

For the third straight day, Florida and South Carolina broke their single-day records for new cases, while infection levels for Missouri and Nevada also reached new highs on Saturday.

And on Friday, the United States reported more than 30,000 new infections, its highest total since May 1, with cases rising in 19 states across the South, West and Midwest.

Florida reported 4,049 new cases on Saturday, breaking Friday’s record (3,822) and Thursday’s record (3,207). The state now has had 93,797 cases and 3,144 deaths.

South Carolina broke its record with 1,155 new cases; Nevada had 452 and Missouri had 375.

June 20

Death tolls in U.S. will rise over coming weeks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that the U.S. death toll could rise to as high as 145,000 by July 11. At least 117,000 have already died.

W.H.O. Warns of ‘Dangerous Phase’ of Pandemic as Outbreaks Widen

Beijing and Seoul have had a recent surge in coronavirus cases, and businesses are recoiling in America as infections sharply increase in Southern and Western states. | Source: NY Times

June 19

#TrumpDeathClock on Twitter

Tulsa worries about large-scale outbreak of coronavirus after Trump rally

A number of Tulsa residents and business owners, alarmed by the prospect of a large-scale outbreak of coronavirus if the Trump Rally proceeds, have sued the venue manager attempting to block the event unless it is held in accordance with social distancing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A Tulsa County judge on Tuesday denied the request for a temporary injunction, but the decision was appealed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. | Source: Washington Post

Warren: Did government officials profit from Covid?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is leading a group of Democratic lawmakers in an investigation of what they describe as “egregious” financial conflicts of interest in the Trump administration’s coronavirus response, citing top officials’ financial stake in companies involved with the all-important effort to find a COVID-19 vaccine. | Source: Rolling Stone

June 18

Florida set another new coronavirus case record Thursday with a jump of 3,207 new cases. The state is facing a spike of cases, reporting over 1,000 new cases in 15 of the 16 previous days. | Source: The Daily Beast

Vice President Mike Pence lied about Oklahoma’s coronavirus cases to defend Trump’s rally

” … On June 16, at least three other fact checks of Pence’s comments were published. PolitiFact rated his claim “false” and thoroughly debunked his assertion…” | Source: PolitiFact; Media Matters for America

Dr. Fauci warns of baseball in October

“If you look at the kinds of things that could happen, there’s no guarantee of anything. You would want to do it at a time when there isn’t the overlap between influenza and the possibility of a fall second wave, ” Fauci said. | Source: NPR

Op-Ed: Mike Pence is a case study in irresponsibility

Vice President Pence, who heads the White House task force on the coronavirus pandemic, has been a case study in irresponsibility … Pence (has) declared, “We are winning the fight against the invisible enemy” and took the media to task for worrying about a second wave. “Such panic is overblown.”

The pandemic is still raging. Try as they might to spin a recovery story, Mr. Pence and Mr. Trump destroy their own credibility by ignoring reality. The American people know this is not “cause for celebration.” | Source: Washington Post

Mission Accomplished: Trump believes virus is “fading away”

The Trump administration has largely stopped treating the coronavirus as a crisis, with the president saying in an interview Wednesday night that it was “fading away.” The White House’s task force now meets just twice a week. Experts like Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx speak to the president less often. The country’s designated “testing czar” has returned to his old job. | Source: NY Times

Reality Check for Colleges

“Colleges are deluding themselves,” Michael J. Sorrell, the president of Paul Quinn College in Dallas, wrote in The Atlantic. Laurence Steinberg, a Temple University psychologist, wrote a Times Op-Ed arguing that the reopening plans were “so unrealistically optimistic that they border on delusional” | Sources: NY Times, The Atlantic

June 17

Florida, Texas and Arizona all set records for the most cases they have reported in a single day.

Higher-income individuals not spending since COVID

The wealthy aren’t holding back because they don’t have the money. By and large, they have lost fewer jobs and aren’t the ones who are worried about making rent.

That’s potentially crippling because consumer spending is a huge driver of economic activity. In fact, so much of the country’s economy depends on shopping by the top income bracket, that the lack of spending by 25% of the wealthiest Americans made up fully two-thirds of the total decline in spending since January.

They have a lot of discretionary income and before the pandemic, were spending a significant chunk of that going to nice restaurants, the theater, or traveling and staying in nice hotels. Those are precisely the things that have been off limits since the coronavirus hit. | Source: NPR

Fauci would not attend Trump rally: “Of course not”

“No,” Fauci responded when asked by the Daily Beast if he would personally make an appearance at the rally.

“I’m in a high-risk category. Personally, I would not. Of course not,” Fauci, 79, said in an interview published Tuesday night. He added that in the case of Trump’s rallies “outside is better than inside, no crowd is better than crowd” and “crowd is better than big crowd.” It is unclear if Fauci had been asked to go or if he ever planned on attending.

Coronavirus Tests Costs in U.S. Unregulated

U.S. health care prices are unregulated, opaque and unpredictable. When Congress required insurers to cover Covid-19 testing, a few providers decided to take advantage. Source: NY Times

June 16

Pence: It’s the testing, stupid

On a private call yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence encouraged governors to say that cases are growing nationwide because of an increase in testing. Public health experts say this is misleading.

June 15

FDA Pulls Emergency Covid-19-Use Approval for Hydroxychloroquine, Taken by Trump

The Food and Drug Administration has revoked its emergency-use authorization for two malaria drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, for the treatment of the Covid-19 disease.

“It is no longer reasonable to believe” the two drugs “may be effective in treating Covid-19,” said Denise M. Hinton, the FDA’s chief scientist said in a Monday letter. Nor is it reasonable to believe, she added, that “known and potential benefits of these products outweigh their known and potential risks.” | Source: The Wall Street Journal

New outbreak in China

Beijing has set about testing hundreds of thousands of people for coronavirus in an exhaustive effort to stamp out a new eruption of the disease in the Chinese capital. Chinese authorities mbilized almost 100,000 community workers to carry out tests on everyone who has worked in or visited the Xinfadi market in the southwest of Beijing.

Are female leaders better equipped to handle Covid?

I compiled death rates from the coronavirus for 21 countries around the world, 13 led by men and eight by women. The male-led countries suffered an average of 214 coronavirus-related deaths per million inhabitants. Those led by women lost only one-fifth as many, 36 per million.

If the United States had the coronavirus death rate of the average female-led country, 102,000 American lives would have been saved out of the 114,000 lost.

“Countries led by women do seem to be particularly successful in fighting the coronavirus,” noted Anne W. Rimoin, an epidemiologist at U.C.L.A. “New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Norway have done so well perhaps due to the leadership and management styles attributed to their female leaders.” | Source NY Times

June 14

Fauci: Normality is a year away

With coronavirus cases rising in states across the country, Anthony S. Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, warned waves of infection could come “back and forth” for months and said it could be about a year before things return to normal.

“I would hope to get to some degree of real normality within a year or so. But I don’t think it’s this winter or fall, we’ll be seeing it for a bit more,” Fauci told the British Telegraph newspaper in an interview published Sunday.

June 13

NY Times: Surge expected in U.S.

The warning that echoed ominously for weeks is becoming a reality: Once states begin to reopen, a surge in coronavirus cases will follow.
Thousands of Americans have been sickened by the virus in new outbreaks, particularly in the Sun Belt and the West. As of Friday, coronavirus cases were climbing in 22 states amid reopenings. Arizona, Texas and Florida are reporting their highest case numbers yet.
California and Washington have reopened in a more incremental way, but have still seen an uptick in cases. Outdoor dining in San Francisco, above, began on Friday. Here’s where cases are rising the fastest.

June 12

Trump: Time for a rally … but don’t sue us

The Trump campaign is telling people who sign up for its first rally since the pandemic began that they are effectively agreeing not to sue the campaign or the venue if they contract the coronavirus

Florida And S.C. Report New Spikes In Coronavirus Cases

A record high in South Carolina. A two-month high in Florida. Record hospitalizations in Texas. Several states that were among the first to reopen their economies are now reporting spikes in new coronavirus cases, driving an alarming trend that has propelled the U.S. to 2 million cases.

Florida reported nearly 1,700 new cases Thursday morning — “the biggest jump since March,” as NPR member station WLRN reported. Hours after the state published that data, Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled his plan to reopen schools in August, urging local governments to aim for “full capacity” when they resume classes. | Source: NPR

Stocks Fall Sharply

Stocks fell sharply yesterday, with the S&P 500 dropping 5.9 percent, its biggest decline in nearly three months. The decline seemed to reflect a growing recognition that the pandemic would weaken the economy for a long time. In recent days, multiple employers have announced new job cuts, including BP; the University of Denver; and the city of Peoria, Ill.

Study: Covid-Lockdown Could Make America’s Gun Problem Worse

Stress and isolation combined with another feature of American life — easy access to firearms — could form a deadly brew.

Last week we released results of a new study — the largest ever on the connection between suicide and handgun ownership — in The New England Journal of Medicine revealing that gun owners were nearly four times as likely to die by suicide than people without guns, even when controlling for gender, age, race and neighborhood.

June 11

States that relaxed stay-at-home orders now reporting record-breaking hospitalizations

Covid-19 hospitalizations in at least nine states have been on the rise since Memorial Day, disproving the notion that spikes in cases are solely because of the continued increase in testing. Texas, for example — which was one of the first states to relax stay-at-home orders — reported record-breaking hospitalizations Monday and Tuesday. | Source: Washington Post

Bleak economic forecast

In their first economic projections this year, officials at the Federal Reserve said they expected the unemployment rate to end 2020 at 9.3 percent and to remain elevated for years. The Fed pledged to do “whatever we can” to support the recovery. “This is the biggest economic shock, in the U.S. and the world, really, in living memory,” Jerome Powell, the Fed chair, said.
A call for more stimulus: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called for “another bipartisan legislation to put more money into the economy.” The Trump administration and congressional Republicans have been sending mixed messages about more stimulus.

June 10

Fauci warns of “worst nightmare”

Some covid-19 patients taken off ventilators are taking days or even weeks to wake up

That question is baffling neurologists and rehabilitation physicians treating patients with severe covid-19 cases. A significant number of those who have spent long periods on ventilators are taking days or weeks — rather than hours — to awaken from medically induced comas. | Source: Washington Post

Outbreak in Arizona

Experts around the country and in Arizona are raising alarms about Arizona’s COVID-19 situation because cases and hospitalizations have increased for the past two weeks.

“I would go so far as to say alarming,” said Dr. William Hanage, an epidemiology professor at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. 

Arizona’s largest hospital system warned over the past week that its intensive care units are filling up, ventilator use was on the rise and capacity was reached for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation treatment. | Source: USA Today

More than half the states are failing to report likely coronavirus cases to the federal government

More than half the states are failing to report likely coronavirus cases to the federal government — sometimes excluding even those who tested positive for viral antibodies or had covid-19 listed on their death certificates.  The failures have alarmed health experts, who note that probable deaths were reported in previous outbreaks such as the H1N1 flu in 2009.

June 9

Quarantines prevented hundreds of millions of cases, study finds

The coronavirus would have infected nearly one in five Americans, 60 million people, in the first few weeks of the outbreak without shutdowns or social distancing, according to a peer-reviewed study led by the University of California at Berkeley. The paper credited quarantine policies with preventing hundreds of millions of cases globally through early April, and a separate study estimated that shutdowns saved at least 3.1 million lives in Europe. | Source: Washington Post

June 7

W.H.O. Finally Endorses Masks to Prevent Coronavirus Transmission

The agency had been opposed to public use of masks, even after governments worldwide had recommended them.

Long after most nations urged their citizens to wear masks, and after months of hand-wringing about the quality of the evidence available, the World Health Organization on Friday endorsed the use of face masks by the public to reduce transmission of the coronavirus.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, surprisingly, the W.H.O. had refused to endorse masks. The announcement was long overdue, critics said, as masks are an easy and inexpensive preventive measure. Source: NY Times

June 6

A ‘misclassification error’ made the May unemployment rate look better than it is

Some took this as a sign that President Trump or one of his staffers may have tinkered with the data to make it look better, especially since most forecasters predicted the unemployment rate would be close to 20 percent in May, up from 14.7 percent in April. But economists and former BLS leaders from across the political spectrum strongly dismissed that idea.

June 5

Unemployment approaches 20 percent

The U.S. government is expected to report that the country’s unemployment rate last month approached 20 percent, the highest level since the Great Depression.

Authors retract study showing hydroxychloroquine was dangerous

Today, three of the authors of the paper, “Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis”, have retracted their study. They were unable to complete an independent audit of the data underpinning their analysis. As a result, they have concluded that they “can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.” | Source: The Lancet

Dozens of covid-19 testing sites in vulnerable communities have been forced to close amid civil unrest

The closures add to fears that a national wave of protests inspired by the past week’s police killing of George Floyd will spread the virus, which continues to kill roughly 1,000 Americans a day on average. | Source: Washington Post

June 4

More than 1.8 million Covid-19 cases have been reported in the U.S., with 34 states and jurisdictions reporting more than 10,000 cases. Continue to help slow the spread by staying home when sick and washing your hands often

Statistics from June 2

Fencing installed around White House

General Mattis excoriates the president for setting Americans against one another

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis writes. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.

June 3

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 379,500 people and sickened 6.3 million. | Source: NY Times

Covid cases expected to rise after protests

Epidemiologists said the demonstrations would almost certainly lead to more cases. And a Times review detailed a series of failures at the C.D.C

CBS News

Reloacting Republican National Convention

President Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention will be moved out of Charlotte, N.C., party officials said Tuesday night, after indications that the entire event might be relocated because of a high-stakes feud with Democratic officials in North Carolina.

June 2

Authoritarians in Brazil, Russia, Britain and U.S. failing on Covid-19

The four large countries where coronavirus cases have been increasing fastest — Brazil, the U.S., Russia and Britain — have something in common: They are all run by populist male leaders who cast themselves as anti-elite and anti-establishment.
“Very often they rail against intellectuals and experts of nearly all types,” Steven Levitsky, a Harvard political scientist … The leaders, he said, “claim to have a kind of common-sense wisdom that the experts lack. This doesn’t work very well versus Covid-19.” | Source: NY Times

Trump holds bible and warns of ordering the military into cities

In Washington, police officers used tear gas and flash grenades to clear a path through a peaceful protest so President Trump could visit a nearby Episcopal church, St. John’s, where he posed for photos holding a Bible. An Episcopal bishop in Washington said she was “outraged” that he used the church “as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus.” Trump also warned he would order the military into cities if local officials could not control their streets. | Source NY Times

June 1

America is “without a President”

Trump lacks the intellectual ability to process what is happening and why. He lacks the mental composition and fortitude to make smart decisions in a crisis. He lacks the moral authority to speak to the nation at a moment of crisis. America is in chaos and without a President.

– Steven Schmidt

Officials warn that protests could set off second wave of coronavirus infections

U.S. public health officials are warning that the massive countrywide demonstrations against police brutality, which show no sign of abating, could be followed by a sudden increase in novel coronavirus cases.

“We still have pockets of spread in communities that aren’t under good control,” former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a Sunday interview on CBS News’s “Face the Nation.” Minnesota, the epicenter of the protests, has had an uptick in new cases and hospitalizations in recent days, he said. | Source CBS News

Poll: First, Control the Virus

Nearly 6 in 10 Americans say the coronavirus outbreak has exacted a severe economic toll on their communities, but a majority of a divided country still says controlling the virus’s spread is more important than trying to restart the economy, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

May 31

The reopening of America was always going to be fraught, with competing fears of new virus outbreaks and economic meltdown. Now cities across the nation, from New York to Chicago and Los Angeles, are reeling from unrest that could worsen both. Violence erupted in dozens of cities following the death of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis man who died after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck for more than eight minutes. Some demonstrators broke off to rampage through shopping districts, including Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and State Street in Chicago, and set fire to police cars and municipal buildings. The chaos, amid otherwise peaceful protests, struck as the economy struggles to emerge from its coronavirus-enforced hibernation.

After the Covid-19 deaths of more than 104,000 Americans, unprecedented government intervention and massive disruptions to business and everyday life, the scenes of unrest across the country were a bleak contrast to the recent optimism of the markets. The S&P 500 registered its second straight monthly advance on Friday. | Source: Bloomberg

May 30

U.S. should reconsider decision to end relationship with WHO, European leaders say

European Union leaders on Saturday urged President Trump to reconsider his decision to end the United States’ relationship with the World Health Organization, saying international cooperation was essential to succeed in controlling the coronavirus pandemic.

“The WHO needs to continue being able to lead the international response to pandemics, current and future,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Vice President Josep Borrell said in a statement. | Source: Washington Post

Researchers say death toll hit 100,000 three weeks ago

Coronavirus deaths in the United States probably surpassed 100,000 three weeks before the official death toll reached that milestone, according to an analysis by The Washington Post and researchers from the Yale School of Public Health.

May 29

Poll: Republicans object to wearing masks

recent Quinnipiac University poll shows overwhelming support among Democrats for mask wearing, but a little more than one-third of Republicans feel the same.

Florida Attorney Jeff Childers: “It’s not an objection to wearing a mask. It’s an objection to being coerced to wear a mask.”| Source: NPR

Trump retweets a video saying ‘the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat’

A video by an account called “Cowboys for Trump” in which the speaker begins by saying, “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.” The speaker quickly qualifies that he’s not speaking literally.

At precisely midnight, the president felt this was the kind of message that people needed to see. “Thank you Cowboys. See you in New Mexico!” he said in a retweet.

May 28

Trump campaign is creating an alternate reality on Covid-19

Fact Checker

Unmasking the ignorant: Biden calls Trump a “fool”

Trump continues to mock those who wear them, including his Democratic rival Joe Biden. Trump dismissed a mask-wearing reporter as being “politically correct” on Tuesday. At the same time, Biden called Trump a “fool” for mocking their use.

In Trump’s America: Death and more death

The United States has had 28 percent of global deaths despite having only 4 percent of the world’s population. 

President Trump has spent his life in thrall to numbers — his wealth, his ratings, his polls. Even during the deadly coronavirus pandemic, he has remained fixated on certain metrics — peppering aides about infection statistics, favoring rosy projections and obsessing over the gyrating stock market.

But as the nation reached a bleak milestone this week — 100,000 Americans dead from the novel coronavirus — Trump has been uncharacteristically silent.

Ashley Parker | Washington Post 5/28/2020

New Executive Order aimed at Twitter for flagging Trump lies

May 27

100,000 U.S. Deaths

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has reached a somber milestone: as of Wednesday afternoon, the highly infectious viral disease has taken more than 100,000 lives nationwide. |Source: NPR

France bans drug Trump claims he’s taking

France has banned the use of the controversial anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to treat people with COVID-19, the diseased caused by the new coronavirus. The move follows the publication of initial findings from a large-scale study that found the drug offered no benefit to patients, and could in fact be harmful.

The Lancet medical journal reported on May 22 that the observational study on nearly 100,000 patients from multiple countries found a higher mortality rate and an increased frequency of irregular heartbeats in patients who were given hydroxychloroquine.

Trump defends himself on Twitter

“The Radical Left Lamestream Media, together with their partner, the Do Nothing Democrats, are trying to spread a new narrative that President Trump was slow in reacting to Covid 19,” Trump tweeted. “Wrong, I was very fast, even doing the Ban on China long before anybody thought necessary!”

May 26

UK buys 16 million tabs of Hydroxychloroquine

Meatpacker industry hiding data from workers

Dozens of meatpacking plants are reopening, even as the extent of the viral outbreaks at many remains unknown. Meatpacking companies and local officials in some places have chosen to withhold the data, partly to avoid bad publicity. “At this point, we are not doing anything to cast them in a bad light,” a county health official in Colorado wrote in an email, referring to a Cargill plant.
Trump issued an executive order last month designating meat plants “critical infrastructure” that must stay open. The order did not address issues like testing, leading many companies to reopen plants without fully assessing whether employees had contracted the virus. | Source: NY Times

Death toll mounts in U.S.

Sometime in the next few days, the official coronavirus death count will likely exceed 100,000. The true count is even higher — probably closer to 130,000. This larger number includes people who had the virus but weren’t diagnosed, as well as those who died for indirect reasons, such as delaying medical treatment for other illnesses.
Either way, the toll is greater than the combined death count from every war that the U.S. has fought in the past 60 years: Vietnam, Iraq, Iraq again, Afghanistan and elsewhere. | Source: NY Times

May 25

90 days ago: 0 deaths

80 days ago: 12 deaths

70 days ago: 65 deaths

60 days ago: 938 deaths

50 days ago: 8,488 deaths

40 days ago: 26,033 deaths

30 days ago: 51,017 deaths

20 days ago: 67,682 deaths

10 days ago: 85,886 deaths

Memorial Day 2020: 97,711 deaths

“I again remind everyone that the coronavirus is not yet contained. It is up to every individual to protect themselves and their community.”
– Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn

Trump threatens funds for states easing voting in pandemic

“Michigan sends absentee ballots to 7.7 million people ahead of Primaries and the General Election,” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning. That brought strong criticism from Democrats in Michigan and elsewhere, pointing out that the state was sending applications, not actual ballots, an error the president corrected in a subsequent tweet six hours later. He stuck with the rest of his tweet: “This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!” | Source: PBS

May 24

Behind Trump’s demand to reopen churches: Slipping poll numbers and alarm inside his campaign

The anxiety over Trump’s standing with the Christian right surfaced after a pair of surveys by reputable outfits earlier this month found waning confidence in the administration’s coronavirus response among key religious groups, with a staggering decline in the president’s favorability among white evangelicals and white Catholics. | Source: Politico

May 23

Trump heads to golf course as death toll nears 100,000

Donald Trump teed up fresh controversy on Saturday, by leaving the White House for his golf course in Virginia. As of Saturday morning, more than 1.6m cases of Covid-19 had been confirmed in the US, with the death toll approaching 100,000.| Source: The Guardian

More than half are Covid-related Tweets are bots

Carnegie Mellon University researchers analyzed over 200 million tweets discussing COVID-19 and related issues since January and found that roughly half the accounts — including 62% of the 1,000 most influential retweeters — appeared to be bots, they said in a report published this week. | Source: Business Insider

Trump unhappy with his Fox News coverage

“Many will disagree, but Fox News is doing nothing to help Republicans, and me, get re-elected on November 3rd,”
– Source: Trump said in a series of tweets 5/23. 

Opinion: Conspiracy theories growing and more dangerous than ever

“It doesn’t much matter if someone thinks that UFOs landed at Roswell, N.M., or that Elvis is still alive — but it matters greatly if someone thinks that the coronavirus isn’t real or that a vaccine may be more dangerous than the disease. Such beliefs, if they become widespread, pose a danger to public health. Indeed, anti-vaccine activists are already a menace.” – Max Boot | Washington Post

Opinion: Trump ordering churches to open is pandering to Religious Right

Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss Trump’s call to reopen houses of worship despite the pandemic (watch below) | Source: PBS

May 22

Flags ordered at half-staff as death toll approaches 100,000

“Our nation mourns for every life lost to the coronavirus pandemic, and we share in the suffering of all those who endured pain and illness from the outbreak,” read the proclamation that was signed by Mr. Trump. He ordered American flags to be flown at half-staff through Sunday.
The death toll in the United States is expected to pass the grim milestone of 100,000 in the coming days.

Airline Travel industry operating at 10%

Airline travel remains at only about 10 percent of normal levels, despite few restrictions on flying. “Even when everything is open, our economy won’t recover until people feel safe resuming their normal lives,” they write.

May 21

Trump “not welcomed” in Michigan

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) said President Trump‘s decision not to wear a mask at a Ford plant in her state Thursday shows he is a “petulant child who refuses to follow the rules.”

“The president is a petulant child who refuses to follow the rules, and I have to say, this is no joke,” Nessel said during an on-air appearance on CNN on Thursday. | Source: The Hill

Asian American doctors and nurses are fighting racism and the coronavirus

Across the country, Asian American health-care workers have reported a rise in bigoted incidents. The racial hostility has left Asian Americans, who represent 6 percent of the U.S. population but 18 percent of the country’s physicians and 10 percent of its nurse practitioners, in a painful position on the front lines of the response to the coronavirus pandemic …

Asian Americans have experienced a sharp increase in racist verbal abuse and physical attacks during the pandemic, with the FBI warning of a potential surge in hate crimes …

Some academic experts on race say President Trump’s rhetoric around the virus and China has contributed to the rise in racial harassment. For weeks, Trump deliberately referred to the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus”| Source: Washington Post

Dismal economic projections

“CBO estimates that real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) will contract by 11 percent in the second quarter of this year, which is equivalent to a decline of 38 percent at an annual rate. In the second quarter, the number of people employed will be almost 26 million lower than the number in the fourth quarter of 2019.” Source: The Congressional Budget Office of the United States

May 20

Trump continue to push hydroxychloroquine

“I would encourage any person over the age of 65 or with an underlying medical condition to talk to their own physician about taking hydroxychloroquine and I’m relieved President Trump is taking it.”
– Kansas Republican Rep. Roger Marshall 

U.S. confirms over 1.5 million cases

Source: CBS

U.S. Economic Stimulus does not appear to be working

Much of the rest of the world — including Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany and South Korea — has followed one strategy on coronavirus stimulus. Governments have temporarily paid the salaries of workers in order to prevent millions of layoffs. The United States has taken a different path. It created a complicated mix of different stimulus policies, including loans to businesses and checks for families. This approach doesn’t appear to be working: The U.S. has had a sharper rise in unemployment than other countries. Many jobless Americans have also lost their health insurance — in the midst of a pandemic. | Source: NY Times

May 19

Death toll in U.S. nears 90,000

More than 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases have been recorded in the United States, where the death toll is nearing 90,000. Globally, there have been 4.8 million confirmed infections and 317,000 deaths.

Pelosi says Trump is high risk because he is “morbidly obese”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) criticized Trump’s decision to take “something that has not been approved by the scientists,” saying that he needs to be especially careful given his age (73) and weight group, which she categorized as “morbidly obese.”

May 18

Trump says that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine

Donald Trump said Monday that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine, an unproven treatment for COVID-19 that he has vigorously promoted.

“A lot of good things have come out about the hydroxy. A lot of good things have come out. You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the frontline workers — before you catch it. I happen to be taking it, I happen to be taking it… I’m taking it — hydroxychloroquine, right now.” | Source: NBC News

U.S. Deaths will top 100,000

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, says that forecasting models now predict that total US deaths from COVID-19 will surpass 100,000 by June 1.

$500 billion meant for coronavirus relief has lent barely any money so far

A $500 billion Treasury Department fund created by the Cares Act in March to help stabilize the economy has lent barely any money, according to an initial report issued by a new Congressional Oversight Commission … Congressional Democrats including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who headed a similar oversight commission after the 2008 financial crisis bailout, have criticized the money as a “slush fund” for corporations. | Source: Washington Post

Where are the tests?

By June 1, more than 100,000 Americans will have died from COVID-19. Compare that to South Korea’s 262 and Australia’s 98 current fatalities, where unlike Trump, leaders quickly implemented widespread testing and tracing programs. Public health officials isolated infected individuals, traced their contacts with others, followed the potential spread of the virus, and targeted the response.

As Trump failed to implement an effective nationwide testing program, he lied about it. Now he’s shifting the burden to individual states while urging governors to “reopen” in violation of his own testing and tracing standards. Even Trump’s medical experts agree that such a blind push to resume social and economic activity is a fool’s errand [ . . . ] Source: Bill Moyers

May 17

Trump has brought U.S. to “unparalleded humilation”

Trump’s Health Secretary: No virus ‘spikes’ after reopenings

Authorities are not seeing spikes in coronavirus cases in places that are reopening but are seeking increases in some areas that remain closed, U.S. health secretary Alex Azar said on Sunday.

“We are seeing that in places that are opening; we’re not seeing this spike in cases,” Azar said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program. “We still see spikes in some areas that are in fact close to very localized situations.” Source: Reuters

Health expert: We are only at the beginning of this health crisis

“The second inning of a nine inning situation,” according to infectious disease authority Dr. Michael Osterholm. He says a small percentage of the U.S. population is infected, and the virus will not slow down until about 60-70% of the public is infected (creating herd immunity) or an effective vaccine is developed. | Read More

Armed protesters waiving Trump signs of Michigan barber shop

Armed members of the Michigan Home Guard stood outside Karl Manke’s barbershop, ready to blockade the door if police arrived. They were determined to help Manke, 77, reopen his shop Monday, in defiance of state orders, and dozens joined them, wearing Trump sweatshirts and Trump cowboy hats and waving Trump flags.

Governor Whitmer said in an interview Tuesday that she worries Republican state lawmakers, who have said she does not have the authority to continue her coronavirus executive order, are pushing people to violate it.

Highest one-day new cases total in Texas

Texas reported 1,801 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, its highest one-day total since the pandemic began

Obama says U.S. leaders have botched pandemic response

Former president Barack Obama used a pair of virtual college commencement addresses Saturday to criticize the nation’s leaders for mishandling the response to the coronavirus pandemic. “A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge,” Obama said, without referring to President Trump by name.

May 16

White House ordered CDC to revise reopening guidelines

The White House called the draft guidance “too prescriptive” and said it amounted to “counter messaging” as the administration pushes governors to come up with their own reopening plans. | Source: Politico

72 people in Wisconsin test positive after attending ‘large gathering’ as state sees stay at home protests

Seventy-two individuals who tested positive for Covid-19 in Wisconsin recently attended a “large-gathering” before their diagnosis, according to a report.

According to The Progressive, the state’s Department of Health Services (DHS) confirmed that they had gathered tracing data on a number of people who had contracted the virus.

Wisconsin Capitol Police said about 1,500 people attended the gathering and there were no arrests and no citations issued. Only one-third of protesters were said to be wearing masks at the event. | Source: The Independent

New Study Finds Hydroxychloroquine Does Not Help COVID-19, Can Cause Heart Attacks

The largest study to date on the use of hydroxychloroquine against the coronavirus has confirmed earlier research that the anti-malarial drug could cause serious heart problems and is not an effective treatment for COVID-19. Trump has repeatedly touted the drug. The latest study — published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association — looked at nearly 1,500 patients in New York and found that those on hydroxychloroquine had a similar death rate to those who did not take it, but were more than twice as likely to suffer cardiac arrest. Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert and adviser to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, “The nail has virtually been put in the coffin of hydroxychloroquine.” |Source: Democracy Now

Trump sets goal of hundreds of millions of vaccine doses by January. Scientists doubt it

President Trump formally unveiled an initiative Friday afternoon aimed at making hundreds of millions of doses of a coronavirus vaccine broadly available by year’s end — a goal that many scientists say is unrealistic and could even backfire by shortchanging safety and undermining faith in vaccines more broadly | Source: Washington Post

CNN Report

Leading medical journal blasts Trump’s covid response – says he should be “replaced”

Lancet – one of the world’s oldest and best-known medical journals Friday slammed President Trump’s “inconsistent and incoherent national response” to the novel coronavirus pandemic and accused the administration of relegating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to a “nominal” role.

The unsigned editorial from the Lancet concluded that Trump should be replaced.

May 15

Reopening: A Chronicle of Needless Deaths Foretold

You can’t put out a house fire in one room, let it keep burning in others, and expect to be safe. One week after Georgia reopened its businesses, over 60,000 people each day traveled from out of state to patronize restaurants, hair salons, bowling alleys, and movie theaters, all returning home from these close-quarters visits, some likely bringing Covid-19 with them | Source: The Nation

Bright calls Trump Response a Failure

Dr. Rick Bright, a government whistle-blower, told Congress that the Trump administration’s failure to develop a “coordinated plan” for the coronavirus has cost American lives.

Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, using discretion written into the coronavirus stabilization law, is using millions of dollars to pursue long-sought policy goals that Congress has blocked. | Source: NY Times

May 14

Vaccine expert testifies that federal officials ‘did not respond’ to his alerts about mask shortages

Rick Bright, a former top U.S. vaccine official testifying before Congress on Thursday, said the Department of Heath and Human Services “did not respond” when he raised concerns about shortages of medical materials such as N95 masks and testing supplies, prompting Bright to reach out to a White House adviser. Trump dismisses Bright as a “really unhappy disgruntled person.”| Source: Washington Post