The Past 24 Hours or So – Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

Read Time: 4 Minutes

  • The U.S. reported 46,546 new cases and 1,023 additional deaths.
  • A model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington that previously has been cited by the White House now forecasts that more than 317,000 people in the U.S. will die from Covid-19 by December. 
  • Several states are not heeding new federal health officials’ calls to reduce COVID-19 testing, joining a broad rebuke of the Trump administration by public health leaders.

Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey and New York all plan to continue to test asymptomatic people who have been exposed to COVID-19, despite new guidance from the CDC.

  • Groups representing local health departments asked the CDC to reverse a change to coronavirus testing guidance that they argue would hurt their ability to slow the spread of the disease.

“CDC’s own data suggest that perhaps as many as 40 percent of COVID-19 cases are attributable to asymptomatic transmission. Changing testing guidelines to suggest that close contacts to confirmed positives without symptoms do not need to be tested is inconsistent with the science and the data.”

NOTE: The Trump administration’s moves pressuring science agencies to take controversial steps on the coronavirus are threatening to undermine public confidence in health experts.

  • Top FDA spokeswoman Emily Miller has been removed from her position after just eleven days on the job. Her ouster comes amid the backlash the agency is facing for issuing an emergency authorization for convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 patients.
  • The FDA extended emergency use authorization for remdesivir to all patients hospitalized for coronavirus, regardless of the severity of their disease.
  • Operation Warp Speed, the White House’s race for a Covid-19 vaccine, will likely continue if Donald Trump loses the presidential election in November, Paul Mango, deputy chief of staff for policy at the US Department of Health and Human Services said.
  • Pharmacists will be able to administer the Covid-19 vaccine to children and adults once a vaccine becomes available, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC said.
  • The coronavirus pandemic has had an especially harsh impact on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and they need special support. Many have lost the critical support they need and cannot advocate for themselves.
  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said that President Trump would be willing to sign a coronavirus relief package totaling $1.3 trillion, an increase over the $1.1 trillion proposed by Senate Republicans but well short of the $2.2 trillion relief package House Democrats have demanded.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has stood firm in her demand for a $2.2 trillion relief package.

  • A senior White House official told CNN that “everybody” in America will get COVID-19. The White House statement is consistent with Trump’s reported desire to execute a “herd immunity” pandemic response. Experts say such a plan would kill millions.
  • Children and young people are far less likely than adults to get severe cases of COVID-19 infection, and death from the pandemic disease among children is rare, according to a new UK research study.
  • Researchers for the first time have identified a 25-year-old man living in Reno, Nevada, who tested positive for the virus in April after showing mild illness. He got sick again in late May and developed more severe COVID-19.
  • Dozens of Secret Service agents who protect President Trump and Vice President Pence have either contracted the coronavirus or were benched after coming in contact with people infected with COVID-19.
  • Two attendees and two event support staff at the Republican National Convention in North Carolina tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • Singer-songwriter Van Morrison is launching a campaign encouraging his fellow artists to fight against “pseudo-science” surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, warning that false claims are delaying efforts to slow its spread.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday his government was doing everything possible to avoid another nationwide coronavirus lockdown but added it would be dangerous to rule out any scenario.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the coronavirus pandemic was likely to worsen in coming months, and that life would not return to normal until a vaccine to combat it had been developed.
  • Texas Christian University in Fort Worth is reporting 447 active cases of Covid-19 among students and university employees.
  • About 65% of all K-12 Vermont students will participate in remote learning at least three or four days a week.
  • Health officials in Massachusetts and Rhode Island confirmed a bachelorette party that occurred last month in the Ocean State is now linked to nearly 20 COVID-19 cases. “Everyone who went to that wedding except one person tested positive for COVID,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said.
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said schools are still on track to start in-person learning on Sept. 10.

Youth sports will also return on or around Sept. 15, with a permit required to restart leagues. Leagues receiving permits will be given three strikes of violating health and Covid-19 guidelines before having their play suspended.

  • A 1-year-old African-American boy from Covid-19 in Cobb County, just outside of Atlanta, became the youngest Covid-19 death reported in the state.
  • The Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear a case challenging Gov. Jared Polis’ (D) statewide mask order.

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Forbes,  Fox News,The Hill, Independent, MSNBC, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

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