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Coronavirus (Covid-19) - Page 2

The U.S. currently has more confirmed cases of the coronavirus than any country in the world. Coronavirus is real it is not a hoax. Coronavirus is not the flu no matter what they say, you can get a flu shot which reduces the chances of you getting the flu, you cannot get a coronavirus shot because there are currently no coronavirus vaccines shots. Coronavirus is deadlier than the flu and spreads faster than the flu. Currently there are no shots or cures for the coronavirus. Coronavirus kills people of all ages. Coronavirus can remain in the air and on surfaces for more than an hour. Someone who is not showing any signs of illness can infect you. Be safe; stay home if directed, keep your distance from others, stay home if sick to prevent possible spread of the disease, wash your hands with soap before you touch your face and wash your hands with soap frequently. Below you can find the latest coronavirus updates statistics, totals, new cases, deaths per day, mortality and recovery rates, current active cases, recoveries, trends, timelines and more.

Donald J. Trump failure to act quickly and reasonably to protect the American people from the Coronavirus has put America lives at risks.

Live statistics and coronavirus news tracking the number of confirmed cases, recovered patients, and death toll by country due to the COVID 19 coronavirus from Wuhan, China. Coronavirus counter with new cases, historical data, and info. Daily charts, graphs, news and updates

View United States Coronavirus update with statistics and graphs: total and new cases, deaths per day, mortality and recovery rates, current active cases, recoveries, trends and timeline.

Kevin Breuninger

Herman Cain, a former presidential hopeful who was once considered by President Donald Trump for the Federal Reserve, has died after being hospitalized with the coronavirus. He was 74. Cain’s death was announced Thursday on his website by Dan Calabrese, who edits the site and had previously written about his colleague’s diagnosis. “Herman Cain – our boss, our friend, like a father to so many of us – has passed away,” Calabrese said in the blog post. “We all prayed so hard every day. We knew the time would come when the Lord would call him home, but we really liked having him here with us, and we held out hope he’d have a full recovery.”

Calabrese did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for additional comment. Cain was among the highest-profile public figures in the United States to have died from Covid-19. A 74-year-old survivor of stage 4 colon cancer, Cain had attended Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, less than two weeks before receiving his diagnosis. Cain had been a business executive and board chairman of a branch of Kansas City’s Federal Reserve Bank before moving into Republican politics and eventually becoming a presidential candidate. Last year, Trump briefly considered picking Cain as his nominee to join the Federal Reserve Board. Cain remained a vocal supporter of Trump’s after his nomination was withdrawn, and he attended the president’s controversial reelection rally in Oklahoma in June, shortly before being diagnosed with the coronavirus.

The Texas Republican received the diagnosis during a pre-screening procedure at the White House on Wednesday morning.
By JAKE SHERMAN

Rep. Louie Gohmert — a Texas Republican who has been walking around the Capitol without a mask — has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to multiple sources. Gohmert was scheduled to fly to Texas on Wednesday morning with President Donald Trump and tested positive in a pre-screen at the White House. The eighth-term Republican told CNN last month that he was not wearing a mask because he was being tested regularly for the coronavirus. "[I]f I get it," he told CNN in June, "you'll never see me without a mask."

Reps. Mario Diaz Balart (R-Fla.), Neal Dunn (R-Fla.), Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Ben McAdams (D-Utah) and Tom Rice (R-S.C.) have tested positive for the virus, along with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). In May, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) turned down the administration's offer of rapid testing for the Capitol. Some lawmakers — mostly Republicans — decline to use face coverings while in the building.

Two Russians who have held senior roles in Moscow’s military intelligence service reportedly have been identified as responsible for the spread.
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Russian intelligence operatives are using a trio of English-language websites to spread disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, seeking to exploit a crisis that America is struggling to contain ahead of the presidential election in November, U.S. officials said Tuesday. Two Russians who have held senior roles in Moscow’s military intelligence service known as the GRU have been identified as responsible for a disinformation effort directed at American and Western audiences, U.S. government officials said. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The information had previously been classified, but officials said it had been downgraded so they could more freely discuss it. Officials said they were doing so now to sound the alarm about the particular websites and to expose a connection between the sites and Russian intelligence. Between late May and early July, one of the officials said, a trio of websites published about 150 articles about the pandemic response, including coverage aimed at propping up Russia and denigrating the U.S. Among the headlines that caught the attention of U.S. officials are “Russia’s Counter COVID-19 Aid to America Advances Case for Détente,” which suggested that Russia had given urgent and substantial aid to the U.S. to fight the pandemic, and “Beijing Believes COVID-19 is a Biological Weapon.”

By Gregory Krieg, CNN

(CNN) Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stood outside the White House two months ago bragging about his state's triumph over the coronavirus. "We succeeded and people just don't want to recognize it," he blustered. Then, jabbing his finger at reporters, he scolded the press: "You've got a lot of people in your profession who waxed poetically for weeks and weeks about how Florida was going to be just like New York," he said. That was May 20. A little less than 10 weeks later, Florida, with DeSantis at the helm, has become a global ground zero for Covid-19 cases and a poster child for the Trump administration and its closest allies' failures in responding to the pandemic. The nationwide angst over schools is playing out in pointed clashes between teachers and DeSantis, who is pushing hard for a full-scale reopening. Trump's obsession with hosting a live, in-person convention extravaganza, supported by DeSantis, collapsed under the weight of the crisis. And the Major League Baseball season has been thrown into doubt as the sports world waits to see if the outbreak among Miami Marlins players and coaches spreads to other teams.

As the hot-button fights rage on, so too does the spread of the virus among ordinary Floridians. The state surpassed New York's total count of Covid-19 cases, with 414,511 and rising. Only California, with its larger population, has recorded more. Hospitalizations in Florida are up and ICU capacity across the state is tumbling. On Saturday, the state's Agency for Health Care Administration reported that only 17% of ICU beds were still available. And in hard-hit Miami-Dade County, the virus positivity rate exceeded 19%, nearly double its target. A close political ally of Donald Trump who made the President's support the centerpiece of his 2018 gubernatorial campaign, DeSantis has remained closely in-line with the White House's messaging. But a politically unfamiliar landscape is looming for DeSantis if the situation in Florida doesn't improve rapidly, and along with it Trump's poll numbers in the state. The President in an interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace last Sunday gave a hint that his public support for DeSantis might be reaching its limit.

By Denise Royal and Rosa Flores, CNN

Miami — A 9-year-old girl with no known underlying health conditions is the youngest person to die from coronavirus complications in Florida, officials said. Kimora "Kimmie" Lynum died on July 18 in Putnam County, according to Florida Department of Health records. It confirmed her identity and said she's the state's youngest coronavirus fatality. She had no pre-existing health issues and her mother took her to the hospital due to a high fever, said family spokesman Dejeon Cain. The hospital sent her home and she collapsed a short time later, Cain said. "She was always happy and made everybody happy. She was phenomenal," said Cain, who's also her cousin. The family does not know how or where she was infected. She appeared healthy and spent the summer at home, and did not attend school or camp, Cain said.

Laurel Wamsley at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Another day, another mind-boggling milestone: 4 million people in the U.S. have tested positive for the coronavirus. The U.S. hit the 3 million mark just 15 days ago. That's according to a tracker from Johns Hopkins University. More than 143,700 people have died from the virus in the U.S. — nearly twice as many as Brazil, the country with the second-highest number of fatalities. Case numbers continue to rise in most U.S. states and territories.

While confirmed cases have surpassed 4 million, federal health officials have said the actual number is likely many times higher. "Our best estimate right now is that for every case that was reported, there actually were 10 other infections," Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said last month.

No part of the country has been untouched by the virus. The New York metro area was the first epicenter in the U.S., and the city became a ghost town amid skyrocketing case numbers. It is now gradually reopening. New hot spots emerged in June and July: California, Texas and Florida now have large numbers of cases, and Arizona and Louisiana have especially significant case numbers compared with the size of their populations.

Random sampling paints a picture of where the pandemic was in late spring.
John Timmer

It's been clear from quite early in the COVID-19 pandemic that a substantial number of people who get infected by SARS-CoV-2 don't experience significant symptoms. This simple fact has enormous public health consequences, as these asymptomatic individuals can still pass the infection on to others. That means that even if we were able to get everyone with symptoms to self-isolate, we may still be unable to check the spread of the pandemic. It also makes it much harder to find out the true spread of the virus, since many people won't bother to get tested if they aren't feeling unwell.

Most of the data on the spread of the pandemic within the US comes from tests that pick up the presence of the virus' genome, which indicates the presence of an active infection. But you have to catch the person while the infection is happening for this to work. The alternative is to look for an indication of a past infection: the presence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. While the immune response to the virus is complex and isn't present immediately after an infection, most people have at least some antibodies a few weeks after the virus is cleared. This allows widespread antibody testing to provide a clearer picture of the virus' past spread through a population. On Tuesday, the CDC started releasing lots of data from past antibody testing. While it was from a period where the virus was relatively rare in the US, the data provides a sharp contrast to the RNA-based tests from the same time, showing that lots of infections have gone undetected.

By Annie Grayer and Randi Kaye, CNN

(CNN) Florida educators have filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the state's emergency order that forces schools to open for in-person instruction next month. The president of the Florida Education Association, Fedrick Ingram, announced the suit against Gov. Ron DeSantis, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez, the Florida Department of Education and the Florida State Board of Education. The suit was filed in the 11th Circuit Court in Miami. Corcoran issued the emergency order earlier this month, requiring all "brick and mortar schools" to open "at least five days per week for all students." "We believe that that is reckless," Ingram said of the executive order. "We believe that it is unconscionable, and we also believe that the executive order is unconstitutional."

CNN

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' press briefing on his state's response to the pandemic was met with loud protests, including shouts of "Shame on you Ron DeSantis!"

by FOX News Channel

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — Florida gang members have supposedly been hosting massive parties at vacation rental homes with the hopes of spreading the coronavirus, according to officials. Osceola County Sherriff Russ Gibson reported that the sheriff’s office has received more than 600 noise complaints, many related to what Gibson referred to as “COVID-19 parties.” Gibson advised that over the coming weekend, his deputies plan to step up patrols in areas where the parties have been known to happen. “They’re being referred to, from what I’m being told, as COVID-19 parties, where they’re actually getting together and they’re trying to mingle to potentially spread the virus amongst each other if they’re asymptomatic or whatever the case might be,” Gibson said. Gibson claimed that such parties range in size from 50 to 400 people, some coming from other parts of Central Florida, Click Orlando reported. The parties largely appear to occur at vacation rental properties, specifically in three gated housing developments. Gibson raised the issue as Osceola county experiences a spike in COVID-19 cases. The younger people who attend such parties may only experience mild symptoms should they become infected, but the danger is to their family members, particularly the more vulnerable population of elderly people. “The problem is when you have this and you take it back home to a parent or grandparent, and unknowingly pass that virus on to them, and potentially end their life — It’s just not worth it,” Gibson said. “And I think sometimes our young folks are just thinking about the moment.” He mentioned an incident in April where a man was fatally shot during one of these house parties. Demetrius Cox, 20, was taken into custody after shooting a man at one of the house parties, FR24 News reported.

The tragic death of 37-year-old Richard Rose attracted headlines around the world in the summer of 2020.
Dan MacGuill

Richard Rose of Port Clinton, Ohio died of COVID-19 after earlier vowing not to buy a face mask and dismissing advice to use face masks as "hype." In the summer of 2020, we received multiple inquiries from readers about a collage of social media posts that appeared to show the public pronouncements of Ohio man Richard Rose. One image appears to be a screenshot of a Facebook post by Rose, vowing not to wear a face mask in the context of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, while a later image appears to be a screenshot of his obituary, which states that he died on July 4 “due to complications of COVID-19.”  

Minyvonne Burke ,NBC News

More than 80 children under 2 years old, most of them younger than 1 year old, have tested positive for the coronavirus in one Texas county, a local public health official announced, as the United States set a single-day record in the tally of new cases. The public health director in Nueces County on the Texas Gulf Coast said 85 children under 2 years old, including 52 younger than a year old, have tested positive for the virus. "These babies have not even had their first birthdays yet," director Annette Rodriguez said Friday of the infants in the group. "Please help us to stop the spread of this disease. Stay social distanced from others; stay protected. Wear a mask when in public and for everyone else please do your best to stay home." Rodriguez initially said at a meeting Friday that a review of coronavirus statistics showed that 85 infants have tested positive. She clarified this on Saturday to say that total also includes children between the ages of 1 and 2 years old. The numbers are taken from testing that started on March 21, 2020. The health director added that she believes it is hard for families to isolate such young children and that family members are passing the virus on to each other. Fewer than 10 of the infants have been hospitalized, she said.


NEW YORK (AP) — Target, CVS Health and Publix Super Markets on Thursday joined the growing list of national chains that will require customers to wear face masks regardless of where cities or states stand on the issue. Target’s mandatory face mask policy will go into effect Aug. 1, and all CVS stores will begin requiring them on Monday. Publix Super Markets Inc., based in Lakeland, Florida, said that its rule will kick in on Tuesday at all 1,200 stores. More than 80% of Target’s 1,800 stores already require customers to wear masks due to local and state regulations. Target will hand out masks at entrances to those who need them. The announcements come one day after the nation’s largest retailer, Walmart, said that it would mandate face shields for all customers starting Monday. Starbucks, Best Buy, Kohl’s and Kroger Co. have also announced mandatory masks nationwide in recent days.

Jennifer Allford, CNN

(CNN) — The Canadian/US border is expected to remain closed for another 30 days, until August 21. In March, the longest un-defended border in the world closed to all "non-essential traffic" due to Covid-19. The US and Canadian governments review the agreement every 30 days, and reports suggest the closure will be extended a fourth time.

Prioritizing Canadians' safety
"We recognize that the situation continues to be complex in the United States with regard to Covid-19," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters Monday. "We are going to continue to keep Canadians safe and to keep our economy flowing."

ABC7 Chicago

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. -- A 26-year-old Florida woman died from COVID-19 after her family says she went to the hospital and was sent home to recover without being tested for coronavirus. As her condition worsened, Desi-rae McIntosh was admitted to the hospital on July 9 and tested positive for COVID-19. But ABC affiliate WEAR-TV reports it was too late, and she died only four days later. McIntosh's father said she worked at a Tom Thumb up until she was hospitalized. Now, candles and flowers sit outside the gas station in her memory. "Desi was the most sweetest, honest, caring and loving person you could ever possibly want to meet," said her father, Thomas Frisch. About two weeks ago, McIntosh started having a cough and shortness of breath. Frisch said she went to the hospital, was diagnosed with pneumonia and was sent home to recover. However, Frisch said she was never tested for COVID-19 at the time. "If I come to your hospital and I have pneumonia and you don't check me for COVID, shame on you," her father said.

The order comes as 3,871 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Georgia Wednesday — the second highest daily total since the start of the pandemic.
By Joe Murphy and Corky Siemaszko

The governor of Georgia has thrown a wrench into the drive to get people to don masks against COVID-19 by banning more than a dozen local governments in his state from mandating that they be worn in public. Gov. Brian Kemp issued his executive order Wednesday, the same day the Republican governor of another state that has seen a surge in new cases, Mike DeWine of Ohio, changed course and urged residents to wear masks at all times when outside. Kemp spokeswoman Candice Broce insisted in a tweet the governor was not against wearing masks. “Previous executive orders — and now this order — state no local action can be more or less restrictive than ours,” Broce wrote. “We have explained that local mask mandates are unenforceable. The Governor continues to strongly encourage Georgians to wear masks in public.” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a Democrat touted as one of Joe Biden's potential vice-presidential picks, quickly pushed back against Kemp’s ban. "The Mayor’s Order remains in effect, as science and data will continue to drive the City’s decisions," Bottoms' spokesman Michael Smith said. "Masks save lives." In Georgia, 3,871 new COVID-19 cases were reported Wednesday — the second highest daily total since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest NBC News tally. In total, Georgia has reported 127,834 cases and recorded 3,091 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Kemp’s move came as more and more Republicans who had previously been reluctant to wear masks were changing their tune and the numbers of new cases were climbing at a staggering rate, especially among children as Florida officials are now reporting.

By Jacob Jarvis

Atlanta's mask mandate will stay in place despite Georgia's governor suspending such measures enacted by cities and counties in the state, according to its mayor's office. Democratic mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms previously issued an order insisting face coverings be worn in public spaces, "in response to the rising number of COVID-19 infections." Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, subsequently issued an order prohibiting areas from issuing requirements for personal protective equipment such as masks to be worn in public. There have been local orders in at least 15 Georgian cities and other localities in regards to the use of face masks. This suspension was enacted Wednesday, along with provisions such as extending measures limiting gatherings and enforcing health guidelines for restaurants until the end of the month.

By Emily Czachor

Restaurants across Georgia can continue to offer dine-in services, despite increasing cases of the new coronavirus and local officials' subsequent efforts to tighten restrictions. Countering guidelines included an announcement issued by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp confirmed that statewide food service establishments are permitted to remain open in comments shared to Twitter on Friday. Kemp called Bottoms' guidance — which called for Atlanta businesses to return to Phase I of the Georgia's reopening plan — "both non-binding and legally unenforceable," since the governor's orders prevent local leaders from implementing regulations that depart from state requirements. "As clearly stated in my executive orders, no local action can be more or less restrictive, and that rule applies statewide," Kemp wrote, noting that Georgia residents and businesses are expected to operate under the terms of his office's June 29 order only. The order was passed as state health officials began to report a spike in COVID-19 cases, and listed a series of heightened safety requirements to reduce risk of transmission. "These common-sense measures will help protect the lives and livelihoods of al Georgians," Kemp continued on Twitter Friday.

By Aila Slisco

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has issued an executive order that explicitly bans local officials from requiring that masks be worn in public while the state continues to experience a surge in cases of COVID-19. Kemp on Wednesday extended several public health provisions like limiting gatherings and enforcing health guidelines for restaurants until the end of July. However, the governor's order also prohibited cities and counties from issuing requirements that masks, face shields or any other kind of personal protective equipment be worn in public, invalidating face covering orders that had already been issued by at least 15 localities. COVID-19 cases in Georgia have continued to pile up after beginning to rise dramatically late last month. There were 3,871 new confirmed cases reported on Wednesday, bringing total cases to 127,834. The state also reported 37 new deaths, with 3,091 deaths since the pandemic began. More than 14,000 people had been hospitalized with COVID-19, over 2,700 of those in intensive care.

Adrianna Rodriguez USA TODAY

The first confirmed case of a mother transmitting the coronavirus to her unborn baby has been reported in France, according to a case study published Tuesday. French doctors said in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications that a 23-year-old woman was admitted to the Antoine Béclère hospital in Paris with a fever and a cough when she more than 35 weeks pregnant. She tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, and gave birth to her baby by cesarean section. Presence of the virus also was found in the boy. Doctors found evidence of inflammation in the newborn’s brain caused by the coronavirus. They believe the virus had infected baby’s bloodstream by way of the placenta. “The placenta showed signs of acute and chronic intervillous inflammation consistent with the severe systemic maternal inflammatory status triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the case study’s authors said.

By Naomi Thomas, CNN

(CNN) One in three young adults is at risk of severe Covid-19, and smoking plays a big part in that risk, according to new research published Monday in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, looked at more than 8,000 participants ages 18 to 25 who had participated in the National Health Interview Survey to see what their medical vulnerability to severe Covid-19 was in relation to risk indicators that had been set out by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including health conditions and smoking habits. The researchers found 32% of the total study population were medically vulnerable for severe Covid-19. However, when the group of participants who smoked cigarettes or e-cigarettes were taken out of the analysis, the medically vulnerable percentage decreased by half, to 16%. "The difference between estimates is driven largely by the sizeable portion of young adults who reported that they engaged in past 30-day smoking (1 in 10) and past 30-day e-cigarette use (1 in 14)," the report said. "By contrast, relatively fewer young adults reported medical conditions identified by the CDC as conferring severe illness risk." The research showed that in the whole study population, young adult men were at a higher risk for severe Covid-19. Although more women reported having asthma and immune conditions, higher rates of smoking in men overrode this. However, looking at just the nonsmokers, women had a higher risk.

By Caitlin O'Kane

Dying from a broken heart isn't just an expression — people can actually die from the pain they feel from the loss of love. So-called broken heart syndrome, resulting from the stress one feels when someone close to them dies, is technically called stress cardiomyopathy or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, and cases have increased during the coronavirus pandemic, a study by Cleveland Clinic researchers suggests. The researchers sought to determine if the psychological, social, and economic stress caused by coronavirus is associated with the incidence of stress cardiomyopathy. The researchers looked at 1,914 acute coronary syndrome patients from two hospitals in the Cleveland Clinic health system who underwent coronary arteriography, a procedure that involves injecting dye to track blood flow through the arteries. They compared patients that experienced the syndrome during the COVID-19 pandemic with patients from time periods prior to the pandemic.

By Jennifer Henderson, CNN

(CNN) Three teachers who shared a summer classroom at a school in Arizona all contracted coronavirus last month, leaving one of them dead. Kimberley Chavez Lopez Byrd, 61, died June 26, less than two weeks after she was hospitalized. The other two teachers -- Jena Martinez and Angela Skillings -- said they're still struggling with the effects of the virus that has killed nearly 135,000 people nationwide. All three teachers wore masks and gloves, used hand sanitizer and socially distanced, but still got sick, according to school officials at the small community in the eastern part of the state. Kimberley Byrd had worked at the Hayden Winkelman School District for 38 years -- so long that she'd started teaching the children of her former students. "Losing Mrs. Byrd in our small rural community was devastating. She was an excellent educator with a huge heart," said Pamela Gonzalez, principal of Leonor Hambly K8. "We find comfort in knowing her story may bring awareness to the importance of keeping our school employees safe and our precious students safe in this pandemic."

Maggie Fox, CNN

Coronavirus damages not only the lungs, but the kidneys, liver, heart, brain and nervous system, skin and gastrointestinal tract, doctors said Friday in a review of reports about COVID-19 patients. The team at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City — one of the hospitals flooded with patients in the spring — went through their own experiences and collected reports from other medical teams around the world. Their comprehensive picture shows the coronavirus attacks virtually every major system in the human body, directly damaging organs and causing the blood to clot, the heart to lose its healthy rhythm, the kidneys to shed blood and protein and the skin to erupt in rashes. It causes headaches, dizziness, muscle aches, stomach pain and other symptoms along with classic respiratory symptoms like coughing and fever. "Physicians need to think of COVID-19 as a multisystem disease," said Dr. Aakriti Gupta, a cardiology fellow at Columbia who worked on the review, in a statement. "There's a lot of news about clotting but it's also important to understand that a substantial proportion of these patients suffer kidney, heart, and brain damage, and physicians need to treat those conditions along with the respiratory disease." Much of the damage wrought by the virus appears to come because of its affinity for a receptor — a kind of molecular doorway into cells — called ACE2. Cells lining the blood vessels, in the kidneys, the liver ducts, the pancreas, in the intestinal tract and lining the respiratory tract all are covered with ACE2 receptors, which the virus can use to grapple and infect cells, the Columbia team wrote in their review, published in the journal Nature Medicine. "These findings suggest that multiple-organ injury may occur at least in part due to direct viral tissue damage," the team wrote.

By Rob Picheta, CNN

London (CNN) The director-general of the World Health Organization has condemned a "lack of leadership" in fighting the coronavirus pandemic and made an emotional plea for global unity, as cases soar in multiple countries and the world struggles to contain the devastating virus more than six months after it was first identified. "My friends, make no mistake: The greatest threat we face now is not the virus itself," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a passionate speech in Geneva on Thursday. "Rather, it's the lack of leadership and solidarity at the global and national levels." His intervention will be seen as a thinly veiled swipe at leaders including US President Donald Trump, who has waged a public battle against WHO while failing to suppress the world's worst Covid-19 outbreak in his own country. "This is a tragedy that is forcing us to miss many of our friends, losing many lives. We cannot defeat this pandemic as a divided world," Tedros said, his voice trembling as he spoke.

"Just before the patient died, they looked at their nurse and said 'I think I made a mistake, I thought this was a hoax, but it's not.'"
By JERUSALEM POST STAFF

A patient in their 30s who contracted the novel coronavirus at a "COVID party" in San Antonio, Texas, passed away from the virus, local NBC affiliate WOAI/KABB reported. A COVID party is a party hosted by a diagnosed COVID-19 patient to see if guests get infected. According to Methodist Healthcare's chief medical officer Dr. Jane Appleby, the core idea of these parties is to see if the virus is real. "Just before the patient died, they looked at their nurse and said 'I think I made a mistake, I thought this was a hoax, but it's not,'" Appleby said, according to WOAI/KABB. Other states have also seen COVID parties being held, such as Washington state and Alabama. COVID-19 cases in Texas, including in Bexar County, where San Antonio is, have spiked considerably in recent days as the pandemic continues to worsen throughout the US. In Bexar County, positive coronavirus tests spiked to 22%. "This is a concerning increase from a positive rate of about five percent only several weeks ago," Appleby explained, according to WOAI/KABB.

[ABC News]
ELLA TORRES

"I think I made a mistake. I thought this was a hoax, but it's not." Those were the final words of a 30-year-old patient who died at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio this week after attending a so-called "COVID party," according to the hospital. Dr. Jane Appleby, chief medical officer for Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital, said in a recorded statement that the unidentified patient told nurses about the party, which she said is hosted by someone diagnosed with coronavirus. "The thought is people get together to see if the virus is real and if anyone gets infected," Appleby said. Appleby said she shared the story not to scare people, but to make sure they understand that the virus can affect anyone.

Del Marsh, a state senator in Alabama, said he’s “not concerned” with the spike in infections and touted the controversial idea of herd immunity.
By Lee Moran

A GOP lawmaker in Alabama said he’s “not concerned” about the current spike in cases of the coronavirus in the state. “In fact, quite honestly, I want to see more people, because we start reaching an immunity as more people have it and get through it,” Alabama state Sen. Del Marsh told reporters Thursday. “I don’t want any deaths — as few as possible,” he continued. “So those people who are susceptible to the disease, especially those with preexisting conditions, elderly population, those folks, we need to do all we can to protect them. But I’m not concerned. I want to make sure that everybody can receive care. And right now we have, to my knowledge as of today, we still have ample beds.” In his comments, Marsh ― who sits on the state’s coronavirus task force ― appeared to be referring to the idea of herd immunity, which contends that a virus will not spread as easily once a certain high percentage of the population has contracted it or been vaccinated, and therefore developed the necessary antibodies. The controversial approach has been contested by scientists and public health experts: Herd immunity could still be a long way off from happening, if it does at all with this virus, even with a vaccine. *** Trump and some in the Republicans Party do not care how many Americans will die from the coronavirus. ***

A small study of 31 women with COVID-19 in Italy found signs of the virus in samples of umbilical cord blood, the placenta and, in one case, breast milk.
MARILYNN MARCHIONE

A small study strengthens evidence that a pregnant woman infected with the coronavirus might be able to spread it to her fetus. Researchers from Italy said Thursday that they studied 31 women with COVID-19 who delivered babies in March and April. They found signs of the virus in several samples of umbilical cord blood, the placenta and, in one case, breast milk. Women shouldn’t panic. This doesn’t mean there’s a viable virus in those places and “it’s too early to make guidelines” or to change care, said the study leader, Dr. Claudio Fenizia, an immunology specialist at the University of Milan. But it does merit more study, especially of women who are infected earlier in their pregnancies than these women, said Fenizia, who discussed the results at a medical conference being held online because of the pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, doctors have wondered whether in-the-womb infection could occur. HIV, Zika and some other viruses can infect a fetus this way. Several early reports from China suggested the coronavirus might, too, although doctors suspect those women may have spread the virus to their babies during or after birth.

Greece warns it will reimpose public and travel restrictions next week if needed, as total cases surpass 3,600.
by Ted Regencia, Usaid Siddiqui & Mersiha Gadzo

Greek authorities say they are ready to re-impose public and travel restrictions next week, warning that safety guidance for the coronavirus is being frequently ignored. India reported a record one-day surge in infections of nearly 25,000. The Australian state of Victoria has imposed broad restrictions on nearly five million people, including in Melbourne, in an attempt to halt the spread of the new coronavirus. Humanitarian group Oxfam says as many as 122 million people could go hungry this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, warning that up to 12,000 people could die each day from hunger linked to the social and economic impacts of the disease. More than 12 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19, and more than 550,000 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 6.6 million patients have recovered. Here are the latest updates.

Sarah Brookbank Cincinnati Enquirer

Lysol is the first surface disinfectant approved by the Environmental Protection Agency to wipe out the coronavirus, the agency announced this week. But if you still can't find Lysol, there are more cleaning products to choose from. In March, the EPA released a lengthy list of household cleaners that were expected to be effective against coronavirus because they have been tested and proven to work against similar viruses. The list includes products like Clorox disinfecting wipes and spray and Microban 24 products. Two Lysol products were lab tested by the EPA directly against COVID-19. The test found they could kill the virus on surfaces, the EPA announced this week. In a statement, the EPA expects to approve more products in the next coming weeks after testing. But currently, all products on "List N" meet the agency’s criteria for effectiveness against COVID-19.

Tommy Beer Forbes Staff

America sped past a somber signpost on Wednesday, as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases within the United States surpassed 3 million, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The U.S. reported 60,000 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the most ever reported in the country in a single day. According to CNN, it took 99 days for 1 million Americans to become infected, 43 days after that the U.S. hit 2 million cases, and just 28 days later, America surpassed 3 million. Several states in the south and west have been pummeled by recent outbreaks, leading to dangerous spikes that have stretched some hospitals to maximum capacity.

By Madeline Holcombe and Jason Hanna, CNN

(CNN) A second shutdown might be the best move for states struggling with burgeoning coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, one of the nation's top infectious disease experts says. "I think any state that is having a serious problem, that state should seriously look at shutting down," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Wall Street Journal in a podcast Wednesday. Fauci's comment comes as the country and some states are setting records for average daily officially reported cases, ICUs in hot spots are reaching capacity, and most states are seeing spikes, recalling the uncertainty of months ago when the virus first broke out. Fauci stressed shutting down certain states' economies' "wasn't for me to say because each state is different." But another health expert echoed his overarching opinion about second shutdowns Thursday morning.

Team finds acute disseminated encephalomyelitis diagnoses not linked to severity of COVID-19; survey carried out on 43 patients hospitalized in confirmed or suspected virus cases
By Patrick Galey

PARIS (AFP) — Potentially fatal COVID-19 complications in the brain including delirium, nerve damage and stroke may be more common than initially thought, a team of British-based doctors warned Wednesday. Severe COVID-19 infections are known to put patients at risk of neurological complications, but research led by University College London suggests serious problems can occur even in individuals with mild cases of the virus. The team looked at the neurological symptoms of 43 patients hospitalized with either confirmed or suspected COVID-19. They found 10 cases of temporary brain dysfunction, 12 cases of brain inflammation, eight strokes and eight cases of nerve damage. Most of those patients with inflammation were diagnosed with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) — a rare condition typically seen in children after viral infections. “We identified a higher than expected number of people with neurological conditions such as brain inflammation, which did not always correlate with the severity of respiratory symptoms,” said Michael Zandi, of UCL’s Queen Square Institute of Neurology and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

WHO bows to pressure from scientists about risk from aerosol transmission; Brazil’s Bolsonaro tests positive; Israel health chief resigns
Martin Farrer and agencies

The World Health Organization has acknowledged new evidence that the coronavirus spreads more widely in the air than it had previously suggested, as the Trump administration gave official notification of its withdrawal from the group. A day after a group of scientists said the global body was underplaying the risk of airborne transmission between people, a senior WHO official said there was “evidence emerging” of airborne transmission of the coronavirus, but that it was not definitive. Speaking at a media briefing in Geneva on Tuesday, Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO’s technical lead for infection prevention and control, said: “...The possibility of airborne transmission in public settings – especially in very specific conditions, crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings that have been described, cannot be ruled out. “However, the evidence needs to be gathered and interpreted, and we continue to support this.” The WHO has previously said the virus that causes the Covid-19 respiratory disease spreads primarily through small droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person that quickly sink to the ground.

Its decision to carry on in the face of the pandemic has yielded a surge of deaths without sparing its economy from damage — a red flag as the United States and Britain move to lift lockdowns.
By Peter S. Goodman

LONDON — Ever since the coronavirus emerged in Europe, Sweden has captured international attention by conducting an unorthodox, open-air experiment. It has allowed the world to examine what happens in a pandemic when a government allows life to carry on largely unhindered. This is what has happened: Not only have thousands more people died than in neighboring countries that imposed lockdowns, but Sweden’s economy has fared little better. “They literally gained nothing,” said Jacob F. Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. “It’s a self-inflicted wound, and they have no economic gains.” The results of Sweden’s experience are relevant well beyond Scandinavian shores. In the United States, where the virus is spreading with alarming speed, many states have — at President Trump’s urging — avoided lockdowns or lifted them prematurely on the assumption that this would foster economic revival, allowing people to return to workplaces, shops and restaurants.

Chloe Taylor

Covid-19 antibodies in Spain’s population “are insufficient to provide herd immunity,” a new study has claimed, despite the country being one of the worst-affected by the pandemic. In a peer-reviewed paper published in the Lancet medical journal Monday, researchers from Harvard, MIT and several Spanish institutions analyzed findings from a widescale study on antibody prevalence in Spain. More than 251,700 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Spain, while the virus has killed 28,388 people in the country to date, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. With 607 deaths per million people, Spain has the third-highest number of deaths relative to population in the world, according to Our World in Data. Households all over Spain were invited at random by the research team to take part in the study, which aimed to determine the proportion of the population that had developed antibodies for the coronavirus. A total of 61,075 people agreed to participate in the study, which was carried out between April 27 and May 11. Participants answered a questionnaire on coronavirus symptoms, were given a point-of-care finger prick test, and had the option to donate blood for further laboratory testing (which 51,958 of the people in the study did). Just 5% of participants presented with antibodies from point-of-care tests, while antibodies were detected in 4.6% of the blood samples.

Thomas Pallini

India recorded just shy of 24,000 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, raising its total to 697,836, according to Worldometer data. A similar surge was reported one day earlier, as 24,015 new cases were recorded Saturday, according to Worldometer data. The new data brought country's total case count ahead ahead of Russia's 681,251 and placed it third in the world behind the US and Brazil for total confirmed cases. New Delhi, India's capital, leads the country in new COVID-19 cases, according to the BBC. Last week, the outlet reported that the capital city was the country's largest hot spot, with nearly 80,000 cases.

Why hasn't India been able to get a grip on coronavirus
India's rising case counts are not for lack of trying to contain the spread, according to The Guardian, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi instituted strict lockdown measures and has expressed consistent social-distancing messages since the lockdowns began in March. The country exited a two-month lockdown at the end of May only to find that it didn't succeed in flattening any curve, however, The Washington Post reported.

By: WSBTV.com News Staff

LAKE BURTON, Ga. — Officials at a north Georgia summer camp said multiple campers and staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 after a counselor was diagnosed with the virus. Camp High Harbor at Lake Burton announced they were shutting down for the summer after the counselor tested positive in late June during a mandatory screening. "The counselor... passed the mandated safety protocols and screening, inclusive of providing a negative COVID-19 test, before arriving at camp and did not exhibit any symptoms upon arrival," officials said. "In fact, all counselors and campers attending passed all mandatory screenings."

Fadel Allassan

A group of 239 scientists in 32 countries is calling for the World Health Organization to revise its recommendations to account for airborne transmission as a significant factor in how the coronavirus spreads, the New York Times reports. The big picture: The WHO has said the virus mainly spreads via large respiratory droplets that fall to the ground once they've been discharged in coughs and sneezes. But the scientists say evidence shows the virus can spread from smaller particles that linger in air indoors. Why it matters: If airborne transmission is indeed a significant factor, it would call for major adjustments in efforts to contain the virus, according to the Times.

Tucker Higgins

Hospitals in Houston, Texas are on track to be overwhelmed in approximately two weeks as coronavirus cases mount, Mayor Sylvester Turner said on Sunday. “The number of people who are getting sick and going to the hospitals has exponentially increased. The number of people in our ICU beds has exponentially increased,” Turner said on CBS’s “Face The Nation.” “In fact, if we don’t get our hands around this virus quickly, in about two weeks our hospital system could be in serious, serious trouble.” Texas hit a record number of new coronavirus cases on Saturday, reporting 8,258 people infected over 24 hours. Nearly 200,000 in the state have tested positive, according to data provided state health officials, including more than 35,000 in Harris County, which contains Houston. At least 2,608 people in the state have died of the disease. In Houston, the percentage of tests for the virus coming back positive has risen to nearly 25%. Turner said that people of color were being disproportionately impacted, particularly Hispanic residents. Turner, a Democrat, said that the main problem facing Houston hospitals is staffing, not a shortage of beds.

Carlie Porterfield Forbes Staff

Florida reported 11,458 new daily Covid-19 cases over the previous 24 hours Saturday, a record-breaking figure for the state and beating the previous high set just two days ago as it continues to face a massive surge of new infections. According to Reuters, Saturday is the second occasion in just three days that the Florida Department of Health tallied new cases in the five-figure range. The figure comes a week after Florida shuttered its bars again, and after Broward and Miami-Dade counties—which both saw new record county-wide daily spikes Saturday—closed beaches ahead of the July 4 weekend, along with Collier, Martin, Monroe and Palm Beach counties. Besides South Florida, beaches in the rest of the state remained largely open, according to Florida Today.

The CDC issued additional guidance this week on safely reopening schools, with infections spiking in the South and West.
By NICOLE GAUDIANO and JUAN PEREZ JR.

Pediatricians say schools should strive to bring kids back to classrooms. Teachers unions are on the verge of revolt, in fear of infections. Local school districts are struggling with everything from technology to staging schools for socially distanced learning. And Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is largely on the sidelines, saying the coronavirus back-to-school planning is a state and local issue. No wonder parents across America are freaking out. The CDC issued additional guidance this week on safely reopening schools, with infections spiking in the South and West. Some education leaders fear the guidelines are being disregarded, casting doubt anew on how the new school year will even be able to launch. Yet the beginning of the school year is nearing and worried parents are wondering if they will be able to count on in-person classes resuming by the time they must return to work, inextricably tying school reopenings to the revival of the economy.

By Jeffery Martin

At least 12 counties in Texas announced they will not be enforcing a statewide face mask mandate declared Thursday by Governor Greg Abbott. Meanwhile, public health officials in Texas reported 7,555 new positive cases of coronavirus on Friday, bringing the state's total to 183,532. Abbott's Thursday executive order made wearing face masks in public a requirement in every county with over 20 confirmed positive cases of coronavirus. The governor also called for a ban on public gatherings of more than 10 people, unless approved by a mayor or county judge. Celebrations over the upcoming holiday weekend could be affected by Abbott's decision. In some areas of Texas, officials have decided to make the mask mandate voluntary. In Nacogdoches County, Sheriff Jason Bridges said he believes that "citizens are going to use common sense and do what is right."

By Alta Spells and Susannah Cullinane

(CNN) Hospitals in at least two Texas counties are at full capacity heading into the Fourth of July holiday weekend, with county judges urging residents to shelter in place. Judges in Starr and Hidalgo counties sent out emergency alerts Friday, warning residents that local hospitals in the Rio Grande Valley were at capacity. Judge Eloy Vera said there have been 18 deaths in Starr County due to Covid-19 and two severely ill patients had to be flown out of the area for treatment. One of the patients was taken to San Antonio and the other to Dallas, the judge said in the post on Facebook. "The local and valley hospitals are at full capacity and have no more beds available. I urge all of our residents to please shelter-in-place, wear face coverings, practice social distancing and AVOID GATHERINGS," he wrote.

Doreen McCallister

The United States has reached a daily global record for the coronavirus pandemic — reporting more than 55,000 new COVID-19 cases. The daily U.S. tally stood at 55,274 late Thursday, which exceeds the previous single-day record of 54,771 set by Brazil on June 19. Johns Hopkins University & Medicine's Coronavirus Resource Center, which tracks the virus worldwide, says the total number of cases reported in the U.S. stands at 2,739,879, an increase of 53,399 over Wednesday's figure. Brazil has the next highest number of cases with 1,496,858. Russia rounds out the top three with 660,231 cases. U.S. deaths attributed to the coronavirus stands at 128,740. Brazil ranks second with 61,884 deaths and the United Kingdom third with 44,080 deaths. As infections spike in the U.S., a number of states are taking action to try to slow the spread of cases. Florida's surge of COVID-19 cases shows no signs of slowing down. The state Department of Heath reported Florida set another daily record Thursday, with 10,109 cases, surpassing Saturday's record of 9,585 cases. The milestone continues a marked upturn in cases that began last month, weeks after Florida started allowing businesses to reopen.

Doug Stanglin, Jessica Flores - USA TODAY

The U.S. Surgeon General on Friday encouraged Americans to social distance and wear face masks over the Fourth of July weekend to slow the spread of COVID-19. The U.S. on Thursday saw another day of record cases that surpassed 50,000. Dr. Jerome Adams said while the death rate has remained flat amid the surge in infections, "deaths lag at least two weeks and can lag even more." "In the beginning, nursing homes were hit really hard, and the majority of our deaths were occurring on people who were 60, 65 and older," he said Friday on "Fox & Friends". "Now the majority of cases are in people who have an average age of 35, and so those folks are going to have less comorbidities, they're going to be less likely to end up in the hospital and to die."

Doug Stanglin, Jessica Flores - USA TODAY

Heading into the Fourth of July holiday weekend, the U.S. recorded 52,291 new cases of the coronavirus Thursday, surpassing Wednesday's record of 50,655, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University  Covid-19 cases rise in 40 of 50 states over past two weeks. It's the largest single-day total in the U.S. since the pandemic began six months ago. For the holiday weekend, many in New Jersey are flocking to the Jersey Shore. Boardwalks, outdoor dining, fireworks displays, water parks, amusement rides and casinos will also be open at some capacity this weekend. That won't be the case across some areas of Southern California, where Los Angeles and Ventura counties have closed beaches, and in Florida, where several counties including Broward and Palm Beach have done the same.

ABC News

Twenty-two states are pausing or rolling back reopening plans. ABC’s Megan Tevrizian has the new details.

By Travis Gettys

Several Alabama college students continued attending parties despite knowing they’d been infected with coronavirus. The students were aware they had tested positive for COVID-19, but officials confirmed rumors about college students attending parties around Tuscaloosa for the past few weeks as coronavirus as the number of cases continued to climb in the state, reported WBMA-TV. “We had seen over the last few weeks parties going on in the county, or throughout the city and county in several locations where students or kids would come in with known positives,” said fire chief Randy Smith. “We thought that was kind of a rumor at first [but] we did some additional research [and] not only did the doctor’s offices help confirm it, but the state confirmed they also had the same information.” Defend democracy. Click to invest in courageous progressive journalism today. City councilwoman Sonya McKinstry said the students had been organizing “COVID parties” to intentionally infect one another with the highly contagious virus that has already killed more than 127,000 people in the U.S.

AP

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A journalist who attended President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa last week said Friday he has tested positive for COVID-19. Oklahoma Watch reporter Paul Monies said he was notified Friday of his positive diagnosis. “I’m pretty surprised,” Monies wrote on Twitter. “I have zero symptoms (so far) and I feel fine. In fact, I ran 5 miles this morning.” Monies said he was inside the rally for about 6 hours on Saturday at the BOK Center and that he wore a mask and mostly practiced social distancing, except for when he went to the concourse to get a snack. He said he was never close to the president. An epidemiologist at the Oklahoma City-County Health Department who notified Monies of his positive result said it’s difficult to determine if he contracted the coronavirus at the rally. “I can’t say definitively that I got it at the rally,” Monies said. “But it’s someone I’ve been in contact with in the last two weeks.” Monies said he hasn’t yet been contacted by contact tracers to try and determine everyone he’s been in contact with, but he has taken it upon himself to reach out to anyone he has been close to in the last two weeks.

By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

(CNN) Former 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is receiving treatment for coronavirus at an Atlanta-area hospital, according to a statement posted to his Twitter account. Cain, a contributor for conservative media outlet Newsmax, was hospitalized Wednesday "after he had development symptoms serious enough that he required hospitalization" and was informed Monday that he tested positive for the virus. "Mr. Cain did not require a respirator, and he is awake and alert," according to the statement released Thursday. Cain, as a co-chair of Black Voices for Trump, was one of the surrogates at President Donald Trump's June 20 rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. "We honestly have no idea where he contracted it. I realize people will speculate about the Tulsa rally, but Herman did a lot of traveling the past week, including to Arizona where cases are spiking. I don't think there's any way to trace this to the one specific contact that caused him to be infected. We'll never know," Dan Calabrese, who has been editor of HermanCain.com since 2012, said Thursday in a post on Cain's website. At least eight Trump advance team staffers who attended the Tulsa rally tested positive for coronavirus.

By Rachel Adams-Heard

Covid-19 is increasingly a disease of the young, with the message to stay home for the sake of older loved ones wearing off as the pandemic wears on. The dropping age of the infected is becoming one of the most pressing problems for local officials, who continued Wednesday to set curfews and close places where the young gather. U.S. health experts say that they are more likely to be active and asymptomatic, providing a vast redoubt for the coronavirus that has killed almost 130,000 Americans. In Arizona, half of all positive cases are people from the ages of 20 to 44, according to state data. The median age in Florida is 37, down from 65 in March. In Texas’s Hays County, people in their 20s make up 50% of the victims. At the start of the pandemic, young people were told to stay at home as an act of selflessness: Do it for dad. For grandma. For your neighbor. Then states started reopening and, almost instantly, photos began circulating of packed clubs and crowded restaurants. There were massive street protests over police brutality and racial injustice. Case counts soared to record levels.

By Faith Karimi and Alexandra Meeks, CNN

(CNN) A Southern California man who tested positive for coronavirus after attending a party expressed his fear and regret a day before he died. Thomas Macias, 51, went to a barbecue last month near his community in Lake Elsinore, about 70 miles from Los Angeles. Shortly after the party, he started feeling sick. On June 20, he posted a poignant message on Facebook to warn his loved ones about the risks of the virus, his family said. "I went out a couple of weeks ago ... because of my stupidity I put my mom and sisters and my family's health in jeopardy," he wrote. "This has been a very painful experience. This is no joke. If you have to go out, wear a mask, and practice social distancing. ... Hopefully with God's help, I'll be able to survive this." He never made it. He died a day after that post.

Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

The number of confirmed U.S. deaths due to the coronavirus is substantially lower than the true tally, according to a study published Wednesday in JAMA Internal Medicine. Using National Center for Health Statistics data, researchers at Yale University compared the number of excess U.S. deaths from any causes with the reported number of weekly U.S. Covid-19 deaths from March 1 through May 30. The numbers were then compared with deaths from the same period in previous years.  Researchers found that the excess number of deaths over normal levels also exceeded those attributed to Covid-19, leading them to conclude that many of those fatalities were likely caused by the coronavirus but not confirmed. State reporting discrepancies and a sharp increase in U.S. deaths amid a pandemic suggest the number of Covid-19 fatalities is undercounted, they said. “Our analyses suggest that the official tally of deaths due to Covid-19 represent a substantial undercount of the true burden,” Dan Weinberger, an epidemiologist at Yale School of Public Health and a lead author of the study, told CNBC. Weinberger said other factors could contribute to the increase in deaths, such as people avoiding emergency treatment for things like heart attacks. However, he doesn’t think that is the main driver. The study was supported by the National Institute of Health.

TRIB Live Los Angeles Times

The new coronavirus’s reputation for messing with scientists’ assumptions has taken a truly creepy turn. Researchers exploring the interaction between the coronavirus and its hosts have discovered that when the SARS-CoV-2 virus infects a human cell, it sets off a ghoulish transformation. Obeying instructions from the virus, the newly infected cell sprouts multi-pronged tentacles studded with viral particles. These disfigured zombie cells appear to be using those streaming filaments, or filopodia, to reach still-healthy neighboring cells. The protuberances appear to bore into the cells’ bodies and inject their viral venom directly into those cells’ genetic command centers — thus creating another zombie. The authors of the new study, an international team led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, say the coronavirus appears to be using these newly sprouted dendrites to boost its efficiency in capturing new cells and establishing infection in its human victims.

The WHO warns the pandemic 'is not even close to being over', as the number of deaths worldwide reached 500,000.
by Kate Mayberry & Hamza Mohamed

Global coronavirus cases now exceed 10 million and more than half a million people have died from the respiratory disease, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States accounts for about a quarter of all deaths.

The prevalence of infections is more than 10 times higher than the counted number of cases in six regions of the United States.
By Apoorva Mandavilli

The number of coronavirus infections in many parts of the United States is more than 10 times higher than the reported rate, according to data released on Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The analysis is part of a wide-ranging set of surveys started by the C.D.C. to estimate how widely the virus has spread. Similar studies, sponsored by universities, national governments and the World Health Organization, are continuing all over the world. The C.D.C. study found, for instance, that in South Florida, just under 2 percent of the population had been exposed to the virus as of April 10, but the proportion is likely to be higher now given the surge of infections in the state. The prevalence was highest in New York City at nearly 7 percent as of April 1. The numbers indicate that even in areas hit hard by the virus, an overwhelming majority of people have not yet been infected, said Scott Hensley, a viral immunologist at the University of Pennsylvania who was not involved in the research.

By Madeline Holcombe, CNN

(CNN) At least five states reported their highest single day record of Covid-19 cases Friday, adding to the growing concern of case increases that has sent many states back-peddling on their reopening plans. Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Tennessee and Utah all reported record daily cases, according to their state's health departments. And for Florida, which has been eyed as the possible next epicenter, that number reached 8,938 new cases in just one day. And it is not just those states seeing rising numbers. The national number of daily coronavirus case reports reached a new high Friday as well at almost 40,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, and 33 states are currently seeing the number of new cases grow from the week before. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters Friday that "nothing has changed in the last week" and the surge was the result of a "test dump." But the governor of Texas, the nation's second most populous state, "paused" his state's phased reopening plan and ordered further restrictions on businesses including bars. And at least nine other states have announced they are not moving ahead to the next phase: Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Nevada, New Mexico and North Carolina. Metropolitan areas across the US seeing exponential growth in cases means the nation will likely see a "dramatic increase" in the virus' trajectory, Dr. Peter Hotez, a professor and dean of tropical medicine at Houston's Baylor College of Medicine told CNN's Jim Scuitto.

AP

WASHINGTON -- U.S. officials believe as many as 20 million Americans have contracted the coronavirus, suggesting millions had the virus and never knew it. That's nearly 10 times as many infections as the 2.3 million cases that have been confirmed and comes as the Trump administration works to tamp down nationwide concern about the COVID-19 pandemic as about a dozen states are seeing worrisome increases in cases. The administration also looks to get its scientific experts back before the public more as it tries to allay anxieties about the pandemic while states begin reopening. Since mid-May, when the government began stressing the need to get the economy moving again, the panel's public health experts have been far less visible than in the pandemic's early weeks. Twenty million infections would mean about 6% of the nation's 331 million people have been infected, leaving a majority of the population still susceptible to the virus. Previously, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the nation's top infectious-disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, have said that as many as 25% of infected people might not have symptoms.

By Noam N. LeveyStaff Writer

Just weeks after the coronavirus overwhelmed hospitals in and around New York City, medical centers in Arizona, Florida, Texas and other states with skyrocketing infections are rapidly filling with sick patients, threatening their healthcare systems. The swift increase has forced hospital leaders to begin bringing in extra staff, converting space into dedicated coronavirus units and, in some cases, moving sick patients hundreds of miles to get to available beds. Surging numbers of patients with COVID-19 — though still shy of the wave that hit New York — also raise the prospect of new restrictions on nonessential medical care to free up beds for patients infected with virus. “The numbers are definitely scary,” said Judy Rich, chief executive of Tucson Medical Center, a hospital with more than 500 beds that serves patients from across southern Arizona. Tucson Medical Center has seen a threefold increase in COVID-19 patients since the beginning of June.

By Maegan Vazquez, CNN

Washington (CNN) Members of the Texas congressional delegation on both sides of the aisle are asking the Trump administration to reconsider its decision to halt direct funding to several coronavirus testing sites in the Lone Star State, where there has been a surge of Covid-19 cases. The transition away from these federally funded sites began in April, but the latest debate over federal funding comes after President Donald Trump on Saturday lamented the rise in coronavirus cases in the US, blaming increased testing. At a campaign rally over the weekend, he said coronavirus testing was "a double-edged sword." "I said to my people, 'Slow the testing down, please,' " the President added. Administration officials have said that slowing down testing has not been requested and his comments were made "in jest," but Trump maintains that he wasn't kidding. The federally funded testing program was intended to jump-start initial capabilities in critical areas across the US, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But given Food and Drug Administration approval for individuals to self-administer nasal swab tests at sites, the demand for personal protective equipment and trained health care providers will be reduced, a FEMA spokesperson said in a statement in April, when the administration began its transition away from the program.

By Heather Smith

The resurgent coronavirus produced a record number of new cases in the U.S., topping the peak seen in April during the initial outbreak, after many Americans let down their guard on social distancing. State health departments reported more than 37,000 new cases on Thursday, led by Florida, Texas, California and Arizona, surpassing the 36,188 level from April 24. Total cases in the U.S. exceeded 2,418,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Covid-19’s revival is spooking investors and forcing public officials in the South and West to walk back some of their bold steps to lift restrictions. In Nevada, state officials ordered face coverings in public, and the governors of Texas and Florida said they wouldn’t move forward with further reopenings as cases continued to spike there. President Donald Trump has deferred to the states on when to drop social-distancing restrictions and how to test and rein in the virus. He’s had little contact with federal public health officials. Some governors, including Florida’s Ron DeSantis, have similarly deferred to local officials to decide whether to require face coverings and business closures. - Trump claims it is going away it is not Trump is lying to you.

By Jay Croft and Christina Maxouris, CNN

(CNN) Texas' governor is urging people to stay home amid a surge in coronavirus cases, with some health officials calling for a stricter stay-at-home order. "Because the spread is so rampant right now, there's never a reason for you to have to leave your home," Gov. Greg Abbott told CNN affiliate KBTX. "Unless you do need to go out, the safest place for you is at your home." New cases and hospitalizations are rising at their fastest rate yet -- something Abbott called "unacceptable" -- with Texas reporting more than 5,000 cases in a single day, breaking its previous record, health authorities said. The surge comes as alarming coronavirus trends have emerged across several US states. Tuesday saw 34,720 new cases in the US -- the third-highest number of new cases reported in one day since the beginning of the pandemic, based on the archive of numbers kept by Johns Hopkins University. The two days with more cases were both in April. California obliterated its previous single-day high with more than 7,149 cases reported Wednesday, according to data from the state Department of Public Health. The previous record, set the day before, was just more than 5,000. Hospitalization and ICU rates due to the virus are also at an all-time high in the state. Further state actions in Texas could be announced if the virus continues to spread at this rate, even as officials encourage mask wearing and social distancing in places like bars that are often overcrowded, Abbott said.

The three studies paint a picture of a media ecosystem that entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking steps to protect themselves and others.

By Christopher Ingraham

Coronavirus infections have surged in a number of states, setting the United States on a markedly different pandemic trajectory than other wealthy nations. There are many reasons our response to the pandemic tied to more than 120,000 U.S. deaths has faltered, experts say, including the lack of a cohesive federal policy, missteps on testing and tracing, and a national culture emphasizing individualism. In recent weeks, three studies have focused on conservative media’s role in fostering confusion about the seriousness of the coronavirus. Taken together, they paint a picture of a media ecosystem that amplifies misinformation, entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking concrete steps to protect themselves and others. he end result, according to one of the studies, is that infection and mortality rates are higher in places where one pundit who initially downplayed the severity of the pandemic — Fox News’s Sean Hannity — reaches the largest audiences. “We are receiving an incredible number of studies and solid data showing that consuming far-right media and social media content was strongly associated with low concern about the virus at the onset of the pandemic,” said Irene Pasquetto, chief editor of the Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review, which published one of the studies.

Misinformation and conspiracy theories
In April, Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center and Dolores Albarracin of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign published a peer-reviewed study examining how Americans’ media diets affected their beliefs about the coronavirus. Administering a nationally representative phone survey with 1,008 respondents, they found that people who got most of their information from mainstream print and broadcast outlets tended to have an accurate assessment of the severity of the pandemic and their risks of infection. But those who relied on conservative sources, such as Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, were more likely to believe in conspiracy theories or unfounded rumors, such as the belief that taking vitamin C could prevent infection, that the Chinese government had created the virus, and that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exaggerated the pandemic’s threat “to damage the Trump presidency.”

By Caitlin O'Kane

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Wednesday the state is facing a "massive outbreak" in the coronavirus pandemic and that greater restrictions may be necessary. Abbott made the comments during an interview with CBS affiliate KFDA-TV in Amarillo, Texas. When asked if he still considered the Texas panhandle a "hot spot" for coronavirus infection, Abbott replied, "There is a massive outbreak of COVID-19 across the state of Texas." "Today will we have 5,000 people test positive, again, as well as more than 4,000 people hospitalized because of it," Abbott told the station, though he noted that Amarillo was doing better than some other areas.

By Kate Gibson

U.S. consumers should not use any of nine brands of possibly toxic hand sanitizer that may contain methanol, or wood alcohol, a substance that's potentially dangerous when absorbed through the skin or ingested, the Food and Drug Administration warned. The agency's alert comes at a time when hand sanitizers are in especially heavy demand due to the coronavirus pandemic that has public health officials urging consumers to frequently wash their hands. In issuing its warning Friday, the FDA said the Mexico-based manufacturer Eskbiochem SA de CV had rebuffed its request that it remove the "potentially dangerous products" from the U.S. market. Agency tests found samples of one product, Lavar Gel, contained 81% methanol and those of CleanCare No Germ contained 28%.

By - AFP

A graphic shared thousands of times on Facebook claims people can suffer from reduced oxygen to their blood and brain, possibly leading to death, if they wear a disposable mask for too long. This is misleading; only a marginal decrease in oxygen saturation can sometimes be measured in people wearing a disposable mask, and several experts agree there is no evidence of long-term effects from breathing through a mask. "Danger of Facemask, Mask is supposed to be used for limited time," the text at the top of the image says before listing four side effects, including possible death, of wearing the face covering for an extended period. A screenshot of the image used in some Facebook posts, taken on June 17, 2020 The image was posted on Facebook here, here, and here while a post from June 4, 2020 was shared nearly 30,000 times. A similar visual has also circulated here and here.

The virus can damage lung, liver and kidney tissue grown in the lab, which might explain some severe COVID-19 complications in people.
By Smriti Mallapaty

Researchers are growing miniature organs in the laboratory to study how the new coronavirus ravages the body. Studies in these organoids are revealing the virus’s versatility at invading organs, from the lungs to the liver, kidneys and gut. Researchers are also experimenting with drugs in these mini tissues to see whether such therapies might be candidates to treat people. Physicians know from hospitalised patients and autopsies that SARS-CoV-2 can have a devastating effect on organs. But it’s unclear whether some of this damage is directly caused by the virus or by secondary complications of the infection. Multiple groups are using organoid studies to show where in the body the virus travels, which cells it infects and what damage it does. “The beauty of organoids is that they resemble the true morphology of tissues,” says Thomas Efferth, a cell biologist at Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany.

By Renee Rigdon and Caroline Kelly, CNN

(CNN) A new report released Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows how the coronavirus has been especially devastating to certain communities. Black people, Hispanics and those with underlying conditions -- especially men and elderly people -- faced higher risks from Covid-19, the data show. Below are a few major findings from the report, which samples data from January 22 through May 30.

Percentage of total cases vs. percentage of US population
Race and ethnicity data were available for about 600,000, or 45%, of cases studied, and specific underlying conditions were available for about 287,000, or 22%, of cases studied. But those partial numbers still highlight specific key trends within demographics. A breakdown by race and ethnicity shows the disproportionate infection rates among Hispanics and Blacks, far beyond their share of the population. Included in the Other/multiple races category, American Indians and Alaska Natives were also disproportionately affected -- 1.3% of cases while making up only 0.7% of the US population.

By Kelly Mena, CNN

Washington, DC (CNN) Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has told local government officials that they won't get federal coronavirus relief funding if they require individuals to wear face masks in government buildings. Ricketts, a Republican, made the statement on Monday, the same day he set as the deadline for county courthouses and offices to be opened while encouraging but not requiring the use of face masks. Nebraska has allocated $100 million for reimbursements to local governments for direct expenses incurred in response to the Covid-19 emergency. "It's really their option, if they don't want to follow the guidelines, they won't be eligible for the CARES Act money but that's certainly their prerogative to do that," said Ricketts on Monday at his daily coronavirus briefing. In late May, Ricketts issued guidance for how the state's 93 courthouses and offices would reopen that included specific directions that "customers may be encouraged to wear face coverings, but may not be refused service for failure to do so." The May guidelines however did allow counties to require social distancing and disinfecting procedures. A study out last week found that wearing a mask is the most effective way to stop person-to-person spread of the virus which is mainly via airborne transmission, according to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

By Angela Betsaida B. Laguipo, BSNJun 18 2020

Blood type may play a pivotal role in driving disease severity among coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients. Genetic analysis of COVID-19 patients has shown that people with blood type O seemed to be protected against severe disease. In contrast, those with blood type A may experience complications tied to the viral infection. A team of European scientists has found that two genetic variations may show who is more likely to get very sick and even die from the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Further, they found a link to blood type, suggesting that some people are predisposed to COVID-19 severe disease. The study findings, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, shed light on why some people have a higher risk of being infected with the coronavirus and developing worse symptoms. In three completely separate studies, researchers from Columbia University, Iran's Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, and various Chinese institutions all arrived at similar findings. Respiratory failure in COVID-19 patients The pathogenesis of severe COVID-19 and the associated respiratory failure is still unclear, but the higher mortality is consistently tied to older age and being male. Further, people with underlying health conditions are more likely to develop severe COVID-19, including hypertension, diabetes, being obese, and cardiovascular disease. The relative role of clinical risk factors in determining the severity of COVID-19 has not been clarified. Now, the new study underscores other predisposing factors that may make some people vulnerable to the infection.

[The Conversation]
By Ana Santos Rutschman, Assistant Professor of Law, Saint Louis University ,The Conversation

Hundreds of COVID-19 vaccine candidates are currently being developed. The way emerging vaccines will be distributed to those who need them is not yet clear. The United States has now twice indicated that it would like to secure priority access to doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Other countries, including India and Russia, have taken similar stances. This prioritization of domestic markets has become known as vaccine nationalism. As a researcher at Saint Louis University’s Center for Health Law Studies, I have been following the COVID-19 vaccine race. Vaccine nationalism is harmful for equitable access to vaccines – and, paradoxically, I’ve concluded it is detrimental even for the U.S. itself.

Vaccine nationalism during COVID-19
Vaccine nationalism occurs when a country manages to secure doses of vaccine for its own citizens or residents before they are made available in other countries. This is done through pre-purchase agreements between a government and a vaccine manufacturer. In March, the White House met with representatives from CureVac, a German biotech company developing a COVID-19 vaccine. The U.S. government is reported to have inquired about the possibility of securing exclusive rights over the vaccine. This prompted the German government to comment that “Germany is not for sale.” Angela Merkel’s chief of staff promptly stated that a vaccine developed in Germany had to be made available in “Germany and the world.”

By Madeline Holcombe and Ray Sanchez, CNN

(CNN) Ten states saw a record number of new Covid-19 cases this week, and one of them could be the next epicenter of the pandemic. Florida reported 3,207 additional coronavirus cases on Thursday -- the largest single day count in the state since the pandemic, according to Florida Department of Health. Florida's total reported cases climbed to nearly 86,000, according to data released by the state. The Sunshine State has "all the markings of the next large epicenter of coronavirus transmission," and risks being the "worst it has ever been," according to Wednesday's projections from a model by scientists at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania. "The potential for the virus to take off there is very, very nerve-racking and could have catastrophic consequences" because of the state's aging population and the prevalence of nursing homes and retirement communities, Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, director of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told CNN on Thursday.

By Rem Rieder

During a visit to Iowa, Vice President Mike Pence made several false claims about President Donald Trump’s handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic. In remarks to employees of Winnebago Industries in Forest City, Iowa, June 16, Pence said Trump “shut down all travel from China.” The president did impose travel restrictions on China but did not shut down all travel. Pence also said that Trump took the action before there had been a single case of the disease in this country. That also is not accurate. And finally, Pence said that Trump’s action gave the United States time to set up its response to the pandemic. But some disease experts say the Trump administration did not use that time effectively. There have been more than 2.1 million cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, in the United States and more than 116,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The novel coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, China, late last year. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced the China travel restrictions on Jan. 31. The restrictions, which went into effect Feb. 2, prohibited non-U.S. citizens who had traveled to China within the previous two weeks from entering the U.S. But the new rules didn’t apply to U.S. citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members.


A genetic analysis of COVID-19 patients suggests that blood type might influence whether someone develops severe disease. Scientists who compared the genes of thousands of patients in Europe found that those who had Type A blood were more likely to have severe disease while those with Type O were less likely. Wednesday's report in the New England Journal of Medicine doesn't prove a blood type connection, but it does confirm a previous report from China of such a link.  "Most of us discounted it because it was a very crude study," Dr. Parameswar Hari, a blood specialist at the Medical College of Wisconsin, said of the report from China. With the new work, "Now I believe it," he said. "It could be very important." Other scientists urged caution. The evidence of a role for blood type is "tentative ... it isn't enough of a signal to be sure," said Dr. Eric Topol, head of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in San Diego. The study, involving scientists in Italy, Spain, Denmark, Germany and other countries, compared about 2,000 patients with severe COVID-19 to several thousand other people who were healthy or who had only mild or no symptoms. Researchers tied variations in six genes to the likelihood of severe disease, including some that could have a role in how vulnerable people are to the virus. They also tied blood groups to possible risk.

By Eliza Relman

Rep. Tom Rice, a South Carolina Republican, announced on Monday that he, his wife, and his son had been infected with the coronavirus. But just two weeks ago, Rice appeared on the House floor in Washington without a face covering. When CNN reporter Manu Raju asked Rice why he wasn't wearing a mask in the chamber on May 28, the congressman said he could maintain at least 6 feet of distance from everyone on the floor and in the halls of the Capitol and therefore didn't need to wear a mask. COVID-19 can spread even from asymptomatic carriers. "I do wear it sometimes on the floor," he told Raju in May. "I make an effort to ... stay 6 feet away from folks in accordance with guidelines. And when I'm forced into a situation where I can't do that — like on a plane — I do wear a mask." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone wear a cloth face covering when they cannot maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others.

By Naomi Thomas and Amy Woodyatt, CNN

(CNN) Children and teenagers are estimated to be about half as likely to get infected by the coronavirus than those aged 20 or over, according to research published Tuesday. The modeling study, carried out by epidemiologists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and published in the journal Nature Medicine, used transmission models to estimate disease susceptibility and the relation of age to cases. Researchers estimate that clinical symptoms of Covid-19 manifest in around 21% of those aged between 10 and 19. This estimate rises to around 69% in people aged 70 or over. Looking at epidemic data from China, Japan, Italy, Singapore, Canada and South Korea, researchers said children could be less susceptible to catching Covid-19 from contact with an infected person and could experience less severe disease. There are still many unknowns when it comes to Covid-19, but the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that, while some children have been sick with the virus, adults make up most of the known cases to date. The CDC has said that children diagnosed with coronavirus in the United States typically have mild cases of the virus. Schools around the world have been shut to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, and according to UNESCO estimates, more than 1.5 billion students, or more than 90% of the world's learners, have been stuck at home due to school closures in about 190 countries.

By Karin Brulliard and William Wan

Add this to our list of worries in these anxious times: coronavirus-containing clouds that waft into the air when a toilet is flushed. Scientists who simulated toilet water and air flows say in a new research paper that aerosol droplets forced upward by a flush appear to spread wide enough and linger long enough to be inhaled. The novel coronavirus has been found in the feces of covid-19 patients, but it remains unknown whether such clouds could contain enough virus to infect a person. The authors say the possibility of that mode of transmission calls for action in the midst of a pandemic — first and foremost, by closing the lid. “Flushing will lift the virus up from the toilet bowl,” co-author Ji-Xiang Wang, who researches fluids at Yangzhou University in Yangzhou, China, said in an email. Bathroom users “need to close the lid first and then trigger the flushing process,” Wang said, and wash their hands thoroughly if closure isn’t possible. Toilets and modern sanitation systems have been a huge boon to public health and life expectancy since the 19th century. Even so, people have long been leery of germs in bathrooms, and that wariness has only increased during the pandemic. But experts say most of us are focusing on the wrong aspect. For all our paranoia about the surface of toilet seats — the tissue paper we oh-so-carefully lay down, the thin covers often offered in public stalls — germ transmission from skin contact is a relatively small health risk compared with what happens after you flush. That’s when bits of fecal matter swish around so violently that they can be propelled into the air, become aerosolized and then settle on the surroundings. Experts call it the “toilet plume.”

By Jacqueline Howard and Arman Azad, CNN

(CNN) The Food and Drug Administration has revoked its emergency use authorization for the drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for the treatment of Covid-19. Hydroxychloroquine was frequently touted by President Donald Trump, and he has claimed to have used it himself. After reviewing the current research available on the drugs, the FDA determined that the drugs do not meet "the statutory criteria" for emergency use authorization as they are unlikely to be effective in treating Covid-19 based on the latest scientific evidence, the agency noted on its website on Monday. "FDA has concluded that, based on this new information and other information discussed in the attached memorandum, it is no longer reasonable to believe that oral formulations of HCQ and CQ may be effective in treating COVID-19, nor is it reasonable to believe that the known and potential benefits of these products outweigh their known and potential risks," FDA chief scientist Denise Hinton wrote in a letter to Gary Disbrow of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) on Monday. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have been tied to serious cardiac events as well as other side effects among Covid-19 patients. "Accordingly, FDA revokes the EUA for emergency use of HCQ and CQ to treat COVID-19," Hinton wrote in the letter, using abbreviations for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine. "As of the date of this letter, the oral formulations of HCQ and CQ are no longer authorized by FDA to treat COVID-19."

Asymptomatic patients can transmit the virus for longer than 14 days, warn researchers highlighting the need for expansive testing and contact tracing of infected individuals to mitigate the pandemic.
By: Longjam Dineshwori   

The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading like a wildfire in India, despite the lockdown and other containment measures in force in the country. What it is so? One possible reason is that many people infected by the novel coronavirus never show symptoms of the disease. And these asymptomatic people likely play a significant role in the spread of the COVID-19 disease, say researchers. Also Read - COVID-19 may affect the entire nervous system of patients: Beware of these symptoms

According to a study, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, asymptomatic people may account for approximately 40 to 45 per cent of SARS-CoV-2 infections. The researchers cautioned that even though asymptomatic patients show no symptoms of the disease, the virus may be silently damaging their bodies. They cited that CT scans of asymptomatic individuals on the Diamond Princess cruise ship showed significant lung abnormalities. This, according to the scientists, indicate the possibility of the virus silently impacting lung function. To their surprise, the scientists also found that asymptomatic individuals can transmit the virus longer than 14 days.

By Yelena Dzhanova

The World Health Organization on Monday temporarily suspended its trial of hydroxycholoroquine, the drug backed by President Donald Trump to combat the deadly coronavirus, over safety concerns. “The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the safety data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters at a press briefing. “The other arms of the trial are continuing,” Tedros said. “This concern relates to the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloraquine in Covid-19. I wish to reiterate that these drugs are accepted as generally safe for use in patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria.” Hydroxychloroquine, which Trump has repeatedly touted as a potential game changer in fighting the coronavirus, is an anti-malarial drug that’s also used by doctors to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Numerous clinical trials are looking to see if it’s effective in fighting the coronavirus, but it is not a proven treatment. But despite the lack of scientific evidence presenting hydroxychloroquine as a viable coronavirus treatment option, Trump told reporters earlier this month that he has been taking the drug to avoid contracting the disease.

Businesses are reopening in Missouri, but a local leader warned that’s only safe if contact tracers can keep up with potential exposures.
By Jane Lytvynenko BuzzFeed News Reporter

Two hairstylists in Springfield, Missouri, have tested positive for COVID-19 and possibly exposed more than 140 clients, underscoring the difficulty local health departments will face in tracing the coronavirus as businesses reopen. The Springfield-Greene County Health Department announced the potential exposures in press conferences Friday and Saturday, adding that their team of seven contact tracers is in the process of getting in touch with anyone who may have been affected. They will undergo an interview with an immunologist and will be asked to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. Though businesses in Missouri have been legally reopening, the health department’s director, Clay Goddard, warned that can only continue safely if contact tracers can keep up with potential exposures. “This scenario is well within our capacity of our staff to contact trace and hopefully contain,” said Clay Goddard, Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director, in a press conference. “But I’m going to be honest with you, we can’t have many more of these. We can’t make this a regular habit or our capability as a community will be strained and we will have to reevaluate what things look like going forward.” Both hairstylists worked while exhibiting symptoms but, according to Goddard, the salon had a strict face mask policy for employees and customers which may have helped minimize the damage. Great Clips has also closed the salon for deep cleaning to lower the potential for future exposure.

By Arman Azad

(CNN) In new guidance for mathematical modelers and public health officials, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is estimating that about a third of coronavirus infections are asymptomatic. The CDC also says its "best estimate" is that 0.4% of people who show symptoms and have Covid-19 will die, and the agency estimates that 40% of coronavirus transmission is occurring before people feel sick. The agency cautions that those numbers are subject to change as more is learned about Covid-19, and it warns that the information is intended for planning purposes. Still, the agency says its estimates are based on real data collected by the agency before April 29. The numbers are part of five planning scenarios that "are being used by mathematical modelers throughout the federal government," according to the CDC. Four of those scenarios represent "the lower and upper bounds of disease severity and viral transmissibility." The fifth scenario is the CDC's "current best estimate about viral transmission and disease severity in the United States." In that scenario, the agency described its estimate that 0.4% of people who feel sick with Covid-19 will die. For people age 65 and older, the CDC puts that number at 1.3%. For people 49 and under, the agency estimated that 0.05% of symptomatic people will die.

Expert pushes back
Under the most severe of the five scenarios outlined -- not the agency's "best estimate" -- the CDC lists a symptomatic case fatality ratio of 0.01, meaning that 1% of people overall with Covid-19 and symptoms would die. In the least severe scenario, the CDC puts that number at 0.2%. One expert quickly pushed back on the CDC's estimates. "While most of these numbers are reasonable, the mortality rates shade far too low," biologist Carl Bergstrom of the University of Washington told CNN. Bergstrom, an expert in modeling and computer simulations, said the numbers seemed inconsistent with real-world findings.

By Robert Kuznia, Curt Devine and Nick Valencia, CNN

(CNN) In the early weeks of the US coronavirus outbreak, staff members in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had tracked a growing number of transmissions in Europe and elsewhere, and proposed a global advisory that would alert flyers to the dangers of air travel. But about a week passed before the alert was issued publicly -- crucial time lost when about 66,000 European travelers were streaming into American airports every day. A whistleblower holding an envelope. The delay, detailed in documents obtained by CNN, is the latest example to emerge of a growing sense of disconnect between the CDC and the White House. In interviews with CNN, CDC officials say their agency's efforts to mount a coordinated response to the Covid-19 pandemic have been hamstrung by a White House whose decisions are driven by politics rather than science. The result has worsened the effects of the crisis, sources inside the CDC say, relegating the 73-year-old agency that has traditionally led the nation's response to infectious disease to a supporting role.

By Lenny Bernstein

Researchers who examined the lungs of patients killed by covid-19 found evidence that it attacks the lining of blood vessels there, a critical difference from the lungs of people who died of the flu, according to a report published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Critical parts of the lungs of patients infected by the novel coronavirus also suffered many microscopic blood clots and appeared to respond to the attack by growing tiny new blood vessels, the researchers reported. The observations in a small number of autopsied lungs buttress reports from physicians treating covid-19 patients. Doctors have described widespread damage to blood vessels and the presence of blood clots that would not be expected in a respiratory disease. What’s different about covid-19 is the lungs don’t get stiff or injured or destroyed before there’s hypoxia,” the medical term for oxygen deprivation, said Steven J. Mentzer, a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and part of the team that wrote the report. “For whatever reason, there is a vascular phase” in addition to damage more commonly associated with viral diseases such as the flu, he said. The research team compared seven lungs of patients who died of covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, with lung tissue from seven patients who died of pneumonia caused by the flu. They also examined 10 lungs donated for transplant but not used. The lungs, acquired in Europe, were matched by age and gender.

By Teo Armus

On March 8, it was mostly business as usual in the United States. As the Lakers faced the Clippers in a much-anticipated Los Angeles basketball matchup, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) rallied before a packed crowd in Michigan. In Miami, thousands squeezed onto the beach for a massive dance party. With 500 coronavirus infections reported nationwide at the time, the outbreak seemed like a distant threat to many Americans. But by the following Sunday, the nation had entered a different universe: 2,000 confirmed cases, dozens of deaths, and shutdown orders in Illinois, Ohio and New York City, among other parts of the country. What if those sweeping measures imposed by March 15 — a federal warning against large gatherings, health screenings at airports, states of emergency declared by governors and mayors — had been announced a week earlier? New research from Columbia University epidemiologists offered one possible answer on Wednesday. If the same kind of social distancing had been in place seven days earlier, their study found, the United States could have prevented 36,000 deaths through early May — about 40 percent of fatalities reported to date. “If you don’t take steps to fight the growth rate aggressively, you get much worse consequences,” Jeffrey Shaman, an environmental health sciences professor who led the study, told The Washington Post. His team’s analysis used infectious-disease modeling to examine the spread of the virus from March 15, when many people nationwide began staying home, until May 3. The researchers examined transmissions within each county, movement between counties and deaths to chart how the virus spread — and killed — over seven weeks.

By Faith Karimi and Steve Almasy, CNN

(CNN) At least four states combined data from two different test results, potentially providing a misleading picture of when and where coronavirus spread as the nation eases restrictions. More than 1.5 million people in the United States have tested positive for coronavirus and over 93,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. Virginia, Texas, Georgia, and Vermont have said they've been adding two numbers to their totals: viral test results and antibody test results. Viral tests are taken by nose swab or saliva sample, and look for direct evidence someone currently has Covid-19. By contrast, antibody tests use blood samples to look for biological signals that a person has been exposed to the virus in the past. Combining the two tests' results into one total could provide an inaccurate picture of where and when the virus spread. The combination also could also overstate a state's ability to test and track active infections -- a key consideration as states ease coronavirus restrictions. Experts have consistently emphasized that for states to reopen safely, adequate testing and tracing is needed. "You only know how many cases you have if you do a lot of testing," said Elizabeth Cohen, CNN's senior medical correspondent. "If you put the two tests together, you fool yourself into thinking you've done more testing than you have." Texas, Virginia and Vermont have said they've recognized the data issue and moved to fix it in the past few days. In Georgia, health officials said they've been adding antibody tests to their "total tests" number in line with methodology from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC has not responded to CNN's request for comment on whether its guidance includes adding antibody tests to total test numbers. On its website, the database provides daily test results without a breakdown of whether they're viral or antibody.

US testing data 'kind of screwed up,' experts say
In a new report Wednesday, infectious disease experts described US coronavirus testing as disorganized and in need of coordination at the national level.
Testing is currently not accurate enough to be used to make most decisions on who should go back to work or to school, the team at the University of Minnesota said. "It's a mess out there," said Mike Osterholm, head of the university's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, which issued the report. "Testing is very, very important, but we're not doing the right testing."

By Janelle Griffith, NBC News

A Florida man who thought the coronavirus was "a fake crisis" has changed his mind after he and his wife contracted COVID-19. Brian Hitchens, a rideshare driver who lives in Jupiter, downplayed the seriousness of the coronavirus in Facebook posts in March and April. "I'm honoring what our government says to do during this epidemic but I do not fear this virus because I know that my God is bigger than this Virus will ever be," he wrote in a post on April 2. "Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords." In mid-April, Hitchens, 46, began documenting his and his wife's health on Facebook. "Been home sick for over a week. Both my wife and I home sick," he wrote in a post on April 18. "I've got no energy and all I want to do is sleep." A day later, Hitchens and his wife, Erin, were admitted to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, Hitchens said in a Facebook post. Hitchens could not immediately be reached for comment Monday. The voicemail box for a number listed for him is full. In a lengthy post on May 12, Hitchens said that he was once among those who thought the coronavirus "is a fake crisis" that was "blown out of proportion" and "wasn't that serious." That changed when he started to feel sick in April and stopped working, he wrote. Hitchens said he "had just enough energy" to drive himself and his wife to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center on April 19, where they both tested positive for the virus.

Rick Bright warns US could face 'darkest winter in modern history' if leaders don't act quickly.

Whistle-blower Rick Bright warned on Thursday that the United States lacks a plan to produce and fairly distribute a coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available. The nation could face "the darkest winter in modern history" unless leaders act decisively, he told a congressional panel. Bright alleges he was removed from a high-level scientific post after warning the administration of US President Donald Trump to prepare for the pandemic. Bright said, "We don't have [a vaccine plan] yet, and it is a significant concern." Asked if lawmakers should be worried, he responded, "absolutely". Bright, a vaccine expert who led a biodefence agency in the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), said the country needs a plan to establish a supply chain for producing tens of millions of doses of a vaccine, and then allocating and distributing them fairly. He said experience so far with an antiviral drug that has been found to benefit COVID-19 patients has not given him much confidence about distribution. Hospital pharmacies have reported problems getting limited supplies. The White House has begun what it calls "Operation Warp Speed" to quickly produce, distribute and administer a vaccine once it becomes available. Appearing before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Bright said one of his lowest moments came when his repeated efforts to jump-start US production of respirator masks went nowhere. Bright recalled getting emails in late January from Mike Bowen, an executive at a medical supply company called Prestige Ameritech, indicating that our N95 mask supply was "completely decimated." "And he said, 'We're in deep s***. The world is. And we need to act,'" Bright said. "And I pushed that forward to the highest levels I could in HHS and got no response. From that moment I knew that we were going to have a crisis for our healthcare workers because we were not taking action. We were already behind the ball."

By Omar Jimenez and Paul LeBlanc, CNN

(CNN) The Wisconsin Supreme Court has overturned the state's stay-at-home order, ruling it "unlawful" and "unenforceable" in a high-profile win for the state's Republican-led Legislature. In a 4-3 decision Wednesday, the court ruled that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' administration overstepped its authority when the state Department of Health Services extended the order to May 26. The ruling comes after the Legislature's Republican leaders filed a lawsuit last month arguing the order would cost Wisconsin residents their jobs and hurt many companies, asserting that if it was left in place, "our State will be in shambles." The suit was filed specifically against state Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm and other health officials, who made the decision in mid-April to extend the state's "Safer at Home" emergency order. At the same time as the extension, the state loosened some restrictions on certain businesses, including golf courses, public libraries, and arts and crafts stores. But the justices wrote in their decision Wednesday that "an agency cannot confer on itself the power to dictate the lives of law-abiding individuals as comprehensively as the order does without reaching beyond the executive branch's authority." Evers, who had ordered Palm to issue the stay-at-home order in late March, told CNN's Don Lemon later Wednesday that the court's ruling "puts our state into chaos." "Now we have no plan and no protections for the people of Wisconsin," Evers said. "When you have more people in a small space -- I don't care if it's bars, restaurants or your home -- you're going to be able to spread the virus. And so now, today, thanks to the Republican legislators who convinced four Supreme Court justices to not look at the law but look at their political careers I guess -- it's a bad day for Wisconsin." "It's the wild west," he said.

Simply talking in confined spaces may be enough to spread the coronavirus, researchers say
By Jessica Flores - USA TODAY

The droplets from simply talking can be enough to spread the coronavirus, according to researchers. By using lasers, scientists found that one minute of talking loudly can produce more than 1,000 virus-containing droplets that could linger in the air for over eight minutes, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. As states continue to gradually reopen, scientists fear that reopening too soon could worsen the virus outbreak. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testified in front of a Senate panel Tuesday and said the consequences for states reopening without following proper guidelines "could be really serious." The study says because droplets that exist in an asymptomatic person's mouth can carry respiratory pathogens, such as SARS-CoV-2, "there is a substantial probability that normal speaking causes airborne virus transmission in confined environments," the authors wrote. "This study builds on earlier research by the same team showing that speaking may factor into transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and adds support to the importance of wearing a mask, as recommended by the CDC, in potentially helping to slow the spread of the virus," a spokesperson the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases told USA TODAY.

by: Julian Crews, Elyse Russo

PARK RIDGE, Ill. — Dr. Frank Belmonte with Advocate Children’s Hospital is warning parents about a rare COVID-19 complication that threatens children. First identified in Europe and later in New York, it now appears the mysterious ailment may have reached the Chicago area. Belmonte told WGN that doctors are working with a young patient at Advocate Children’s Hospital who appears to be sufferIng from this mysterious syndrome. No details were available on the child’s condition. “Basically, these kids probably have been exposed to COVID in the recent four-to-six week period, have convalesced from that, and now are having this inflammatory viral response,” he said. “Many of them are not testing positive through a nasal swab, but we’re actually finding antibodies in their blood that are consistent with a past exposure to the COVID virus.” Belmonte said the illness presents with symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease or toxic shock syndrome. Those symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and rash.

Researchers at Columbia University who tested 1,400 patients with the controversial malaria drug said it did not lower the risk of dying or needing a breathing tube.
By Marilynn Marchione

A new study finds no evidence of benefit from a malaria drug widely promoted as a treatment for coronavirus infection. Hydroxychloroquine did not lower the risk of dying or needing a breathing tube in a comparison that involved nearly 1,400 patients treated at Columbia University in New York, researchers reported Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Although the study is observational rather than a rigorous experiment, it gives valuable information for a decision that hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 patients have already had to make without clear evidence about the drug’s risks and benefits, some journal editors and other doctors wrote in an editorial. “It is disappointing that several months into the pandemic, we do not yet have results” from any strict tests of the drug, they wrote. Still, the new study “suggests that this treatment is not a panacea.” President Donald Trump repeatedly urged the use of hydroxychloroquine, which is used now for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. It has potentially serious side effects, including altering the heartbeat in a way that could lead to sudden death. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned against its use for coronavirus infections except in formal studies.

By Maggie Fox, CNN

(CNN) The new coronavirus can persist in men's semen even after they have begun to recover, a finding that raises the possibility the virus could be sexually transmitted, Chinese researchers said Thursday. A team at Shangqiu Municipal Hospital tested 38 male patients treated there at the height of the pandemic in China, in January and February. About 16% of them had evidence of the coronavirus in their semen, the team reported in the journal JAMA Network Open. About a quarter of them were in the acute stage of infection and nearly 9% of them were recovering, the team reported. "We found that SARS-CoV-2 can be present in the semen of patients with COVID-19, and SARS-CoV-2 may still be detected in the semen of recovering patients," Diangeng Li of Chinese People's Liberation Army General Hospital in Beijing and colleagues wrote. "Even if the virus cannot replicate in the male reproductive system, it may persist, possibly resulting from the privileged immunity of testes," the team added. Privileged immunity means the immune system cannot fully reach the region to attack viral invaders.

By Jordain Carney

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Republicans are hitting the brakes on another coronavirus relief bill even as House Democrats are preparing to vote on a yet-to-be-unveiled bill as soon as next week. "I think I can speak for our conference by saying we're not ruling that out, but we think we ought to take a pause here, do a good job of evaluating what we've already done," McConnell told reporters after a closed-door caucus lunch about the prospects for a new bill. "The Senate Republican majority and the president of the United States are not irrelevant to the process, so we're going to keep talking to each other and decide to act when and if it's appropriate to act again," McConnell added. McConnell's comments come as the Senate returned to D.C. for the first time in five weeks with nominations — not the coronavirus — at the forefront of the agenda, which has sparked days of Democratic ire. McConnell did not specify what he views as a timeline for any potential Senate action. The chamber is expected to be in session until a weeklong Memorial Day recess.  Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of GOP leadership, said he did not see this work period as a deadline for Congress passing additional legislation. "No, I don't think so," he said. "I think we need to think about whether or not what we continue to believe was the right thing to do in March is still going to be the right thing for us to be doing in June."  Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), an adviser to McConnell, also told reporters that the next bill was likely weeks off.

CBS News

Acting on a hunch, two specialists in the Paris region decided to take another look at a number of patients who were treated in intensive care for pneumonia back in December and January. One patient, a man from a Paris suburb, tested positive for having COVID-19. Elaine Cobbe reports.

By Alec Snyder and Mirna Alsharif, CNN

(CNN) A security guard at a Family Dollar store in Flint, Michigan, was shot and killed after telling a customer to wear a state-mandated face mask, police said. Calvin Munerlyn, 43, died at a local hospital after he was shot in the head Friday, said Michigan State Police Lt. David Kaiser. The shooter and a second suspect remain at large, Kaiser told CNN on Monday. Witnesses at the store told police that Munerlyn got into a verbal altercation with a woman because she was not wearing a mask, said Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton. Surveillance video confirms the incident, Leyton said. Under an executive order from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, all retail employees and customers have to wear a mask. Footage also shows that immediately after the altercation, the woman left in an SUV. But about 20 minutes later, the SUV returned. Two men entered the store and one of them yelled at Munerlyn about disrespecting his wife, Leyton said. The other man then shot the security guard.

Gretchen Whitmer says heavily armed men and Confederate flags at state capitol ‘depicted some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history’
By Bryan Armen Graham in New York

Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan issued a rebuke of the armed protesters who gathered inside the state capitol last week in defiance of statewide lockdown orders, saying the demonstrators embodied some of the “worst racism” of the nation’s history. “Some of the outrageousness of what happened at our capitol depicted some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country,” Whitmer said during a Sunday interview on CNN’s State of the Union. Last week Donald Trump had said of the protesters: “These are very good people.” Hundreds of protesters, many not wearing protective face masks and some armed legally with “long guns”, gathered inside the statehouse in Lansing on Thursday as lawmakers debated the Democratic governor’s request to extend her emergency powers to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The tightly packed crowd attempted to enter the floor of the legislative chamber and were held back by a line of state police and capitol staff, according to video footage posted by local journalists. Whitmer highlighted that the number of protesters was relatively small but that the imagery some of them used was a disturbing reminder of ugly elements of America’s past. “We know that people are not all happy about having to take the stay-home posture,” Whitmer said on Sunday, “and you know what, I’m not either. But we have to listen to the public health experts and displays like the one we saw in our state capitol are not representative of who we are in Michigan. “There were swastikas and Confederate flags and nooses and people with assault rifles. That’s a small group of people when you think that this is a state of almost 10 million people, the vast majority of whom are doing the right thing.” Displaying the Confederate flag, or other symbols of the slave-owning south during the American civil war, is usually seen as racist. While some claim they are celebrating southern identity, it is widely seen as a racist symbol deeply offensive to black Americans. There is also an ongoing campaign to remove Confederate war statues from public display or rename streets and buildings which commemorate Confederate generals or politicians.

By Leah Asmelash and Hollie Silverman, CNN

(CNN) An emergency proclamation issued Thursday in Stillwater, Oklahoma, requiring the use of face masks in stores and restaurants was amended Friday after threats of violence. "In the short time beginning on May 1, 2020, that face coverings have been required for entry into stores/restaurants, store employees have been threatened with physical violence and showered with verbal abuse," Stillwater City Manager Norman McNickle said in a statement. "In addition, there has been one threat of violence using a firearm. This has occurred in three short hours and in the face of clear medical evidence that face coverings helps contain the spread of Covid-19." Due to the threats of violence the city has decided to amend their emergency order but still want people to wear face masks whenever possible, the statement said. The proclamation issued Thursday required, among other things, businesses to require patrons to cover their faces to combat the spread of coronavirus. But on Friday, Mayor Will Joyce softened the rule to encourage, not require, face coverings, after several reports emerged of employees being verbally abused and being threatened with physical violence while trying to enforce the order -- all in just three hours of the rule going into effect. "Many of those with objections cite the mistaken belief the requirement is unconstitutional, and under their theory, one cannot be forced to wear a mask. No law or court supports this view," said City Manager Norman McNickle in a statement. "It is further distressing that these people, while exercising their believed rights, put others at risk." McNickle went on to explain the importance of face coverings in preventing the spread of coronavirus. The masks have been recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

By J. Edward Moreno and Kaelan Deese

Some of the $30 billion initially offered to health-care providers in the coronavirus relief package went to facilities that are facing criminal inquiries, Reuters reported Saturday, citing several defense attorneys. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) told the outlet it dispersed funds to all medical providers who submitted billings in 2019 to Medicare unless they were excluded. Unlike the small-business loans allocated in the same relief package, some health care providers received money without applying. Reuters said it spoke with defense lawyers and others representing over a dozen health-care providers facing either civil or criminal inquiries. Though the outlet was unable to determine exactly how much in federal funds went to facilities under criminal probes, the reporting sparked criticism among Democrats who were already unhappy with the Trump administration's handling of the stimulus fund's allocation. "I have an enormous amount of frustration with the way the Trump administration is distributing these dollars, and examples like these magnify the consequences of the White House's efforts to limit transparency and stonewall oversight," Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, told Reuters. A spokesman for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the revelations "alarming." "It is alarming to see the Trump administration giving precious taxpayer dollars to unscrupulous entities while so many hospitals and health care workers on the frontlines of the battle against coronavirus are desperate for resources," Pelosi spokesman Henry Connelly told Reuters.

By Christopher Brito

As coronavirus restrictions around the world are being lifted, a new report warns the pandemic that has already killed more than 230,000 people likely won't be contained for two years. The modeling study from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota also says that about 70% of people need to be immune in order to bring the virus to a halt. For the study, experts looked at eight major influenza pandemics dating back to the 1700s, as well as data about the new coronavirus, to help forecast how COVID-19 may spread over the coming months and years. Out of the eight past flu pandemics, scientists said seven had a second substantial peak about six months after the first one. Additionally, some had "smaller waves of cases over the course of 2 years" after the initial outbreak. A key factor in their prediction for the current pandemic revolves around herd immunity, which refers to the community-wide resistance to the spread of a contagious disease that results when a high percentage of people are immune to it, either through vaccination or prior exposure.

The Telegraph

The UK might be past the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, but it does not necessarily follow that we are through the worst of it. Even with a gradual easing of lockdown rules and a cautious plan to return to normality, experts believe there may yet be a second wave and a second peak of infections. Watch the video to find out why, and how it can be mitigated.

The largely immigrant and minority workforce is at special risk during the pandemic.
By Dave Jamieson

At least 20 U.S. meatpacking workers have died and nearly 5,000 have been infected with the coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report released Friday by the CDC provides the fullest and most official picture of the damage COVID-19 has done to the largely immigrant and minority workforces in meat and poultry processing plants, which have been host to some of the worst outbreaks in the country. The agency found 4,913 confirmed cases among roughly 130,000 workers, making for a 3% infection rate. The data came from 115 plants scattered across 19 states, from April 9 through April 27. The CDC said many states with plants did not submit data, suggesting the raw number of cases is certainly higher. The figures released by the CDC reflect similar data put out earlier this week by the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which represents the majority of beef and pork workers and a large share of those in poultry. The UFCW said it estimated that at least 20 workers had died in union and nonunion facilities. CDC researchers wrote that one of the main problems inside plants is achieving social distancing. Workers essentially stand side by side on the plant lines, processing chicken, beef and pork at a pace many struggle to keep up with. The CDC also said some companies have created policies that encourage workers to clock in even if they are sick by tying bonuses to attendance. As HuffPost reported in March, Sanderson Farms, the third-largest poultry producer, offered employees a $1-per-hour bonus, but only if their attendance was perfect.

By Caitlin O'Kane

There is still much to learn about the novel coronavirus, including a wide range of symptoms that appears to be expanding. Common symptoms of the respiratory illness include fever, cough, shortness of breath and chills, but some doctors have reported less obvious symptoms in some patients — including what some are calling "COVID toes" and other skin ailments. Esther Freeman, director of Global Health & Dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital and an assistant professor a Harvard Medical School, said "COVID toe" cases look similar to pernio or chilblains, a condition of inflamed blood vessels caused by cold temperatures. "We're seeing this inflammatory response that we would normally see when someone was exposed to the cold temperature... like someone who has been playing outside with wet socks," Freeman told CBS News. "However, in this setting, we're seeing it in warm climates and we're seeing it in patients who have been indoors and sheltering in place." Freeman said it's not unusual for a virus to cause a rash, so most dermatologists aren't surprised that COVID-19 could cause skin symptoms. "What is surprising to me are these 'COVID toes,' these pernio-like lesions...because we haven't seen as many reports of these in other viruses." Freeman is a practicing dermatologist at Massachusetts General Hospital who has been seeing patients via tele-health video appointments. "I have seen more toes in the past two weeks in my clinic than I have in my entire previous career combined," said Freeman, who is a member of American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) COVID-19 task force.

By Chantal Da Silva

Two guards at a Louisiana correctional facility that houses immigrant detainees have reportedly died after contracting coronavirus, sparking fresh outcry over the conditions detainees and workers are being forced to endure amid the pandemic. Relatives of Carl Lenard and Stanton Johnson told The Associated Press leadership at the Richwood Correctional Center in Monroe, Louisiana, had, at one point, prevented the guards from wearing face masks at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility, where dozens of COVID-19 cases have been identified. Both families told the press agency they believed their loved ones had contracted the virus while working at Richwood, which, as of Thursday morning, had seen 46 detainees test positive for coronavirus since ICE started testing for the virus. The deaths of the two guards come on the heels of weeks of immigration advocates and members of the public calling on ICE to release immigration detainees to help curb the spread of coronavirus. Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have argued that immigration detention facilities, jails and prisons in the U.S. are not equipped to allow for the level of social distancing and access to sanitation required to keep detainees, inmates and workers safe amid the pandemic. A number of federal judges have agreed, with judges in states like New York and Pennsylvania ordering ICE to release immigration detainees considered vulnerable to COVID-19 due to preexisting health conditions. As of Thursday morning, 449 ICE detainees had tested positive for coronavirus, according to data published online by the agency. With 995 ICE detainees having so far been tested for COVID-19, that means nearly half, or 45 percent, of detainees tested have been found to have contracted the virus.

Story by Holly Yan, CNN
Animations by Jessi Esparza, CNN

(CNN) It's a popular argument heard at protests denouncing state shutdowns, fueled by those who say news outlets are overreacting to coronavirus:
The flu kills more people than coronavirus. Why shut down the economy for this? But the US death toll from coronavirus this year has exceeded 62,000, surpassing the high-end estimate for flu deaths since October. And coronavirus has killed at a much faster rate than the flu, claiming all those lives in just three months. Here are several reasons why coronavirus is more dangerous than the flu -- and why extra precautions are needed:

Coronavirus is much more contagious than the flu
Research shows a person with the flu infects an average of about 1.28 other people. And this coronavirus is so new, it's not clear whether it would dissipate in summer, or by how much. But the fact that it kept spreading in the Southern Hemisphere during its summer months suggests warm weather won't slow its spread.

Coronavirus has killed at a much faster rate
From October 2019 to early April 2020, the flu killed an estimated 24,000 to 62,000 people in the US, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those numbers are preliminary, and the CDC said it stopped updating its preliminary estimates for this flu season on April 4. If 62,000 people died from the flu between October 1 and April 4, that means the US had an average of about 331 flu deaths a day. By contrast, coronavirus killed more than 62,850 people in the US from the first known death in February through the end of April. So from February 6 through April 30, an average of more than 739 people died per day from coronavirus in the US.

By Eric Thomas

ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) -- The Antioch City Council will meet in special session Friday night to vote on whether to remove a town official over a controversial Facebook post related to the novel coronavirus. In the post, Kenneth Turnage, chair of the city's planning commission, suggested that COVID-19 be allowed to weed out the elderly, weak and sick to the benefit of society. "I guess I am now formerly the chairperson of the Antioch Planning Commission," Turnage told ABC7 news in a Facetime interview. But he's jumping the gun a bit. Turnage was notified Thursday that the city council will vote Friday night on removing him from the post. "I didn't really think so many people would be so offended by an opinion," he said. But, that opinion posted a week ago suggests that COVID-19 could be nature's way of weeding out the old, sick and weak and that could actually be beneficial to the economy, to the health care system, to society as a whole. The Facebook post has since been deleted. Eric Thomas: "You didn't think people would be calling for your head afterward?" Kenneth Turnage: "Not my head, no and I got my first death threat today, so I guess I made the big-time." "I saw it and I was very appalled and I thought this is somebody who represents Antioch," said Monica Wilson, a City Council member who is leading the charge to remove Turnage from his position.

The injunction request against an executive order was denied.
By Ivan Pereira

A Michigan judge sided with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Wednesday in a lawsuit filed against her shelter-in-place order and denied the plaintiffs an injunction. Court of Claims Judge Christopher M. Murray ruled Steve Martinko and other plaintiffs' claims that the order infringed on their constitutional rights were not strong due to the severity of the pandemic. A preliminary injunction of the governor's order, which has been in effect since March 24, "would not serve the public interest, despite the temporary harm to plaintiffs’ constitutional rights."  "Although the Court is painfully aware of the difficulties of living under the restrictions of these executive orders, those difficulties are temporary, while to those who contract the virus and cannot recover (and to their family members and friends), it is all too permanent," he wrote in the court order. As of Thursday, Michigan has 40,399 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,670 related deaths, according to data from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Exclusive: "We believe that if used, significant patient harm, including death, is likely," British doctors said in a letter.
By Alexander Smith

LONDON — Senior British doctors have warned that 250 ventilators the United Kingdom bought from China risk causing "significant patient harm, including death," if they are used in hospitals, according to a letter seen by NBC News. The doctors said the machines had a problematic oxygen supply, could not be cleaned properly, had an unfamiliar design and a confusing instruction manual, and were built for use in ambulances, not hospitals. The British case is not an isolated one, and it comes as a stark example of a procurement problem that has plagued many countries as the coronavirus has spread throughout the world. Since March, many governments have been scrambling to buy more medical equipment — much of it from China — to make up for large gaps in their supplies. While much of this equipment has been vital in combating the pandemic, some has been faulty or unsuitable. As in the United States, the government in Britain has been heavily criticized for its coronavirus response. With more than 26,000 people dead, critics say the government has failed to provide protective equipment for health care workers and widespread testing.

The question is how many and how soon. In the pandemic, everyone is a moral relativist.
By JOHN F. HARRIS

Altitude is a column by POLITICO founding editor John Harris, offering weekly perspective on politics in a moment of radical disruption. CNN’s Jake Tapper was brutally direct in his question to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who recently lifted his state’s stay-at-home order, in favor of a gradual reopening of business. Are you worried, Tapper asked, that a premature move could “cost your constituents their lives?” Polis was blandly indirect in his answer. While he might wish to have “next week’s information and next month’s information available to me today,” the Democratic governor said, “that’s not the world we live in.” During a pandemic that likely will continue for months, he’s looking for a path forward in “an ongoing sustainable way,” one that takes into account citizens’ interests “psychologically, economically, and from a health perspective.” The murkiness of Polis’ reply requires translation. To my ear, he was saying something like this: Yes, some people are going to die of Covid-19 who wouldn’t if I keep a full lockdown in place. I hope not too many or too fast. But keeping the risk of death as low as possible imposes other costs that are too high, and my job is to balance competing goals. Let’s suppose this is a reasonably fair interpretation. You could call Polis’ argument provocative: No wonder he speaks so circuitously when what he really thinks is so cruel. Alternatively, you could call his argument banal: There is no one on any side of the shutdown debate who has not made saving lives a top priority, but also no one in a position of authority who has made this the exclusive priority. The real question is less philosophical (Are you willing to “cost your constituents their lives”?) than practical (What is your tolerance for some uncertain number of additional deaths against some certain benefits of resuming regular life?). Like Polis, I am willing to accept that some people must die in order to accommodate the return to whatever the post-pandemic version of normal is. Perhaps unlike Polis, I have a strong preference that “some people” doesn’t end up including me. I’ll extend the same wish for anyone who happens to be reading this column. The fact that the governor—like his Republican counterpart in Georgia, Brian Kemp, like Nancy Pelosi or Donald Trump—doesn’t know specifically who will die of coronavirus makes their choice of how fast to open less excruciating but no less profound in its moral implications.

The message to workers is “endanger your life or starve,” critics say
By Tony Romm

Iowa, Oklahoma and other states reopening soon amid the coronavirus outbreak are issuing early warnings to their worried workers: Return to your jobs or risk losing unemployment benefits. The threats have been loudest among Republican leaders in recent days, reflecting their anxious attempts to jump-start local economic recovery roughly two months after most businesses shut their doors. In Iowa, for example, state officials even have posted a public call for companies to get in touch if an “employee refuses to return to work.” For some states, the concern is that residents who are offered their old jobs back simply may not accept them, choosing instead to continue tapping historically generous unemployment aid. The $2 trillion congressional coronavirus relief package signed by President Trump in March greatly added to weekly benefit checks for out-of-work Americans, and some people may be earning more than they did previously. Business leaders say they desperately need workers to return to stores, restaurants and other operations to stay afloat financially. Labor activists, however, contend the reality is far more complicated: Some now-unemployed Americans weren’t making much money in the first place, so they may not want to risk their safety just to return to underpaid old gigs. In the process, some states’ public comments have frustrated federal lawmakers, labor activists and public health officials, who say forcing workers to return so quickly might be dangerous — and could undermine the country’s response to the deadly pandemic. “These states are offering people the choice to endanger your life or starve,” said Damon A. Silvers, the director of policy and special counsel for the AFL-CIO. Generally, states have the legal right to revoke benefits if unemployed Americans are offered jobs comparable to their past positions yet decline to take them. In response to the novel coronavirus, regulators also have put in place special exemptions to protect people out of work because they’re sick or caring for family members diagnosed with covid-19. - It is not pro-life to send a person out to a possible death, another lie from the right exposed.

By Shimon Prokupecz and Mark Morales, CNN

New York (CNN) Four trucks containing as many as 60 bodies have been discovered outside a Brooklyn funeral home after someone reported fluids dripping from the trucks, a law enforcement official told CNN. The Andrew Cleckley Funeral Home home was overwhelmed and ran out of room for bodies, which were awaiting cremation, and used the trucks for storage, a second law enforcement source said Wednesday. At least one of the trucks was unrefrigerated, according to one law enforcement official. One source said the bodies were put on ice. The Department of Environmental Protection issued two summonses to the owner of the funeral home for a foul odor.

By William Feuer, Noah Higgins-Dunn, Jasmine Kim

New York City is suspending 24-hour subway service to disinfect subway cars and protect essential workers during the coronavirus crisis, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday. “They can disinfect all trains and buses every night,” Cuomo said at a news briefing. “It can best be done by stopping train service from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. every night during the pandemic so they can actually perform this service.” The Metropolitan Transit Authority, which runs the city’s public transit system, will still provide buses as and “dollar vans” at no cost to essential workers during those hours, said Cuomo. On Wednesday, Cuomo said he ordered the MTA to develop a cleaning plan after he read reports that the subway system had deteriorated, with a recent surge in crime and trains filled with homeless people. The subway system has been lauded for its 24 hour daily service. Service has been ordered to halt before, but rarely and usually for natural disasters.

By Judith Graham

Older adults with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, have several “atypical” symptoms, complicating efforts to ensure they get timely and appropriate treatment, according to physicians. COVID-19 is typically signaled by three symptoms: a fever, an insistent cough and shortness of breath. But older adults — the age group most at risk of severe complications or death from this condition ― may have none of these characteristics. Instead, seniors may seem “off” — not acting like themselves ― early on after being infected by the coronavirus. They may sleep more than usual or stop eating. They may seem unusually apathetic or confused, losing orientation to their surroundings. They may become dizzy and fall. Sometimes, seniors stop speaking or simply collapse. “With a lot of conditions, older adults don’t present in a typical way, and we’re seeing that with COVID-19 as well,” said Dr. Camille Vaughan, section chief of geriatrics and gerontology at Emory University. The reason has to do with how older bodies respond to illness and infection. At advanced ages, “someone’s immune response may be blunted and their ability to regulate temperature may be altered,” said Dr. Joseph Ouslander, a professor of geriatric medicine at Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine. “Underlying chronic illnesses can mask or interfere with signs of infection,” he said. “Some older people, whether from age-related changes or previous neurologic issues such as a stroke, may have altered cough reflexes. Others with cognitive impairment may not be able to communicate their symptoms.”


Russian President Vladimir Putin has admitted that there is a shortage of protective kit for medics as the country battles the coronavirus. This was despite a big increase in production and imports, he said. Mr Putin warned that the peak of the coronavirus infection rate had not yet been reached in the country, and the population must remain vigilant. Russia's lockdown aimed at containing the spread of Covid-19 was extended until 11 May.It has more than 93,000 coronavirus cases, with 867 recorded deaths.

What did Putin say?
The president said there was still not enough protective equipment for health workers on the frontline of the crisis. "Compared to before, [we're producing] a lot. But compared what we need, it's still not enough," he said during a televised briefing. "Despite increased production, imports - there's a deficit of all sorts of things," he added. Medics have complained about working without proper protective clothing, especially in Russia's regions. Russia is now producing 100,000 protective suits for medics per day, up from 3,000 a day in March, he said. Production of masks has also increased more than 10 times, to 8.5 million per day in April. Mr Putin said that while the government had managed to "slow the spread" of the epidemic, Russians would have to self-isolate for longer. He said the lockdown would continue for two more weeks, though he instructed the government to draw up recommendations by 5 May for a gradual easing of restrictions. "The deadly danger of the virus remains," he said.

USA TODAY

The CDC released six new possible symptoms of coronavirus, which include muscle pain and headache.

Exclusive: Scientists examine whether this route enables infections at longer distances
By Damian Carrington

Coronavirus has been detected on particles of air pollution by scientists investigating whether this could enable it to be carried over longer distances and increase the number of people infected. The work is preliminary and it is not yet known if the virus remains viable on pollution particles and in sufficient quantity to cause disease. The Italian scientists used standard techniques to collect outdoor air pollution samples at one urban and one industrial site in Bergamo province and identified a gene highly specific to Covid-19 in multiple samples. The detection was confirmed by blind testing at an independent laboratory. Leonardo Setti at the University of Bologna in Italy, who led the work, said it was important to investigate if the virus could be carried more widely by air pollution. “I am a scientist and I am worried when I don’t know,” he said. “If we know, we can find a solution. But if we don’t know, we can only suffer the consequences.” Two other research groups have suggested air pollution particles could help coronavirus travel further in the air. A statistical analysis by Setti’s team suggests higher levels of particle pollution could explain higher rates of infection in parts of northern Italy before a lockdown was imposed, an idea supported by another preliminary analysis. The region is one of the most polluted in Europe. Neither of the studies by Setti’s team have been peer-reviewed and therefore have not been endorsed by independent scientists. But experts agree their proposal is plausible and requires investigation. Previous studies have shown that air pollution particles do harbour microbes and that pollution is likely to have carried the viruses causing bird flu, measles and foot-and-mouth disease over considerable distances. The potential role of air pollution particles is linked to the broader question of how the coronavirus is transmitted. Large virus-laden droplets from infected people’s coughs and sneezes fall to the ground within a metre or two. But much smaller droplets, less than 5 microns in diameter, can remain in the air for minutes to hours and travel further.

By Rich McKay, Susan Heavey

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Georgia started letting residents dine at restaurants and watch movies at theaters on Monday as more U.S. states from Minnesota to Mississippi took steps to ease coronavirus restrictions even though health experts warned it may be too early. Keen to revive their battered economies, Colorado, Montana and Tennessee were also set to reopen some businesses. Alaska, Oklahoma and South Carolina, along with Georgia, previously took such steps following weeks of mandatory lockdowns that threw millions of Americans out of work. In the hardest-hit states of New York and New Jersey, part of a metropolitan region of about 32 million people, state governors signaled that even limited restarting of business activities was at least weeks away. President Donald Trump and some local officials had criticized Georgia Governor Brian Kemp for orders that enabled restaurants and theaters to join a list of businesses, such as hair and nail salons, barber shops and tattoo parlors, he allowed to reopen last week with social-distancing restrictions. One restaurant chain, Waffle House, was imposing seating arrangements in Georgia that kept patrons at least six feet (two meters) apart, stricter sanitization measures and a requirement that employees wear masks, CEO Walt Ehmer told WSB-TV.

By Linda So, Grant Smith

(Reuters) - When the first cases of the new coronavirus surfaced in Ohio’s prisons, the director in charge felt like she was fighting a ghost. “We weren’t always able to pinpoint where all the cases were coming from,” said Annette Chambers-Smith, director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. As the virus spread, they began mass testing. They started with the Marion Correctional Institution, which houses 2,500 prisoners in north central Ohio, many of them older with pre-existing health conditions. After testing 2,300 inmates for the coronavirus, they were shocked. Of the 2,028 who tested positive, close to 95% had no symptoms. “It was very surprising,” said Chambers-Smith, who oversees the state’s 28 correctional facilities. As mass coronavirus testing expands in prisons, large numbers of inmates are showing no symptoms. In four state prison systems — Arkansas, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia — 96% of 3,277 inmates who tested positive for the coronavirus were asymptomatic, according to interviews with officials and records reviewed by Reuters. That’s out of 4,693 tests that included results on symptoms. The numbers are the latest evidence to suggest that people who are asymptomatic — contagious but not physically sick — may be driving the spread of the virus, not only in state prisons that house 1.3 million inmates across the country, but also in communities across the globe. The figures also reinforce questions over whether testing of just people suspected of being infected is actually capturing the spread of the virus.

FBI-connected researchers suggested biggest threat in controlling outbreak was from ‘those who categorically reject vaccination’
By Jason Wilson

America’s “anti-vaxxer movement” would pose a threat to national security in the event of a “pandemic with a novel organism”, an FBI-connected non-profit research group warned last year, just months before the global coronavirus pandemic began. In a research paper put out by the little-known in-house journal of InfraGard – a national security group affiliated with the FBI – experts warned the US anti-vaccine movement would also be connected with “social media misinformation and propaganda campaigns” orchestrated by the Russian government. Since the virus hit America, anti-vaccination activists and some sympathetic legislators around the country have led or participated in protests against stay-at-home orders designed to slow the spread of the deadly virus. More than 50,000 people have died in the US. On its website, InfraGard says it is an “FBI-affiliated nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening national security” with a mission to protect “United States critical infrastructure”. It says it consists of local chapters and that “an FBI special agent from each field office is assigned to serve as a private sector coordinator”. The paper, jointly written by a security consultant and a senior doctor in New York State’s largest hospital network, warned: “The biggest threat in controlling an outbreak comes from those who categorically reject vaccination.” The paper, entitled The Anti-Vaxxers Movement and National Security, was co-written by Dr Mark Jarrett, the chief quality officer, senior vice-president and associate chief medical officer at Northwell Health; and Christine Sublett, a health industry-focused cybersecurity consultant.

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) Distinctive Kutz is a black barbershop in suburban Atlanta where men gather to argue about sports and tell lies about their skill with women. It's the kind of throwback shop where a candy-cane colored barber pole sits out front, posters of President Obama and Tupac adorn the walls and customers play checkers and dominoes. The coronavirus pandemic has shut down the business and its raucous conversations, but Mitch Magee, its co-owner, still has some things to say. Magee believes Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's decision to reopen some businesses across the state starting today is an "attack" on African Americans -- one of the groups hit hardest by the virus. And he says it's no coincidence that the businesses being reopened -- including barbershops, nail salons and churches -- are communal gathering places for black residents. "It seems like it's an attack on us. Those places are all in our community, where we live on top of one another," he said. "I have right to be paranoid because our people are dying more than whites." In another time Magee's fears might have stayed confined to his shop floor, along with his customers' hair. But he is part of a growing chorus of black leaders and business owners who say that reopening Georgia's economy places a dangerous burden on people of color. One prominent black pastor even said state officials were "diabolically" planning to exploit black people.

Pastor: This is 'leaving us to the slaughter'
Kemp's said he made the move because his shelter-in-place order was pummeling the state's economy. "Our small business owners are seeing sales plummet, and the company that they built with blood, sweat, and tears disappear right before them," he said Monday in announcing his reopening plan. Kemp said he made his decision after consulting with health officials and that businesses that reopen should adhere to safety procedures by sanitizing workspaces, keeping physical distance between employees and wearing masks when appropriate.

A family-run network of pro-gun groups is behind five of the largest Facebook groups dedicated to protesting shelter-in-place restrictions.
By Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Collins

Protests against state stay-at-home orders have attracted a wide range of fringe activists and ardent Trump supporters. They have also attracted a family of political activists whom some Republican lawmakers have called "scam artists." A family-run network of pro-gun groups is behind five of the largest Facebook groups dedicated to protesting the shelter-in-place restrictions, according to an NBC News analysis of Facebook groups and website registration information. The groups were set up by four brothers — Chris, Ben, Aaron and Matthew Dorr — and have amassed more than 200,000 members collectively, including in states where they don't reside, according to an NBC News analysis based on public records searches and Facebook group registrations. The Dorr brothers are known in conservative circles for running pro-gun and anti-abortion rights Facebook groups that bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars annually by antagonizing establishment conservative leaders and activists. Their usual method is to attack established conservative groups from the right, including the National Rifle Association, and then make money by selling memberships in their groups or selling mailing lists of those who sign up, according to some conservative politicians and activists who have labeled the efforts as scams. The Washington Post first reported on the Dorrs' role in the events. The pages are just part of the more than 100 state-specific Facebook groups that have been created in the last two weeks to protest the stay-at-home orders, according to an unpublished analysis by First Draft, an organization that researches disinformation. The pages have organized at least 49 different events. Most of the groups are similarly named, and they have attracted more than 900,000 members in total. The Dorrs' pages, however, follow a particularly uniform naming system, according to information openly available on Facebook. A Dorr brother created or is an administrator for the groups Pennsylvanians Against Excessive Quarantine, Wisconsinites Against Excessive Quarantine, New Yorkers Against Excessive Quarantine, Minnesotans Against Excessive Quarantine and Ohioans Against Excessive Quarantine.

Video meeting seen as global endorsement of WHO and sign of Trump’s isolation on world stage
By Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor

Global leaders have pledged to accelerate cooperation on a coronavirus vaccine and to share research, treatment and medicines across the globe. But the United States did not take part in the World Health Organization initiative, in a sign of Donald Trump’s increasing isolation on the global stage. The cooperation pledge, made at a virtual meeting, was designed to show that wealthy countries will not keep the results of research from developing countries. The meeting also represented a symbolic endorsement of the United Nations body in the face of Trump’s decision to suspend US payments and condemn its leaders as subordinates of the Chinese Communist party. China and the US have accused each other of bullying and disinformation over the coronavirus outbreak, damaging efforts to secure cooperation at the G20, the natural international institution to handle global health outside the UN. Instead an ad hoc grouping of 20 world leaders and global health figures were on the call, including the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and the American philanthropist Bill Gates. Britain will co-chair a joint coronavirus global response summit on 4 May aimed at raising funds for vaccine research, treatments and tests. Macron told the meeting: “We will continue now to mobilise all G7 and G20 countries so they get behind this initiative. And I hope we will be able to reconcile around this joint initiative both China and the US, because this is about saying the fight against Covid-19 is a common human good and there should be no division in order to win this battle.” The WHO director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “We are facing a common threat that we can only defeat with a common approach. Experience has told us that even when tools are available they have not been equally available to all. We cannot allow that to happen.” More than 100 potential vaccines are being developed, including six already in clinical trials, according to Seth Berkley, the chief executive of the Gavi vaccine alliance, a public-private partnership that leads immunisation campaigns in poor countries. Berkley said it was critical that there was not a repeat of the experience in 2009, when the H1N1 vaccine did not reach developing countries until very late.

By Patrick Henry

Catching Covid-19 once may not protect you from getting it again, according to the World Health Organization, a finding that could jeopardize efforts to allow people to return to work after recovering from the virus. “There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from Covid-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection,” the United Nations agency said in an April 24 statement. The WHO guidance came after some governments suggested that people who have antibodies to the coronavirus could be issued an “immunity passport” or “risk-free certificate” that would allow them to travel or return to work, based on the assumption that they were safe from re-infection, according to the statement. People issued such a certificate could ignore public-health guidance, increasing the risk of the disease spreading further.



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