CORONA Main Coronavirus thread

Mixin

Veteran Member
I think Elkhart Co may have gotten spooked by the second peak, which started around the 4th of July. That county is kind of strange when compared to the others. Once it began spiking, it just kept going until June 17. Included is Hamilton Co. for comparison.

7.30 Elkhart Cases.jpg

7.30 Hamilton Cases.jpg
 

Mixin

Veteran Member
Indiana has included some new testing info on its dashboard. Before, it never specified if the tests were the total number of tests or the number of individuals tested. Now it shows both.

These are all PCR tests and some of those individuals (11,586) were tested multiple times and that's reflected in the 15,969 number. The site states these numbers should not be characterized as a comprehensive total.

7.31 Cases Deaths Tests.jpg
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0zLBePmVeU
58:42 min
War Room Pandemic Ep 311 - The New Federal State of China Confronts CCP Across the Globe Pt. 1
•Streamed live 7 hours ago


Bannon WarRoom - Citizens of the American Republic


Jack Maxey is joined by Steve Bannon for a special edition of War Room to discuss the protests taking place against the Chinese Communist Party all around the world. Callers from China call in to share their experiences under this murderous regime. Special guests "Andreas", Wen Mu, "Panson", and "Alice".
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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJBM8FH-3B8
1:00:32 min
War Room Pandemic Ep 312 - The New Federal State of China Confronts the CCP Across the Globe Pt. 2
•Streamed live 6 hours ago



Jack Maxey is joined by Steve Bannon and Miles Guo for a special edition of War Room to discuss the protests taking place against the Chinese Communist Party all around the world. Callers from China call in to share their experiences under this murderous regime. Special guests Miles Guo, and "Alice".
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBifblbZcu8
33:57 min
Increasing cases and prevention in the UK
•Aug 1, 2020


Dr. John Campbell

Global Cases, 17, 621, 140 Deaths, 679, 966

Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-he... Singing may be as risky as coughing Especially gatherings of large groups for a prolonged duration Evidence, more aerosols than normal talking or breathing. Even in outdoor settings, the wind can keep droplets airborne

Daily new cases in Europe Spain France Germany more level UK more level Poland Belgium Italy Switzerland Denmark Greece England reopened on 4th July Lag effect Prevalence of virus in community is increasing ONS https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-536...

Sample of households in England, antigen testing Excluding care homes and hospitals Daily new cases have risen from 3,200 up to 4,200 in a week Higher than DoH because people tested with or without symptoms Now, one in 1,500 15 July, one in 1,800 2 July, one in 2,000 Boris Hands, face, space, and get a test Brake pedal Indoor performances Children going back to school is a national priority Trade offs 15th August at the earliest Casinos Bowling alleys Ice rinks Beauticians Prof Graham Medley (SAGE) https://www.theguardian.com/world/liv... England could have to consider closing pubs in order to reopen schools next month. And so actually, closing some of the other networks, some of the other activities may well be required to enable us to open schools. It might come down to a question of which do you trade off against each other and then that’s a matter of prioritising – do we think pubs are more important than schools?

Rise in coronavirus infections appeared to be among younger people warned there was a danger it could “spill” over into other parts of the population. North-west lockdowns “highly unlikely” to be the “last intervention that has to be done regionally” Leicester 29th June Partly locked down No meetings in homes or gardens Cafes and pubs opening from Monday Numbers falling Testing numbers x 12 rest of UK Flushing out infections Manchester, Bradford, Bolton, Lancaster, West Yorkshire Blackburn Darwen Oldham Bradford Trafford Calderdale Rochdale Manchester Salford Kirklees Stockport Bolton Bury Tameside Lancashire 4.5 m people for at least a week Pubs and restaurants still open No meetings of households inside houses or gardens Eid this weekend https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...

Blackburn and Darwen https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.... Population 30% south Asian 25% of population Muslim 114 cases in the last two weeks, of those, 97 Asian Blackburn health officials last Tuesday Five new measures Reducing household visiting to one household plus two members from another household Face coverings in all public spaces Inspections on small corner shops Ban on hugs and handshakes Increased testing Also Raves Young people drivers Football related celebrations Pubs Beaches Mohammed Ashrif Tahir Nushai, (Mosque Leader) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti... ‘Sadly, there are people within our community who are not taking coronavirus seriously enough. Since the easing of the main lockdown, a lot of people have been visiting relatives and friends and attending events in each other’s homes with very little thought of keeping themselves safe ‘We have been trying to get them to understand the message and take greater precautions but what can we do? Now, in Bradford we find ourselves in a very dangerous situation with coronavirus cases on the rise.’ Akhtar Mahmood (mosque committee) ‘One of the big problems we have had is of people going to pay their respects at the homes of those who have recently died. We lost a member of our congregation two weeks ago and there were 50 people gathered at his house to express their sympathies.’ A single road in Bradford registered 17 coronavirus cases within six days. Professor Dominic Harrison, the local authority’s director of public health Driver of infection, single case to household spread Multigeneration households Rising tide, rather than an outbreak Clusters of household infections are in ‘mainly south-Asian areas’ At risk Eden in Cumbria Sandwell in West Midlands Northampton Peterborough Rotherham, South Yorkshire Wakefield, West Yorkshire
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBootfL8Iaw
4:35 min
GOP Rep slams Dems for holding up stimulus to include 'pet projects'
•Aug 1, 2020


Fox News

There are significant health implications for America's children if we don't reopen schools, says Tennessee Rep. Mark Green, Republican member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

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[Teacher's Union strike to prevent school reopening. Underground schools.]

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMdvQIDJzug
10:36 min at 6:30 min
Will this union prevent schools from reopening? | Perino & Stirewalt podcast
•Aug 1, 2020


Fox News

'Perino & Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What' podcast | Aug. 1, 2020
 
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marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsFgeN3Njww
5:23 min
America’s COVID-19 economy struggles as cases climb
•Aug 1, 2020


PBS NewsHour

As the emergency $600-per-week unemployment benefit expired on July 31, officials expressed optimism for another relief package. The bill, being negotiated right now, would be the fifth since the pandemic hit and likely the last before the November elections. Diane Swonk, Chief Economist with Grant Thorton joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss the economic effect of the pandemic.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxdm4xCzYU8
3:52 min
Miami mayor on dealing with both pandemic and approaching hurricane
•Aug 1, 2020


Good Morning America

Mayor Francis Suarez speaks on "GMA" about fighting COVID-19 and hurricane preparation.

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaYF0wMeFps
7:39 min
Looming eviction crisis in America
•Jul 31, 2020


ABC News

As the COVID-19 pandemic causes unemployment to skyrocket, nearly 28 million people are worried about being evicted in the coming months.
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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UjP2PbROz4
6:06 min
Cocktails and COVID: Are bars spreading the coronavirus?
•Jul 31, 2020


ABC News

Erielle Reshef reports on the potential dangers posed by bars in spreading the virus, as health experts urge local and state leaders to temporarily shut them down.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVrSpPXwdZ4
8:13 min

Inside Hospitals During COVID-19 Spikes | NBC News
•Aug 1, 2020


NBC News

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ea6AZsB6Iao
3:08 min
CDC: U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Could Reach 180,000 By End Of August | NBC News NOW
•Aug 1, 2020


NBC News

During a tense Congressional hearing on Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he feels “cautiously optimistic” that a coronavirus vaccine could be ready by the end of the year or early 2021.

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfbjDH3SgOA
5:00 min
Coronavirus Spread Doesn’t Seem To Be Slowing Down, Doctor Says | TODAY
•Aug 1, 2020


TODAY

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a former Obama White House health policy advisor, joins Weekend TODAY to discuss the coronavirus pandemic as the United States nears 4.6 million cases. “We are progressing and we don’t seem to be slowing down,” he says as 60,000-70,000 new cases are reported daily across the country.
 
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marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2z0yjH76E8
1:54 min
Coronavirus: Thousands rally in Berlin to protest COVID-19 measures
•Aug 1, 2020


Global News Canada

Thousands of people flooded the streets of Berlin, Germany on Saturday –the majority of them not wearing masks – to protest the latest coronavirus measures introduced by the government. The massive demonstrations come as the government has urged protesters to engage in social distancing and to wear face coverings. Germany’s government has made it mandatory for those returning from high-risk areas to enter quarantine for a two-week period unless they’re able to present a negative COVID-19 test not older than 48 hours. This as the number of cases across Europe has increased in the past weeks. Germany now has more than 210,000 cases of COVID-19 according to Johns Hopkins University and more than 9,000 deaths.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUrLJjcfAhk
2:55:54 min
TWiV [This Week in Virology] 648: Life is for learning
•Aug 1, 2020


Vincent Racaniello

Daniel Griffin provides a clinical report on COVID-19, followed by a review of the findings that children shed as much SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA from the respiratory tract as older patients, the lineage giving rise to SARS-CoV-2 has been circulating in bats in China for decades, and answers to listener questions. Show notes at https://www.microbe.tv/twiv/twiv-648/
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7BDY_folcQ
3:47 min
Calif. Gov. Newsom renews $300M deal with Chinese company known for making defective masks
•Aug 1, 2020


One America News Network

California Governor Gavin Newsom has come under fire, once again, for inking a new mask deal with a Chinese company that is known for making defective products. One America's Pearson Sharp has the details. Visit us at: Website:
 

Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Agree. And I thought Pres Trump was an anti-vaccine person. He's pushing this vaccine hard, I wonder if that's because it's election season and he thinks he has to be on board with the program. This video is long, but if you click on the link that is in super small font under the video, it takes you to the 36 minute mark - which is right to the spot he talks about the miltary and vaccines.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2145&v=hTLUT9EG1m0

39min 32 sec
"We have the military all lined up and the military will do it in a very powerful manner."
We've never need the military for a vaccine before. What are they going to do to us? This is not voluntary. This is by force from the powerful military. So, they can blow my head off but I do know that they can't inject me.
It gets worse. I didn't think it could get any worse, but it does.

(fair use applies)


Red Flags Soar As Big Pharma Will Be Exempt From COVID-19 Vaccine Liability Claims
by Tyler Durden
Sat, 08/01/2020 - 12:35

Last week we warned readers to be cautious about new COVID-19 vaccines, highlighting how key parts of the clinical trials are being skipped as big pharma will not be held accountable for adverse side effects for administering the experimental drugs.

A senior executive from AstraZeneca, Britain's second-largest drugmaker, told Reuters that his company was just granted protection from all legal action if the company's vaccine led to damaging side effects.

"This is a unique situation where we as a company simply cannot take the risk if in ... four years the vaccine is showing side effects," said Ruud Dobber, a top exec at AstraZeneca.

"In the contracts we have in place, we are asking for indemnification. For most countries, it is acceptable to take that risk on their shoulders because it is in their national interest," said Dobber, adding that Astra and regulators were making safety and tolerability a top priority.

AstraZeneca is one of the 25 pharmaceutical companies across the world, testing experimental drugs that could be used to combat the deadly virus. And, of course, if testing yields positive results, AstraZeneca could manufacture hundreds of millions of doses, with no legal recourse if side effects are seen.

European officials told Reuters that product liability was a significant discussion to secure new vaccine drugs from Pfizer, Sanofi, and Johnson & Johnson.

As for the US, well, when it comes to the legal framework around vaccines, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) already has a law called the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act, which provides immunity to vaccine companies if something goes wrong.

With AstraZeneca, and many US big pharma companies rushing COVID-19 vaccines to market with governments granting them immunity if the vaccine has side effects, all suggest corporate elites and government regulators have very little faith in these drugs.

For more color on leading vaccines in development that produce "severe" side effects, read our latest piece titled "Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Induced Adverse Reactions In "More Than Half" Of Trial Participants."

Maybe these rushed vaccines are more for optics, get consumers back into airplanes, hotels, resorts, and malls.

The major red flag is how governments are allowing big pharma to rush experimental vaccines, with no legal recourse if something goes terribly wrong.

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Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)
VIDEO AT LINK

Fauci suggests protests spread COVID-19, but won’t ‘opine’ on limits in hearing clash with Jordan
Jordan pressed Fauci on whether protests increased the spread of the virus

Tyler Olson
Published 18 hours ago

Dr. Anthony Fauci told the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis that "crowds" further the spread of the coronavirus, but wouldn't "opine" on whether the government should limit widespread protests as it has businesses and churches in a testy exchange Friday with Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director appeared alongside Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director (CDC) Dr. Robert Redfield and “testing czar” Admiral Brett Giroir, a Health and Human Services official and physician. The hearing was titled "The Urgent Need for a National Plan to Contain the Coronavirus."

Jordan pushed Fauci on whether protests increased the spread of the virus, to which Fauci said that he can "make a general statement" that "crowding together particularly when you're not wearing a mask contributed to the spread of the virus." He later said any crowd, including protest crowds, would constitute a "risk" -- and that indoor crowds are a bigger problem than outdoor ones.

But Jordan appeared to suggest Fauci was applying a double standard by holding back on stating that demonstrations should be curtailed for health reasons.

Jordan asked Fauci, "should we limit the protesting?" Fauci had Jordan clarify the question, to which Jordan responded "should government limit the protesting?"

Fauci said "I'm not in a position to determine what the government can do in a forceful way," before Jordan interrupted: "You make all kinds of recommendations, you make comments on dating, on baseball, on everything you can imagine. I'm just asking, you just said, protesting increases the spread. I'm just asking you should we try to limit the protest?"

"I think I would leave that to people who have more of a position to do that," Fauci responded. "I can tell you that..."

Jordan again interrupted Fauci: "Government's stopping people from going to church, Dr. Fauci. Last week... five liberals on the Supreme Court said it was OK for Nevada to limit church services... Is there a world where the Constitution says you can favor one First Amendment liberty, protesting, over another, practicing your faith?"

"I'm not favoring anybody over anybody," Fauci said. "I'm just making a statement that's a broad statement... avoid crowds of any type no matter where you are, because that leads to the acquisition and transmission. And I don't judge one crowd versus another crowd. When you're in a crowd, particularly if you're not wearing a mask, that induces the spread."

Jordan, still not satisfied, attempted to extract a yes or no answer from Fauci, saying that there's been "no violence" at churches.

"I don't know how many times I can answer that," Fauci said. "I am not going to opine on limiting anything. ... I'm telling you what there is, the danger. And you can make your own conclusion about that. You should stay away from crowds."

ordan told Fauci about a case where two people running a gym against a coronavirus order in New Jersey got arrested before speculating that if the men were outside protesting along with their customers they would not have been.

"I'm not going to opine on who gets arrested and who does not," Fauci said. "I mean, you get where I'm going. I'm telling you as a public health official I say crowds..." Jordan jumped in again and asked Fauci whether he saw any inconsistency, likely referring to the treatment of churchgoers and business owners versus protesters.

"There's not inconsistency, congressman," a frustrated Fauci replied, likely talking about his own statements.

Jordan then said he hasn't seen cases of hairstylists attacking police officers, but added that many protesters have recently.

"And we know that protests actually increase the spread of the virus, you said that," Jordan said.

"I said crowds," Fauci shot back. "I didn't say specifically. I didn't say protests do anything."

"So the protests don't increase the spread of the virus?" Jordan asked.

"I didn't say that, you're putting words in my mouth," Fauci replied. "I can tell you that crowds are known, particularly when you don't have a mask," to add to the spread of the virus. (Minutes later, Fauci eventually specified that he considers protests to be crowds in this context.)

Jordan at one point challenged Fauci for advocating to shut down businesses but not commenting on protest restrictions: “You can’t go to work, you can’t go to school, you can’t go to church … but protesting is just fine.”

As Jordan's questioning time expired, committee Chairman James Clyburn, D-S.C., then noted that President Trump recently held a political fundraiser in Texas where masks were scarce among the attendees.

The reaction to various protests during the coronavirus crisis has been highly polarized. When many Trump supporters protested against state lockdown orders early in the pandemic, many Republicans lauded the protests while Democrats condemned them as putting front-line health care workers at risk. When crowds began protesting -- in much larger gatherings than the anti-lockdown protests -- following the death of George Floyd in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department, Democrats began to participate in the protests themselves while Republicans condemned them.

Earlier in the hearing, Fauci also told the committee that experts are optimistic the U.S. might see an effective vaccine for the coronavirus by later this year, and encouraged Americans to register if they are interested in participating in clinical trials

One vaccine, Fauci said, was in a "Phase 3 trial." He said experts are optimistic by late fall or early winter "we will have, in fact, a vaccine we can say will be safe and effective." Fauci added: "[w]e are cautiously optimistic that this will be successful" because the vaccine "clearly showed that individuals who were vaccinated mounted a neutralizing antibody response that was at least comparable, and in many respects better, than what we see... from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19."

He encouraged people to go to "coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org," where those willing to be in the clinical trials for the vaccine for "this terrible scourge" can volunteer. There were 250,000 people who indicated they were interested as of Thursday night, Fauci said.

Fauci appeared in a Washington Nationals "World Champions" mask.

The epidemiologist also discussed the NIAID's efforts to research the coronavirus, study how the virus affects children, improve testing, and develop treatments. Remdesivir, Fauci said, "showed a statistically significant improvement" in how long hospitalized patients survived, and one other drug, he said, lowered death rates.

On schools, Redfield called the decision to reopen "public health vs. public health," underscoring the difficult balance faced by officials deciding how -- or whether -- to reopen classrooms this fall.

The written testimony by the experts also addressed the effort to secure a vaccine: "The rigorous clinical testing required to establish vaccine safety and efficacy means that it might take some time for a licensed SARS-CoV-2 vaccine to be available to the general public, but there is growing optimism that one or more of these vaccine candidates will prove safe and effective by late 2020 or early 2021."

After a vaccine is proven effective, the challenge will be distributing it widely among the public.

Fauci was also asked during the hearing why the U.S. has been hit so much harder by the virus in recent months than other countries. He partially blamed what some states have done in reopening too quickly.

"We started off with a very difficult baseline of transmission that was going on at the time we tried to open up the country," he said. "The reasons for that are complex. There are some states that did it very well and there are some states that did not. And when I say did not I mean we put out... the guidelines of a gateway phase one, phase two, phase three, some were followed very carefully and some were not. And those situations in which it were not, that led to the surging that you're showing on your chart there."

The prepared testimony by the health experts expressed concern about the possible confluence of coronavirus and the flu at the same time, potentially presenting challenges to efforts to reopen schools.

"If there is COVID-19 and flu activity at the same time, this could place a tremendous burden on the health care system related to bed occupancy, laboratory testing needs, personal protective equipment and health care worker safety," their prepared testimony said.

There was also some political posturing by the top members of the committee, with Democrats slamming the Trump administration's coronavirus response and Republicans defending the president.

"On our current course, experts predict another 150,000 Americans could lose their lives" to the virus by the end of 2020, Clyburn said. "The administration has failed on testing, while they were given warnings including from this committee, that millions more tests were needed."

Clyburn added that "the White House pressured" the CDC to change its advice that opening schools in-person presented significant dangers. "The United States coronavirus response stands out among the worst of any country in the world," Clyburn said.

"Urgent need for a plan -- that's not a title of a hearing that's a political narrative, and a false political narrative," committee Ranking Member Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., said. He held up a large stack of papers produced by the Trump administration on responding to the coronavirus.

In defending the president, Scalise asked Fauci about a number of measures taken by the administration to contain the virus -- including shutting down travel from China early in the pandemic. In response, Fauci said that he agreed with the decisions and that he believed they saved lives.

Scalise also slammed some Democratic governors who have been criticized for allowing coronavirus positive patients to enter nursing homes. "If all governors would have followed those guidelines, thousands more seniors in nursing homes would have been alive today, if just five governors followed your plan that was developed by President Trump," he said.

Scalise further criticized China over its efforts to coverup the breakout of the disease in its early stages this year and warned about "damage" to children when schools don't reopen.

Redfield, in his opening statement, said public health experts are working to close disparities in how the coronavirus affects different communities -- it has hit African Americans a lot harder than other races, especially White people.

"This is the most complex public health response this nation has undertaken in more than a century. This virus is indiscriminate regarding whom and when it strikes. We can continue to learn its characteristics, its behavior and its effect on Americans across the social-economic spectrum," Redfield said.

"I want to strongly emphasize that we are not defenseless now. We have powerful tools," Redfield said.

Among them, Redfield said, are "wearing a simple mask, properly. It's critical to limiting the transmission. Be smart about social distancing and being in crowded spaces. Stay six feet apart from others if possible and be vigilant about hand hygiene."

He added: "Together, we can turn the tide of this pandemic."

Fauci's appearance before the committee comes after he was blocked by the White House from appearing in early May. The White House called such a testimony “counterproductive” in the heat of the pandemic, but allowed him to testify before Senate committees.

"The House is a setup," Trump told reporters in May. "The House is a bunch of Trump haters. They put every Trump hater on the committee. The same old stuff. They, frankly, want our situation to be unsuccessful, which means death."

Here's a link to the exchange on youtube. Look closely; any time in the past when we saw Fauci he has been wearing glasses. In his most public appearance after announcing people need to keep their eyes covered (face shields) he appears without any eye covering, even his own, regularly worn, glasses. It's like he's sticking it in the public's face. Not to mention he is standing by his friends Obama and Hillary and not criticizing the rioting. He cares more about those friendships than his role in this crisis or Trump.


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSCSWVrcCtA

See Dr. Anthony Fauci's heated exchange with Jim Jordan over protests during coronavirus
5min 51 sec



And Tucker Carlson's piece on the exchange:

(fair use applies)

Tucker Carlson calls Fauci a 'fraud' after tense hearing
Joe Concha
08/01/20 01:09 PM EDT

Tucker Carlson slammed Anthony Fauci as a "total fraud" after the top infectious disease expert's Friday testimony on Capitol Hill, with the Fox News host asserting that "there is nothing" Fauci "won't opine on as long as it doesn't offend the popular and fashionable left."

During a segment on his prime-time show Friday night, Carlson played a heated exchange between Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Fauci on Capitol Hill earlier in the day, with the two figures sparring over the possible spread of COVID-19 at mass protests.

Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, noted there is risk when crowds of people gather, prompting Jordan to press for a direct answer on protests specifically.

"So the protests don't increase the spread of the virus?" Jordan asked.

"I didn't say that. You're putting words in my mouth," Fauci replied.

"I just want an answer to the question. Do the protests increase the spread of the virus?" Jordan pressed.

"I can tell you that crowds are known, particularly when you don't have a mask, to increase the acquisition and transmission, no matter what the crowd is," Fauci responded.

When asked if the government should limit protests as it has church gatherings, Fauci replied by saying he was not "in a position to determine what the government can do in a forceful way."

Carlson responded to the back-and-forth on his show by lauding Jordan while declaring, "There is nothing Dr. Anthony Fauci won't opine on as long as it doesn't offend the popular and fashionable left."

"Fauci is 79, but maybe if he had like 22-year-old kids who were trying to make their way in this world in an economy that is headed down the tubes, thanks largely to his recommendations, he would feel differently," the conservative host said.

"It's not merely an inconvenience when your economy collapses. It's the end of the American dream. That's not a small thing. Maybe it's worth it. Maybe it's not, but if it is, then you probably shouldn't take a pass on the question 'Are protests, are riots OK?' unless you're a total fraud, like a complete fraud," Carlson added.

Carlson blasted Fauci again later in the segment, saying, "What a fraud this guy is."

A Quinnipiac University poll released in July found that 65 percent of voters trust Fauci, though there are sharp partisan differences. Among Republicans who were surveyed, 52 percent said they do not trust Fauci on the pandemic, while 86 percent of Democrats said they do trust him.

President Trump resumed White House briefings on the coronavirus last week, though Fauci says he has yet to be invited.

Carlson has been critical of Fauci several times on his program, including earlier this week, calling him "a hypocritical buffoon."

"Under no circumstances can you note that Dr. Fauci is in fact very often a hypocritical buffoon who refuses to admit what he clearly doesn’t know," Carlson said Monday.

"If you say that out loud, they will cancel you. Fauci is too useful to the Biden campaign. So until November, Fauci’s word must be law even when it doesn’t make sense. Criticize Fauci and you will disappear from the internet," he added.

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Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

After Plummeting, the Virus Soars Back in the Midwest
By Julie Bosman, Manny Fernandez and Thomas Fuller
Aug. 1, 2020 Updated 9:51 p.m. ET

First, the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast were hit hardest as the coronavirus tore through the nation. Then it surged across the South. Now the virus is again picking up dangerous speed in much of the Midwest — and in cities from Mississippi to Florida to California that thought they had already seen the worst of it.

As the United States rides what amounts to a second wave of cases, with daily new infections leveling off at an alarming higher mark, there is a deepening national sense that the progress made in fighting the pandemic is coming undone and no patch of America is safe.

In Missouri, Wisconsin and Illinois, distressed government officials are retightening restrictions on residents and businesses, and sounding warnings about a surge in coronavirus-related hospitalizations.

In the South and the West, several states are reporting their highest levels of new coronavirus cases, with outbreaks overwhelming urban and rural areas alike.

Across the country, communities including Snohomish County, Wash., Jackson, Miss., and Baton Rouge, La., have seen coronavirus numbers fall and then shoot back up — not unlike the two ends of a seesaw.

In Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker sounded an unusually somber note this past week as he delivered a warning that reverberated across the state: Even though Illinoisans had battled an early flood of coronavirus infections and then managed to reduce the virus’s spread, their successes were fleeting. As of Thursday, the state was averaging more than 1,400 cases a day, up from about 800 at the start of July.

“We’re at a danger point,” Mr. Pritzker said in Peoria County, where the total number of cases has doubled in the last month.

Gone is any sense that the country may soon get a hold of the pandemic. Instead, the United States is riding a second wave of cases, with the seven-day average for new infections hovering around 65,000 for two weeks. Progress in some states has been mostly offset by growing outbreaks in parts of the South and the Midwest.

“There’s a sort of collective tiredness and frustration, and of course I feel it, too — we all feel it,” said County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the top elected official in Harris County, which includes Houston. “So it’s difficult to know that there’s no real end in sight.”

On Friday, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, told Congress he was cautiously optimistic that a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine would be available by the end of the year or early 2021, though the federal government’s ability to speedily immunize most Americans was unclear.

Even finding out who has the virus is a challenge, as testing programs have frustrated many Americans with lengthy delays in providing results.

The picture is similarly depressing overseas, where even governments that would seem well suited to combating the virus are seeing resurgences.

New daily infections in Japan, a country with a long tradition of wearing face masks, rose more than 50 percent in July. Australia, which can cut itself off from the rest of the world more easily than most, is battling a wave of infections in and around Melbourne. Hong Kong, Israel and Spain are also fighting second waves.

None of those places has an infection rate as high as the United States, which has the most cases and deaths in the world, more than the next two hardest-hit countries — Brazil and England — combined.

In American communities that saw improvement in June, such as Milwaukee County in Wisconsin, there was a widespread feeling of relief, said Dr. Ben Weston, the director of medical services for the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management.

But then mask-wearing and social distancing began to relax.

“There was a sense of complacency, like, ‘We’re finally beyond this, it’s finally getting better,’” he said. “We were seeing our numbers go down, but the reason is because of physical distancing. It’s because people were being so careful. There was no reason to think that cases weren’t going to rise.”

On Thursday, Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, made another attempt to get a handle on the outbreaks in his state, issuing an order that every Wisconsinite wear a mask indoors in public beginning Saturday.

Many states have traced new outbreaks to the loosening of the economically costly restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of the virus.

In California, which has had more than 500,000 coronavirus cases, more than any other state, the reopening has proved disastrous. When the pandemic was ravaging the Northeast in March and April, California kept its daily case count around 2,000, and the state was praised for its early and aggressive actions to combat the virus.

The state is now averaging more than four times as many cases — 8,500 a day. Los Angeles County and other Southern California counties account for the majority of the state’s infections, but the virus is now everywhere.

That notion was reinforced on Tuesday when health officials in one of the most remote parts of the state, Modoc County, which had been the last of California’s 58 counties without a known case, announced that the virus had arrived.

A waitress at the Brass Rail, a Basque restaurant and bar, tested positive, raising concerns about the virus’s spread in a tight-knit county with a population of 8,800 and where cows outnumber people five to one. (A billboard there warning residents of the coronavirus tells people to stand one cow’s length apart.)

The waitress and her husband recently returned from a trip to the Central Valley, according to the co-owner of the Brass Rail, Jodie Larranaga, who said she assumed that the waitress was infected during her journey.

That the virus is now present in the evergreen forests of the northeastern corner of the state is testament to its inexorable spread, say the county’s residents. Alturas, the only incorporated city in Modoc County, is so isolated that its high school football team must drive as long as five hours to reach its opponents.

“We all felt very safe for a while,” said Juan Ledezma, the owner of a thrift shop on Main Street in Alturas. “Right now, it’s a little bit scary.”

Businesses across the country have abandoned their own plans to return to normal in light of the virus’s resurgence.

The company that operates a popular water taxi on the Chicago River, ferrying commuters to work each day, had hoped to reopen by Labor Day. This week, officials postponed those plans until March.

The historic Berghoff restaurant in Chicago’s Loop reopened at the end of June after months of closure, a sign that the coronavirus curve had flattened and the city’s downtown was ready to start humming again.

This week, as coronavirus infections surged in Illinois, the restaurant abruptly shut its doors for the second time.

“It broke my heart,” said Pete Berghoff, whose family has owned the restaurant since 1898. “We reopened, and after about three weeks my enthusiasm was beaten out of me.”

From state to state and region to region, the picture of coronavirus spread is shifting daily as some communities see gradual improvement and others suddenly struggle.

A few places, including Arizona, South Carolina and Texas, have started to see new case reports drop after huge surges. California, Florida and Louisiana continue to report some of their highest daily totals of the pandemic.

The Rio Grande Valley in Texas is suffering through perhaps the worst current outbreak in the country, with hundreds of new cases and dozens of deaths a day. In more than half of states, outbreaks continue to grow.

In Missouri and Oklahoma, cases have grown to alarming levels, with both states now averaging more than 1,000 each day. And in Maryland and Rhode Island, daily case numbers are ticking upward again after periods of sustained progress.

Across the country, deaths from the coronavirus continue to rise. The country was averaging about 500 per day at the start of July. Over the last week, it has averaged more than 1,000 daily, with many of those concentrated in Sun Belt states. On Wednesday, California, Florida and Texas reported a combined 724 deaths, about half the national total.

Houston, the fourth-largest city in the country, has been adjusting to a new normal where the only thing certain is that nothing is certain. After cases and hospitalizations seemed to level off and even decrease in recent days, Harris County on Friday broke a single-day record with 2,100 new cases.

“I think to a certain extent, we saw a spike because people were fatigued over it,” said Alan Rosen, who leads the Harris County Precinct One constable’s office. “They were fatigued over hearing about it every day. They were fatigued about being cooped up in their house and being away from people.”

People there have been coping with the lulls and peaks of a physical, emotional, economical and logistical crisis from an invisible foe nearly three years after surviving Hurricane Harvey, one of the worst disasters in American history.

“It is a roller coaster,” said Mr. Rosen, who recovered after getting infected with the virus in May. “It’s not like a hurricane that’s coming through and we know what to do. We know we got to clean up and rebuild and everybody is accustomed to the time frame. But with this, there are just so many unknowns.”

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Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

Summertime Sadness: Resurgent Virus Dims Crisis Recovery Hopes
Brian Bremner (Bloomberg)
1 day ago

The virus is the summer house guest from hell.

Any remaining hope that the coronavirus that’s pushed the U.S., Europe and much of Asia into historic economic downturns would take a holiday was all but crushed this week. The virus continues to rampage through parts of the U.S. and engulf nations across the developing world, particularly India, Brazil and South Africa. It’s made a comeback in Japan as well as areas of Europe and China.

At its current pace of about 250,000 or so new cases a day, there could be well more than 50 million infections worldwide by the end of 2020. As for fatalities from the pandemic, “we’ll go well over a million,” Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in California, estimated in mid-June. There are currently about 674,000 coronavirus deaths globally, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The time until the release of a safe and effective vaccine will be very challenging, with countries like the U.S. and Brazil potentially leading the way in severity, said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. The same type of surge in daily cases that took place in the U.S. around the Memorial Day holiday could be repeated around Labor Day, when schools reopen, he said.

“I think we’ll see a substantial increase in transmission that’s going to spill over into more adults and at-risk people,” he said. “And then that gets us into the beginning of flu season, when transmission is potentially enhanced by all the indoor activity. If you add that all up together it’s not a pretty picture.”

At the same time, as governments face new flare-ups and reimpose full or partial lockdowns, the prospects for a brisk global economic rebound later in the year have dimmed, according to economists and executives.

While the virus-stricken world is in a better place than in April and May, when near-total lockdowns to prevent virus spread delivered a savage economic hit, the continuing emergence of new hotspots, or sudden outbreaks in old ones, has disrupted economic activity just enough to slow momentum toward a robust recovery.

Awaiting Vaccine

High-frequency data that track indicators such as restaurant bookings and job postings have been flat or trended downward in some economies. The highly transmissible virus is expected to remain a formidable and elusive adversary until a first generation of effective vaccines can be rolled out to the public, which many experts expect in 2021.

In the U.S., Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell this week said an “increase in virus cases and the renewed measures to control it are starting to weigh on economic activity,” pointing to signs of lower consumer spending, based on debit- and credit-card use and weakening labor-market indicators in the small-business sector.

On Thursday, the U.S. announced that its economy contracted at a 32.9% pace from April through June, one of the biggest drops on record. As bad as that was, it was already baked into market expectations.

More worrisome to some was that the number of Americans filing first-time unemployment claims rose for the second week in a row just as emergency benefits to about 30 million jobless people were set to expire at the end of July. Congress is divided on whether to extend, and by how much, enhanced unemployment benefits and direct payments to Americans.

Other parts of the world, which seemed to have the virus under control, continue to confront new outbreaks. China has seen infections surge in the northwestern region of Xinjiang. The U.K. has reintroduced restrictions to parts of northern England after a new flurry of cases, only weeks after it started to reopen.

European Worries

The resurgence of infections across Europe has prompted governments to impose new travel and social restrictions, such as the U.K.’s quarantine for all travelers from Spain, where cases have surged. France, Belgium, Germany and other countries have seen worrying upticks as well.

While jobless benefits are on balance more generous in Europe than the U.S., the economic pain seems likely to deepen in the euro area. Joblessness in the region could hit almost 10% by the end of the year as the economy slumps, according to a Bloomberg survey. In the U.K., unemployment is forecast to reach 8%, more than double its level in the previous year.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., meanwhile, warned that Asia-Pacific economies, which accounted for more than 70% of global growth in 2019, passed a major inflection point in June when the pace of the region’s reopening “slowed materially,” and significant challenges loom.

“While the early restart has looked like a ‘V’ in many places, and third-quarter GDP growth will be robust given the comparison with a very weak second quarter, normalization is apt to be slower from here,” according to Andrew Tilton, Goldman’s chief economist in the region.

Corporate Bankruptcy

The corporate pain from the pandemic remains fierce, particularly in the U.S., where more than 160 companies have declared bankruptcy.

From retailers and airlines to restaurants and fitness centers, the carnage has included some well-known names such as Hertz Global Holdings Inc., J.C. Penney Co. and Ascena Retail Group Inc., owner of the Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant apparel chains.

As of the end of July, with more than half of the Standard & Poor’s 500 companies having reported so far, earnings have fallen by about 33% from the year-earlier period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. General Motors Co., General Electric Co., Starbucks Corp. and Nike Inc. are among the first-tier companies that have reported losses.

Cue the Lightning, This Earnings Disaster Movie Isn’t Over Yet


Corporate leaders also see evidence that U.S. demand has sputtered after a recent uptick in Covid-19 cases that started in June. “While we were encouraged by the early signs of recovery, the past few weeks demonstrate the trajectory may be uneven,” Boeing Co. Chief Executive Officer David Calhoun said this week.
Job Cuts

Thanks to government subsidies and programs, far fewer European companies have fallen into bankruptcy court. However, in recent weeks Airbus SE, Commerzbank AG and Burberry Group Plc were among major companies to signal actual or possible staff cuts.

On Friday, the Dutch arm of Air France-KLM said it will cut 4,500 to 5,000 positions ranging from pilots to cabin crew and ground staff this year and next. The pandemic has wiped out the airline’s efforts to pay down debt.

“As a kind of tsunami, the entire corona crisis is now washing it away,” said KLM CEO Pieter Elbers on a call. “Cry and start over, is how it feels,” he said.

.
 

Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

Expect 'lengthy' coronavirus pandemic, warns WHO
Robin MILLARD (AFP)
August 1, 2020

Geneva (AFP) - The World Health Organization on Saturday warned the coronavirus pandemic was likely to be "lengthy" after its emergency committee met to evaluate the crisis six months after sounding the international alarm.

The committee "highlighted the anticipated lengthy duration of this COVID-19 pandemic", the WHO said in a statement, and warned of the risk of "response fatigue" given the socio-economic pressures on countries.

The panel gathered Friday for the fourth time over the coronavirus crisis, half a year on from its January 30 declaration of a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) -- the WHO's highest level of alarm.

"WHO continues to assess the global risk level of COVID-19 to be very high," it said following the meeting.

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 680,000 people and infected at least 17.6 million since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP.

Unsurprisingly, the panel, comprising 17 members and 12 advisers, unanimously agreed that the pandemic still constituted a PHEIC.

- Crisis fatigue warning -

Several countries around the world have imposed strict lockdowns in a bid to control the spread of the respiratory disease, plunging economies into sharp contraction.

The committee urged the WHO to provide nuanced, pragmatic guidance on COVID-19 management "to reduce the risk of response fatigue in the context of socio-economic pressures".

The panel urged the WHO to support countries in preparing for the rollout of proven therapeutics and vaccines.

The committee also urged the agency to accelerate research into the remaining "critical unknowns" of the virus, such as the animal source of the disease and potential animal reservoirs.

It called for improved understanding of the epidemiology and severity of COVID-19, including its long-term health effects.

And the committee wanted more light shed on the dynamics of the virus, such as "modes of transmission, shedding, potential mutations; immunity and correlates of protection".

The near six-hour gathering was hosted at the WHO's headquarters in Geneva, with some participants joining via video-link.

The committee will reconvene within the next three months.

- Effects 'felt for decades' -

Going into the meeting, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the pandemic's effects would be long-lasting.

"It's sobering to think that six months ago, when you recommended I declare a PHEIC, there were less than 100 cases and no deaths outside China," he said Friday.

"The pandemic is a once-in-a-century health crisis, the effects of which will be felt for decades to come."

The committee warned countries to prepare their health systems to cope with seasonal influenza and other disease outbreaks alongside the new coronavirus.

They were also urged to "encourage global solidarity" on COVID-19 and address "mis/disinformation" about the virus.

The WHO has been sharply criticised for the length of time it took to declare an international emergency.

The United States, which accused it of being too close to China, officially began its withdrawal from the organisation in July.

The agency has also been criticised for recommendations deemed to be late or contradictory, in particular on wearing masks, or the modes of transmission of the virus.

.
 

Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

Donald Trump claims Anthony Fauci 'wrong' about cause of Covid-19 surge
President again contradicts his own health expert after doctor highlights troubled US response to virus
Edward Helmore
Published on Sat 1 Aug 2020 16.59 EDT

Donald Trump launched an extraordinary attack on his own top infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, arguing against the doctor’s claim that high rates of infection in the US stem from a less aggressive reaction to the virus in terms of economic shutdowns and stay-at-home orders.

“Wrong!” countered the president as he retweeted a video of Fauci making the point in recent congressional testimony.

Fauci had explained that differentiations between surging US infections and a sharp decrease seen across Europe could be explained by the different reactions to the virus. Fauci said most European countries shut their economies down by 95%, while the US only shut down its economy by half.

Trump countered: “We have more cases because we have tested far more than any other country, 60,000,000. If we tested less, there would be less cases. How did Italy, France & Spain do? Now Europe sadly has flare ups. Most of our governors worked hard & smart. We will come back STRONG!”

But Fauci’s point accurately describes the US situation. While some states followed Centers for Disease Control guidelines when they started to re-open, many did not, leading to a surge in infections in many southern and western states, Fauci explained.

“There are some states that did it very well, there are some states that did not,” he said, adding that many were doing better now thanks to improved testing.

As Trump faces November’s presidential election, he has been sinking badly in the polls against his Democratic rival, Joe Biden. Much of that loss of support can probably be traced to Trump’s lackluster response to the pandemic, which has now cost more than 150,000 American lives and seen the US contract more than 4.5 million cases – by far the largest figures in the world.

The spat between Trump and his own health official sparked some withering condemnation on Twitter.

“Let’s be very clear: this is not normal & we should not treat it as normal for a president to be publicly attacking his own top government adviser on infectious diseases,” said the commentator and broadcaster Mehdi Hasan.

As numbers have surged again in the US in recent weeks, the crisis seems to be getting worse and the Trump administration still appears to be struggling to come up with a coherent response.

Trump’s latest criticism of Fauci comes as plans to reopen schools and universities are being thrown into disarray by the virtually unchecked spread of Covid-19 across parts of the US before the academic year.

Doubts about the US school system’s ability to cope with the pandemic grew last week after a high school student at Greenfield Central in Indiana – one of the first states to reopen – tested positive on the first day of class. Anyone who came within 6ft of the student for more than 15 minutes was told to isolate for two weeks.

“We knew it was a when, not if,” the superintendent, Harold Olin, told the New York Times, but they were “very shocked it was on day one”.

Of the 25 largest school districts in the US, all but six have announced they will start remotely. Some states, including the coronavirus hotspots Florida and Texas, anticipate in-person classes despite strong misgivings or objections from teachers’ unions, who have threatened to support strikes if their members feel their health is being put at risk.

In California, schools in two-thirds of the state have been barred from reopening in person.

Against the backdrop of chaos and widely differing responses, Trump has continued to promote a return to in-person tuition despite the school attended by his youngest son, Barron, receiving a prohibition order until at least 1 October.

Barron Trump attends St Andrew’s Episcopal, a private school in Potomac, Maryland, that falls under the jurisdiction of Montgomery county. “At this point the data does not suggest that in-person instruction is safe for students or teachers,” the region’s health officer, Travis Gayles, said in a statement last week.

The virus is even making its way through the halls of Congress.

Raúl Grijalva, an Arizona Democratic congressman, said on Saturday that he had tested positive for Covid-19 after attending a Washington DC hearing with the Texas Republican Louie Gohmert, who also tested positive and had been a vocal critic of wearing masks – just like Trump.

The development prompted Grijalva to launch an attack on his fellow members from across the aisle.

“While I cannot blame anyone directly for this, this week has shown that there are some members of Congress who fail to take this crisis seriously. Numerous Republican members routinely strut around the Capitol without a mask to selfishly make a political statement at the expense of their colleagues, staff, and their families,” he said.

.
 

Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
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How scientists revived an old-school treatment for a 21st century pandemic
By Melissa Healy
Aug. 1, 2020 5 AM

A few weeks after the new coronavirus arrived on U.S. shores, Dr. Arturo Casadevall hatched a plan to beat back the outbreak with a medical advance so powerful it had earned a Nobel Prize.

In 1901.

That’s when Dr. Emil Adolf von Behring was honored for pioneering the use of so-called convalescent serum as a treatment for diphtheria. In 1892, the Prussian bacteriologist infected horses with the pathogen that causes the deadly disease. If the beasts recovered, Von Behring harvested their blood, removed its red blood cells and clotting proteins, and introduced the resulting antibody-rich fluid into the bloodstreams of human diphtheria patients.

Until a diphtheria vaccine came into broad use in the 1930s, Von Behring’s daring experiments saved countless lives. At the end of the 19th century, diphtheria, known as “the strangling angel,” was the 10th most common cause of death in the United States, and a pitiless killer of children.

Convalescent serum would go on to become a mainstay of treatment for measles, mumps, tetanus, smallpox and polio before the “era of vaccine” began in the late 1940s.

“It’s a beautiful history,” Casadevall, a microbiologist and physician at Johns Hopkins University, said with wistful ardor. “It was the birth of immunology.”

Amid a pandemic response that promises marvels of genetic engineering, vaccines developed at “warp speed” and artificial intelligence at the bedside, it takes courage for a scientist to dust off a remedy from the history books and propose it as modern medicine.

The yellowish elixir now drawn from the blood of recovered COVID-19 patients is plasma, which retains some clotting factors. It has been tried against the Ebola virus and novel strains of influenza, only to be shelved when vaccines became available.

Reviving the 19th century invention to fight a 21st century pandemic is no job for the faint of heart. It will generate neither profits nor scientific glory. Yet to navigate a gauntlet of clinical trials and logistical challenges, it does require a mighty intellect, a heap of energy, the ability to muster an army of skilled recruits and a knack for fundraising.

And so, nearly every night for five months, Casadevall and two longtime colleagues — Dr. Michael Joyner of the Mayo Clinic and Dr. Liise-anne Pirofski of Albert Einstein College of Medicine — have met online to plot the potential comeback of convalescent plasma. They hope it can become both a treatment for COVID-19 and a way to protect people at high risk of coronavirus infection from becoming ill.

All in their 60s and well into accomplished careers at leading medical institutions, this trio might have spent the pandemic engaged in quieter pursuits. Instead, the three are putting immune system proteins from recovered patients through modern scientific trials, hoping to buy time for other medical advances to come along.

They’ve created the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, a consortium of 260 doctors and scientists from 57 institutions around the country. Members of their coalition have launched more than 50 laboratory studies and clinical trials, and as of Thursday, 79,059 patients had been treated under the project’s experimental “compassionate use” program. Preliminary findings are expected soon.

Their passion has them living on “COVID time,” practicing science at all hours of the night and day as kids and spouses hover near their makeshift home offices. The pace of research has been compressed beyond recognition.

Joyner, who handles the project’s day-to-day management, wakes at 4 a.m. and works for 16 hours, crushing sets of 50 push-ups between meetings and falling asleep at his desk. Casadevall and Pirofski oversee trials, recruit scientific talent and build support for the national effort.

If their work demonstrates even a modest benefit, convalescent plasma could help get children back to school safely and allow more of the economy to reopen. Successful results could also hasten vaccine development by making it possible to infect testers deliberately, which would speed up the evaluation process.

The initiative has reached well beyond the premier academic medical centers where most clinical trials are run. Dozens of doctors and patients in small and mid-sized community hospitals have had a chance to join in.

Dr. Shmuel Shoham, a participant from Johns Hopkins who normally treats transplant and cancer patients with compromised immunity, put it this way: “We’re crowdsourcing a cure.”

‘A lightbulb moment’


By mid-February, the novel coronavirus had ravaged Wuhan, China, and spread to Egypt, Iran, South Korea and most of Europe. Instances of community spread were being reported in the United States, prompting Casadevall to assess his profession’s readiness to treat the respiratory plague.

It was bleak. But by harnessing the power of convalescent plasma, he thought, it might be less so.

He made his case in a Wall Street Journal essay that recounted the story of Dr. J. Roswell Gallagher, who headed off a measles outbreak in 1934 by giving people shots of plasma from recovered patients. The approach was worth another shot, he argued.

Pirofski too read the piece. “It was a lightbulb moment” for the medical establishment, she said. She reached out to Casadevall, and the two of them drafted an article to convince fellow doctors that convalescent plasma was worth a try. It was published March 13 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Joyner, too, came across the Wall Street Journal essay and was galvanized by the idea’s simplicity. Also a reader of medical history, he burrowed into articles about the use of convalescent plasma during the 1918 flu pandemic, where it appears to have reduced patients’ risk of dying by 25% to 50%. “This could work!” he told himself.

The next day, he called Casadevall and offered his services.

The three make a powerful, if improbable, team.

Casadevall is a courtly, Cuban-born physician, a pioneer in the study of disease-causing fungi, and a passionate student of history.

Pirofski is a Californian who came late to science and medicine from the humanities. As an intern with Casadevall during the height of the AIDS crisis, she honed both a doctor’s compassion and a reputation as a fiercely intelligent immunologist.

Joyner is an anesthesiologist, a sports nut and a leading authority on athletic performance. On a 1-to-10 scale of extroversion, he gleefully volunteers he’d score a 15.

By the first week of March, the three of them were recruiting collaborators idled by the pandemic’s stay-at-home orders, urging them to pitch in where they could.

There was so much to learn about the mysterious new coronavirus: Which antibodies mattered most, and could existing tests detect them? Did all infected patients develop the kinds of antibodies that conferred immunity? How long might such immunity last?

Other issues would demand the instincts of doctors on the front lines. What dose of convalescent plasma would have the best shot at helping, and how should it be administered? What risks would a transfusion present? Which patients are likely to benefit most, and what outcomes would you measure?

Testing an experimental therapy would require scientists with statistical chops and a robust system for data collection. They’d need people with logistics skills to launch blood drives in the middle of a pandemic and to distribute plasma, which has a three-day shelf life, from where it’s collected to where it’s most needed.

Meanwhile, someone would need to navigate the federal government’s regulatory machinery — a task that calls for hustle, contacts and an accountant’s zeal for bureaucratic detail and budgeting.

A few hurdles would be particularly challenging. Antibody tests would have to be cheap, accurate and easy to field. The nation’s blood banks and collection agencies would have to be brought on board. If the therapy were shown to help, a small supply chain would have to get very big — in a hurry.

Doctors from a range of specialties signed on, as did biostatisticians, public health researchers, microbiologists, blood bankers and information technology specialists.

“They’ve been so collaborative,” Pirofski said. “There’s none of that selfishness in science, where there’s a race to be first.”

With big profits at stake, pharmaceutical giants routinely muster the resources to get such complex initiatives over the finish line. But convalescent plasma promises no exclusive marketing rights, no intellectual property and no big payday.

In the first two months of the initiative, two crucial ingredients were in short supply. The first was plasma itself. Patients in early hot spots were just emerging from their ordeals, and few knew their blood could be of any value to others.

That began to change when collaborators from the New York Blood Center approached the hard-hit Orthodox Jewish community in the area. Survivors responded by rolling up their sleeves. It was the start of a grass-roots recruitment effort.

Beyond that, the lifeblood of modern medical research — federal funding — was nowhere in sight. Officials were encouraging in phone calls and online meetings, Joyner said, “but nobody brought their checkbook.”

Volunteers across a range of skills had worked gratis for more than a month — an unheard-of situation. Still, Joyner and the others knew that without federal funding, they’d hit a wall when it came time to carry out clinical trials.

By early April, the initiative had managed to secure around $5 million in seed funding, including $3 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies and $1 million from the state of Maryland. Then, in early May, the federal tap began to flow. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, known as BARDA, in the Department of Health and Human Services committed as much as $50 million to testing convalescent plasma — a sum larger than many drugmakers and vaccine designers have won.

‘This is helping people’

So far, the herculean effort appears to be yielding signs of promise. Data from about 5,000 patients with severe cases of COVID-19 suggest the treatment is safe. Findings from an uncompleted trial in China suggest that the critically ill elderly and patients of all ages with moderate illness might benefit the most from the treatment.

A “study of studies” posted online Friday by the project’s leaders offers a tantalizing, if preliminary, hint of the lives that could be saved by convalescent plasma. Led by Joyner, the team aggregated the findings of the China trial and 10 other studies that documented convalescent plasma’s use in a total of 525 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Patients who got the experimental treatment were 57% less likely to die of COVID-19 than were comparably ill patients who did not, the researchers concluded.

Findings expected to be released in the coming weeks will begin to show whether that promise is borne out in American patients hospitalized for COVID-19, Joyner said. By summer’s end, team members will be analyzing the therapy’s effects on patients who have not needed hospitalization and those who’ve been exposed but show no signs of illness.

“All the indicators are that this is helping people,” Casadevall told his troops in a weekly phone call July 24. If that is borne out, “we can probably save a lot of lives in the summer and fall” before vaccines or better treatments emerge, he said.

It’s certainly possible that convalescent plasma could fall short. It could be overtaken by more effective medicines, or by a vaccine. Some fluke of the coronavirus, or twist in the pandemic, could make it impractical as treatment or prevention.

Casadevall, Joyner and Pirofski are prepared to accept those outcomes.

“If I’m wrong, too bad,” Casadevall said.

No matter what, he and his army will have taught young doctors how research used to be done when resources were more scarce. Scientists will gain insights into the body’s response to coronavirus infection and see what progress can be made when they pull together in a national crisis.

“This is not going to get anyone a ticket to Stockholm” for another Nobel Prize, Joyner said. But near the end of a long career, “I’ve been very happy to step into the breach.”

.
 

Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

Coronavirus threat rises across U.S.: ‘We just have to assume the monster is everywhere’
Joel Achenbach, Rachel Weiner and Chelsea Janes
August 1, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. EDT

The coronavirus is spreading at dangerous levels across much of the United States, and public health experts are demanding a dramatic reset in the national response, one that recognizes that the crisis is intensifying and that current piecemeal strategies aren’t working.

This is a new phase of the pandemic, one no longer built around local or regional clusters and hot spots. It comes at an unnerving moment in which the economy suffered its worst collapse since the Great Depression, schools are rapidly canceling plans for in-person instruction and Congress has failed to pass a new emergency relief package. President Trump continues to promote fringe science, the daily death toll keeps climbing and the human cost of the virus in America has just passed 150,000 lives.

“Unlike many countries in the world, the United States is not currently on course to get control of this epidemic. It’s time to reset,” declared a report released this week by Johns Hopkins University.

Another report from the Association of American Medical Colleges offered a similarly blunt message: “If the nation does not change its course — and soon — deaths in the United States could be well into the multiple hundreds of thousands.”

The country is exhausted, but the virus is not. It has shown a consistent pattern: It spreads opportunistically wherever people let down their guard and return to more familiar patterns of mobility and socializing. When communities tighten up, by closing bars or requiring masks in public, transmission drops.

That has happened in some Sun Belt states, including Arizona, Florida and Texas, which are still dealing with a surge of hospitalizations and deaths but are finally turning around the rate of new infections.

There are signs, however, that the virus is spreading freely in much of the country. Experts are focused on upticks in the percentage of positive coronavirus tests in the upper South and Midwest. It is a sign that the virus could soon surge anew in the heartland. Infectious-disease experts also see warning signs in East Coast cities hammered in the spring.

“There are fewer and fewer places where anybody can assume the virus is not there,” Gov. Mike DeWine (R) of Ohio said Wednesday. “It’s in our most rural counties. It’s in our smallest communities. And we just have to assume the monster is everywhere. It’s everywhere.”

Dire data


An internal Trump administration briefing document prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and obtained Friday by The Washington Post counted 453,659 new infections in the past week.

Alaska is in trouble. And Hawaii, Missouri, Montana and Oklahoma. Those are the five states, as of Friday, with the highest percentage increase in the seven-day average of new cases, according to a Post analysis of nationwide health data.

“The dominoes are falling now,” said David Rubin, director of the PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which has produced a model showing where the virus is likely to spread over the next four weeks.

His team sees ominous trends in big cities, including Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Louisville, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Washington, with Boston and New York not far behind. And Rubin warns that the expected influx of students into college towns at the end of this month will be another epidemiological shock.

“I suspect we’re going to see big outbreaks in college towns,” he said.

Young people are less likely to have a severe outcome from the coronavirus, but they are adept at propelling the virus through the broader population, including among people at elevated risk. Numbers of coronavirus-related hospitalizations in the United States went from 36,158 on July 1 to 52,767 on July 31, according to The Post’s data. FEMA reports a sharp increase in the number of patients on ventilators.

The crisis has highlighted the deep disparities in health outcomes among racial and ethnic groups, and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week showed that hospitalization rates due to the coronavirus are roughly five times higher among Black, Hispanic and Native Americans than Whites.

Thirty-seven states and Puerto Rico will probably see rising daily death tolls during the next two weeks compared with the previous two weeks, according to the latest ensemble forecast from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst that combines more than 30 coronavirus models.

There are glimmers of progress. The FEMA report showed 237 U.S. counties with at least two weeks of steady declines in numbers of new coronavirus cases.

But there are more than 3,100 counties in America.

“This is not a natural disaster that happens to one or two or three communities and then you rebuild,” said Beth Cameron, vice president for global biological policy and programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative and a former White House National Security Council staffer focused on pandemics. “This is a spreading disaster that moves from one place to another, and until it’s suppressed and until we ultimately have a safe and effective and distributed vaccine, every community is at risk.”

A national strategy, whether advanced by the federal government or by the states working in tandem, will more effectively control viral spread than the current patchwork of state and local policies, according to a study from researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology published Thursday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The coordination is necessary because one state’s policies affect other states. Sometimes, that influence is at a distance, because states that are geographically far apart can have cultural and social ties, as is the case with the “peer states” of New York and Florida, the report found.

“The cost of our uncoordinated national response to covid-19, it’s dramatic,” said MIT economist Sinan Aral, senior author of the paper.

Some experts argue for a full six-to-eight-week national shutdown, something even more sweeping than what was instituted in the spring. There appears to be no political support for such a move.

Neil Bradley, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said fresh federal intervention is necessary in this second wave of closures. Enhanced federal unemployment benefits expired at the end of July, with no agreement on a new stimulus package in sight.

“Congress, on a bipartisan basis, was trying to create a bridge to help individuals and businesses navigate the period of a shutdown,” Bradley said. “Absent an extension of that bridge, in light of a second shutdown, that bridge becomes a pier. And then that’s a real problem.”

With the economy in shambles, hospitals filling up and the public frustrated, anxious and angry, the challenge for national leadership is finding a plausible sea-to-sea strategy that can win widespread support and simultaneously limit sickness and death from the virus.

Many Americans may simply feel discouraged and overtaxed, unable to maintain precautions such as social distancing and mask-wearing. Others remain resistant, for cultural or ideological reasons, to public health guidance and buy into conspiracy theories and pseudoscience.

DeWine is struggling to get Ohio citizens to take seriously the need to wear masks. A sheriff in rural western Ohio told the governor Wednesday that people didn’t think the virus was a big problem. DeWine informed the sheriff that the numbers in his county were higher per capita than in Toledo.

“The way I’ve explained to people, if we want to have Friday night football in the fall, if we want our kids back in school, what we do in the next two weeks will determine if that happens,” DeWine said.

The crucial metric


The coronavirus has always been several steps ahead of the U.S. government, the scientific community, the news media and the general public. By the time a community notices a surge in patients to hospital emergency rooms, the virus has seeded itself widely.

The virus officially known as SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted by people who are infectious but not symptomatic. The incubation period is typically about six days, according to the CDC. When symptoms flare, they can be ambiguous. A person may not seek a test right away. Then, the test results may not come back for days, a week, even longer.

That delay makes contact tracing nearly futile. It also means government data on virus transmission is invariably out of date to some degree — it’s a snapshot of what was happening a week or two weeks before. And different jurisdictions use different metrics to track the virus, further fogging the picture.

The top doctors on the White House coronavirus task force, Deborah Birx and Anthony S. Fauci, are newly focused on the early warning signs of a virus outbreak. This week, they warned that the kind of runaway outbreaks seen in the Sun Belt could potentially happen elsewhere. Among the states of greatest concern: Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

Fauci and Birx have pointed to a critical metric: the percentage of positive test results. When that figure starts to tick upward, it is a sign of increasing community spread of the virus.

“That is kind of the predictor that if you don’t do something — namely, do something different — if you’re opening up at a certain pace, slow down, maybe even backtrack a little,” Fauci said in an interview Wednesday.

Without a vaccine, the primary tools for combating the spread of the virus remain the common-sense “non-pharmaceutical interventions,” including mask-wearing, hand-washing, staying out of bars and other confined spaces, maintaining social distancing of at least six feet and avoiding crowds, Fauci said.

“Seemingly simple maneuvers have been very effective in preventing or even turning around the kind of surges we’ve seen,” he said.

Thirty-three U.S. states have positivity rates above 5 percent. The World Health Organization has cited that percentage as a crucial benchmark for governments deciding whether to reopen their economy. Above 5 percent, stay closed. Below, open with caution.

Of states with positivity rates below 5 percent, nine have seen those rates rise during the last two weeks.

“You may not fully realize that when you think things are okay, you actually are seeing a subtle, insidious increase that is usually reflected in the percent of your tests that are positive,” Fauci said.

The shutdown blues


Some governors immediately took the White House warnings to heart. On Monday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said at a news conference that he had met with Birx the previous day and was told he was getting the same warning Texas and Florida received “weeks before the worst of the worst happened.”

To prevent that outcome in his state, Beshear said, he was closing bars for two weeks and cutting seating in restaurants.

But as Beshear pleaded that “we all need to be singing from the same sheet of music,” discord and confusion prevailed.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said Thursday she wasn’t convinced a mask mandate is effective: “No one knows particularly the best strategy.”

Earlier in the week, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) demurred on masks and bar closures even as he stood next to Birx and spoke to reporters.

“That’s not a plan for us now,” he said. He added emphatically, “We are not going to close the economy back down.”

The virus is spreading throughout his state, and not just in the big cities. Vacationers took the virus home from the honky-tonks of Nashville and blues clubs of Memphis to where they live in more rural areas, said John Graves, a professor at Vanderbilt University studying the pandemic.

“The geographical footprint of the virus has reached all corners of the state at this point,” Graves said.

In Missouri, Gov. Michael L. Parson (R) was dismissive of New York’s imposition of a quarantine on residents from his state as a sign of a worsening pandemic. “I’m not going to put much stock in what New York says — they’re a disaster,” he said at a news conference Monday.

Missouri has no mask mandate, leaving it to local officials to act — often in the face of hostility and threats. In the town of Branson, angry opponents testified Tuesday that there was no reason for a mask order when deaths in the county have been few and far between.

“It hasn’t hit us here yet, that’s what I’m scared of,” Branson Alderman Bill Skains said before voting with a majority in favor of the mandate. “It is coming, and it’s coming like a freight train.”

Democratic mayors in Missouri’s two biggest cities, Kansas City and St. Louis, said that with so many people needing jobs, they are reluctant to follow Birx’s recommendation to close bars.

“The whole-blanket approach to shut everybody down feels a little harsh for the people who are doing it right,” said Jacob Long, spokesman for St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson. “We’re trying to take care of some bad actors first.”

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey also got a warning from Birx. On Wednesday, he said all bar drinking must move outside.

“We don’t want to be heading in the direction of everybody else,” said Kristen Ehresmann, director of the infectious-disease epidemiology division at the Minnesota Department of Health. She acknowledged that some options “are really pretty draconian.”

The problem is that less-painful measures have proven insufficient.

“The disease transmission we’re seeing is more than what would have been expected if people were following the guidance as it is laid out. It’s a reflection of the fact that they’re not,” she said.

‘A tremendous disappointment’


Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) tried to implement broad statewide measures early in the pandemic, only to have his “Safer at Home” order struck down by the state’s Supreme Court.

With cases in his state rising anew, he tried again Thursday, declaring a public health emergency and issuing a statewide mask mandate.

“While our local health departments have been doing a heck of a job responding to this pandemic in our communities, the fact of the matter is, this virus doesn’t care about any town, city or county boundary, and we need a statewide approach to get Wisconsin back on track,” Evers said.

Ryan Westergaard, Wisconsin’s chief medical officer, said he is dismayed by the failures of the national pandemic response.

“I really thought we had a chance to keep this suppressed,” Westergaard said. “The model is a good one: testing, tracing, isolation, supportive quarantine. Those things work. We saw this coming. We knew we had to build robust, flexible systems to do this in all of our communities. It feels like a tremendous disappointment that we weren’t able to build a system in time that could handle this.”

There is one benefit to the way the virus has spread so broadly, he noted: “We no longer have to keep track of people traveling to a hot spot if hot spots are everywhere.”

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Coronavirus update: U.S. single-day death toll surpasses 1,000 for sixth straight day

By Derek Hawkins, Marisa Iati and Jacqueline Dupree
August 1, 2020 at 10:06 p.m. EDT

The United States’s daily coronavirus death toll surpassed 1,000 for the sixth straight day Saturday, suggesting that the country will not get immediate relief from the pandemic after a month of surging infection totals.

The 1,198 deaths reported Saturday marked the highest count since May 9 and the first time since May 23 that health officials have tallied more than 1,000 deaths on Saturday. They follow a devastating surge in cases during July, with more than 1.9 million new infections reported — by far the most tallied in a single month and a grim sign that the country had lost its grip on the pandemic.

Here are some significant developments:
  • Delegates’ vote to renominate President Trump at the Republican National Convention will be closed to reporters, according to the Associated Press. A convention spokeswoman told the AP the decision was made because of state and local social distancing guidelines in Charlotte. It remains unclear which of the convention’s major events will take place after Trump announced in July that he would cancel most of the proceedings.
  • At least four schools — Corinth High School in Mississippi, Greenfield Central Junior High School in Indiana and two schools in Indiana’s Greater Clark County Schools district — reported that a student tested positive for the coronavirus during the first week back in session, forcing people who had been in contact with them to self-quarantine. The diagnoses offer a sobering reminder of the stakes of the nationwide debate over reopening schools.
  • The Food and Drug Administration announced Friday that it had authorized the first two tests that estimate the amount of coronavirus antibodies present in a person’s blood. Tim Stenzel, director of the FDA’s Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health, cautioned that scientists still do not know exactly what having antibodies might mean about someone’s immunity.
  • California on Saturday reported 219 new coronavirus fatalities, the most the state has reported in a single day. California also set a record for the seven-day average number of deaths, as did Idaho, Arkansas, North Carolina, Texas, Florida and Mississippi.

July’s infection total was more than double that of June and represents about 42 percent of the 4.5 million cases the country has logged since the outbreak started, according to tracking by The Washington Post. Nationwide, testing has steadily increased — in July, it rose from about 600,000 to 820,000 tests per day — but soaring positivity rates and hospitalizations made clear that virus transmission was accelerating.

“July was definitely a disaster, and even though there was a lot more testing, the percent positivity was quite high in many areas, indicating that the rise in cases wasn’t attributable solely to increased detection,” Ellie Murray, an epidemiologist at Boston University, told The Post. “The U.S. has failed to take the opportunity that the summer could have presented to control this virus and is instead entering the fall in a disastrously bad position.”

States in the South and the West were most severely affected by the new wave of infections. California added more than 270,000 cases in July, and on Saturday it became the first state to record half a million infections, according to The Post’s tracking. Florida more than tripled its caseload, with 318,000 new cases in July, while Texas added 261,000 cases.

Coronavirus-related deaths also rose after declining during April and May: The country saw 25,259 fatalities in July, up more than 3,700 from the previous month, according to The Post’s data. Health experts predicted daily deaths would continue to trend upward in August, trailing spikes in infections by a few weeks. On Friday, the U.S. death toll surpassed 150,000.

The number of deaths rose in July in most states where cases spiked, with Texas reporting 4,415, Florida reporting 3,362, and California reporting 3,025. Georgia, Arizona, Louisiana, Tennessee and the Carolinas also reported sharp increases.

In an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R) predicted more deaths to come in his city. Ventilator use is at almost twice its previous high, he said.

Suarez echoed other politicians’ pleas for a national mask mandate and called on President Trump to set a good example.

“It would be helpful if the president would wear a mask when he’s in Florida, certainly when he’s in Miami, so that we send the right signal to all members of our community to do likewise,” Suarez said.

The spikes in fatalities nationwide have also alarmed medical workers. In Houston, one of the country’s hardest-hit metropolitan areas, the chief medical officer of United Memorial Medical Center said he signed more death certificates in the last week of July than at any point in his career.

“I have been in the middle of earthquakes, in the middle of bombings, in the middle of tsunamis. I’ve been involved in every possible catastrophe that you can imagine. And by far, this is the worst,” Joseph Varon told Houston’s ABC affiliate.

The virus was spiraling out of control because people were disregarding health guidelines, Varon said. “My motto has been, you know, at the present time, I’m pretty much fighting two wars, a war against covid[-19] and a war against stupidity,” he said. “And the problem is that the first one I have some hope about winning. But the second one is becoming more and more difficult to treat.”

Faced with that kind of pandemic fatigue, the World Health Organization continues to issue urgent reminders that “sustained community, national, regional, and global response efforts” will be critical during the pandemic’s “lengthy” duration.

The United States’s virus response, however, remains fractured and halting. Officials at all levels of government spent July sparring over whether to roll back reopening plans and institute mask mandates and other public health requirements recommended by leading health experts.

“We reopened too quickly in many places around the country, we haven’t been unified and consistent in our messages and now we see where we are,” Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said in a CNN interview Friday. “We can do better than what we’re doing. Other countries around the world have done much better, and we can learn from them.”

The pandemic has also had a harsh impact on the economy, with the nation’s gross domestic product shrinking at an annual rate of 32.9 percent in the second quarter. At midnight Friday, tens of millions of American workers lost $600 weekly unemployment payments after congressional leaders failed to reach an agreement on how to extend the benefit, which has helped keep many households afloat the past four months.

Negotiations appeared to move forward on Saturday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) emerged from a three-hour meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows saying they had their most productive discussion to date, though they did not reach an agreement.

July’s spike in infections was accompanied by backlogs, long lines and shortfalls in key components for testing as people in new virus hot spots converged on sites to find out whether they were infected. Many patients across the country reported waiting a week or more for results — a delay that effectively renders tests useless in controlling the virus’s spread.

To speed up testing, the National Institutes of Health announced it was awarding nearly $250 million to seven biomedical companies developing new, more efficient technologies that the agency’s leaders said could increase weekly testing by tens of thousands per day by the fall.

Even as officials worked to expand testing, however, Trump continued to cast doubt on its value. He reiterated in a tweet Saturday his incorrect and misleading claim that the country has “more cases because we have tested far more than any other country.”

The president’s remarks came as the virus continued to circulate in high levels of government. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) revealed he was the latest member of Congress to test positive, saying in a statement that he was asymptomatic and self-isolating at his home in the D.C. area. The congressman said he felt “fine” after receiving the diagnosis Friday.

Earlier in the week, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), who defied social distancing guidelines and was often seen walking through the Capitol without a mask, learned he was infected. A day after Gohmert’s diagnosis, Herman Cain, a former pizza chain executive and 2012 Republican presidential candidate, died of the virus.

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'I'm fighting a war against COVID-19 and a war against stupidity,' says CMO of Houston hospital
Molly Gamble
20 hours ago

After two hours of sleep a night for four months and seeing a member of his team contract the virus, Joseph Varon, MD, is growing exasperated.

"I'm pretty much fighting two wars: A war against COVID and a war against stupidity," Dr. Varon, MD, CMO and chief of critical care at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, told NBC News. "And the problem is the first one, I have some hope about winning. But the second one is becoming more and more difficult."

Dr. Varon noted that whether it's information backed by science or common sense, people throughout the U.S. are not listening. "The thing that annoys me the most is that we keep on doing our best to save all these people, and then you get another batch of people that are doing exactly the opposite of what you're telling them to do."

In an interview with NPR, Dr. Varon said he has woken up at dawn every day for the past four months and has headed to the hospital. There, he spends six to 12 hours on rounds before seeing new admissions. He then returns home to sleep two hours, at most.

He said his staff is physically and emotionally drained.

UMMC nurse Christina Mathers spoke with NBC News from a hospital bed in the segment, noting that she had recently tested positive for COVID-19 after not feeling well during one of her shifts. "All the fighting, all the screaming, all the finger pointing — enough is enough," Ms. Mathers told NBC. "People just need to listen to us. We're not going to lie. Why would we lie?"

Ms. Mathers has worked every other day since April 29, according to The Atlantic, which created a photo essay of Dr. Varon and the UMMC team at work.

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Health experts urge caution for school reopenings as coronavirus safety plans are put to the test
Madeline Holcombe and Dakin Andone
Updated 7:04 AM ET, Sat August 1, 2020

Health experts on Saturday continued to urge communities to use caution and planning when considering whether to send students back to school, after the US got its first glimpse this week at how Covid-19 could reshape education.

"We have to ask the question, are we willing to live with the end result of the inevitable situation where teachers are going to become infected?" asked Dr. Michael Saag, associate dean for Global Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

"Are we willing to live with those consequences?" he said. "Because I think that's what we're going to see in about three months from now, unfortunately, with the rates of infection that we have."

School districts have been debating how to accommodate educational needs and safety in a nation with more than 4.5 million coronavirus cases and 153,642 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. As the new school year began for some schools this week, 60 of the 101 largest US school districts had plans to start the year entirely online, while others were offering in-person classes part or full time.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday that he would make an initial decision this week about whether schools in his state should plan to reopen, as officials continue to monitor the infection rate. School districts were supposed to have submitted alternative reopening plans on Friday, the governor said in a call with reporters -- but New York City failed to submit its plan on time.

Elsewhere, at least two school districts have already had to put their own plans to the test after they returned to in-person classes this week.

One Indiana school district learned on Thursday that a junior high school student had tested positive after attending class for part of the school day, Superintendent Dr. Harold Olin said in his letter to parents.

The infected student was isolated, and the families of those who had close contact with him were notified, Olin said.

A similar scenario played out in Mississippi, where someone tested positive during the Corinth School District's first week of classes, the school district said on social media Friday.

Superintendent Lee Childress confirmed to CNN affiliate WREG that a student had tested positive. Officials notified families of students who came in close contact with the individual and asked them to quarantine at home for 14 days, the district said.

"We fully understand that parents might be concerned or on edge, but I'd like to assure them that we have all safety measures in place in the school district," Childress told WREG.

Emergency medicine physician Dr. Daniel Fagbuyi told CNN's Erika Hill on Saturday that planning is key. Communities should consider reopening schools after meeting certain requirements, like reaching a positivity rate less than 5%, mandating face masks, and implementing rapid testing, social distancing and regular handwashing.

Those measures might "seem basic," Fagbuyi said, "but if you don't have any of these all in place at the same time, there's always a loophole, and once you have a loophole, it's game over."

"If there's one child that gets sick and dies, unfortunately, that affects that whole community," he said.

Infections in younger people

While early data suggested that older Americans were most at risk for the disease, concern for teens and young adults has grown as they have gathered in reopened public spaces and some prepare to return to school.

In California -- which surpassed 500,000 cases on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins -- the Department of Public Health confirmed the first coronavirus-related death of a teenager in the state on Friday. The department did not provide information on the patient except to say that the teenager did have underlying health conditions.

"Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of this young person whose death is a tragic and powerful reminder of how serious Covid-19 can be," said Dr. Sonia Angell, State Public Health Officer and Director of the CDPH.

On Saturday, California reported 219 Covid-related deaths, the most in a single day since the start of the pandemic. The prior highest number was 197, reported on Tuesday.

In Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday that he and the state's public health commissioner are concerned about clusters among teens and young adults. The coronavirus infection numbers among 10 to 19-year-olds had "doubled" recently, Lamont said, though he did not provide specific numbers.

"This is not a time to relax our basic practices to slow down the spread of the virus. This is a time for remaining vigilant," Lamont said in a release.

Storm threatens to complicate Covid-19 response

Meanwhile, Florida is facing the prospect of another crisis on top of its struggle with the coronavirus: Tropical Storm Isaias.

The storm was initially a hurricane but weakened into a tropical storm after lashing the Bahamas on Saturday. Still, the National Hurricane Center warned that the storm was forecast to strengthen back into a hurricane on Saturday night as it approaches South Florida.

But hurricane response in Florida could look different in a pandemic -- the state reported 9,591 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday.

"The storm just exacerbates the conditions," Mayor Dean Trantalis of Fort Lauderdale told CNN. "What it does is it forces people to remain in closed quarters. And this is where we need to get that message out: that people need to make sure that those protocols are not sacrificed, that they understand how important it is to wear face masks."

The Florida Division of Emergency Management is sending personal protective equipment (PPE) to shelters throughout the state, Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a news conference Saturday.

The state will send 25 shelter kits with PPE to counties in the path of the storm, the governor explained, with each kit able to provide PPE for 400 people for up to 4 days.

In a news release, Florida Power and Light predicted that a "significant number of customers" could lose power from Isaias, and warned that Covid-19 is "creating challenges that may ultimately delay restoration," the utility said in a news release.

FPL spokesman Bryan Garner did not have an estimate of how much longer power restoration could take, but said that FPL has been practicing its pandemic restoration plan for a few months. FPL personnel are social distancing, wearing masks and sanitizing equipment, among other precautionary measures.

Hospitals are also bracing for the storm. Two of the largest hospital systems in Miami-Dade County -- Jackson Health System and Baptist Health South Florida -- said they have extensive hurricane response plans. Spokespersons for both health systems said they had enough backup generators to keep up operation for 4 days.

DeSantis said Saturday that the state has been in touch with hospitals in areas that could be affected, but said they don't anticipate hospitals needing to evacuate patients at this time.

Local leaders tackle the impacts of a resurgence


Other state and local leaders are enacting measures to slow down the virus as cases continue to spike.
New York Gov. Cuomo said Saturday that 41 establishments were given violations for breaking Covid-19 social distancing restrictions, including 2 in the Bronx, 1 in Brooklyn, 5 in Queens, 1 in Staten Island, 3 in Nassau, 2 in Suffolk and 27 in Manhattan.

The city of Anchorage, Alaska, rolled back parts of its economic reopening for at least the next four weeks, limiting outdoor gatherings to 50 people; prohibiting bars, nightclubs and restaurants from indoor service; and extending the city's indoor mask mandate to outdoor events where social distancing isn't possible, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz said at a Friday news conference.

"We know there is a Covid storm coming," Berkowitz said. "This is our time to batten down."

A surge has already hit in Alabama, overwhelming the state's testing abilities, the Alabama Department of Public Health said Friday, asking doctors to focus testing on the most vulnerable populations.

Alabama is among the at least 39 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico to have some type of mask requirement in place.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who sued Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms over her mask requirement for the city, has extended existing Covid-19 safety measures through September 10, he announced in a news release on Friday.

While there is still no mask mandate, the order continues to ban gatherings of more than 50 people unless there is six feet between each person and outlines mandatory criteria for businesses.

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Coronavirus: South Africa virus cases pass half million mark
1 August 2020


More than half million coronavirus have been confirmed in South Africa, according to the country's health minister.

Zwelini Mkhize announced 10,107 new cases on Saturday, bringing the tally to 503,290, along with 8,153 deaths.

South Africa is the hardest-hit country on the continent and accounts for half of all reported infections in Africa.

It also has the fifth-highest number of cases in the world after the US, Brazil, Russia and India.

Researchers have said the true number of deaths in the country may be far higher.

In other developments:
  • Russian health authorities are preparing to start a mass vaccination campaign against coronavirus in October
  • A jobless benefit paid tens of millions of unemployed Americans expired after Republicans and Democrats failed to reach a deal
  • Thousands of people in Berlin took part in protests against Germany's coronavirus restrictions
  • Pubs or "other activities" in England may need to close to allow schools to reopen next month
South African health authorities have said the rate of infection is increasing rapidly, with cases currently concentrated around the capital, Pretoria.

More than a third of all infections have been reported in Gauteng - South Africa's financial hub, and a province that has quickly become the epicentre of the national outbreak.

Infections are not expected to peak for another month.

South Africa imposed a strict lockdown in April and May that slowed the spread of the coronavirus.

It began a gradual reopening in June but restrictions - including a ban on alcohol sales - were reintroduced last month as infection rates began to rise again. A state of emergency is also in force until 15 August.

The influx of patients has put an incredible strain on South Africa's hospitals, and a BBC investigation found an array of systematic failures that had exhausted healthcare professionals and brought the health service near to collapse.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said last month that 28,000 hospital beds had been made available for Covid-19 patients but the country still faced a "serious" shortage of doctors and nurses.

Last week the World Health Organization warned that South Africa's experience was a likely a precursor to what would happen across the rest of the continent.

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Mexico records third-highest coronavirus death rate globally, behind Brazil and US; sixth in reported cases
Officials believe Mexico’s government is underreporting coronavirus cases by up to three times the actual figure

Caitlin McFall
Published 9 hours ago

Mexico reported the third-highest coronavirus-related death rate in the world on Saturday, trailing behind the United States and Brazil, with 46,688 deaths, according to John Hopkins University data.

Health officials have warned that the country’s reported 424,637 cases -- making them sixth globally -- is not an accurate account of the coronavirus situation, due to shortages of testing and underreporting of the virus.

Mexican Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell has reportedly downplayed the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and opted for lighter tactics and less widespread testing. Ten state governors called for his resignation Friday, according to the BBC.

Lopez-Gatell reportedly blamed complexities surrounding testing as justification for the lack of confirmed cases.

In response to the health secretary’s claims, a think tank, Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity (MACCIH), started an investigation into the number of death certificates versus the number of reported deaths from coronavirus.

They found that between March 18 and May 12, the number of reported coronavirus deaths was three times less than the number of suspected coronavirus-related fatalities in Mexico City alone.

The investigation found that in more than 3,000 records of deceased individuals, COVID-19 was listed as the "probable,” “possible" or "suspected" cause of death -- meaning the number of reported coronavirus cases and deaths could be as many as three times the number of confirmed cases.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has also faced criticism for his initial lackadaisical stance on the coronavirus pandemic.

The government was slow to decentralize testing sites, preventing private companies and states from providing their own testing. Thousands of new cases have popped up in private medical centers, which are not being reported in the federal system, a report by Reuters showed in mid-June.

Obrador joined the list of leaders who have refused to wear a mask -- including Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has tested positive for COVID-19 -- and President Trump, though the U.S. president started publicly wearing a mask and encourage the use of masks in July.

“You know when I’m going to put on a mask? When there is no corruption. Then I’ll put on a mask and I’ll stop talking,” the Guardian said Obrador told reporters Friday.

Coronavirus cases around the world have reached almost 17.7 million with nearly 700,000 deaths.

The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world, with 4.6 million, and 154,000 deaths. Brazil has the second-highest number of cases, with 2.6 million, and over 92,000 deaths. However, numbers for coronavirus cases and deaths out of China are suspected of being grossly underreported and also unable to be confirmed.

.
 

Mixin

Veteran Member
Well I never thought I’d ever see Greenfield, Indiana, my hometown, mentioned in national news but here we are.

And it only took one week back to school. Kids are going to be sick everywhere and then the real havoc will begin. IMHO.
It will be interesting, that's for sure.

7.29 Hendricks Co: Avon Schools start
8.3 Delaware Co: Muncie schools begin
8.9 to 8.20 Monroe Co: Bloomington move-in, 1500 max allowed at any time
*********************
Another problem in Hancock County:

New Palestine High School football player tests positive for COVID-19
Anne Snabes
Indianapolis Star

A New Palestine High School football player tested positive for COVID-19, a district spokesperson confirmed to IndyStar.

Wes Anderson, director of school and community relations for Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County, said the district found out that the student tested positive Thursday night.

He said the district is still planning to reopen its schools on Monday.

"We've already been through some of our common athletic area spaces with some extra care to disinfect and sanitize," Anderson said. "That was conducted as soon as we became aware that that athlete was symptomatic."

He said that the group of football players the infected player trained with in a work-out room are quarantining, though he was not sure how many.

Anderson said that to his knowledge, no coaches will be quarantined. "I actually am on our football coaching staff, as well," he said. "Our coaches have done a tremendous amount of due diligence of making sure we're social distanced in the weight room, while we're on the practice field. We're coaching from afar, basically."

Anderson said the team canceled practice on Friday “just as a precautionary measure.” The team will resume practice Monday afternoon. As of now, the team still plans to play its first game on August 21, he said.

Indiana has allowed physical contact at football practices since July 20. Several teams have paused workouts and quarantined players because of positive tests. In Marion County, contact sports are allowed for now, but are under further review by the Marion County Health Department.

At Greenfield Central Junior High School, also in Hancock County, a student tested positive for COVID-19 after attending part of the first day of class, according to an email families received on Thursday evening.

Indiana reported on Saturday that there have been 608 total cases of the novel coronavirus in HanoCounty and 37 deaths.
*************************
Madison County
Staff test positive for Covid-19 after first week of school in Elwood
Posted: Aug 2, 2020 / 04:56 AM EDT / Updated: Aug 2, 2020 / 05:34 AM EDT

ELWOOD, Ind. — Students attending Elwood Junior Senior High School will be doing eLearning this upcoming week after a coronavirus outbreak with staff members. According to Elwood Community School Corporation, the district conducted coronavirus testing prior to schools starting last Monday and multiple staff came back positive for Covid-19.

Superintendent Dr. Joe Brown says, “Other than their own children, zero of our students were considered to be within close contact of these staff members.”

Although, those that were positive were within close contact with other faculty and staff at the High School. As a precaution, the district is choosing to do online classes from August 3 through August 7 for grades 7-12. It’s also having janitors at Elwood Junior Senior High School do a deep cleaning of the building.

Elwood Community School Corp. is going forward with its regular athletic programming because it says no coaches or student athletes came near the infected staff.

The district sent a letter to parents after a school board meeting which read “the safety of students and staff remain our top priority.”
 

psychgirl

Veteran Member
Mixin, thank you for your info.

Indianapolis has been mentioned several times as an upcoming hotspot by the health bigwigs in the last two weeks! I hope they’re wrong but already, we see the positive school cases in the first week!

Sigh... we really can’t have another shutdown! They’re are so many places just barely making it as it is. My hub just started his new job (after his last place closed permanently) a month ago and the money, so far, has been hit and miss. People ARE going out to eat but man, they are just at a trickle.
 

Countrymouse

Country exile in the city
(fair use applies)

How scientists revived an old-school treatment for a 21st century pandemic
By Melissa Healy
Aug. 1, 2020 5 AM

A few weeks after the new coronavirus arrived on U.S. shores, Dr. Arturo Casadevall hatched a plan to beat back the outbreak with a medical advance so powerful it had earned a Nobel Prize.

In 1901.

That’s when Dr. Emil Adolf von Behring was honored for pioneering the use of so-called convalescent serum as a treatment for diphtheria. In 1892, the Prussian bacteriologist infected horses with the pathogen that causes the deadly disease. If the beasts recovered, Von Behring harvested their blood, removed its red blood cells and clotting proteins, and introduced the resulting antibody-rich fluid into the bloodstreams of human diphtheria patients.

Until a diphtheria vaccine came into broad use in the 1930s, Von Behring’s daring experiments saved countless lives. At the end of the 19th century, diphtheria, known as “the strangling angel,” was the 10th most common cause of death in the United States, and a pitiless killer of children.

Convalescent serum would go on to become a mainstay of treatment for measles, mumps, tetanus, smallpox and polio before the “era of vaccine” began in the late 1940s.

“It’s a beautiful history,” Casadevall, a microbiologist and physician at Johns Hopkins University, said with wistful ardor. “It was the birth of immunology.”

Amid a pandemic response that promises marvels of genetic engineering, vaccines developed at “warp speed” and artificial intelligence at the bedside, it takes courage for a scientist to dust off a remedy from the history books and propose it as modern medicine.

The yellowish elixir now drawn from the blood of recovered COVID-19 patients is plasma, which retains some clotting factors. It has been tried against the Ebola virus and novel strains of influenza, only to be shelved when vaccines became available.

Reviving the 19th century invention to fight a 21st century pandemic is no job for the faint of heart. It will generate neither profits nor scientific glory. Yet to navigate a gauntlet of clinical trials and logistical challenges, it does require a mighty intellect, a heap of energy, the ability to muster an army of skilled recruits and a knack for fundraising.

And so, nearly every night for five months, Casadevall and two longtime colleagues — Dr. Michael Joyner of the Mayo Clinic and Dr. Liise-anne Pirofski of Albert Einstein College of Medicine — have met online to plot the potential comeback of convalescent plasma. They hope it can become both a treatment for COVID-19 and a way to protect people at high risk of coronavirus infection from becoming ill.

All in their 60s and well into accomplished careers at leading medical institutions, this trio might have spent the pandemic engaged in quieter pursuits. Instead, the three are putting immune system proteins from recovered patients through modern scientific trials, hoping to buy time for other medical advances to come along.

They’ve created the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, a consortium of 260 doctors and scientists from 57 institutions around the country. Members of their coalition have launched more than 50 laboratory studies and clinical trials, and as of Thursday, 79,059 patients had been treated under the project’s experimental “compassionate use” program. Preliminary findings are expected soon.

Their passion has them living on “COVID time,” practicing science at all hours of the night and day as kids and spouses hover near their makeshift home offices. The pace of research has been compressed beyond recognition.

Joyner, who handles the project’s day-to-day management, wakes at 4 a.m. and works for 16 hours, crushing sets of 50 push-ups between meetings and falling asleep at his desk. Casadevall and Pirofski oversee trials, recruit scientific talent and build support for the national effort.

If their work demonstrates even a modest benefit, convalescent plasma could help get children back to school safely and allow more of the economy to reopen. Successful results could also hasten vaccine development by making it possible to infect testers deliberately, which would speed up the evaluation process.

The initiative has reached well beyond the premier academic medical centers where most clinical trials are run. Dozens of doctors and patients in small and mid-sized community hospitals have had a chance to join in.

Dr. Shmuel Shoham, a participant from Johns Hopkins who normally treats transplant and cancer patients with compromised immunity, put it this way: “We’re crowdsourcing a cure.”

‘A lightbulb moment’

By mid-February, the novel coronavirus had ravaged Wuhan, China, and spread to Egypt, Iran, South Korea and most of Europe. Instances of community spread were being reported in the United States, prompting Casadevall to assess his profession’s readiness to treat the respiratory plague.

It was bleak. But by harnessing the power of convalescent plasma, he thought, it might be less so.

He made his case in a Wall Street Journal essay that recounted the story of Dr. J. Roswell Gallagher, who headed off a measles outbreak in 1934 by giving people shots of plasma from recovered patients. The approach was worth another shot, he argued.

Pirofski too read the piece. “It was a lightbulb moment” for the medical establishment, she said. She reached out to Casadevall, and the two of them drafted an article to convince fellow doctors that convalescent plasma was worth a try. It was published March 13 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Joyner, too, came across the Wall Street Journal essay and was galvanized by the idea’s simplicity. Also a reader of medical history, he burrowed into articles about the use of convalescent plasma during the 1918 flu pandemic, where it appears to have reduced patients’ risk of dying by 25% to 50%. “This could work!” he told himself.

The next day, he called Casadevall and offered his services.

The three make a powerful, if improbable, team.

Casadevall is a courtly, Cuban-born physician, a pioneer in the study of disease-causing fungi, and a passionate student of history.

Pirofski is a Californian who came late to science and medicine from the humanities. As an intern with Casadevall during the height of the AIDS crisis, she honed both a doctor’s compassion and a reputation as a fiercely intelligent immunologist.

Joyner is an anesthesiologist, a sports nut and a leading authority on athletic performance. On a 1-to-10 scale of extroversion, he gleefully volunteers he’d score a 15.

By the first week of March, the three of them were recruiting collaborators idled by the pandemic’s stay-at-home orders, urging them to pitch in where they could.

There was so much to learn about the mysterious new coronavirus: Which antibodies mattered most, and could existing tests detect them? Did all infected patients develop the kinds of antibodies that conferred immunity? How long might such immunity last?

Other issues would demand the instincts of doctors on the front lines. What dose of convalescent plasma would have the best shot at helping, and how should it be administered? What risks would a transfusion present? Which patients are likely to benefit most, and what outcomes would you measure?

Testing an experimental therapy would require scientists with statistical chops and a robust system for data collection. They’d need people with logistics skills to launch blood drives in the middle of a pandemic and to distribute plasma, which has a three-day shelf life, from where it’s collected to where it’s most needed.

Meanwhile, someone would need to navigate the federal government’s regulatory machinery — a task that calls for hustle, contacts and an accountant’s zeal for bureaucratic detail and budgeting.

A few hurdles would be particularly challenging. Antibody tests would have to be cheap, accurate and easy to field. The nation’s blood banks and collection agencies would have to be brought on board. If the therapy were shown to help, a small supply chain would have to get very big — in a hurry.

Doctors from a range of specialties signed on, as did biostatisticians, public health researchers, microbiologists, blood bankers and information technology specialists.

“They’ve been so collaborative,” Pirofski said. “There’s none of that selfishness in science, where there’s a race to be first.”

With big profits at stake, pharmaceutical giants routinely muster the resources to get such complex initiatives over the finish line. But convalescent plasma promises no exclusive marketing rights, no intellectual property and no big payday.

In the first two months of the initiative, two crucial ingredients were in short supply. The first was plasma itself. Patients in early hot spots were just emerging from their ordeals, and few knew their blood could be of any value to others.

That began to change when collaborators from the New York Blood Center approached the hard-hit Orthodox Jewish community in the area. Survivors responded by rolling up their sleeves. It was the start of a grass-roots recruitment effort.

Beyond that, the lifeblood of modern medical research — federal funding — was nowhere in sight. Officials were encouraging in phone calls and online meetings, Joyner said, “but nobody brought their checkbook.”

Volunteers across a range of skills had worked gratis for more than a month — an unheard-of situation. Still, Joyner and the others knew that without federal funding, they’d hit a wall when it came time to carry out clinical trials.

By early April, the initiative had managed to secure around $5 million in seed funding, including $3 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies and $1 million from the state of Maryland. Then, in early May, the federal tap began to flow. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, known as BARDA, in the Department of Health and Human Services committed as much as $50 million to testing convalescent plasma — a sum larger than many drugmakers and vaccine designers have won.

‘This is helping people’

So far, the herculean effort appears to be yielding signs of promise. Data from about 5,000 patients with severe cases of COVID-19 suggest the treatment is safe. Findings from an uncompleted trial in China suggest that the critically ill elderly and patients of all ages with moderate illness might benefit the most from the treatment.

A “study of studies” posted online Friday by the project’s leaders offers a tantalizing, if preliminary, hint of the lives that could be saved by convalescent plasma. Led by Joyner, the team aggregated the findings of the China trial and 10 other studies that documented convalescent plasma’s use in a total of 525 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Patients who got the experimental treatment were 57% less likely to die of COVID-19 than were comparably ill patients who did not, the researchers concluded.

Findings expected to be released in the coming weeks will begin to show whether that promise is borne out in American patients hospitalized for COVID-19, Joyner said. By summer’s end, team members will be analyzing the therapy’s effects on patients who have not needed hospitalization and those who’ve been exposed but show no signs of illness.

“All the indicators are that this is helping people,” Casadevall told his troops in a weekly phone call July 24. If that is borne out, “we can probably save a lot of lives in the summer and fall” before vaccines or better treatments emerge, he said.

It’s certainly possible that convalescent plasma could fall short. It could be overtaken by more effective medicines, or by a vaccine. Some fluke of the coronavirus, or twist in the pandemic, could make it impractical as treatment or prevention.

Casadevall, Joyner and Pirofski are prepared to accept those outcomes.

“If I’m wrong, too bad,” Casadevall said.

No matter what, he and his army will have taught young doctors how research used to be done when resources were more scarce. Scientists will gain insights into the body’s response to coronavirus infection and see what progress can be made when they pull together in a national crisis.

“This is not going to get anyone a ticket to Stockholm” for another Nobel Prize, Joyner said. But near the end of a long career, “I’ve been very happy to step into the breach.”

.

Now I'd feel MUCH safer and better taking THIS---a wholly HUMAN tissue-product---than the vaccine under construction--which contains Animal DNA, Plant DNA, and those tiny AI particles....
 

Mixin

Veteran Member
Mixin, thank you for your info.

Indianapolis has been mentioned several times as an upcoming hotspot by the health bigwigs in the last two weeks! I hope they’re wrong but already, we see the positive school cases in the first week!

Sigh... we really can’t have another shutdown! They’re are so many places just barely making it as it is. My hub just started his new job (after his last place closed permanently) a month ago and the money, so far, has been hit and miss. People ARE going out to eat but man, they are just at a trickle.
You're welcome. If there are numbers you would like to see more of, let me know.

I didn't notice a great turndown in traffic during the shutdown here but I recently learned why. Eighteen thousand workers come into Plainfield daily to work; that's almost half of the population. I had no idea of all the warehouses/fulfillment centers there are here. From the snips I've heard, those were doing really well. Many of the smaller businesses have suffered.

Here is what Indy is looking like

8.1 Marion Cases.jpg
8.1 Marion Deaths.jpg
 

Countrymouse

Country exile in the city
Was searching the forums this morning for information I discovered reading here back in May, as to "what" components will be in the vaccine.

I needed to refresh my memory with the scientific facts of the case, so as to make my defense before family / friends / possibly the government---as to why I WILL NOT take this vaccine, once it is developed.

Based on a video posted by medic, of a medical doctor and research scientist, Dr. Celeste Solum, who has among her many credentials over 20 years working with FEMA and Homeland Security, I went on a "research-hunt" to confirm and learn more about her information, much of which I'd never heard of (confirmation found in many science research/journal articles; I posted link below to what I found).

In teaching my sons Biology in home school, I'd heard of course of the genetic engineering that has been going on for years: just the creation of "hybrids" is a simple type of genetic engineering, and of course we all know about "Roundup Ready" seeds that allow plants to absorb poison without dying---meaning humans are consequently consuming that poison when they eat said plants. But this goes beyond that---combining of human genetic material with animal DNA, and even plant DNA. Of course we all know animals tissues have been used to grow vaccines "in" for years--the animal tissue being the MEDIUM --but not "part of" the final product---just a means of growing the vaccine, because the animals were the closest to humans, genetically.

And, of course, we've all seen the threads posted on here from time to time about the laboratory experiments to create "monster" chimeras combining human and animal DNA---always "experimental", always short-lived---always tucked away safely into a "lab"--not meant to be REALLY ever released into the wild, to become a general part of the biosphere of this planet.

But I had never heard of the kinds of things this doctor / scientist talked about.

SummerBreeze did confirm in the original thread where I read this, however, that one of the components of the vaccine--and I believe the most dangerous component --the "nano-particles" that will be included with the vaccine-- that she had heard of these particles and that they'd been around for a while---though, again--only in "laboratory research"---never --- never before suggested for use within the human body.

Until now.

I ask the mods to please waive the normal "rules" here--because this video was originally posted by Medic in the Religion SIG---

but I am posting it NOT (repeat NOT) as a "religious" video--but only and solely for the SCIENTIFIC content shared by the doctor.

To summarize briefly, she relates in this 57-minute video that the vaccine will contain:

1. DNA from aborted fetuses--embryonic stem cells
2. DNA from MICE----humanized mice also known as "HUMICE" -- genetically modified mice that contain both mouse and human DNA
3. DNA from plants--it's a totally different thing to eat a plant, as medicine, than to have plant DNA inserted into human DNA
3. An even worse component--which I'd never heard of before---called "Nanogenic Hydrogel" structures --these are the "nano-particles" SummerBreeze said she had heard of--they are tiny AI (Artificial Intelligence) particles that become living bio-sensors inside our bodies, that meld with our own DNA and cannot be removed from our bodies once inserted. Their purpose (supposedly) is to continually monitor our state of health, and to send that monitored information to....?

You can hear all this just in the first 20 minutes of the video.

I did go and do independent searches on all of the above statements, and found several science articles (now--listen--NOT from Newsweek or Popular Science--but research articles from respected science journals that contain actual studies and their reports of these studies submitted for peer-review--you can see these links I found if you go to my post in Medic's thread, to be found on post # 38 at https://www.timebomb2000.com/xf/index.php?threads/a-different-take-on-the-mark.571806/post-7741259 )

Here is the video.

It's VERY enlightening.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=v6NuhH6C_jE&feature=emb_logo
 

Papacub

Senior Member
Just an observation from my little trip yesterday. I hit the road yesterday to make a trip to my son's house in So. Carolina, I stopped after about 30 miles to get gas (Texas) and what did I see? Everyone else at the gas station were wearing masks!! they were all outside pumping gas, what the hey? My next stop for gas was Louisiana, at a Pilot truck everyone was wearing masks, pumping gas! What the? Now, I did go into the store to use the restroom and took my mask out of my pocket because they had "the sign"! No problem, thats why I carry one, just in case.
OK, next stop Alabama, pull into another Pilot (on my road trips I only stop at Pilot, Flying J or Loves truck stops.), everyone pumping gas was wearing face masks......pumping gas!!?? What the heck is wrong with people? Nice little sheeple!
Now in my AO in Texas, we do have a mask requirement if you go into a business and they have a sign up, but there several convenience stores close to me that do not have any signs up and they will allow non-maskers to enter and will take their money, these are the places I will support. I just don't understand masking up when there is zero need to do so, if you are pumping gas, you are never going to be closer than 6ft from anyone else, plus you are outside! (Rant over!)
 

Countrymouse

Country exile in the city
Just an observation from my little trip yesterday. I hit the road yesterday to make a trip to my son's house in So. Carolina, I stopped after about 30 miles to get gas (Texas) and what did I see? Everyone else at the gas station were wearing masks!! they were all outside pumping gas, what the hey? My next stop for gas was Louisiana, at a Pilot truck everyone was wearing masks, pumping gas! What the? Now, I did go into the store to use the restroom and took my mask out of my pocket because they had "the sign"! No problem, thats why I carry one, just in case.
OK, next stop Alabama, pull into another Pilot (on my road trips I only stop at Pilot, Flying J or Loves truck stops.), everyone pumping gas was wearing face masks......pumping gas!!?? What the heck is wrong with people? Nice little sheeple!
Now in my AO in Texas, we do have a mask requirement if you go into a business and they have a sign up, but there several convenience stores close to me that do not have any signs up and they will allow non-maskers to enter and will take their money, these are the places I will support. I just don't understand masking up when there is zero need to do so, if you are pumping gas, you are never going to be closer than 6ft from anyone else, plus you are outside! (Rant over!)

First, they "train" us to wear the masks on command.

They make it a CONDITION of going into any store, any school, ANY public place--that we wear a mask.

THEN, they have us already "conditioned" to take the VACCINE on command.

And they will more than likely put the same conditions on taking the vaccine--that, unless you have been vaccinated (and have some way of proving it) it will be just like the current rules re masks--you can't go out in public to most places of business without it.

See my earlier post.

They can TRACK us via the vaccine--and those devices become melded with our body tissues--they are NOT removable (as a chip would be).
 

Zagdid

Veteran Member

Wausau strip club employee tests positive for COVID-19
August 2, 2020 By shereen Siewert

Heath officials say an employee at a Wausau strip club has tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the Marathon County Health Department, the employee worked at Showtime Gentleman’s Club, 1709 Merrill Ave., while infectious. Health officials say patrons at Showtime could have had close contact with the infected employee. Some patrons haven’t been identified.

Patrons who were at Showtime Gentleman’s Club may have been exposed to COVID-19 between:
Saturday July 25, 6 p.m. to Sunday July 26, 2:30 a.m.
Monday July 27, 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 30, 7 p.m. to Friday July 31, 12:30 a.m.
Friday July 31, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The Marathon County Health Department is encouraging everyone who was present on these dates to monitor for symptoms for 14 days from their last visit to Showtime Gentleman’s Club. Common COVID-19 symptoms include: fever or chills, cough, and shortness of breath. In the event that symptoms do develop, please contact your health care provider for testing.

“The community’s health and safety is our number one priority and are working closely with the General Manager of Showtime Gentleman’s Club,” said Joan Theurer, Marathon County Health Officer.

To ensure the privacy of the individual, the Marathon County Health Department will not provide further information regarding the identity of the individual who tested positive for COVID-19.

The Marathon County Health Department is encouraging everyone to watch your distance, wear a face covering when in public and unable to social distance, wash your hands, avoid large gatherings, and stay home if you feel sick.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7BDY_folcQ
3:47 min
Calif. Gov. Newsom renews $300M deal with Chinese company known for making defective masks
•Aug 1, 2020


One America News Network

California Governor Gavin Newsom has come under fire, once again, for inking a new mask deal with a Chinese company that is known for making defective products. One America's Pearson Sharp has the details. Visit us at: Website:

[RECALLING AN EARLIER ARTICLE]
Pay to Play? Gov. Newsom’s BYD Mask Deal Profitable for Insider Dealmakers
May 29, 2020 By Katy Grimes 10 Comments

New details are emerging about Gov. Gavin Newsom’s $1.4 billion deal for masks with BYD, a Chinese electric bus maker that is now manufacturing N95 masks. However, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic the deal has soured, as the masks failed to meet national safety and health standards.

The governor told media that the federal government held up his mask shipment, but in fact, the federal government said Newsom’s Chinese masks failed safety and health standards. The masks the Chinese company delivered failed to get the approval of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Standard surgical masks are also part of the order.

If that is not clear enough, this is the word salad that Brian Ferguson, the deputy director for crisis communication and public affairs for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, served to The Epoch Times on May 8: “The masks didn’t fail a test, but rather did not pass certification yet.”

BYD’s contract with the Newsom administration was kept hidden from state legislators and the media since the deal was struck in April, on the heels of the even stranger mask deal with Blue Flame Medical LLC – a company only recently formed by former political consultants seeking to capitalize on the coronavirus pandemic.

In March, California wired $456.9 million to Blue Flame Medical LLC for millions of masks. But once it was revealed that the state of California wired the nearly $500 million dollars for masks to a company that had been in business for three days, the state demanded its money back.
California Globe learned from a source that minutes after the money was wired to Blue Flame Medical LLC, the State Controller’s office received a call from the bank warning that the bank account the money was wired to had only been opened the day before.

As California Globe reported, the governor’s office initially refused to disclose either contract to lawmakers and journalists.

What was BYD offering that was different from Blue Flame, since neither company had any prior experience manufacturing masks, and why was the outlay of upfront money less with Blue Flame?

The Governor’s BYD $1.4 billion contract is looking like well-connected insider trading.

The Build Your Dreams company, BYD, is based in Shenzen, China. The electric bus manufacturer has a California subsidiary in Lancaster, where it employs 1,000 people.
California Globe has uncovered a trail of well-connected players in the odd $1.4 billion mask deal which seems to lead up to the cabinet level inside the governor’s office.

The prominent lobbyist who represents BYD is Mark Weideman of The Weideman Group. The governor’s campaign received $40,000 from BYD’s automotive division.

Weideman also represents Bloom Energy, a fuel cell manufacturer in San Jose, which recently retooled its facility to rehabilitate ventilators for COVID-19 patients.

Weideman also represents NextGen America, owned by Tom Steyer, Newsom’s economic recovery committee chairman whose failed presidential campaign petered out in late February.

California Globe called and emailed Weideman to ask about the BYD contract. A phone call placed to his office at 1:07 pm May 19, 2020 did not receive a response. A follow-up email sent to Weideman via his company website May 25th also did not receive a response.
Mark Weideman’s wife is Jennifer Wada, an attorney who now has a government relations business – Wada Government Relations Group. It is not common knowledge even among Sacramento insiders that Wada and Weideman are married.

Wada previously was a partner in Wada, Williams Law Group. Her former law partner is Anthony Williams, who is now Gov. Newsom’s Legislative Affairs Secretary, although news reports from 2018 also called Williams Newsom’s “chief lobbyist.”

Anthony Williams was a senior adviser for former Democratic state Senate leaders John Burton and Darrell Steinberg, and lobbied for the Judicial Counsel of California and the State Bar.

A source said the governor was able to pivot so quickly from the bad Blue Flame Medical deal to BYD because of the connections between Weideman, Wada and Williams.

In the email California Globe sent, we asked Weidemen about these close connections, and if the deal came together because of Weideman, Wada and Williams.

“Newsom and his aides singled out BYD-America, which manufactures electric buses in Lancaster and has been a beneficiary of California’s efforts to combat climate change,” CalMatters reported April 8, 2020. “Mark Ghilarducci, Newsom’s director of the Office of Emergency Services, said BYD has a direct reachback into China to be able to build a sustainable amount of monthly masks that will be coming in to assist us.’”

BYD America is a subsidiary of BYD China.

As for “Gov Newsom and his aides singled out BYD-America…” Anthony Williams is one of Newsom’s top level aides, as this organizational chart of the governor’s office shows (Williams is at the far right, below First Partner Jennifer Newsom’s staff).
Governor Gavin Newsom’s office organizational chart. (gov.ca.gov)Procurement Payola: the Financial

Incentive

Lobbyists are allowed to take a percentage of procurement contracts they are involved with, which can run as high as 15-20%, according to a source. With all of the other financial disclosures lobbyists are required to report, a lobbyist clarified for us why the procurement deals are not required reporting: When lobbyists are attempting to influence legislation or lawmakers, financial disclosures are required. Procurement deals and contracts are not influencing legislation or lawmakers, therefore, these deals are not reportable.

Did Anthony Williams, Gov. Newsom’s “chief Lobbyist” and Legislative Secretary, facilitate the BYD deal? Did he receive a cut of the deal? California Globe placed two phone calls to the Governor’s office to speak with Williams, but did not receive a response back. The first call on May 22 went unanswered. The second call on May 27, 2020, was answered after 14 minutes on hold, at 10:27 am. The receptionist said she would not transfer the call to his voicemail, and suggested emailing Mr. Williams’ assistant Tammy Trinh. The email to Anthony Williams’ assistant was sent at 10:48 am. The Globe has yet to receive a reply to any of these inquiries.
“Although the company, BYD, is a major global player in the electric vehicle and lithium battery markets, it also has glaring red flags on its record, experts warn, including a history of supplying allegedly faulty products to the U.S., ties to the Chinese military and Communist Party, and possible links to forced labor,” Vice reported. “BYD also has no history of making personal protective equipment, and yet days after the FDA approval, it secured a $1 billion deal to supply masks to California.”

When Gov. Newsom made the deals to purchase $1 Billion worth of masks from BYD, it was “to combat a growing need for masks in California and to secure them before other states and countries sign similar deals,” California Globe reported.

The question is “Why did he make this deal?”

“The number of COVID-19 deaths have been much less than the 750 total deaths that occur every day in California,” Epidemiologists James Enstrom and Jeffrey Klausner said in an Orange County Register article mid-April. “Furthermore, there is evidence that there have been substantial reductions in the deaths due to seasonal flu, pneumonia and accidents because of the almost exclusive focus on COVID-19 and the current statewide lockdown.”
California Globe, with help from Dana Point Attorney Craig Alexander, filed California Public Records Requests in April with Gov. Gavin Newsom and the involved agencies for the contract the governor made with Chinese company BYD for 200 million surgical masks. Office of Emergency Services eventually made the contract public.

We will continue to report on this topic as details emerge.
This article was originally published by the California Globe.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
Just an observation from my little trip yesterday. I hit the road yesterday to make a trip to my son's house in So. Carolina, I stopped after about 30 miles to get gas (Texas) and what did I see? Everyone else at the gas station were wearing masks!! they were all outside pumping gas, what the hey? My next stop for gas was Louisiana, at a Pilot truck everyone was wearing masks, pumping gas! What the? Now, I did go into the store to use the restroom and took my mask out of my pocket because they had "the sign"! No problem, thats why I carry one, just in case.
OK, next stop Alabama, pull into another Pilot (on my road trips I only stop at Pilot, Flying J or Loves truck stops.), everyone pumping gas was wearing face masks......pumping gas!!?? What the heck is wrong with people? Nice little sheeple!
Now in my AO in Texas, we do have a mask requirement if you go into a business and they have a sign up, but there several convenience stores close to me that do not have any signs up and they will allow non-maskers to enter and will take their money, these are the places I will support. I just don't understand masking up when there is zero need to do so, if you are pumping gas, you are never going to be closer than 6ft from anyone else, plus you are outside! (Rant over!)
I did a monthly shopping the other day and did not see anyone without a mask. [CA] It is required by law, but there appears to be general compliance. I wore one as well.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MoPER6NxPk
27:20 min
Coronavirus, Sunday Global Update
•Aug 2, 2020


Dr. John Campbell

Global Cases, 17, 859, 763 Deaths, 685, 179 WHO https://www.who.int/emergencies/disea...

US Cases, 4, 628, 400 Average new cases per day over past week = 62, 579 Down 5% from 2 weeks ago Deaths, + 1,054 = 154, 900 https://rt.live Florida State of emergency Shelters prepared 7 days supplies Outdoor testing suspended Tracking up the East coast 70 m at risk

California Cases, 493,588 (CDC) Cases, 509,507 (NYT, State and local health agencies, local hospitals) NYT data base, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...

Georgia summer camp https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/w... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYEFf... June 11th posted safety video Camp closed 2 July 597 attended 344 tested 260 positives Drivers Bunk rooms Regular singing and cheering Not done Opening windows and doors in buildings Masks not used by campers Atlanta Public health emergency extended to mid-September World congress centre, 60 beds

Dog diagnosis 9 dogs sniffing urine samples 95% accuracy Sweat testing

Mass people screening South Africa https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-afri... Cases, + 10,107 = 503,290 Deaths, 8,153 Cyril Ramaphosa, case fatality is 1.6% - ‘significantly lower than the global average’ Local researchers, recorded a jump of nearly 60% in deaths in recent weeks South African Medical Research Council 6th May – 21 July, excess of 22,000 natural mortalities US, Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa Infections are not expected to peak for another month Alcohol sales banned again last month A state of emergency is also in force until 15 August World Health Organization, South Africa's experience was a likely a precursor to what would happen across the rest of the continent https://www.theguardian.com/world/liv...

Germany Cases + 900 More than 900 new cases per day for past 7 days https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-euro... 20,000 in protest against coronavirus restrictions "day of freedom" from months of coronavirus restrictions "Corona, false alarm" and "We are being forced to wear a muzzle". Wearing of facemasks violated their rights and freedoms Police broke up the protest Organisers had not respected coronavirus hygiene regulations

Russia Cases, 849, 277 Deaths, 14, 104 Mass vaccination campaign in October https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-euro... Russian scientists Early-stage trials of an adenovirus-based vaccine Developed by the Gamaleya Institute Completed and that the results were a success Teachers and doctors first Dr Anthony Fauci Hoped that Russia and China were "actually testing the vaccine" first US should have a "safe and effective" vaccine by the end of 2020 "I do not believe that there will be vaccines so far ahead of us that we will have to depend on other countries to get us vaccines,"

_____________________________________

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAO60IU8dxQ
24:20 min
Possible cardiac complications
•Aug 2, 2020


Dr. John Campbell
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the Heart—Is Heart Failure the Next Chapter? (JAMA, 27 July) https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama... https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama...

Increased risk for morbid and mortal complications in COVID Pre existing cardiovascular diseases Hypertension Coronary artery disease Heart failure COVID causing heart disease 39 autopsy cases, died from COVID-19 pneumonia Histopathologic evaluation did not meet criteria seen in acute myocarditis Evidence of virus present in the heart in 24 of 39 patients (61.5%) Of these 24, 16 (66.7%) patients had a high viral load Evidence of active viral replication was also noted Also increased activation of pro-inflammatory genes in the heart Myocardial injury therefore possible by 2 mechanisms In 100 recovering patients Evaluated a mean of 71 days after confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis Detectable troponin Reduced left ventricular ejection fraction Ischaemia Pericardial involvement Cardiomyopathy and heart failure related to COVID-19 may become evident Potential ongoing morbidity of heart failure and other chronic cardiovascular complications
 
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