COVID-19: October-December Round-up

Here’s a breakdown of all the major COVID-19 happenings from the months of October through December, 2020.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

  • US Cases: Over 19.8 million.
  • US Deaths: 343,614 deaths.
US States with Most Confirmed Cases:
  • California: 2,234,765 confirmed cases; 24,733 deaths.
  • Texas: 1,739,416 confirmed cases; 27,584 deaths.
  • Florida: 1,280,177 confirmed cases; 21,309 deaths.
  • Illinois: 942,362 confirmed cases; 17,470 deaths.
  • New York: 972,951 confirmed cases; 37,518 deaths.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

  • US Cases: Over 19.8 million.
  • US Deaths: 343,614 deaths.
US States with Most Confirmed Cases:
  • California: 2,234,765 confirmed cases; 24,733 deaths.
  • Texas: 1,739,416 confirmed cases; 27,584 deaths.
  • Florida: 1,280,177 confirmed cases; 21,309 deaths.
  • Illinois: 942,362 confirmed cases; 17,470 deaths.
  • New York: 972,951 confirmed cases; 37,518 deaths.

US Hits Record Heaths and Hospitalizations

The US recorded more than 3,700 new deaths from COVID-19, a chilling new high. Also, the US reported more than 124,600 hospitalizations nationwide, also a record. “The next couple of months are going to be awful,” said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine at George Washington University. “We’re going to lose 3,000, maybe more people a day, probably until we’re well into February. And then, we should start to see some light.

Possibly Two Cases of New Variant in Colorado

Health officials in Colorado county believe they’ve found a second case of new, more contagious coronavirus variant originally identified in UK. There is “no indication at this point” that this event has gone beyond the facility and into the larger community, according to county health director Dwayne Smith in an interview with CNN.

Vaccine Roll Out Slower than Expected

Although the Government had initially promised 20 million vaccine doses would be administered by the end of December, but data from the CDC shows that only about 11.4 million doses have been distributed, with only 2.1 million administered.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Houses Passes Measure to Increase Stimulus Checks

On Monday, the House of Representatives Passed a measure to increase stimulus checks from $600 to $2,0000, thanks in large part to President Trump championing the increase. The bill now heads to senate. The legislation passed with a 275-134 vote. “Following the strong bipartisan vote in the House, tomorrow I will move to pass the legislation in the Senate to quickly deliver Americans with $2,000 emergency checks,” said Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer in a statement. “Every Senate Democrat is for this much-needed increase in emergency financial relief, which can be approved tomorrow if no Republican blocks it — there is no good reason for Senate Republicans to stand in the way.”

Almost 70,000 People Vaccinated in NYC, Says Mayor

More than 67,000 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, adding that “results, again, have been great.” The city administered 12,515 vaccine doses on Dec. 23, alone.

Stocks Once Again Open High

The US stock market once again opened higher on Tuesday, on track for a second day of record highs.

Here’s how Wall Street opened:

  • The Dow opened 0.5%, or 142 points, higher.
  • The S&P 500 also rose 0.5%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened up 0.5%.

Monday, December 28, 2020

President Trump Signs Coronavirus Relief Bill

President Trump green lit the $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief and government funding package on Sunday night – thus avoiding a government shutdown that was set to begin on Tuesday, as CNN reported. The $900 billion for COVID relief will extend unemployment benefits for millions of Americans, and disperse $600 stimulus checks. However, because Trump signed the bill on Sunday and not Saturday, it has a negative impact – people enrolled in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs will likely not receive a payment for the final week of the year. Overall though, the signing avoids not only a government shutdown, which was set to begin on Tuesday, but job losses. For example, Southwest Airlines said the stimulus bill will allow them to avoid employee furloughs – which would have been a first in the company’s history.

Stocks Up Today After Trump Signs Off on Stimulus Package

Stocks opened higher on Monday following President Trump’s signing of the COVID-19 relief package bill.
  • The Dow opened up 0.6%, or 176 points.
  • The S&P 500 rose 0.7%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened up 0.9%.

At Least 2 Million Americans Vaccinated for COVID So Far

On Saturday, the CDC Covid Data Tracker said that 9,547,925 vaccine doses had been distributed and 1,944,585 had been administered. However, Admiral Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at the US Department of Health and Human Services said on Good Morning America that , “the two million number is probably an underestimate.”

Giroir said that 10.8 million doses have been distributed to the states, “that two million number is delayed three to seven days, so we certainly expect that to be a multiple of two million.”

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

  • US Cases: Over 18.7 million.
  • US Deaths: 331,208 deaths.
US States with Most Confirmed Cases:
  • California: 1,888,199 confirmed cases; 22,678 deaths.
  • Texas: 1,597,473 confirmed cases; 26,019 deaths.
  • Florida: 1,201,566 confirmed cases; 20,574 deaths.
  • Illinois: 900,370 confirmed cases; 16,407 deaths.
  • New York: 887,177 confirmed cases; 36,402 deaths.

Trump Tells Congress to Amend Stimulus Package

President Donald Trump is asking Congress to make changes to the COVID-19 relief bill it passed on Tuesday, leaving the future of the $900 billion stimulus package in doubt. Trump is demanding more money put into the pockets of Americans. “I’m asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2000 or $4000 per couple,” Trump said in a video released on Twitter. “I’m also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items in this legislation or to send me a suitable bill.” Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Pfizer/Moderna Testing Vaccine Against UK Variant

Both Pfizer and Moderna are testing their vaccine against the new variant of coronavirus, which may be up to 70% more transmissible than the current strain. But has the new strain reached the US? The variant has not been identified in the United States, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a Tuesday brief, but “given the small fraction of US infections that have been sequenced, the variant could already be in the United States without having been detected.”   Monday, December 21, 2020
  • US Cases: Over 18.3 million.
  • US Deaths: 325,006.
US States with Most Confirmed Cases:
  • California: 1,888,199 confirmed cases; 22,678 deaths.
  • Texas: 1,597,473 confirmed cases; 26,019 deaths.
  • Florida: 1,201,566 confirmed cases; 20,574 deaths.
  • Illinois: 900,370 confirmed cases; 16,407 deaths.
  • New York: 887,177 confirmed cases; 36,402 deaths.

House and Senate Reach Deal on New Stimulus Package

Leaders in the House and Senate were finally able to reach an agreement on Sunday for a $900 billion coronavirus relief bill. The package would send direct stimulus payments of $600 to individuals, which is half of amount sent in the first package. For unemployed individuals, the federal government would provide $300 per week for 11 weeks, from the end of December through mid-March. Moreover, the Bill would reopen the Paycheck Protection Program, and provide $82 billion in school and child care funding.

Moderna Vaccine Approved

Moderna’s vaccine was approved for use and is now arriving across the US today. It became the second vaccine to receive approval by the FDA, behind Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine. Friday, December 18, 2020

US Hits Record Hospitalizations for 12th Consecutive Day

The United States reported a record high number of coronavirus hospitalizations the 12th day in a row on Thursday. More than 114,200 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 yesterday, according to the COVID Tracking Project. Overall, here are the numbers for US cases of COVID-19:
  • US Cases: Over 17.6 million.
  • US Deaths: 318,672.
US States with Most Confirmed Cases:
  • California: 1,759,876 confirmed cases; 22,146 deaths.
  • Texas: 1,556,006 confirmed cases; 25,401 deaths.
  • Florida: 1,168,483 confirmed cases; 20,306 deaths.
  • Illinois: 879,428 confirmed cases; 15,985 deaths.
  • New York: 855,526 confirmed cases; 36,101 deaths.

FDA Looking to Green Light Moderna Vaccine

US officials are “rapidly” working to issuing an emergency use authorization for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. A panel voted on Thursday voted to recommend the vaccine for public use. Thursday, December 17, 2020

US Hits a New Record in Deaths & Hospitalizations

On Wednesday, the US recorded 3,600 deaths from COVID-19, a record since the pandemic started in March 2020, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Moreover, the data revealed more than 230,000 new coronavirus infections and 113,090 new hospitalizations. — a number that’s been on the rise since Dec. 6. US States with Most Confirmed Cases:
  • California: 1,653,207 confirmed cases; 21,477 deaths.
  • Texas: 1,520,038 confirmed cases; 24,890 deaths.
  • Florida: 1,143,794 confirmed cases; 20,093 deaths.
  • Illinois: 863,477 confirmed cases; 15,587 deaths.
  • New York: 834,212 confirmed cases; 35,833 deaths.
Thursday, December 17, 2020

US Hits a New Record in Deaths & Hospitalizations

On Wednesday, the US recorded 3,600 deaths from COVID-19, a record since the pandemic started in March 2020, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Moreover, the data revealed more than 230,000 new coronavirus infections and 113,090 new hospitalizations. — a number that’s been on the rise since Dec. 6. Overall, here are the numbers for US cases of COVID-19:
  • US Cases: Over 17.4 million.
  • US Deaths: 314,848.
US States with Most Confirmed Cases:
  • California: 1,653,207 confirmed cases; 21,477 deaths.
  • Texas: 1,520,038 confirmed cases; 24,890 deaths.
  • Florida: 1,143,794 confirmed cases; 20,093 deaths.
  • Illinois: 863,477 confirmed cases; 15,587 deaths.
  • New York: 834,212 confirmed cases; 35,833 deaths.

Fauci Says Moderna’s Vaccine Could Receive EUA Today

Advisers to the US FDA are meeting today to discuss Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA is expected to grant emergency use authorization to this Moderna’s candidate, which boasts similar efficacy to Pfizer’s vaccine. Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Most Americans Will Likely Get Vaccine, Survey Finds

A survey found that 71% of Americans say that they will “definitely or probably” get a COVID-19 vaccine. The survey was published on Tuesday from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The number is up from 63% in September, however, African Americans, people living in rural areas, and Republicans are more hesitant about the vaccine, the survey showed.

Stimulus Package Deal Getting Closer

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer now says “the finish line is in sight” with respect to a COVID-19 relief package. “And as we race the clock to reach a final accord before the end of the year, we are close to an agreement. It’s not a done deal yet, but we are very close,” Schumer said in his floor remarks Wednesday morning. That sentiment seems to be shared by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said that Hill leaders have “made major headway toward hammering out a targeted pandemic relief package that would be able to pass both chambers with bipartisan majorities,” and have “committed to continuing these urgent discussions until we have an agreement.” Tuesday, December 15, 2020

FDA Panel Confirms Efficacy of Moderna Vaccine

An advisory committee from the US FDA released a document detailing data on Moderna’ COVID-19 vaccine, which may be approved for emergency use authorization (EUA) this week in the US among adults aged 18 and older. The document confirms that the vaccine is 94.5% effective against COVID-19, occurring at least 14 days following the second dose – backing the efficacy percentage previously reported by Moderna. The proposed dosing regimen is to administer two 100-microgram doses of vaccine one month apart.

Fauci on the Vaccine’s Safety

Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared on ABC this morning, and was asked how people can be sure the COVID-19 vaccine is safety, given the speed at which it was developed. Fauci said, “The speed was not at all at the sacrifice of safety. The speed was the reflection of extraordinary advances in the science of vaccine platform technology.”

Stocks Rise Due to Vaccine and Stimulus Optimism

US stocks opened significantly higher Tuesday, as hopes grow on the COVID-19 vaccine and the potential for another federal stimulus package. The markets opened today as follows:
  • The Dow gained 0.6%, or nearly 170 points.
  • The S&P 500 was up 0.7%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite also rose 0.7%.
Monday, December 14, 2020

US Starts Vaccinating

A historic moment in the seemingly never-ending pandemic, the United States has finally starting vaccinating citizens against the COVID-19 vaccine. An ICU nurse in New York City was among the first people in the country to get a shot. “I’m feeling well. I would like to thank all the frontline workers and all my colleagues … doing their job during this pandemic all over the world,” said Sandra Lindsay, an ICU nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens. “I feel hopeful today, relieved. I hope this marks the beginning of the end of a very painful time.” After achieving the approval of the US FDA, the CDC has authorized the vaccine to be given to people 16 and older. “We expect 145 sites across all the states to receive vaccine on Monday, another 425 sites on Tuesday, and the final 66 sites on Wednesday, which will complete the initial delivery of the Pfizer orders for vaccine,” said Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed. Friday, December 11, 2020

FDA Pannel Green Lights Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine

Vaccine Advisers from the US FDA voted on Thursday to recommend that the agency approves the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine. Overall, 17 members of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted yes, four voted no and one abstained. The FDA is expected to issue Emergency Use Authorization as early as tomorrow (Saturday).

Fauci Reiterates that “Normality” Won’t Come Until At Least Summer 2021

As as a COVID-19 vaccine is dispensed to the public, it will still take months before the nation returns to normal, says Dr. Anthony Fauci.”If we have a smooth vaccination program where everybody steps to the plate quickly, we could get back to some form of normality, reasonably quickly. Into the summer, and certainly into the fall,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN Thursday.

“My hope and my projection is that if we get people vaccinated en masse so that we get that large percentage of the population, as we get into the fall, we can get real comfort about people being in schools, safe in school — be that K-12, or college,” he added.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Committee Meets Today to Consider Emergency Authorization for COVID-19 Vaccine

A group of advisers are discussing emergency use authorization (EUA) of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 candidate, and widely expected to grant such authorization. “Our team has done their initial analysis, and we do feel that preliminarily that the success criteria have been met,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn told CNN Tuesday. Wednesday, December 9, 2020

White House Aims to Deploy Vaccine Within 96 Hours of Authorization

The US and Food and Drug Administration will meet on Thursday to discuss whether to grant emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. A decision could come within days of that meeting, and shortly thereafter, the plan is to start vaccinating Americans. After any EUA is made, “we will start to have shots in arms within 96 hours” of that decision, Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed vaccine initiative, said Tuesday. “That’s what I believe with all my heart.”

Senior Leaders to Receive Vaccine First, Says Pentagon

The Pentagon confirmed that a small number of senior officials will be among the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. “We do intend as part of this initial phase of healthcare workers, emergency responders, etcetera, have some very small set of very visible leaders that will volunteer to take the vaccine, do it in a public way as one way of helping to message the safety and efficacy and underscore that we are encouraging all those eligible personnel to take the vaccine,” Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Thomas McCaffery, announced Wednesday.

Delta Places Nearly 700 People on No-Fly List Over Mask Wearing

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian says that almost 700 people have been placed on a no-fly list by the company for refusing to comply with the airline’s mask wearing policy. Tuesday, December 8, 2020

President Trump to Sign EO Prioritizing Vaccine Shipment to Americans

President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Tuesday which will prioritize the shipment of a COVID-19 vaccine to Americans before other nations, according to senior officials and reported by CNN. The signing is expected to take place during a vaccine summit at the White House, and is intended to quell any fears that there won’t be enough vaccine to go around to each American after dispensing begins.

Peer-Reviewed Data Confirms AstraZeneca Vaccine is 70% Effective

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate was confirmed to be 70.4% effective in an interim analysis, published in a peer-viewed journal. “Overall vaccine efficacy across both groups was 70.4%,” the researchers – from the University of Oxford, AstraZeneca and other institutions around the world – wrote in the study. “Here, we present the first interim safety and efficacy data for a viral vector coronavirus vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, evaluated in four trials across three continents, showing significant vaccine efficacy of 70.4% after two doses and protection of 64.1% after at least one standard dose, against symptomatic disease, with no safety concerns,” the researchers wrote.

Pfizer Says People Need to Take 2 Doses for 95% Efficacy

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said that while patients have some level of protection from COVID-19 after 12 days of taking the first dose, a second dose is necessary to achieve 95% efficacy. “This is a two-dose vaccine, so people need to take two doses to be able to feel confident that they’re protected at 95% — 95% chance of being protected,” Bourla said during an International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations briefing on Tuesday. “At the dose one, it’s around 50%, something like that.”

Trump Administration Official Explains Why US Passed Up on Buying More Pfizer Vaccine

An official with the White’s “Operation Warp Speed” explained why the team passed up a chance to purchase more than the current total of 100 million doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. According to the official, the decision was made as part of a plan to “diversify” the nation’s vaccine arsenal through the purchase of millions of doses from Pfizer’s rivals. At the time, officials at “Operation Warp Speed” had no idea the Pfizer vaccine was going to be this effective.   “The plan was to diversify and don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Monday, December 7, 2020

US Nears 200,000 Cases Per Day Average

The US infection rate is dire and a vaccine can’t come soon enough. The US is now averaging 200,000 new cases of COVID-19 each day. Health experts say that “behavior and cold weather” are the culprits for the surge. “People are going indoors, they’re not minding the three W’s,” Health and Human Services secretary, Alex Azar, told Fox News’ Chris Wallace Sunday. “Our advice is always the same. Wash your hands, watch your distance, wear face coverings.”

Rudy Giuliani Hospitalized with COVID-19

Former New York City mayor and personal attorney of President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, has been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19. Giuliani, 76, was admitted to Georgetown University Hospital on Sunday, according to a CNN report. Giuliani Tweeted that he is, “Getting great care and feeling good.”

Gov. Cuomo Orders New York Hospitals to Increase Capacity by 25%

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced as part of NY’s new “Surge and Flex” strategy that hospitals must increase bed capacity by 25%. The state’s positivity rate is currently 4.79%. Friday, December 4, 2020
  • US Cases: Over 14.5 million.
  • US Deaths: 283,519.
US States with Most Confirmed Cases:
  • Texas: 1,317,457 confirmed cases; 22,279 deaths.
  • California: 1,291,214 confirmed cases; 19,588 deaths.
  • Florida: 1,029,030 confirmed cases; 18,874 deaths.
  • Illinois: 759,562 confirmed cases; 13,625 deaths.
  • New York: 713,587 confirmed cases; 34,829 deaths.

Biden Urges Americans to Don Masks for 100 Days

President-elect Joe Biden is urging Americans to wear masks for the next 100 days to reduce the spread of COVID-19. “Just 100 days to mask, not forever. One hundred days. And I think we’ll see a significant reduction,” Biden told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

COVID-19 the Leading Cause of Death in the US This Week

COVID-19 is the leading cause of death in the US this week – surpassing heart disease, and cancer. There were an average of 1,660 deaths per day across America this week, according to the  Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and the University of Washington.

Fauci Apologizes for Suggesting UK Rushed Vaccine

Dr. Anthony Fauci today apologized for suggesting British regulators had not scrutinized the disease closely enough. There really has been a misunderstanding, and for that, I’m sorry and I apologize for that. I do have great faith in both the scientific community and the regulatory community at the UK,” Fauci told the BBC. “I do have confidence. It came out wrong and that was not the way I meant it to be,” he added. Thursday, December 3, 2020

UK Did Not Scrutinize Pfizer Vaccine Trial as Well as US FDA Did, Says Fauci

British health regulators who authorized the Pfizer vaccine did not scrutinize the trial data as closely as the US FDA is doing in its review, according to Dr. Fauci. “The way the FDA is, our FDA is doing it, is the correct way,” Fauci said in an interview on Fox News. “We really scrutinize the data very carefully to guarantee to the American public that this is a safe and efficacious vaccine,” he said. “I think if we did any less, we would add to the already existing hesitancy on the part of many people to take the vaccine because they’re concerned about safety or they’re concerned that we went too quickly.”

Moderna Expects 100-125 Million Doses of Vaccine Globally in Early 2021

Moderna said on Thursday it expects between 100 million and 125 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine available by the first quarter of 2021. “Today, Moderna re-affirmed its expectation of having approximately 20 million doses available in the U.S. by the end of 2020,” the company said in a statement. “Additionally, the Company expects to have between 100 million and 125 million doses available globally in the first quarter of 2021, with 85-100 million of those available in the U.S. and 15-25 million of those available outside of the U.S. These expected first quarter doses are inclusive within the 500 million to up to 1 billion doses that the Company expects to manufacture globally in 2021.” Wednesday, December 2, 2020

First Shipments of Pfizer Vaccine to be Delivered on Dec. 15

The first shipments of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine will be delivered on December 15, according to Operation Warp Speed and reported by CNN. The date is still contingent upon a decision by the US Food and Drug Administration to authorize each vaccine for emergency use. Pfizer submitted an application to the FDA on November 20, and Moderna submitted its application 10 days later, on November 30.

CDC Advisory Panel Votes on Who Gets Vaccine First

A panel of advisers to the US CDC voted 13-1 to recommend that both health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities to be first in line for any COVID-19 that receives emergency use authorization from the FDA.

CDC Director Suggests Mandating COVID-19 Vaccine for Certain Industries

Certain occupations and populations may benefit from a coronavirus vaccine mandate, according to CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield. “It will be a decision, I think, each industry will make,” Redfield said. “I do think there are certain industries where I think it would be important to protect their workforce, and some other industries where it may be important to make sure that they protect their costumers and consumers.”

US Surpasses 100,000 Hospitalizations

The US surpassed 100,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Wednesday, according to a report from the COVID Tracking Project (CTP).

Almost 50 NBA Players Test Positive

According to the NBA and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), of the 546 players tested for COVID-19 during this initial return-to-market testing phase, 48 have tested positive. The league reported that anyone who has returned a confirmed positive test during this initial phase of testing in their team’s market will be isolated until they are cleared for leaving isolation. Tuesday, December 1, 2020

CDC Shortens Virus Quarantine Time

The CDC will issue new guidelines that recommend people who come in contact with a person infected with COVID-19 should quarantine for 10 days after exposure – down from the previous 14 days that government currently recommends.

All Americans Who Want to Be Vaccinated Can Be By June

An official with the White House’s Operation Warp Speed said today that any American who wants a COVID-19 vaccine will have one available to them by June. “A hundred percent of Americans that want the vaccine will have had the vaccine by that point in time,” said Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, director of supply, production and distribution for Operation Warp Speed.

US Nursing Home Cases Surging

Nursing homes in the US have reported their highest daily cases of COVID-19 since the spring, according to a report from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). “Our worst fears have come true as COVID runs rampant among the general population, and long term care facilities are powerless to fully prevent it from entering due to its asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread,” said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL, in a statement. Monday, November 30, 2020
  • US Cases: Over 13.7 million.
  • US Deaths: 273,312.
US States with Most Confirmed Cases:
  • Texas: 1,254,007 confirmed cases; 21,917 deaths.
  • California: 1,217,714 confirmed cases; 19,152 deaths.
  • Florida: 992,660 confirmed cases; 18,500 deaths.
  • Illinois: 720,114 confirmed cases; 12,882 deaths.
  • New York: 679,111 confirmed cases; 34,514 deaths.
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
  • US Cases: Over 12.9 million.
  • US Deaths: 266,276.
US States with Most Confirmed Cases:
  • Texas: 1,212,127 confirmed cases; 21,417 deaths.
  • California: 1,150,512 confirmed cases; 18,876 deaths.
  • Florida: 953,300 confirmed cases; 18,164 deaths.
  • Illinois: 674,089 confirmed cases; 12,262 deaths.

Deadliest Day Since May

The US reported more than 2,100 COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday – the highest one-day death toll from the coronavirus since early May. The record remains 2,603 deaths, set on April 15, but the country could easily exceed that number in the coming winter months. Overall, daily new infections haven’t dipped below 100,000 in three weeks, and for the 15th consecutive day, the US break its own hospitalization record.

The Potential Danger of Thanksgiving

Turkey Day is tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean its a day for Americans to lax – in fact, the US could see a boom of COVID-19 infections in the weeks following Thanksgiving, warns Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a former White House medical team adviser, in a CNN interview. “It’s potentially the mother of all superspreader events,” said Dr. Reiner.
“What I think I want people to understand, more importantly, is that a test that’s negative today doesn’t mean you’re going to be negative tomorrow or the next day or the following day,” Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Brett Giroir told CNN. “That negative test is not a free pass to do risky behavior.” It’s not wrong to get a test, but a negative test “doesn’t give you a free pass,” he said.

White House Might Lift Sweeping European Travel Restrictions

Despite a surge in COVID-19 infections/deaths, The White House is strongly considering lifting sweeping travel bans from the European and the United Kingdom, CNN reported. An administration official told CNN that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expressed some reservations about lifting the restrictions, but the agency is not expected to block the move.

Another 778,000 Americans Filed Unemployment Claims

Despite employment claim numbers being slower than in spring, the American job market is still in tatters. Another 778,000 people in the US filed for unemployment benefits last week, according to figures released by the Labor Department. This marks the second straight week that first-time claims rose. Tuesday, November 24, 2020

US Could See 20 Million Infections by Inauguration Day

The US could see the number of COVID-19 infections almost double by Jan. 20, the day when President-elect Joe Biden will be officially inaugurated at the 46th US President. The model comes from Washington University.

Pandemic Could Be Stopped if 70% of People Wore Masks

Face masks serve as a highly effective method for reducing the spread of coronavirus, and could stop the pandemic altogether if 7/10 practiced consistent mask wearing, according to an article published Tuesday by the American Institute of Physics. “The results suggest that the consistent use of efficient face masks, such as surgical masks, could lead to the eradication of the pandemic if at least 70% of the residents use such masks in public consistently,” wrote Sanjay Kumar, an investigator with the Department of Engineering at the National University of Singapore. “Even less efficient cloth masks could also slow the spread if worn consistently.” Monday, November 23, 2020
  • US Cases: Over 12.6 million.
  • US Deaths: 262,781.
US States with Most Confirmed Cases:
  • Texas: 1,178,718 confirmed cases; 21,165 deaths.
  • California: 1,116,056 confirmed cases; 18,767 deaths.
  • Florida: 938,414 confirmed cases; 18,005 deaths.
  • Illinois: 656,298 confirmed cases; 12,051 deaths.
  • New York: 634,035 confirmed cases; 34,233 deaths.

First Batch of Americans May Receive COVID-19 Vaccine by Early December

Moncef Slaoui, the head of Operation Warp Speed, the US government’s effort to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, said the first Americans to receive a vaccine — if all things go according to plan — could be as early as the second week of December. “Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunization sites within 24 hours from the approval, so I would expect maybe on day two after approval, on the 11th or on the 12th of December, hopefully, the first people will be immunized across the United States, across all states, in all the areas where the State Departments of Health will have told us where to deliver the vaccine,” Slaoui told CNN Sunday.

AstraZeneca Vaccine Efficacy Rate

Drugmaker AstraZeneca announced on Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine has demonstrated an average effiacy of 70% in large-scale trials. The vaccine, developed in conjuction with the University of Oxford, showed 90% efficacy in one dosing regimen, and 62% in the second.

Regeneron Antibody Therapy Ready for Patients on Tuesday

Regeneron’s COVID-19 antibody therapy will be distributed starting on Tuesday, according to US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.  “We have been, and will be, working with states and other partners to get the word out. If you have tested positive for Covid-19, or they are at high risk for severe disease, we have treatment options that may be able to help you,” Azar said in a news briefing Monday. “It’s vital that Americans be aware of these expanding options.” Friday, November 20, 2020

Pfizer Applying for Emergency Use Authorization for Vaccine

Pfizer and BioNTech will apply to the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine. The companies stated that the vaccine, called BNT162b2, might be available for use in high-risk populations in the United States by the middle to end of December. “Filing in the U.S. represents a critical milestone in our journey to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine to the world and we now have a more complete picture of both the efficacy and safety profile of our vaccine, giving us confidence in its potential,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement.

Model Projects a Grim Picture of US Deaths

Influential Model Predicts 471,000 Deaths by March 1 – an increase of more than 30,000 since last week’s projection. The new projection comes as more than 2,000 Americans died from COVID-19 on Thursday – the highest death toll since early May. Thursday, November 19, 2020
  • US Cases: Over 11.9 million.
  • US Deaths: 256,658.
US States with Most Confirmed Cases:
  • Texas: 1,130,292 confirmed cases; 20,540 deaths.
  • California: 1,067,308 confirmed cases; 18,333 deaths.
  • Florida: 905,248 confirmed cases; 17,734 deaths.
  • New York: 611,988 confirmed cases; 34,105 deaths.
  • Illinois: 621,988 confirmed cases; 11,648 deaths.

NYC Closes Schools Again

New York City, the nation’s largest school system, is once again closing schools. Wednesday, November 18, 2020

US Records Deadliest Day Since May

The United States recorded 1,707 new coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University data – the highest death toll since May 1. The virus is essentially killing at least on American every minute.

Pfizer/BioNTech Report Final Analysis Shows COVID-19 Vaccine is 95% Effective

Pfizer and BioNTech say that a final analysis of their Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trials shows that the vaccine is 95% effective in preventing infections, and caused no serious safety concerns. “Efficacy was consistent across age, race and ethnicity demographics. The observed efficacy in adults over 65 years of age was over 94%,” Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech said in a joint statement.

Millions of Children Have Missed Vaccinations Due to COVID

Due to the pandemic, millions of US children have missed routine vaccinations, and this reality increases the risk of outbreaks of diseases like measles, whooping cough and polio, according to data from Blue Cross Blue Shield. “The U.S. is on the precipice of a severe immunization crisis among children,” said Dr. Vincent Nelson, chief medical officer at BCBSA. “The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly interrupted adherence to vaccination schedules, and the possibility that preventable diseases, like polio, could become a threat to public health once again is particularly concerning.” Tuesday, November 17, 2020
  • US Cases: Over 11.5 million.
  • US Deaths: 253,034.
US States with Most Confirmed Cases:
  • Texas: 1,106,235 confirmed cases; 20,218 deaths.
  • California: 1,044,896 confirmed cases; 18,304 deaths.
  • Florida: 889,864 confirmed cases; 17,561 deaths.
  • New York: 601,457 confirmed cases; 34,033 deaths.
  • Illinois: 585,248 confirmed cases; 11,204 deaths.

Biden Warns of More Death if Trump Doesn’t Cooperate with Transition

President-elect Joe Biden warns that President Donald Trump’s unwillingness to accept defeat and help transition in a Biden administration may lead to more Americans dying from COVID-19. “More people may die if we don’t coordinate,” Biden told reporters Monday in Delaware, in a news conference after he met with labor and business leaders and delivered a speech on the economy.

Fauci on Schools Closing

Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN that even as some states close, schools should remain open as much as possible. “We’re seeing certain local people, be they mayors or leaders in the community, doing selected closing of places that are highly vulnerable, clearly among them are bars and anything that has congregate setting, particularly indoors,” Fauci said. Monday, November 16, 2020

Moderna Vaccine Over 94% Effective

Moderna announced today that its COVID-19 vaccine is 94.5% effective against the virus. The announcement comes following Pfizer’s announcement last week that its vaccine is 90% effective against the novel coronavirus. “It’s just as good as it gets – 94.5% is truly outstanding,” Dr Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert, said of the Moderna news.

Pfizer Prepares to File Emergency Use Authorization for its Vaccine

After reaching its safety milestone, Pfizer is preparing to file emergency use authorization with the US FDA. The vaccine appears to be 90% effective, based on early data. “I think the questions about the safety at large also have been answered,” said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla an interview hosted by The New York Times. “Our safety milestone has been achieved already, and we are preparing now for submissions.” Thursday, November 12, 2020

US Sets New Infection Record

The United States recorded 140,543 new infections of COVID-19 on Wednesday, the highest number since the pandemic started and the ninth straight day of cases topping 100,000. The second highest was 136,325, reported on Tuesday.

Polling Shows Fewer than Half of Americans Would Comply with New Lockdown

Fewer than half of Americans say they are very likely to comply with another lockdown, according to the latest Gallup polling. Only 49% of Americans polled between October 19 and November 1 said they would be very likely to stay home for a month if health officials recommend it following a coronavirus outbreak in their community, down from 67% in the spring. Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Texas Becomes First State to Hit 1 Million Cases

Texas has become the first state in the United States to report 1 million COVID-19 cases, according to data coming from Johns Hopkins.

Record Number of Hospitalizations

The US topped 61,000 hospitalizations on Tuesday, a new record high and ominous sign that the virus is far from over, and may not subside until a vaccine becomes readily available to the American public. Monday, November 9, 2020

President-elect Biden Announces COVID-19 Advisory Board

Just two days after officially defeated President Donald Trump, President-elect Joe Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris have announced the formation of Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, a team of leading experts who will advise incoming President and VP on COVID-19 matters. The Advisory Board will be led by the following CO-Chairs:
  • Dr. David Kessler: Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UCSF. Dr. Kessler served as FDA commissioner from 1990-1997. He was originally appointed to that role by President George H.W. Bush then reappointed by President Bill Clinton.
  • Dr. Vivek Murthy: Served as the 19th Surgeon General of the US from 2014-2017.
  • Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith: An Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Public Health, and Management at Yale University and the Associate Dean for Health Equity Research at the Yale School of Medicine.
  • Dr. Lucuian Borio
  • Dr. Rick Bright
  • Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel
  • Dr. Atul Gawande
  • Dr. Celine Gounder
  • Dr. Julie Morita
  • Dr. Michael Osterholm
  • Ms. Loyce Pace
  • Dr. Robert Rodriguez
  • Dr. Eric Goosby
“Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts,” said President-elect Biden via a press release about the announcement. “The advisory board will help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations.”

Pfizer Says Early Data Show Vaccine is More than 90% Effective

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said Monday that an early look at data demonstrate that its coronavirus vaccine is more than 90% effective – much higher effiacy than expected. The so-called interim analysis looked at the first 94 confirmed cases of Covid-19 among the more than 43,000 volunteers who got either two doses of the vaccine or a placebo. It found that fewer than 10% of infections were in participants who had been given the vaccine. More than 90% of the cases were in people who had been given a placebo.
In an interview with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Monday morning, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla called the Covid-19 vaccine “the greatest medical advance” in the world’s last hundred years.”Emotions are very high. You can imagine how I felt when I heard the results yesterday at 2 p.m. I think that likely, based on impact, this will be the greatest medical advance in the last 100 years,” Bourla said.

US Hits Yet Another Grim Milestone

The United States has surpassed 10 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to statistics aggregator Worldometer. The US death toll currently stands at 243,820. US States with Most Confirmed Cases:
  • Texas: 1,019,976 confirmed cases; 19,286 deaths.
  • California: 975,712 confirmed cases; 17,977 deaths.
  • Florida: 843,897 confirmed cases; 17,121 deaths.
  • New York: 565,716 confirmed cases; 33,821 deaths.
  • Illinois: 487,987 confirmed cases; 10,538 deaths.
Friday, November 6, 2020
  • US Cases: Over 9.9 million.
  • US Deaths: 241,182 deaths.
US States with Most Confirmed Cases:
  • Texas: 997,916 confirmed cases; 19,030 deaths.
  • California: 958,878 confirmed cases; 17,864 deaths.
  • Florida: 827,380 confirmed cases; 16,964 deaths.
  • New York: 555,710 confirmed cases; 33,770 deaths.
  • Illinois: 453,750 confirmed cases; 10,313 deaths.

20 US States Have Hit Record High Cases

Since November Thursday, November 5, 2020
  • US Cases: Over 9.8 million.
  • US Deaths: 240,174 deaths.
US States with Most Confirmed Cases:
  • Texas: 988,325 confirmed cases; 18,904 deaths.
  • California: 952,701 confirmed cases; 17,816 deaths.
  • Florida: 827,380 confirmed cases; 16,964 deaths.
  • New York: 552,654 confirmed cases; 33,743 deaths.
  • Illinois: 443,815 confirmed cases; 10,216 deaths.

New Jersey Releases Over 2,200 Inmates Under New Public Health Law

The state of New Jersey released more than 2,200 prisoners in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 under a new law, which was passed in September. The law allows for sentencing credits to be rewarded to inmates within a year of completing their sentence during a public health crisis. Wednesday, November 4, 2020
  • US Cases: Over 9.7 million.
  • US Deaths: 239,568 deaths.
US States with Most Confirmed Cases:
  • Texas: 983,304 confirmed cases; 18,873 deaths.
  • California: 949,924 confirmed cases; 17,781 deaths.
  • Florida: 821,123 confirmed cases; 16,922 deaths.
  • New York: 552,522 confirmed cases; 33,741 deaths.
  • Illinois: 443,815 confirmed cases; 10,216 deaths.
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
  • US Cases: Over 9.5 million.
  • US Deaths: 237,177 deaths.
US States with Most Confirmed Cases:
  • Texas: 960,927 confirmed cases; 18,614 deaths.
  • California: 936,843 confirmed cases; 17,672 deaths.
  • Florida: 812,063 confirmed cases; 16,837 deaths.
  • New York: 546,246 confirmed cases; 33,687 deaths.
  • Illinois: 423,539 confirmed cases; 10,075 deaths.

A Continued Surge in US Cases

In the United States, the seven-day average of new daily cases was 78,380 Saturday — a number that has risen 128.2% since a post-summer-surge low on September 12, according to data from Johns Hopkins.  “It’s the way we protect our neighbors and our communities. And we need to avoid crowds. We have to socially distance. You can’t go to a mass gathering now. We need to lower our viral footprint,” Dr. Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine at George Washington University, told CNN in an interview.
Monday, November 2, 2020
  • US Cases: Over 9.4 million.
  • US Deaths: 236,571 deaths.
US States with Most Confirmed Cases:
  • Texas: 960,927 confirmed cases; 18,614 deaths.
  • California: 936,843 confirmed cases; 17,672 deaths.
  • Florida: 812,063 confirmed cases; 16,837 deaths.
  • New York: 546,246 confirmed cases; 33,687 deaths.
  • Illinois: 423,539 confirmed cases; 10,075 deaths.

Trumps Hints at Firing Fauci After Election

At a campaign rally on Sunday in Florida, President Donald Trump hinted that he may fire the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, after the elections. After a chant of “Fire Fauci,” broke out in the crowd, Trump respinded by saying, “Don’t tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election,” Trump said, before adding that Fauci was “a nice man, though.” Friday, October 30, 2020

Influential Model Predicts 399,000 Deaths by February 1st

An Influential model developed by The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine now predicts 399,000 deaths from COVID-19 by Feb. 1, a 15,000 increase over last week’s prediction. “If states do not react to rising numbers by re-imposing mandates, cumulative deaths could reach 514,000 by the same date,” the IHME said in its latest forecast. “The fall/winter surge should lead to a daily death toll that is approximately three times higher than now by mid-January. Hospital systems, particularly ICUs, are expected to be under extreme stress in December and January in 18 states.”

9.9 Million Americans are Behind on Rent/Mortgage Payments

A grim example of the economic effect of the pandemic – a US Census Household Pulse Survey shows that 9.9 million Americans were not up-to-date on their rent or mortgage payments and had little to no confidence that their household could pay next month’s rent or mortgage on time. “To be able to understand the eviction crisis that we’re facing today, we have to recognize where we were before Covid-19 came to our country — and that was in the midst of a severe affordable housing crisis,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC). Thursday, October 29, 2020

US Reporting Record High Infections

The United States is averaging more than 74,000 new COVID-19 cases each day – a record high since the pandemic started. According to data, four of the five highest number of cases in a single day were recorded in the last seven days, with the top two reported on Friday and Saturday.

Moderna will Have Follow-up Safety Data by Next Month

Biotech company Moderna says it expects to have its first interim analysis of its COVID-19 November, as well safety data later on in the same month, CNN reported. This announcement comes after the US Food and Drug Administration US Food and Drug Administration said it wants to review two months of safety data after volunteers get their second vaccine doses in clinical trials before considering any Covid-19 vaccine candidate for possible emergency use authorization. Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Did White House Say that Trump Ended the Pandemic?

The White House’s Communications director is downplaying a Tuesday press release from the White House Office of Science and Technology policy that declared “ENDING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC,” as one of the Trump Administration’s main achievements. “No absolutely not, I think that was poorly worded,” said Alyssa Farah said during an appearance on Fox News Wednesday morning when asked whether the President believes the pandemic has ended. “The intent was to say that it is our goal to end the virus. But what I would say is this: because of the President’s leadership, we are rounding the corner on the virus,” she added. “We’re certainly not getting ahead of it, we’re still in the midst of the pandemic. We do say we’re turning the corner and what we mean by that is, we’re rushing therapeutics, we’re in the best place to treat the virus that we’ve ever been in. And by end of year we expect that we’ll have the vaccine, at which point we will defeat the virus,” she said.

Kushner Bragged that Trump was Taking Country ‘Back from the Doctors’

Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, bragged in mid-April about how Trump had cut out doctors and scientists advising him on how to handle the spread of COVID-19.
In a taped interview on April 18, Kushner told legendary journalist Bob Woodward that Trump was “getting the country back from the doctors” in what he called a “negotiated settlement.” Kushner also proclaimed that the US was moving swiftly through the “panic phase” and “pain phase” of the pandemic and that the country was at the “beginning of the comeback phase.”
“That doesn’t mean there’s not still a lot of pain and there won’t be pain for a while, but that basically was, we’ve now put out rules to get back to work,” Kushner said. “Trump’s now back in charge. It’s not the doctors.”

US May Not Return to Normal Until 2022, Says Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci Says, “I think it will be easily by the end of 2021, and perhaps even into the next year, before we start having some semblances of normality,” Fauci said during a University of Melbourne panel discussion Tuesday.
Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Pandemic Will Not be Controlled, Says White House Official

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told CNN that the COVID-19 will not be controlled without the use of vaccines and therapeutics. “We are not going to control the pandemic,” Meadows told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” Sunday, arguing that “proper mitigation factors” like therapies and vaccines should be the priority. Monday, October 26, 2020

US Cases Surge

The 7-day average for COVID-19 cases in United States hit 68,767 on Sunday, a grim record. The US recorded the two highest single days of new COVID infections on Friday and Saturday.

Former FDA Commissioner Pushes for Mask Mandate

Former US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is urging for a national mask mandate as a way to control COVID-19. He wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal titled, “Winter is Coming: Time for a Mask Mandate.” Friday, October 23, 2020

Remdesivir Approved by FDA for COVID-19

Remdesivir has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of COVID-19, making it the first approved treatment for the novel virus, according to the drug’s mak Thursday, October 22, 2020

Vaccine Could Be Available by April for “All Americans,” Says Azar

A COVID-19 could be available to “all Americans” by early April, according to US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. “By the end of January, enough vaccine for all of our seniors as well as our health care workers and first responders,” Azar said in an interview Thursday with “CBS This Morning’s” Anthony Mason. “By the end of March and early April – enough for all Americans.”

Moderna Fully Enrolls Late-Stage COVID-19 Vaccine Trial

Moderna has fully enrolled 30,000 volunteers in late-stage testing its experimental coronavirus vaccine. Of those, more than 25,000 study participants have now received their second and final dose of the vaccine, and the company expects to report prelimary data from the trial by sometime next month. Wednesday, October 21, 2020

US Health Expert Warns of ‘Difficult Fall and Winter’

A leading US health exert warns of a dangerous fall and winter, as COVID-19 cases continue to spike in the US. “It’s going to be a difficult fall and winter,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, told CNBC on Monday evening. “I think we’re about two or three weeks behind Europe — so we’re about a week away from starting to enter a period where we’re going to see a rapid acceleration in cases.” Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Vaccine Scientist Gives Grim Prediction

A vaccine scientist is warning that the next four to five months may be the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The key is now hanging on now for the next four or five months, where we’re going to enter what may be the worst period during this epidemic. As bad as it’s been, it’s about to get worse,” Peter Hotez said on CNN’s “New Day.” “We could be looking at a doubling of the number of deaths by the week after the inauguration. This is tough stuff. What I’ve been trying to explain to people is it will get better, but we’re going to go through a terrible period.”

Stocks Are Up Today

US stocks opened higher today amid the hope for a stimulus deal before the fast upcoming election.
  • The Dow opened 0.4%, or 105 points, higher.
  • The S&P 500 rose 0.5%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite also climbed 0.5%.
Monday, October 19, 2020

Expert Issues Dire Warning as US Cases Surge

Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in the US, with only two US states showing a downward trend – Hawaii and Vermont. That leaves 21 states showing steady trends, and 27 states trending upward. “The next six to 12 weeks are going to be the darkest of the entire pandemic,” said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told NBC’s”Meet the Press” on Sunday. Friday, October 16, 2020

Unemployment Claims on the Rise

Americans filed 898,000 jobless claims last week, according to the Department of Labor. The number is more than economists projected, and up 53,000 from two weeks ago. Although jobless claims have dropped considerably since its peak in late March, those improvements have recently reversed. However, while an additional 372,891 Americans filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, that number is down by 91,000 from the previous week.

Chris Christie Not Contact Traced by White House

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who was recently released from the hospital infection COVID-19 infection, said that no contact tracing was done by the White House following his positive test for the virus. “Well, I know that there was no contact tracing done with me, George. My contact tracing was done by my local county board of health. They called me while I was in the hospital to contact trace and make sure they have all that information, and I hope so,” he said during an appearance on ABC News.

32 US States Trending in Wrong Direction

Data now show that 32 states are trending upward in COVID-19 cases compared to the previous week, and only 15 states are showing steady trends. Also, only three states are showing a downward trend, and those states are Louisiana, Kentucky, and Vermont. Thursday, October 15, 2020

21 States Hit Their Peak 7-Day Average of New Cases

Over 20 US states are reporting an upward trend in COVID-19 cases, with 59,494 new cases reported yesterday alone, according to Johns Hopkins University. As of Thursday, the US is now averaging well over 52,000 cases a day, which is up 16% from the previous week. “This is a very ominous sign. I think we’re in for a pretty bad fall and winter,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, professor and dean of tropical medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine. Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Eli Lily Pausing Monoclonal Antibody Trial

Drugmaker Eli Lily paused its trial of a combination antibody treatment for COVID-19 due to undisclosed safety reasons. “The trial, evaluating Lilly’s investigational neutralizing antibody as a treatment for COVID-19 in hospitalized patients, is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Lilly is supportive of the decision by the independent DSMB to cautiously ensure the safety of the patients participating in this study,” the company said in the statement.

Small Gatherings Fueling COVID Spread

Small social gatherings have become a growing source of COVID-19 spread, according to a leading health expert, as infections and hospitalizations rise nationwide. “In the public square, we’re seeing a higher degree of vigilance and mitigation steps in many jurisdictions,” US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield said during a call with the nation’s governors on Tuesday, in audio obtained by CNN. “But what we’re seeing as the increasing threat right now is actually acquisition of infection through small household gatherings,” Redfield said. “Particularly with Thanksgiving coming up, we think it’s really important to stress the vigilance of these continued mitigation steps in the household Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Trump COVID Negative, Not Infectious, Says White House

President Donald Trump has tested negative for COVID-19 for consecutive days and is not infectious to others, according to his physician. Physicians used antigen tests from Abbot, along with laboratory data included with viral load to determine Trump’s risk for spreading the virus. “This comprehensive data, in concert with the CDC’s guidelines for removal of transmission-based precautions, have informed our medical team’s assessment that the President is not infectious to others,” Dr. Sean Conley said in a memo.

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Trial Paused

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson said Monday that it has paused the advanced clinical trial of its potential coronavirus vaccine due to an unexplained illness in one of the volunteers. “Following our guidelines, the participant’s illness is being reviewed and evaluated by the ENSEMBLE independent Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) as well as our internal clinical and safety physicians,” the company said in a statement. “Adverse events — illnesses, accidents, etc. — even those that are serious, are an expected part of any clinical study, especially large studies.”   Monday, October 12, 2020

Trump Claims He is Now COVID-19 Negative

President Donald Trump insists he no longer has coronavirus, despite the fact that The White House refuses to say whether he has tested negative for the virus. Hours after his physician issued a memo saying he is no longer “a transmission risk” to others, Trump said in an interview on Fox News he no longer has the virus, and is now immune. Moreover, Trump announced in an audio message that he tested “totally negative” for COVID-19, which goes beyond the memos released by his medical staff.

Twitter Flags Trump’s Comment; Facebook Does Not

Twitter added a warning label to a Trump tweet that claimed, with no backing evidence, that he is now immune to COVID-19 after his physician cleared him to resume public activities. Twitter’s warning label says the tweet, it “violated the Twitter Rules about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to Covid-19.” While Trump posted the same claim to his Facebook account, thus far the platform has done nothing to flag it.

Cases Going Up in More than Half of US States

Data show that more than half of US states are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, and five states – Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee and Vermont – report an increase of more than 50% in one week.   Friday, October 9, 2020

Doctor Clears Trump for Public Engagements

President Trump’s doctor said that the President has completed his coronavirus treaments and is cleared to resume “public engagements” on Saturday. “Saturday will be day 10 since Thursday’s diagnosis, and based on the trajectory of advanced diagnostics the team has been conducting, I fully anticipate the president’s safe return to public engagements at that time,” Dr. Sean Conley said. Thursday, October 8, 2020

Regeneron Applies for Emergency Use for Antibody Therapy

Regeneron has applied for to the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for its experimental monoclonal antibody therapy. This cocktail was used to treat President Donald Trump’s coronavirus infection. The company confirmed on its website the submission of emergency use to the FDA. “Under our agreement with the U.S. government for the initial doses of REGN-COV2, if an EUA is granted the government has committed to making these doses available to the American people at no cost and would be responsible for their distribution,” the statement said. “At this time, there are doses available for approximately 50,000 patients, and we expect to have doses available for 300,000 patients in total within the next few months.

CDC Now Projects 233,000 US Deaths by End of October

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now predicts 224,000 to 233,000 US deaths from COVID-19 by the end of October – up by 1,000 since the previous enable forecast, released on September 30.

Notre Dame University President in Hot Water Over COVID-19 Diagnosis

University of Notre Dame President  Rev. John I. Jenkins  is facing a student petition for his resignation and a possible “no confidence,” by faculty following his COVID-19 diagnosis. Students are furious that Jenkins attended the nomination ceremony for Amy Coney Barrett at the White House Rose Garden on Sept. 26 without donning a mask and failing to adhere to social distancing.

Amtrak Warns of Mass Layoffs Without Stimulus

Amtrak says without $5 billion in stimulus funds from the federal government, it will layoff 2,400 workers while reducing the frequency of trains on some routes, and halting major improvement projects. “We have seen that our ridership is not returning as quickly or at the levels that we had hoped for,” Amtrak president and CEO William J. Flynn wrote in a Thursday letter to Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Cases Once Again Rising in New Jersey

New Jersey reports 1,301 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday – the state’s highest total of new cases since May 29. “This is a sobering number,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. The positivity rate for NJ is ow at 3.69%. Wednesday, October 7, 2020
  • US Cases: 7.7 million.
  • US Deaths: 216,125.
US States with Most Infections:
  • California: 838,705 confirmed cases; 16,262 deaths.
  • Texas: 814,323 confirmed cases; 16,664 deaths.
  • Florida: 722,707 confirmed cases; 14,914 deaths.
  • New York: 501,824 confirmed cases; 33,330 deaths.
  • Georgia: 324,650 confirmed cases; 7,229 deaths.

How COVID-19 Impacts Tonight’s Debate

Tonight Vice President Mike Pence will go head-to-head in debate with Democratic Senator Kamala Harris. In response to the White House coronavirus outbreak – a number of new safety protocols are in place. Pence and Harris will have to stand more than 12 feet apart (instead of the standard six), using plexiglass as barriers between the two. Also, everyone in the audience will be required to wear masks. Both VP Pence and Sen. Harris have tested negative for COVID-19 going into tonight’s debate. Tuesday, October 6, 2020

White House Denies Offers for Contact Tracing

The White House declined offers from the CDC to help investigate the source of the outbreak that lead to President Trump’s COVID-19 infection.

FDA Demands Safety Before Any Vaccine is Approved

The US Food and Drug Administration stated on Tuesday that it wants to see two months of follow-up data after volunteers get their second dose of a coronavirus vaccine as part of clinical trials testing potential coronavirus vaccines. This request will make it near possible for any vaccine maker to apply for emergency use authorization by election day or the end of this month.

Only Four US States are Trending Downwards

Only four US states are showing downward trends in new COVID-19 cases: Hawaii, Kansas, Missouri, and South Carolina. That leaves at least 22 states showing upward trends, and 24 states are showing steady trends. Monday, October 5, 2020

CDC Once Again Updates Guidance to Say COVID-19 is Airborne

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has once again updated its guidance about how COVID-19 can spread. “Today’s update acknowledges the existence of some published reports showing limited, uncommon circumstances where people with COVID-19 infected others who were more than 6 feet away or shortly after the COVID-19-positive person left an area. In these instances, transmission occurred in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces that often involved activities that caused heavier breathing, like singing or exercise. Such environments and activities may contribute to the buildup of virus-carrying particles.”

Biden States He Will Debate Trump is Scientists Approve

Joe Biden will listen to the doctors, he said when asked if he would debate President Trump if he were healthy by their next scheduled debate on Oct. 15.  “If the doctors — listen to the science. If the scientists say that it’s safe and the distance are safe, then that’s fine. I’ll do whatever the experts say is appropriate to do.”

NJ Gov. Murphy Says Trump Was Reckless

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said that President Trump was reckless for deciding to Bedminister rally last Thursday in NJ after his adviser, Hope Hicks, has tested positive for coronavirus. “We continue to send out best wishes and prayers to the President, the First Lady and former Gov. Chris Christie and all that have tested positive over the weekend. This is not a matter of politics but a matter of humanity, but this is also a matter of leadership by example and it is clear that the President and his staff acted recklessly in the first place knowing they had been exposed to someone with a confirmed positive test,” Murphy said.

Health Care Workers Should Be At Front of Vaccine Line

Frontline health care workers should be the first to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, according to experts advising the federal government. Following health care workers, then should come older adults living in congregate settings, like nursing homes, a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) committee said in a final report. Wednesday, October 1, 2020

Massive Airline Layoffs

Sadly, 32,000 airline employees are losing their jobs today after attempts to receive federal money failed. American Airlines is cutting 19,000 jobs, and United Airlines is cutting 13,000 jobs. United CEO Scott Kirby said the decision marked “”a very sad day for all of us here at United.” American Airlines CEO Doug Parker had said in an interview with CNN that he hoped the layoffs could be avoided if the airlines and Congress could reach a deal, that has yet to occur.
COVID-19: August/September Round-up
The COVID-19 Pandemic: June/July Round-up
The COVID-19 Pandemic: May Round-up
The COVID-19 Pandemic: April Round-up