The COVID-19 Pandemic: Boris Johnson in Intensive Care; Senate May Provide More Help for Small Businesses; and More

The pandemic rages on. Worldometer now reports over 1.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the world, with the virus claiming the lives of over 76,000 thousand people. On a positive note, 95% of people with the virus have only mild symptoms, and many are able to defeat COVID-19 without medical intervention. However, that still leaves an estimated 5% (over 47,000) people who are right now in serious or critical condition, proving the severity this respiratory disease can have on people – most in the “vulnerable” population (older, or with underlying conditions) but the novel coronavirus is also killing young, otherwise healthy individuals.

The foreign countries most affected by COVID-19 currently stand as:

  • Spain: 140,510 confirmed cases; 13,798 deaths.
  • Italy: 132,547 confirmed cases; 16,523 deaths.
  • Germany: 104,199 confirmed cases; 1,842 deaths.
  • France: 98,010 confirmed cases; 8,911 deaths.
  • China: 81,740 confirmed cases; 3,331 deaths.
  • Iran: 62,589 confirmed cases; 3,872 deaths.
  • UK: 51,608 confirmed cases; 5,373 deaths.

Boris Johnson in Intensive Care

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was transferred to intensive care on Monday, after his persistent coronavirus symptoms worsened. Today, the PM is reportedly in stable condition and is receiving “standard oxygen treatment” while he “remains in good spirits”, according to his spokesperson. Johnson has not required invasive or non-invasive ventilation nor does he have pneumonia.

No New Deaths Reported in China

China reported no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time since January, the National Health Commission said. China has been experiencing a reduction in new cases of the virus since March – with Mainland China reporting 32 new cases on Monday, down from 39 cases the day before. All those cases are the result of travelers arriving from overseas.

National News:

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

US Hit Hard During Peak Weeks; NY and NJ Remain Hot Spots

The US is now dealing with what many experts believe will be the peak weeks of infection. America now has almost 370,000 confirmed cases, and the death toll has surged past 11,000. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered grim news today when he announced deaths in New York spiked by 731 on Monday – the single biggest daily jump on coronavirus fatalities to hit the state thus far. The increase in deaths come even as intensive care admission rates have started to drop. In total, New York now has 138,836 confirmed cases, which surpasses Italy and is only slightly behind Spain. New York’s death toll is 5,489.

New Jersey, which has quietly been the nation’s second biggest hot spot behind NY, is beginning to show signs that it’s nearing a peak, according to Rep. Josh Gottheimer. “What we’re doing is working,” Gottheimer said on “Squawk Box.” “Our death toll is still way too high, and it’s just awful the number of people who are sick. … But the good news is it seems there is some light on the horizon.”

New Jersey currently has 41,090 cases and now has over 1,000 deaths.

Outside of NY and NJ, the US states with the most confirmed COVID-19 infections are:

  • Michigan: 17,221 confirmed cases; 727 deaths.
  • California: 16,412 confirmed cases; 395 deaths.
  • Louisiana: 14,867 confirmed cases; 512 deaths.
  • Pennsylvania: 14,559 confirmed cases; 240 deaths.
  • Florida: 14,504 confirmed cases; 283 deaths.

Senate will Vote to Pass More Small Business Aid

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell said he hopes to approve further funding to help small businesses affected by the pandemic. “I will work with Secretary Mnuchin and Leader Schumer and hope to approve further funding for the Paycheck Protection Program by unanimous consent or voice vote during the next scheduled Senate session on Thursday,” he said in a statement.

Stocks Soar for Second Consecutive Day

Investors are feeling better about a recent decline in COVID cases. Stocks surged on Monday with The Dow up 1,600 points, its third highest point gain ever. The S&P 500 went up 7% to its highest level since March 13. The S&P rebounded by around 20% from its 52-week low on March 23. Today, the Dow is trading 846 points higher at the open, or more than 3%. The S&P is up 3.2% while the Nasdaq Composite surged 2.8%.

Trump Announces Deal with 3M for Much-Needed Masks

President Trump announced a tough negotiation between his administration and 3M has ended with a deal which will see 3M delivering an addition 5.5 million “high-quality face masks” each month. In total, President Trump said 3M would produce 166.5 million masks – nearly all N95s.

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Company Joins the Fight

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ space venture Blue Origin has joined other rocket companies in the fight against COVID-19 by volunteering to make products needed by front-line health care workers. Blue Origin workers are offering to make plastic pieces needed for face shields, the company said in a video released on Tuesday.

MLB to Start Season in May?

Major League Baseball (MLB) and its players are focused on a plan that could allow them to start the season as early as May, ESPN reports. The plan, should it come to fruition, would dicate that all 30 teams play games in the Phoenix area in stadiums with no fans. Players, coaching staff, and personnel would have to stay at local hotels and live in relative isolation, traveling only to and from the stadium, according to sources. The plan still faces a number of obstacles.

Monday, April 6, 2020

  • Encouragingly, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a video briefing on Monday that the death toll in the state has been “effectively flat” for the past two days, adding that: “If we are plateauing, we are plateauing at a high level.”
  • Stocks are rising, and rebounded from sharp losses over the previous week with the Dow Jones Industrial Average trading at 1,200 points higher, or up more than 5%. The S&P 500 gained 5.5% while the Nasdaq Composite jumped by 5.4%.
  • World Health Organization (WHO) officials are now warning that COVID-19 can spread in asymptomatic patients one to three days before the onset of symptoms. “It’s very important to note that even if you are pre-symptomatic, you still have to transmit through droplets.
  • Boris Johnson admitted to hospital.
  • Spain’s death toll has reportedly dropped for the fourth consecutive day on Monday, with 637 confirmed deaths today. Spain’s number of mortalities from the novel virus have been steadily falling since they hit a peak of 905 last Thursday, according to a Reuters report.
  • Tiger at the Bronx Zoo tests positive for coronavirus.
  • Spain’s death toll has reportedly dropped for the fourth consecutive day on Monday, with 637 confirmed deaths today. Spain’s number of mortalities from the novel virus have been steadily falling since they hit a peak of 905 last Thursday, according to a Reuters report.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Third Coral Princess Passenger Dies

A third passenger aboard the Coral Princess cruise ship died on Sunday after being transported by a plane ambulance to a Florida hospital, CNN reports. The Coral Princess departed Santiago, Chile on March 5, and announced operations were halting one week later. Two passengers perished on board the ship before it docked and six others were transported from the ship to local hospitals on Saturday.

Hydroxychloroquine Trial Underway in Detroit Hospital

Vice President Mike Pence announced on Sunday that hydroxychloroquine will be used in a trial of 3,000 patients at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and the results will be tracked in a formal study. Pence added that they are “more than prepared” to make hydroxychloroquine available to doctor’s offices and pharmacies in the Detroit area “as they deem appropriate.”

Saturday, April 4, 2020

‘This the Moment to Not be Going to the Grocery’

Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx emphasized on Saturday that the next weeks will be pivotal in flattening the curve. She stated: “This is a very important — the next two weeks are extraordinarily important, and that’s why I think you’ve heard from Dr. (Anthony) Fauci, from myself, from the President and the Vice President that this is the moment to do everything that you can on the presidential guidelines,” Birx said. “This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store, not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe, and that means everybody doing the 6 feet distancing, washing your hands.”

Friday, April 3, 2020

  • The United States became the epicenter for COVID-19 cases less than a week ago, and since has seen its numbers surge to over 258,000 cases and 6,572 deaths. Dr. Anthony Fauci explained in a CNN interview that even with mitigation efforts in place in the form of social distancing, the amount of US deaths has yet to reach its apex. “Even when you suppress or stabilize the number of new infections, its still going to take awhile before you see a decrease in hospitalizations, a decrease in intensive care, and a decrease in deaths.” Adding that: “In fact, deaths are the last thing that lag. So you could be doing well, and having a good effect on mitigation, and still see the deaths go up.”
  • The USNS Comfort, the Navy hospital vessel deployed to NYC to treat non-COVID patients, is only currently treating 20 patients, according to a Navy spokesperson. However, the Navy expects that number to rise appreciably as the referral process is refined. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio said in a CNN interview that: “There’s no question in my mind that will get resolved quickly. You’ll see that number grow.”
  • US Government Will Only Issue New Passports in ‘Life-or-Death’ Emergencies

Thursday, April 2, 2020

  • The spread of COVID-19 has had an astronomically dire effect on the US job market as 6.6 million US workers filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending on March 28, meaning that nearly 10 million jobless claims have been made in the last two weeks.
  • Amid the pandemic, the Democratic National Committee decided to postpone the party’s presidential convention in Milwaukee from July 13 to August 17, one week before the Republican Party’s convention.
  • A venerable panel of scientific experts informed the White House that research shows COVID-19 can spread not just through sneezing and coughing, but also by just talk, or possibly even just breathing.
  • Out of 70 students who boarded a plane from Austin, Texas to Mexico for spring break two weeks ago, more than 40 have now tested positive for COVID-19 – all of them University of Texas at Austin students.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the closure of all New York City playgrounds on Wednesday to mitigate the virus’ spread.
  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced a stay-at-home order for all Floridians to impede COVID’s spread.
  • Stocks fell by 4% on Wednesday following President Trump’s aforementioned warning of deadly days to come. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 909 points, or 4.1% in midday trading, while the S&P 500 fell by 4.4% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped by 3.9%. This comes one day after the Dow closed out their worst quarter since 1987.
  • President Trump warns of a ‘painful’ next weeks as the virus’ peak nears closer.
  • New data from Iceland reveals that 50% of patients who tested positive for COVID-19 said they did not present with any symptoms.
  • The COVID-19 death toll in the United Kingdom rose by a record 563 in the last 24 hours, and now Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government is under fire for failing to keep its promise to ramp up testing.

Here’s a full wrap-up of COVID-19 happenings from the month of March.

The COVID-19 Pandemic March Round-up: Coronavirus Declared a Pandemic; People, Businesses and Economies Devastated

 

DocWire News will provide breaking updates on the COVID-19 pandemic as they become available.