The COVID-19 Pandemic: Model Projects 134,000 US Deaths; Pfizer Begins Human Testing for Experimental Vaccine; and More

World News:

There are now over 3.6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the world, according to statistics aggregator Worldometer. The novel virus SARS-CoV-2 has killed over 253,000 people across 212 countries and territories. Every country besides Antarctica has felt the wrath of COVID-19 since it first emerged in Wuhan in final months of 2019.

Outside of the US, the countries with the most confirmed cases are:

  • Spain: 250,561 confirmed cases; 25,613 deaths.
  • Italy: 211,938 confirmed cases; 29,079 deaths.
  • UK: 190,584 confirmed cases; 28,734 deaths.
  • France: 169,462 confirmed cases; 25,201 deaths.
  • Germany: 169,462 confirmed cases; 6,993 deaths.

Norwegian Cruise Line in Danger of Going Out of Business

Norwegian Cruise Line holders is warning investors that it’s in danger of going out of business due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a Tuesday filing with the Security and Exchange Commission, the company stated its account firm has expressed “substantial doubt” that the company can continue on. Due to the coronavirus spread, Norwegian suspended sailings on March 14, and that shutdown has been suspended through June 30 at the earliest.

UK Car Market Sees its Worst Month in Almost 75 Years

Car sales in the United Kingdom plummeted by 97% in the month of April – the worst reported month for the UK car market since 1946. Just over 4,320 cars were last month in Britain, according the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. By comparison, there were about 161,000 cars sold in the UK in April 2019.

For more on the Covid-19 Crisis check out MashupMD for headlines from every major medical journal, news outlet, MD and Scientist.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

US Death Toll Exceeds 70,000

The US, the world epicenter of cornavirus cases and deaths, now has over 1.2 million confirmed COVID-19 infections and over 70,000. New York, the nation’s leading hot spot, has 327,374 confirmed cases and 25,174 deaths. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the state has a $13 billion deficit due to COVID-19’s effect on the economy, and is calling for more federal funding to combat the virus. “What the government does will literally determine how many people live or die,” Cuomo said.

Outside of NY, the US states with the most confirmed infections are:

  • New Jersey: 129,345 confirmed cases; 7,951 deaths.
  • Massachusetts: 69,087 confirmed cases; 4,090 deaths.
  • Illinois: 63,840 confirmed cases; 2,662 deaths.
  • California: 56,306 confirmed cases; 2,294 deaths.
  • Pennsylvania: 52,922 confirmed cases; 3,012 deaths.

COVID-19 Model Nearly Doubles US Death Projections

The projected US death toll from COVID-19 has hit an upward trajectory. Researchers who developed the model that has been cited by the White House nearly doubled their estimated death toll to 134,475 deaths through August. “These projections are considerably higher than previous estimates, representing the combined effects of death model updates and formally incorporating the effect of changes in mobility and social distancing policies into transmission dynamics,” the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington said in its update.

Pfizer Begins Human Testing for Experimental Vaccine

US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is underway with human testing for an experimental coronavirus vaccine in the US, the company announced on Tuesday. Pfizer, working in conjunction with German drugmaker BioNTech, said the first human participants have been dosed with the potential vaccine, BNT162. Human trials for the experimental vaccine initiated last month in Germany. “With our unique and robust clinical study program underway, starting in Europe and now the U.S., we look forward to advancing quickly and collaboratively with our partners at BioNTech and regulatory authorities to bring a safe and efficacious vaccine to the patients who need it most,” Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement.

46 States Have Ordered or Recommended that Schools Remain Closed for Rest of Academic Year

Officials in 46 US states, as well as Washington DC, have ordered or recommended that schools remain closed for the duration of this academic school year to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, according to CNN data. Moreover, schools in five US territories – America Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands – will also keep schools closed for the remainder of the academic year.

Monday, May 4, 2020

  • Scientists working on the White House’s “Operation Warp Speed” to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 have honed in on 14 vaccines to focus on, a Trump administration official told CNN. President Donald Trump said Sunday night at a Fox News town hall, “We are very confident we are going to have a vaccine by the end of the year.”
  • A Trump administration model is now predicting a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the coming weeks as most states begin easing lockdown restrictions that were put in place to mitigate the spread of the virus. The model is projecting up to 3,000 daily deaths in the US by June, according to an internal document procured by the New York Times. However, the White House said in a statement that the document obtained by the Times has not undergone review by the White House’s coronavirus task force.
  • New Jersey schools will remain closed for the duration of the 2019-2020 academic year, by order of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. Murphy made the announcement at his daily news briefing. “This is a difficult decision and I know that many students, parents, and staff would like to be able to return to school,” Murphy said in the statement. “However, I have been unwavering on the message that we need to make decisions based on science, not emotion. And while New Jersey is making great strides in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, science tells us that at this point, we can’t safely re-open our schools.”
  • J.Crew Group, the parent company of J.Crew ad Madewell Brands, became the first national US retailer to file for bankruptcy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a CNN report. The popular clothing retailer announced on Monday that it began the process of filing for Chapter 11 proceedings in federal bankruptcy court in the Eastern District of Virginia. “We will continue all day-to-day operations,” J.Crew Group CEO Jan Singer said in a statement.

Friday, May 1, 2020

National News:

Friday, May 1, 2020

As most US states begin easing their lockdown restrictions, it’s apparent that the US is still not of the virus’ grip. There are now over 1.1 million confirmed cases in the US and over 64,000 deaths. The country’s epicenter, New York, now reports 310,839 confirmed cases and 24,069 deaths. The nation’s capital, Washington DC, has seen an uptick in cases over the past seven weeks, and reported 335 new cases on Friday – its biggest single day rise.

The US states outside of New York with the highest confirmed cases remain:

  • New Jersey: 129,345 confirmed cases; 7,951 deaths.
  • Massachusetts

 

Fauci Says US Government Could Have Vaccine by January

Dr. Anthony Fauci said the Trump administration is ramping up efforts for developing a coronavirus vaccine, and one could be available by January, the NY Post reports. “We want to go quickly, but we want to make sure it’s safe and it’s effective,” Fauci said on NBC’s “Today” show on Thursday. “I think that is doable if things fall in the right place.”

Summer will Be “Critical” in Pandemic Fight, Says CDC

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention how the US deals with the COVID-19 pandemic in the coming weeks will be “critical” to how the virus will evolve come the fall season. “I do think that what we do this summer is going to be critical,” said Dr. Ann Schuchat, CDC principal deputy director in an interview with JAMA Network. “The more we intensify the testing and expand the public health capacity and assure that our hospital capacity and material to support the hospitals is adequate or has excess, the better we’re going to be in the fall.”

The COVID-19 Pandemic: April Round-up

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.