The COVID-19 Pandemic: Virus Was Present in Europe in December; US Scientists Identify 14 Vaccines to Focus On; and More

World News:

As of Monday, May 4, Worldometer reports over 3.5 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide. The novel coronavirus has killed almost 250,000 people across 212 countries and territories.

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

  • Spain: 248,301 confirmed cases; 25,428 deaths.
  • Italy: 210,717 confirmed cases; 28,446 deaths.
  • UK: 186,599 confirmed cases; 28,446 deaths.
  • France: 168,693 confirmed cases; 24,895 deaths.
  • Germany: 165,745 confirmed cases; 6,866 deaths.

Doctor Claims COVID-19 was Present in France in December 

New evidence suggests that COVID-19 may have been present in France in December, almost a month earlier than previously believed, according to Yves Cohen, head of intensive care at the Avicenne hospital in Paris. He told BFM TV that tests had been repeated on samples from 24 patients admitted to the hospital for pneumonia in December and January, and that one from December 27 was positive. The patient, a 53-year-old man, had not traveled to China.

New Zealand Reports Zero New Infections

New Zealand has apparently eradicated COVID-19, as they reported zero new confirmed cases over a 24-period on Monday. This marks the first time the country has confirmed no new cases of the virus in a day. “It is cause for celebration. … It is important that we reflect that it is symbolic of the effort that everybody has put in,” Ashley Bloomfield, New Zealand’s director-general of health, said after announcing the updated figures, according to The Guardian.

Spain Reports Record Low New Cases

Spain reported a second consecutive day of record low new COVID-19 infections on Monday. Spain’s Ministry of Health reported a record low of 0.16% rise of new cases confirmed by PCR tests, since Sunday. The country reported seeing “the lowest number of cases in two months” by percentage, said Dr. Fernando Simón, Spain’s Director for Health Emergencies, speaking at the government’s daily coronavirus technical briefing.

Wuhan Schools Re-Open This Week for Some Students

In the Chinese city of Wuhan, final-year high school students will resume their school year on Wednesday. Senior students will return to school to prepare for the Gao Kao, China’s university exam which has been postponed by a month, to July. “On May 6, all the senior students will return to schools, which marks a new beginning for the education plan for this year,” Xia Chunyin from Wuhan’s education bureau said.”

National News:

Monday, April 4, 2020

There are now 1,197,907 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US and 69,011 deaths – both figures lead the world. New York, the US epicenter, now has 326,823 confirmed cases and 24,874 deaths. However, the infection rate in NY has continued to decline, and on Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said different regions of the state are allowed to reopen based on their own analysis beginning on May 15.

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

  • New Jersey: 127,438 confirmed cases; 7,886 deaths.
  • Massachusetts: 68,087 confirmed cases; 4,004 deaths.
  • Illinois: 61,499 confirmed cases; 2,618 deaths.
  • California: 54,993 confirmed cases; 2,215 deaths.
  • Pennsylvania: 52,048 confirmed cases; 2,832 deaths.

Scientists Identify 14 COVID-19 Vaccines to Focus On

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.”

White House Model Projects Increased Cases/Deaths

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 Closes Schools for the Rest of the Year

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 Files for Bankruptcy

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: 118,652 confirmed cases; 7,228 deaths.
  • Massachusetts: 62,205 confirmed cases; 3,562 deaths.
  • Illinois: 52,918 confirmed cases; 2,355 deaths.
  • California: 50,430 confirmed cases; 2,047 deaths.
  • Pennsylvania: 47,999 confirmed cases; 2,541 deaths.

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.