[6:40pm, 1/2/2021: 2347 links]

I breeze past the paywalls because I subscribe to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Livingston Daily, the Daily Beast, the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News, the New Yorker, The Atlantic, Medium, New York Magazine, National Geographic, Vanity Fair, Jonathan Katz's substack, and MLive. (MLive is only $10/mth). At times I've supported the Guardian and CounterPunch.  Much of the Coronavirus coverage is free at the moment, so you've got no excuse for swallowing the uncredible horseshit vomited onto your faces by FOX, OAN, Newsmax, and the cosplaying creeps, haters, and conspiracy theorists of QAnon and Parler.

 

The COVID Tracking Project 

Worldmeter Death and Case Data

Washtenaw County Covid Case and Exposure Risk Tracker

Michigan Coronavirus Tracker

CDC Vaccination Tracker

amabie 300x420 33pct

“Should an epidemic come,” Amabié is said to have uttered, “draw me and show me to the people.”

Then it sank beneath the waves. 

Art work by Shunsuke Satake

The New Yorker:  From Japan, a Mascot for the Pandemic, by Matt Alt, 4/9/2020 

 

Art in Service of Polemic: A Look at Piotr Szyhalski's Daily COVID-19 Reports,

by Paul Schmelzer, 4/27/2020

1918: A Pandemic Illustrated in Masks, 28 photographs

 

 

7/1/2021    Michigan COVID-19 vaccine sweepstakes is shot at $5M in cash prizes, scholarships, by Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

[This is a deep dive into the shallow end of the gene pool, people so stupid-stubborn they have to be bribed to pry themselves free of FOX pandering and spellchecked Facebook disinformation, bribed to climb out of their wide-load Laz-y-Boys, bribed to accept a free vaccination against a deadly disease. ]

 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced details Today of a COVID-19 vaccine sweepstakes that will give vaccinated Michiganders a chance to win a combined total of more than $5 million in cash and nine college scholarships worth $55,000 apiece.

 

As of Wednesday, only 61.8% of Michiganders ages 16 and up had gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

 

"With the lotto idea, DeWine “unlocked a secret,” said Andy Slavitt, former senior adviser for the White House COVID-19 Response Team.  “People may say all of this is frivolous.  I say: Anything that ends the pandemic, it's time for us to pull out now. For those on the fence, find whatever reason you want to get vaccinated.  For those not sure yet, do your homework.  Talk to your doctor or your pharmacist.  All concerns are reasonable, but do yourself a favor: Don't let some guy on Facebook answer your question when good answers are available.”

6/29/2021   Henry Ford Health System to require workers to get COVID-19 vaccine, by Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

6/24/2021   Oakland County to give $50 gift card to those who get COVID-19 shot by July 4, by Christina Hall and Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

6/1/2021   Coronavirus variants get Greek names — but will scientists use them?  From Alpha to Omega, the labelling system aims to avoid confusion and stigmatization. by Ewen Callaway, Nature

5/25/2021   What the science says about lifting mask mandates, by Lynne Peeples, Nature

The evidence is clear that masks cut down on COVID-19 deaths, but nearly a year and a half into the pandemic and with vaccination coverage climbing in many places, public-health scientists and officials are still struggling to get people — particularly unvaccinated people — to wear masks at appropriate times.

5/24/2021   What scientists know about new, fast-spreading coronavirus variants, by David Adam, Nature

Key questions remain about how quickly B.1.617 variants can spread, their potential to evade immunity and how they might affect the course of the pandemic.

5/18/2021   Ohio's Vax-a-Million Prizes, Drawing Schedule and Winners

5/18/2021   How COVID is changing the study of human behaviour, by Christie Aschwanden, Nature

During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jay Van Bavel, a psychologist at New York University, wanted to identify the social factors that best predict a person’s support for public-health measures, such as physical distancing or closing restaurants. He had a handful of collaborators ready to collect survey data. But because the pandemic was going on everywhere, he wondered whether he could scale up the project. So he tried something he’d never done before.

 

He posted a description of the study on Twitter in April, with an invitation for other researchers to join. “Maybe I’ll get ten more people and some more data points,” he recalls thinking at the time. Instead, the response floored him. More than 200 scientists from 67 countries joined the effort. In the end, the researchers were able to collect data on more than 46,000 people. “It was a massive collaboration,” he says. The team showed how, on the whole, people who reported that national identity was important to them were more likely to support public-health policies. The work is currently being peer reviewed.

4/29/2021   Whitmer asked me to resign, says ex-Michigan health department director Robert Gordon, by Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press

4/29/2021   Vaccinating Michigan: Tracking the progress of the state's COVID-19 vaccine rollout, by Kristi Tanner, Brian McNamara, Pat Byrne and Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

Washtenaw County  173,334 First doses  57%      134,531 second doses   44%

 

Getting to 70% in Michigan means about 5.7 million people must be vaccinated.

4/28/2021   Top teacher quits in protest as Grosse Pointe school board eases COVID-19 rules, by Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press

4/28/2021   Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera to help Gov. Gretchen Whitmer encourage COVID-19 vaccines, by Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press

4/28/2021   COVID death toll for Florida residents surpasses 35,000, by By Tiffani Theisen. Orlando Sentinel

Florida added 5,178 coronavirus cases Wednesday to bring the cumulative total to 2,222,546. With 72 more fatalities, 35,030 Florida residents are now dead.

 

Florida remains in the top 10 nationwide for new infections. And the Orlando metro area’s rate of new infections is higher than Florida’s as a whole, for cases reported April 20-26.

4/28/2021   India Blames a Virus Variant as Its Covid-19 Crisis Deepens, by Jeffrey Gettleman, Shalini Venugopal and Apoorva Mandavilli; Photographs by Atul Loke, The New York Times

“The current wave of Covid has a different clinical behavior,” said Dr. Sujay Shad, a senior cardiac surgeon at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, where two of the doctors needed supplemental oxygen to recover. “It’s affecting young adults. It’s affecting families. It’s a new thing altogether. Two-month-old babies are getting infected.”

 

India has just scraped the surface in terms of vaccinating its population, with less than 2 percent fully vaccinated. Experts also blame lax public behavior after last year’s first wave and missteps by [Trumplike] Prime Minister Narendra Modi, such as recently holding large political rallies that may have spread the disease and sent a message to the people that the worst was over.

4/28/2021   

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4/27/2021    TweetOfIndianMomWedgedOntoSonsMotorcycle 2021 04 28

4/26/2021   Michigan reports 6,524 new coronavirus cases, 35 deaths over 2-day period, by Nour Rahal, Detroit Free Press

Michigan also reported 93,036 probable COVID-19 cases and 1,122 probable deaths. The probable cases in addition to the confirmed cases make up a total of 918,880 cases and 18,446 deaths.

4/26/2021   Inside the third surge at Sparrow: A Lansing hospital in overflow, by Kate Wells, Michigan Radio

“We haven't really seen it in the population until last week,” says Marble, the nursing director for pediatric services at the Lansing hospital. Her eyes are tired, and she’s pushed her glasses on top of her head. “And now, our numbers are going up now in both (pediatric) ICU and pediatrics.”

 

The youngest infant they’ve admitted is just 2 months old.

 

As of Friday, April 23, 54 children were hospitalized in Michigan with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. The state hit a new record for pediatric hospitalizations just days earlier on April 20, with 70 inpatients under age 18, according to the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.

 

That’s a 311% increase in pediatric admissions in just the last two months, says John Karasinski, MHA’s spokesperson.

4/24/2021   Michigan reports 4,698 new COVID-19 cases, 121 deaths, 34% of people 16+ fully vaccinated, by Slone Terranella, Detroit Free Press

Another 121 COVID-19 deaths were also reported Saturday. This increases Michigan's death toll to 17,289. Of the 121 deaths, 91 were identified during a vital records review, which the department conducts three times a week.

4/22/2021   Michigan sees drop in COVID-19 cases & positivity rate after massive surge, by WXYZ Detroit

It comes as the state passed 800,000 total cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, with the death toll now around 17,000 since the pandemic started.

 

Variants remain a huge concern, even as the vaccine rollout continues. Wednesday also marked the first time in nine days the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 dropped below 4,000.  As of now, 23 hospitals in the state are at 90% capacity or more for COVID-19 patients, down from 35 hospitals on Monday.

4/24/2021   Bed & Breakfasts are closing, up for sale across Michigan: Why owners want out, by Ellen Creager, Special to the Detroit Free Press

For Hutchings: “It’s just time. We are tired." With all the cancellations and closures last year, “I barely took in $3,000. Younger people don’t go to B&Bs. They want rentals. Things are changing. I don’t even know if kids today have a view of what a B&B is.”

4/22/2021   The Tokyo Olympics Are in Trouble, by Dave Zirin and Jules Boykoff, The Nation

Meanwhile, Tokyo Olympic boosters have been acting like blinkered greyhounds chasing a mechanical rabbit around the racetrack.

4/21/2021   Jacques: Other states ditch masks; Michigan may make them permanent, by Ingrid Jacques, The Detroit News

4/21/2021   Pandemic 'exposed' UK households' finances, report finds, by Pan Pylas, AP

4/20/2021   UVA Health will wipe out tens of thousands of lawsuits against patients, by Jay Hancock, The Washington Post

4/20/2021    Trump’s former aides say he whiffed on vaccination legacy, by Joanne Kenen and Meridith McGraw, Politico

“If he spent the last 90 days being the voice — and taking credit because he deserved to for the vaccine — and helping get as many Americans get vaccinated as he could, he would be remembered for that,” said a former senior administration official. “Honestly, I think if he was out on the road and celebrating his accomplishments and trying to get people vaccinated he wouldn’t have been in the mindset that led to [Capitol riots on] January 6.”

 

Vaccine hesitancy is complicated, and pro-vaccine statements from Trump wouldn’t magically make the entire MAGA world roll up their sleeves. But he probably would make a difference, experts on vaccine hesitancy said. A March poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that one-in-five vaccine hesitant Republicans said a Trump endorsement would spur them to get immunized.

4/19/2021   Federal turf wars over coronavirus rescues created ‘health and safety issues,’ watchdog concludes, by Dan Diamond, The Washington Post

A chaotic effort to return hundreds of Americans to the United States in the earliest days of the coronavirus outbreak — including bureaucratic infighting over whether flights out of Wuhan, China, were an “evacuation” or “repatriation” — put the evacuees, federal officials and even U.S. communities at risk, a government watchdog concluded.

 

The U.S. government-led missions, which included an operation to evacuate Americans from a virus-stricken cruise ship off the coast of Japan in February 2020, were plagued by “serious fundamental coordination challenges,” the Government Accountability Office concluded in a report requested by Congress and released Monday.

 

1/28/2021   U.S. handling of American evacuees from Wuhan increased coronavirus risks, watchdog finds, by Dan Diamond, The Washington Post

As the first American evacuees from Wuhan, China, touched down at a California military base a year ago, fleeing the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, they were met by U.S. health officials with no virus prevention plan or infection-control training — and who had not even been told to wear masks, according to a federal investigation.

Later, those officials were told to remove protective gear when meeting with the evacuees to avoid “bad optics,” and days after those initial encounters, departed California aboard commercial airline flights to other destinations.

Those are among the findings of two federal reports obtained by The Washington Post, supporting a whistleblower’s account of the chaos as U.S. officials scrambled to greet nearly 200 evacuees from Wuhan at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, Calif., in the early morning of Jan. 29, 2020.

 

4/18/2021   ‘Ripe for fraud’: Coronavirus vaccination cards support burgeoning scams, by Dan Diamond, The Washington Post

One listing offered eBay customers an “Authentic CDC Vaccination Record Card” for $10.99. Another promised the same but for $9.49. A third was more oblique, offering a “Clear Pouch For CDC Vaccination Record Card” for $8.99.

 

Customers instead received a blank vaccination card (and no pouch).

4/16/2021   The race to curb the spread of COVID vaccine disinformation, by Jeff Tollefson, Nature

A desire to understand what people are thinking about COVID-19, and why, inspired the COVID States Project, a massive effort to track public opinion that was launched last March with a US$200,000 grant from the US National Science Foundation.

 

In February, around 21% of survey respondents said that they would not get the vaccine; that figure was 24% among health-care workers1. As with the broader population, Lazer says level of education is a driving factor: 33% of health-care workers with only a high-school education say they would not get a vaccine, compared to just 11% of those with graduate degrees.

4/16/2021   Confronting a new surge, Whitmer concedes the limits of gubernatorial power | Opinion by Brian Dickerson, Detroit Free Press

Republican legislators have spent the last 12 months insisting that the governor's emergency orders were neither lawful nor effective in arresting the pandemic. When they were not suing to block Whitmer's restrictions in court, they lionized citizens who flouted them. Even if a few brave GOP lawmakers conceded they might have been mistaken about that, and that a new shutdown might be needed to stem the latest surge, they'd likely be be shouted down by their own colleagues.

 

So Whitmer really has only two practical choices: She can issue new shutdown orders that a significant number of Michiganders will ignore and many Republican local leaders will refuse to enforce, or she can encourage Michiganders who've embraced her previous virus-fighting prescriptions to continue doing so.

 

By choosing the latter, Whitmer has disappointed allies who admire the way she persevered in the face of partisan opposition to her executive orders last year. But she has even more to lose by issuing unenforceable mandates that serve only to demonstrate her government's diminished authority in an era of unprecedented public distrust.

4/12/2021   The Tiredness Virus, by Byung-Chul Han, The Nation

4/8/2021   Study shows how tapeworm infestation drug Niclosamide can help treat Covid, by Mohana Basu, The Print

New Delhi: Niclosamide, a drug commonly used to treat tapeworm infections, can help block the formation of enlarged cells with multiple nuclei in the lungs of Covid-19 patients, a new study by researchers from the UK and Italy shows.  The team of same researchers had earlier examined organs of 41 patients at University Hospital in Trieste who died from Covid-19 between March and May 2020.

 

A cell normally contains only one nucleus, which acts like the information centre of the cells. Viral proteins sometimes cause an infected cell to fuse with neighbouring cells, leading to the formation of enlarged cells with more that one nuclei. These multinucleated cells are called syncytia. The researchers found that almost 90 per cent of those patients had cells with the characteristic of syncytia.   Covid-19 patients’ lungs had cells containing 2 to over 20 nuclei.

4/5/2021   "Staggering" number of children have lost at least one parent to Covid-19, model estimates, by Naomi Thomas, CNN

"The number of children experiencing a parent dying of Covid-19 is staggering, with an estimated 37,300 to 43,000 already affected," said the research letter, led by Rachel Kidman of the Program in Public Health at Stony Brook University. "Black children are disproportionately affected, comprising only 14% of children in the US but 20% of those losing a parent to Covid-19."

4/6/2021   22% Fully vaccinated in Washtenaw County, Michigan, The New York Times

4/5/2021   Beloved Michigan Cop Took Vacation. COVID Made It His Last, by Michael Daly, Daily Beast

After almost 28 years as a “road dog” patrolling Monroe and Lenawee counties in a radio car, he still chose to see the best in his fellow humans.  Trooper Herman Brown of the Michigan State Police was sometimes actually thanked by people he arrested.  “Most of the time,” his longtime fellow trooper, Sgt. Sharon McCarthy, attests.

 

“He understood we don’t generally meet people on their best day,” she told The Daily Beast. “And he never judged them on the five- or 10-minute interactions we have with people.”

4/5/2021   India announces 100,000 new cases a day, first country to do so since the United States, by Erin Cunningham and Joanna Slater

The country, which also has one of the world’s largest vaccine-manufacturing capacities, is immunizing citizens at a rate of 2 million a day but has not made significant headway, with just 5 percent of the population having received a first dose. India is also slowing down its vaccine exports in the face of domestic demand, with potentially dire consequences for other countries.

 

Experts believe that changes in behavior, waning immunity from prior infections and the spread of new variants are all contributing to the dramatic rise in cases. In the western state of Maharashtra — the epicenter of the surge — a new “double mutant” variant has been detected in about 20 percent of cases.

( One year later, a look back at the promise of testing) 

5/14/2020   Widespread testing might not work in America. We love our ‘freedom’ too much. By Keith Humphreys, The Washington Post

In countries with successful testing programs, the relationship of citizens to the government differs from that of the United States in important respects. According to a 2018 Gallup poll, Germans are almost twice as likely as Americans (59 percent vs. 31 percent) to have confidence in government. This may help explain Germans’ greater willingness to comply with testing regimens and mask-wearing guidelines — and why Germany has almost two-thirds fewer coronavirus deaths per capita than the United States.

4/4/2021   Trust the Science: The Blue State Surge Is Real,  by Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox, The Washington Post

Rather than playing out as a secular passion play, the pandemic should lead us to reconsider the vast inequality in our society and the advisability of pushing density, transit and apartment dwelling. Well-off people in Manhattan and San Francisco had options—like working from home or from an alternative location—that the poor do not enjoy. Some formerly diehard city residents are now putting bids on suburban houses further from the city.

 

In the post pandemic environment, no matter how intense the pressure from landlords and their media enablers, it is highly unlikely that places like Manhattan will recover most of the 500,000 full-time jobs that left after the initial lockdowns. Campaigns to force workers full-time back into offices have failed so far, and it’s unlikely that developments like Hudson Yards will ever really pay off. The voices like those at the Chicago Council of Global Trade insisting that things will soon go back to “normal” seems fanciful. In New York, the big city hit hardest by the pandemic, urban boosters recently met to look into how to make their city denser, even amidst population loss, a collapse of transit ridership and consistently poor growth rates.

 

Similarly, the much-ballyhooed drive for “transit-oriented development,” beloved by planners and some developers, and about to gain huge new investments from the Biden Administration, seems largely irrelevant by the emerging vision of “telecities.”

4/4/2021   In another locked down, disrupted Easter, a tired Italy can’t escape the virus, by Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli

ROME — In one Italian diocese, three priests contracted the coronavirus in the days leading up to Easter, forcing 10 other clerics to isolate. In another diocese, an infection has pushed 15 priests into isolation. At a parish 20 miles southeast of Rome, both of the priests got sick, forcing the cancellation of days of proceedings, including Easter Mass.

 

“There is a psychological sense of tiredness,” said Bishop Domenico Pompili, who scrambled to reorganize Masses because of infected clerics. “We never could have imagined such a perennial state of uncertainty.”

4/4/2021   Fauci pushes back on GOP criticisms, calling claims ‘bizarre’ by Paulina Villegas, The Washintgon Post

4/3/2021   My family sacrificed to fight covid. Many Americans didn’t. Now my mom is dead. by Jackie Munn, The Washington Post

On Tuesday morning, Jan. 26, my family stood at the bedside of my mother, Julie Oeser, watching as she took her last breath after being in intensive care for 11 days due to complications from covid-19. She was 62 years old, with few preexisting conditions.

 

My mother’s death was a tragedy for our family, but it was also a betrayal. Like so many of the 554,000 Americans who have died of covid, her death could have been prevented if more of our fellow citizens had been willing to fight the virus — or if our leaders had been willing to ask them to.

 

After we all worked tirelessly for the past year, my family now grieves. For Birx to say, after the fact, that hundreds of thousands of deaths, including my mother’s, could have been prevented doesn’t help anything but her conscience. She and her colleagues in Trump’s White House simply weren’t committed enough to protect those lives. They failed us all.

 

As a West Point graduate and combat veteran, I was taught that good leaders chose the harder right over the easier wrong. My whole family knows that: My older sister did 15 deployments overseas in the Air Force, and our dad served 28 years as an officer in the Army. Birx is also a former Army officer, and so she knew she had a responsibility to protect the American public. As did Trump. And the result of their failure was that our fellow Americans failed to protect each other, too.

4/3/2021

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4/3/2021   Canada’s variant-fueled covid-19 surge prompts new restrictions, by Amanda Coletta, The Washington Post

TORONTO — Several Canadian provinces are imposing new restrictions on social gatherings and businesses in a bid to blunt a resurgence of the coronavirus that is hitting more young people with severe illness than before and straining some health-care systems.  Infectious-disease experts say the resurgence is being fueled in part by pandemic fatigue, the premature easing of curbs and the spread of more transmissible and dangerous variants, particularly the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in Britain. And, worryingly, they say a bumpy vaccine rollout is not helping to temper the resurgence.

4/3/2021   Michigan reports 8,413 new COVID-19 cases, highest single-day total since December 4, by Minnah Arshad, Detroit Free Press

The state has a fatality rate of 2.3% among known cases, according to data from the state health department.

 

In the state’s latest update on vaccines, 94,249 doses were administered in Michigan on Thursday. The seven-day average for doses administered is 77,422. On Wednesday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer increased the state's target for daily vaccinations to 100,000 a day from 50,000 a day. Of the population 16 and older, 21.6% are fully vaccinated, with a goal of 70% vaccinated by the end of the year.

4/2/2021   A QAnon-Curious Mom Helped Lead Michigan Back to COVID Hell, by Kayla Ruble and Justin Rohrlich, Daily Beast

4/2/2021   Whitmer: Fewer people with antibodies, more mobility contributing to high COVID-19 rates, by Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press

"We have followed the science. We have made the tough calls. It has not been easy. But (I'm) convinced it was absolutely the right thing to do," she said while visiting a new mass vaccination clinic at the United Wholesale Mortgage Sports Complex in Pontiac. "What we are seeing in terms of positivity rates now is concerning. There are a number of factors that are going into it."

3/31/2021   Michigan schools to get $6B in COVID-19 funding: Here's how much your district will get, by John Wisely, Detroit Free Press

Schools across Michigan are in line for about $6 billion in COVID-19 relief money, the largest federal investment in K-12 education in the nation's history.

 

"I think It's more than twice what the federal government spends on K-12 education in a typical year," said Michael Addonizio, professor of education leadership and policy studies at Wayne State University. "It is a massive investment in K-12."

 

Novi Community schools, where poverty rates are low, will get about $181 per student. Flint schools, where large numbers of kids live in poverty, will get more than $48,000 per student.

 

 

4/1/2021   Biden Faces ‘a Very Precarious Point’ in the Coronavirus Response, by Giovanni Russonello, The New York Times

“It’s a mixed message,” said Lee Miringoff, the director of polling at Marist College. “There’s an eagerness to pop the champagne cork on one hand, and on the other hand to say, ‘Danger may lurk right around the corner.’ It’s a mixed message, which is hard, and it’s being communicated to a Covid-fatigued country.” 

4/1/2021   The Pandemic’s Wrongest Man, by Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

In this crowded field of wrongness, one voice stands out. The voice of Alex Berenson: the former New York Times reporter, Yale-educated novelist, avid tweeter, online essayist, and all-around pandemic gadfly. Berenson has been serving up COVID-19 hot takes for the past year, blithely predicting that the United States would not reach 500,000 deaths (we’ve surpassed 550,000) and arguing that cloth and surgical masks can’t protect against the coronavirus (yes, they can).

 

Berenson has a big megaphone. He has more than 200,000 followers on Twitter and millions of viewers for his frequent appearances on Fox News’ most-watched shows. On Laura Ingraham’s show, he downplayed the vaccines, suggesting that Israel’s experience proved they were considerably less effective than initially claimed. On Tucker Carlson Tonight, he predicted that the vaccines would cause an uptick in cases of COVID-related illness and death in the U.S.

3/31/2021    Michigan leads US with highest number of COVID-19 cases per capita, more vaccines coming, by Christina Hall and Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press

The state rose to the top of the list with 361.5 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over the last seven days, followed by New Jersey and New York, according to the CDC's website.

 

On Tuesday, Whitmer asked the White House whether it would consider sending more vaccines to states with rapidly increasing COVID-19 case rates during a meeting hosted by the White House and the National Governors Association.   Later, Whitmer said that next week Michigan will receive more vaccines to help mitigate the surge in cases in the state. She said the state's direct allocation will increase by 66,020 doses, for a total of 620,040 vaccines, a weekly record high for Michigan. This includes 147,800 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

3/31/2021   'It feels like we’re invisible': One year of U.S.-Canada border closure, by Melissa Nann Burke, The Detroit News

3/30/2021   Detroit, Wayne Co. issue state of emergency orders as COVID-19 cases rise, Sarah Rahal, The Detroit News

Denise Fair, Detroit's chief public health officer, issued the emergency public health order through May 31, saying the city needs to control the speed of the virus that is causing a steep rise in hospitalizations. The order requires that any public meetings by councils or boards subject to the Michigan Open Meetings Act continue to be conducted online.

3/30/2021   Emails reveal Michigan officials had more cautious restaurant plan before Gordon's exit, by Craig Mauger, The Detroit News

The messages show that one week before the Jan. 22 press conference to announce the reopening of eateries, the leaders of the state Department of Health and Human Services shared a plan to generally restrict restaurant capacity to 20 people, a fifth of what the limit ended up being. Having a "ton of people" in a room increases the risk that one person has COVID-19 and the risk of a "super spreader," wrote Robert Gordon, the state's then-health director, in a separate email on Jan. 15.  The emails suggest there were internal concerns about looming jumps in coronavirus cases.  The emails also demonstrate contrasts between the tone Whitmer took at the press conference and the tone planned by the leadership team around Gordon, who resigned without explanation about five hours after the Jan. 22 event.

3/29/2021   Detroit opens COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to residents age 16 and older, by Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press

3/29/2021   Michigan reports 8,202 new COVID-19 cases, 8 deaths over 2-day period, by Minnah Arshad, Detroit Free Press

3/27/2021   500,000 deaths ago...

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 Trump has “been so attentive to the scientific literature and the details and the data,” Birx said. “I think his ability to analyze and integrate data that comes out of his long history in business has really been a real benefit during these discussions about medical issues.”

 

 

3/27/2021   Mexico’s real COVID-19 death toll now stands at over 321,000, Associated Press

On Saturday, the government quietly published such a report, which found there were 294,287 deaths linked to COVID-19 from the start of the pandemic through Feb. 14. Since Feb. 15 there have been an additional 26,772 test-confirmed deaths.   

 

Former President Felipe Calderón wrote in his Twitter account Saturday that “more than 400,000 Mexicans have died, above the average for previous years ... probably the highest figure in the world.”

3/27/2021   Many Brazilians disregard the pleas to stay at home, AP 

Thousands of Brazilians are traveling to coastal cities and ignoring recommendations on the first weekend of a 10-day holiday period decreed to contain the increase in COVID-19 infections in the country.

3/27/2021   As daily deaths near 4,000, worst may lie ahead for Brazil, by David Biller and Mauricio Savarese, Associated Press

Miguel Nicolelis, professor of Neurobiology at Duke University, advised several Brazilian governors and mayors on pandemic control,

 

“We have surpassed levels never imagined for a country with a public health care system, a history of efficient immunization campaigns and health workers who are second to none in the world,” Nicolelis said. “The next stage is the health system collapse.”   

3/26/2021   Michigan Senate GOP attack on Whitmer emergency powers is becoming cartoonish | Opinion by Brian Dickerson, Detroit Free Press

From the moment COVID-19 came to Michigan, Republican state lawmakers led by Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey have focused like a laser on stopping its transmission.

 

HAHAHAHAHA! Only kidding, Michiganders!

 

Because what Shirkey & Co. have actually done for the better part of a year now is oppose — reflexively, and often irresponsibly — nearly every initiative Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has taken to stymie the pandemic.

 

For the most part, the GOP resistance campaign has been both ineffective and politically unpopular. Veteran Republican strategist Bob LaBrant, who masterminded the gerrymander that has allowed his party to maintain its legislative majority for the last decade, is only one of the Republican elder statesmen baffled by the GOP Legislature's implacable hostility to Whitmer's emergency orders.

 

Whitmer "has exercised her gubernatorial powers aggressively with a toughness designed to save lives," LaBrant observed in an op-ed published in the Free Press last summer, warning that a GOP petition drive to strip the the governor of her emergency authority was "literally a threat to Michigan’s health."

3/25/2021    U.S. COVID response could have avoided nearly 400,000 deaths: Brookings Institution, by Howard Schneider, Reuters

The United States squandered both money and lives in its response to the coronavirus pandemic, and it could have avoided nearly 400,000 deaths with a more effective health strategy and trimmed federal spending by hundreds of billions of dollars while still supporting those who needed it.

 

That is the conclusion of a group of research papers released at a Brookings Institution conference this week, offering an early and broad start to what will likely be an intense effort in coming years to assess the response to the worst pandemic in a century.

 

U.S. COVID-19 fatalities could have stayed under 300,000, versus a death toll of 540,000 and rising, if by last May the country had adopted widespread mask, social distancing, and testing protocols while awaiting a vaccine, estimated Andrew Atkeson, economics professor at University of California, Los Angeles.

 

He likened the state-by-state, patchwork response to a car’s cruise control. As the virus worsened people hunkered down, but when the situation improved restrictions were dropped and people were less careful, with the result that “the equilibrium level of daily deaths ... remains in a relatively narrow band” until the vaccine arrived.

 

Atkeson projected a final fatality level of around 670,000 as vaccines spread and the crisis subsides. The outcome, had no vaccine been developed, would have been a far-worse 1.27 million, Atkeson estimated.

3/24/2021   Covid-19: Restaurant Dining and Lack of Mask Mandates Are Each Linked to U.S. Virus Spread, C.D.C. Says, NYTimes

3/24/2021    Livingston County COVID-19 vaccine tracker: 10% people fully vaccinated, by Chastity Laskey, Livingston Daily

3/24/2021   Gov. Whitmer again vetoes bill to limit Michigan health department orders, by Craig Mauger, The Detroit News

3/16/2021   Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in the US Adult Asymptomatic Population as of September 30, 2020, by Robert L. Stout, PhD and Steven J. Rigatti, MD, JAMA

The seroprevalence rate varied widely by state (Table 2). On the basis of this sample, it was estimated that 15.9 million (bootstrap 95% CI, 15.5-16.5 million) asymptomatic or undiagnosed SARS-CoV-2 infections had occurred in the United States as of September 30, 2020.

3/12/2021   No, Trump Doesn’t Deserve Credit For Planning Vaccine Distribution, By Kate Riga and Josh Kovensky, Talking Points Memo

3/12/2021   All Michiganders 16 and older eligible for COVID-19 vaccine starting April 5, by Dave Boucher and Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

3/10/2021   This Covid long-hauler is afraid to take a shower a year after her infection because of the amount of hair she has lost, by Madeline Holcombe and Theresa Waldrop, CNN

3/4/2021   Detroit declined Johnson & Johnson vaccines this week, but will take them in future, by Christina Hall and Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

The city of Detroit declined to accept 6,200 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine this week, state health officials said a day after Mayor Mike Duggan said during a briefing Tuesday that the city was “gonna protect Detroiters with a 95% vaccine."

 

On Wednesday night, Duggan's spokesman John Roach said the city had enough Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to more than cover all of the upcoming week's scheduled appointments and that the city would take Johnson & Johnson vaccines "in the next round and giving Detroiters that option." He said the city is in the process of setting up a separate Johnson & Johnson vaccine site and patient option.

3/4/2021   It's 'possible' Whitmer, Robert Gordon differed on COVID orders, new health director says, by Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press

3/3/2021   Michigan to open COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to people 50 and older, by Kristen Jordan Shamus, Dave Boucher and Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press

The expanded eligibility comes as Michigan stands to get its largest shipment yet this week of nearly half a million total doses of coronavirus vaccines, state health officials said, with the addition of 82,700 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

 

The shipment includes 212,940 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine along with 196,400 doses of the Moderna vaccine — at a time when demand for the shots far exceeds supply.

3/3/2021   Republican governor's coronavirus grant fund gave $600,000 to her family's ranch, by Sarah K Burris, RawStory

3/3/2021   Businesses tied to Governor Noem's family got $600,000 in virus grants, by Stephen Groves, The  Washington Post

3/3/2021   Brazil’s Covid Crisis Is a Warning to the Whole World, Scientists Say, by Manuela Andreoni, Ernesto Londoño and Letícia Casado, The New York Times

Preliminary studies suggest that the variant that swept through the city of Manaus is not only more contagious, but it also appears able to infect some people who have already recovered from other versions of the virus. And the variant has slipped Brazil’s borders, showing up in two dozen other countries and in small numbers in the United States.

 

“You need vaccines to get in the way of these things,” said William Hanage, an epidemiologist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, speaking of variants that might cause reinfections. “The immunity you get with your cemeteries running out of room, even that will not be enough to protect you.”

 

But many Brazilians have little faith in a government led by a president who has sabotaged lockdowns, repeatedly downplayed the threat of the virus and promoted untested remedies long after scientists said they clearly did not work.  Just last week, the president spoke dismissively of masks, which are among the best defenses to curb contagion, claiming that they are harmful to children, causing headaches and difficulty concentrating.

3/2/2021   Almost half of Michigan Republicans don't plan to get COVID-19 vaccine, poll shows, by Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press

The EPIC-MRA poll found that while 70% of all of Michigan residents surveyed plan to definitely or probably get a vaccine when it becomes available to them, 27% will not or probably will not and 3% were undecided.   47% of Michigan republicans do not plan to vaccinate.  46% of Michigan republicans do plan to be vaccinated.  College-educated Michiganders were more likely to get the vaccine, as were those who described themselves as moderate or liberal politically, compared with conservatives.

 

78% of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb county residents do plan to get vaccinated.  Only 65% of those living in the rest of the state expect to do so.  

 

NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci has said it could take getting 70%-85% of the American population vaccinated in order to reach "herd immunity."

3/2/2021   Restaurant owners react to increased capacity and an extra hour curfew, by Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Tuesday she was hiking indoor capacity to 50%.   The current order limiting indoor restaurant and bar service to 25% has been in place since Feb. 1 and was due to expire on March 29.

3/2/2021   Whitmer: Michigan to relax restaurant, business COVID-19 restrictions starting Friday, by Dave Boucher, Susan Selasky and Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

Indoor dining capacity will increase to 50%, with other businesses also allowed to function with fewer COVID-19 restrictions.

 

TweetOfDrEricFeigl Ding JnJVaccine 2021 03 03

3/2/2021   Texas to end mask mandate and lift Covid rules, BBC News

VaccineComparison 2021 03 02 800w1008h

3/2/2021   What's behind France's AstraZeneca turnaround?, BBC News

3/1/2021   Hunt for COVID-19 vaccine takes Michiganders to other states: 'They're desperate', by Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

In Oakland County, where the Schumakers live, the health department has a waiting list for COVID-19 shots called Save Your Spot. Last week, nearly a half a million people had registered. The Schumakers are on it — along with waiting lists through Meijer and local hospital systems. 

2/24/2021   Senate bill strips race, wealth as factors for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, by Dave Boucher and Nushrat Rahman, Detroit Free Press

The amendment, adopted in the Senate Appropriations Committee on a party-line vote, would force the state to stop using a nationally recognized "social vulnerability index" to decide how many vaccines are given to a specific community.

 

2/22/2921   Five Hundred Thousand American Covid-19 Dead

 

 

2020 05 11 Trump WeHavePrevailed 

Feb. 23, 2020:  Trump: “We have it very much under control in this country.”

April 16, 2020:  Trump: "Country has made great progress” fighting Covid-19 pandemic.

April 30, 2020:  Jared Kushner: Administration’s response is a “great success story.”

May 11, 2020   Trump:  “We have met the moment and we have prevailed.” - Jess Bidgood, Boston Globe, May 11, 2020

 

TweetOfMcEnany 2020 02 25 re coronavirus

 

2/22/2021   Fauci Warns Americans Might Need to Wear Masks for Another Year, by Abby Goodnough, The New York Times

2/11/2021   US could have averted 40% of Covid deaths, says panel examining Trump's policies, by Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian U.S.

2/21/2021   More Americans have died from Covid-19 than on the battlefields of the world wars and the Vietnam War combined, Julie Bosman, The New York Times

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an independent global health research center at the University of Washington, has projected that the nation could reach more than 614,000 deaths by June 1. Factors like how well people adhere to guidelines like mask-wearing and social distancing, plus the speed of vaccinations, could affect that estimate.

 

In New York City, more than 28,000 people have died of the virus — or one in 295 people. In Los Angeles County, which has lost nearly 20,000 people to Covid-19, about one in 500 people has died of the virus. In Lamb County, Texas, where 13,000 people live scattered on a sprawling expanse of 1,000 square miles, one in 163 people has died of the virus.

 

The 1918 influenza pandemic is estimated to have killed about 675,000 Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, when the country’s population was a third of what it is now. But it also happened at a time when influenza vaccines, antibiotics, mechanical ventilation and other medical tools did not exist yet.

 

2/21/2021    Covid-19 News: U.S. Makes Strides to Catch Up With Vaccinations Delayed by Storms, The New York Times

2/19/2021   Michigan dining restrictions were quietly extended — and some restaurant owners missed it, by Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press

Many Michigan restaurant owners were surprised to learn that the current limits on indoor dining will remain in place until March 29.

 

The order from state health officials came on Feb. 4. Under the previous order, indoor dining reopened on Feb. 1 at 25% capacity and a 10 p.m. curfew. The order was for three weeks and was set to expire Sunday. Indoor dining was shuttered on Nov. 18.

2/16/2021   On social media, vaccine misinformation mixes with extreme faith, by Elizabeth Dwoskin, The Washington Post

“In the summertime, I thought, these are just fringe beliefs. But the further we got into the pandemic, I realized, these are very widely held, and I was surprised by how many Christians and churches subscribe to this,” said Emily Smith, an epidemiologist at Baylor University, a private Christian university in Waco, Tex. She runs a large Facebook page dedicated to discussing covid-19.

 

Smith, who is Christian and married to a Baptist pastor, said her posts trying to disavow anti-vaccine sentiment have been met with hostile responses and threats.

2/16/2021   Optimism as Cuba set to test its own Covid vaccine, by Will Grant, BBC News

2/9/2021   U.K. variant of the coronavirus spreads in California, sparking new concern, by Rong-Gong Lin II and Luke Money, Los Angeles Times

L.A. County officials Monday confirmed the fourth and fifth cases of the B.1.1.7 variant. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said it’s clear that there’s a fair number of mutant strains circulating in L.A. County.   At least 138 cases of the U.K. variant have been confirmed in San Diego County, with 50 probable cases there. A UC San Diego scientist has warned government officials that the U.K. strain is so transmissible that its spread — combined with the rejection of mask use and physical distancing guidelines, as occurred across California in the fall — could result in an even worse surge within two months than occurred in the winter.

1/10/2021   New evidence that U.K. coronavirus variant spreads more easily has scientists really worried, by Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times

There’s some good news: Researchers who’ve measured and modeled the U.K. variant’s powers have found no reason to believe it makes people sicker once it invades their bodies. Nor does it appear to reduce the time that it takes for a newly infected person to be able to spread the virus — a development that could generate fast-moving waves of new patients.

2/9/2021   Coronavirus unlikely to have leaked from China lab, WHO team says, by Emily Wang Fujiyama, AP

2/8/2021   Rep. Ron Wright has died after battle with covid-19, by Paulina Firozi and David Weigel, The Washington Post

The race to fill Wright’s vacancy could unfold quickly. Texas law requires special elections to be held 36 to 50 days after the governor orders them. Candidates who file at least 5,000 petition signatures compete in one election, regardless of party; if no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers head to a runoff, regardless of party.

2/8/2021   Her COVID-19 treatment cost more than $1 million. Who’s going to pay for it?, by Maria L. La Ganga, Los Angeles Times

Then the medical bills began to arrive. The grand total to save the 51-year-old woman’s life: $1,339,181.94.

 

The explanation of benefits from her insurer holds some — but not all — of the answers about her hospital stay, which began March 28 and ended April 20.

 

Her stay in the coronary care unit at NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield: $479,162.40.

 

Pharmacy charges: $470,950.94.

 

Respiratory services: $166,669.80.

2/7/2021   Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count, The New York Times

2/7/2021   South Africa suspends AstraZeneca vaccine drive after study shows minimal protection, by Andrew Meldrum and Sylvia Hui, AP

2/5/2021   States redistribute hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses unused by nursing homes, by Lena H. Sun and Lenny Bernstein, The Washington Post

1/28/2021   U.S. handling of American evacuees from Wuhan increased coronavirus risks, watchdog finds, by Dan Diamond, The Washington Post

As the first American evacuees from Wuhan, China, touched down at a California military base a year ago, fleeing the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, they were met by U.S. health officials with no virus prevention plan or infection-control training — and who had not even been told to wear masks, according to a federal investigation.

 

Later, those officials were told to remove protective gear when meeting with the evacuees to avoid “bad optics,” and days after those initial encounters, departed California aboard commercial airline flights to other destinations.

1/28/2021    COVID-19 is the Number One Cause of Death in the U.S. in Early 2021, by Cynthia Cox and Krutika Amin, Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker

1/28/2021   Several Livingston County restaurant owners defied indoor dining ban. The consequences varied, by Jennifer Timar, Livingston Daily

1/25/2021   Montgomery, Alabama school system returns to virtual only until COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, EFSA Staff, WAFS-12

1/22/2021   Livingston restaurants displeased with 25% capacity limits when indoor dining reopens Feb. 1, by Jennifer Timar, Sara Kellner and Ken Palmer, Livingston Daily

1/21/2021   ‘A bloody mess’: Confusion reigns over naming of new COVID variants, by Ewen Callaway, Nature

1/21/2021   Biden Unveils Plan to Curb Covid-19 in His First 100 Days, WSJ Video

President Biden on Thursday announced a series of actions his administration plans to take to combat the coronavirus, including accelerating vaccine administration and expanding the mask mandate. 

1/20/2021   COVID-19 outbreak at Howell nursing home is 'really bad', by Jennifer Timar, Livingston Daily

MediLodge of Howell has 37 residents and staff infected with COVID-19, according to the facility's website.

 

That's a stark increase, considering prior to Jan. 1 the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported only two cases among residents of the nursing home since late April, when the state began collecting data on cases and deaths at long-term care facilities in the state. 

1/20/2021   Dallas County axes plan to prioritize vaccinating communities of color after state threatens to slash allocation, by Emma Platoff and Juan Pablo Garnham, Texas Tribune

In Texas and across the nation, communities of color have been hardest hit by the novel coronavirus, and health officials are grappling with how to ensure equity in the vaccine rollout. In Dallas, as in other major Texas cities, distribution sites are more commonly located in white neighborhoods, and early data showed the North Texas county had distributed most of its shots to residents of whiter, wealthier neighborhoods.

 

Dallas leaders tried to prioritize any residents who meet the state’s criteria for vaccination and live in one of the 11 ZIP codes, which are all completely or partially south of Interstate 30, a dividing line that splits the county along racial and socioeconomic lines, the Dallas Morning News reported this week.

1/20/2021   Talking is worse than coughing for spreading COVID-19 indoors, by By Rachael Rettner, LiveScience

The study found that when two people are in a poorly ventilated space and not wearing masks, prolonged talking is much more likely than a short cough to spread the virus. That's because when we speak, we generate small droplets that can hang in the air, spread and accumulate in an area without adequate ventilation. On the other hand, a cough produces more large droplets, which quickly fall to the floor and settle on surfaces.

 

In one modeled scenario, the researchers found that after a short cough, the number of infectious particles in the air would quickly fall after 1 to 7 minutes; in contrast, after speaking for 30 seconds, only after 30 minutes would the number of infectious particles fall to similar levels; and a high number of particles were still suspended after one hour. In other words, a dose of virus particles capable of causing an infection would linger in the air much longer after speech than a cough. (In this modeled scenario, the same number of droplets were admitted during a 0.5-second cough as during the course of 30 seconds of speech.)

 

Ventilation also matters — one of the modeled scenarios found that when an infected person spoke indoors for one hour, others in the room faced up to a 20% risk of infection, but this risk was reduced by a factor of three when the air in the room was completely changed 10 times per hour. (In a well-ventilated room, there are typically 10 to 20 air changes per hour.)

1/18/2021   Worrisome California coronavirus variant is tied to large outbreaks, by Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience

The L452R variant is different from the B.1.1.7 variant first found in the United Kingdom and subsequently discovered in Colorado and nine other U.S. states. Researchers calculate that the B.1.1.7 variant is between 50% and 74% more transmissible than the standard coronavirus strain. That new strain may dominate U.S. coronavirus cases by March, given its propensity to spread. Fortunately, vaccines will likely work against the B.1.1.7  variant

 

Less is known about L452R. That variant was first detected in May 2020, but it's become increasingly common since the fall. According to the Eureka Times-Standard, the L452R variant was found in about 3.8% of cases that were subject to gene sequencing in November. Researchers worry about L452R because some of its mutations affect the virus's spike protein, the key the virus uses to enter cells

1/18/2021   COVID-19 vaccine rollout a nightmare for Michigan teachers: 'I can't get through', by Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press

While some have had an easy go of getting the vaccine,  most reported problems and described the process as "real annoying" and a "s--- show."

1/18/2021   Live: Temporary quarantine homes being built in Hebei's Shijiazhuang – Ep. 5, CGTN, YouTube Livestream

This is a live feed of quarantine house construction.  Seems to be 24/7 effort.  Shijiazhuang​, the capital of north #China​'s #Hebei​ Province, is the epicenter of the most recent #COVID19​ outbreak. The city is building 3,000 temporary housing units for quarantine venues to house and observe potentially infected people who came into contact with COVID-19 patients. The construction site is close to the border of Shijiazhuang's Gaocheng District, which is now classified as a high-risk area.

1/18/2021   China’s economy is growing faster now than before the coronavirus pandemic, by Gary Shih, The Washington Post

In a sign of how quickly China has managed a turnaround, the National Statistics Bureau said that gross domestic product rose 6.5 percent during the fourth quarter of 2020, exceeding the 6 percent pace at the end of 2019, before the coronavirus took hold. China's GDP surpassed a new milestone in 2020, topping 100 trillion yuan, or about $15 trillion.

1/17/2021   Some Michiganders finesse COVID-19 vaccine priority list, jump ahead of vulnerable, by Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

1/17/2021   Birmingham fire chief: Give us a shot at administering COVID-19 vaccine to city residents, by Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press

1/17/2021   A black market for illegal coronavirus vaccines is thriving in the Philippines, by Regine Cabato, The Washington Post

 

TweetOfSteveMartin 20210117 revaccine1

1/17/2021   Steve Martin has received the COVID-19 vaccine: 'Bad news: I got it because I'm 75', by Erin Donnelly, Yahoo News

 

1/16/2021   Michigan health department infographic gives preliminary COVID-19 vaccination timeline, by Christina Hqall, Detroit Free Press

 

1/16/2021   A lab in Italy reported a cluster of the U.K. coronavirus variant. But that wasn’t enough to stop the spread. By Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli, The Washington Post

 

1/16/2021   A 'Healthy" doctor died two weeks after getting a COVID-19 vaccine; CDC is investigating, by Andrew Boryga, South Florida Sun Sentinel

Two weeks after getting a first dose of a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, a 56-year-old doctor in South Florida died this week, possibly the nation’s first death linked to the vaccine.

 

Michael received his first dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 18 at Mount Sinai Medical Center, according to a Facebook post from his wife, Heidi Neckelmann.

Three days later, small spots began to appear on his feet and hands and he went to the emergency room at Mount Sinai, where he has worked in private practice for 15 years, according to his personal website.

 

His blood count was far below normal ranges, according to Neckelmann, and he was admitted to the intensive care unit.

For two weeks, she said, doctors tried to raise Michael’s platelet count. “Experts from all over the country were involved in his care,” she wrote. “No matter what they did, the platelets count refused to go up.”

 

She wrote that Michael was “conscious and energetic” through the process. But just days before a last resort surgery, he suffered a stroke and died.

 

A report released by the CDC on Wednesday analyzed reactions to the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Of the nearly 2 million doses given out by Dec. 23, only 4,393 “adverse events” were reported, according to the report.

 

1/16/2021   Rebekah Jones, state’s former COVID-19 data manager, to turn self in after arrest warrant issued, by Lois K. Solomon, South Florida Sun Sentinel

Officers served the warrant on her house after they said they traced an unauthorized entry into a Florida Department of Emergency Management text message service back to an IP address registered to Jones.

 

Jones denied accessing the messaging service and sending a message to Florida Department of Health employees that read, in part: “It’s time to speak up before another 17,000 people are dead. You know this is wrong.”

1/16/2021   COVID-19 in Florida: 12,119 new cases, 205 more deaths, by Kenny Rosarion, South Florida Sun Sentinel

1/15/2021    Fake Covid-19 Vaccines: What to Know About Counterfeit Shots Sold Online, WSJ Video

As Covid-19 vaccines roll out in several countries, counterfeits are being marketed online. WSJ explains how phony vaccines end up on the internet and the risks for people who buy them.

1/15/2021   Michigan reports 2,598 new COVID-19 cases, 29 deaths, by Ken Coleman, Michigan Advance

The virus has been detected in all of Michigan’s 83 counties. The state’s COVID-19 fatality rate has increased slightly to 2.6%.

1/15/2021   Vaccine reserve was exhausted when Trump administration vowed to release it, dashing hopes of expanded access, by Isaac Stanley-Becker and Lena H. Sun, The Washington Post

When Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced this week that the federal government would begin releasing coronavirus vaccine doses that had been held in reserve for second shots, no such reserve existed, according to state and federal officials briefed on distribution plans. The Trump administration had already begun shipping out what was available, starting at the end of December, taking second doses for the two-dose regimen directly off the manufacturing line.

 

Now, health officials across the country who had anticipated their extremely limited vaccine supply as much as doubling beginning next week are confronting the reality that their allocations will remain largely flat, dashing hopes of dramatically expanding access for millions of elderly people and those with high-risk medical conditions. Health officials in some cities and states were informed in recent days about the reality of the situation, while others were still in the dark Friday. 

1/13/2021   New MDHHS Epidemic Order Allows Indoor Group Exercise, Non-Contact Sports, Michigan.gov

Previously, MDHHS had identified stabilization or declines in three metrics as critical for relaxing protocols. Although Michigan saw improvements across all three following the “pause” implemented in mid-November, some numbers have plateaued or begun to increase in recent days:

 

Hospital capacity dedicated to COVID-19 patients has been in 13-day decline, with current capacity is at 12% for beds with COVID-19 patients. Peaked at 19.6% on Tuesday, Dec. 4.


Overall case rates: increasing, currently at 266 cases per million. Peaked at 740 cases per million on Saturday, Nov. 14 and declined to a low of 239 on Friday, Dec. 25


Positivity rate: plateauing; currently at 9.1% after reaching a low of 8.1% on Monday, Dec. 28 and increasing up to 10% since then.

1/13/2021   Moderna CEO says the world will have to live with Covid ‘forever’, by Berkeley Lovelace Jr.,  CNBC

1/13/2021   J&J’s one-shot Covid vaccine is safe and generates promising immune response in early trial, by Berkeley Lovelace Jr., CNBC

The trial tested 805 volunteers. The company is expected to release results from its 45,000-person phase three trial later this month. J&J is using the same technologies it used to develop its Ebola vaccine for its Covid-19 vaccine.

 

Stoffels said the company plans to ship the vaccine at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, which is about 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit.   “We have three months stability as of this moment at 2 to 8,” he said. “That will be expanded over the year as we generate more stability data. We know from our other vaccines it can go up to a year, but at the start we can’t do that because we don’t have it for this vaccine.”

1/13/2021   Ohio researchers say they’ve identified two new Covid strains likely originating in the U.S., by Will Feuer, CNBC

1/13/2021   Editorial: California, stop sitting on your COVID vaccine doses, by the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board

1/12/2021   Vaccine makers in Asia rush to test jabs against fast-spreading COVID variant, by Gayathri Caidyanathan, Nature

1/12/2021   Rep. Watson Coleman: I’m 75. I had cancer. I got covid-19 because my GOP colleagues dismiss facts, by Bonnie Watson Coleman, The Washington Post

I am angry that after I spent months carefully isolating myself, a single chaotic day likely got me sick. I am angry that several of our nation’s leaders were unwilling to deal with the small annoyance of a mask for a few hours. I am angry that the attack on the Capitol and my subsequent illness have the same cause: my Republican colleagues’ inability to accept facts.

1/12/2021   U.S. HHS Grants Governor Whitmer's Request to Release Vaccines Being Held Back by the Trump Administration, The Office of Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan.Gov

“Michigan and states across the country remain ready to get more shots in arms, which is why the Trump Administration’s decision to grant our request and release millions of doses of the vaccine is so crucial,” said Governor Whitmer. “It will take all of us – the federal government, state and local leaders, health departments, and everyday Americans - to ensure everyone can get the safe and effective vaccine. There is still more work to do, which is why yesterday, I sent a letter to the Trump Administration requesting permission to directly purchase up to 100,000 doses of the vaccine for the state of Michigan. I am eager to hear back from the federal government regarding my request, and will continue to work with them and leaders everywhere to end this pandemic and save lives.” 

1/12/2021   Dr. Fauci warns Covid variant found in South Africa could pose threat to antibody drugs, by Noah Higgins-Dunn, CNBC

A mutated and more infectious coronavirus strain first identified in South Africa is “disturbing” and could pose a threat to Covid antibody treatments, White House advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said.


Through discussions with health experts in South Africa, Fauci said preliminary data shows there’s “more of a threat” the strain would evade some of the protections antibody treatments provide.

 

So far, health experts have said there’s no evidence the mutations alter the effectiveness of current vaccines. However, there’s some concern that the variant found in South Africa, known as 501Y.V2, might be more resistant to monoclonal antibodies, which have helped some people fight the virus when administered early on in their infection.

 

Eli Lilly Chairman and CEO Dave Ricks told CNBC earlier Tuesday that he expects the company’s monoclonal antibody treatment to be effective against the variant found in the U.K., though the one in South Africa could pose more challenges. Eli Lilly’s drug was given emergency authorization in the U.S. in November and was followed by another drug from Regeneron.

 

“The South African variant ... is the one of concern. It has more dramatic mutations to that spike protein, which is the target” of these antibody drugs, Ricks said on “Squawk Box.” “Theoretically, it could evade our medicines.”

1/12/2021   Coronavirus mutations: Here are the major Covid strains we know about, by Holly Ellyatt, CNBC

1/12/2021   The Capitol Attack Is Looking Like a COVID Super-Spreader Event, by Eric Lutz, Vanity Fair

Dr. Brian Monahan, Capitol Hill’s attending physician, warned lawmakers that they may have been exposed to coronavirus as they took cover from the MAGA mob that overran the halls of congress. Less than a week after the riot, that scenario seems to be coming to fruition. Three Democratic lawmakers this week have tested positive for COVID in the wake of the attack: Bonnie Watson Coleman, the 75-year-old New Jersey representative; Pramila Jayapal of Washington; and Brad Schneider of Illinois.

1/12/2021   U.S. to change Covid vaccine allocation to favor states that quickly administer shots, by Berkeley Lovelace Jr., CNBC

Some 53 million Americans who are 65 and older and 110 million people between 16 and 64 with comorbid conditions will now be eligible to receive the vaccine if every state adopts the guidelines, according to the CDC

 

As of Monday morning, more than 25.4 million doses had been distributed across the U.S., but just over 8.9 million shots have been administered, according to CDC data. The number is a far cry from the federal government’s goal of inoculating 20 million Americans by the end of 2020 and 50 million Americans by the end of this month.

1/12/2021   U.S. government releases all reserve coronavirus vaccine doses, CBS NEWS

1/12/2021   'States should move on': Federal officials push states to speed up COVID-19 vaccinations, announce major changes to distribution, by Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY

1/12/2021   Labcorp CEO says Covid vaccine recipients don’t need to be tested for antibodies afterward, by Kevin Stankiewicz, CNBC

1/12/2021   Covid vaccine: Trump administration tells states to roll out first dose to over-65s, by Danielle Zoellner, The Independent

1/12/2021   Trump Admin Makes Major Changes to Covid Vaccine Rollout, by Yuval Rosenberg, The Fiscal Times

The Trump administration on Tuesday announced some major changes to its Covid-19 vaccine rollout strategy, saying it would release all available doses and calling on states to start vaccinating everyone age 65 and older and adults with certain health conditions that make them more vulnerable to serious infection.

1/12/2021   Operation Warp Speed chief adviser resigns, Biden's transition official says, by Jeff Mason, Reuters

The operation started last year as a national effort by the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Defense, aiming to provide substantial quantities of safe and effective vaccines for Americans by January 2021.

 

However, only about 2.6 million Americans had received a COVID-19 vaccine going into the last day of December, putting the United States far short of the government's target to vaccinate 20 million people last month.  

1/11/2021   Regulator investigating 2 Ontario nurses who travelled to D.C. rally promoting 'COVID fraud' conspiracy, by Colin Butler, CBC News

 

1/11/2021   Governors’ red tape blamed as vaccine doses pile up, by Susannah Luthi, Shannon Young and Victoria Colliver, Poliltico

Pharmacists and hospital leaders, scrambling to get the scarce Covid-19 vaccine doses into the arms of the willing, are begging state leaders not to tie their hands. They say a patchwork of Byzantine-like state regulations — and, in at least one case, the threat of monetary penalties for stepping out of line — have left the medical community paralyzed over what to do with extra supplies.

1/11/2021   Japan has found a new Covid variant. Here’s how it compares to virus strains in the UK, South Africa, by Sam Meredith, CNBC

On Dec. 14, health authorities in the U.K. reported a variant to the WHO identified as SARS-CoV-2 VOC 202012/01. It is unclear how the new strain originated, but preliminary findings have determined it is highly transmissible.

 

It initially appeared in southeast England, but within a few weeks, the variant of the virus had already started to replace other virus lineages in some areas of the country.  The U.K. is struggling to contain the spread of the virus, with already stressed health facilities under increasingly intense pressure nationwide. As of Dec. 30, the VOC-202012/01 variant had been reported in 31 other countries and territories worldwide.

1/11/2021   ‘It’s all fallen apart’: Newsom scrambles to save California — and his career, By DAVID SIDERS and CARLA MARINUCCI

“Nobody has been dealt a tougher hand than Gavin Newsom,” Gray Davis, the former California Democratic governor who was recalled in 2003, said in an interview. “Look, I had the energy crisis and a recession. He has a pandemic we haven’t seen for 100 years. He has the fallout from that pandemic, racial injustice, wildfires, and I think I’m leaving something out. But nobody, no living governor, has had to experience as many crises as him.”

1/11/2021   Biden reportedly 'frustrated' with his coronavirus team as advisers worry 100 million vaccinations goal won't be met, by Brendan Morrow, The Week

1/11/2021   Inhaling away the virus: Is the next generation of COVID vaccines on its way? by Zoe Magee

 

GlobalDebtCrisis 2021 01 10 WaPost 502w440h

1/10/2021   As spending climbs and revenue falls, the coronavirus forces a global reckoning, by Alexander Villegas, Anthony Faiola and Lesley Wroughton, The Washington Post

The United States has run up debt at a pace not seen since World War II.

 

Around the globe, the pandemic is racking up a mind-blowing bill: trillions of dollars in lost tax revenue, ramped-up spending and new borrowing set to burden the next generation with record levels of debt.

 

By the end of 2020, total government debt worldwide was projected to soar by $9 trillion and top 103 percent of global GDP, according to the Institute of International Finance — a historic jump of more than 10 percentage points in just one year.

1/10/2021   Israel’s massive vaccine drive isn’t keeping up with new cases — especially among younger victims, by Jason Gewirtz, CNBC

Younger Israelis now account for 25% of the country’s most serious cases, the highest since the start of the pandemic.

 

Without downplaying the concern over the rising percentage of younger people hospitalized with serious infections, Grotto, an epidemiologist, points out that almost 70% of Israelis above the age of 60 have now received their first shot providing them with some immunity.

1/9/2021   Covid killing nearly 3,000 in U.S. every day as CDC warns of ‘surge event’ from Capitol riots, by Will Feuer, CNBC

1/8/2021   Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine appears to neutralize a key mutation of Covid variants found in UK, South Africa, by Sam Meredith, CNBC

The research, published Thursday on preprint server bioRxiv and not yet peer-reviewed, suggested the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine worked to neutralize the so-called N501Y mutation.

 

The N501Y mutation has been reported in the more infectious variants. It is altering an amino acid within six key residues in the receptor-binding domain — a key part of the spike protein that the virus uses to gain entry into cells within the body.

1/7/2021   Could new COVID variants undermine vaccines? Labs scramble to find out, by Ewen Callaway, Nature

The UK and South African variants emerged independently, but both carry a bevy of mutations — some of them similar — in the coronavirus spike protein, through which the virus identifies and infects host cells, and which serves as the chief target of our immune response. 

1/6/2021   Michigan to accelerate COVID-19 vaccinations, offer doses to teachers, police, more seniors, by Dave Boucher and Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

“Every shot in the arm is a step closer to ending this pandemic. We don't want to see people standing in lines," Whitmer said.

1/6/2021   Politics frustrate WHO mission to search for origins of coronavirus in China, by Emily Rauhala and Lily Kuo, The Washington Post

1/5/2021   Michigan ranks 7th worst in nation in administering COVID-19 vaccines, by Kristen Jordan Shamus and Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press

Michigan received 520,150 doses of Pfizer's and Moderna's coronavirus vaccines as of Monday, but only 27% of those vaccine doses had been administered, according to state health department data.

 

Only six other states — Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia — have vaccinated fewer people per capita, CDC data released Monday show.

 

[CDC Vaccination Tracker]

 

 

1/4/2021   'A really good day': Brighton District Library reopens for limited walk-in service, by Ken Palmer, Livingston Daily

1/3/2021   Palestinians excluded from Israeli Covid vaccine rollout as jabs go to settlers, by Oliver Holmes and Hazem Balousha, The Observer

Human rights groups accuse Israel of dodging obligations to millions in occupied territories who may wait months for vaccination

1/3/2021   Weed and Seven Benadryl: The Wild Lengths COVID Docs Are Taking to Get Sleep, by Larrison Campbell, Daily Beast

It’s just nonstop terror, unfortunately. -  Dr Tsion Firew

1/2/2021   Zelene Blancas, an El Paso, Texas teacher whose 2018 class video made her a national sensation, dies from Covid-19 at 35, by Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, The New York Times

She gained popularity online after posting a video in 2018 of her students that gained more than 23 million views. It showed classmates hugging one another before a weekend break, smiles spread across their faces as they said goodbye — a reminder of the human capacity for love and connection.

1/2/2021   U.S. daily coronavirus cases are higher than ever, but the holidays are distorting the data, by Jennifer Jett and Julie Walton Shaver, The New York Times

Nineteen states reported no data on Friday, which was a public holiday for New Year’s Day. The remaining states reported a total of more than 147,000 new cases on Friday. The near doubling of cases on Saturday can mostly be explained by many states reporting cases for both Friday and Saturday, with one state, Michigan, reporting cases for Thursday as well. Other states will wait until Sunday or Monday to report cases from the past few days, which will continue to distort the totals.

1/2/2021   The U.K. tinkers with its vaccination procedures while the U.S. balks at changes,  by Katherine J. Wu, The New York Times

1/2/2021   Global Roundup of Covid19 News, by Karen Schwartz, The New York Times

1/2/2021   25 California prisons have logged more than 1,000 infections. None are in the first wave of vaccinations, by  Ann Hinga Klein, The New York Times

In all, 25 California prisons have individual caseloads surpassing 1,000. The largest outbreak has been at overcrowded Avenal, in Central California, which has logged more than 3,500 infections. That is one of the nation’s largest known coronavirus clusters.

1/2/2021   The Los Angeles area is hit with a Christmas coronavirus surge., by Bryan Pietsch, The New York Times

1/2/2021   California Funeral Homes Are Running Out of Room for Bodies, by Christopher Weber, AP

1/2/2021   Has Africa been spared? Researchers say the numbers of cases and deaths are probably undercounted, by Ruth Maclean, The New York Times

1/2/2021   Larry King Battling COVID-19 in Los Angeles Hospital: Report, by Justin Rohrlich, Daily Beast Cheat Sheet

1/2/2021   PA State Rep. Dies From Brain Aneurysm Weeks After Contracting COVID-19, by Ana Lucia Murillo, Daily Beast

In a Dec. 7 statement, the Republican representative said he was quarantining after testing positive for the coronavirus, and had mild symptoms.   With his family by his side, Pennsylvania State Rep. Mike Reese died on Saturday afternoon from a brain aneurysm, at age 42

 

How Does Coronavirus Affect the Brain? by Robert Stevens, M.D., Johns Hopkins University

 

Patients with COVID-19 are experiencing an array of effects on the brain, ranging in severity from confusion to loss of smell and taste to life-threatening strokes. Younger patients in their 30s and 40s are suffering possibly life-changing neurological issues due to strokes. Critical care physician and neurointensivist Robert Stevens, M.D., who is the associate director of the Johns Hopkins Precision Medicine Center of Excellence for Neurocritical Care, has been tracking cases at Johns Hopkins in which patients with COVID-19 also have neurological problems.

A park in Mexico City’s Condesa neighborhood, which has long attracted expatriates escaping high rents in New York or Los Angeles — and is drawing even more foreigners during the pandemic.

From the Times article below, this is Parque México, located about four blocks from my childhood home in La Condesa, now a hipster neighborhood of Ciudad de México.  I lived across the street from another park, Parque España, on a curving boulevard bearing the the same name.

 

1/2/2021   Even though cases are exploding in Mexico City, Americans are pouring in,  by Oscar Lopez, The New York Times

1/2/2021   An illegal rave in France has finally ended, by Constant Méheut, The New York Times

Gérald Darmanin, France’s interior minister, said that more than 1,600 revelers were fined for breaking the restrictions.

1/2/2021   Federal Judge Scorches Gov. Kristi Noem Over COVID Response, by Tracy Connor, Daily Beast

Federal judge Charles Kornmann took a rhetorical blowtorch to South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, saying in a ruling this week that the state has done “little, if anything” to stop COVID-19 from ravaging the state. The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports that U.S. District Judge Charles Kornmann ordered a state court to stop using the pandemic as an excuse to delay a defendant’s trial.

 

Then he went after the state’s response to the crisis itself. “South Dakota has done little, if anything, to curtail the spread of the virus,” he wrote.

 

“South Dakota cannot ‘take advantage’ of its own failures to follow scientific facts and safeguards in entering blanket denials of the rights of speedy trials.” [Governor] Noem has opposed mask mandates and other lockdown measures, even as her state racked up one of the worst per capita infection rates in the country. “Her example significantly encourages south Dakotans to not wear masks,” the judge wrote. “South Dakota is now a very dangerous place in which to live due to the spread of COVID-19.”

1/1/2021   The U.S. reaches 20 million cases, by Kate Taylor, The New York Times

Half of those 20 million cases have been recorded just since Nov. 8, a reflection of how widespread and devastating the recent surge has been.

 

The United States now accounts for nearly a quarter of the more than 83 million coronavirus cases reported in the world, and nearly a fifth of the death toll. The country has recorded more than 340,000 coronavirus deaths. Reporting of deaths has been uneven in recent days because of the holidays, but the week from Dec. 15 to Dec. 22 was the worst week for coronavirus deaths in the United States over the course of the pandemic, with 18,971 new deaths recorded.

1/1/2021   A man was hospitalized with the virus after attending a controversial ‘Covid conga line’ party in Queens, by Daniel E. Slotnik, The New York Times

1/1/2021   McConnell, Pelosi homes vandalized after $2,000 relief fails, by TIMOTHY D. EASLEY and TRAVIS LOLLER, AP

1/1/2021   California reports a record 585 virus deaths in single day, by By CHRISTOPHER WEBER, Associated Press

1/1/2021   A Virginia state senator, Ben Chafin, has died from complications of Covid-19, by Allyson Waller and Lauren Wolfe, The New York Times

Gov. Ralph Northam offered his condolences to Mr. Chafin’s family on Friday, saying in a statement that he “will always be grateful” for Mr. Chafin’s “courageous vote to expand health care for people who need it.”

 

At his behest, the family is requesting food bank donations “in lieu of flowers and other acts of kindness.”

1/1/2021   Virginia state Senator Ben Chafin, Republican, dies after catching coronavirus, Associated Press

1/1/2021   States are shutting down prisons and moving inmates because guards have fallen ill, by Brendon Derr, The New York Times

Wisconsin has closed a cell block at its prison in Waupun and started moving its 220 inmates to other prisons, despite warnings that similar prison transfers elsewhere have sown deadly outbreaks, including at San Quentin State Prison in California. More than a quarter of Waupun’s guards have been infected since the start of the pandemic, according to state data.

1/1/2021   China approves its first Covid-19 vaccine as it moves to inoculate tens of millions, by Amy Qin, The New York Times

The manufacturer, a state-controlled company called Sinopharm, said a vaccine candidate made by its Beijing Institute of Biological Products arm had an efficacy rate of 79 percent based on an interim analysis of Phase 3 clinical trials. The Chinese companies have said their candidates — which use inactivated coronaviruses — have an advantage in that they are cheaper and easier to transport than those produced by companies like Moderna and Pfizer.

1/1/2021   India tests vaccine delivery system with nationwide trial, by RISHABH R. JAIN and ALTAF QADRI, AP

The massive exercise was followed by India’s drug regulator recommending the emergency-use approval of two vaccines for COVID-19 — one developed by Oxford University and U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca, and another by the Indian manufacturer Bharat Biotech.

1/1/2021   India nears approval for two vaccines, by Emily Schmall, The New York Times

The Serum Institute of India, one of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturers, signed a pact with AstraZeneca to make one billion doses of its vaccine for low-and-middle-income countries. The second vaccine was developed and financed by the Indian government and a Hyderabad-based company, Bharat Biotech.

1/1/2021   Israel could become the first country to vaccinate all of its citizens, by Isabel Kershner, The New York Times

12/31/2020   Chief justice praises work of federal courts during COVID-19, by Jessica Gresko, The Associated Press

12/31/2020   California hospitals at 'brink of catastrophe'; 25,000 dead, by Brian Melley And Stefanie Dazio, The Associated Press

12/31/2020   Japan's emperor acknowledges virus hardship in video message, By: Yuri Kageyama, The Associated Press

12/31/2020   U.P. breakfast spot that defied indoor dining ban hit with restraining order, by Slone Terranella, Detroit Free Press

12/31/2021   Trump extends visa ban; court clears health insurance rule, by ELLIOT SPAGAT, AP

12/31/2021   EU reviews BioNTech request for ‘extra dose’ of virus shot, plan to delay 2nd dose by 8 weeks, by MIKE CORDER and FRANK JORDANS, AP

The European Union medicines watchdog said Thursday that German company BioNTech has applied for clearance in the 27-nation bloc to administer up to six doses of its COVID-19 vaccine from each vial, instead of the five doses currently approved.

 

Senior vaccine researcher at Berlin’s Charite hospital, Dr. Leif-Erik Sander, said the vaccines made by BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna have a strong protective effect about 10 days after the first shot.

12/31/2021   Wisconsin hospital worker arrested for spoiled vaccine doses, by Todd Richmond, AP

His motive remains unclear. Police said that detectives believe he knew the spoiled doses would be useless and people who received them would mistakenly think they’d been vaccinated when they hadn’t.

12/31/2020   A pharmacist is arrested after he allegedly allowed more than 500 vaccine doses to spoil, by Kate Taylor, The New York Times

The pharmacist had admitted to removing the vials from refrigeration on two consecutive nights — Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

12/31/2020   Federal judge: South Dakota can't use COVID-19 as an excuse for not having speedy trials, by Danielle Ferguson, Sioux Falls Argus Leader

"The Governor has steadfastly refused to impose a statewide mask mandate. She has often questioned publicly the scientific fact that mask wearing prevents the virus from spreading. she appeared at a dedication ceremony for a large 3M Company in Aberdeen manufacturing plant expansion — to allow 3M to produce even more N95 respirators needed by front-line healthcare workers — as the only public official not wearing a mask. Her example significantly encourages south Dakotans to not wear masks. South Dakota is now a very dangerous place in which to live due to the spread of COVID-19. Even a casual observer must note the failure of most residents of South Dakota to wear masks and maintain social distancing."

 

- Judge Charles Kornmann, US District Court, District of South Dakota, Northern Division

12/30/2020   December is deadliest month for Livingston County during pandemic; recent drop in cases brings hope, by Jennifer Timar, Livingston Daily

12/29/2020   Rav Chaim Kanievsky, one of the most prominent Orthodox Jewish leaders today, was recently asked whether it was optional or required to get the Covid vaccine:

“Tzrichim – it’s required," he answered, adding “Don’t be afraid.” 

12/29/2020  Jews Helping to Find a Covid Vaccine, by Dr. Yvette Alt Miller, Aish.com

As scientists around the world raced to develop a Covid vaccine, some of the leading researchers were Jewish. The head scientist at Pfizer, whose vaccine has recently been approved by regulators in the US and Europe, is Mikael Dolsten, a Swedish Jew whose mother was a Holocaust survivor. Pfizer’s CEO, Albert Bourla, is a Jewish businessman who was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. At Moderna, an American biotech company who has also developed a successful Covid vaccine, the Chief Medical Officer is Israeli scientist Dr. Tal Zaks.

 

As it became evident that Pfizer’s vaccine was going to be successful, Dr. Dolsten mused on the prominent role that Jews have played in the development of a vaccine:

 

A lot of the great breakthroughs in America have come from people that immigrated. There has been a strong Jewish tradition around contributing to humanity and a strong tradition within medicine. – Pfizer chief scientist Dr. Mikael Dolsten, Nov. 16, 2020

12/31/2020   18,000 Michiganders file for unemployment benefits as national, state support is extended, by Miriam Marini and Slone Terranella, Detroit Free Press

Black Death Cross, the Plague Cross

12/31/2020   COVID-19 dominates annual list of banished words, terms, Associated Press

“Unprecedented,” which was banished back in 2002, has been restored to the list.

12/30/2020   25 DAYS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD: HOW COVID-19 SLIPPED CHINA’S GRASP, By Chris Buckley, David D. Kirkpatrick, Amy Qin and Javier C. Hernández, The New York Times

As political hostilities erupted between China and the United States, scientists on both sides still leaned on global networks built up over decades and sought to share information — with top scientists recognizing early on that the virus was probably contagious among humans.

 

On Jan. 8, the head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, George F. Gao, became emotional after acknowledging that danger during a call with his American counterpart, Dr. Robert R. Redfield, according to two people familiar with Dr. Redfield’s account of the call.

 

Yet neither Dr. Redfield nor Dr. Gao, each constrained by politics, signaled a public alarm. In Beijing, top health officials had received ominous reports from doctors in Wuhan and had sent two expert teams to investigate. But they lacked the political clout to challenge Wuhan officials and held their tongues in public.

 

China ultimately got control, both of the virus and of the narrative surrounding it. Today, the Chinese economy is roaring and some experts are asking whether the pandemic has tipped the global balance of power toward Beijing.

 

China’s resurgence has infuriated President Trump, who spent months blaming Beijing for what he called “the China virus.” The United States still hasn’t contained the virus and is paying a heavy price in deaths and economic impact, while life is relatively normal in China.

12/30/2020   Whitmer vetoes 13 bills, says pandemic measure endangers 'lives of countless Michiganders', Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press

One bill, championed by state Rep. Lana Theis, R-Brighton, would require the director of the Department of Health and Human Services to seek legislative approval if that person wanted to extend an emergency health order beyond 28 days.

 

"Unfortunately, epidemics are not limited to 28 days. We should not so limit our ability to respond to them," Whitmer said in a letter explaining her veto.

 

Military vehicles on the road: A bill to allow surplus military vehicles to be registered as historic vehicles and driven on public roads. Whitmer argued this is inappropriate and posed safety concerns, noting former Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed a similar bill.

 

Civil forfeiture at airports: A bill that would allow airport law enforcement to seize money or other personal property, even if the person who has that property is not convicted of a crime. Whitmer wrote she signed several other bills to roll back civil asset forfeiture, arguing this legislation would undermine those bipartisan efforts.

12/30/2020   ‘Gilligan’s Island’ star Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann, dies after COVID-19, Associated Press

12/30/2020   Judge refuses to free doctor charged in $120M scheme, by Robert Snell, The Detroit News

On Wednesday, the judge cited Patino's prison medical records, which indicate he has recovered from COVID-19 and was no longer in quarantine.

 

The Patino case is linked to an investigation involving a $120-$200 million Medicare fraud and opiate profiteering scheme.  Witnesses claim that Patino allegedly traded drugs for sex with a stripper, hid profits from the illegal scheme, kept $50,000 in cash under a mattress and that he ripped out his sick, 80-pound ex-wife's feeding tube.

12/30/2020   Whitmer vetoes proposal allowing hazardous materials on Ambassador Bridge, by Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press

The legal language was tucked in to a broader bill aimed at providing relief to businesses and workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Whitmer was able to use her line-item veto authority to remove the hazardous materials portion of the bill while signing the broader bill into law.

12/30/2020   California hits record COVID-19 deaths as new variant found, by STEFANIE DAZIO and DON THOMPSON, AP

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria praised residents who follow the rules, stay home as much as possible and wear masks when outside.

 

“Many have sacrificed their social lives for the greater good. Others have treated this with a sickening level of apathy as their neighbors died,” he said.

12/30/2020   Trump’s $2,000 checks stall in Senate as GOP blocks vote, by Lisa Mascaro and Jill Colvin, AP

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said some of the $600 payments might be sent by direct deposit to Americans’ bank accounts as early as Tuesday night. Mnuchin tweeted that paper checks will begin to go out Wednesday.

12/30/2020   Michigan reports 4,222 new COVID-19 cases, 51 deaths Wednesday, by Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press

Of 46,908 diagnostic tests reported Tuesday, 4,378 yielded positive results — a positivity rate of 9.33%.

12/30/2020   1st reported US case of COVID-19 variant found in Colorado, Associated Press

12/30/2020   Dearborn Heights Mayor Dan Paletko dies from COVID-19 complications, by Darcie Moran, Detroit Free Press

 

 12/30/2020TweetOfCotlarReClackmasTootie 2020 12 30

 

12/30/2020   Michigan Stadium to be used as COVID-19 vaccine site, by Omar Abdel-Baqui, Detroit Free Press

Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor will be used as a vaccination site starting Thursday, Michigan Medicine announced.

 

Hundreds of University of Michigan students and employees who fall into vaccine priority group Phase 1a are slated to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine Thursday morning. 

 12/29/2020

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12/29/2020   Republicans say Whitmer veto puts extension of jobless benefits at risk, by Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press

12/29/2020   Greek nurse erects ICU at home to treat relatives with virus, by COSTAS KANTOURIS, AP

12/29/2020   UK is first to authorize easy-to-handle AstraZeneca vaccine, by By DANICA KIRKA and MIKE CORDER, AP

12/29/2020   China clamps down in hidden hunt for coronavirus origins, by By DAKE KANG, MARIA CHENG and SAM MCNEIL, Associated Press

Internal documents show that the state soon began requiring all coronavirus studies in China to be approved by high-level government officials — a policy that critics say paralyzed research efforts.

 

Click the https://apnews.com/article/international-news-pandemics-thessaloniki-greece-coronavirus-pandemic-1f4b2f9f36ebfba553d95d2aa5e82b48

12/29/2020   Ohio Inmate who survived execution attempt dies; COVID suspected, By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS, AP

12/29/2020   Biden criticizes pace of vaccine rollout, vows to accelerate, By ALEXANDRA JAFFE, AP

12/29/2020   Former Louisiana lawmaker and wife died of COVID-19 on the same day, AP

12/29/2020   Burdened Arizona hospitals turn away ambulances, transfers, by By PAUL DAVENPORT and ANITA SNOW, AP

12/29/2020   White House wins ruling on disclosing health care prices, By DEB RIECHMANN, AP

As proposed, the Trump administration rule would require that hospitals publish in a consumer-friendly manner negotiated rates for the 300 most common services that can be scheduled in advance, such as a knee replacement, a Cesarean-section delivery or an MRI scan. Hospitals would have to disclose what they’d be willing to accept if the patient pays cash.

12/29/2020   Arkansas governor extends COVID emergency as deaths spike, By ANDREW DeMILLO, AP

12/29/2020   Michigan reports 3,414 new COVID-19 cases, 193 deaths Tuesday, by Clara Hendrickson, Detroit Free Press

Of 19,115 COVID-19 diagnostic tests reported Monday, 1,892 came back positive, a positivity rate of 9.01%.

12/29/2020   Replay: Whitmer update on Michigan COVID-19 response, by Tanya Wildt, Detroit Free Press

12/29/2020   'He was born smiling:' Police, civilians say goodbye to Sheriff Benny Napoleon, by Darcie Moran, Detroit Free Press

12/29/2020   Doctors raise alarm over 'dire' situation in NHS as Covid cases rise, by Sarah Marsh, The Guardian

Patient numbers surpass first wave of pandemic

12/29/2020   How California went from a leader in the Covid fight to a state in despair, by Maanvi Singh, The Guardian

12/29/2020   WHO warns Covid-19 pandemic is 'not necessarily the big one' by Melissa Dave, by Maanvi Singh, The Guardiany, The Guardian

Experts tell end of year media briefing that virus is likely to become endemic and the world will have to learn to live with it

12/28/2020   President Donald Trump signed a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package Sunday, despite a remarkable  video message he posted to social media days earlier in which he called  the bipartisan legislation a "disgrace."

12/28/2020   China sentences lawyer who reported on outbreak to 4 years, Associated Press

The charges: “picking fights and provoking trouble,”

12/28/2020   Unemployment benefits have been extended. So when will the checks come?, by Adrienne Roberts, Detroit Free Press

The federal legislation would extend the PUA program until March 14. No new applicants will be accepted after this time, and all benefits will end April 5, Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency said Monday. Beginning at the end of January, new and active claimants must provide documentation as opposed to self-certification, as is currently the case, to substantiate employment status, the agency said.

12/28/2020   New coronavirus strain from the UK appears in Canada, a few hours away from Detroit, by Omar Abdel-Baqui, Detroit Free Press

12/28/2020   Michigan confirms 3,239 new coronavirus cases, 60 deaths over 2-day period, by Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press

Of 24,752 diagnostic tests reported Sunday, 2,142 yielded positive results — a positivity rate of 8.65%.

12/28/2020   Russia admits to world's third-worst Covid-19 death toll, by Agence France-Presse

More than 186,000 Russians have died due to coronavirus, three times more than previously reported

 

For months, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has boasted about Russia’s low fatality rate from the virus, saying earlier this month that it had done a better job at managing the pandemic than western countries.

 

But since early in the pandemic, some Russian experts have said the government was playing down the country’s outbreak.

 

On Monday, Russian officials admitted that was true. The Rosstat statistics agency said that the number of deaths from all causes recorded between January and November had risen by 229,700 compared with the previous year.

 

“More than 81% of this increase in mortality over this period is due to Covid,” said the deputy prime minister, Tatiana Golikova, meaning that more than 186,000 Russians have died from Covid-19.

12/28/2020   Public to pay respects to Benny Napoleon, who served Detroit, Wayne County for decades, by Omar Abdel-Baqui, Detroit Free Press

12/28/2020   The curse of the incidental illness: Seen as side effects to Covid vaccinations, ailments may have little to do with them, By HELEN BRANSWELL, STAT

As Covid-19 vaccines go into broad use, some rare side effects of vaccination will almost certainly emerge, like the reports of small numbers of people developing anaphylaxis. But so will medical events whose timing just comes down to random chance — and the potential ripple effects of those reports already have experts concerned.

 

Every single day, people die unexpectedly. They have strokes and heart attacks and seizures. On an average day, 110 people in this country may develop Bell’s palsy, a temporary facial paralysis, and another 274 will develop Guillain-Barré syndrome, a form of paralysis that usually resolves over time. The trigger for these medical events often isn’t known. But when they happen shortly after someone gets a vaccine — especially a new one — well, conclusions will be drawn.

12/28/2020   Path to Herd Immunity - COVID-19 Vaccine Projections, by Youyang Gu

Summary

  • We estimate COVID-19 herd immunity (>60% of population immune) will be reached in the US during summer 2021 (Jun-Aug 2021). At a high level, herd immunity is a concept in which a population can be protected from a virus if enough people possess immunity.
  • At the time herd immunity is reached, roughly half of the immunity will be achieved through natural infection, and the other half will be achieved through vaccination.
  • New infections may become minimal before herd immunity is reached. But due to imported cases and localized clusters, it is unlikely that new infections will drop to zero until at least 2022.
  • Deaths may drop to low levels even earlier (May-Jul 2021), in part due to a vaccine distribution strategy that initially prioritizes high-risk individuals. Once deaths fall to minimal levels, we may see a relaxation of restrictions.
  • Summarizing the above findings, our best estimate of a complete “return to normal” in the US is mid-summer 2021 (June/July 2021).
  • We estimate roughly 70% of the US population (~235 million) will receive at least one dose of the vaccine by the end of 2021, with children and adolescents being the last group to receive it (Aug-Nov 2021).
  • We estimate around one-third of the US population (~105 million) will have been infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus by the end of 2021. That is an additional 40 million infections since mid-December 2020.
  • This translates to a final US COVID-19 death toll of roughly 500,000 (±100,000) reported deaths, or ~200,000 additional deaths since mid-December 2020.

12/28/2020   COVID-19 vaccine from Novavax is latest to enter Phase 3 trial in U.S., BY ALEXANDER TIN

If it proves effective in the Phase 3 trials, Novavax's vaccine vials could be distributed across standard supply chains at refrigerator temperatures, without the need for specialized freezers.

1/28/2020   Holiday travel increases fear of coronavirus surge, by Carter Evans, CBS News

"I think we're now in a viral tsunami," said Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. "It just keeps coming. It's inundating."

 

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti had a blunt warning about the consequences of celebrating on New Year's Eve. "It's a choice that you can make that will either save lives or take lives," he said.

 

Though U.S. health officials promised 20 million vaccine doses by the end of the year, only 11.4 million have been distributed and 2.1 million people have received the first dose of the vaccine.

12/27/2020   The Year of COVID-19, 2020 as seen through the lens of the Livingston Daily, The Livingston Daily

12/27/2020   Greg Norman back in US hospital with 'hideous' Covid-19 symptoms, by Reuters

12/27/2020   Inside Beaumont's COVID-19 units, nurses fear people 'just don't care', by Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

12/27/2020   Photo Gallery: Inside Beaumont's Michigan COVID-19 units, Photos by Kimberly P. Mitchell, Detroit Free Press

12/27/2020   Russia admits to world's third-worst Covid-19 death toll, Agence France-Presse, The Guardian

For months, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has boasted about Russia’s low fatality rate from the virus, saying earlier this month that it had done a better job at managing the pandemic than western countries.

 

But since early in the pandemic, some Russian experts have said the government was playing down the country’s outbreak.

 

On Monday, Russian officials admitted that was true. The Rosstat statistics agency said that the number of deaths from all causes recorded between January and November had risen by 229,700 compared with the previous year.

 

“More than 81% of this increase in mortality over this period is due to Covid,” said the deputy prime minister, Tatiana Golikova, meaning that more than 186,000 Russians have died from Covid-19.

12/27/2020   After Threatening Veto, Trump Finally Signs Covid-19 Relief Bill Into Law, by Peter Wade, Rolling Stone

This narrowly averted a government shutdown, which would have taken effect Monday night

12/27/2020   So many COVID-19 patients in L.A., some wait 8 hours in ambulance for spot in E.R., by The Los Angeles Times, OregonLive

Many patients instead receive a high-flow oxygen treatment, where oxygen is sent through plastic tubes placed in the nose.

 

And the need for that assistance is high. While a non-COVID patient may receive six liters of oxygen per minute, COVID-19 patients need 60 to 80 liters a minute.

 

So now, hospitals need 10 times more oxygen than they did before. There have been periods of time where hospitals have run dangerously low on their stores of oxygen before obtaining additional supplies, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

12/27/2020   ‘There are a lot of potential Modernas’: The ‘Massachusetts Miracle’ is alive and well, by SHIRLEY LEUNG, STAT

12/27/2020   The coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and Astra Zeneca is expected to win approval this week as the head of the drugs giant said it “should be” effective against the highly transmissible new strain of the virus.  By Sabah Meddings, Tim Shipman and Andrew Gregory, The Times

Astra Zeneca’s chief executive, Pascal Soriot, today reveals that new data will show the vaccine is as effective as the Pfizer and Moderna jabs that have already been approved, protecting 95% of patients, and is “100% effective” in preventing severe illness requiring hospital treatment.

12/26/2020   Michigan reports 7,341 new COVID-19 cases, 254 deaths over 3 days, by Nushrat Rahman, Detroit Free Press

Michigan had a positivity rate of 7.06% Friday, reporting that 2,747 of 38,912 diagnostic test results returned were positive.

12/26/2020   One COVID-19 patient is dying every 10 minutes in Los Angeles County as officials fear post-Christmas surge, CBS

More than 7 million people cleared the Transportation Security Administration for flights out of U.S. airports in the week before Christmas, CBS News' Michael George reports.

 

The number is less than half the number of travelers from 2019, but still outpaced Thanksgiving travel volume, the previous record-high since the pandemic began.

12/26/2020   In a shift, more Americans say they are eager to get vaccinated, by Jan Hoffman, The New York Times

12/26/2020   Central and Southern California have 0 percent I.C.U. capacity, in a state already low on hospital beds. By Bryan Pietsch, The New York Times

- My sister lives in the San Joaquin Valley, in the middle of that mess.

12/25/2020   Covid-19 : plus on ajoute de lits en soins intensifs, plus le risque de mortalité est élevé, par manque de personnel qualifié, Marianne Klaric, rtbf.be

A Belgian study shows that the more you add extra beds to an ICU, the more mortality goes up. Why? Because you lack qualified staff.

12/25/2020   Southern California’s Hospitals Are Overwhelmed, and It May Get Worse, by Tim Arango, The New York Times

Inside the hospital, so many patients are streaming in that gurneys have been placed in the gift shop, and the entire lobby is now a space to treat patients. The waiting room is a tent outside.

 

“Everything is backed up all the way to the street,” said Dr. Oscar Casillas, the medical director of the hospital’s emergency department, which is set up to serve about 30 people at a time but over the last week has seen more than 100 patients per day.

12/25/2020   Boston Doctor Reports Serious Allergic Reaction After Getting Moderna’s Covid Vaccine, by Katherine J. Wu, The New York Times

The patient, who has a severe shellfish allergy, recovered quickly with treatment. Until now, reports of severe reactions had been linked to the Pfizer vaccine.

12/24/2020   Mexico Begins Vaccinations Amid Virus Surge, by Oscar Lopez, The New York Times

The head nurse at the Rubén Leñero hospital in Mexico City, María Irene Ramírez, 59, was the first person in the country to get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, as part of the government’s strategy to focus on health care workers in December, January and February before moving on to the older Mexicans considered most at risk.

 

“This is the best gift that I could have received in 2020,” Ms. Ramírez said during the ceremony, which was broadcast on national television. “We are afraid, but we have to keep going because someone has to face this fight.”

12/24/2020   Hospitalizations decline, but some hospitals are near capacity according to state data, by Nisa Khan, Detroit Free Press

12/24/2020   Florida Governor DeSantis spokesman Piccolo deletes his Twitter account after tweet about COVID-19 victims, by By STEVEN LEMONGELLO and MARIO ARIZA, The ORLANDO SENTINEL

According to screenshots captured by Miami Herald reporter Ben Conarck and WLRN reporter Danny Rivero, Piccolo was responding at about 4 a.m. to a tweet by Corinne Perkins, the North America editor for Reuters Pictures.

 

Piccolo wrote, “I’m wondering since 99% [of] Covid patients survive shouldn’t you have 99 photos of survivors for every one fatality? Otherwise you’re just trying to create a narrative that is not reality.” 

12/23/2020   Doses of COVID-19 vaccine arrive at St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital, health department, by Jennifer Timar, Livingston Daily

12/23/2020   U.S. ranks 43rd worldwide in sequencing to check for coronavirus variants like the one found in the U.K.  By Harry Stevens and Miriam Berger, The Washington Post

Of the more than 18 million cases officially reported in the United States, just 51,212, or 0.3 percent, have been genetically analyzed for variants,

 

[Scientists have a powerful new tool for controlling the coronavirus: Its own genetic code]

12/23/2020   Estimated transmissibility and severity of novel SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern 202012/01 in England, Authors: Nicholas Davies*, Rosanna C Barnard1, Christopher I Jarvis1, Adam J Kucharski1, James D Munday1, Carl A.B. Pearson1, Timothy W Russell1, Damien C Tully1, Sam Abbott, Amy Gimma, William Waites, Kerry LM Wong, Kevin van Zandvoort, CMMID COVID-19 working group, Rosalind M Eggo, Sebastian Funk, Mark Jit, Katherine E Atkins & W John Edmunds.  Center for Mathematical Modeling of Infectious Disease

We estimate that VOC 202012/01 is 56% more transmissible (95% credible interval across three regions 50-74%) than preexisting variants of SARS-CoV-2. We were unable to find clear evidence that VOC 202012/01 results in greater or lesser severity of disease than preexisting variants. Nevertheless, the increase in transmissibility is likely to lead to a large increase in incidence, with COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths projected to reach higher levels in 2021 than were observed in 2020, even if regional tiered restrictions implemented before 19 December are maintained.

12/23/2020   The $2 trillion CARES Act, a response to COVID-19, is equivalent to 45% of all 2019 federal spending, USA Facts

This is an update of an April 5 report, a heavily linked deep dive.

 

What exactly will the relief check cover for Americans? For reference, the monthly median household income in 2018 was $5,161, and the median gross rent as of 2018 is $1,023, according to the Census Bureau. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average middle class (middle 20% of income earners) household spent roughly $1,000 per week in 2018, with about $133 per week going towards food and $343 per week going towards housing. Households in the lowest 20% of income earners spent roughly $500 per week.

12/23/2020   The PPP gave out $525 billion in loans. Which places received the most?   USA Facts, an update of a July 30 report

Congress has restarted the Paycheck Protection Program, which ended on August 8. The most detailed data yet reveals where the initial run of the program allocated money compared to job loss, demographics, and COVID-19. This is the first of a two-part series.

 

San Francisco received the most money compared to its size, with an average of $3,900 dollars per person. In comparison, Detroit averaged around $970 per person, and El Paso, TX averaged just under $920.

 

Who is USAFacts?


USAFacts got its start from a conversation Steve Ballmer had with his wife, Connie, about becoming more involved in philanthropy. To determine the best way to make an impact, he wanted first to see what governments do with the money it raises and who it helps. Where does the money come from, and where is it spent? Whom does it serve? Most importantly, what are the outcomes?

12/22/2021   COVID-19 vaccine plan means some states will lag in getting shots to highest-risk groups, by Dennis Wagner, Donovan Slack and Aleszu Bajak, USA TODAY

12/22/2020   A primer on paradox in medical test statistics, specificity, sensitivity, true and false positive and negative rates, odds vs probability, Prevalence, Prior, and Bayes, Oh my!

12/22/2020   Pharmalittle: EU clears Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine; Americans are increasingly willing to get the shot, by DAMIAN GARDE, STAT

12/21/2020   South Dakota’s COVID-19 death rate highest in the nation according to health professionals, by Don Jorgensen, KELO,  Sioux Falls, SD

12/21/2020   Strip risky hazmat provisions from Michigan COVID relief bills | Opinion by Michigan State Representative Stephanie Chang, The Detroit News

My first priority is always to protect the health and safety of my residents. Senate Bill 748 includes harmful boilerplate language ordering Michigan Department of Transportation to ignore facts, ignore my community, and have the department rely on an eight-year-old rejected draft study from the last time Michigan considering allowing certain hazardous material to go across the antiquated, 91-year-old Ambassador Bridge. Additionally, the language included in this bill violates federal law regarding hazmat transport and the process criteria identified within that law.

12/21/2021   Mexico Misled Citizens About the Severity of Coronavirus in its Capital, by Natalie Kitroeff, The New York Times

The federal government had data that should have prompted an immediate lockdown in early December. Instead, it kept the city open for another two weeks.

 

Federal health officials did not provide a response to requests for comment. The government of Mexico City pointed to recent public comments by the mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, who said that her government had avoided a lockdown because “this time of year is really important in terms of families’ finances.”

 

Health workers are dying, too — more doctors, nurses and technicians have died of the coronavirus in Mexico than anywhere else in the world, according to a recent Amnesty International report.

12/20/2020   The Next 3 Months Are Going to Be Pure Hell, Opinion by Timothy Egan, The New York Times

We, on the other hand, face a brutal early spring. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects that more than 500,000 Americans likely will have died from Covid-19 by the end of March.

 

Dr. Anthony Fauci has made similar grim assessments of what lies ahead; in November he predicted December would see “a surge superimposed upon” a surge, not unlike the waves of the Pacific, gray and unrelenting in the December dusk.

12/20/2020   Airport traffic rises despite holiday travel warnings, by Michael Liedtke, Associated Press

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an advisory declaring “postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.”

 

Nevertheless, about 1.07 million people passed through the security checkpoints at U.S. airports on Friday and again on Saturday, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

12/20/2020   Congress reaches deal on COVID-19 relief, government funding, Andrew Taylor and Christopher Rugaber, Associated Press

12/20/2020   Highlights of $900 billion COVID-19 relief, wrapup bills, Associated Press

- a massive, year-end catchall bill that combines $900 billion in COVID-19 aid with a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill and reams of other unfinished legislation on taxes, energy, education and health care. The huge, still-unreleased bill is slated for votes on Monday

12/20/2020   Debbie Dingell takes on the pandemic, other timely topics in annual holiday jingle, by Steve Pepple, Detroit Free Press

While a few are still denying,”

 

John Dingell, who retired in January 2015 after nearly six decades as a congressman, released holiday jingles or poems for a number of years that parodied current events, a tradition taken up by his wife, after she succeeded him in Congress.

12/20/2020   The Coronavirus Is Mutating. What Does That Mean for Us? By Apoorva Mandavilli, The New York Times

Citing the rapid spread of the virus through London and surrounding areas, Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed the country’s most stringent lockdown since March. “When the virus changes its method of attack, we must change our method of defense,” he said. 

12/20/2020   Traveling for the holidays? Here's how to avoid contracting COVID-19 at the airport, by Christopher ElliottSpecial to USA TODAY

12/20/2020   Faster, faster, faster: How the COVID-19 vaccine has Michigan gasping for more, by Tresa Baldas and Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

Michigan and several other states, health officials said last week, will not be getting as much of the Pfizer vaccine as was expected, and more importantly, needed. The state was expecting 84,000 doses next week — with plans to start vaccinating nursing home residents by then — but only 60,000 doses are coming, which has public and hospital officials reeling.

 

"There are millions of Pfizer vaccines, many right here in Portage, Michigan, that are waiting to be shipped," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said during a Friday news conference. "But the feds are slow walking the process of getting the addresses to Pfizer for some reason I cannot get an answer to.

 

"We have Michigan hospitals and nursing homes ready to administer this vaccine. And the bottleneck appears to be the White House. And I can't get an answer why."

12/19/2020   Governors Are ‘Angry,’ Frustrated at Trump Administration’s Bungling of Vaccine Distribution, by Peter Wade, Rolling Stone

“It was a planning error, and I am responsible,” Army Gen. Gustave Perna said of the mistake. “We’re learning from it. We’re trying to get better”

12/19/2020   A side-by-side comparison of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, by Helen Branswell, STAT

12/19/2020   Coronavirus in Michigan, USA Today

12/19/2020   Michigan reports 3,896 new COVID-19 cases, 187 deaths Saturday, by Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press

The state has reported 37,204 probable COVID-19 cases and 614 probable deaths.

 

The probable cases combined with the confirmed cases make for a cumulative total of 496,086 cases and 12,074 deaths.

12/19/2020   Oakland County Republican leader Bill Bullard dies of COVID-19 complications, cancer, by Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press

12/19/2020   Michigan coronavirus cases: Tracking the pandemic, by Pat Byrne, Brian McNamara, Brian Todd, Kristi Tanner and Nisa Khan, Detroit Free Press

11,461 Dead   284,731 recovered   458,852 total confirmed cases in Michigan

12/19/2020   Michigan lawmakers, Whitmer agree to $465M in virus aid, Associated Press

12/18/2020   France's Macron blames his COVID on negligence, bad luck, by Angela Charlton and John Leichester, Associated Press

12/18/2020   Whitmer rips federal government for 'slow walking' vaccine distribution in Michigan, Kristen Jordan Shamus and Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pointed a finger at the federal government Friday, saying it is holding back shipments of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine to states, including Michigan, causing unnecessary delays and is shorting Michigan hospitals, health departments and nursing homes of potentially life-saving vaccines.

 

"There are millions of Pfizer vaccines, many right here in Portage, Michigan, that are waiting to be shipped," Whitmer said during a news conference. "But the feds are slow walking the process of getting the addresses to Pfizer for some reason I cannot get an answer to.

 

"We have Michigan hospitals and nursing homes ready to administer this vaccine. And the bottleneck appears to be the White House. And I can't get an answer why."

12/18/2020   Michigan restaurants move to dismiss federal suit challenging indoor-dining halt, by Beth LeBlanc, The Detroit News

The epidemic order banning indoor dining at restaurants and bars was extended Friday through Jan. 15. What began as a three-week "Pause to Save Lives" has become a 58-day closure.

 

A couple of hours after the order was extended Friday, the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association, two hospitality groups and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services filed a joint stipulation to dismiss the case against the state without prejudice, according to reporting Detroit News reporter, Beth LeBlanc.

12/18/2020   Hungry for the holidays: Amid COVID recession, record number of Americans are requesting charity, by Romina Ruiz-Goiriena, USA TODAY

There has never been such a dire need in the Salvation Army's history—not even after the 2008 financial crisis where the organization served meals for an additional 10 million people for three years straight after the economy tanked.

 

In the six-month period between March through September, the Salvation Army served over 150 million meals as compared to 52 million in all of 2019. With the holiday surge, people are asking for shelter and utility assistance in record numbers.

12/18/2020   Michigan Senate approves $465 million COVID-19 relief package, by Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press

12/18/2020   Detroit warming centers open doors as December temperatures drop, by Slone Terranella, Detroit Free Press

12/18/2020   Washington Monument closed down after Interior Secretary tests positive for COVID-19, by Joey Garrison, USA TODAY

Federal officials closed the Washington Monument to visitors on a temporary basis beginning Friday after U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who led a private tour of the monument this week, tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

12/18/2020   Michigan House passes bills aimed at limiting Whitmer's power, by Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press

The early morning vote garnered little debate in the House. Democratic floor leader Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor, said the governor needed to use the orders proactively to save lives, given legislative inaction.

 

If Whitmer chooses to veto either bill, Republicans in the House and Senate lack enough votes to override her decision.

12/18/2020   Howell restaurant owner defying COVID-19 dining ban: 'I'm not a criminal. I work every day.' by Jennifer Timar, Livingston Daily

The Livingston County Heath Department has reported All-Star Coney Island to state agencies, Livingston County Director of Environmental Health Matt Bolang said Thursday in an email to Livingston Daily Press & Argus.

 

Bolang said the restaurant's violation has been reported to MDHHS, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

12/18/2020   Benny Napoleon was a superhero. He wasn't supposed to die this way, by Darren A. Nichols, Detroit Free Press

Like most Detroiters, I first encountered Benny Napoleon during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 1994.

 

It was just a few days into the new year, and the rivalry between Olympic hopefuls Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding had attracted international attention to the event at Joe Louis Arena. When Kerrigan was attacked at Cobo Hall by a steel-baton-wielding assailant as she exited the ice, her agonized cries — “Why? Why? Why?” — were broadcast to TV viewers around the world.

12/18/2020   How to protect taxpayers' investments in COVID-19 vaccines, Opinion by Lloyd Doggett and Charles Duan, USA Today

To protect Americans from this dreaded virus, our federal government needs to ensure patents do not stand in the way of access to treatment.

12/18/2020   Michigan indoor dining ban extended to Jan. 15; theaters, casinos, other venues can reopen, by Dave Boucher, Kristen Jordan Shamus, and Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press

MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said: "We have made great progress, but that progress is precarious.  Many countries and states have achieved gains like ours only to lose them. Our hospitals are still near capacity, 100 people are losing their lives to COVID each day.. But if we stay on our current path, if we follow the science, and if we all do our parts, we will continue to save lives. We will protect our front line workers, and we'll be able to open further into January.”

12/18/2020   Michigan to allow in-person instruction at high schools as early as Monday, by John Wisely, Detroit Free Press

12/18/2020   Michigan indoor dining ban extended to Jan. 15; theaters, casinos, other venues can reopen, by Dave Boucher, Kristen Jordan Shamus and Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press

12/18/2020   Replay: Gov. Whitmer update on Michigan COVID-19 response, by Tanya Wildt, Detroit Free Press

Whitmer's address comes after the Michigan House of Representatives voted shortly after midnight Friday to repeal a law she used to issue sweeping safety regulations and business restrictions at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

12/18/2020   Michigan reports 4,180 new COVID-19 cases, 66 deaths Friday, by Nisa Khan, Detroit Free Press

Michigan has a fatality rate of 2.5% among known cases, according to data from the state health department.

 

Michigan had a positivity rate of 9.18% Thursday, reporting that 4,573 out of 49,830 diagnostic test results returned were positive.

12/17/2020   Michigan health officials say state getting shorted on COVID-19 vaccine,  byTresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press

According to state health officials, Michigan is getting 24,000 fewer doses of the Pfizer vaccine next week.

 

“Pfizer is not having any production issues with our COVID-19 vaccine, and no shipments containing the vaccine are on hold or delayed," Pfizer said in a statement. "This week, we successfully shipped all 2.9 million doses that we were asked to ship by the U.S. Government to the locations specified by them. We have millions more doses sitting in our warehouse but, as of now, we have not received any shipment instructions for additional doses."

12/17/2020   San Diego Judge says strip club ruling also protects restaurants, by Elliot Spagat and Julie Watson, Associated Press

12/17/2020   Cayman Islands jails US college student in coronavirus case, by Dánica Coto, Associated Press

12/17/2020   Closing In on Stimulus Deal, Lawmakers Clash Over Fed’s Role, by Emily Cochrane and Jeanna Smialek, The New York Times

Democrats worked to include more emergency aid to states while Republicans moved to prevent the Federal Reserve from restarting loan programs.  

 

The emerging package was expected to include direct payments of $600 for American families and children — half the amount of the stimulus checks issued last spring — as well as an extension of more generous unemployment programs. The plan is expected to include a revival of enhanced federal unemployment benefits, though the amount would be shaved from the previous $600 per week to about $300, along with billions of dollars for small businesses, vaccine distribution and schools.

12/17/2020   Millions of Americans face eviction amid COVID-19: 'I have no idea what to do.' Opinion by Suzette Hackney, USA Today

Emerging COVID-19 relief package must include accessible emergency rental assistance and a uniform, enforceable eviction ban.

 

An estimated 30 to 40 million Americans could be at risk of residential eviction in January because they are unable to pay their rent, according to an analysis by the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan policy think tank. America is failing the backbone of this nation: its people.

12/17/2020   Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon dies of complications from COVID-19, by Darcie Moran, Omar Abdel-Baqui and John Wisely, Detroit Free Press

Napoleon announced he was positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 19. He had taken a test on Nov. 13 and tested negative, but then took another test on Nov. 17.

 

“At this time I have a slight headache and light chills,” Napoleon said when he made the announcement.

 

The next day, Jackson said his symptoms had progressed and that he was admitted to the hospital. Doctors placed Napoleon on a ventilator on Nov. 27, Jackson said.

 

Napoleon was with family when he died at Henry Ford Hospital, his daughter Tiffani Jackson said. He was 65.

12/16/2020   Trump official pushed for ‘herd immunity’ strategy, emails show, by Laura Davison, Bloomberg

Paul Alexander, a senior adviser at the Department of Health and Humans Services, repeatedly encouraged adoption of a policy to increase the number of virus infections among younger Americans, saying they have “zero to low risk,” according to documents released by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.

 

In one email message, Alexander said “Infants, kids, teens, young people, young adults, middle aged with no conditions etc” should be used “to develop herd we want them infected,” according to the documents released Wednesday.

 

11/24/2020   Sweden sees no signs herd immunity is stopping virus, by Rafaela Lindeberg, Bloomberg

12/16/2020   Hartland Township sushi restaurant that defied COVID-19 order has liquor license suspended, by Jennifer Timar, Livingston Daily

Hatorando Sushi and Sports Bar owners Randy Palermo and Joseph Torrence are scheduled to appear before an administrative law judge at 1 p.m. Dec. 23 for a virtual hearing

12/16/2020   When will Las Vegas tourism rebound from COVID? First, we need access to vaccines, international travel, by Ed Komenda, Reno Gazette Journal

12/15/2020   The 2020 COVID effect: What matters to people of all ages has changed dramatically, Opinion by George Carey, USA Today

These changes in emotional priorities tie us together. They apply in blue states and red states, and they aren’t short-term. Shifts this big last years.

12/15/2020   Gov. Whitmer 'optimistic' on state COVID-19 relief bill, despite no legislative movement, by Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press

12/15/2020   Beaumont Health, Michigan's largest hospital system, gets COVID-19 vaccine, by Tresa Baldas and Georgea Kovanis, Detroit Free Press

The first employees at Beaumont Health Care received the much-anticipated Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday after months of battling a merciless virus that at one point killed more people on their watch than in any other hospital system in Michigan: more than 450 deaths in one month alone — 15 people a day.

12/15/2020   The 13 numbers that defined 2020, USA Facts

The data to measure the pandemic, the environment, and American politics.

 

$3.1 trillion - The record federal deficit for the 2020 fiscal year

12/14/2020   Democrats squeezed as COVID-19 relief talks continue, by Andrew Taylor, Associated Press

12/14/2020   COVID-19: New cases, one death reported at Livingston nursing homes as residents await vaccine, by Jennifer Timar, Livingston Daily

12/14/2020   Michigan reports 7,205 confirmed coronavirus cases, 90 deaths over 2 days, by Nisa Khan, Detroit Free Press

The 7-day-average of new cases — 4,800 — is lowering. It is nearing the levels seen in the beginning of November, before Thanksgiving. As a comparison, the highest 7-day average in Michigan was Nov. 21 at 7,270. The 7-day average has mostly been rising since October, consistently above 1,000 since Oct. 10.

12/14/2020   Michigan school-related COVID-19 outbreaks drop; most new cases at elementary schools, by Nisa Khan, Detroit Free Press

12/14/2020   Tracking coronavirus outbreaks in Michigan schools, by Detroit Free Press staff, Detroit Free Press

12/14/2020   Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine rolled out in all 50 states, by Lorena Mongelli and Natalie Musumeci, The New York Post

12/14/2020   NJ gym famed for defying COVID-19 lockdown orders fined more than $1.2 million, by Lee Brown, The New York Post

12/14/2020   White House Official Recovers From Severe Covid-19, Friend Says, By Jennifer Jacobs, Bloomberg

Crede Bailey, the director of the White House security office, was the most severely ill among dozens of Covid-19 cases known to be connected to the White House. Bailey’s family has asked the White House not to publicize his condition, and President Donald Trump has never publicly acknowledged his illness.

 

Bailey’s office handles credentialing for access to the White House complex and works closely with the U.S. Secret Service on security measures. Bailey was known on the compound as a strong Trump supporter.

 

The president has repeatedly minimized the risk from Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, both before and after he was hospitalized with the disease Oct. 2-5.

 

Doctors are still learning about the extent to which the coronavirus can damage the body, but loss of blood flow is one possible consequence. The virus is known to attack the vascular system and can cause deadly blood clots.

12/13/2020   TCF Center to be primary COVID-19 vaccination site in Detroit, counties preparing sites, by Christina Hall and Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

12/13/2020   Coronavirus shows that seniors need better housing options | Opinion by Patricia Anstett, Detroit Free Press

12/13/2020   Who should get the COVID vaccine next? Opinion by William B. Schultz and Dr. Regan H. Marsh, USA Today

The COVID-19 vaccine is here. The Biden administration's most important and difficult coronavirus decision will be which groups get it in what order.

12/12/2020   Yes, Michigan employers can mandate COVID-19 vaccinations — but it could bring problems, by Adrienne Roberts, Detroit Free Press

12/11/2020   Michigan lays out detailed list of who will get COVID-19 vaccines first, by Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

12/11/2020   The timeline for Covid-19 vaccine distribution keeps slipping. Experts say it will change again, By OLIVIA GOLDHILL, STAT

12/11/2020   The Backstory: Will the COVID-19 vaccine be required? Any side effects? Will I have to pay for it? Answers to your most-asked questions, by Nicole Carroll, USA TODAY

Arthur Caplan, a professor of bioethics at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine: "It's much more likely that a private organization or company will require you to be vaccinated to get certain access to places."

 

"Who will get the vaccine first is pretty set, generally frontline healthcare workers and people in long-term care facilities," health writer Elizabeth Weise reported. "But because there won’t be enough vaccine to go around at the beginning, states are divvying up within those groups differently."

 

For example, in Kentucky, two-thirds of the supply will go to residents and workers in long-term care centers; the rest goes to workers in hospital COVID-19 units. Hospital chaplains go first in Indiana. Tennessee prioritizes health care workers 65 and older.

12/10/2020   Withdrawing from your 401(k) is a last resort — but CARES Act makes it less risky, by Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press

12/10/2020   Whitmer allows tax postponement for many businesses, creates COVID-19 vaccine taskforce, by Dave Boucher and Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

Whitmer:  "Effective immediately, most entertainment and recreational venues and restaurants that depend on indoor dining can postpone their monthly sales, use and withholding tax payments that are due Dec. 20."

 

The state anticipates approximately 17,000 businesses will be eligible for the relief, said Ron Leix, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Treasury. He said the average business pays about $7,000 in combined sales, use, and withholding taxes during a typical December.

 

Whitmer said payments can be postponed until Jan. 20, 2021, and the state treasury will waive all penalties and interest for 31 days.

12/9/2020   From Trump and Republicans, concession after concession. Just not the one Joe Biden needs, Opinion by Jason Sattler, USA Today

Why should Republicans act on COVID? They haven't paid any price.

 

Few will argue that America should have ended up with zero cases of COVID-19, as Trump once did, but no decent person would insist that the richest country in the world should have about 20% of the world’s deaths from this virus, despite only having 4% of the population.

 

Because our hospitals are so overloaded, we now have people dying of this scourge who would have survived months ago. You’d have to be the virus itself to defend that.

11/9/2020   Who Dies? COVID took my grandfather. But it wasn’t what killed him, By Sarah Jones, The Cut.com

The same Republicans who offered up the elderly as a sacrifice to the market have opted to let children go hungry. Capitalism has become hyperbolic, the most evil version of itself. That transformation is driven not by the virus, but by a top-down emphasis on productivity over humanity. Maybe I am guilty of the demonic sentimentalism that Reno described, but I worry we are edging ever closer to old territory, where some members of society — the old, the sick, the weak, anyone viewed as insufficiently industrious — are judged unworthy of life.

NYT Corona Virus Tracker 2020 12 07 800w

Click above for the status of all current candidate vaccines

 

6/26/2017   Genomic Vaccines Fight Disease in Ways Not Possible Before, by Geoffrey Ling, Scientific American

Vaccines composed of DNA or RNA, instead of protein, could enable rapid development of preventives for infectious diseases 

 

12/9/2020  White House Coconavirus Task Force report on Oklahoma, WHCVTF

WH Coronavirus Task Force Recommendations to Oklahoma:

 

Unlike other states in the Heartland, cases and new hospital admissions are not plateauing. Virus levels continue to increase and are extremely high; activities that were safe in the summer are not safe now. Reexamine capacity thresholds for all public spaces. Effective practices to decrease transmission in public spaces include limiting restaurant indoor capacity to <25%, closing bars/limiting bar hours until cases and test positivity decrease to the yellow zone, and requiring masks in all public spaces. 

 

We are also seeing clear improvement in many European countries that implemented strong public and private mitigation but preserved schooling; the majority of the United States is not mitigating similarly.

 

Mitigation efforts must increase, including the implementation of key state and local policies with an additional focus on uniform behavioral change including masking, physical distancing, hand hygiene, no indoor gatherings outside of immediate households, and aggressive testing to find the asymptomatic individuals responsible for the majority of infectious spread.

 

In the past week, significant reductions in testing and increases in percent positivity were observed. Primarily those with symptoms are being diagnosed; aggressive testing to find symptomatic individuals responsible for the majority of infectious spread must be scaled. Testing data on age and ethnicity should be tracked to allow for more precise planning. The current vaccine implementation will not substantially reduce viral spread, hospitalizations, or fatalities until the 100 million Americans with comorbidities can be fully immunized, which will take until the late spring. Behavioral change and aggressive mitigation policies are the only widespread prevention tools that we have to address this winter surge.

12/9/2020   Yes, there's a vaccine, but not enough to go around, Analysis by Zachary B. Wolf, CNN

Here in the US, there is second-guessing of a Trump administration decision not to buy more vaccine from Pfizer, which is first out of the gate in the UK. It's also likely to be first in the US, but did not take part in all of Operation Warp Speed, the US vaccine effort. (Note: A former board member for Moderna, a Pfizer competitor, leads Operation Warp Speed.)

12/9/2020   The Oregon Nurse Who Bragged On TikTok About Breaking COVID-19 Restrictions Has Agreed To Stop Practicing, by Tasneem Nashrulla, BuzzFeed News

An Oregon nurse who went viral after posting a TikTok suggesting she was flouting COVID-19 restrictions is no longer employed with her hospital and is prohibited from practicing as a nurse until further notice by the state's nursing board.

 

On Monday, Ashley Grames, who was an oncology nurse at Salem Health until recently, agreed not to practice until further order by the Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN), according to a copy of the agreement provided to BuzzFeed News.

 

Grames signed an "Interim Order by Consent" that prohibits her from practicing as a registered nurse or functioning as a caregiver in any capacity for an unspecified amount of time.

 

Such an order is not considered discipline, but it is a binding document "signed voluntarily" by the nurse, an OSBN spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.   The order will remain in effect until the state's nursing board votes to vacate it and either takes disciplinary action against Grames or allows her to practice nursing again.

12/9/2020   Trevor Noah: Trump “F--ked Up” on Pfizer Vaccine Negotiations, by Christopher Rosen, Vanity Fair

“Woo, that’s the art of the deal right there, baby,” Noah said of the report. “Pfizer thought that they could pull a fast one on Trump by offering to sell him life-saving vaccines. But my man Trump was like, ‘No deal.’ So now Europe is stuck with all those vaccines, and that means more corona for everyone here in America, baby.”

 

“This may seem like it was a dumb decision by Trump,” Noah concluded on The Daily Show. “But if you take a moment to think about it, you’ll realize it was a really fucking dumb decision by Trump.”

12/9/2020   COVID-19 hits Fiat Chrysler workers: 2 from Warren Truck, 1 from Sterling Heights dead, by Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press

12/9/2020  Carone said she won't quarantine after he tested positive for COVID-19, saying she'd only take it seriously if Trump said so, MSN

12/9/2020   Underground Southern California party ends in 158 arrests, AP

12/9/2020   Idaho health board meeting halted after ‘intense protests’, By REBECCA BOONE, Associated Press

The protest at the health building was organized, at least in part, by a loose multi-state group called People’s Rights. The group was created by Ammon Bundy, an outspoken opponent of mask mandates during the coronavirus pandemic who gained national attention and stoked the so-called “patriot movement” after leading armed standoffs at his father’s Nevada ranch in 2014 and at a wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon in 2016.

12/9/2020   UK probing if allergic reactions linked to Pfizer vaccine, by DANICA KIRKA, Associated Press

12/9/2020   AP-NORC poll: Only half in US want shots as vaccine nears, By LAURAN NEERGAARD and HANNAH FINGERHUT, Associated Press

The survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows about a quarter of U.S. adults aren’t sure if they want to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Roughly another quarter say they won’t.

12/9/2020   Michelin boss says first half of 2021 could be rough for automakers, by Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press

12/8/2020   If you're not medically fragile, refusing a COVID vaccine is an indefensible moral choice, Opinion by Robert Prentice, USA Today

People who don’t get vaccinated will undermine herd immunity, causing more deaths. They need to imagine how their choice fails to protect the vulnerable.

 

In America, we’ve had an unfortunate tendency to divide into contentious groups. People tend to take their cues as to how to act from those in their in-group, a phenomenon called the conformity bias. For the past four years, there has been the Trump team and the never-Trump team. Why would you get vaccinated if your team believes that we are already “rounding the corner” or that COVID-19 is going to just "go away”?

12/8/2020   Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis contracts coronavirus, source says, By Jim Acosta, Kaitlan Collins and Maegan Vazquez, CNN

The source said White House aides have been informed that she has contracted the virus, but that Ellis has not been forthright with White House officials about it.

12/8/2020   A doctor who treated some of Houston's sickest Covid-19 patients has died, by Harmeet Kaur, CNN

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Dr. Carlos Araujo-Preza spent his days caring for some of the sickest Covid-19 patients in Houston.

 

Months later, he was admitted to the same intensive care unit where he served as critical care medical director, infected with the same disease he treated in others.


On November 30, Araujo-Preza, a physician at HCA Houston Healthcare in Tomball, Texas, died from coronavirus, his daughter told CNN. He was 51.

Araujo-Preza lived the American Dream, His daughter told CNN.

 

Born in El Salvador, he came to the US in 1994 to continue his medical education, studying at Staten Island University Hospital in New York and Tulane University in New Orleans. In 2001, he moved to the Houston area and worked as a pulmonologist for nearly two decades.

 

He was appointed the critical care medical director of the ICU, primarily treating coronavirus patients. For nearly all of April, he slept in a room in the hospital, always on call in case of emergency.

 

Araujo-Preza was admitted to the ICU at HCA Houston Healthcare Tomball in early November, where he stayed about a week and a half, his daughter said. He had barely been out of the hospital 48 hours before he had to be readmitted.

 

By then, his condition had become more serious, and he was eventually transferred to Houston Methodist Hospital. A few days later, he was placed on a ventilator.


Araujo-Preza never returned home.

12/8/2020   Donald Trump: If COVID-19 Kills Another 1.8 Million People in the U.S. We Won’t Even Need a Vaccine, by Bess Levin, Vanity Fair

The president said Tuesday it’s “terrific” we’re 15% of the way to herd immunity.

 

To be clear, people contracting a virus is not “a very powerful vaccine,” or any kind of vaccine, period. Also, the estimate for how many people would have to die for the U.S. to achieve herd immunity is approximately 2.13 million.

12/8/2020   First Britons receive Covid-19 vaccine, a landmark moment in the pandemic, By Ivana Kottasová and Emma Reynolds, CNN

Gill Rogers, whose husband died with the virus in residential care in April, was among the first to receive the vaccine in Sussex, in southeast England, on Tuesday.

 

The 86-year-old, who lives near Brighton, told the BBC it had been "quite hard" dealing with grief as well as isolation and that being given the shot meant she would not need to be so careful.

 

"I'm a bit pleased," she said. "I shan't be so careful, no, I shan't be so worried, I will go in shops more and with luck I might get on to public transport."

 

"I wasn't doing much before, because while my husband was alive I was spending a lot of time going to the care home, so I've been pretty limited for a long time now," she said.

12/8/2020   Raid of former Florida Covid data scientist's home could affect other state employees, legal experts warn, by Casey Tolan and Curt Devine, CNN

Rebekah Jones, who was fired after accusing Gov. Ron DeSantis' administration of minimizing the pandemic and skewing state data, attracted national attention after her house was raided by armed state police on Monday morning. State authorities are investigating whether she accessed a government messaging system without authorization to send a message urging her former colleagues to speak out about coronavirus deaths.

 

An investigation by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel published last week found that DeSantis' administration worked to minimize bad news about the pandemic and spread misinformation. Some health department spokespeople were told in September not to issue statements until after the November election, and officials withheld crucial data about the spread of the virus, the newspaper reported.

 

Jones, who helped build the state's coronavirus dashboard, has become one of the governor's harshest critics, publicly alleging that DeSantis was to blame for the mounting death toll.

 

She said that she thought the raid was an attempt by DeSantis to silence her, and a sign of how her criticism has been a thorn in the side of his administration. "I had six straight months of success against him in destroying his reputation," she said.

 

"The guns drawn FDLE raid on the home of Rebekah Jones was shocking, over-the-top, and demands a full explanation," Charlie Crist, a congressman and former Florida governor, said in a statement. "Unless we get more information showing otherwise, it looks like an act of retaliation or an attempt to silence Ms. Jones for her critiques of the state's COVID-19 response."

 

And Ron Filipkowski, a lawyer appointed by DeSantis to a judicial nomination commission, publicly resigned Tuesday in what he said was a protest over the governor's handling of the coronavirus crisis and the raid of Jones' home.

 

"This is not being done to ferret out a crime," Filipkowski told CNN. "It's being done to intimidate."

12/8/2020   Giuliani witness whose testimony went viral says she isn’t self-quarantining despite his covid-19 diagnosis, by Dalton Bennett and Neena Satija, The Washington Post

Mellissa Carone testified before state lawmakers on Dec. 2 for about 30 minutes while sitting beside the president’s personal attorney in Lansing, according to a video of the hearing. Neither wore masks. She also posed for photos with Giuliani, who health officials later said was “extremely likely” to have been contagious with the virus at the time.

 

Health officials in Ingham County, which includes Lansing, on Monday ordered anyone who had been in contact with Giuliani at close range and for more than 15 minutes to self-quarantine after President Trump tweeted that his personal attorney had tested positive for the coronavirus. The county officials said they cannot enforce the directive outside their borders.

 

The 33-year-old mother of two told Michigan lawmakers she has “two degrees.” According to her LinkedIn page, one degree is from the University of Michigan at Dearborn, where officials say they have no record of anyone with her name being enrolled.

 

Asked about the discrepancy, Carone said in an interview, “I do not have a bachelor’s degree. . . . I am about four classes away from it.” She declined to name the school, saying, “I don’t want them to get harassed.”

 

Carone also testified in Lansing that she worked at and was later laid off by Ford Motor Company. A spokesman for the company said she has never been employed there. Carone told The Post that she worked as a contractor and pointed to a “Certificate of Recognition” displayed on her LinkedIn page that she said was issued by Ford.

 

A Ford official told The Post that the certificate was issued by a different company, and that Ford could not discuss its contractors.

12/8/2020   Here’s Why Vaccinated People Still Need to Wear a Mask, By Apoorva Mandavilli, The New York Times

The new vaccines will probably prevent you from getting sick with Covid. No one knows yet whether they will keep you from spreading the virus to others — but that information is coming.

12/7/2020   Michigan COVID-19 restrictions extended 12 days, by Dave Boucher and Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

Robert Gordon, director of the state's health department, said Michigan's health leaders are using three metrics to determine when it's safe to ease up on the restrictions: new daily coronavirus case numbers, the number of hospital beds statewide that are occupied by COVID-19 patients and the percentage of positive coronavirus tests.

12/7/2020   Hospitals to Whitmer: Extend COVID-19 restrictions through holiday season, by Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

"To see meaningful change that truly alleviates stress on the healthcare system, we urge the state to extend protections through the holiday season," said the statement, released by the Michigan Health and Hospital Association, which represents all 133 community hospitals in the state.

12/7/2020   The Swiss Cheese Model of Pandemic Defense, by Siobhan Roberts, The New York Times

The following is an edited version of a recent email conversation with Dr. Mackay, a virologist at the University of Queensland, in Brisbane, Australia.

 

Q. What have we learned since March?


A. Distance is the most effective intervention; the virus doesn’t have legs, so if you are physically distant from people, you avoid direct contact and droplets. Then you have to consider inside spaces, which are especially in play during winter or in hotter countries during summer: the bus, the gym, the office, the bar or the restaurant. That’s because we know SARS-CoV-2 can remain infectious in aerosols (small floaty droplets) and we know that aerosol spread explains Covid-19 superspreading events. Try not to be in those spaces with others, but if you have to be, minimize your time there (work from home if you can) and wear a mask. Don’t go grocery shopping as often. Hold off on going out, parties, gatherings. You can do these things later.

 

When we listen to the loud nonexperts who have no experience in protecting our health and safety, we are inviting them to have an impact in our lives. That’s not a risk we should take.

12/7/2020   Trump administration officials passed when Pfizer offered in late summer to sell the U.S. more vaccine doses, by Sharon LaFraniere, Katie Thomas and Noah Weiland, The New York Times

Now Pfizer may not be able to provide more of its vaccine to the United States until next June because of its commitments to other countries, they said.

 

On Nov. 11 — two days after Pfizer first announced early results indicating that its vaccine was more than 90 percent effective — the European Union announced that it had finalized a supply deal with Pfizer and BioNTech for 200 million doses, a deal they began negotiating in months earlier. Shipments could begin by the end of the year, and the contract includes an option for 100 million more doses.

 

President Trump plans on Tuesday to sign an executive order “to ensure that United States government prioritizes getting the vaccine to American citizens before sending it to other nations,” according to a draft statement and a White House official, though it was not immediately clear what force the president’s executive order would carry.

12/7/2020   COVID-19 in the U.S.: How do Canada's provinces rank against American states? by Jesse Tahirali, CTV Digital Content

12/7/2020   Tracking every case of COVID-19 in Canada, CTV News

12/7/2020   Should a coronavirus vaccine be mandatory? In Brazil’s most populous state, it will be. By Terrence McCoy, The Washington Post

12/6/2020   Michigan's top doctor: COVID-19 brings 'the most massive vaccination effort in a century', by Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

12/6/2020   Listen: Misinformation Mailbag, by James Hamblin and Katherine Wells, Social Distance, The Atlantic

How do you talk with a loved one who believes pandemic conspiracy theories?

12/6/2020   Headlines Don’t Capture the Horror We Saw, by Kasey Grewe, The Atlantic

In the ICU, patients become voiceless and personless. We take care of their bodies for weeks: examining them, adjusting their ventilators, titrating their sedation, and carefully considering their medical management. But in the absence of family contact, we have no idea who they truly are. Last week, when we were rounding in the OR-ICU, I noticed my intern perusing a colorful website rather than the medical record. A note from a family-liaison doctor had pointed him to a support site for one of our patients. We saw for the first time that this patient was a teacher. The website had hundreds of comments from students and parents: “We are thinking of you every day!” and “We are praying that you make it through this!” There were dozens of photos of a middle-aged man with his students—in the classroom, at school sporting events, wearing different silly costumes. He had a huge, toothy grin. My intern stared at the website, stunned. It took my breath away. My attending physician said, “I can’t look at this. Please close it.” We get through our day in the OR-ICU by compartmentalizing—by ignoring the fact that our patients are people who are deeply suffering. When reality cuts through our fantasy, the job can be unbearable.

 

Kasey Grewe is an Anesthesiologist and critical-care-medicine fellow

12/6/2020   Column: This Mexican nerd’s guide to coronavirus lockdown reading, by Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times

12/6/2020   33 million Californians face COVID-19 stay-at-home order that will restrict movements and business, by Alex Wigglesworth, Rong-Gong Lin Il and Sean Greene, Los Angeles Times

12/6/2020   California COVID-19 crisis likely to get worse before it gets better as deaths, hospitalizations spike, by Alex Wigglesworth, Rong-Gong Lin Il

12/6/2020   'Mom, I'm not feeling it': Families overwhelmed by online learning turn to home schooling, by Koby Levin, Chalkbeat, Detroit Free Press

12/6/2020   Michigan Snowsports Industries Association webpage outlining  Michigan resorts' individual COVID-19 policies.  Link provided by Slone Terranella of the Detroit Free Press

12/5/2020   New Mexico shut down nearly everything to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed by covid. It wasn’t enough, by Griff White, The Washington Post

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) said she would soon allow hospitals to move to “crisis standards,” which will allow them to ration care depending on a patient’s likelihood of surviving

 

“New Mexico has crushed this virus before — twice,” she told her state’s 2 million citizens. “We’re going to do it again.”

Three weeks later, victory remains a distant prospect. Instead, Lujan Grisham (D) is on the verge of acknowledging just how grim conditions have become: She will, she said in an interview, soon allow hospitals to move to “crisis standards,” a move that frees them to ration care depending on a patient’s likelihood of surviving.

 

“That’s a physician’s nightmare,” said Jason Mitchell, chief medical officer at Presbyterian Healthcare Services, one of the state’s largest providers. “We want to save every life we can.”

 

But given the severe strain on medical systems statewide and the lack of available ICU beds as covid-19 hospitalizations near 1,000 statewide, Mitchell said there was probably no other choice.

 

“We’re headed there very quickly,” he said. “There’s no more room at the inn.”

12/5/2020   California and L.A. County are breaking coronavirus records faster than projected, by Alex Wigglesworth, Rong-Gong Lin Il and Sean Greene, Los Angeles Times

12/5/2020   Trump’s Operation Warp Speed promised a flood of covid vaccines. Instead, states are expecting a trickle, by Christopher Rowland, Lena H. Sun, Isaac Stanley-Becker and Carolyn Y. Johnson, The Washington Post

Instead of the delivery of 300 million or so doses of vaccine immediately after emergency-use approval and before the end of 2020 as the Trump administration had originally promised, current plans call for availability of around a tenth of that, or 35 to 40 million doses.

 

The drop-off is a product of manufacturing problems, bottlenecks in the supply of raw materials and other hurdles in ramping up clinical-trial production of 5 liters of protein-based vaccine at a time to commercial-scale fermentation of 2,000-liter batches, the companies and the Trump administration said.  As Pfizer began large-scale production, the company said, it encountered difficulties procuring sufficient amounts of raw ingredients. A number of specialized materials are required to create the vaccine, including nucleotides, the building block of the mRNA.

 

“There were a couple of our vaccine candidates that took significantly longer, in terms of failed batches, in terms of not having the purity we sought,” Paul Mango, deputy chief of staff for policy at the Department of Health and Human Services, said in an interview.

 

AstraZeneca said earlier in the year it would begin delivering the first of 300 million doses of viral-vector vaccine to the United States in September, an ambitious prediction that passed unfulfilled.

 

In Maine, the current proposed allotment “would barely enable us to vaccinate emergency department and ICU front line staff,” said Nirav Shah, director of Maine’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention and president-elect of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

12/5/2020   Police had an hour to stop a mom and her COVID-positive son from boarding a flight. They found them just in time, by Rasha Ali, USA TODAY

12/5/2020   The excruciating wait for a vaccine inside a coronavirus-infected nursing homeVoices from the Pandemic, by Eli Saslow, The Washington Post

Bruce MacGillis: ‘Do people understand what’s happening here? Do they care?’

 

The first thing I do when I wake up is look down the hallway for the big plastic sheet. That’s what they use to block off the covid area. They sectioned off a whole wing a few days before Thanksgiving. Then they blocked another hallway earlier this week. That plastic sheet keeps moving closer. I’m trying not to panic, but where am I supposed to go? It’s not like I can jump up and make a run for it. I’m in a wheelchair. I haven’t been outside for months. I’m trapped, just like everybody else in this place. We’re at the mercy of this virus. We sit in here and we wait.

12/5/2020   Unemployment benefits for many Michiganders end soon — but COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, by Adrienne Roberts, Detroit Free Press

12/5/2020   Michigan reports 6,004 new coronavirus cases, 193 deaths Saturday, by Nisa Khan, Detroit Free Press

Of the 193 deaths reported Saturday, 145 were identified in a regular records review to see if a COVID-19 infection contributed to previous death.  The state now has 9,854 confirmed deaths and 395,036 total confirmed cases since March.

 

[ That's a 2.5% death rate, folks.  ]

12/5/2020   The pandemic was already testing me. Then a man covered in Nazi tattoos showed up in my ER, by Taylor Nichols, The Washington Post

In the ER, our patient was already on high respiratory support and still laboring to breathe, so I asked him whether he would want to be intubated. I knew it was all but inevitable, and I wanted to get his answer before the hypoxia made him more confused.

 

I run through the plan with the nurse and respiratory therapist. I pause. I see the SS tattoo and wonder about what he might think of having a Jewish physician take care of him now — or how much he would care about saving my life if our roles were reversed.

12/5/2020   Ford cuts contract workers effective immediately, declines to say how many, Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press

12/5/2020   Yes, ‘elites’ support coronavirus restrictions. So do working-class Americans, by David Weakliem, The Washington Post

Surveys — whether conducted recently or earlier in the pandemic — don’t show the class divide that some pundits believe is self-evident. Compared with previous Republican candidates, Trump did well among working-class voters and poorly among middle-class voters, prompting attempts to identify issues that might explain this pattern. And some observers are imagining class differences where they do not exist, or exaggerating small differences.

12/5/2020   Stay-at-home order will be imposed in Southern California and San Joaquin Valley, by Alex Wigglesworth, Rong-Gong Lin II and Thomas Curwein, Los Angeles Times

12/4/2020   United Airlines bans couple that boarded plane after testing positive for COVID-19, by Morgan Hines and Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY

The Kaua‘i Police Department confirmed to USA TODAY on Wednesday that Wailua residents Wesley Moribe and Courtney Peterson were taken into custody Sunday for "placing the passengers of the flight in danger of death."

12/4/2020   I’m Afraid It’s Too Late to Save Restaurants, by Chef Edward Lee as told to Ashlea Halpern, bon appétit

on why this could be the end of an era for independent restaurants.

12/4/2020   Bay Area counties to shut down outdoor dining, non-essential businesses, by Joshua Sabatini, San Francisco Examiner

“It takes several weeks for new restrictions to slow rising hospitalizations and waiting until only 15 percent of a region’s ICU beds are available is just too late,” San Francisco Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragon said in a statement. “Many heavily impacted parts of our region already have less than 15 percent of ICU beds available, and the time to act is now.”

 

The order requires the closure of personal service businesses like hair and nail salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors. Restaurants must cease outdoor dining and only do delivery. Drive-in theaters, outdoor playgrounds and skate parks must close as well. Grocery stores must reduce indoor capacity to 20 percent, from the existing 50 percent restriction. Other retail like hardware stores and bookstores can remain open with the 20 percent capacity restriction.

12/4/2020   The U.S. Has Passed the Hospital Breaking Point, by Robinson Meyer and Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic

In August and September, about 9.5 percent of COVID-19 cases were admitted to hospitals nationwide, according to federal data. As October began, this case-hospitalization proportion held for about a week. But then cases began to explode, especially in the Midwest and Great Plains, and hospitals suffered strain. In the last week of October, the average number of new COVID-19 cases surged past its all-time high of 66,000 new cases a day. Less than 8 percent of those cases made it into the hospital, a 16 percent drop in the proportion of sick people admitted versus September.

 

As the pandemic intensified, the fall continued. On November 10, the U.S. recorded more virus hospitalizations than ever before, passing the previous high set during the spring and summer surges. More than 100,000 Americans were diagnosed with the virus every day last month, on average, and more than ever were hospitalized as well. But as facilities ran short on bed space, the fraction of admitted cases fell. Ultimately, only 7.4 percent of COVID-19 cases were hospitalized in November—the lowest percentage yet.

 

This change may not seem ominous at first. You might expect to see such a divergence, for instance, if testing rapidly increased, so that states were suddenly detecting many more mild cases of COVID-19. But the data don’t show any evidence of this kind of “casedemic”—if anything, they show the opposite. Last month, the number of total COVID-19 tests increased by about a third compared with October, but the number of total cases discovered more than doubled. More people are getting sick.

 

At the same time, the virus seems to be killing a slightly higher fraction of people diagnosed with it. Using a method that accounts for clinical- and data-reporting lags between cases and deaths, for most of October and November, about 1.7 percent of cases resulted in death. But in the middle of November, that number lurched to more than 1.8 percent. While this change may seem small, it represents hundreds of deaths, because many more people are getting sick every day.

12/4/2020   Statewide Available PPE and Bed Tracking, Michigan.gov

  • Statewide Hospital Capacity Report for COVID-19* 12/04/2020**
  • COVID-19 Metrics 12/04/2020
  • Statewide Hospital Available PPE Tracking for COVID-19* 12/04/2020**
  • PPE Days On Hand as of 12/03/2020
  • Patient Census as of 12/03/2020

12/4/2020   576 Henry Ford workers off the job due to COVID-19 illness, exposure as hospitals fill up, by Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

"Case rates appear to be leveling off overall in Michigan — averaging 6,727 new daily cases over the last seven days. 81% of intensive care unit hospital beds are full."

12/4/2020   The price of Republicans’ war on reality: Vaccine denial, by Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post

Imagine getting tossed overboard in the middle of the ocean, but refusing to grab on to a lifeline because you choose not to “believe” in the ocean. That is essentially what large numbers of Americans are telling pollsters.

 

Most stunning, with roughly 200,000 new cases a day and close to 3,000 deaths per day, only 43 percent of Republicans and Republican leaners think covid-19 is a major public health threat (84 percent of Democrats and those leaning Democrat say the same).

12/4/2020   Ford Bronco delayed by COVID-19 with supply chain disruption, by Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press

12/4/2020   The FDA should condition any vaccine approval on open trial data, by Ali Nouri and Beth Simone Noveck, The Washington Post

As capable and thorough as the FDA’s scientists are, having more people scrutinizing the anonymized data can only be a good thing. To do that, the FDA and vaccine-makers must make participant-level trial data, along with trial protocols and other documents necessary to understand these data, accessible to the public. While publication of these materials in a peer-reviewed scientific journal will also be important, that process could take months, and these data need to be available for review as soon as possible.

12/4/2020   Michigan AG ana Nessel, State Rep Nate Shannon others pitch in to help Sterling Heights woman battling COVID-19, by Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press

Feuz, who has lupus, chronic blood clots and other medical conditions, said she was struggling to breathe, fevered and sick, but trying to stay out of the hospital. Her thermometer was broken and her doctor said she needed a pulse oximeter.

 

She called 211 and the Macomb County Health Department, but neither could help. She didn't know what to do.

 

So she "took a chance" and posted on Nessel's Facebook page "asking for guidance, a phone number for a department. I wasn't reaching her personally. I didn't expect that in a million years."

 

In the end, that's exactly what she got.

 

"These people have no idea what their random act of kindness did for us. This virus is horrible and has been very difficult to handle," the 53-year-old said Thursday. "They have given me the strength to continue to fight this virus."

12/4/2020   Francis Collins of the National Institutes of Health calls churches to go back to remote services, John Fea, (Professor of History, Messiah College)

The courts may be on the side opening churches, but Francis Collins, an evangelical Christian and Director of the National Institutes of Health, does not think it is a good idea.

 

Collins, himself a regular churchgoer who speaks often about his Christian faith, discussed measures that church leaders can take to protect their congregations in a Zoom conversation on Thursday with Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

 

“Most churches really ought to be advised to go to remote services, if they’re not already doing so,” Collins said.

12/4/2020   Holland pastor under fire after telling congregation to get COVID-19, 'get it over with' by Carolyn Muyskens, The Holland Sentinel

“COVID, it’s all good. Several people have had COVID, none have died yet,” Spencer said in an aside after he started coughing while delivering a sermon.

 

[ Michigan's actual death rate is 2.5% ]

12/4/2020   How 700 Epidemiologists Are Living Now, and What They Think Is Next, By Margot Sanger-Katz, Claire Cain Miller and Quoctrung Bui, The New York Times

They are going to the grocery store again, but don’t see vaccines making life normal right away.

 

In a new informal survey of 700 epidemiologists by The New York Times, half said they would not change their personal behavior until at least 70 percent of the population was vaccinated. Thirty percent said they would make some changes once they were vaccinated themselves.

 

A minority of the epidemiologists said that if highly effective vaccines were widely distributed, it would be safe for Americans to begin living more freely this summer: “I am optimistic that the encouraging vaccine results mean we’ll be back on track by or during summer 2021,” said Kelly Strutz, an assistant professor at Michigan State University.

 

But most said that even with vaccines, it would probably take a year or more for many activities to safely restart, and that some parts of their lives may never return to the way they were.

12/4/2020   Andiamo owners change stance on defying state's ban on indoor dining, by Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press

NationwideCovid19MetricsByWeek 2020 12 02

12/3/2020   Pandemic Data Are Stalling Out, by The COVID Tracking Project, The Atlantic

Thanksgiving has skewed reporting of COVID-19 cases and deaths, but one metric is still clear: Hospitalizations keep rising.

12/3/2020   Michigan reports 7,146 new COVID-19 cases, 175 deaths Thursday, by Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press

 - bringing Michigan to 380,343 total confirmed cases.  Of 70,792 diagnostic tests reported Wednesday, 11,281 yielded positive results, a 15.9% positivity rate.

12/3/2020   Iowa Is What Happens When Government Does Nothing, by Elaine Godfrey, The Atlantic

The story of the coronavirus in the state is one of government inaction in the name of "freedom and personal responsibility."

 

To visit Iowa right now is to travel back in time to the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in places such as New York City and Lombardy and Seattle, when the horror was fresh and the sirens never stopped. Sick people are filling up ICUs across the state. Health-care workers like Klein are being pushed to their physical and emotional limits. On the TV in my parents’ house in Burlington, hospital CEOs are begging Iowans to hunker down and please, for the love of God, wear a mask. This sense of new urgency is strange, though, because the pandemic isn’t in its early days. The virus has been raging for eight months in this country; Iowa just hasn’t been acting like it.

12/3/2020   Fewer Black Michiganders are dying of COVID-19, but more work is needed, task force says, by Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

12/3/2020   Not just AstraZeneca: Hackers targeted 5 other COVID-19 drug developers, vaccine cold chain suppliers, by Angus Liu, Fierce Pharma

The attacks can be dated back as early as August, the sources told WSJ. They appeared to have come from the same group of hackers involved in previous North Korean assaults on the U.S. State Department and South Korea’s Ministry of Unification, a department responsible for North Korean affairs.

12/3/2020   Lawmakers, businesses want to know whether Whitmer will extend COVID-19 orders, by Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press

12/3/2020   Whitmer: Funding extended for National Guard; expected to help distribute vaccines, by Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press

12/3/2020   Watch replay: Gov. Whitmer, Lt. Gov. Gilchrist update on Michigan COVID-19 response, by Amy Huschka, Detroit Free Press

12/3/2020   NIH Director Tells Churches To Do The "Altruistic, Loving Thing" And Stay Closed, by Tom Gjelten, NPR

12/3/2020   California’s stay-at-home order allows essential travel only. What does that mean?, by Christopher Reynolds and Mary Fortione, Los Angeles Times

Officials said the new regional stay-at-home order is triggered once a region’s ICU bed capacity falls beneath 15%, with shutdown rules to take effect within 24 hours. On Thursday night, state tallies put the Southern California region’s ICU bed capacity at 20.6%, the San Joaquin Valley’s at 19.7%, greater Sacramento’s at 22.2%, the San Francisco Bay Area’s at 25.3% and Northern California’s at 18.6%.

 

“We clearly as a society blew through the stop signs on Thanksgiving,” said Hillan of the California Hotel & Lodging Assn. But the economic consequences of this week’s restrictions, he said, may be devastating in their own way.

 

When the year began, he said, “we had roughly 239,000 hotel employees in the state of California.” By this week, the number was less than half that, Hillan said, and about 59% of hotels nationwide have “a distressed loan” — meaning a loan that’s in arrears or being renegotiated or both.

12/3/2020   Data show Americans couldn’t resist Thanksgiving travel, Associated Press

Vehicle travel in early November was as much as 20% lower than a year earlier, but it surged around the holiday and peaked on Thanksgiving Day at only about 5% less than the pandemic-free period in 2019, according to StreetLight Data, which provided an analysis to the Associated Press.

 

“People were less willing to change their behavior than any other day during the pandemic,” said Laura Schewel, founder of StreetLight Data.

12/3/2020   Michigan football has at least 12 positive COVID-19 cases, according to AP source, by Larry Lage, Associated Press

12/2/2020   Michigan just saw its second-deadliest month for COVID-19, by Nisa Khan, Detroit Free Press

12/2/2020   Michigan doctors appeal to restaurants: Don't rush to reopen, by Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press

12/2/2020   America Is Careening Toward a Pandemic Nightmare Scenario, by Whet Moser, The Atlantic

On Wednesday, the United States broke 100,000 coronavirus hospitalizations for the first time ever.

12/2/2020   It’s time to admit it: Remote education is a failure, Opinion by Helaine Olen, The Washington Post

12/2/2020   Judge rejects Michigan restaurant lawsuit seeking to overturn indoor dining ban, by Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press

In his ruling, Maloney — a former Republican prosecutor in Berrien County appointed to the federal bench by President George W. Bush — said the court finds that "a plausible explanation for the emergency order exists: Restaurant patrons cannot wear a mask while eating or drinking."

12/2/2020   Michigan reports 6,955 new COVID-19 cases, 81 deaths Wednesday, by Nisa Khan, Detroit Free Press

The state now has 9,405 confirmed deaths and 373,197 confirmed cases since March.

 

Michigan had a positivity rate of 13.18% Tuesday, reporting that 5,575 out of 42,304 diagnostic test results returned were positive.

12/1/2020   How soon can Michiganders get a COVID-19 vaccine? Answering your biggest questions, by Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

12/1/2020   The Long Haul of Vaccine Results Is Just Beginning, by Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic

The half dose actually began as a manufacturing mistake, and the volunteers who received it were all younger than 55, and younger people often have better responses to vaccines. Plus, the 90 percent efficacy is based on a small number of cases—possibly small enough to create a statistical fluke. The workings of the human immune system are especially un-intuitive, and scientists have offered plausible biological reasons why a half dose might be superior. But given the data available so far, “it’s basically uninterpretable at this point,” Shane Crotty, an immunologist at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology, says. Several scientists said they were glad that these muddled and confusing results from AstraZeneca/Oxford were not the first COVID-19 vaccine data to be released. 

12/1/2020   Whitmer: No decision on extending COVID-19 restrictions, vaccine is 'hope on the horizon', by Dave Boucher and Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

12/1/2020   Why coronavirus outbreak tied to New Orleans swingers event is a 'metaphor for the U.S.' By MATT SLEDGE and CARLIE KOLLATH WELLS, NOLA.com

'If I could go back in time, I would not produce this event again,' organizer says

 

Joshua Michaud, an epidemiologist at the Kaiser Family Foundation, described the swingers convention as “a metaphor for the U.S. as a whole. We’ve just grown more complacent, despite the fact that we know that there’s more virus circulating now than there ever has been.”

 

The news of the outbreak, which became public through Hannaford’s blog post on Friday, prompted exasperated responses from public health specialists.

 

“Well, duh,” said Susan Hassig, an epidemiology professor at Tulane University. “Close personal contact is a very efficient way to spread coronavirus.” 

12/1/2020   Opinion: Reopening Michigan restaurants for indoor dining is safe, necessary, Opinion by Graham Filler

12/1/2020   Initiative expands sewage water testing for COVID-19 in Metro Detroit, by Sarah Rahal, The Detroit News

Dr. John Norton, director of energy and research for GLWA, said sewage detection has been a powerful tool in the past to address polio and track alcohol and illicit drug usage, which directs intervention policies for regions.

12/1/2020   Quarter of Macomb County Jail inmates test positive for coronavirus, by Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press

12/1/2020   Americans’ fixation on coronavirus cleansing can be overkill, experts say, Associated Press

12/1/2020   WHO chief says Mexico 'in bad shape' with coronavirus pandemic; CDC says avoid all travel, The Associated Press

11/30/2020   How COVID vaccines are being divvied up around the world, by Asher Mullard, Nature

Canada leads the pack in terms of doses secured per capita.

11/30/2020   Rhode Island hospitals hit capacity as COVID-19 cases surge, By Edward Fitzpatrick, The Boston Globe

Rhode Island's hospitals reached their COVID-19 capacity on Monday, just as the state began a two week " pause" aimed at keeping the pandemic from the health care system.

11/29/2020   In Memoriam: Ben Bova, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

Former SFWA President Ben Bova (b.1932) died from COVID-19 related pneumonia and a stroke on November 29. Bova served two consecutive terms as SFWA President from 1990-1992.

11/29/2020   California sees record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, by Stefanie Dazio, Associated Press

In Northern California, Santa Clara County — home to Silicon Valley — is banning all high school, collegiate and professional sports and imposing a quarantine for those traveling into the region from more than 150 miles (241 kilometers) away.

11/29/2020   What changes after covid-19? I’m betting on everything, Opinion by Megan McArdle, The Washington Post

11/29/2020   Take a Look at What Trump Was Doing as Thousands Died of COVID-19, by Elizabeth Hunt Brockway, Daly Beast

Nero fiddled; Trump golfs.

11/29/2020   Prof Said Jade Amulets May Block COVID—and Became a Science Supervillain, by Mark Hay, Daily Beast

Unlike bogus far-right conspiracy theories about COVID-19, this idea did not emerge from the digital fringe, but from a respected academic journal, resulting in a total shitshow.

 

Another paper related to this overarching theory, posted at the start of 2020, claimed Stonehenge was potentially a “state-of-the-art Neolithic European public health complex” built to protect people from geomagnetic fluctuation-related illness and “megadeath.” Mike Pitts, a Stonehenge excavator and expert, told The Daily Beast that article “overstated or misinterpreted” most of the archaeological theories and evidence it hinged on. He also said it “contains one of the most nonsensical sentences I’ve ever read about Stonehenge—and I’ve suffered quite a few.”

11/28/2020   L.A. County’s new stay-home order is the strictest in California. Here’s how it works, by Rong-Gong Lin II and Alex Wigglesworth, Los Angeles Times

The virus is now far more widespread in Los Angeles County than at any point since the surge of the early summer, with one out of every 145 people now currently infectious, according to county estimates. “If people do participate in gatherings, it can be quite dangerous,” warned Dr. Christina Ghaly, the county director of health services, last week. “Much of the COVID-19 transmission occurs before any symptoms occur” among the infected persons.

11/28/2020   A more sweeping stay-at-home order is likely if L.A. County can’t slow COVID-19 spike, by Alex Wigglesworth and Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times

Barbara Ferrer, the L.A. County health director, on Saturday said officials hope the more narrowly tailored restrictions will be sufficient to slow the spread of the coronavirus without reverting to stricter stay-at-home orders like those put in place in March.

 

She said the county is “at a different place now than we were in March and April, when we didn’t have the science around masking and distancing.

 

“Now that we do, it offers us a slightly different path forward,” she said. “But I’ll be honest: It only offers us a different path forward if everyone’s doing it.”

11/28/2020   Alito Slaps Down Megachurch Pastor’s Lawsuit That Claimed Obeying God Meant Ignoring COVID-19 Orders, by AARON KELLER, Law & Crime

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito flatly rejected a plea by a Louisiana megachurch pastor to keep his church fully open against orders from the government to limit the size of worship gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  That pastor, Tony Spell, whose full legal name is Mark Anthony Spell, earlier this year opened his doors to some 1,800 congregants in violation of orders by the governor that limited the size of gatherings and required social distancing measures.

11/27/2020   Gov. Whitmer seeks $100M state stimulus to repair pandemic damage to economy, by Craig Mauger, The Detroit News

"Michigan families are hurting, and while we must continue to advocate for meaningful support from the federal government, we simply cannot afford to wait," she wrote.

11/27/2020   Long-term effects of COVID-19 staggering for popular Plymouth-Canton educator, by Ed Wright, Hometownlife.com

"School was getting ready to start, so I figured the headaches were caused by stress," she said. "I thought I could power through them like I have in the past, and that I'd be fine. Reflecting back now, though, I realize they were probably the start of the acute COVID stage."  Little did she know, the virus had invaded her sharp-as-a-tack brain, leaving the 48-year-old teaching superstar incapable of calculating even the simplest of math equations and limiting her exercise activities to a few steps, before fatigue forced her to rest.

 

An estimated 10% of people diagnosed with COVID-19  experience prolonged symptoms, according to the British Medical Journal.

11/27/2020   Veterans Saw Friends Die From COVID. Then It Got Worse, by Spencer Ackerman, Daily Beast

“They never once asked me what my symptoms were, never once, while they were shoving guys who were positive into their rooms and letting them die,” resident Lee Siegfried, a Gulf War veteran who said he contracted the coronavirus at Lyons, told The Daily Beast.

11/26/2020   Supreme Court Says New York Can't Limit Attendance In Houses of Worship Due To COVID, by Nina Totenberg and Jaclyn Diaz, NPR

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily barred New York from enforcing strict attendance limits on places of worship in areas designated coronavirus hot spots, in a decision released just before midnight on Wednesday.

 

The decision marked a major shift for the court, in essence at least a partial reversal of previous rulings, as well as a clear indication of the court's dramatic move to the right with the addition of new Justice Amy Coney Barrett in place of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

 

Earlier this year, while Ginsburg was still on the court, it was Chief Justice John Roberts who cast the critical fifth vote to uphold a similar order from governors in California and Nevada.

11/26/2020   Coronavirus cases are skyrocketing again in cities, by Brittany Shammas, Mark Guarino and Jacqueline Dupree, The Washington Post

Rural areas have been hardest hit this fall, but cities are now seeing dramatic increases in cases

 

“The dreaded fall wave, in many places, is upon us,” said Josh Michaud, an epidemiologist and associate director for global health policy at the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation. “And that includes in metropolitan areas.”

 

In Cook County, where Chicago is located, the seven-day average of new cases hit a record high of 4,654 on Nov. 17 — far outpacing the peak of 1,690 during the spring surge. Deaths are lower than the numbers seen in the spring but have climbed in recent weeks.

11/25/2020   A history lesson on the 1918 pandemic and Covid-19, Shep Smith, Michael Beschloss, CNBC

11/25/2020   Fauci expects role in Biden’s coronavirus response, would consider Cabinet position, by Michael Wilner, Mcclatchy Washington Bureau

In an interview with McClatchy on Wednesday, Fauci said he assumes he will stay in his job as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a position he has held since 1984. But he would “seriously consider” serving in another capacity, such as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or as Health and Human Services secretary, if Biden asked.

11/24/2020   Stay home this Thanksgiving: Area malls are closed for Turkey Day, by David Veselenak, Hometownlife.com

Here are the hours for Black Friday for area malls such as Twelve Oaks and Laurel Park Place.

11/24/2020   We're celebrating Thanksgiving amid a pandemic. Here's how we did it in 1918 – and what happened next, by Grace Hauck, USA TODAY

On Thanksgiving more than a century ago, many Americans, like today, lived under various phases of quarantines and face mask orders. Millions mourned loved ones. And health officials in many cities issued the same holiday warning: Stay home and stay safe.

 

By January, the USA was fully engulfed in its third wave of influenza. The virus spread throughout the winter and spring, killing thousands more. It infected one-third of the world's population and killed approximately 675,000 Americans before subsiding in the summer of 1919.

5/25/2020   100 years ago, Philadelphia chose a parade over social distancing during the 1918 Spanish flu – and paid a heavy price, by George Petras, and Karl Gelles, USA TODAY, USA Today

11/24/2020   Giroir, Asst Secretary for HHS: Shorter quarantine might improve public health responseWolf Blitzer, CNN

11/24/2020   Biden says staff has spoken with Fauci: 'He's been very, very helpful', Tal Axelrod, The Hill

11/24/2020   Top epidemiologist says Sweden has no signs of herd immunity curbing coronavirus, by John Bowden, The Hill

Advocates of the idea have pointed to Sweden as an example, citing the country's unwillingness to implement lockdown measures inhibiting public life to stop the virus's spread.

 

“I want to make it clear, no, we did not lock down like many other countries, but we definitely had a virtual lockdown,” Tegnell said. “Swedes changed their behavior enormously. We stopped travelling even more than our neighboring countries. The airports had no flights anywhere, the trains were running at a few per cent of normal service, so there were enormous changes in society.”

 

Swedes have faced more exposure to the coronavirus than residents in other Nordic areas and data published this week showed that every third person tested in Stockholm has tested positive for antibodies.

11/23/2020   From Pandemic to Protests: How Food Businesses Are Responding, BY THE BON APPÉTIT STAFF

Chefs, owners, and staff share their stories.

11/23/2020  Op-Ed: On the COVID frontlines, we’re tired of hearing lame excuses for risky behavior, by Mark Morocco, The Los Angeles Times

In emergency rooms and intensive care units across the country, frontline nurses, respiratory therapists and doctors like me have been in danger every day for eight months. Smothered in PPE, we’re doused in coronavirus every day while we take care of the very sick, the worried well and the dying. Some of the dead aren’t patients; some are colleagues, friends and our own families. 

 

We are furious and we are exhausted. And now we face again the flooding of our hospitals.

 

We’re tired of seeing patients who got the virus after their kid’s “limited” birthday party or because they went out to a restaurant dinner with “close friends” or flew to a celebration in a state “that didn’t have much COVID.”

...

Until months AFTER the vaccines arrive, the same simple steps will be required. Not just in California, but also across our un-United States. 

Wear a mask whenever you leave the house. Stop doing dumb stuff, like going to parties, destination weddings and the French Laundry. Stop listening to know-nothings who spout “science” on YouTube and Twitter. 

 

Stop being crybabies about a little inconvenience. We already have more than 250,000 reasons to weep — and to be thankful we are alive and can still do something about it. 

 

So avoid crowds. Wash your hands. Stay home. Why is this so hard?

 

You may have noticed that I’m a little bit on edge. 

 

The problem is, people don’t understand the danger. Yes, you may have attended a party and you’re fine. You’re young, you’re healthy. What’s the problem? 

 

If you don’t understand, go back and read a story by Karen Kaplan in this newspaper. She reported how a single wedding of 55 people in Maine infected 27 guests. None of them died and some didn’t even have symptoms. So, no big deal, right? Wrong. The infected guests went on to infect others, who in turn spread it themselves. Over the next 38 days, the wedding was responsible for infecting at least 176 people, and seven of them died. 

 

Multiply that mistake thousands of times across our country and you have real trouble. You don’t have to get sick to transmit COVID. You can kill someone you’ve never met in another state, or their mother, or they can kill yours. 

 

What you do matters. 

 

We’ve reached that place in the movie where there are so many zombies we have to hide in the basement. Except the zombies are down there with us, fresh from an “essential” shopping trip, and now their kid has a cough.

 

So this column is a warning, a confession and a cry for unity — perhaps even patriotism.

 

If you come to me in the ER, you’ll never know what I’m thinking about you or your choices. Like the virus, I don’t care if you’re from Orange County or North Dakota. You’ll get 100% from me and my crew, no matter who you are or what you did — or didn’t — do. Even if you say this is a political conspiracy or a test of “liberty,” or you call us “sheeple.”

 

Mark Morocco is a Los Angeles physician and professor of emergency medicine.

11/23/2020   Doctors say CDC should warn people the side effects from Covid vaccine shots won’t be ‘a walk in the park’ by Berkeley Lovelace Jr, CNBC

11/23/2020   Answers to Every Possible Pandemic-Thanksgiving Question, by James Hamblin M.D.  The Atlantic

There is no perfectly safe way to gather. That said, here’s how to make the holiday less dangerous.

 

On Thursday, the CDC advised Americans not to congregate with people outside their immediate household. If anything, the advisory understated the risk at hand, saying that “travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.” Travel does increase your risk. It should have read: Do not travel. Do not gather. Effectively, Thanksgiving is canceled.

 

Just wait one year, and then have a basically normal holiday. If everyone in the United States did this, we’d likely save thousands of lives. 

11/23/2020   Dispatches From the Dance Floor Eight New Yorkers on partying during COVID, by James D. Walsh, The Cut.com

11/23/2020   Michigan reports 11,511 new COVID-19 cases, 65 deaths over 2-day period, by Nisa Khan, Detroit Free Press

11/23/2020   As women leave pandemic economy, returning to work, higher wages will be a struggle, Nushrat Rahman, Detroit Free Press

11/23/2020   A $50 million ad blitz will try to turn Covid-19 vaccine skeptics into believers, byTiffany Hsu, The New York Times

The federal government, which has sent mixed messages about a pandemic that has caused more than 250,000 deaths nationwide, is not leading the charge. Instead, the private sector is backing a planned $50 million campaign to persuade people to protect themselves at a time when polls have suggested that more than 40 percent of adult Americans are not confident in a potential vaccine.

 

Fifty-eight percent of American adults said they were willing to take a coronavirus vaccine, according to a Gallup poll conducted between Oct. 19 and Nov. 1. Another poll, conducted last month by Ipsos and the World Economic Forum, found that 85 percent of Chinese adults, 79 percent of British adults and 76 percent of Canadian adults planned to be vaccinated, compared to 64 percent of Americans.

 

Research by the Covid Collaborative suggests that fewer than 20 percent of Black Americans believe that a vaccine will be safe or effective. Many respondents stated that they had little faith in the government’s ability to look after their interests or cited distrust stemming from past ethics violations, such as the infamous Tuskegee study, which tracked Black men infected with syphilis but did not treat them.

11/23/2020   AstraZeneca Releases Promising Data on Its Coronavirus Vaccine, By Rebecca Robbins and Benjamin Mueller, The New York Times

The British-Swedish drug maker said its vaccine candidate was 70 percent effective on average, and potentially up to 90 percent effective, at preventing Covid-19 in an early analysis.  In the dosing plan that worked better, study participants were given a half-dose of the vaccine and then, a month later, a full dose. The vaccine was less effective when they were given a standard full dose upfront, followed a month later by another full dose. If the apparently more effective regimen is the one ultimately authorized by regulators across the globe, it could allow more people to be vaccinated at a time when vaccines will be in short supply.

11/23/2020   AstraZeneca and Oxford University Say Their Vaccine Is ‘Highly Effective’, by Rebecca Robbins, Benjamin Mueller and Jenny Gross, The New York Times

The company said its early analysis was based on 131 coronavirus cases. The trials used two different dosing regimens, one of which was 90 percent effective in preventing Covid-19 and the other of which was 62 percent effective.

 

The regimen that was 90 percent effective involved using a halved first dose and a standard second dose. Oxford and AstraZeneca also said that there were no hospitalized or severe cases of the coronavirus in anyone who received the vaccine, and that they had seen a reduction in asymptomatic infections, suggesting that the vaccine could reduce transmission.

 

AstraZeneca’s results could significantly strengthen the global effort to produce enough vaccine to create population immunity: The price of the shot, at $3 to $4, is a fraction of that of some other potential vaccines, and AstraZeneca has pledged to make it available at cost around the world until at least July 2021 and in poorer countries in perpetuity.

11/23/2020   What to Know About California’s Vaccine Rollout, By Marie Tae McDermott and Jill Cowan, The New York Times

11/22/2020   Grand Rapids Girl who was at center of police controversy at age 11 dies of COVID-19, family says, by Omar Abdel-Baqui, Detroit Free Press

A Grand Rapids girl who was the center of a police controversy after being placed in handcuffs by officers when she was 11 years old has died of COVID-19 complications, her family said online Sunday.

 

Honestie Hodges, 14, tested positive for the coronavirus on Nov. 9 and was rushed to the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital later that day.  A spokesperson for Spectrum Health System, which includes Helen Devos Children’s Hospital, said Honestie's condition was listed as critical Sunday morning but could not confirm her death to the Free Press, citing privacy concerns.

 

A Grand Rapids police officer placed Honestie in handcuffs in December 2017 as police searched for one of her aunts suspected in a stabbing. Body camera footage shows Honestie crying and pleading with the officer not to cuff her.

 

The incident sparked demands for justice. The Grand Rapids Police Department found that the officers involved did not violate department policy, however, Police Chief David Rahinsky said footage from the incident left him "nauseated." The department later adopted a youth interaction policy called the "Honestie Policy."

11/22/2020   Party at a Queens [an NYC Borough] Sex Club With 80 People Is Shut Down by Sheriff, by Troy Closson, The New York Times

By midnight on Saturday, about 80 guests had crowded into a sex club in Queens to drink and party. At around the same time, another group that grew to about 120 revelers was just starting to gather and dance at an illegal club in Manhattan. City sheriffs broke up both parties early on Sunday

11/22/2020   Italy is again seeing one of the world’s highest coronavirus death tolls, but it no longer registers as a national tragedy, by Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli, The Washington Post

At the outset of the pandemic, Italy’s immense daily death tolls — 919 at the peak — froze the country in fear and put much of the world on alert. But as the tolls again approach those heights, Italy is becoming emblematic of a far different point of the pandemic, when the dangers continue unabated even as so many are desensitized, fatigued and preoccupied with economic survival.

11/22/2020   Coronavirus cases are soaring in the D.C. region. Experts say the worst is yet to come, by Erin Cox and Julie Zauzmer, The Washington Post

11/21/2020   CoVID-19: Forecasting the death toll by extrapolating the daily Case Fatality Rate, by Bruno Gonçalves, Medium

11/21/2020  Michigan releases COVID-19 virus testing turnaround data; current estimated time is nearly 3 days, by Nisa Khan, Detroit Free Press

11/21/2020   Two adverse-free shots in the arm and four weeks later my anti-Spike IgG levels are sky high. The future is bright. Thank you ⁦pfizer, by Benjamin  tenOever    Follow virologist Benjamin tenOver on twitter.

11/21/2020   Coronavirus vaccines are coming. Who should get them first?  By William Booth, Eva Dou, Robyn Dixon and Luisa Beck, The Washington Post

Obesity is a comorbidity for serious complications from covid-19. Do the overweight in the richest countries get to jump the queue — or just the seriously obese? 

11/21/2020   Politics, Science and the Remarkable Race for a Coronavirus Vaccine, By Sharon LaFraniere, Katie Thomas, Noah Weiland, David Gelles, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Denise Grady, The New York Times

The furious race to develop a coronavirus vaccine played out against a presidential election, between a pharmaceutical giant and a biotech upstart, with the stakes as high as they could get.

11/21/2020   'Insider Trading Barbie' Senator Kelly Loeffler isolating after testing positive for the coronavirus, then getting inconclusive result, by Hannah Knowles, The Washington Post

11/21/2020   Coronavirus in the U.S.: Where cases are growing and declining, National Geographic

Two new milestones are converging: The first-ever day with 200,000 cases and a million new cases in less than a week.

11/21/2020   Covid-19 Live Updates: U.S. Breaks Single-Day Record for New Cases as Number Nears 200,000, The New York Times

11/21/2020   1 America, 1 Pandemic, 2 Realities, By Manny Fernandez and Jack Healy

Allison Byington, who lives in South Dakota, said her mother recently called her a murderer for refusing to wear a face mask. “We don’t have a relationship anymore,” Ms. Byington said.

 

Ms. Byington sees not masking as her decision. She does not wear one when she sets out on Mondays to comb through thrift stores for the online resale business she runs with her husband. They pulled their 8-year-old son from school when the district required masks.

 

Ms. Byington’s mother, Jeannie Ammon, says she is simply trying to keep herself, her husband and an ailing oldest daughter alive. She said her youngest daughter had unfriended her on Facebook.

 

“It’s caused a lot of strain in the family,,” Ms. Ammon said. “We feel like we’re just skipping over land mines.”

11/21/2020   Michigan surpasses 300,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, just 15 days after passing 200,000, by Nisa Khan, Detroit Free Press

Michigan first reached over 50,000 confirmed cases on May 15. In the late summer, Michigan reached over 100,000 confirmed cases. Six deaths were reported that Friday, Aug. 28.

 

Then, on Nov. 6 and shortly after Election Day, Michigan surpassed 200,000 cases. There were 43 deaths reported.

11/20/2020   Hospitals Know What’s Coming, by Ed Yong, The Atlantic

“We are on an absolutely catastrophic path,” said a COVID-19 doctor at America’s best-prepared hospital.

11/20/2020   New COVID-19 virus cases in Michigan's prisons hit all-time high, by Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press

The Department of Corrections reported a record number of new cases in a single day, logging a staggering 1,137 additional prisoner and staff cases on Nov. 12.

 

The hardest hit is Central Michigan Correctional Facility in St. Louis, which had 1,439 active prisoner cases as of Friday [Nov 20]. The outbreak there began Nov. 6, with the first infections confirmed among employees, Gautz said. Prior to that, the facility had five prisoner cases from earlier in the pandemic.

11/20/2020   COVID-19 has been smoldering in rural America for months. Here’s why we missed it, by Lois Parshley, National Geographic

A dangerous combination of limited resources, stigma, and politics made the coronavirus difficult to track in rural areas, allowing its spread to go largely unnoticed all summer.

11/20/2020   In All 50 States, Deaths Are Now Higher Than Normal, by Josh Katz, Denise Lu and Margot Sanger-Katz, The New York Times

Deaths in every state of the country are higher than they would be in a normal year, according to an analysis of estimates from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

The data show how the coronavirus pandemic, which is peaking in many states, is bringing with it unusual patterns of death, higher than the official totals of deaths that have been directly linked to the virus.

11/20/2020   Why Moderna may have an edge in the vaccine race: refrigeration, by Sarah Elizabeth Richards, National Geographic

Perhaps the biggest bombshell was a separate announcement saying that Moderna’s vaccine can be stored at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit) for 30 days. That’s the temperature found in a normal refrigerator or in a cooler filled with ice. This feature may give Moderna an edge because it makes mass distribution less challenging in rural areas and low-income countries.

TrevorBedford Deaths Plotted Against Cases From 22Days Before

11/19/2020   How Many Americans Are About to Die? by Alexis D. Madrigal and Whet Moser, The Atlantic

A new analysis shows that the country is on track to pass spring’s grimmest record.

 

The chart that he generated is as simple as it is disturbing. It shows that, as we should expect, far fewer people are dying, per reported cases, than in the early days of the pandemic. But on the chart below, look at August, where much of the published research on death rates ends. The improvement stops. The numbers in the first week of August are not much different from the numbers in the first week of November. By Bedford’s method, the lagged case-fatality rate has averaged 1.8 percent since August.

 

This should be an extremely urgent signal that the U.S. response to COVID-19 has put the country on a dangerous track.

 

- These estimates were prepared by Trevor Bedford, a genomic epidemiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle, using data from the COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic, which compiles the cases and deaths that states report. They were then independently analyzed by the forecasting expert Ryan Tibshirani at the Delphi Group at Carnegie Mellon, which works closely with the CDC on disease modeling. If we look back over the past several months, the method Bedford used has proved more accurate than other means of forecasting near-term deaths.

TrevorBedford 22 Day Lagged Case Fatality Rate

11/19/2020   8 months into pandemic, thousands of Michiganders still wait for unemployment benefits, Adrienne Roberts, Detroit Free Press

11/19/2020   Michigan weekly unemployment claims remain high as COVID-19 cases rise, by Adrienne Roberts, Detroit Free Press

11/19/2020   We all can learn something important from Kelly Stafford's viral Michigan dictatorship rant, by Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press

Kelly Stafford said what a lot of folks think Thursday morning when she recorded herself in her car and posted an anti-lockdown pandemic rant to Instagram.

 

In fact, she said: “I’m over living in a dictatorship we call Michigan.”

 

The problem, of course, aside from COVID-related deaths and the virus’ economic destruction, is the idea of freedom. Few of us agree what it means, and that tension is infusing every level of our civic life.

 

There are conversations to be had regarding shutdowns, their length, their reach. But we aren’t having them. Not in Michigan, at least.

 

Here, the Governor and the state legislature can’t agree on what should be done. So Whitmer, using her authority under public health codes, issued an order to stop in-person dining in restaurants, close high school and college classrooms, and cease organized sports among other things. State Republican leadership balked, accusing her of acting alone.

11/19/2020   Virus Cases Rise, but Hazard Pay for Retail Workers Doesn’t, by Michael Corkery and Sapna Maheshwari, The New York Times

“We ask workers with the least to sacrifice the most, and they are not even getting compensated in return,” said Molly Kinder, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, who is preparing a report that ranks which largest retailers have been most generous to their workers during the pandemic. “The companies have the money to do this.”

11/18/2020   South Dakota’s Bimbo Governor Noem defends forgoing masks as virus surges, by Stephen Groves, Associated Press

“Some have said that my refusal to mandate masks is a reason why our cases are rising here in South Dakota, and that is not true,” Noem said.

 

Those who don’t wear masks are making a “personal decision” and deserve respect, the Republican governor said during a news conference. She refused to encourage people to wear masks or socially distance, instead saying the best thing people can do to stop the spread of the virus is wash their hands.

11/18/2020   America’s 250,000 covid deaths: People die, but little changes, by Marc Fisher, Shayna Jacobs and Pam Kelley, The Washington Post

Most everybody in town knows that Gladys Maull has been battered this year: Her father, her sister, an aunt, a great-aunt, all dead from covid-19. Maull keeps a sign on her front door: “Please do not come in my house due to covid-19. Thank you.”

 

Some people just step on in, maskless.

11/18/2020   Detroit Free Press Covid-19 Pandemic Memories & Memorial Wall, audio contributions, stories about why someone you loved mattered - are being solicited now

11/17/2020   SARS-CoV-2 Infected Cardiomyocytes Recruit Monocytes by Secreting CCL2, Chen, Yang, Nilsson-Payant, et al, Nature Research

Heart injury has been reported in up to 20% of COVID-19 patients, yet the cause of myocardial histopathology remains unknown

11/17/2020    Exercise After Covid-19? Take It Slow, by Jordan D. Metzl, M.D.

Heart and lung damage can happen after even mild illness, prompting doctors to recommend caution before returning to your workout

 

For the past 20 years, when patients asked me about exercising while recovering from a viral illness like the flu, I gave them the same advice: Listen to your body. If exercise usually makes you feel better, go for it.

 

Covid-19 has changed my advice.

11/17/2020   COVID-19 outbreak complicates contact tracing, remains vital to slowing coronavirus spread, by Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press

11/17/2020   Adopting mask mandates, some GOP governors give up the gospel of personal responsibility, by Isaac Stanley-Becker, The Washington Post

After eight months of preaching personal responsibility in place of mandates, these governors have brought their states in line with much of the world by instituting the simple requirement backed by science but, in the United States, shot through with politics.

11/17/2020   Beaumont Health paid CEO $2.6 million bonus weeks before bailout, by Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press

Beaumont Health paid its chief executive a $2.6 million bonus weeks before the state'slargest hospital system turned to the federal government for a financial bailout.

 

The bonus for CEO John Fox — a 63% increase over his prior year bonus — was awarded on the same day that the nonprofit health system got its first COVID-19 patient. Details about the bonus were revealed Monday as Beaumont released copies of the tax returns the health system filed with the IRS for 2019.

11/17/2020   Beaumont Taylor restricting visitors due to COVID-19, by Georgea Kovanis, Detroit Free Press

11/17/2020   Workers describe 'stressful and chaotic' scene at Muskegon hospital hit hard with COVID-19, by Dustin Dwyer, Michigan Radio

Inside Mercy Health’s gleaming new hospital tower along U.S. 31 in Muskegon, four full floors are now filled with COVID-19 patients.

 

More people are in the emergency room, waiting for beds to open up. Nurses are working grueling 16-hour shifts, racing between rooms, trying to keep up with the growing onslaught of sick patients.

11/17/2020   

2020 11 17 MichiganCasesAndDeaths

11/17/2020   Michigan reports 7,458 new COVID-19 cases, 79 deaths Tuesday, by Nisa Khan, Detroit Free Press

Michigan has a fatality rate of 3.0% among known cases.

11/17/2020    Grocery stores see rush amid 3-week shutdowns, COVID-19 spike in Michigan, by Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press

11/17/2020   Trump Fumes That Biden Will Get the Praise He Craves for a COVID Vaccine, by Asawin Suebsaeng and Erin Banco, Daily Beast

Come late January, President-elect Joe Biden will be leader of the free world, and the West Wing communications apparatus won’t be focused on amplifying Trump’s bragging any longer. 

11/17/2020   FDA Approves First at-Home COVID-19 Self-Test, by Tori B. Powell, Daily Beast

Users are to swirl the self-collected sample swab in a vial before putting it in the test unit. Within 30 minutes, test results should display.

11/17/2020   A Rush On Coronavirus Testing Strains Laboratories, Drives Supply Shortages, by Rob Stein, NPR

11/17/2020   Why Does Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine Need To Be Kept Colder Than Antarctica? By Selena Simmons-Duffin, Morning Edition

Right now, Pfizer says its vaccine needs to be kept at minus 70 degrees Celsius and can last in a specialty freezer for up to six months. The specialty shippers can hold up to five "pizza box" trays of vials and be refreshed with dry ice every five days for up to 15 days to keep the vaccine at the right frozen temperature.

 

Even that presents challenges, though — a Pfizer scientist told a CDC advisory council in August that it's not supposed to be opened more than twice a day and needs to be closed within one minute of opening. Once it's thawed, the vaccine can be refrigerated for five days.

 

Moderna says its vaccine candidate is stable at regular freezer temperature — minus 20 degrees Celsius — for up to six months, and after thawing it can last in the refrigerator for 30 days. It can also be kept at room temperature for up to 12 hours. This, explains Kristensen, is useful for health care workers in the field, "because now the vaccine doesn't need to go in and out of the refrigerator each time it's administered."

 

TweetOfScottAtlasReMichiganRisingUp 2020 11 15

11/16/2020   Whitmer: Michigan too 'strapped' to help laid-off workers, by Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, Livingston Daily

11/16/2020   Whitmer blasts 'rise up' tweet from Trump's chief Covid-19 Pandemic advisor amid new COVID-19 restrictions, by Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press

11/16/2020   

TweetOfBiostatiticianOnModernaVaccine 2020 11 16

 

11/16/2020   Moderna's COVID-19 Vaccine Shines In Clinical Trial, by Joe Palca, Morning Edition

A second COVID-19 vaccine now also appears highly effective in preventing illness following exposure to the virus that causes the disease.

 

The biotech company Moderna, Inc., said Monday that its experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing disease, according to an analysis of its clinical trial.

 

The results for both vaccines come from interim analyses of large clinical studies. In the Moderna study there were 30,000 volunteers. Half got two doses of the vaccine 28 days apart, half got two shots of a placebo on the same schedule.

 

There were 95 instances of COVID-19 illness among the study participants — only five of those cases were in the vaccinated group.

 

The Moderna and Pfizer studies were conducted using slightly different protocols. To be counted as a COVID-19 case, participants in the Moderna study had to have at least two symptoms of disease in addition to a positive test for the virus. The Pfizer study required only one symptom. Also, Moderna waited 14 days following the second injection to begin counting cases; Pfizer's study started counting at seven days.

11/16/2020   Michigan reports 12,763 confirmed cases, 55 deaths over 2-day period, by Nisa Khan, Detroit Free Press

11/16/2020   Beaumont study shows how well masks work at stopping COVID-19 virus transmission, by Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

The study showed that of the 20,614 Beaumont health care workers who took part in the research, 1,818 — or 8.8% — had developed SARS-CoV-2 antibodies on serology blood tests.

11/15/2020   Un-Normalizing America’s Third Wave,  by David Wallace-Wells, Intelligencer

“The cases are going vertical,” wrote Eric Topol, the head of Scripps Research Translational Institute and not temperamentally an alarmist, on Thursday. In the spring, Americans nervously following the course of the pandemic heard a lot about the risks of “exponential growth,” but outside of New York, the first-wave epicenter, the country’s experience with spread of this speed was rather limited. Now almost the entire country is there, with COVID-19’s spread in 47 of 50 states currently “uncontrolled,”

 

Over the last few months, election-preoccupied Americans have normalized what was once an unthinkable, and certainly an unconscionable, level of death and suffering.

11/15/2020   That Pre-Thanksgiving Covid Test Won't Really Keep You Safe, by Christie Aschwanden, Wired

It seems like a simple way to justify holiday gatherings. But the everyone-has-gotten-tested method is utterly absurd.

11/14/2020   It’s Time to Hunker Down, by Zeynep Tufekci, The Atlantic

A devastating surge is here. Unless Americans act aggressively, it will get much larger, very quickly.

11/14/2020   COVID-19 Hospitalizations Surge In Dakotas: 'It's Like We Opened Up A Spigot' by Christianna Silva, Shots Health News from NPR

The Dakotas have the most new daily cases per capita of any other state this week — a record they've held or been close to for many weeks. They're also among the worst in the country for two other grim metrics: per capita deaths and per capita hospitalizations.

11/13/2020   ‘No One Is Listening to Us’ by Ed Yong, The Atlantic

More people than ever are hospitalized with COVID-19. Health-care workers can’t go on like this.

11/13/2020   Multiple COVID-19 Outbreaks Linked to a Wedding Reception in Rural Maine — August 7–September 14, 2020, Parag Mahale PhD, et al, CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

A wedding reception with 55 persons in a rural Maine town led to COVID-19 outbreaks in the local community, as well as at a long-term care facility and a correctional facility in other counties. Overall, 177 COVID-19 cases were linked to the event, including seven hospitalizations and seven deaths (four in hospitalized persons). Investigation revealed noncompliance with CDC’s recommended mitigation measures.

11/12/2020   ‘Catastrophic’ lack of hospital beds in Upper Midwest as coronavirus cases surge, by Annie Gowen and Holly Bailey, The Washington Post

11/12/2020   Super-spreading wedding party demonstrates COVID-19 risk posed by holiday gatherings, by Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times

Only 55 people attended the Aug. 7 reception at the Big Moose Inn in Millinocket. But one of those guests arrived with a coronavirus infection. Over the next 38 days, the virus spread to 176 other people. Seven of them died.

 

None of the victims who lost their lives had attended the party.

 

In a new report, investigators from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention explain how a well-meaning celebration with family and friends wound up causing so much suffering and death throughout the state in such a short period of time.

11/12/2020   Trump Screamed at FDA Commissioner After Pfizer’s Vaccine Announcement, Says Report, by Jamie Ross, Daily Beast

According to The Washington Post, Trump flew off the handle at Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn following Pfizer’s announcement and demanded to know why it came after the election. Trump called Hahn on Monday and was “screaming at him” about the early morning Pfizer announcement, a senior administration official told the newspaper. Although Trump has convinced himself the timing of the announcement was politically motivated, there is no evidence that Pfizer held back its data that showed the inoculation was more than 90 percent effective at holding back the virus.

11/12/2020   Despite ACA Coverage Gains, Millions Still Suffer 'Catastrophic' Health Care Costs, by Kristen Kendrick, NPR

11/11/2020   NY governor limits gatherings at private homes to 10 people, shares more restrictions after Covid-19 rise, By Taylor Romine, CNN

11/11/2020   She Had COVID For Months. No One Believed Her, by By Anna Silman, The Cut.com (New York Magazine)

11/10/2020   The story of mRNA: How a once-dismissed idea became a leading technology in the Covid vaccine race, By DAMIAN GARDE — STAT @damiangarde and JONATHAN SALTZMAN — BOSTON GLOBE

In many ways, the companies and their leaders couldn’t be more different. Pfizer, working with a little-known German biotech called BioNTech, has taken pains for much of the year to manage expectations. Moderna has made nearly as much news for its stream of upbeat press releases, executives’ stock sales, and spectacular rounds of funding as for its science.

11/10/2020   The Lame-Duck Vaccine, by Sarah Zhan, The Atlantic

As Trump repeatedly promised a speedy vaccine approval before the election, Democrats especially grew concerned about politics overtaking safety. The percentage of Democrats willing to take the vaccine fell from 83 percent in July to 53 percent in September, according to a Gallup poll. A new administration is a chance to reset. Under the best-case scenario, a Trump administration that wants credit for developing a vaccine and a Biden administration that wants credit for administering it end up doing the same thing: persuading Americans to get vaccinated.

11/10/2020   U.S. Hits All-Time High For COVID-19 Hospitalizations, bye Nick Visser, HuffPost

Medical facilities reported that 61,964 patients were hospitalized with serious cases of the coronavirus on Nov. 10, breaking a record set in April.

11/9/2020   Who Dies? COVID took my grandfather. But it wasn’t what killed him, By Sarah Jones, The Cut.com

The same Republicans who offered up the elderly as a sacrifice to the market have opted to let children go hungry. Capitalism has become hyperbolic, the most evil version of itself. That transformation is driven not by the virus, but by a top-down emphasis on productivity over humanity. Maybe I am guilty of the demonic sentimentalism that Reno described, but I worry we are edging ever closer to old territory, where some members of society — the old, the sick, the weak, anyone viewed as insufficiently industrious — are judged unworthy of life.

11/9/2020   How the Coronavirus Hacks the Immune System, by James Somers, The New Yorker

At a laboratory in Manhattan, researchers have discovered how SARS-CoV-2 uses our defenses against us.  TenOever’s team quickly discovered that sars-CoV-2 was uncannily good at disrupting cellular programming. A typical virus replaces less than one per cent of the software in the cells it infects. With sars-CoV-2, tenOever said, about sixty per cent of the RNA in an infected cell is of viral origin—“which is the highest I’ve ever seen. Polio comes close.” Among other things, the virus rewires the alarm system that cells use to warn others about infection.

11/9/2020   What Pfizer’s landmark COVID vaccine results mean for the pandemic, by Ewen Callaway, Nature

Scientists welcome the first compelling evidence that a vaccine can prevent COVID-19. But questions remain about how much protection it offers, to whom and for how long.

11/7/2020   Coronavirus Is Surging: How Severe Is Your State's Outbreak?, by Stephanie Adeline, Connie Hanzhang Jin, Alyson Hurt, Thomas Wilburn, Daniel Wood and Ruth Talbot, NPR

11/7/2020   Meet the Far-Right Pastor Trying to Doxx COVID ‘Snitches’ by Hunter Paul, The Daily Beast

MISSOULA, Montana—A far-right pastor with a history of alleged bullying has a new hustle.

 

His plan: To publicly shame people who report violations of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions to the government by publishing their names and faces on billboards. Or at least try.

11/6/2020   Federal Supply Deal For COVID-19 Antibody Treatment Lacks Some Customary Protections, by Sydney Lupkin, NPR

11/6/2020:   Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows Contracts COVID-19 by Tracy Connor, The Daily Beast

11/6/2020   U.S. Shattered Records For New Coronavirus Cases This Week As Hospitalizations Climb, by Will Stone, NPR

11/6/2020   The Furious Fight to Fend Off COVID-19 Blood Clots, by David Axe, The Daily Beast

“A great mystery of COVID-19 is that it can vastly increase the risk of fatal blood clots,” Lawrence Gostin, a Georgetown University global health expert, told The Daily Beast. “No other virus that we are aware of has the same pronounced impact.”

 

It’s unclear exactly what percentage of COVID patients suffer dangerous clotting, but it could be as high as 30 percent in people whose infections are serious enough to warrant hospitalization, one research group found.

11/6/2020    Many Places Hard Hit By COVID-19 Leaned More Toward Trump In 2020 Than 2016, by Sean McMinn and Rob Stein, NPR

Of the 100 counties with the highest COVID-19 death rates per capita, 68 had a higher proportion of votes cast for Trump this cycle than they did in 2016. This includes both Republican-leaning counties and counties that supported Joe Biden.

11/6/2020   17 Million Animals to Be Slaughtered in ‘Unhinged’ COVID Mutation Scare, by Barbie Latza Nadeau, The Daily Beast

11/5/2020   First COVID-19 Vaccine Doses To Go To Health Workers, Say CDC Advisers, by Pien Huang, NPR

11/5/2020    This COVID-19 Hero Was Election Day’s Biggest Loss, by Michael Day, The Daily Beast

One uncontestable Election Day outcome was the death by COVID-19 of an esteemed and beloved emergency room doctor who leaves two young children.  The Texas emergency room doctor contracted the virus as President Trump criss-crossed the country, telling lies.

 

Dr. Juan Fitz of Lubbock, Texas, had fallen ill in mid-October. He had been on a ventilator, fighting for his life, as President Trump went from rally to rally repeating a despicable and false allegation that doctors had been inflating the pandemic death count to “get more money.” That baseless claim brought cheers from largely maskless supporters who were following his heedless example in ignoring simple precautions that might have saved tens of thousands of lives and could still save tens of thousands more.

 

In-person voting was underway across the country when 67-year-old Fitz died in Covenant Medical Center, the hospital where he had saved so many lives. His was one of eight lives lost to the virus in Lubbock County, along with 1,122 others nationally on Election Day. He also leaves a wife, a grown daughter, and a host of fellow emergency medicine workers who held him in the highest regard.

11/4/2020   A Dreadful New Peak for the American Pandemic, by ROBINSON MEYER AND ALEXIS C. MADRIGAL, The Atlantic

The country recorded more than 100,000 coronavirus cases on Wednesday—the highest single-day total since the pandemic began.


NOVEMBER 4, 2020

11/4/2020:    The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Keep Killing People Across Rural America  by Olivia Messer, The Daily Beast

“Obviously, this year is really different,” said the doctor, who noted that he contracts out to several hospitals in the area, sometimes driving three hours from his home to serve rural communities coping with COVID-19 outbreaks. Although New York and Washington were dealing with overflowing hospitals and piles of body bags in March, the Missouri doctor told The Daily Beast he didn’t treat a coronavirus-positive patient until May.

 

Things increased slowly at first, but the past six weeks have been a test of fortitude for the doctor, his nurses, respiratory therapists, and their facilities staff. And regardless of who prevails in a presidential election that saw little campaigning in this erstwhile swing state, the scale of the suffering and loss of life here—coupled with lingering pandemic skepticism—demonstrates the size of the hole out of which the country must still dig itself.

 

“I get dirty looks going into the gas station wearing a mask,” said the doctor. “It’s just unfathomable the disconnect between being one of the worst areas for COVID, while people who are not necessarily healthy at a baseline are still just acting like there is absolutely nothing going on.”

11/2/2020   Czech Republic Goes Full Trump With COVID, Gets Crushed by Second Wave, by Eduard Freisler, The Daily Beast

Prague was the poster child for beating COVID-19 in the spring. Then its leaders declared the virus was over.

 

RAGUE—As COVID-19 ravaged Europe this past spring, the Czech Republic was, without a doubt, the poster child for how to successfully beat the virus. With its strict national mask mandate and early shutdown, it recorded a mere 300 deaths in the first wave even as its neighbors recorded tens of thousands of virus fatalities.

 

Months later, it is now a case study in how to be recklessly cavalier toward the deadly disease.

 

By the beginning of October, the virus struck back in full force and Czech authorities recorded the highest number of deaths per 100,000 in the entire world. In one week, this country of 10.6 million lost almost 700 people to COVID-19. Hospitalizations shot up from a few hundred in September to a staggering 7,200 in the second half of this month.

10/31/2020   ‘A whole lot of hurt’: Fauci warns of covid-19 surge, offers blunt assessment of Trump’s response, by Josh Yawsey and Yasmeen Abutaleb, The New York Times

While Atlas has publicly rebutted assertions that he promotes a herd immunity strategy, he recently endorsed the Great Barrington Declaration — a document named after the town in Massachusetts where it was unveiled on Oct. 4 at a libertarian think tank — that calls for allowing the coronavirus to spread freely at “natural” rates among healthy young people, while keeping most aspects of the economy up and running.

 

“He insists he’s not somebody who’s pushing for herd immunity,” Fauci said of Atlas. “He says, ‘That’s not what I mean.’ [But] everything he says — when you put them together and stitch them together — everything is geared toward the concept of ‘it doesn’t make any difference if people get infected. It’s a waste of time. Masks don’t work. Who cares,’ and the only thing you need to do is protect the vulnerable, like people in the nursing homes,” Fauci said.

 

Fauci said that many people who catch the virus recover “virologically” but will have chronic health problems.

 

“The idea of this false narrative that if you don’t die, everything is hunky dory is just not the case,” he said. “But to say, ‘Let people get infected, it doesn’t matter, just make sure people don’t die’ — to me as a person who’s been practicing medicine for 50 years, it doesn’t make any sense at all.”

10/31/2020    Stanford Study Seeks to Quantify Infections Stemming From Trump Rallies, by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, The New York Times

Based on their models, the Stanford University economists concluded that on average, the 18 events produced increases in confirmed cases of more than 250 per 100,000 residents. Extrapolating that figure to the 18 rallies, they concluded that the gatherings ultimately resulted in more than 30,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and that the rallies had “likely led to more than 700 deaths,” though those deaths would not necessarily have occurred solely among attendees.

10/31/2020   Trump’s Pathology Is Now Clear. As the coronavirus spreads uncontrolled across the U.S., the president has gone from downplaying the pandemic to COVID denial. by James Hamblin, The Atlantic

Many patients emerge from illness having had a come-to-Jesus moment that reorients their thinking. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, for one, issued a mea culpa last week after he was discharged from a COVID-19 hospitalization that included a week in the intensive-care unit. “When you get this disease, it hits you how easy it is to prevent,” he wrote under the headline “I Should Have Worn a Mask” in The Wall Street Journal. “We are asked to wear cloth over our mouth and nose, wash our hands and avoid crowds. Seldom has so little been asked for so much benefit.”

10/31/2020   How Are Americans Catching the Virus? Increasingly, ‘They Have No Idea’, by Sarah Mervosh and Lucy Tompkins, The New York Times

“You can swing a cat and hit someone who has got it,” said Mr. TenHaken, who had to reschedule his own meetings to Zoom this past week after his assistant tested positive for the virus.

As the coronavirus soars across the country, charting a single-day record of 99,155 new cases on Friday and surpassing nine million cases nationwide, tracing the path of the pandemic in the United States is no longer simply challenging. It has become nearly impossible.

 East West Divide covid19 deaths 2020 10 30

10/30/2020   Don't Ignore the Good News On Covid-19 From Asia/There’s light at the end of the lockdown tunnel, provided the right lessons are learnt., by By Lionel Laurent, Bloomberg Opinion

10/30/2020   Michigan sets COVID-19 case record for third straight week, by Sarah Rahal, The Detroit News

The state ranks 26th in the country for daily new cases, with a new case rate of 25.7 new cases per 100,000 per day, according to national nonprofit COVID Act Now.

 

The group of technologists, epidemiologists, health experts and public policy leaders moved the state into a COVID risk level Thursday, indicating an "active or imminent outbreak."

10/30/2020   Transmission of SARS COV-2 Infections in Households, Tennessee and Wisconsin, April-September 2020, by the CDC

HUGE—Kids spread the virus as much as adults. CDC study of households #COVID19 transmission very common. 53% overall.

 

Dr Eric Feigl-Ding:   https://twitter.com/DrEricDing/status/1322633048698036229?s=20

10/30/2020:   The Simple Rule That Could Keep COVID-19 Deaths Down. The longer we can prevent infections, the better prepared we will be to treat them. By Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic

During the first COVID-19 surge of the spring, the mantra was “Flatten the curve”—to buy time, using every tool available.

Seven months later, it’s possible to measure what that time has bought: The death rate for COVID-19 has fallen dramatically. Hospitals in most places are not overburdened, and treatments are improving in many small but cumulative ways. In one study of patients hospitalized in a New York City health system, the adjusted death rate fell from 25.6 percent in March, at the pandemic’s onset, to 7.6 percent in August.

10/30/2020:   The Effects of Large Group Meetings on the Spread of COVID-19: The Case of Trump Rallies, by B. Douglas Bernheim, Nina Buchmann, Zach Freitas-Groff and Sebasti´an Otero*

10/29/2020   Jared Kushner bragged in April that Trump was taking the country 'back from the doctors' by Michael Warren, Jamie Gangel and Elizabeth Stuart, CNN

The statement reflected a political strategy. Instead of following the health experts' advice, Trump and Kushner were focused on what would help the President on Election Day. By their calculations, Trump would be the "open-up president."

 

He also told Woodward, "The most dangerous people around the president are over-confident idiots" and that Trump had replaced them with "more thoughtful people who kind of know their place."

 

"It was almost like Trump getting the country back from the doctors. Right?" Kushner told Woodward on April 18. "In the sense that what he now did was, you know, he's going to own the open-up." 

10/29/2020:   Some Covid Survivors Have Antibodies That Attack the Body, not Virus, by Apoorva Mandavilli, The New York Times

New research found ‘autoantibodies’ similar to those in lupus and rheumatoid arthritis patients. But patients may also benefit from treatments for those autoimmune diseases.

10/29/2020   Why Many White Men Love Trump’s Coronavirus Response. More than 80 percent of Republicans think the president is doing a great job with the pandemic. Here’s why. By Olga Khazan, The Atlantic

10/29/2020:   Is the COVID-19 risk on airplanes really that low? Here’s what experts say, by Hugo Martin, The Los Angeles Times

Although healthcare experts say the air filtration system in most commercial planes helps reduce the risk of being infected, they point out that the studies have limitations and the results are not all definitive. 

October 29:   40 Dead, Now 40 Laid Off: Inside a Nursing Home in Crisis, by John Leland, Photos by Christopher Occhicone, The New York Times

Six months ago, the nursing home was one of the deadliest places in the city, with 40 residents dying in the course of a month. Now the workers who cared for them, sometimes holding their hands as they died, face a second crisis: The home recently laid off more than 40 employees, and others fear they will be next.

10/28/2020   Wedding and Birthday Party Infect 56, Leaving Nearly 300 in Quarantine, by Ed Shanahan, The New York Times

10/28/2020   America Is About to Choose How Bad the Pandemic Will Get, by Ed Yong, The Atlantic

10/27/2020:   Hospitals Are Reeling Under a 46 Percent Spike in Covid-19 Patients, by Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Simon Romero and Mike Baker, The New York Times

10/27/2020   Russia orders national mask mandate as coronavirus cases spike, by Sophie Lewis, CBS News

Russian President Vladimir Putin's administration is taking its most drastic measures yet to curb the second wave of COVID-19. The Russian government on Tuesday implemented a nationwide mask mandate, as coronavirus cases spike worldwide.


Under the new mandate, effective Wednesday, masks will be mandatory in crowded public spaces, such as public transportation, parking lots and elevators, according to the order published on the website for the federal health watchdog agency Rospotrebnadzor, also known as the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing.

10/24/2020   ‘Urban Warfare’ as Europe’s Second Wave Spins Out of Control, Barbie Latza Nadeau, The Daily Beast

Europe is very much out of control when it comes to its second wave, with every single nation in the 27-member zone struggling in a race against time as hospitals fill up and death tolls—which are substantially less than the first wave so far— continue to rise. Millions of people are facing harsh new restrictions as governments play what amounts to whack-a-mole to try to stop the spread of the virus they thought just a few months ago they had defeated. Improved testing in many countries has painted a clearer picture of just how widespread the pandemic is, but because of the number of new infections, systems to contact trace have been overwhelmed, making the spread impossible to control.

 

Europe’s problems are dire, and citizens are angry that their governments have not been able to come up with any better plan than locking down, which puts already weak economies that were so badly hurt in the first wave of the pandemic at even greater risk of collapse. Ludovic Subran, the chief economist at Allianz warned last week of a high risk serious recession across Europe as new restrictions are put in place. “We see an elevated risk of a double dip recession in countries that are once again resorting to targeted and regional lockdowns,” he said, adding that the European Union’s first bailout $880 billion won’t likely go to growth but be used by many countries like Italy, Spain and Greece to just stay afloat.

10/22/2020   200,000   50,000 Benghazis, 109 Katrinas: U.S. COVID-19 Death in Perspective, by Elizabeth Hunt Brockway, Daily Beast

The United States now counts over 200,000 dead in direct connection with the novel coronavirus. Here’s how that massive figure stacks up to Benghazi, 9/11, and much more.

10/22/2020   The Coronavirus Surge That Will Define the Next 4 Years. Cases are rising in all but nine states. Unlike the past two waves, this one has no epicenter. by Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic

10/20/2020   How obesity could create problems for a COVID vaccine, by Heidi Ledford, Nature

Researchers fear that vaccines might not be as effective in people who are obese, a population already highly vulnerable to COVID-19.

10/20/2020   Dozens to be deliberately infected with coronavirus in UK ‘human challenge’ trials, by Ewen Callaway, Nature

Proponents of the trials say they can be run safely and help to identify effective vaccines, but others have questioned their value.

10/19/2020   The Vaccine News That Really Matters, by Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic

Soon COVID-19 vaccine makers will release early data from large clinical trials, and the results could be ambiguous.

10/18/2020   As coronavirus cases rise, red-state governors resist measures to slow the spread, preach ‘personal responsibility’ by Griffe Witte and Tony Romm, The Washington Post

“This really demands a coordinated, orchestrated, higher-level response than just saying to an individual person, ‘Here’s what you might want to try,’ ” said David Aronoff, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

10/16/2020   Inside the Mind of an Anti-vaxxer, by Olga Khazan

The majority of Americans will need to take the coming COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s how to persuade those who won’t want to.

10/14/2020   [North Dakota Governor] Burgum bumps 16 counties to 'high risk;' local public schools delay changes, by Blake Nicholson, Jack Dura, The Bismarck Tribune

10/12/2020   The U.S. is in Denial Over the Coronavirus Pandemic as Europe Struggles With Second Wave, by Barbie Latza Nadeau, The Daily Beast

10/9/2020   The Coronavirus Unveiled, by Carl Zimmer, The New York Times (computational virology illustrated)

10/9/2020   What Strength Really Means When You’re Sick, by Ed Yong, The Atlantic

Equating disease with warfare, and recovery with strength, means that death and disability are linked to failure and weakness. That “does such a disservice to all of the families who have lost loved ones, or who are facing long-term consequences,” says Megan Ranney, an emergency physician at Brown University. Like so much else about the pandemic, the strength-centered rhetoric confuses more than it clarifies, and reveals more about America’s values than the disease currently plaguing it.

10/7/2020   White House Quietly Told Vets Group It Might Have Exposed Them to COVID, by Spencer Ackerman, Asawin Suebsaeng, Erin Banco and Sam Stein, Daily Beast

The first known White House warning to visitors about a coronavirus risk came the same day that the president acknowledged getting the virus.

10/7/2020   Trump’s Campaign Adviser Admits He’s ‘Not Changing Course’ After COVID Diagnosis, by Matt Wilstein, Daily Beast

President Donald Trump claimed he’s “learned” more from the “real school” of contracting the coronavirus than he ever could have from “‘let’s read the book’ school.” But despite one spokesperson attacking Joe Biden for not having the “firsthand experience” of an infection, another adviser is now insisting that the campaign is “not changing course.”

 

Confronted by Fox News anchor Sandra Smith with a CNN poll that found 63 percent of Americans believe Trump acted “irresponsibly” when it came to handling the COVID risk to the people around him, campaign adviser Mercedes Schlapp seemed unconcerned about political fallout over the president’s obvious recklessness.

10/6/2020   ‘There are no words’: As coronavirus kills Indigenous elders, endangered languages face extinction, by Terrence McCoy and Heloísa Traiano, The Washington Post

The old man was fluent in five languages, but the one he chose to speak now was one that virtually no one else in the world could understand.

 

“Awiri nuhã,” Aritana Yawalapiti, 71, said in the language of the Yawalapiti, an Indigenous tribe in the Amazon rainforest. “Take care of the people. Take care of the land. Take care of the forest.”


With Aritana’s death, his son Tapi became the new leader of a people beset by disease and illegal loggers. And the number of people who speak their language fluently dropped from three to two, both of whom are well into their 70s.

10/6/2020:    Michigan health department issues order requiring masks, limiting gathering sizes statewide, by Emily Lawler, MLive

The requirements put in place by MDHHS closely track with the executive orders the governor had put in place, MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said Monday.

 

“At no point today have we said we as the health department aim to do more than the governor already did... we aim to preserve the status quo pending further review,” Gordon said in a call with reporters.

 

Gordon derives his authority to issue the order from a part of the public health code that states: “If the director determines that control of an epidemic is necessary to protect the public health, the director by emergency order may prohibit the gathering of people for any purpose and may establish procedures to be followed during the epidemic to insure continuation of essential public health services and enforcement of health laws. Emergency procedures shall not be limited to this code.”

 

That law is not one of those the Supreme Court recently ruled on.

10/6/2020   Face masks: what the data say, by Lynne Peeples, Nature

The science supports that face coverings are saving lives during the coronavirus pandemic, and yet the debate trundles on. How much evidence is enough?
Lynne Peeples

10/5/2020    Trump Campaign Attacks Joe Biden for Not Having COVID-19, by Matt Wilstein

‘FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE’

 

If you were wondering how the Trump campaign might try to spin the president’s COVID-19 diagnosis into a positive for his re-election effort, the first hints started to emerge during a Monday morning Fox News appearance by Director of Communications Erin Perrine.

 

Asked by Fox anchor Sandra Smith if President Trump will “change his messaging” and stop “downplaying” the coronavirus moving forward now that he has dealt with it personally, Perrine touted the importance of “firsthand experience.”

 

“He has experience, now, fighting the coronavirus as an individual,” a campaign spokesperson said of Trump. “Those firsthand experiences, Joe Biden, he doesn’t have those.”

10/5/2020:   Are Michiganders still living under coronavirus orders? Gov. Whitmer asks Supreme Court to clarify, by Emily Lawler, MLive

10/1/2020   This Overlooked Variable Is the Key to the Pandemic, by Zeynep Tufekci, The Atlantic

Oshitani told me that in Japan, they had noticed the overdispersion characteristics of COVID-19 as early as February, and thus created a strategy focusing mostly on cluster-busting, which tries to prevent one cluster from igniting another. Oshitani said he believes that “the chain of transmission cannot be sustained without a chain of clusters or a megacluster.” Japan thus carried out a cluster-busting approach, including undertaking aggressive backward tracing to uncover clusters. Japan also focused on ventilation, counseling its population to avoid places where the three C’s come together—crowds in closed spaces in close contact, especially if there’s talking or singing—bringing together the science of overdispersion with the recognition of airborne aerosol transmission, as well as presymptomatic and asymptomatic transmission.

9/28/2020   Vaccine Chaos Is Looming, by Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic

The COVID-19 vaccines furthest along in clinical trials are the fastest to make, but they are also the hardest to deploy.

9/23/2020   Paging Dr. Hamblin: What If the Vaccine Works Only Half the Time? by James Hamblin M.D.

A coronavirus vaccine doesn’t need to be perfect to still be valuable.

La Central de Abasto es el mayor mercado del hemisferio occidental

La Central de Abasto

Al principio, cuando la epidemia comenzó en México, en marzo, más de 100.000 personas trabajaban allí —vendedores,

compradores, conductores, limpiadores— e incluso un mes después, casi nadie en el mercado llevaba cubrebocas.

9/23/2020   In the Epicenter of Mexico’s Epicenter, Feeling Like a ‘Trapped Animal’, by Azam Ahmed, The New York Times

IZTAPALAPA, MÉXICO — El hombre del puesto de verduras junto al de Christopher Arriaga murió primero. Un cliente de mucho tiempo fue el siguiente, luego falleció otro. Unos días después, un anciano vendedor de zanahorias se enfermó y murió en una semana.

 

Pronto, el coronavirus asaltaba los vastos pasajes de la Central de Abasto, el mayor mercado de productos del hemisferio occidental, y el padre de Arriaga también cayó enfermo. Docenas de personas en el mercado murieron, quizás cientos. Ni siquiera el gobierno lo sabe con seguridad.

9/18/2020   How We Survive the Winter, by James Hamblin M.D.

The coming months of the pandemic could be catastrophic. The U.S. still has ways to prepare

9/17/2020   Who gets a COVID vaccine first? Access plans are taking shape, by Nidhi Subbaraman, Nature

Advisory groups around the world release guidance to prioritize health-care workers and those in front-line jobs.

9/2/2020   Herd Immunity Is Not a Strategy, by James Hamblin M.D., The Atlantic

One of the pandemic’s most insidious misconceptions is getting closer to explicit national policy. On Monday, The Washington Post reported that a top Trump medical adviser, Scott Atlas, has been “urging the White House to embrace a controversial ‘herd immunity’ strategy.” Atlas subsequently denied the report, though during his time as a Fox News commentator he consistently argued in favor of fringe approaches that go hand in hand with the idea: namely that city and state shutdowns are deadlier than the coronavirus itself.

8/27/2020   America’s Summer of Viral Meltdowns, by Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic

Videos of people behaving badly have become so popular that filming one another is now a reflexive impulse.

8/10/2020   The 7-year-old Georgia boy with Covid-19 who died drowned in a bathtub after a seizure, coroner says, by Amir Vera and Jamiel Lynch, CNN

The boy drowned in a bathtub after having a seizure due to a high fever, Chatham County Coroner Bill Wessinger told CNN Monday. The child did not have any known underlying health conditions.


After being found unresponsive and pronounced dead at the hospital, the child tested positive for Covid-19 postmortem, Wessinger said.


The preliminary report says the child died from drowning, secondary to seizure due to fever from Covid-19. The final report is still pending toxicology tests, he said.


Though the death was reported Thursday, Wessinger said the child died about two weeks before his death was reported by the health department.


Seizures due to high fevers are very common in children who have the coronavirus, Wessinger said.

7/30/2020   ‘A huge experiment’: How the world made so much progress on a Covid-19 vaccine so fast, By ANDREW JOSEPH, STAT

Just six months ago, when the death toll from the coronavirus stood at one and neither it nor the disease it caused had a name, a team of Chinese scientists uploaded its genetic sequence to a public site. That kicked off the record-breaking rush to develop vaccines — the salve that experts say could ultimately quell the pandemic.

 

Older strategies for developing vaccines, such as obtaining the virus and weakening or inactivating it, are lengthy processes. But the cutting-edge approaches require scientists only to know the virus’ genetic sequence. With that, they can string together the right pieces of code to synthesize vaccines.

 

To rally companies, funding agencies, including governments and foundations like the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, or CEPI, are throwing millions — and in some cases, billions — into the hunt for vaccines. On Sunday, for example, Moderna said it had received $472 million from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, on top of the $483 million it got in April.

 

The U.S. government is also striking deals with companies to purchase their vaccines even before clinical trials are completed, including a $1.6 billion agreement with Novavax that includes 100 million doses and a $1.95 billion compact with Pfizer and BioNTech, also for 100 million doses.

7/28/2020   Duterte turns to drug war tactics to fight pandemic in the Philippines, by Regine Cabato, The Washington Post

7/27/2020   Moderna’s mRNA vaccine reaches its final phase. Here's how it works, by Nsikan Akpan, National Geographic

The biotech firm's leading candidate has just entered phase three clinical trials in the U.S. Find out why this vaccine technology is promising—but not without its skeptics.

July 13:  Japan has long accepted COVID's airborne spread, and scientists say ventilation is key, by Lucy Craft, CBS News

Tokyo — Under pressure from the scientific community, the World Health Organization acknowledged last week the airborne transmission of "micro-droplets" as a possible third cause of COVID-19 infections. To many researchers in Japan, the admission felt anti-climactic.

 

This densely populated country has operated for months on the assumption that tiny, "aerosolized" particles in crowded settings are turbo-charging the spread of the new coronavirus.

 

Very few diseases — tuberculosis, chicken pox and measles — have been deemed transmissible through aerosols. Most are spread only through direct contact with infected persons or their bodily fluids, or contaminated surfaces.

 

July 13:  Michigan coronavirus cases: Tracking the pandemic, by Pat Byrne, Brian McNamara, Brian Todd, and Kristi Tanner, Detroit Free Press

2020 07 13 MichiganConfirmedCases  

July 13:  As Michigan's eviction moratorium lifts Thursday, advocates tell tenants to seek legal aid, by Nushrat Rahman, Detroit Free Press

The state estimates a backlog of 75,000 eviction filings once the moratorium lifts. Advocates advise tenants who face eviction to seek legal aid.

July 13:  Fourth of July house party in Washtenaw Co. tied to 43 coronavirus cases, by Meredith Spelbring, Detroit Free Press

The Washtenaw County Health Department has identified 43 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 66 exposed contacts from a house party July 2-3 in the Saline area, according to a news release. The exposed contacts do not count immediate family members from the same household.

TorchLakeSandbar 2020 07 04 ph Michigan State Police

July 13:  Weekend party at Torch Lake sandbar leads to coronavirus outbreak, by Meredith Spelbring, Detroit Free Press

July 13:  County sheriffs divided on enforcing new face mask requirement, fines, by Chanel Stitt, Detroit Free Press

Starting today, Michigan is under a new executive order by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that requires stricter use of face masks to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus, including a $500 fine for noncompliance.

July 13:  Texas Newspaper Prints 43-Page Obituary Section As Coronavirus Deaths Soar, by Soo Kim, Newsweek 

The latest newspaper tribute followed five days of around 80 to 100 daily COVID-19-related deaths in Texas. The seven-day rolling average of the daily death toll more than doubled in the past week, jumping from 37 on July 5 to 84 on July 12.

 

Texas saw a daily death count of 121 last Wednesday, the highest daily death toll reported since the outbreak began. The total new deaths recorded in the week from July 6 to 12 was 585, more than double the 259 total new fatalities recorded the previous week.

July 13:  Protesters block Detroit schools bus garage on 1st day of in-person summer school, by Emma Dale and John Wisely, Detroit Free Press 

July 12:  West Michigan sheriff says he won’t investigate violations of Gov. Whitmer’s mask order, by John Tunison, MLive

He noted that he believes Centers for Disease Control guidelines about mask use should be followed and he wears one himself.

July 12:  As coronavirus surges in Republican territory, so does rage over masks, by Gus Garcia-Roberts, Detroit Free Press

July 11:  Michigan confirms 653 new coronavirus cases, 28 deaths, by Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press

July 11:  Texas Cops Face Backlash for Not Wearing Masks Inside Gas Station Amid Governor's Statewide Order, by Benjamin Fearnow, Newsweek

On the video, two Fort Worth officers are seen joking with the store clerk about not wearing masks before two more officers enter the store who are also not wearing the protective masks.

July 10:  Whitmer toughens Michigan requirement to wear masks with new executive order: What it says, by Paul Egan and Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press

  • Requires any business that is open to the public to refuse entry or service to people who refuse to wear a face covering, with limited exceptions.
  • Requires the use of face coverings in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Reiterates that individuals are required to wear a face covering whenever they are in an indoor public space.

July 10:  Schools Need Guidance, Not Trump's Ultimatums, Anita Cicero and Tom Inglesby, Newsweek

How to accomplish this safely is squarely left up to educators and local community leaders, although additional CDC documents are expected soon. CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield also promised that CDC will individually work with any of the (over 13,000) school districts and any of the (over 130,000) schools that need help, a wholly unrealistic commitment. The bottom-line refrain stated by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and repeated by other national leaders was that schools must open fully and "nobody should hide behind our CDC's guidance as a way to not reopen schools."

July 9:   International Students in Limbo Following New Visa Guidance, by Esha Sarai, VOA

New guidelines introduced this week by U.S. immigration will require international students to leave the U.S. if they do not attend class on campus in person. But students already in the U.S. on F-1 visas will face challenges trying to go home amid a global pandemic.

July 9:  US Sets Another Daily Record for COVID-19 Infections, by VOA News, Voice of America

The novel coronavirus pandemic has reached a new milestone, with more than 12 million confirmed infections, according to the online tracker created by Johns Hopkins University.

 

The United States leads the world’s countries with the most confirmed COVID-19 infections at 3,054,695 — a fourth of the world’s total — including more than 60,000 new cases on Wednesday, the biggest single-day number since the outbreak began.

 

At least five states — California, Texas, Tennessee, West Virginia and Utah — posted a record number of new cases Wednesday, while several states reached records for new cases over a seven-day period. Health officials in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas are also warning that hospitals across their states have reached or are nearing full capacity in their intensive care units.

 

The U.S. is also the world leader in COVID-19 deaths, with well over 132,500, about one-quarter of the 550,600 fatalities worldwide.

July 8:  World Health Organization chief says coronavirus outbreak is "accelerating", CBS News

July 8:  Father And Sons Charged After Allegedly Selling ‘Miracle’ Bleach COVID-19 Cure, by Nina Golgowski, Huffpost

Four Florida men are facing federal charges for allegedly refusing a court order to stop selling a toxic bleach solution called “Miracle Mineral Solution,” or MMS, as a drinkable preventative, treatment and cure for COVID-19.

 

Mark Grenon, 62, and his sons Jonathan Grenon, 34, Jordan Grenon, 26, and Joseph Grenon, 32, all of Bradenton, were charged Wednesday in Miami with conspiracy and criminal contempt in the manufacture and sale of a mixture that prosecutors said has been linked to illnesses and death.

 

The father-and-sons team allegedly marketed the solution, which is a combination of sodium chlorite and water, as a miracle cure not just for the coronavirus but also for dozens of other serious diseases and conditions, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, multiple sclerosis, HIV and AIDS, prosecutors said.

 

“The Grenons allegedly directed their customers to ingest MMS orally, which causes the solution to become chlorine dioxide, a powerful bleach, typically used for industrial water treatment or bleaching textiles, pulp and paper,” prosecutors said.

 

The Grenons’ company, the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, was raided by multiple agencies executing search warrants on Wednesday, local station WWSB reported.

 

The company brands itself as a church, but it said on its website that it is not religious. The name was instead selected to avoid government regulation, prosecutors said. Federal authorities also quoted Mark Grenon as saying that Genesis “has nothing to do with religion” and that the company’s name was a ploy to “legalize the use of MMS” and to avoid going to jail.

July 8:  Michigan nursing home workers faced 'heartbreaking' reality as COVID-19 hit, inspection records reveal, by Craig Mauger, The Detroit News

As of Sunday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services had tracked 1,988 COVID-19 deaths linked to the facilities, accounting for 33% of the statewide death toll.

 

"It’s overwhelming," Blue said of working in nursing homes during the pandemic. “It’s heartbreaking because you are literally watching someone take their last breath over and over and over again. And there’s nothing you can do about it."

July 8:   Number of Coronavirus Infections in US Passes 3 Million, by Mariama Diallo, Voice of America

In the United States, more than 3 million people have contracted the coronavirus and more than 130,000 people have died. Now there has been a dramatic surge of cases in some of the biggest states in America: California, Florida, Texas, and Arizona. VOA Correspondent Mariama Diallo reports.

July 8:  Mounting evidence suggests coronavirus is airborne — but health advice has not caught up, by Dyani Lewis, Nature

Governments are starting to change policies amid concerns that tiny droplets can carry SARS-CoV-2. And after months of denying the importance of this, the World Health Organization is reconsidering its stance.

July 8:  Prisoners 550% More Likely To Get Covid-19, 300% More Likely To Die, New Study Shows, by Alexandra Sternlicht, Forbes

In facilities with outbreaks where prisoners were tested en masse, infection rate exceeded 65% in multiple cases.

 

More than one-third of prisoners and staff in San Francisco’s San Quentin State Prison have tested positive for coronavirus. According to Nature, Bay Area researchers have been offering prisons free testing, guidelines and advice on how to handle—only to be ignored by prison officials, according to Nature. San Quentin’s outbreak comes after at-risk prisoners were transferred into the facility from Chino—which had become a Covid-19 hotspot—without being tested for the disease. San Quentin officials did not respond to Nature’s request for comment.

July 8:  Coronavirus Rumors Spark Communal Violence in India, by Shaikh Azizur Rahman, VOA

Muslim homes were attacked and burned following claims that Muslims were infecting Hindus

July 8: COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Federal and State Prisons, by Saloner, Parish, Ward et al, JAMA

July 8:  Pence says CDC changing school reopening guidelines after Trump called them 'tough and expensive' by Maureen Groppe, USA Today

July 8:  Desperation science slows hunt for virus drugs, USA Today

Six months after COVID-19 started spreading around the globe, desperation rather than information is still driving many decisions about how to treat the disease. (July 8)

July 8:  California Gov: 50,000 hospital beds now available, USA Today

July 8:  EPA approves Lysol products for use against coronavirus, by Dalvin Brown, USA Today

July 7:  California's San Quentin prison declined free coronavirus tests and urgent advice — now it has a massive outbreak, by Amy Maxmen, Nature

Soon after their arrival at San Quentin, some of the men showed symptoms. After 25 tested positive, a federal court appointee, J. Clark Kelso, who oversees medical care at California prisons, says he asked Williams and her colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, to visit and advise on San Quentin. The federal court oversees health care at California state prisons owing to a 2005 ruling that the prison health-care delivery system violates the constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

July 7:  He was supposed to be in prison less than a year. Instead, he died after catching the coronavirus, by Jolie McCullough, The Texas Tribune

James Allen Smith was only supposed to be at a Texas prison for a matter of months, sentenced to a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program after he pled guilty to a repeat DWI offense in January.

 

But in May, while in a Huntsville prison where Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials halted almost all movement as inmates and employees fell ill with the new coronavirus, the 73-year-old retired teacher from Bastrop also contracted the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. Instead of coming home to his family after completing a short program, Smith died in prison custody on June 11.

July 7:  NYC subway rolls out mask vending machines, USA Today

July 7:  'I feel threatened!': Florida man's viral outburst over Costco's mask policy costs him his job at insurance company, by David Dorsey, Fort Myers News-Press

July 3:  Six months of coronavirus: the mysteries scientists are still racing to solve, by Ewen Callaway, Heidi Ledford and Smriti Mallapaty, Nature

They have learnt how the virus enters and hijacks cells, how some people fight it off and how it eventually kills others. They have identified drugs that benefit the sickest patients, and many more potential treatments are in the works. They have developed nearly 200 potential vaccines — the first of which could be proved effective by the end of the year.

 

But for every insight into COVID-19, more questions emerge and others linger.

  • Why do people respond so differently?
  • What’s the nature of immunity and how long does it last?
  • Has the virus developed any worrying mutations?
  • How well will a vaccine work?
  • What is the origin of the virus?

July 3:   What states require face masks in public? Kansas, Ohio, Texas join growing list of states where it's mandatory, by Grace Hauck, USA Today

July 2:  A State-by-State Look at Coronavirus in Prisons, by The Marshall Project

Since March, The Marshall Project has been tracking how many people are being sickened and killed by COVID-19 in prisons and how widely it has spread across the country and within each state. Here, we will regularly update these figures counting the number of people infected and killed nationwide and in each prison system until the crisis abates. 

June 30:  De Blasio and Council, Facing Fiscal Crisis Over Virus, Agree on Budget With Big Cuts, by Dana Rubinstein and Jeffery C. Mays, The New York Times

New York, like the rest of the country, was forced to lock down its economy to limit the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which has taken 22,000 lives in the city. The shutdown helped control the spread of the virus, but it also created a $9 billion revenue shortfall that will have a sharp impact on New Yorkers’ lives.

June 29:  ‘Our Luck May Have Run Out’: California’s Case Count Explodes, by Shawn Hubler and Thomas Fuller, The New York Times

State Senator Richard Pan, a Sacramento physician who led the state’s push to tighten immunization requirements, said that the state might have flattened its curve at first, but that it never bent it down toward zero.

 

“How this disease spreads is all about the margins,” Dr. Pan said. “All it takes is, like, 5 percent more people doing more high-risk behavior to change its direction.”

 

Dr. Pan blames partisanship and misinformation spread by President Trump. On the weekend after June 20, when bars reopened in Los Angeles County, an estimated 500,000 people visited nightspots. Additionally, half of the restaurants visited by county inspectors are not complying with new public health rules, according to health officials.

 

“I’m frustrated because it’s not that we don’t know what to do,” Dr. Pan said. “We know what to do. We’re just not doing it.”

June 29:  The Long, Unhappy History of Working From Home, by David Streitfeld, The New York Times 

 

 

2020 06 29 COVID19Cases

June 29, 2020: New COVID-19 cases per million 

June 29:  Leading the World in self destruction, by David Leonhardt, The New York Times

June 29:  Flu virus with 'pandemic potential' found in China, by Michelle Roberts, BBC 

It emerged recently and is carried by pigs, but can infect humans, they say.

June 29:   Christian activist: I’d rather be ‘beheaded’ than be a ‘slave’ who wears a mask, by Sky Palma, DeadState

June 28:  Florida’s Covid Cases Up Fivefold in 2 Weeks: ‘The Numbers Are Scary’ by Frances Robles, The New York Times

June 28:  Claiming confusion, Texas Medical Center changes how it reports ICU capacity amid COVID-19, by Mike Morris and Zach Despart, The Houston Chronicle

The institutions — which together constitute the world’s largest medical complex — reported Thursday that their base intensive care capacity had hit 100 percent for the first time during the pandemic and was on pace to exceed an “unsustainable surge capacity” of intensive care beds by July 6.

June 28:  Texas Medical Center Deletes ICU Data Amid State's Coronavirus Spike, by Emily Czachor, Newsweek

The Texas Medical Center (TMC), a cluster of hospitals and health care research institutions located in central Houston, previously released ongoing reports detailing ICU admission numbers throughout the pandemic. Its reports included information about patients admitted to Houston-area ICUs with novel virus infections as well as patients admitted for other illnesses. The data was collected from at least seven hospitals affiliated with the TMC's medical network.

 

The TMC published data that showed ongoing changes to Houston's overall ICU capacity, which reached 100 percent late last week. On Wednesday, when 3 percent of the city's ICU beds remained available, the TMC's most recent report noted that nearly 900 additional beds could be added to local hospital units.  373 ICU beds could be added in a "sustainable surge." 504 ICU beds could be added in an emergency, as an "unsustainable surge."

June 28:  The data is in: Fox News may have kept millions from taking the coronavirus threat seriously, by Margaret Sullivan, The Washington Post

Three serious research efforts have put numerical weight — yes, data-driven evidence — behind what many suspected all along: Americans who relied on Fox News, or similar right-wing sources, were duped as the coronavirus began its deadly spread.

 

Dangerously duped.

 

Here’s the reality, now backed by numbers:

 

Those who relied on mainstream sources — the network evening newscasts or national newspapers that President Trump constantly blasts as “fake news” — got an accurate assessment of the pandemic’s risks.

 

June 28:  Texas, Arizona face record coronavirus hospitalizations as U.S. cases near 2.5 million, LiveUpdates, The Washington Post 

Texas set a record for coronavirus-related hospitalizations for the 16th day in a row on Saturday, with 5,523 patients being treated. In Arizona, health officials also reported a record, with 2,577 current hospitalizations.

 

The faltering response in the U.S. remains a subject of global shock and fascination, with one prominent French virologist saying Sunday the situation was “explosive.”

June 27:  Houston Moves to ‘Severe’ Covid Warning. Will Enough People Listen? By Manny Fernandez and David Montgomery, The New York Times

Alex Belt, a single mother of three girls and the owner of Silly Silly Girls gift boutique, has a succinct way of describing her life in Houston as officials warn of an alarming spike in coronavirus cases: “Business as usual without the business.”

 

When Ms. Belt, 46, first reopened her store after weeks of mandatory business closures, a wave of loyal customers came in to show their support. Lately, though, the store has often been empty again as Houston residents try to make sense of a fluctuating series of recommendations from state and local officials and a virus that seems to be characterized chiefly by its unpredictability.

 

“It’s hurt us all over the board,” Ms. Belt said. “People are just scared.”

June 27:   Making men feel manly in masks is, unfortunately, a public-health challenge of our time, by Monica Hesse, The Washington Post

June 27:  Young people urged to take virus more seriously as pandemic worsens in U.S., by Annie Gowen, Arelis R. Hernández and Lori Rozsa, The Washington Post

Younger coronavirus patients are a widening percentage of total coronavirus hospitalizations, with those in the 18 to 49 age group growing from about 27 percent of hospitalizations the week ending March 7 to 35 percent this past week, CDC figures show.

June 27:   With Trump leading the way, America’s coronavirus failures exposed by record surge in new infections, by Toluse Olorunnipa, Josh Dawsey and Yasmeen Abutaleb, The Washington Post 

As local officials struggled to enforce stay-at-home orders and other restrictions, the virus continued to circulate throughout a country riven by partisan politics and devoid of a national public health strategy, said Max Skidmore, a political scientist at the University of Missouri at Kansas City and author of a book on presidential leadership during health crises.

 

“We’re the only country in the world that has politicized the approach to a pandemic,” he said.

June 27:  Workers removed thousands of social distancing stickers before Trump’s Tulsa rally, according to video and a person familiar with the set-up, by Joshua Partlow and Josh Dawsey, The Washington Post

In the hours before President Trump’s rally in Tulsa, his campaign directed the removal of thousands of “Do Not Sit Here, Please!” stickers from seats in the arena that were intended to establish social distance between rallygoers, according to video and photos obtained by The Washington Post and a person familiar with the event.

 

The removal contradicted instructions from the management of the BOK Center, the 19,000-seat arena in downtown Tulsa where Trump held his rally on June 20.  As part of its safety plan, arena management had purchased 12,000 do-not-sit stickers for Trump’s rally, intended to keep people apart by leaving open seats between attendees. On the day of the rally, event staff had already affixed them on nearly every other seat in the arena when Trump’s campaign told event management to stop and then began removing the stickers, hours before the president’s arrival, according to a person familiar with the event who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters.

June 26:  In Tulsa, Trump Campaign Subverted Social Distancing One Sticker at a Time, by Dave Brooks, Billboard Magazine

A video created by a third party and reviewed by Billboard shows Trump staffers methodically walking the aisles of BOK Center and peeling the three-inch square stickers from thousands of chairs ahead of the “Make America Great Again” rally. (Trump’s campaign did not respond to Billboard’s request for comment.

 

While organizers faced criticism for staging a rally during a pandemic, Thornton says ASM had no legal basis to stop the event. The state’s Republican governor, its nine state supreme court justices and Tulsa’s Republican mayor signed off on the event and said it had a legal right to move forward -- although mayor G.T. Bynum later said he would have supported ASM Global if it had canceled the rally, prompting mayoral aide Jack Graham to resign in protest.

 

“The mayor’s lack of leadership could have killed someone, that’s a redline for me,” Graham tells Billboard.

 

The campaign paid $573,705 to rent the building for what was “the first event with any measurable crowd in an arena since the pandemic.” 

June 26:  Florida Smirked at New York’s Virus Crisis. Now It Has Its Own, by J. David Goodman and Patricia Mazzei, The New York Times

In late April, as new coronavirus cases in Florida were steadily decreasing, Gov. Ron DeSantis began crowing about how his state had tamed the pandemic.

 

He credited his decision to impose a state-specific quarantine on New York, then the epicenter of the nation’s outbreak. The move earned him praise in the White House and the ire of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York.

 

Months later, Mr. Cuomo has clearly not forgotten.

 

“You played politics with this virus and you lost,” Mr. Cuomo said on Thursday when asked in an interview about Mr. DeSantis’s earlier boasts.

June 26:  Reopening reverses course in Texas and Florida as coronavirus cases spike, by Arelis R. Hernández, Francis Stead Sellers and Ben Guarino, The Washington Post

“Wishful thinking got us here,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.

June 26:  Airlines tried social distancing on board. For many, that experiment is ending, by Hannah Sampson, The Washington Post

After capping the number of people on flights since April, American Airlines announced Friday that its planes will likely be full in a few days.

 

“As more people continue to travel, customers may notice that flights are booked to capacity starting July 1,” the airline said in a news release.

June 26:  Detroit Tigers’ Ron Gardenhire will wear face mask in dugout if necessary, by Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press

June 25:  As Virus Surges, Younger People Account for ‘Disturbing’ Number of Cases, by Julie Bosman and Sarah Mervosh, The New York Times

In Arizona, where drive-up sites are overwhelmed by people seeking coronavirus tests, people ages 20 to 44 account for nearly half of all cases. In Florida, which breaks records for new cases nearly every day, the median age of residents testing positive for the virus has dropped to 35, down from 65 in March.

June 25:  Still Reeling From Oil Plunge, Texas Faces New Threat: Surge in Virus Cases, by Clifford Krauss, The New York Times

June 25:  Texas Pauses Reopening as Virus Cases Soar Across the South and West, by Manny Hernandez and Sarah Mervosh, The New York Times

HOUSTON — Just 55 days after reopening Texas restaurants and other businesses, Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday hit the pause button, stopping additional phases of the state’s reopening as new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations soared and as the governor struggled to pull off the seemingly impossible task of keeping both the state open and the virus under control.

June 25:  New research explores how conservative media misinformation may have intensified the severity of the pandemic, by Christopher Ingraham, The Washington Post

June 24:  Mounting clues suggest the coronavirus might trigger diabetes, by Smriti Mallapaty, Nature

Diabetes is already known to be a key risk factor for developing severe COVID-191 and people with the condition are more likely to die2. “Diabetes is dynamite if you get COVID-19,” says Paul Zimmet, who studies the metabolic disease at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

 

Now Zimmet is among a growing number of researchers who think that diabetes doesn’t just make people more vulnerable to the coronavirus, but that the virus might also trigger diabetes in some3. “Diabetes itself is a pandemic just like the COVID-19 pandemic. The two pandemics could be clashing,” he says.

June 22:   Team Trump Says It Was a COVID Testing ‘Joke.’ His Own Health Officials Aren’t Laughing, by Erin Banco, Daily Beast

[Editor: Tapper's interview reveals Peter Navarro at his worst, one of the more naked attempts at deflection and evasion ever aired. ]

June 21:  Amid Outrage, Trump Aide Insists Testing Slowdown Line Was ‘Tongue in Cheek’, by Justin Baragona, Daily Beast

“I’m not the one making jokes about it,” Jake Tapper shot back. “You’re the one that said the president was being tongue in cheek.”

6/21/2020:  Trump used his rally to air his personal grievances. He could learn from another event, by Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post 

“Here’s the bad part: When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people slow the testing down please,” Trump said.

 

The president’s contempt for measures that public health experts say are crucial was clear when he said that some of those now being classified as victims of the virus are 10-year-olds with “the sniffles.” And he couldn’t resist throwing in a racist trope, referring to it as “Kung flu” — a term that his own counselor Kellyanne Conway has called “highly offensive.”

6/21/2020:  The pandemic Trump cannot ignore, by Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post 

It is not so much that Americans have given up. Rather, it is that their president has made coronavirus-spreading conduct a test of political loyalty.  The Republican Party, in its blind devotion to a man of such inhuman indifference to life (so much for the pro-life party), has succeeded in creating a culture war over unarguably effective health precautions. Protect yourself and your community or venerate Trump. Republicans choose the latter. A sea of white, unmasked faces showed up in Tulsa to flaunt their disdain for science and for human life.

6/20/2020   Hospitals filling up, encountering a new kind of coronavirus patient, by Cindy Krischer Goodman, South Florida Sun Sentinel

June 20:  How Many Undetected COVID-19 Cases Are Out There? By David Axe, Daily Beast

Debate is still raging over the possibility that authorities have hugely undercounted deaths attributable to the disease—not just cases. Klausner credited a potential undercount in part to states’ different ways of categorizing deaths related to coronavirus infections. “Someone with COVID-19 dies of a heart attack, in some states that’s a heart-attack death,” Klausner said. “In some states that’s COVID.”

6/20/2020:  State reports 20 COVID-19 deaths, 255 new cases, by Karen Bouffard, The Detroit News

The 20 deaths are four times the five reported Friday and come after weeks when the number of new cases and new deaths have dropped progressively.

6/20/2020:  McCosky: Virus was always going to win: Baseball must access logical path to a healthy '21, by Chris McCosky, The Detroit News 

6/20/2020:  6 staffers setting up for Trump rally positive for COVID-19, by Jill Colvin, Associated Press

6/20/2020:   'I felt like a truck hit me': Red Wings dietitian Lisa McDowell overcomes coronavirus, by Ted Kulfan, The Detroit News

6/19/2020:  We can’t bear the truth of covid-19, so we’ve just decided to forget, by Megan McArdle, The Washington Post

Colleges are announcing plans to reopen campus. The administrations offer a lot of happy talk about how they’ll keep students and employees safe through reduced occupancy of dorm rooms, distanced seats in dining halls and online versions of larger lecture classes. Few seem to be acknowledging that the primary risk of reopening is bringing large numbers of people together at the age when their appetite for risk is highest.

6/19/2020:  In countries keeping the coronavirus at bay, experts watch U.S. case numbers with alarm, by Rick Noack, The Washington Post

“It really does feel like the U.S. has given up,” said Siouxsie Wiles, an infectious-diseases specialist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand — a country that has confirmed only three new cases over the past three weeks and where citizens have now largely returned to their pre-coronavirus routines.

6/19/2020:  Federal judge orders Michigan gyms reopened June 25; Whitmer to appeal, by Beth LeBlanc and Sam Jones, The Detroit News

The ruling comes during a week when a national nonprofit that's been monitoring the spread of COVID-19 said Michigan is one of three states "on track to contain" the novel coronavirus. COVID Act Now, a group of technologists, epidemiologists, health experts and public policy leaders, tweeted Tuesday that Michigan had moved to its lowest risk category on its warning dashboard for states.

6/19/2020:  Couple who lost Genoa Township gym during COVID-19 crisis says gyms should stay closed, by Jennifer Timar, Livingston Daily

"I do high energy classes and breathing is a huge factor," she said. "For me it's about the safety of my members, because everything I do is science-based. With everyone breathing, I can tell what's been in their mouths, what they ate. Every single person is going to breathe on each other."

6/19/2020:  MLB spring training sites close amid virus worry, by Ben Walker, Associated Press

Every team in Major League Baseball will shut its spring training camp over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, a move that came in the wake of the Philadelphia Phillies announcing Friday five players had tested positive for COVID-19.

6/19/2020:  Japan opens baseball season after 3-month pandemic delay, by Stephen Wade and Koji Ueda, Associated Press

After a three-month delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the world’s second-most famous baseball competition opened a season Friday that will be shortened from its regular 143 games to 120. That, of course, is twice as many as MLB figures to play — if it plays at all.

6/19/2020:  Michigan declined nursing home leader's idea to put COVID-19 patients in vacant centers, by Craig Mauger, The Detroit News

As of Monday, the state reported 1,947 deaths among individuals who lived in nursing facilities and 20 deaths among staff. The tallies represented about more than a third of the statewide death toll at that point. Overall, two-thirds of Michigan's COVID-19 deaths have been individuals 70 years old or older, according to state data.

6/17/2020:  COVID-19 modeling site: Michigan one of three states 'on track to contain' virus, by Craig Mauger, The Detroit News

New York and Michigan, two states that were hit hard by COVID-19 in March and April but took drastic steps to try to stem its spread, were listed early Wednesday as the only two states with the "on track to contain COVID" designation, the lowest of four risk level categories, according to COVID Act Now. Later in the day, the organization gave New Jersey the designation.

6/17/2020:  Whitmer preps school reopening plan, calls GOP 'irresponsible' on emergency power moves, by Beth LeBlanc, The Detroit News

6/17/2020:  ‘The Greeks Are Gone from Troy for Sure,’ by Mike Pence, by Alexandra Petri, The Washington Post

Now is the time to bring in the horse and commemorate this achievement. We have defeated this visible enemy, which was also sometimes invisible because the gods are tricky.

 

Look, we can test the horse, if you like, but I think testing just makes it more likely you will find out information that makes you unhappy, and that is the last thing we need in our moment of triumph. But sure, have Helen walk around the horse calling out in the voices of the Greeks’ loved ones, just in case! Knock yourself out! I am sure the worst is over.

6/17/2020:  Since Some Republicans Still Refuse to Wear Masks in Congress, Now Nancy Pelosi Is Requiring It
By Elliot Hannon

June 16:  Trump’s COVID Data Crunchers See Coronavirus Racing Down America’s Major Highways, by Erin Banco, Daily Beast

6/16/2020:  Northern Michigan avoids COVID-19 spikes since reopening, by Craig Mauger, The Detroit News

6/16/2020:   A Mad Scramble to Stock Millions of Malaria Pills, Likely for Nothing, by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration’s abrupt decision this week to revoke an emergency waiver for two malaria drugs promoted by President Trump as potential “game changers” against the coronavirus has left 66 million doses stranded in the federal stockpile — and officials do not yet know what they will do with them.

 

As of Monday, the government has distributed 31 million tablets of hydroxychloroquine to state and local health departments, hospitals and research institutions; 63 million tablets remain, according to Carol Danko, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services. Officials are working with the companies that donated the drugs to “determine the available options” for the products.

6/16/2020:  BUSTED: Four congress members cashed in on the half-trillion-dollar loan program they helped create, by Tom Boggioni, RawStory 

6/16/2020:  Trump supporter says dying of COVID after Tulsa event will just make him mad he won’t be able to vote: report, by Matthew Chapman, RawStory 

6/16/2020:   Montgomery City Council votes down mask ordinance, sends doctors out in disgust, by Brad Harper, Montgomery (Alabama) Advertiser

"The units are full with critically-ill COVID patients," pulmonologist William Saliski said. About 90% of them are Black. He said hospitals are able to manage for now, but it's not sustainable. "This mask slows that down, 95% protection from something as easy as cloth. ... If this continues the way it's going, we will be overrun."

 

More doctors followed him to the microphone, describing the dead being carried out within 30 minutes of each other, and doctors being disturbed when people on the street ask them if the media is lying about the pandemic as part of a political ploy.

 

After they spoke, and before the council voted on a proposal by Councilman C.C. Calhoun to mandate mask-wearing in public in Montgomery, Councilman Brantley Lyons questioned whether masks and six-foot distancing really helps. They do, the doctors replied. Lyons was unmoved. "At the end of the day, if an illness or a pandemic comes through we do not throw our constitutional rights out the window," Lyons said.

 

William Boyd, one of several people who spoke in favor of the ordinance, said he's lost six family members to COVID-19.  "The question on the table is whether Black lives matter."

 

Reporter Brad Harpers Council meeting tweets

June 16:  How deadly is the coronavirus? Scientists are close to an answer, by Smriti Mallapaty, Nature

Public-health researchers use the infection fatality rate to gauge how to respond to a new disease, but it’s tricky to calculate.

 

Some of the first indications of the virus’s deadliness were gleaned from the total number of confirmed cases in China. In late February, the World Health Organization crudely estimated that 38 people had died for every 1,000 with confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses. The death rate among these people — known as the case fatality rate (CFR) — reached as high as 58 out of 1,000 in Wuhan, the city where the virus emerged. But such estimates exaggerated the disease’s deadliness because they did not account for the many people who had the virus but were not tested, obscuring the outbreak’s true spread.

 

Researchers tried to address this gap by estimating the IFR from models that projected the virus’s spread. The result from these early analyses hovered around 0.9% — 9 deaths for every 1,000 people infected — with a broader range of 0.4–3.6%, says Verity. His own modelling estimated an overall IFR for China of 7 deaths for every 1,000 people infected, increasing to 33 per thousand among those aged 60 or older.

6/16/2020:  Florida sees record 2,783 one-day total of new coronavirus cases, The Washington Post 

Days after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) waved off concerns about Florida’s growing coronavirus outbreak, the state Tuesday tallied its highest single-day count of new cases of 2,783, according to data tracked by The Washington Post.

 

Totals for Florida’s seven-day average of new cases have hit record highs for the past nine days straight; a week ago, the state’s one-day total of new cases was 1,096.

6/16/2020:  Snake Oil Peddler in Chief predicts a coronavirus vaccine by the end of year. Public health experts disagree, The Washington Post 

6/16/2020:  Children are only half as likely to get infected by the coronavirus, study finds, by Joel Achenbach and Laura Meckler, The Washington Post

Children and teenagers are only half as likely to get infected with the coronavirus as adults age 20 and older, and they usually don’t develop clinical symptoms of covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, according to a study published Tuesday.

6/16/2020:  Age-dependent effects in the transmission and control of COVID-19 epidemics, by Nicholas G. Davies, Petra Klepac, Yang Liu, Kiesha Prem, Mark Jit, CMMID COVID-19 working group & Rosalind M. Eggo, Nature Medicine

We estimate that susceptibility to infection in individuals under 20 years of age is approximately half that of adults aged over 20 years, and that clinical symptoms manifest in 21% (95% credible interval: 12–31%) of infections in 10- to 19-year-olds, rising to 69% (57–82%) of infections in people aged over 70 years.

Toilet Plume Vortex Caused by Common Annular Flushing 777x708 

6/16/2020:  Put a lid on it, folks: Flushing may release coronavirus-containing ‘toilet plumes’, by Karin Brulliard and William Wan, The Washington Post

For all our paranoia about the surface of toilet seats — the tissue paper we oh-so-carefully lay down, the thin covers often offered in public stalls — germ transmission from skin contact is a relatively small health risk compared with what happens after you flush. That’s when bits of fecal matter swish around so violently that they can be propelled into the air, become aerosolized and then settle on the surroundings.

 

Experts call it the “toilet plume.”

 

The simulations show that nearly 60% of the ejected particles rise high above the seat for a toilet with two inlet ports. A solution to this deadly problem is to simply close the lid before flushing, since this should decrease aerosol spread.

 

However, in many countries, including the United States, toilets in public restrooms are often without lids. This poses a serious hazard. The investigators also suggest a better toilet design would include a lid that closes automatically before flushing.

6/16/2020:  Can a toilet promote virus transmission? From a fluid dynamics perspective, by Yun-yun Li, Ji-Xiang Wang and Xi Chen, Physics of Fluids

The volume-of-fluid (VOF) model is used to simulate two common flushing processes (single-inlet flushing and annular flushing), and the VOF–discrete phase model (DPM) method is used to model the trajectories of aerosol particles during flushing. The simulation results are alarming in that massive upward transport of virus particles is observed, with 40%–60% of particles reaching above the toilet seat, leading to large-scale virus spread.

June 15:  Trump Touted the Economy’s COVID Resilience While His Top Aide Dumped His Stocks, by Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

Mick Mulvaney, then the acting White House chief of staff and the director of the Office of Management and Budget, sold between $215,000 and $550,000 in holdings in three mutual funds on March 4, according to ethics paperwork he submitted late last month. Holdings in each of the three funds are made up almost entirely of U.S. stocks.

 

“Our economy is doing fantastically,” Trump told Fox primetime host Sean Hannity, the day of the Mulvaney transactions. “Numbers are coming out very well. The consumer in the United States is unbelievably strong, stronger than ever before, I believe.”

 

The day after Mulvaney sold those holdings, the values of all three of the mutual funds he offloaded plummeted,

June 15:  As Alabama coronavirus cases mount, Gov. Ivey, ADPH stick with same approach, guidelines, by Brian Lyman, Montgomery Advertiser.

June 15:  Brazil faces the coronavirus disaster almost everyone saw coming, by Ishaan Tharoor, The Washington Post

By the end of last week, Brazil reached a grisly milestone. It surpassed Britain in confirmed coronavirus-linked fatalities, ranking now only below the United States with more than 42,000 dead and more than 867,000 confirmed cases. Infection rates are still surging, the country’s daily death tolls are among the highest in the world and health authorities aren’t close to flattening the curve. In one study, researchers project that the country could see 100,000 deaths before August.

June 15:  Patients with underlying conditions were 12 times as likely to die of covid-19 as otherwise healthy people, CDC finds, by Lena H. Sun, The Washington Post

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data on more than 1.7 million coronavirus cases and 103,700 deaths from covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, reported to the agency from state and territorial health departments from Jan. 22 through May 30.

 

People with underlying medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes were hospitalized six times as often as otherwise healthy individuals infected with the novel coronavirus during the first four months of the pandemic, and they died 12 times as often, according to the report.

June 15:  Coronavirus recommendations ignored as case numbers rise, by Lenny Bernstein, Rachel Weiner and Joel Achenbach, The Washington Post

They’ve come to believe it’s a phony pandemic because their own personal grandmother hasn’t been affected yet,” said Andrew Noymer, an epidemiologist at the University of California at Irvine, in Orange County. Elected officials last week forced the county health department to scale back a mask-wearing order. “People just think this is a nothingburger. So they think the risk is exaggerated.”

 

Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, which represents 80,000 registered nurses, said “the idea that we are going to tolerate a certain number of deaths as a nation is outrageous. . . . It’s irresponsible of these governors to be so blasé about the idea that more people are going to be infected and die because they made a decision to reopen without the safety precautions that workers and consumers need.”

June 15:  F.D.A. Revokes Emergency Approval of Malaria Drugs Promoted by Trump, by Katie Thomas, The New York Times

The agency said that a review of some studies showed that the drugs’ potential benefits in treating Covid-19 did not outweigh the risks.

June 15:  U.S. revokes emergency use of malaria drugs for treating COVID-19, by Matthew Perrone, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — U.S. regulators on Monday revoked emergency authorization for malaria drugs promoted by President Trump for treating COVID-19 amid growing evidence they don’t work and could cause deadly side effects.

June 15:  The Drug That Could Protect the Body’s Own Tissue Against COVID, by David Exe, Daily Beast

The drug TXA127 works by replacing a key lung enzyme that the novel coronavirus has a tendency to suppress. There’s some evidence that this replacement enzyme could help to calm the overactive immune response—the so-called cytokine storm—that’s common in severe COVID cases.

June 15:   Doctors Warn: COVID-19 Threatens the Entire Nervous System, by Igor. J Koralnik M.D. and Kenneth L. Tyler M.D, Annals of Neurology (via SciTechDaily)

June 14:  Trump's upcoming Fascist Fanboi rally presents Coronavirus superspreader event risks, health experts warn, by Derek Hawkins, Paul Schemm, Meryl Kornfield, Brittany Shammas, Adam Taylor, Hannah Knowles, Steven Goff and Kareem Copeland , The Washington Post

June 13:   All of a Sudden It Blows Up’: Arkansas' COVID Problem Is Just Getting Started, by Olivia Messer, Daily Beast

For months, New Yorkers saw their hospitals flood with COVID-19 patients and bodies pile up in refrigerated overflow morgue trucks. Meanwhile, other parts of the country never even implemented a statewide lockdown.  For those hoping a slew of Southern and rural states might have avoided the worst of the pandemic entirely, Friday’s case counts provided a grim answer.

June 13:  With 2,581 new coronavirus cases, Florida hits a record high for the third day in a row, by Howard Cohen, Miami Herald

 

June 12:  Stealth Cleanings and COVID-19: The Terror Inside a Dollar General Warehouse, by Kate Briquelet, Daily Beast

March 19:  South Korea’s success in controlling disease is due to its acceptance of surveillance, by Jung Won Sonn, The Conversation 

The premise of this three month old story remains true.  Who hasn't controlled COVID-19?  The nation of overarmed and underbrained, selfish, sneering, stupid loudmouths.  If you're doing the right thing, wearing your admittedly uncomfortable mask, keeping that six foot minimum distance from others in public, good for you.  It's an uphill battle.

June 12:   The Virus Will Win, by Yascha Mounk, The Atlantic

A second wave of the coronavirus is on the way. When it arrives, we will lack the will to deal with it. Despite all the sacrifices of the past months, the virus is likely to win—or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it already has.

June 12:  Florida fired its coronavirus data scientist. Now she’s publishing the statistics on her own, by Marisa Iati, The Washington Post

Managers had wanted Rebekah Jones to make certain changes to the public-facing portal, she says. Jones had objected to — and sometimes refused to comply with — what she saw as unethical requests. She says the department offered to let her resign. Jones declined.

 

Weeks after she was fired in mid-May, Jones has now found a way to present the state’s coronavirus data exactly the way she wants it: She created a dashboard of her own.

June 12:  CDC issues new covid-19 guidelines at a time of protests and rallies, by Lena H. Sun, Chelsea Janes and Toluse Olorunnipa, The Washington Post

The CDC guidance includes a recommendation that organizers of large events that involve shouting, chanting or singing “strongly encourage” the use of cloth face coverings.

 

Federal health officials on Friday said their guidance was aimed at keeping people safe as states reopen and communities plan and hold gatherings, such as concerts, festivals, conferences, parades, weddings and sporting events. Jay Butler, the CDC’s deputy director of infectious diseases, sidestepped questions about whether the agency’s new guidance for large gatherings applies to campaign rallies, saying the recommendations speak for themselves.

June 12:  Pandemic deepens economic pain at Trump’s company, already suffering from a tarnished brand, by Joshua Partlow, David A. Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell, The Washington Post

Hotels in the United States lost 82 percent of their business for April compared with the same month last year, according to hotel data analysis firm STR. Luxury hotels saw their businesses wiped out almost completely, losing 96.6 percent of their business in April after taking in just $60 million in revenue nationwide.

 

Even before the pandemic, there were signs that Trump’s politics drove away some potential customers.  “The vibe I got was that half of the guests wouldn’t feel comfortable ever coming to a meeting there,” said a former employee at Trump’s D.C. hotel who was involved in booking conferences. Some hurdles can be overcome with good salesmanship, the former staffer said, but “this wasn’t overcome-able.”

June 12:  Coronavirus 2nd Wave? Nope, The U.S. Is Still Stuck In The 1st One, by Nurith Aizenman, NPR Michigan Radio

June 12:  Oregon Pauses Reopening As Coronavirus Cases Rise, by Austin Horn, NPR Michigan Radio

"In order to ensure that the virus is not spreading too quickly, I am putting all county applications for further reopening on hold for seven days," Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said in a statement. "This is essentially a statewide 'yellow light.' It is time to press pause for one week before any further reopening."

June 12:  100 Graves Dug At Copacabana Beach To Protest Brazil's COVID-19 Response, by Suzanne Nuyen, NPR Michigan Radio

Volunteers critical of Brazil's response to the coronavirus pandemic dug 100 graves with black crosses in Rio's Copacabana Beach as a reminder of the more than 40,000 people who have died because of the virus in the country so far. The event was held by an organization called Rio de Paz. In a Facebook post, the organization said the graves were meant to protest a "succession of mistakes made by the Federal Government in conducting this humanitarian crisis." Brazil has become a major epicenter of COVID-19, with the number of infections there second only to the United States.

June 12:  'The Last Gift You Sent Me': Coronavirus Whistleblower's Widow Gives Birth, by Colin Dwyer, NPR Michigan Radio

When Dr. Li Wenliang died of COVID-19, several weeks after the Chinese whistleblower tried to warn the world about the coronavirus, his family was expecting to grow in the coming months.

 

Now his widow, Fu Xuejie, has welcomed their second child, a baby boy, to the world without him.

 

"Husband, are you watching from heaven? The last gift you sent to me has been born," Fu said in a note posted to the Chinese social media platform WeChat. "I will definitely take care of him well."

June 12:  Questions About How Crash Program Is Picking Coronavirus Vaccines To Back, by Sydney Lupkin, Morning Edition, NPR Michigan Radio

June 12:  The Coronavirus Is Spreading Through Indigenous Amazon Communities, by John Otis, NPR Michigan Public Radio 

June 11:  County libraries offering curbside pickup, modified services, by Kayla Daughterty, Livingston Daily

June 11:  Livingston County's food banks have distributed more than 450 tons of food since March, by Kayla Daughtery, Livingston Daily

June 11:  Florida And S.C. Report New Spikes In Coronavirus Cases, by Bill Chappell, NPR Michigan Radio

A record high in South Carolina. A two-month high in Florida. Record hospitalizations in Texas. Several states that were among the first to reopen their economies are now reporting spikes in new coronavirus cases, driving an alarming trend that has propelled the U.S. to 2 million cases.

 

Florida reported nearly 1,700 new cases Thursday morning — "the biggest jump since March," as NPR member station WLRN reported. Hours after the state published that data, Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled his plan to reopen schools in August, urging local governments to aim for "full capacity" when they resume classes.

June 11:  Five Coronavirus Treatments In Development, by Joe Palca, NPR Michigan Radio

June 11:  Nursing Homes Run Short Of COVID-19 Protective Gear As Federal Response Falters, by Jordan Rau, NPR

The CMS records show 711 nursing homes reported having run out of N95 masks, and 1,963 said they had less than a week's worth. But FEMA is not shipping any N95 masks, and nursing homes are having trouble obtaining them from other sources. Instead, the agency is sending surgical masks, but more than 1,000 homes have less than a week's supply of those.

June 11:   Coronavirus forces Espresso Royale to close all locations, by Dana Afana, MLive

The company opened its first Ann Arbor cafe in 1988 on State Street and later on Main Street, Plymouth Road in the Traver Village center, South University Avenue and Woodland Plaza.  Espresso Royale today announced on its website that the company “has not survived” the pandemic and is closing locations in Ann Arbor, East Lansing and Madison.

June 11: ‘We Will Cross The 200,000 Mark’ In Coronavirus Deaths By September, Dr. Ashish Jha Says, Today

June 11:  Trump Campaign Says You Can’t Sue If You Get COVID-19 At His Rally, by Lydia O"Connor, HuffPost

Those registering for President Donald Trump’s massive rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, next week will notice a message on his campaign website when they sign up: You may contract COVID-19 at the rally, but it’s not Trump’s fault.

 

The Tulsa rally venue ― an indoor arena with a 19,000-person capacity ― is a prime breeding ground for the virus to spread, especially if basic safety measures aren’t put into effect. In its message to registrants, the Trump campaign says catching the virus is “an inherent risk” of attendin:

 

By clicking register below, you are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. By attending the Rally, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; BOK Center; ASM Global; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers liable for any illness or injury.

June 11:  N.C. Health Secretary Warns Of Surge In Cases, Possible Return Of Stay-At-Home Orders, by Christianna Silva, NPR Michigan Radio

June 11:  Arizona hospitals overwhelmed as coronavirus cases rise, CBS Evening News

June 11:  Coronavirus cases jump nearly 300% since May 1 in Arizona, CNBC

June 11:  These people have been sick with coronavirus for more than 60 days, by Ariana Eunjung Cha and Lenny Bernstein, The Washington Post

June 11:  Sobering Jobs Outlook: ‘We’re Expecting a Long Haul’  More than 1.5 million sought state unemployment benefits last week as layoffs spread to more job categories even as businesses reopened, by Tiffany Hsu, The New York Times

June 11:  Stocks Crater as Economic Warnings Rattle Confidence: Live Updates, The New York Times 

June 11:  U.S. surpasses 2 million coronavirus cases, Joe Fox, Brittany Renee Mayes, Kevin Schaul and Leslie Shapiro,  The Washington Post

The disease caused by the novel coronavirus has killed at least 112,000 people in the United States since February. By April 13, it had killed in every state.

 

The overall daily death toll began to decline in May, largely because of a sharp decrease in deaths and reported infections in some of the hardest-hit urban centers such as Detroit, Seattle, New Orleans, and, most notably, New York City.

 

But the virus continues to accelerate in pockets of more rural areas, and public health officials fear new surges as states loosen restrictions after weeks of near-total sheltering in place. Raucous Memorial Day crowds flooded newly opened bars, lakes and beaches.

 

Most health officials — including the country’s foremost epidemiologist, Anthony S. Fauci, in testimony before the Senate — say the virus has killed more people than official death tolls indicate.

June 11:  Surgeons perform first known U.S. lung transplant for covid-19 patient, by Lenny Bernstein and Martine Powers, The Washington Post

June 11:  Dutch Study Indicates Value of Sewage Monitoring for SARS-CoV-2 Tracking, ACS

June 11:  COVID-19 Mouse Model Created To Accelerate Drug and Vaccine Development, Genomics and Epigenetics

June 11:   Cow-derived COVID-19 Candidate Treatment Produces Four Times More Neutralizing Antibody, Suggests Data, by Ruairi J MacKenzie, Genomics and Epigenetics

June 10:  The 'Concerned Citizen Who Happens To Be Armed' Is Showing Up At Protests, by Nate Hegyi, NPR Michigan Radio

June 10:  Protesting? Here's How To Help Keep Your Family Safe From COVID-19 When You Go Home, by Maria Godoy, NPR Michigan Radio

If you live with others, she says, "you really have to do a risk calculation about who you're living with, who you care for, what your job might be." That's because it's hard to keep a safe distance in large crowds, and often protests involve other high-risk activities like singing and chanting, which can spread the virus. If your household includes vulnerable people, such as an elderly grandparent or someone who is immunocompromised, she says, consider an alternate form of protest – like a car caravan.

June 8:  The Army Declares War on Coronavirus, by David Axe, Daily Beast

Their assets are considerable. Not only does the Army oversee several high-tech labs, it also has access to the Defense Department’s extensive hospital infrastructure as well as health resources in foreign countries. In 2009, the Army famously organized, in Thailand, the only large-scale trial of an HIV vaccine that demonstrated any effectiveness. That effort involved 16,000 volunteers at 55 sites across Thailand.

June 8:  Reopening plans for Detroit casinos include ban on smoking, poker, buffets, by JC Reindl, Detroit Free Press

Future visitors to the three Detroit casinos will be required to wear face masks, submit to temperature checks and be prohibited from smoking, playing poker or eating at the buffet, according to reopening guidelines approved Monday by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

 

The guidelines, which also limit the casinos to 15% of their maximum occupancy capacity, would be in effect once Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifts her executive order that closed the casinos March 16 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Berkeley News:  Emergency COVID-19 measures prevented more than 500 million infections, study finds, by Edward Lempinen, 6/8/2020 

In the first peer-reviewed analysis of local, regional and national policies, the researchers found that travel restrictions, business and school closures, shelter-in-place orders and other non-pharmaceutical interventions averted roughly 530 million COVID-19 infections across the six countries in the study period ending April 6. Of these infections, 62 million would likely have been “confirmed cases,” given limited testing in each country.

 

“The last several months have been extraordinarily difficult, but through our individual sacrifices, people everywhere have each contributed to one of humanity’s greatest collective achievements,” Hsiang said. “I don’t think any human endeavor has ever saved so many lives in such a short period of time. There have been huge personal costs to staying home and canceling events, but the data show that each day made a profound difference. By using science and cooperating, we changed the course of history.”

 

The study evaluated 1,717 policies implemented in China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, France and the United States in the period extending from the emergence of the virus in January to April 6, 2020.

ABC15 Arizona:   Arizona state health director tells hospitals to "fully activate" their facility emergency plans, by Cydeni Carter, 6/8/2020

The letter was dated the same day that ADHS director Dr. Cara Christ told ABC15 that her department's staff had made errors and reported incorrect hospitalization numbers since April on the Arizona Department of Health Services coronavirus dashboard.

 

On Friday, ADHS reported the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, while medical centers across the state had 1,234 coronavirus inpatients and 718 emergency room visits.

 

Banner Health says they are seeing a steady climb in coronavirus cases in Arizona and they have reached capacity for patients with receiving ECMO treatment.

6/8/2020   Mexico’s Leftist Leader Rejects Big Spending to Ease Virus’s Sting, by Azem Ahmed, The New York Times

NPR Michigan Radio:  With No Current Cases, New Zealand Lifts Remaining COVID-19 Restrictions, by Scott Neuman, 6/8/2020 

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the country has officially eradicated COVID-19 and will return to normal after the last-known infected person recovered.  Isolation and quarantine for those arriving from abroad will continue.

Detroit News:  Bars and restaurants welcome customers back Monday, by Melody Baetens, 6/8/2020

Detroit News:  Families, lawmakers seek answers on Michigan's COVID-19 nursing home death toll, by Craig Mauger, 6/8/2020

6/7/2020:  Bloodied store manager describes life in the age of COVID-19, by John Rogers, Associated Press

For weeks Samantha Clarke calmly listened to the insults and threats directed daily at her and her employees by people who learned they couldn’t enter the Modesto, California, store without wearing a mask and following other coronavirus-related rules.

 

But never, says the 17-year veteran of retail sales, did she expect she’d be sucker-punched and left with blood gushing from her battered face.

Wired:  How Covid-19 Contact Tracing Works on Your Phone, by David Nield, 6/7/2020

Dallas Morning News:  Experts warned of a second wave of coronavirus cases as reopenings swept Texas in May, by By Anna Kuchment and Sue Ambrose, 6/7/2020

In fact, Nandy said, mobility patterns across the country all look similar over the past few months, no matter when — or whether — governors issued statewide lockdowns.

 

“What that tells me is that as soon as people realized this was a serious public health issue, they took measures themselves,” he said. “People are making collective decisions based on how safe they feel.”

Detroit News:  Michigan COVID-19 numbers continue to dwindle, by Ariana Taylor, 6/7/2020

Sunday's death toll is the lowest daily count the state has seen since March 19, when the state reported five deaths.

Wall Street Journal:  Covid-19 Stalks Crowded Households, Even in Rural America, by Ian Lovett, Dan Frosch and Paul Overberg, 6/7/2020

Rural hamlets where extended families live under the same roof have turned deadlier than some of the densest blocks of Manhattan.

June 5:  How a Tax Benefit for Developers Could Backfire in the Pandemic, by Paul Sullivan, The New York Times

Nationally, smaller real estate exchanges — worth less than $3 million — have come to a halt, and larger ones are being delayed, said Alex Madden, vice president of Kay Properties and Investments, an online marketplace for 1031 exchanges.

 

He said the number of properties for sale nationally was down by 75 percent since mid-March. The ones that remain attractive are properties that he called “coronavirus resistant,” like drugstores and distribution facilities that serve companies like Amazon or FedEx.

June 5:  J.C. Penney store closings list released: 3 Michigan stores included, by Nathan Borney, USA Today

J.C. Penney on Thursday revealed its initial list of proposed stores to be closed permanently as the company tries to stabilize its finances under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Three of the closures are in Michigan. The department store chain, the largest company to file for bankruptcy protection so far during the coronavirus pandemic, had already said it would close 242 locations for good, leaving about 600 open.

Wired:  Covid-19 Cases Were Already Rising Before the George Floyd Protests, by Megan Moteni, 6/5/2020

What scientists are already starting to see, however, is that in at least 14 states, including Minnesota, case numbers have been on the rise following the relaxation of stay-at-home orders. And correspondingly, intensive care units have been filling up. In these spikes, epidemiologists see the consequences of states opening up too early, before establishing adequate testing and tracing resources to contend with new outbreaks. And they’re worried about those two forces colliding.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  Employment Situation Summary, 6/5/2020

Wired:  Schools Turn to Surveillance Tech to Prevent Covid-19 Spread, by Will Knight, 6/5/2020

Episcopal News Service:   Episcopal farmworker ministries respond to needs during COVID-19 pandemic, by Shireen Korkzan, 6/3/2020 

SciTechDaily:   Scientists Create Synthetic Red Blood Cells That Mimic Natural Ones, Plus Have New Abilities, Guo et al, ACS Nano, 5/11/2020

MLive:  From hair salons to gyms, experts rank 36 activities by coronavirus risk level, by Taylor DesOrmeau, 6/2/2020

MLive spoke to the following four public health experts in Michigan, asking them to assess the risk various activities pose to spreading coronavirus.

  • Dr. Matthew Sims, Beaumont Health director of infectious disease research
  • Dr. Dennis Cunningham, McLaren Health Care medical director for infection prevention
  • Dr. Mimi Emig, retired infectious disease specialist with Spectrum Health
  • Dr. Nasir Husain, Henry Ford Macomb medical director for infection prevention

The doctors pointed to five factors, when considering how risky a given activity might be: Whether it’s inside or outside; proximity to others; exposure time; likelihood of compliance; and personal risk level.

For the list and the details, read the article on MLive.

SciTechDaily:  Biomedical Scientists Create a New Tool for Developing COVID-19 Treatments & Vaccines, Wlodawer et al, 6/3/2020

Journal of Institutional Economics:   The evolution of the Offshore US-Dollar System: past, present and four possible futures, by Steffen Murau, Joe Rini and Armin Haus, 5/6/2020

In the case of complex and privatized structures such as the offshore dollar-based monetary and financial system, crises are key drivers of change. It is in these moments that political decision-makers lay the groundwork for future developments. The global financial crisis of 2007 – 2009, which escalated following the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers, was one such moment. That crisis began in the shadow banking system and was essentially a bank run on offshore dollars and shadow money. The massive loss of confidence driving that crisis could only be mitigated through the introduction of an institutional innovation: a new form of cooperation between the central banks of the G7 countries – so-called “swap lines” – through which central banks outside the USA could borrow US dollars from the Federal Reserve to support domestic banks.

Nature Human Behavior:  Easing COVID-19 Lockdowns Slowly May Be Better for Global Economy, 6/3/2020

In the United States, the cost to the financial sector would nearly double if a second global lockdown occurs, with potential supply chain loss rising from 33% (one lockdown gradually eased over 12 months) to 57% (recurrent global lockdowns happening at different times in different countries).

LA Times:  Governors warn congressional leaders of billion-dollar shortfalls due to coronavirus, by Elliot Wailoo, 6/2/2020

By some projections, over the next three years state budget shortfalls across the country are estimated to reach $765 billion.

 

Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) pressed Whitmer on whether every dollar from the CARES Act had been spent. “I wonder why Michigan is one of the states withholding funds from our local communities,” he said. “Our federal government did step up. ... Other states are doing it more effectively.”

LA Times: How animals are helping scientists develop COVID-19 vaccines, AP, 6/2/2020

June 2:  D.C. Police Charged Demonstrators With Wearing Masks Even Though Coronavirus Guidelines Require Them, Blake Montgomery, Daily Beast

Protesters were charged with “Wearing a Hood-Mask” in addition to curfew violations. The Washington arrests come after police tear gassed protesters so that President Donald Trump could take a photo in front of St. John’s church near the White House.

PharmaPhorum:  Lilly begins trial of COVID-19 antibody treatment, by George Underwood, 6/2/2020

AbCellera screened over five million immune cells looking for ones that produced functional antibodies that helped the patient neutralise the virus and recover from the disease. The company then identified over 500 unique fully human antibody sequences – which it says is the largest panel of antiSARS-CoV-2 antibodies ever reported – before screening those antibodies to find the ones most effective in neutralising the virus.

 

Lilly has said that it has already begun large-scale manufacturing of the therapy.

 

“If LY-CoV555 becomes part of the near-term solution for COVID-19, we want to be ready to deliver it to patients as quickly as possible, with the goal of having several hundred thousand doses available by the end of the year,” said Daniel Skovronsky, the company’s chief scientific officer and president of Lilly Research Laboratories.

Amnesty International:  “There is no safety net” – what lockdown is like for sex workers, 6/2/2020 

Amnesty International:  Imprisoned overnight: Kazakhstan's extreme response to COVID-19, Heather McGill, 6/2/2020

On 2 April, around a hundred people in the Kazakh city of Ust Kamenogorsk woke to find they had become prisoners overnight. The lock on the front door of their apartment block had been welded shut, trapping everybody inside and causing panic when residents realized they couldn’t get to work.

 

This was not a practical joke. The previous evening a woman living in the building had been hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms. The local authorities had responded by imprisoning her unsuspecting neighbours and sending police to surround the building. Residents who arrived home late from work were trapped outside and had to sleep in their cars.

EurekaAlert:  Lab-grown miniature human livers successfully transplanted in rats, University of Pittsburgh, Takeishi et al, 6/2/2020

Using skin cells from human volunteers, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have created fully functional mini livers, which they then transplanted into rats.

 

“Seeing that little human organ there inside the animal – brown, looking like a liver – that was pretty cool. This thing that looks like a liver and functions like a liver came from somebody’s skin cells,” said senior author Alejandro Soto-Gutierrez, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pathology at Pitt and faculty member of both the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the Pittsburgh Liver Research Center.

 

The researchers created their mini livers by reprogramming human skin cells into stem cells, coaxing those stem cells to become various types of liver cells and, then, seeding those human liver cells into a rat liver with all of its own cells stripped out.

 

As an ultimate test, the researchers transplanted their lab-grown mini livers into five rats, who were bred to resist organ rejection. Four days after the transplant, researchers investigated how well the implanted organs were faring.

 

In all cases, blood flow problems had developed within and around the graft, but the transplanted mini livers worked – the rats had human liver proteins in their blood serum.

Cell Reports:  Assembly and Function of a Bioengineered Human Liver for Transplantation Generated Solely from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, Takeishi et al, 6/2/2020

New York Times Magazine:  Can America’s Middle Class Be Saved from a New Depression?, by Matthew Desmond, 5/26/2020 

Time:  Dr. Raj Panjabi Warns of an Impending 'Viral Apartheid' If We Don't Change Our COVID-19 Approach, by Alejandro de la Garza, 5/28/2020

“The idea that a group of people—whether it’s the vaccines, the test or treatments—will get access to those vital life-saving tools, and that those will likely be the rich nations and the powerful within those nations, and the poor within those nations and the poorer nations in the world will get excluded from that, is in fact the story of every pandemic that has happened in humanity.” 

Washington Post:  Coronavirus may never go away, even with a vaccine, by William Wan and Carolyn Y. Johnson, 5/27/2020

Embracing that reality is crucial to the next phase of America’s pandemic response, experts say.

MLive:  Michigan coronavirus stay-at-home order lifted: Here’s what opens when, by Matt Durr, 6/1/2020

Starting Monday, residents are not required to stay home as much as possible as long as they continue to adhere to social distancing guidelines and safety measures.

Daily Beast:  The Bizarre Downfall of a Neo-Nazi Who Used a COVID Protest to Target Jews, by Nick R. Martin, 6/1/2020

Matthew Slatzer displayed a sign calling Jews “the real plague” at an anti-lockdown protest. Then his legal problems started catching up to him. 

May 31:  Florida’s Seen a ‘Statistically Significant’ Uptick in Pneumonia Deaths. The CDC Says It’s Likely COVID, by Erin Banco, Daily Beast

According to the data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, since the beginning of the year there has been a total of 1,519 deaths in Florida where pneumonia and influenza were listed as the underlying cause. By comparison, in the same time period last year, Florida recorded 1,207 such deaths. The CDC has historically counted pneumonia and influenza deaths together. CDC officials told The Daily Beast that most of the deaths included in that category are pneumonia.

 

With Florida already under a national microscope, news of the state’s pneumonia fatalities circulated on social media this week as liberals accused DeSantis and members of his administration of manipulating data and deliberately downplaying the number of coronavirus deaths. Howard Dean, the former Democrat governor from Vermont, commented on Florida’s statistics Thursday, going so far as to accuse Florida of “cooking the books on COVID-19 deaths.” Andy Slavitt, the former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said while Florida appears to have the coronavirus under control, it was experiencing an “unprecedented ‘pneumonia’ crisis.”

May 31:  Michigan surpasses 57,000 coronavirus cases, death toll reaches 5,491, by Miriam Marini, Detoit Free Press

Right Wing Watch:  Dominionist ‘Prophets’ Say Pentecost Sunday Will Bring Them More Power and Governing Authority, by Peter Montgomery, 5/28/2020

Jack Hibbs, a California megachurch pastor and associate of Christian nationalist political operative David Lane, says God told him last month that May 31 is the day that all churches in California should open, regardless of what public health restrictions are in place at the time.

 

Cheryl Amabile, an associate of Engle’s, explicitly connected prophetic dreams and exhortations around COVID-19 and Pentecost to Trump and the 2020 elections. In an edition of “The Briefing” email newsletter, she recounted White House aide Paula White speaking at the White House National Day of Prayer observance and delivering what White said was a message from God for Trump: “You will recover all.”

Daily Beast:  Right-Wing ‘Race War’ Wannabes Could Make Police Protests Go Nuclear, by Kelly Weill, 5/28/2020

Protesters in Minneapolis didn’t know the precise affiliation of a man who showed up on Tuesday at the first night of unrest over the death of 46-year-old George Floyd in police custody. What they did know was that he was white and heavily armed.

 

“There was what we think was a white supremacist who was fully armed with clips and everything, who some of the men in the crowd were able to identify and remove,” Nekima Levy-Armstrong, a civil rights attorney who attended the Tuesday protests, told The Daily Beast. “He [the armed white man] actually said, ‘You all just saved some lives tonight.’”

Raw Story:  ‘How dare you’: Pastor infected with coronavirus slams faith leaders who kept their churches open, by Sky Palma, 5/28/2020

When Clark was sick with the virus, he said the pain was so unbearable that he contemplated suicide.

“I was in such horrible turmoil and ache,” he said. “I actually wanted to take my life.”

5/28/2020   ‘It’s Not the Virus’: Mexico’s Broken Hospitals Become Killers, Too, By Natalie Kitroeff and Paulina Villegas, The New York Times

Years of neglect have hobbled many Mexican hospitals. Now, as the pandemic strikes, some patients are dying from neglect or from mistakes that are easily prevented, doctors and nurses say.

Rolling Stone:  State Rep. Goes on Profanity-Laced Tirade After GOP Colleague Hid Positive COVID-19 Test, by Peter Wade, 5/28/2020

A Democratic Pennsylvania state representative went on a righteous tirade in a 12-minute video after learning that the Republican speaker of the House informed his party but not Democrats that at least one member of his caucus tested positive for COVID-19.

 

“Every single day of this crisis this State Government Committee in Pennsylvania has met so that their members could line up one after one after one and explain that it was safe to go back to work,” Rep. Brian Sims said on Facebook Live on Wednesday night. “During that time period, they were testing positive. They were notifying one another. And they didn’t notify us.”

Washington Post:  Isolated and at risk: 12 nursing home and assisted living residents talk about life during the pandemic, by Rachel Chason and Rebecca Tan, 5/28/2020

Washington Post:  In Puerto Rico, an economic disaster looms amid fears of coronavirus, by Arelis R. Hernandez, 5/30/2020

Washington Post:  Lake of the Ozarks Memorial Day partygoer tests positive for COVID-19, by Christina Carrega, 5/30/2020

Washington Post:  Nearly 900 Tyson Foods employees in two states test positive for covid-19, 5/28/2020 

Washington Post:  Administration initially dispensed scarce covid-19 drug to some hospitals that didn’t need it, by Yasmeen Abutaleb, Josh Dawsey, Lena H. Sun and Laurie McGinley, 5/28/2020

The first tranche of 607,000 vials of the antiviral medication remdesivir, donated to the government by drugmaker Gilead Sciences, was distributed in early May — in some cases to the wrong hospitals, to hospitals with no intensive care units and therefore no eligible patients, and to facilities without the needed refrigeration to store it.

 

As of last week, about 80 percent of the donated remdesivir from Gilead had been distributed, according to ASPR. Gilead plans to donate an additional 333,160 vials of the drug by mid-June, according to HHS, bringing the total donation to 940,000 vials.

Crooks and Liars:  Every Single Worker On One Tennessee Farm Has Tested Positive For COVID-19, by Joan McCarter, 5/30/2020

Read that headline one more time: "Every Single Worker Has Covid at One U.S. Farm on Eve of Harvest." That farm is in Tennessee. A farm in New Jersey has more than 50 workers with the virus, and in a neighboring county nearly 60 more on another farm have been ill. An Oneida, New York greenhouse operation growing tomatoes and strawberries reported nearly 170 infected workers.

Washington Post:  Supreme Court, in rare late-night ruling, says California may enforce certain restrictions on religious gatherings, by Robert Barnes, 5/30/2020

Justice Roberts joined the majority, affirming the 9th Cir. which wrote: “if a ‘court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.’ ” (quoting Justice Jackson)

Washington Post:   The unluckiest generation in U.S. history, by Andrew Van Dam, 5/27/2020

Washington Post:   Breaking precedent, White House won’t release formal economic projections this summer that would forecast extent of downturn, by Jeff Stein and Josh Dawsey, 5/28/2020

White House officials have decided not to release updated economic projections this summer, opting against publishing forecasts that would almost certainly codify an administration assessment that the coronavirus pandemic has led to a severe economic downturn, according to three people with knowledge of the decision.  “It gets them off the hook for having to say what the economic outlook looks like,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office who served as an economic adviser to the late senator John McCain (R-Ariz.).

5-27-2020   The epic battle against coronavirus misinformation and conspiracy theories, by Philip Ball & Amy Maxmen, Nature

 

ABC News:  Man who hanged effigy of Kentucky governor fired from job, AP, 5/27/2020

ABC News:  In ReOpen Protest, Kentucky Governor Hung in Effigy from Capital Tree, 5/24/2020

Washington Post:  Americans have filed more than 40 million jobless claims in past 10 weeks, as another 2.1 million filed for benefits last week, by Tony Romm, 5/28/2020 

Washington Post:  House passes bill to ease access to small-business loans in pandemic, but impasse with Senate remains, by Erica Werner, 5/28/2020 

Washington Post:  Trump campaign is creating an alternate reality online about coronavirus, by Elyse Samuels and Meg Kelly, 5/28/2020

Washington Post:  Trump notes ‘very sad milestone’ after U.S. coronavirus death toll surpasses 100,000, by Ashley Parker, 5/28/2020

May 28:  Rage Builds as Feds Slow-Walk COVID Nursing Home Cash, by Sam Brodey, Daily Beast

42 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.—over 40,000—coming from facilities that care for the elderly.

Washington Post:  Trump retweets a video saying ‘the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat’ by Aaron Blake, 5/28/2020

Asked by The Daily Beast about whether anti-lockdown protesters are increasingly considering violence, he didn’t hesitate in his reply.

“I’ll tell you what, partner, as far as I’m concerned, there’s not an option that’s not on the table,” Griffin said.

Daily Beast:  Anti-Lockdown Protesters Now Calling for Dems to Die, by Will Sommer, 5/27/2020

The head of Cowboys for Trump says a good Democrat is a dead one.

 

Griffin, a New Mexico county commissioner, hastily added that he only meant Democrats who were dead in “the political sense”—an effort at cleanup he repeated in an interview with The Daily Beast on Tuesday.

 

“I could’ve chosen a different verbiage, you know. I guess I need to be more careful when I choose the words that I speak,” Griffin said. “But you know, it’s just so hypocritical of the left how they’re blowing this up, like I’m some hate-speech murderer.”

 

But in the interview, Griffin also repeated his claim that “the only good Democrat is a dead one” and signaled that he still thinks some top Democrats—such as governors Ralph Northam (D-VA) and Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI)—could be guilty of treason and the punishment that comes with it.

 

“You get to pick your poison: you either go before a firing squad, or you get the end of the rope,” Griffin said.

Science:  Reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, Kimberly A. Prather, Chia C. Wang, Robert T. Schooley, 5/27/2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for social distancing of 6 ft and hand washing to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 are based on studies of respiratory droplets carried out in the 1930s. These studies showed that large, ~100 μm droplets produced in coughs and sneezes quickly underwent gravitational settling (1). However, when these studies were conducted, the technology did not exist for detecting submicron aerosols.

 

As a comparison, calculations predict that in still air, a 100-μm droplet will settle to the ground from 8 ft in 4.6 s whereas a 1-μm aerosol particle will take 12.4 hours (4). Measurements now show that intense coughs and sneezes that propel larger droplets more than 20 ft can also create thousands of aerosols that can travel even further (1). Increasing evidence for SARS-CoV-2 suggests the 6 ft WHO recommendation is likely not enough under many indoor conditions where aerosols can remain airborne for hours, accumulate over time, and follow air flows over distances further than 6 ft (5, 10).

 

Traditional respiratory disease control measures are designed to reduce transmission by droplets produced in the sneezes and coughs of infected individuals. However, a large proportion of the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) appears to be occurring through airborne transmission of aerosols produced by asymptomatic individuals during breathing and speaking (1–3). Aerosols can accumulate, remain infectious in indoor air for hours, and be easily inhaled deep into the lungs. For society to resume, measures designed to reduce aerosol transmission must be implemented, including universal masking and regular, widespread testing to identify and isolate infected asymptomatic individuals. 

KXAN:   Texas bar owner bans customers from wearing masks inside, by Kaitlyn karmout, 5/26/2020

The statement posted outside the tavern reads, “Due to our concern for our citizens, if they feel the need to wear a mask, then they should probably stay home until it’s safe.”

 

“It is more of a push back — the snitches, and the contact tracers out there,” said Kevin Smith, Co-Owner of the Liberty Tree Tavern. “This is still a rural county.”

KXAN:  IN-DEPTH: COVID-19 financial impacts, Austin’s budget facing $38.3 to $57.6 million shortfall, by Candy Rodriguez, 5/28/2020

KXAN:  News Notes: What could cause more restrictions in Austin & other stories in less than 5 minutes, by Will DuPree and Amanda Dugan, 5/27/2020

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A top Texas public health official warned that predictive models show a second spike in COVID-19 cases in Austin-Travis County could happen by mid- to late-June.  Dr. Mark Escott, the area’s interim health authority, said Wednesday people could alter that expectation by still observing physical distancing, wearing face coverings in public and practicing good personal hygiene.

The Atlantic:  Spare a Moment for Sorrow, by John Dickerson, 3/29/2020

Amid the chaos, take time to grieve our collective losses.

The Atlantic:  My Brother’s Death Didn’t Have to Happen, by Elizabeth Warren, 5/17/2020

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The Atlantic:  Quarantine Fatigue Is Real, by Julia Marcus, 5/11/2020

Instead of an all-or-nothing approach to risk prevention, Americans need a manual on how to have a life in a pandemic.

New York Post:  NYC’s urban model faces existential crisis in post-pandemic world, by Nicole Gelinas, 5/25/2020

New York Post:  Viral video shows Staten Island store mob screaming at woman without mask, by Kate Sheehy, 5/25/2020

New York Post:  Long lines outside NYC bike stores as people avoid public transportation, by Reuven Fenton and David Meyer, 5/25/2020

New York Post:  China’s ‘bat woman’ researcher warns coronavirus is just ‘tip of iceberg’, by Kate Sheehy, 5/25/2020

“If we want to prevent human beings from suffering from the next infectious-disease outbreak, we must go in advance to learn of these unknown viruses carried by wild animals in nature and give early warnings,” Shi Zhengli, a top Chinese scientist specializing in viral transmissions from bats, told CGTN in an interview that aired Monday.

Datebook:  Cellist’s black dress misses the concerts, too, by Barbara Bogatin, 5/25/2020

SciTechDaily: Advanced Light Source X-Ray Experiments Zero In on COVID-19 Antibodies, DOE, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Davide Corti and David Veesler, 5/19/2020

Nature: “Cross-neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 by a human monoclonal SARS-CoV antibody” by Dora Pinto, Young-Jun Park, Martina Beltramello, Alexandra C. Walls, M. Alejandra Tortorici, Siro Bianchi, Stefano Jaconi, Katja Culap, Fabrizia Zatta, Anna De Marco, Alessia Peter, Barbara Guarino, Roberto Spreafico, Elisabetta Cameroni, James Brett Case, Rita E. Chen, Colin Havenar-Daughton, Gyorgy Snell, Amalio Telenti, Herbert W. Virgin, Antonio Lanzavecchia, Michael S. Diamond, Katja Fink, David Veesler and Davide Corti, 18 May 2020

Washington Post:  Hearing that medical workers were sleeping in campers, this group gives them free temporary condos, by Cathy Free, 5/25/2020

Washington Post:  Gyms are reopening. What if you’re not ready to return?, by Laura Daily, 5/25/2020

Washington Post:  Why military-style gear at protests rings hollow, by Drew Garza, 5/25/2020

“The Uniform” is my term for the look some protesters have adopted in recent years. It is not a specific military uniform but often a mix of non-government-issue, third-party combat gear. There are usually lots of accessories and pouches; patches of varying political rancor; and flags that are rarely red, white and blue. Sometimes these outfits display a blood type, a practice meant to save lives in combat. Usually the clothes are clean, with no visible wear. Sometimes there are tactical masks or fabrics meant to evoke traditional Middle Eastern garb. And a rifle, often also heavily accessorized.

 

To my eye, the overall look is a video game caricature of a Special Operations warfighter.

Washington Post:  Can we stop pretending Trump is fit to be president? By Paul Waldman, 5/25/2020

Crooks and Liars:  Trump Plans To Strip Pandemic Response From Health Officials, Move It To State Department, by Mark Sumner, 5/25/2020

Washington Post:  Florida family grieves as Trump spreads debunked conspiracy theory to attack MSNBC host, by Craig Pittman, 5/24/2020

New York Post:  Coronavirus patients no longer infectious after 11 days: study, by Jackie Salo, 5/24/2020

Slate: The L Shaped Recovery, 5/21/2020

Daily Beast:  Idaho’s Anti-Lockdown Lieutenant Governor Has Gone Rogue, by Justin Rohrlich, 5/25/2020

When the Republican governor of Idaho issued a plan to safely reopen businesses in the state, he ordered bars to stay closed until at least June 13. Last weekend, in defiance of those guidelines, Idaho’s lieutenant governor—also a Republican—reopened the tavern she owns with her family in Idaho Falls.

Florida Today:  Claim: Public remarks prompted Florida virus data curator's firing, by Brenden Farrington and Bobby Caina Calvan, AP, 5/24/2020

New York Times:  C.D.C. Test Counting Error Leaves Epidemiologists ‘Really Baffled’ - by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Sheila Kaplan and Sarah Mervosh, 5/22/2020

Vox:   6 feet away isn’t enough. Covid-19 risk involves other dimensions, too, by Brian Resnick, 5/22/2020

Distance, time, activity, environment: 4 ways to think about Covid-19 risk as states reopen.

A simple suggestion: Imagine people are smoking, or farting really bad, and try to avoid breathing it in

The Atlantic:  Everyone Thinks They’re Right About Masks, by Ed Yong, 4/1/2020

ProPublica:  You Don’t Need Invasive Tech for Successful Contact Tracing. Here’s How It Works. By Caroline Chen, 5/19/2020

Experts are calling for more than 100,000 contact tracers to be deployed across America.

ProPublica:  Do I Know Enough to Get a Job as a Contact Tracer? By Caroline Chen, 5/19/2020

AV Club:  Universal Orlando to re-open with new guidelines, grim reminder that you, too, shall die, by William Hughes, 5/22/2020

SciTechDaily:  Compelling Evidence Shows Electroceutical Fabric Eradicates Coronaviruses on Contact, Indiana University, 5/24/2020 

Washington Post:  Coronavirus casualties in Republicans’ culture war, by Jennifer Rubin, 5/24/2020

In sum, had Trump — followed by his cult of right-wing governors — exhibited actual leadership, thousands of Americans might still be alive. He could have listened to scientists, given up the notion that closing public spaces would just spook the markets (and endanger his reelection), decisively supported lockdown measures, discouraged large gatherings (instead of egging on states to allow religious services, which have often been the site for mass infections) and modeled responsible mask-wearing. If he had, fewer Americans would have become seriously ill. We might not now be staring at the mind-boggling figure of 100,000 deaths.

ProPublica:  Nike Turned Away a Public Health Official From Its Warehouse Days After a Worker With COVID-19 Died, by Wendi C. Thomas, 5/23/2020

Washington Post:  This family’s repeated strep throat infections frustrated their doctors, by Sandra G. Boodman, 5/23/2020

Washington Post:  Trump is lying to sway his reelection, and Democrats aren’t paying attention, by Colbert I. King, 5/22/2020

Washington Post:  There is one ingredient essential to reopening the economy, and still no federal plan to get it, The Editorial Board, 5/23/2020

It’s par for the course that Trump uses his bully pulpit in dangerous ways, and in doing so misses an opportunity to actually do something productive. Instead of encouraging others to disregard the FDA, he could be modeling good behavior and touting the benefits of mask-wearing, as most public officials are doing. It would offer him protection, as well as those around him. Nope. He is too vain or too afraid to give medical experts credence, so he refuses.

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Washington Post:   Study estimates 24 states still have uncontrolled coronavirus spread, by Joel Achenbach, Rachel Weiner and Isaac Stanley-Becker, 5/22/2020

Washington Post:  The nutrition crisis of covid-19 will be even worse than the disease, by Jackson Diehl, 5/24/2020

Washington Post:  The Founders drew a line between peaceful protest and armed insurrection, by Timoth C. Hemmis, 4/30/2020

The history of the Whiskey Rebellion reveals the misguided beliefs of today’s covid-19 protesters

Washington Post:  Trump’s gun-toting supporters are firing blanks, by Dana Milbank, 5/1/2020

Washington Post:  Mayor Bowser says D.C. is ‘back on track’ for gradual reopening, by Rachel Chason and Julie Zauzmer, 5/25/2020

Washington Post:  Spike in D.C. numbers, crowds at Maryland, Virginia beaches and boardwalks renew coronavirus concerns, by Joe Heim, Rebecca Tan, Laura Vozzella and Julie Zauzmer, 5/24/2020

Washington Post:  Cities are closing streets to make way for restaurants and pedestrians, by Michael Laris, 5/25/2020

Washington Post:  Bertram Brown, who led National Institute of Mental Health, dies at 89, by Louie Estrada, 5/24/2020

He became an authority on political psychiatry, focusing on leadership qualities.

 

“The White House is a character crucible,” he was quoted saying in the 2009 book “In the President’s Secret Service” by former Post journalist Ronald Kessler. “Many of those who run crave superficial celebrity. They are hollow people who have no principles and simply want to be elected. 

 

“Even if an individual is balanced,” he added, “once someone becomes president, how does one solve the conundrum of staying real and somewhat humble when one is surrounded by the most powerful office in the land, and from becoming overwhelmed by an at times pathological environment that treats you every day as an emperor? Here is where the true strength of the character of the person, not his past accomplishments, will determine whether his presidency ends in accomplishment or failure.”

Washington Post:  Even before coronavirus, Social Security was staring at a shortfall, by Michelle Singletary, 5/25/2020 

By next year, Social Security’s cost is estimated to exceed total income, according to the latest trustee report for the Social Security and Medicare trust funds.

Social Security Administration:The 2020 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds

Washington Post:   Number of working black business owners falls 40 percent, far more than other groups amid coronavirus, by Hannah Knowles, 5/25/2020 

Washington Post:  The government has spent decades studying what a life is worth. It hasn’t made a difference in the covid-19 crisis, by Todd C. Frankel, 5/23/2020

The calculation — known as Value of a Statistical Life or VSL — is the amount people are willing to spend to cut risk enough to save one life. The VSL at most federal agencies, developed over several decades, is about $10 million. If a new regulation is estimated to avoid one death a year, it can cost up to $10 million and still make economic sense.

Washington Post:  Lockdown protesters don’t care about lives, by James Downie, 5/3/2020

 

Washington Post:  We cannot allow the normalization of firearms at protests to continue, by Michele L. Norris, 5/6/2020

Accepting and even expecting to see firearms at protest rallies means that we somehow embrace the threat of chaos and violence. While those who carry say they have no intention of using their weapons, the firepower alone creates a wordless threat, and something far more calamitous if even just one person discharges a round.

Washington Post:  More evidence emerges on why covid-19 is so much worse than the flu, by Larry Bernstein, 5/21/2020

“What’s different about covid-19 is the lungs don’t get stiff or injured or destroyed before there’s hypoxia,” the medical term for oxygen deprivation, said Steven J. Mentzer, a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and part of the team that wrote the report. “For whatever reason, there is a vascular phase” in addition to damage more commonly associated with viral diseases such as the flu, he said.

 

In larger blood vessels of the lungs, the number of blood clots was similar among covid-19 and flu patients, the researchers wrote. But in covid-19 patients, they found nine times as many micro-clots in the tiny capillaries of the small air sacs that allow oxygen to pass into the blood stream and carbon dioxide to move out. The virus may have damaged the walls of those capillaries and blocked the movement of those gases, the researchers wrote.

Washington Post:  Young adults are also affected by Kawasaki-like disease linked to coronavirus, doctors say, by Ariana Eunjung Cha and Chelsea Janes, 5/21/2020

Washington Post:  We have to reopen — for our health, by Alex M. Azar, 5/21/2020

Washington Post:   Republicans are realizing the crisis is pulling them toward disaster, by Paul Waldman, 5/21/2020

“The worst is behind us,” declared Herbert Hoover in 1930. 

 

"Prosperity is just around the corner..."

Washington Post:  New York hospital threatens legal action against Wall Street Journal for covid-19 exposé, by Eric Wemple, 5/21/2020

Washington Post:  Fox News has never been so right, by Eric Wemple, 5/23/2020

Clark is spearheading a lawsuit against Fox News for its coronavirus coverage, alleging that various on-air statements playing down the scourge violated the state’s Consumer Protection Act. “Fox’s repeated claims that the COVID-19 pandemic was/is a hoax is not only an unfair act, it is deceptive and therefore actionable under Washington’s Consumer Protection Act,”

Washington Post:  What the covid-19 unemployment crisis means for young people, by Megan McArdle, 5/21/2020

Washington Post:   The Paycheck Protection Program is in dire need of reform, Editorial Board, 5/22/2020

Washington Post:  Opening up doesn’t mean recovery. Georgia proves it, by Jennifer Rubin, 5/22/2020 

Washington Post:  Shocking new economic data confirms it: The swing states are getting hammered, by Greg Sargent, 5/22/2020

Washington Post:  James Mattis: Let’s honor the fallen by protecting our fragile experiment in democracy, by James Mattis, 5/24/2020

 

May 21:  Prepare for the Roaring Twenties, by Yascha Mounk, The Atlantic

How is it possible to write poems after Auschwitz, to enjoy a Sunday stroll in Lower Manhattan following 9/11, or, indeed, to dine in restaurants after a pandemic kills hundreds of thousands of people in the span of a few cruel months?

 

In 1974, the sociologist Jib Fowles coined the term chronocentrism, “the belief that one’s own times are paramount, that other periods pale in comparison.” The past few weeks have, understandably, confronted us with an especially loud chorus of chronocentric voices claiming that we are on the cusp of unprecedented change. Academics, intellectuals, politicians, and entrepreneurs have made sweeping pronouncements about the transformations that the pandemic will spur.

 

After surveying a number of prominent economists and historians, The New York Times declared that we are about to witness the “end of the world economy as we know it.” Proclaiming the demise of the “neoliberal era,” one left-wing writer argued, “Whatever you might be thinking about the long-term impacts of the coronavirus epidemic, you’re probably not thinking big enough.” At Bloomberg View, a right-wing investor asserted that the pandemic is “driving the last nail into the coffin of the globalists.”

Washington Post:   Why Italy’s debt matters for everybody, by Robert J. Samuelson, 5/24/2020

Snopes.com:  Anti-Lockdown Protests Originated With Tight-Knit Group Who Share Bigger Goal: Trump 2020, by Alex Kasprak and Bethania Palma, 5/20/2020

The driving force behind Michigan's anti-lockdown protests — and their connections to the family of Betsy DeVos — is even more complex than we initially thought.

Washington Post:   I am a simple potato guardian who needs my Second Amendment rights, by Alexandra Petri, 5/20/2020

Washington Post:  The jobs won’t be back. Democrats must act accordingly, by Helaine Olen, 5/8/2020

City National Bank Chairman Russell Goldsmith — hardly one of the usual left-wing suspects — told the Los Angeles Times this week that he wants to see large investments in infrastructure, education and combating climate change. “I am speaking out in this way because I think there really has to be a concerted effort by people to push Congress and make the case for why we can’t wait for recovery stimulus. With an election looming, this is the last train out of Dodge.”

 

Let me repeat that: The last train out of Dodge. A bank chairman said it, not me.

Washington Post:  Telecommuting is not the future, by Helaine Olen, 5/20/2020

Washington Post:  Trust Donald Trump to make Henry Ford’s virulent anti-Semitism relevant again, by Helaine Olen, 5/22/2020

When the (maskless) Trump toured a Ford factory in Ypsilanti, Mich., on Thursday, he veered off his prepared remarks to discuss the founder. “The company [was] founded by a man named Henry Ford,” Trump told the assembled executives, factory workers and media. “Good bloodlines, good bloodlines. If you believe in that stuff, you got good blood.”

Washington Post:  Executive order controversy shows why it’s impossible to trust Trump on anti-Semitism, by Paul Waldman, 12/11/2019

Washington Post:  Trump’s anti-Semitic attacks on American Jews keep coming, by Jennifer Rubin, 12/9/2019

Washington Post:  Why Ford needs to grapple with its founder’s anti-Semitism, by Victoria Saker Woeste, 2/9/2019

 

Washington Post:  Trump skips a mask in public during tour of Michigan auto plant that requires them, by Anne Gearan, 5/21/2020 

Washington Post:  Four concepts to assess your personal risk as the U.S. reopens, by Leana S. Wen, 5/21/2020

Slate:  Michigan Judge Pens Partisan Rant Against Gretchen Whitmer’s “Totalitarian” Shutdown, by Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern, 5/21/2020

On Thursday, Judge Mark Boonstra—an appointee of former Republican Gov. Rick Snyder—joined the majority opinion striking down a ban on vaping products in the Michigan. He tacked on a 13-page polemic attacking Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s orders shutting down schools and nonessential businesses while limiting travel within the state.

Slate:  Why Did Florida Avoid a Coronavirus Disaster? By Molly Olmstead, 5/21/2020

There’s reason to question the integrity of the data. Several Florida publications sued the state over its initial refusal to hand over data about nursing homes. And, the Miami Herald noted, the state tallies up numbers in inconsistent ways. An enormous disparity between state-reported testing numbers and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention numbers was discovered Tuesday. It’s not clear where that gap comes from, but it heightened concerns already raised last week, when the Florida Department of Health fired the data manager behind the state’s online coronavirus data site because of “a repeated course of insubordination.” The woman, Rebekah Jones, said in an email to CBS12 News in Tallahassee that she had been fired because she objected to orders to “manually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen.” Internal emails indicated that Jones was fired after resisting orders from her bosses to cut off data so that users could no longer download it and to remove records of symptoms and positive tests posted before they were officially announced. The Tampa Bay Times also reported that after media requests about data, she had been asked to remove fields indicating when patients had begun experiencing symptoms. The news caused many critics to worry about the state’s dedication to transparency.

Slate:  The Shape of the Pasta Industry in the Time of Corona, by Aaron Mak, 5/14/2020

There’s a reason penne and linguine are still missing from stores.

Buzzfeed News:  A Man Shared A Shocking Photo Of What COVID-19 Did to Him After Six Weeks In A Hospital, by David Mack, 5/19/2020

New York Time:  Facebook Starts Planning for Permanent Remote Workers, by Kate Conger, 5/21/2020

There’s a catch: Salaries are likely to change to match local costs of living.

Detroit Free Press:  Detroit mayor outlines reopening protocol for retailers, says restaurants may return soon, by Brian McCollum, 5/22/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Trump's Ford plant visit had its political moments, but manufacturing won the day, by Carol Cain, 5/23/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Thermal cameras may become bigger part of autoworkers' lives, by Eric D. Lawrence, 5/23/2020

Detroit Free Press:  COVID-19 outbreak that killed his fellow inmates will help set Kwame Kilpatrick free 21 years early, by M.L. Elrick and Tresa Baldas, 5/22/2020

Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years after being convicted of 24 counts of public corruption in 2013. He has failed on every attempt to overturn that sentence, winning his freedom only after being sent to one of a handful of prisons where the spread of COVID-19 has been so severe that U.S. Attorney General William Barr on April 3 directed the federal Bureau of Prisons to free as many prisoners as possible by putting them on home confinement.  Kilpatrick is among 3,000 inmates who will be released.

Washington Post:  How to avoid a second wave of infections, by John M. Barry, 5/22/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan stay home order extended to June 12, by Todd Spangler, 5/12/2020

Crooks and Liars:  Want To Reopen Retail? Everyone Must Wear Masks, 5/19/2020

CNN:  A hairstylist worked while symptomatic and exposed 91 people to coronavirus, by Faith Karimi, 5/23/2020

CNN:  Trump deems houses of worship 'essential' amid pandemic, by Maegan Vazquez, 5/22/2020

Newsweek:   Trump's 'Blame China' Re-Election Strategy Might Seriously Backfire | Opinion, by Chris Dolan, 5/22/2020

Newsweek:  George Washington's Rules of Civility Can Help Us Prevent Coronavirus' Spread | Opinion, by Alexandra Hudson, 5/22/2020

Newsweek:  Sharing a Coronavirus Vaccine Isn't a Matter of Altruism—it's in Every Country's Best Interest | Opinion, by Jeremy Farrar, 5/22/2020 

Newsweek:  Will Coronavirus Be What Finally Kills Factory Farming? | Opinion, by Em Heppler and Michael Shank, 5/22/2020 

May 22:  93 inmates or staff at immigrant prison in Michigan tested positive for coronavirus, by Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press

Newsweek:  Two Southern Churches Reclose Indefinitely After Pastor Dies and Leaders, Churchgoers Catch Coronavirus, by Daniel Villarreal, 5/19/2020

Executive orders issued by the governors of Texas and Georgia both allowed churches to meet during the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, albeit with some social distancing measures in place. Both churches say they'd been observing those measures when holding in-person services.

SciTechDaily:  Injuries Found in Placentas From COVID-19-Positive Pregnant Women – Suggests Abnormal Blood Flow Between Mothers, Babies, Northwestern University, 5/22/2020

American Journal of Clinical Pathology, Placental Pathology in COVID-19, Elisheva D. Shanes, MD; Leena B. Mithal, MD, MSCI; Sebastian Otero; Hooman A. Azad; Emily S. Miller, MD, MPH and Jeffery A. Goldstein, MD, PhD, 5/22/2020

SciTechToday, Researchers Discover Autism Risk in Abnormal Placentas, by Karen N. Peart, Yale News, 4/29/2013

Biological Psychiatry: Trophoblast Inclusions Are Significantly Increased in the Placentas of Children in Families at Risk for Autism, Cheryl K. Walker, et al, 3/06/2013 

FiveThirtyEight:  The Uncounted Dead, by Maggie Koerth, 5/20/2020

The last time Bob Duffy entered the world of epidemiology, he was a statistic.

 

Why some people who likely died from COVID-19 aren’t included in the final numbers. 

Raw Story:  Woman who held racist sign at reopening protest begs for forgiveness after she’s outed online, by Sarah K. Burris, 5/21/2020

Raw Story: Wisconsin woman ‘kind of mad’ at Trump after she gets COVID-19 despite taking hydroxychloroquine, by Brad Reed, 5/21/2020

In an interview with local news station WISN, a Wisconsin resident who is asking only to be identified as Kim says that she believed she was safe from contracting COVID-19 because she has been using hydroxychloroquine for the past two decades to treat her lupus.

Vanity Fair:  Intelligence Officials Reportedly Struggle To Brief Trump Because He’s Like A Giant Toddler, by Eric Lutz, 5/21/2020

Vanity Fair:  If 80% of Americans Wore Masks, COVID-19 Infections Would Plummet, New Study Says, by David Ewing Duncan, 5/8/2020

Crooks and Liars:  Want To Reopen Retail? Everyone Must Wear Masks, 5/19/2020

SciTechDaily:  42% of COVID-19 Pandemic-Related Layoffs Could Be Permanent, University of Chicago, 5/21/2020

The New York Times:  How to Reopen America Safely, by Marty Makary, MD, 5/14/2020

We need universal masking. China gives the earliest preview of a reopened society after a harsh wave of the virus. And while the Chinese Communist Party has not been honest about its coronavirus handling, Chinese doctors and citizens have largely been transparent. I recently called some prominent Chinese doctors to ask why they believe the infection is being controlled in most of their country. In their clinical judgment, they believe the main reason is universal masking.

Detroit Metro Times:   Whitmer lifts ban on gatherings of 10 people or fewer, eases other restrictions, by Steve Neavling, 5/21/2020

Detroit Metro Times:  The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on Detroit’s hospitality and entertainment — and a federal bailout isn’t helping, by Lee DeVito, 5/20/2020

Detroit Metro Times:  Controversial group to host 'Freedom Festival' in Newaygo in defiance of Michigan's stay-at-home order, by Steve Neavling, 5/20/2020

Detroit Metro Times:  Lansing's armed protesters are a hot potato nobody knows how to deal with — except for Trump, by Lee DeVito, 5/15/2020

Detroit Metro Times:  Gov. Whitmer becomes target of dozens of threats on private Facebook groups ahead of armed rally in Lansing, by Steve Neavling, 5/11/2020 

Detroit News:  Michigan adds 69 deaths, 500 COVID cases, by Sarah Rahai, 5/21/2020

SciTechDaily:  “Superpower” Discovered in Squids: They Can Massively Edit Their Own Genetics, Marine Biological Laboratory, 5/20/2020

Daily Beast:  White House’s Own Data Crunchers: Southern Counties About to Get Hit Hard, by Erin Banco, 5/20/2020

The coronavirus task force has been using data from PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to chart the disease. And the new projections aren’t great.

Washington Post:  Coronavirus hot spots erupt across the country; experts warn of second wave in South, by Joel Achenbach, Rachel Weiner, Karin Brulliard and Isaac Stanley-Becker, 5/20/2020

Daily Beast:  The Day One Colorado County Lost Its Own Dr. Fauci, by Michael Daly, 5/21/2020

Muffling critical warnings and downplaying the danger of COVID-19, Weld County’s “pro-business and anti-science” board of commissioners chased out the very man trying to save them.

May 21:  Dr. Fauci Re-Emerges From Media Blackout, Says We’ll Be ‘Seeing More’ of Him, by Justin Baragona, Daily Beast

Daily Beast:  ‘Bill Gates Wants Us to Get It’: The Deranged Scene at Trump’s Ford Factory Tour, by Tom Perkins, 5/21/2020 

“I’m totally against that,” Kathryn Prater, 42, a Bernie Sanders-to-Trump voter in 2016 who said she’ll vote for Trump again because she can’t stomach Joe Biden, told The Daily Beast. “After about 30 days of this, I started losing my mind a bit, so I was like, You know what: If I’m going to get sick, then I’m going to get sick. It’s mostly affecting old people. We’ve got to live our lives.”

Crooks and Liars:  Kayleigh McEnany: Trump's Pill Is Fine For 'Waning Days Of Your Life' by Frances Langum, 5/21/2020

"...You do have a right to try it. It gives people a right to try in the waning days of their life when they are facing a fatal illness."

Daily Beast:  The Law May Finally Be Closing In On Yet Another Alleged Trump Family Grift, by Asha Rangappa, 5/21/2020

Crooks and Liars:  Trump Screws National Guard CoronaVirus Workers Out Of Retirement Credit For Pandemic Work, by Karoli Kuns, 5/20/2020

Detroit News:  Trump, not wearing mask, tours Ford Rawsonville plant, slams mail-in balloting, by Melissa Nann Burke and Jordyn Grzelewski, 5/21/2020

Detroit News:  7 barbers ticketed for cutting hair at Michigan Capitol, AP, 5/21/2020

Detroit News:   Judge refuses state request to shut Owosso barbershop, by Oralandar Brand-Williams, 5/21/2020

Detroit News:  Judge told to rule on Owosso barber's closure by Thursday, by Beth LeBlanc, 5/19/2020

Crooks and Liars:  Fox And Friends Urges New Yorkers To Disobey COVID19 Lock Down, by John Amato, 5/21/2020 

Detroit News:  Port Huron beaches open for Memorial Day, but don't crowd people, by James David Dickson, 5/21/2020

Detroit News:  Judge affirms Whitmer's authority to extend COVID-19 emergency; Legislature to appeal, by Beth LeBlanc, 5/21/2020

Detroit News:  Crash deaths down 25% on Michigan roadways during pandemic, by James David Dickson, 5/21/2020

Detroit News:  US roadway death rate up in March despite virus restrictions, AP, 5/20/2020

 

SatPhoto2019 06 03Vs2020 05 20

June 3:  After Midland flood, Wixom, Sanford lake residents face long, complicated restoration, by Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press 

Detroit Free Press:  Midland church swallowed by floodwaters: 'It tears a hole in your heart,' by Phoebe Wall Howard, 5/23/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Harrowing tales of Michigan residents escaping the Midland flood: 'A nightmare movie,' by Jeff Seidel, 5/23/2020

May 22:  Before-and-after satellite images of flooding in Midland County show water's destruction, by Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press

May 22:  State confirms Sanford Dam failed, satellite shows before-after flood images: What we know, by Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press

Boyce Hydro, for the second straight day Thursday, issued a statement pointing a finger at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) for the dam failure and draining of Wixom Lake, which spurred the evacuation of 10,000 residents and led officials to declare an emergency.

 

Meanwhile, EGLE confirmed Friday morning that the Sanford Dam, downriver of the Edenville Dam, also failed. It had been unclear whether the second dam had breached — or whether water was just spilling over.

Detroit News:  Trump grants Whitmer's request for emergency declaration over flooding, by Melissa Nann Burke, 5/21/2020

Detroit News:  Dangers of Edenville dam failure evaded state scrutiny, by Beth LeBlanc, 5/21/2020

LeeMuellerLasVegas2019 04 18 736w633h20pct

Detroit Metro Times:  Owners of dam flooding Midland ignored federal regulators for years, by Lee DeVito, 5/20/2020

Detroit Free Press:  No pending Oroville, but Michigan's aging, crumbling dams pose a risk, by Keith Matheny, 2/14/2020

Most Michigan dams no longer serve the purpose for which they were built in the late 1800s or early to mid-1900s — power for things such as grist and sawmills and, later, hydropower for small communities whose increasing power needs have since led them to tap into the electric grid.

Detroit News Photos:  Flooding devastates Mid-Michigan region, 5/21/2020 

May 20:  Mid-Michigan flooding after Edenville, Sanford dam failures: Everything we know, by Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press

May 20:  Wixom Lake turns into a giant beach after the Edenville Dam bursts, by Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press

Michigan Environment Watch:  Watch videos, see tweets of flood damage from Edenville Dam failure, by Kathryn Dugal, 5/20/2020

Michigan Radio:  Midland County residents spending Memorial Day weekend cleaning up from massive flood, by Steve Carmody, 5/22/2020

Bridge:  Mid-Michigan dam that failed was cited for years for safety violations, by Kathryn Dugal, 5/20/2020

Detroit News:  State says it didn't pressure Boyce to raise water levels before dam failure, by Beth LeBlanc, 5/21/2020

Detroit News:  Tittabawassee crests at 35 feet: 'Never had an event like this,' by Francis X. Donnelly and James David Dickson, 5/21/2020

Bridge:  As floodwaters bear down on Dow Chemical, worries about water toxins, by Robin Erb, Kelly House, 5/20/2020

Detroit News:  Dangers of Edenville dam failure evaded state scrutiny, by Beth LeBlanc, 5/20/2020

Detroit News:   Stunned evacuees face 'unthinkable' flood damage, by George Hunter and Francis X. Donnelly, 5/21/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Whitmer: Michigan will 'hold people responsible' for dam failures, by Frank Witsil, 5/20/2020

Bridge:  Feds revoked dam’s license over safety issues. Then Michigan deemed it safe. By Riley Beggin, Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House, 5/20/2020

MLive: Sanford Lake Dam owner Lee Mueller says he's not paying for $83,000 repair project, 1/21/2019

MLive:  Gov. Whitmer addresses Midland after dam break and flooding: ‘We’re gonna get through this,' by Riley Murdock, 5/20/2020

WDIV-4 Detroit Video:  Flooding: Lake Wixom emptied in Edenville, 5/20/2020

Detroit News:  Pilot captures aerial view of dam breach in Midland County, 5/19/2020

MLive:  Feds warned years ago Edenville Dam couldn’t handle a historic flood, by Garret Ellison, 5/20/2020

Bridge:  Mid-Michigan dam that failed was cited for years for safety violations, by Joel Kurth, Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House, 5/19/2020

The Edenville dam that catastrophically failed and prompted thousands of evacuations was cited repeatedly by federal authorities, who allege its owners had a “long history of noncompliance.”

Detroit News:  Feds revoked Edenville Dam license over fears it could not survive major flood, 5/20/2020

Detroit Free Press:  EGLE said failed Midland County dam in 'fair' condition after inspection in late 2018, by Keith Matheny, 5/20/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Mid-Michigan's catastrophic flooding adds to state's pandemic woes, by Frank Witsil, Jeff Seidel and Angie Jackson, 5/20/2020 

MLive:  Officials work to dispel rumors amid record-breaking Michigan flooding, by Robert Acosta, 5/20/2020 

MLive:  Flooding near downtown Midland as seen by drone, by Kaitlyn Farley, 5/19/2020

At 6:50 a.m. on Tuesday, Midland County Emergency Management determined that the Denville and Sanford dams are structurally sound.

MLive:  Residents told to evacuate after Edenville Dam failure in Midland County, by Robert Acosta, 5/19/2020

MLive Video:  Floodwater pours through Midland County dam, 5/19/2020

MLive:  Officials report flooded roadways, evacuations and dams unable to control water in mid-Michigan, by Isis Simpson-Mersha and Kaitlyn Farley, 5/19/2020 

Midland County Emergency Management stated that the Edenville and Sanford dams are “structurally sound but spilling floodwaters” as of around 3 a.m. Tuesday.

 

Midland County worked with representatives from Boyce Hyrdo, a hydroelectric power plant in Sanford, to make this determination. However, MCEM noted that the dams can no longer control or contain the water flowing through the spill gates.

MLive:  Loss of power dam license could lower Wixom Lake by 8 feet, by Chris Ehrmann, 1/29/2019 

MLive:  Michigan just had record-breaking heavy rains, here’s where most of it fell, by Mark Torregrossa, 5/19/2020 

Detroit Free Press:  Detroit fireworks to be televised Aug. 31, public viewing not allowed, by Branden Hunter, 5/20/2020 

Detroit Free Press:  Wayne County crosses 1,000 coronavirus deaths as Michigan reports 5,060, by Miriam Marini, 5/20/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan unemployment rate topped 22% in April, likely an all-time high, by Adrienne Roberts, 5/20/2020 

Detroit Free Press:  Nessel to Trump: Put on a mask when visiting Michigan this week, by Todd Spangler, 5/20/2020

"While my Department will not act to prevent you from touring Ford's plant," she wrote, "I ask that while you are on tour you respect the great efforts of the men and women at Ford — and across this State — by wearing a facial covering."

Detroit Free Press:  Poll: Michigan voters show support for Gov. Whitmer's handling of coronavirus, by Todd Spangler, 5/20/2020

Overall, 86% of Michigan voters surveyed believed the virus is a threat to public health, with support at that level or higher among self-described Independents, Democrats and even voters who say they lean Republican. Better than three-quarters of women who identified as strongly Republican agreed with that opinion as well. But it was far lower — at only 58% — among strongly Republican men.

 

Independents, a key voting bloc in Michigan, came down on Whitmer's side, 65%-28%. Forty percent of them said they strongly approved of her actions.

Reason:  Jackson Cops Claim Drug Busts Are Protecting the Public From COVID-19, by Elizabeth Nolan Brown, 5/19/2020

National Memo:  Trump Campaign Cites Bogus Medical Society To Defend Unproven Medication, by Josh Israel, 5/20/2020

Donald Trump's reelection campaign manager on Tuesday defended Trump's preventive use of an anti-malaria drug unproven to work against the coronavirus, citing a fringe medical group known for promoting fake science.

 

"The press is going nuts over @realDonaldTrump taking hydroxychloroquine (prescribed by doctor)," Brad Parscale tweeted. "Of course, if he's doing it, they must oppose it. But the Assoc. of American Physicians & Surgeons says otherwise."

Daily Beast:  Trump Fans Gobble Up His Favorite, Unproven COVID Drug—Some Are Even Trying To Cook It Themselves, by Will Sommer, 5/20/2020

QAnon users are posting make-at-home recipes for hydroxychloroquine as Trump says he’s using the drug 

 

Trump fans desperate for hydroxychloroquine have turned to unconventional, potentially dangerous methods. Last week, promoters of the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory—which posits that top Democrats run pedophile sex dungeons and eat children—boosted a “home recipe” for hydroxychloroquine that consisted of steeping various fruit rinds. While the recipe’s proponents claimed that it would help people avoid “big pharmas fillers,” the fruits suggested in the recipe, like grapefruit, could react dangerously with other medications.

 

That’s not the only dubious recipe for replicating hydroxychloroquine’s still-unproven effects. In April, a video from Missouri chiropractor Eric Nepute raging against “fake news” went viral, racking up more than 1 million views. In his video, Nepute claimed that people with COVID-19 symptoms should just drink Schweppes Tonic Water for the quinine, wrongly claiming that its effects were “similar-ish” to hydroxychloroquine.

Daily Beast:  Dozens of Nurses Have Died of COVID-19. The Rest Are Still Forced to Reuse Masks, by Emily Shugerman, 5/20/2020

Florida Today:  DeSantis says dismissal of COVID-19 data chief a 'non-issue' though emails say otherwise, by Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon, 5/20/2020

Daily Beast:  Florida’s Coronavirus Dashboard Architect: I Was Fired for Not Manipulating Data, by Pilar Melendez, 5/19/2020

Rebekah Jones said her removal came one day after she refused to “manually change data to drum up support” for Florida’s plan to reopen the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Florida's COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard

Florida Today:  COVID-19 test results questioned; lab accused of delaying or improperly processing 25,000 tests, by Bailey Gallion, 5/20/2020

Daily Beast:  Reopening Gyms Early Is Tearing a South Florida City Apart, by Francisco Alvarado, 5/20/2020

Daily Beast:  The Mafia Cashes In On COVID Fears With Fake Black-Market Tests, by Barbie Latza Nadeau, 5/20/2020 

Detroit Free Press:  Trump visit to Ford plant contradicts Whitmer's order — but she won't try to stop it, by Todd Spangler, 5/19/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Local governments, small businesses to receive some of counties' CARES Act money, by Christina Hall, 5/19/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Gov. Whitmer on NBC's 'Late Night': Protest images don't reflect what Michigan is about, by Julie Hinds, 5/19/2020

Detroit Free Press:  College for Creative Studies announces layoffs, salary freeze amid pandemic, by JC Reindl, 5/19/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Traverse City eyes closing Front Street downtown to cars as businesses plan to reopen, by Angie Jackson, 5/18/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Fight at liquor store leaves shopper shot after security guard enforces capacity rules, by Meredith Spelbring, 5/18/2020

Daily Beast:  Paranoia, Glitches, and Class War: Students in AP Classes Panic Under COVID, by Kelly Weill, 5/19/2020

Quarantined kids are embracing conspiracy theories, filling forums with porn, reporting nightmare tech snafus, and generally rebelling against the whole testing system.

MLive:  Michigan Secretary of State says all voters may submit ballots by mail this year, by Samuel Dodge, 5/19/2020

MLive:  Ann Arbor council divided 7-4 on COVID-19 financial recovery plan, by Ryan Stanton, 5/19/2020

Despite meeting until 3:00AM, Ann Arbor City Council members remained divided over how to trim $10M from the city budget, which faces a $10 million fiscal year 2020-21 budget shortfall, a local aftershock of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

First to go?  Ann Arbor's annual deer cull.

MLive:  Coronavirus deaths surpass 5K in Michigan, by Justin P. Hicks, 5/19/2020

In announcing 102 new deaths associated with coronavirus Tuesday, May 19, Michigan became the fourth state to surpass 5,000 deaths of individuals with the virus.

MLive:  Ann Arbor cancels city pool openings, summer day camps amid pandemic, by Ryan Stanton, 5/19/2020

MLive:  Proposed budget open for public comment in Ypsilanti, by McKenna Ross, 5/19/2020

MLive:  Employees taking reduced pay, work schedule at Eastern Michigan University due to coronavirus pandemic, by Steve Marowski, 5/18/2020

May 18:  Is This COVID-19 Vaccine Trial a Promising Start or a Dead End? By David Axe, Daily Beast

The Guardian:  US lockdown protests may have spread virus widely, cellphone data suggests, by Jason Wilson, 5/18/2020

The Spinoff:   How 5G and Covid-19 mixed to make a toxic conspiracy cocktail, by David Farrier, 5/18/2020

MLive:  Fear, uncertainty surround downtown Ann Arbor’s potentially years-long recovery from pandemic, by Ryan Stanton, 5/7/2020

In an “optimistic scenario,” the DDA predicts a $6.7 million hit to parking revenues this fiscal year, which ends June 30, then losses of $9.1 million, $7.6 million and $4.2 million the next three years. That leaves a big hole in the DDA’s budget and is projected to completely deplete nearly $12 million in parking fund cash reserves unless cuts are made. 

MLive:  Ypsilanti approves funding for rent, mortgage relief for residents impacted by coronavirus outbreak, by Martin Slagter

MLive:  ‘It won’t be like this forever.’ Ann Arbor officials embrace vision for downtown gathering place, by Ryan Stanton, 5/5/2020

City voters approved a downtown central park/commons ballot proposal in 2018 to designate the city-owned land on the library block as the Center of the City, blocking the $10 million sale of the Library Lot to a high-rise developer. 

 

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing social-distancing efforts, it may be difficult to embrace the idea of a public gathering place, said City Council Member Jeff Hayner.  “But it won’t be like this forever, and so this commons should keep moving forward.”

MLive:  Changes may be coming to Ann Arbor streets to allow safer social distancing, by Ryan Stanton, 5/5/2020

MLive:  Ypsilanti area farmers take online approach to sell fresh, local produce, by Chanel Stitt, 5/5/2020

MLive:  Ann Arbor reopening dog parks, disc golf, tennis and basketball courts, farmers market, by Ryan Stanton, 5/5/2020

Use of basketball courts following social-distancing guidelines, such as shooting baskets individually or with members of the same household, is allowed beginning Friday, May 8. No team game play is allowed.

MLive:  University of Michigan provost ‘cautiously optimistic’ for in-person fall semester, by Martin Slagter, 5/4/2020

MLive:  Coronavirus in Michigan: Maps, Charts and the latest reports

MLive:  Michigan tops 10,000 daily tests for first time, 77 new deaths reported, by Taylor DesOrmeau, 5/1/2020

MLive:  5 more dead, 9 more coronavirus cases reported in Washtenaw County, by Steve Marowski, 5/1/2020

MLive:  Expense reductions due to ‘significant losses’ from COVID-19 announced by Eastern Michigan University, by Steve Morowski, 4/30/2020

MLive:  Eastern Michigan University athletics helping hospital with laundry during coronavirus pandemic, by Steve Morowski, 4/24/2020

MLIve:  Community leaders discuss wide impacts of coronavirus in Ann Arbor area, by Ryan Stanton, 4/22/2020

MLive:  University of Michigan imposes hiring, salary freezes to face anticipated losses of $400M to $1B, by Steve Morowski, 4/20/2020

MLive:  Michigan State University announces pay cuts after coronavirus outbreak causes $50M in losses, by Steve Morowski, 4/16/2020

MLive:  Washtenaw farmers pivot to online sales as coronavirus pandemic looms over peak season, by McKenna Ross, 3/24/2020 

HuffPost:  At Least 100 Catholic Schools Across The Country May Not Reopen This Fall, by Rebecca Klein, 5/19/2020

HuffPost:  As Coronavirus Crushes Small Restaurants, Big Chains See Room To Move In, by Hilary Russ, 5/19/2020

NEW YORK (Reuters) - According to a Citi note on Friday after a week of real estate investment trusts’ earnings reports. Malls collected only 28% of rents and shopping centers 60%.

 

“You are going to have a location reshuffle based on the tenants that offer what people will want post-COVID,” said Scott Crowe of the real estate investment firm CenterSquare Investment Management, including the ability to spend less time inside.

 

“We’re in a period of a few years where independents lose and chains gain” as much as 10% to 15% of market share, McCarthy said of the restaurant industry. The winners of that share grab will be those models centered around convenience and accessibility.

 

“It was a trend going 30 miles an hour, now accelerated to 100 miles an hour,” McCarthy said. “It’s corporate Darwinism on steroids.”

HuffPost:  Patton Oswalt Nails The Utter Hypocrisy Of Fox News’ Coronavirus Coverage, by Lee Moran, 5/19/2020

The comedian, in a new interview with The Daily Beast’s “Last Laugh” podcast, slammed personalities on the conservative network for calling to end lockdown measures from the safety of their own remote studios. The majority of Fox’s New York workforce has been ordered to work from home.

HuffPost:  Chris Cuomo: Trump Finally Found ‘A Winning Distraction’ On Coronavirus, by Ed Mazza, 5/19/2020

Chris Cuomo said there’s a reason President Donald Trump claimed on Monday that he’s taking the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus: Distraction.

 

By talking up the drug, Trump could avoid answering other questions, including how to reopen safely.

 

“Don’t take the bait,” Cuomo warned. “Let’s stay focused on what matters. We have to reopen, but we have to do it the right way. How? That question remains unanswered.”

HuffPost:  'New York Politician’s Coronavirus Briefing Takes NSFW Turn: ‘I’m Going To Blush’, by Lee Moran, 5/19/2020

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s presser took an unexpected turn over the weekend when she advised against handling other people’s tennis balls when courts in the county reopen.  “You can kick their balls, but you can’t touch them,” said Curran, eliciting giggles from those in attendance.

The Christian Post:  What is the biggest lie people believe about freedom? Theology professor answers, by Michael Gryboski, 5/19/2020

“One of the biggest lies this generation is tempted to believe is a lie about freedom. That freedom is about doing whatever you want to do.”

The Christian Post:  Oregon Supreme Court halts ruling that would've lifted restrictions on church gatherings, by Michael Gryboski, 5/19/2020

The Christian Post:  Georgia church closes two weeks after reopening as families come down with coronavirus, by Leonardo Blair, 5/18/2020

Catoosa Baptist Tabernacle, an independent Baptist church led by Pastor Justin Gazaway in Ringgold, Georgia, restarted in-person services on April 26. Church representative Joan Lewis told The Christian Post on Monday, however, that they decided to suspend “in-person worship services for the foreseeable future” on May 11 after learning several families had contracted the virus.

 

While approximately a fourth of our congregation chose to attend the in-person services, our other families chose to remain at home and continue enjoying our streaming services,” the church said.

 

During that time, officials noted that “all modes of social distancing were practiced and followed by the families attending.”

 

“Seating was marked to only permit sitting within the six foot guidelines, all doors were open to allow access without the touching of doors, and attendees were asked to enter in a social distancing manner and were dismissed in a formal manner as well to ensure that the social distancing measures were adhered by all,” the church said.

 

[Takeaway?  They did everything right.  That wasn't enough.]

SciTechDaily:  Single Dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 Vaccine Protects Monkeys Against COVID-19 Pneumonia, NIH, 5/18/2020

CNBC:  Moderna shares surge 30% after reporting ‘positive’ data on early-stage coronavirus vaccine trial, by Berkely Lovelace Jr, 5/18/2020

Washington Post:   Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine shows encouraging early results in human safety trial, by Carolyn Y. Johnson, 5/18/2020 

The Christian Post:  Coronavirus claims retired NY priest weeks after killing his successor, by Leonardo Blair, 5/18/2020

The Christian Post:  86% of choir members got infected with COVID-19 after church practice: report, by Leonardo Blair, 5/15/2020

The Christian Post:  Church begs God to end pandemic after pastor and son die from coronavirus, by Leonardo Blair, 5/13/2020 

New York Post:  Man who called coronavirus ‘fake crisis’ gets infected, issues warning, by Yaron Steinbuch, 5/18/2020

Florida Today:  Florida scientist was fired for 'refusing to manipulate' COVID-19 data, she said, by Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon, 5/19/2020

The scientist who created Florida's COVID-19 data portal wasn't just removed from her position on May 5, she was fired on Monday by the Department of Health, she said, for refusing to manipulate data.

 

Rebekah Jones said in an email to FLORIDA TODAY that she single-handedly created two applications in two languages, four dashboards, six unique maps with layers of data functionality for 32 variables covering a half a million lines of data. Her objective was to create a way for Floridians and researchers to see what the COVID-19 situation was in real time.

 

After FLORIDA TODAY first reported Jones' removal from her position in charge of the Florida COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard she created, she confirmed, as reported by CBS-12 in West Palm Beach that she was fired because she was ordered to censor some data, but refused to "manually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen."

Florida Today:  Coronavirus: As Florida re-opens, COVID-19 data chief gets sidelined and researchers cry foul, by Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon, 5/18/2020

Late last Friday, the architect and manager of Florida's COVID-19 dashboard — praised by White House officials for its accessibility — announced that she had been removed from her post, causing outcry from independent researchers now worried about government censorship.

 

The dashboard has been a one-stop shop for researchers, the media and the public to access and download tables of COVID-19 cases, testing and death data to analyze freely. It had been widely hailed as a shining example of transparency and accessibility.

 

But over the last few weeks it had "crashed" and gone offline; data has gone missing without explanation and access to the underlying data sheets has become increasingly difficult.

 

The site was created by a team of Florida Department of Health data scientists and public health officers headed by Rebekah Jones. She announced last week her removal as of May 5 in a heartfelt farewell note emailed to researchers and other members of the public who had signed up to receive updates on the data portal.

 

Citing "reasons beyond my division’s control," Jones said her office is no longer managing the dashboard, is no longer involved in publication, fixing errors or answering questions "in any shape or form."

 

She warned that she does not know what the new team's intentions are for data access, including "what data they are now restricting."

Jones' removal and changes to the dashboard access is especially unusual given that the dashboard was lauded in April on CBS' Face the Nation by Dr. Deborah Birx, a top official of President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force.

 

"If you go to the Florida Public Health website on COVID, they’ve been able to show their communities’ cases and tests district by district, county by county, ZIP code by ZIP code," Birx said. "That’s the kind of knowledge and power we need to put into the hands of American people so that they can see where the virus is, where the cases are, and make decisions."

The New York Times:  Where Chronic Health Conditions and Coronavirus Could Collide, by Nadja Popovich, Anjali Singhvi and Matthew Conlen, 5/18/2020

Slate Podcast:  The Pandemic That Never Happened / In 1976 Gerald Ford faced the threat of a Swine Flu epidemic, 4/28/2020 

Slate PodCast:   Sweden's Global Failure, by Mike Pesca, 5/7/2020

Sweden’s loose measures yielded grim results, and that should be a warning.

Slate:   When I Got My Coronavirus Symptoms, by Daniel Brook, 5/8/2020

A friend who visited me tested positive. The next two months of my life were absurd.

 

As the days went on, news reports on false negatives began to appear. The day after my results came back, a local newspaper ran a story about New Orleans’s most terrifying death of the outbreak: a 39-year-old woman who began having respiratory symptoms, took a test, and then collapsed dead in her kitchen before the test came back. Her results later turned up negative as did a subsequent test of her body. A Yale medical school professor, writing in the New York Times, cited a study from China that suggested about 30 percent of the tests come back as false negatives. And the Wall Street Journal reported that in the rush to get tests available, the Food and Drug Administration “relax[ed] requirements for labs to prove their tests actually work.”

May 17:  Tapper Confronts HHS Secretary on Eric Trump’s Coronavirus Conspiracies, by Justin Baragona, Daily Beast

In an interview with pro-Trump Fox News host Jeanine Pirro on Saturday night, Eric Trump dove down a conspiratorial rabbit hole while talking about presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Claiming Biden “loves” the pandemic because it prevents him from making “horrible blunders” on the campaign trail, the president’s son suggested stay-at-home orders were aimed at shutting down his father’s campaign.

Slate:  Matrix Co-Director Lilly Wachowski Wants Ivanka Trump and Elon Musk to Stop Talking About Her Movie, by Matthew Dessem, 5/17/2020

Slate:  I Got Away From My Abuser and Moved Into a Shelter. Now I Have COVID-19. By Anonymous, 5/11/2020

Bridge:  Coronavirus came to Michigan earlier than thought, records show, by Mike Wilkinson, 5/17/2020

New York Post:  Italy to ease coronavirus travel restrictions after months of lockdown, by Jon Levine, 5/16/2020

Washington Post:  Trump’s failure of leadership makes a feeble economy and resurgent virus more likely, by Robert J. Samuelson, 5/17/2020

Daily Beast:   White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro Plunges Knife into CDC’s Back on Testing, by Justin Baragona, 5/17/2020

Daily Beast:  Busted: Pentagon Contractors’ Report on ‘Wuhan Lab’ Origins of Virus Is Bogus, by Erin Banco, Adam Rawnsley and Lachlan Cartwright, 5/17/2020

Washington Post:  As coronavirus testing expands, a new problem arises: Not enough people to test, by Steve Thompson, Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, 5/17/2020

Associated Press:  We can’t wait for a COVID-19 vaccine to reopen, Britain, Italy tell citizens, by Colleen Barry, Pablo Gorondi and Kelvin Chan, 5/17/2020

In separate, stark warnings, two major European leaders have bluntly told their citizens that the world needs to adapt to living with the coronavirus and cannot wait to be saved by the development of a vaccine.

 

For his part, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was hospitalized last month with a serious bout of COVID-19, speculated Sunday that a vaccine may not be developed at all, despite the huge global effort to produce one.

Washington Post:  Trump is gambling the health of the nation for his reelection, by Fred Hiatt, 5/17/2020

Orlando Sentinal:   Florida coronavirus update for Sunday: Death toll hits 1,973 out of 45,588 cases, 5/17/2020

Daily Beast:  Florida Health System: 25,000 COVID Tests Might Be Wrong, by Tracy Connor, 5/17/2020

Orlando Sentinel:  AdventHealth says 25,000 of its COVID-19 test results unreliable, by Naseem S. Miller, 5/16/2020

Daily Beast:  100,000 Cruise Ship Crew Members Still Stuck at Sea, by Tracy Connor, 5/17/2020 

Miami Herald:  No information. No way off. 100,000 crew members remain in cruise ship limbo for months, by Taylor Dolven, 5/17/2020

Daily Beast:  China Has Quarantined 8,000 People in New COVID-19 Lockdown, by Barbie Latza Nadeau, 5/17/2020 

Daily Beast:  Billionaire MAGA Fan Peter Thiel Has Had It With Trump’s COVID-19 Response, by Lachlan Cartwright, Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, 5/17/2020

Top officials in the president’s political orbit say that Thiel has been absent from 2020 discussions, with one proclaiming the famous investor had “ghosted” Team Trump lately.

Washington Post:  Faced with a Trumpian barrage of attacks, Joe Biden chooses to look the other way, by Michael Scherer and Josh Dawsey, 5/17/2020

Washington Post:  Americans head back to shops and restaurants amid early signs of recovery, by David J. Lynch, Rebecca Tan and Ian Duncan, 5/16/2020

Washington Post:  In next phase of pandemic, Trump appears poised to let others take the lead, by Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker, 5/17/2020

“It seems that the most important decision the president makes every day is whether he does a press conference and, if so, what time,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said.

 

Peter Wehner, who served in the past three Republican administrations and is an outspoken Trump critic, was more blunt, arguing Trump’s “extreme narcissism” has impeded his administration’s pandemic response.

 

“There’s no question that he has miniaturized the office,” Wehner said. “He’s shrunken it, he’s degraded it and he’s defaced it. It’s a kind of civic vandalism he’s inflicted on the office.”

Daily Beast:  Mike Pompeo Urged Firing of State Department Watchdog Said to Be Investigating Him: NYT, by Allison Quinn, 5/16/2020

Washington Post:  Trump’s slow-motion Friday night massacre of inspectors general, by Aaron Blake, 5/16/2020

Washington Post:  Top Democrats launch investigation into late-night firing of State Department inspector general, by Hannah Knowles, 5/16/2020

Washington Post:  Trump ramps up retaliatory purge with firing of State Department inspector general, by Phikop Rucker, Karen DeYoung, Lisa Rein and Hannah Knowles, 5/16/2020

Washington Post:  Alaska lawmaker says Hitler was not white supremacist after comparing coronavirus measures to Nazi rule, by Hannah Knowles and Candace Buckner, 5/16/2020

The uproar began when an Alaska lawmaker emailed all 39 of his statehouse colleagues to compare health-screening stickers to the badges that singled out Jews during the Holocaust.  “If my sticker falls off, do I get a new one or do I get public shaming too?” Rep. Ben Carpenter (R) wrote Friday, sharing his dismay at a new requirement for legislators returning to the Alaska Capitol amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. “Are the stickers available as a yellow Star of David?”

 

The backlash was swift: “Ben, this is disgusting,” one Jewish representative wrote back in emails first posted by the Alaska Landmine. “I don’t think a tag that we’re cleared to enter the building is akin to being shipped to a concentration camp,” responded another. The leader of the state House’s Republican delegation said Carpenter should apologize.

SciTechDaily:  NIH Begins Clinical Trial of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin to Treat COVID-19, NIH, 5/17/2020

Washington Post:  Drug promoted by Trump as coronavirus ‘game changer’ increasingly linked to deaths, by Toluse Olorunnipa, Ariana Eunjung Ch and Laurie McGinley, 5/15/2020

Washington Post:  We need to enter the fifth stage of coronavirus grief: Acceptance, by Tom Frieden, 5/14/2020

Tom Frieden is a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a former commissioner of the New York City Health Department.

Washington Post:  The absurd cynicism of ‘Obamagate’, The Editorial Board, 5/16/2020

Washington Post:  There is a huge difference between Christine Blasey Ford and Tara Reade, by Jennifer Rubin, 5/17/2020

Washington Post:  We need smart solutions to mitigate the coronavirus’s impact. Here are 37, 5/14/2020

Washington Post:  How the White House coronavirus response presents us with a false choice, by Joe Biden, 5/11/2020

Augusta University:  Tiny RNA That Should Attack COVID-19 Coronavirus Diminish With Age, Disease, 5/17/2020

With age and some chronic medical conditions, the attacking microRNA numbers dwindle, reducing our ability to respond to viruses, says Dr. Carlos M. Isales, co-director of the MCG Center for Healthy Aging and chief of the MCG Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism.

Much like not having enough troops on the ground in an actual war, the coronavirus is then better able to do what it does naturally, which is hijack our cell machinery so it can replicate, say the researchers who report in the journal Aging and Disease what appear to be key microRNA involved in responding to this virus.

Aging and Disease:  “COVID-19 Virulence in Aged Patients Might Be Impacted by the Host Cellular MicroRNAs Abundance/Profile” by Fulzele Sadanand, Sahay Bikash, Yusufu Ibrahim, Lee Tae Jin, Sharma Ashok, Kolhe Ravindra and Isales Carlos M, 13 May 2020

"in silico analysis"

Bloomberg:  Where to Worry About Catching Covid-19, and Where Not To, by Faye Flam, 5/15/2020

Washington Post:  Americans head back to shops and restaurants amid early signs of recovery, by David J. Lynch, Rebecca Tan and Ian Duncan, 5/16/2020

Washington Post:  Trump’s slow-motion Friday night massacre of inspectors general, by Aaron Blake, 5/16/2020

Washington Post:  Alaska lawmaker says Hitler was not white supremacist after comparing coronavirus measures to Nazi rule, by Hannah Knowles and Candace Buckner, 5/16/2020

The uproar began when an Alaska lawmaker emailed all 39 of his statehouse colleagues to compare health-screening stickers to the badges that singled out Jews during the Holocaust.

BMJ:  Results From Randomized Clinical Trial Do Not Support Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19, 5/16/2020

The anti-inflammatory drug hydroxychloroquine does not significantly reduce admission to intensive care or death in patients hospitalized with pneumonia due to covid-19, finds a study from France published by The BMJ on May 14, 2020.

 

A randomized clinical trial from China also published on May 14, 2020, shows that hospitalized patients with mild to moderate persistent covid-19 who received hydroxychloroquine did not clear the virus more quickly than those receiving standard care. Adverse events were higher in those who received hydroxychloroquine.

Cell:  Targets of T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in humans with COVID-19 disease and unexposed individuals, by Alba Grifoni, Daniela Weiskopf, Sydney I. Ramirez, Davey M. Smith, Shane Crotty, Alessandro Sette, et al, 5/14/2020

Importantly, we detected SARS-CoV-2−reactive CD4+ T cells in ∼40-60% of unexposed individuals, suggesting cross-reactive T cell recognition between circulating ‘common cold’ coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2.

NBC News:  New evidence in race to find France's COVID-19 'patient zero', by Emmanuelle Saliba and Molly Hunter, 5/15/2020

A team of researchers in the city of Colmar in northeastern France announced in a release last week that it had identified two X-rays, from Nov. 16 and Nov. 18, showing symptoms consistent with the novel coronavirus. NBC News has exclusively obtained these scans.

 

If confirmed, this is evidence that the virus was spreading in Europe two months before France declared its first cases Jan. 24 and well before COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, had been officially identified in China.

 

Officials in the Chinese city of Wuhan confirmed the existence of a then-unknown illness with pneumonia-like symptoms to the World Health Organization’s China office on Dec. 31, but it wasn’t established as a new coronavirus until Jan. 7.

Financial Times:  Inside Trump’s coronavirus meltdown, Edward Luce, 5/14/2020

[This is a deep dive into the Trump presidency and the ongoing American Tragedy.]

“The way to keep your job is to out-loyal everyone else, which means you have to tolerate quackery,” says Anthony Scaramucci, an estranged former Trump adviser, who was briefly his White House head of communications. “You have to flatter him in public and flatter him in private. Above all, you must never make him feel ignorant.”

 

An administration official says advising Trump is like “bringing fruits to the volcano” – Trump being the lava source. “You’re trying to appease a great force that’s impervious to reason,” says the official.

Politico:  Pentagon fires its point person for Defense Production Act, by Lara Seligman and Daniel Lippman, 5/14/2020

Goethe University Frankfurt:  Team of Biochemists and Virologists Discover Potential Targets for COVID-19 Therapy, 5/14/2020

The findings paint a picture of the progression of a SARS-CoV-2 infection: whilst many viruses shut down the host’s protein production to the benefit of viral proteins, SARS-CoV-2 only slightly influences the protein production of the host cell, with the viral proteins appearing to be produced in competition to host cell proteins. Instead, a SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to an increased protein synthesis machinery in the cell. The researchers suspected this was a weak spot of the virus and were indeed able to significantly reduce virus reproduction using something known as translation inhibitors, which shut down protein production.

 

Twenty-four hours after infection, the virus causes distinct changes to the composition of the host proteome: while cholesterol metabolism is reduced, activities in carbohydrate metabolism and in modification of RNA as protein precursors increase. In line with this, the scientists were successful in stopping virus reproduction in cultivated cells by applying inhibitors of these processes. Similar success was achieved by using a substance that inhibits the production of building blocks for the viral genome.

 

In keeping with common practice since the beginning of the corona crisis, the Frankfurt researchers made these findings immediately publiclly available .

Livingston Daily:  Whitmer forms panel to figure out way to reopen school in fall, David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, 5/15/2020

Livingston Daily:  Medical director: New COVID-19 cases have slowed, but it's too soon to have a clear picture, by Jennifer Timar, 5/14/2020

Livingston Daily:  Livingston County EMS: More people dying at home instead of seeking help, by Kayla Dagherty, 5/11/2020

Last year in Livingston County, 18 residents were found dead in their homes in March and April. This year, for the same time period, medics responded to 43 calls where residents were found dead, more than double last year's number, EMS Director David Feldpausch said.

The Hill:  State Department inspector general fired, by Tal Axelrod, 5-15-202

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he had recently learned that Linick had recently opened up an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and suggested the firing was retaliation by the administration.

Detroit News:  Detroit man arrested after allegedly threatening to kill Whitmer, Nessel, by Craig Mauger, 5/15/2020

Prosecutor Kym Worthy charged a 32 year-old Detroit man with false report of a threat of terrorism, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, according to a press release. He was arraigned on April 22.

 

The man allegedly communicated through a social media messenger with an acquaintance, making threats to kill Whitmer and Nessel on April 14.

 

April 14th was the day of the Lansing Gridlock Tea Party protest and by what must surely be the most fantastic coincidence in the life of this Universe, a Trump Rally comprised only of white people.

 

Later that day, the Detroit Police Department arrested the man at his home in Detroit, the Wayne County Prosecutor's press release said.

Detroit News:  Michigan school leaders seek help to avert $1.2B hit to existing budgets, by Jennifer Chambers and Beth LeBlanc, 5/15/2020

Detroit News:  Michigan predicts $3.2 billion budget shortfall, looks to feds for more aid, by Beth LeBlanc, 5/15/2020

The consensus estimate among budget officials is the main spending account known as the General Fund will see a $2 billion drop in tax revenue, while the School Aid Fund will experience a nearly $1.2 billion decrease in revenue from the 2019 budget.

Detroit News:  MSU trustees freeze housing, tuition for 2020-21, by Kim Kozlowski, 5/15/2020

Detroit News:   Whitmer allows laboratory research to resume, 5/15/2020

Detroit News:  Union blasts Kroger for ending COVID-19 wage boost, 5/15/2020

The Kroger Co. is ending a $2-an-hour coronavirus pay bump for front-line workers and replacing it with one-time "Thank You Pay" bonuses of $200 for part-time workers and $400 for full-time workers.

Detroit News:  Michiganians flock to Ohio to enjoy state's reopening, by George Hunter, 5/15/2020

The first phase of the Responsible RestartOhio program allowed the reopening of restaurants and bars with outdoor seating, hair and nail salons, barbershops, day spas, tanning salons, and tattoo and body piercing parlors, although oral and nose piercings remain prohibited.

RollCall:  National body bag shortage exacerbates funeral homes’ problems, by Emily Koop, 5/14/2020

Detroit News:  House rescue package includes $25 billion for Postal Service, by Matthew Daly, AP, 5/12/2020

The U.S.P.S. financial woes have been exacerbated by the pandemic, which has pushed mail volume down by more than 30% from the same period last year.

New York Times:  Michigan Leads Nation in abandoning life saving travel restrictions, by Gabriel J.X. Dance and Lazaro Gamio, 5/12/2020

Tables and graphics are in the article.

 

The estimates of the number of people moving were made using data provided by the location analysis company Cuebiq. The data comes from a representative sample of about 15 million smartphone users nationwide who have agreed to share their location data with certain apps, according to the company. Because the sample is only a proportion of the population — and because not everyone in the United States owns a smartphone, or carries one with them everywhere they go — the numbers are estimates.

Guardian:  'Weird as hell’: the Covid-19 patients who have symptoms for months, by Luke Harding, 5/15/2020

There is growing evidence that the virus causes a far greater array of symptoms than was previously understood. And that its effects can be agonisingly prolonged: in Garner’s case for more than seven weeks. The professor at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine says his experience of Covid-19 featured a new and disturbing symptom every day, akin to an “advent calendar”.

 

“I’ve studied 100 diseases. Covid is the strangest one I have seen in my medical career.”

Time:  Five USS Theodore Roosevelt Sailors Test Positive for Coronavirus a Second Time, by Lolita C. Baldor, 5/15/2020

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — Five sailors on the aircraft carrier sidelined in Guam due to a COVID-19 outbreak have gotten the virus for the second time and have been taken off the ship, according to the Navy.

 

All five sailors had previously tested positive and had gone through at least two weeks of isolation. As part of the process, they all had to test negative twice in a row, with the tests separated by at least a day or two before they were allowed to go back to the ship.

Washington Post:  Trump’s continually strange comments on possibly ‘overrated’ coronavirus testing, by Aaron Blake, 5/15/2020

“When you test, you have a case,” Trump said. “When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases.”

Washington Post:  A New York barber who defied lockdown and ‘illicitly’ cut hair tests positive for the coronavirus, by Allyson Chiu, 5/15/2020

Washington Post: Armed militia helped a Michigan barbershop open, a coronavirus defiance that puts Republican lawmakers in a bind, by Moriah Balingit, 5/12/2020

Armed members of the Michigan Home Guard stood outside Karl Manke's Owosso barbershop, ready to blockade the door if police arrived. They were determined to help Manke, 77, reopen his shop Monday, in defiance of state orders, and dozens joined them, wearing Trump sweatshirts and Trump cowboy hats and waving Trump flags.

Washington Post:  California nursing homes are examples of how cruel the coronavirus pandemic can be, by Scott Wilson, 5/15/2020

From New York state, where there have been more than 2,800 confirmed nursing home resident deaths related to the virus, through Minnesota, where 47 residents died in a suburban Minneapolis nursing home two weeks ago, no state is immune. Earlier this week, 14 residents of a nursing home in Stanislaus County died of the virus, among the largest single outbreaks in Northern California.

5/13/2020:  University of Michigan study estimates Governor Whitmer's stay-at-home order saved 3,500 lives, by Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press

"This should be a time for unity, not division," Whitmer said on a day when she announced some 31,000 state workers will take partial furloughs over the next two months and also expressed concerns about threats made against her and others by some of those protesting the stay-at-home order, which is expected to remain in place until at least May 28. "We must all continue to do our part to save lives."

"I know it’s hard," she said during a briefing. "But we can't just flip a switch."

5/13/2020:  Michigan.gov/CoronaVirus:  Presentation - COVID-19 Update, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, et al

 

Time:  New York City Nursing Home Reports 98 Deaths Linked to COVID-19, by Jim Mustian / AP, 5/2/2020

The number of bodies became so overwhelming the home ordered a refrigerator truck to store them because funeral homes have been taking days to pick up the deceased.

Time:  'I Died and Came Back,' Says 12-Year-Old Coronavirus Survivor, by Stacey Plaisance / AP, 5/1/2020

(COVINGTON, La.) — As her desperately sick daughter was being airlifted to a hospital, Jennifer Daly was thinking about all the parts of life that still lay ahead for her 12-year-old and whether she’d ever experience them: Would she get to fall in love? Would she get the chance to get married and have her own children?

Time:   Moderna's COVID-19 Vaccine Moves to Phase 2 Testing, and Gets Fast-Track Approval From the U.S. Government, by Alice Park, 5/12/2020

New York Times:  The House will vote today on a $3 trillion relief package, and the White House has threatened a veto. 5/15/2020

New York Times:  When Shoppers Venture Out, What Will Be Left?, by Ben Casselman and Sapna Maheshwari, 5/15/2020

Retail sales fell 16.4 percent last month, the Commerce Department said Friday, by far the largest monthly drop on record. That followed an 8.3 percent drop in March, the previous record. Total sales for April, which include retail purchases in stores and online as well as money spent at bars and restaurants, were the lowest since 2012, even without accounting for inflation.

 

Jay Sole, a retail analyst at UBS, anticipates 100,000 store closings by 2025 as the pandemic accelerates the shift to online sales, according to a recent report, with the biggest cuts in apparel, consumer electronics, home furnishings and groceries.

 

Plunging sales mean less tax revenue for cities and states, delayed rent payments for landlords, and lost business for manufacturers, trucking companies and thousands of other businesses. The nation’s second-largest private-sector employer, after health care, the retail industry cut 2.1 million jobs in April.

New York Times:   Hospitals Knew How to Make Money. Then Coronavirus Happened, by Sarah Kliff, 5/15/2020

When the top-ranked Mayo Clinic stopped all nonemergency medical care in late March, it began to lose millions of dollars a day.

 

The Mayo Clinic will have to rely more heavily on low-income patients enrolled in the Medicaid program, as others will be hesitant to travel across the country, or the world, for care. “It’s uncontrollable,” said Dennis Dahlen, the clinic’s chief financial officer.

 

Hospitals are losing an estimated $50 billion a month now. 134,000 hospital employees were among the estimated 1.4 million health care workers who lost their jobs last month.

New York Times:  Why 1.4 Million Health Jobs Have Been Lost During a Huge Health Crisis, by Margot Sanger-Katz, 5/8/2020

New York Times: New Coronavirus Vaccine Czar Says Finding One by January Is a ‘Credible’ Goal, by Maggie Haberman and Noah Weiland, 5/15/2020

Moncef Slaoui, a former chairman of vaccines at GlaxoSmithKline, who is heading the program, conceded in an interview that even the time frame repeatedly cited by Dr. Anthony S. Fauci as necessary for developing the vaccine, which President Trump has rejected, would still outpace what many scientists believe is possible.

 

“Frankly, 12-18 months is already a very aggressive timeline,” Mr. Slaoui said. “I don’t think Dr. Fauci was wrong.”

 

Mr. Slaoui said he discussed the job with Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, who had been searching for a so-called czar for therapeutics and vaccine development, and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator.

New York Times:  Sweden Stayed Open. A Deadly Month Shows the Risks, by Lauren Leatherby and Allison McCann, 5/15/2020 

“We need to observe with an open mind what went on in Sweden, where the kids kept going to school,” Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.

 

Across Sweden, almost 30 percent more people died during the epidemic than is normal during this time of year, an increase similar to that of the United States and far higher than the small increases seen in its neighboring countries.

New York Times:  DeVos Funnels Coronavirus Relief Funds to Favored Private and Religious Schools, by Erica L. Green, 5/15/2020

Financial Times:  Inside Trump’s coronavirus meltdown, Edward Luce, 5/14/2020

When Trump suggested in late April that people could stop Covid-19, or even cure themselves, by injecting disinfectant, such as Lysol or Dettol, his chief scientist, Deborah Birx, did not dare contradict him. A former senior Trump official says: “People turn into wusses around Trump. If you stand up to him, you’ll never get back in. What you see in public is what you get in private. He is exactly the same.”

New York Times:  Here’s How China Plans to Test All 11 Million of Its Wuhan Citizens - in 10 days - for Coronavirus, by Sui-Lee Wee and Vivian Wang, 5/14/2020

Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus pandemic began, has announced an ambitious plan to test all of its 11 million residents for the virus in the coming days

 

The testing drive, which is likely to require the mobilization of thousands of medical and other workers, shows the ruling Communist Party’s resolve to prevent a second wave of infections as it tries to restart China’s economy. The plan was announced this week after Wuhan reported six coronavirus cases, breaking a streak of more than a month without any new confirmed infections.

 

The city’s goal of testing every resident is unrivaled in scale, and in the speed at which Wuhan apparently plans to carry it out.

New York Times:  As Deaths Mount, China Tries to Speed Up Coronavirus Testing, by Sui-Lee Wee, 2/9/2020

Dr. Zhang Xiaochun, who works in a hospital in Wuhan, was in dismay. Her patient had been running a fever for nine days, and a CT scan showed signs of pneumonia — symptoms of the new coronavirus sweeping across the central Chinese city.

 

The new coronavirus has sickened more than 40,000 people and killed more than 900 people in China. Hardest hit are the residents of the outbreak’s epicenter, Wuhan, and the surrounding province of Hubei. Hospitals are overwhelmed and medical supplies are scarce, leading to delays in treatment for thousands of people.

Datebook:  For Death Angel drummer, coming out of coronavirus coma was like escaping ‘hell’, by Kevin L. Jones, 5/15/2020

Crooks and Liars: Texas Has 1,000 New Coronavirus Cases Almost Every Day Since Reopening, The Hill, 5/15/2020

Since Gov. Greg Abbott (R) allowed some businesses to resume operations on May 1, Texas has only been below 1,000 new cases per day twice — on May 4 and May 7.

 

But instead of re-tightening some of the social distance restrictions, Texas seems to be doubling down on relaxing them. The Texas Tribune reported that on Monday, Abbott will announce another round of reopening plans.

ProPublica:  Another Private Jet Company Owned by a Trump Donor Got a Bailout — This One for $20 Million, by Jake Pearson, 5/15/2020

Crooks and Liars:  Prestigious Medical Journal's Op-Ed Calls For Americans To Vote Trump Out, The Lancet, 5/15/2020 

The Lancet:  Reviving the US CDC, 5/16/2020

The strained relationship between the CDC and the federal government was further laid bare when, according to The Washington Post, Deborah Birx, the head of the US COVID-19 Task Force and a former director of the CDC's Global HIV/AIDS Division, cast doubt on the CDC's COVID-19 mortality and case data by reportedly saying: “There is nothing from the CDC that I can trust”. This is an unhelpful statement, but also a shocking indictment of an agency that was once regarded as the gold standard for global disease detection and control.

 

Funding to the CDC for a long time has been subject to conservative politics that have increasingly eroded the agency's ability to mount effective, evidence-based public health responses. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration resisted providing the sufficient budget that the CDC needed to fight the HIV/AIDS crisis. The George W Bush administration put restrictions on global and domestic HIV prevention and reproductive health programming.


The Trump administration further chipped away at the CDC's capacity to combat infectious diseases.

 

CDC staff in China were cut back with the last remaining CDC officer recalled home from the China CDC in July, 2019, leaving an intelligence vacuum when COVID-19 began to emerge.

 

In a press conference on Feb 25, Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, warned US citizens to prepare for major disruptions to movement and everyday life. Messonnier subsequently no longer appeared at White House briefings on COVID-19.

 

More recently, the Trump administration has questioned guidelines that the CDC has provided.

The Washington Post:  The United States is a country to be pitied, by Eugene Robinson, 5/14/2020

No amount of patriotism or pride can change the appalling facts. The pandemic is acting as a stress test for societies around the world, and ours is in danger of failing.

 

I’m used to thinking of a nation such as South Korea as a kind of junior partner, a beneficiary of American expertise and aid. Yet the U.S. death toll from covid-19 exceeds 90,000 while South Korea’s fatalities total 260. That is not a typo. How could a nation with barely half our per capita income have done so much better?

Health Union:  Perceptions of Telehealth Use Quickly Shifting During COVID-19 Pandemic, 5/14/2020 

 

New York Times:  Few people have been infected so far, studies say, suggesting that ‘herd immunity’ is still out of reach, 5/14/2020

New York Times:  As the virus tears through Russia, medical workers are getting sick and dying at astonishing rates, 5/14/2020

New York Times:  The U.N. confirmed the first cases in crowded refugee camps for Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh, 5/14/2020

New York Times:  Yemen, buffeted by war, is ravaged by the pandemic, too., 5/14/2020

New York Times:  Latest in science: Young patients and strokes; talking and droplets, 5/14/2020

New York Times:  Covid-19 Reality Has a Liberal Bias, by Paul Krugman, 5/14/2020

Unfortunately, the virus doesn’t care about political spin.  The U.S. right long ago rejected evidence-based policy in favor of policy-based evidence — denying facts that might get in the way of a predetermined agenda. Fourteen years have passed since Stephen Colbert famously quipped that “reality has a well-known liberal bias.”

The Telegraph:  Coming Soon to a Pandemic Near You: Disposable Cardboard Hospital Beds that fold into Coffins, 5/14/2020

Euroweekly News: Funeral Homes in New York Begin Using Cardboard Caskets to Speed Up Cremation Process as Coronavirus Cases in the United States Surpass the Million Mark, by Laura Taylor, 4/28/2020

Washington Post:  Coronavirus is now invading Trump counties in the swing states, by Greg Sargent, 5/14/2020

Washington Post:  Rural Florida county worries about reopening as coronavirus cases spike at nursing home, by Lori Rozsa, 5/14/2020

In Suwannee County, 151 people have tested positive, and 18 have died. All of the deaths have occurred inside a local nursing home, the Suwannee Health and Rehabilitation Center.

New York Times:  Judge Appoints Outsider to Take On Justice Dept. in Flynn Case, by Katie Benner, 5/13/2020

WASHINGTON — The federal judge overseeing the case against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn appointed a hard-charging former prosecutor and judge on Wednesday to oppose the Justice Department’s effort to drop the case and to explore a perjury charge against Mr. Flynn.

 

Read the Order

 

Washington Post:  A sweeping setback for Trump’s foreign business dealings, by Jennifer Rubin, 5/14/2020

Norman Eisen, former House impeachment counsel and one of the early pioneers of emoluments litigation, said, “The arc of justice may be moving slowly, but it is moving. This case shows that the rule of law is fighting back against Trump’s pathological and illegal selfishness.” 

Washington Post:  5 takeaways from coronavirus whistleblower Rick Bright’s testimony, by Aaron Blake, 5/14/2020

As Trump increasingly criticized Fauci, Bright said the government needs to have more regard for it scientists -- and a more consistent message from the top.  He said that right now the response has been hampered by not having a “single point of leadership.”

 

“We need to install and empower leadership, and we need to unleash the voices of the scientists in our public health system in the United States so they can be heard and their guidances need to be listened to,” Bright said. “And we need to be able to convey that information to the American public so they have the truth about the real risk and dire consequences of this virus.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution:  ‘It’s just cuckoo’: state’s latest data mishap causes critics to cry foul, by Willoughby Mariano and J. Scott Trubey, 5/13/2020

Where does Sunday take place twice a week? And May 2 come before April 26?

Atlanta Journal-Constitution:  Coronavirus in Georgia: COVID-19 Dashboard

Atlantic:  How Virginia Juked Its COVID-19 Statistics, by Alexis Madrigal and Robinson Meyer, 5/14/2020

A lack of federal guidelines has created huge variation in how states are reporting their COVID-19 data and in what kind of data they provide to the public.  These gaps can be used for political advantage. Virginia senior officials are blending the results of two different types of coronavirus test in order to report a more favorable result to the public.  Virginia’s decision to mix the results of two different kinds of tests marks a new low in data standards.

Richmond Times-Dispatch:  Virginia misses key marks on virus testing as leaders eye reopening, by Mel Leonor, 5/9/2020

New York Times:  Fed Chair Powell Says Economy May Need More Government Support, by Jeanna Smialek, 5/13/2020

A Fed survey set for release on Thursday will show that almost 40 percent of people who were working in February and were members of households making less than $40,000 a year had lost their jobs in March.

Detroit Free Press:  Report: Michigan faces $2.7B deficit, school aid gap of $1.1B due to coronavirus, by Todd Spangler, 5/14/2020 

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan reports more than 1,000 coronavirus cases in day for first time in 2 weeks, by Meredith Spelbring, 5/14/2020

The 1,191 new cases reported Thursday is the first day more than 1,000 new cases have been reported since April 29. Michigan has reported fewer than 500 new coronavirus cases the past five days.

Detroit Free Press:  Whitmer's orders in effect, prosecuting attorneys group says, by Darcie Moran, 5/14/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's executive order faces obstacles, including some police, by Darcie Moran, Kara Berg, Ken Palmer and Craig Lyons, 5/14/2020

And he’s not alone. Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy told the Livingston Press & Argus that his office has “basically decided to not do any enforcement,” even as a gym opened in direct defiance this month.

Free Press:   Grosse Ile's COVID-19 testing unlike any other in the state, by Kristen Jordan Shamus, 5/14/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan university is stockpiling COVID-19 tests for fall reopening, by David Jesse, 5/14/2020

Detroit Free press:  Detroit couple married 53 years die days apart, by Brendel Hightower, 5/14/2020

Time:  A New York 9-Year-Old's Struggle With 'Truly Disturbing' Syndrome Doctors Believe Is Related to Coronavirus, by Mary Esch, 5/13/2020

New York Times:  I Have Given Up: Parenting in Quarantine, by Rachel L. Harris and Lisa Tarchak, 5/13/2020

What does parenting burnout look like during a pandemic? After a column by Farhad Manjoo on the subject, thousands of readers told us about their “new normal.”

 

“Our goal is to survive: no divorce, no getting fired and no children running away from home. If we can do that, I’ll consider us a success story.”

 

“We have lowered our expectations in every way possible.”

Detroit Free Press:  Autopsy of "Plandemic" propaganda.  by Marshall Allen, ProPublica, 5/12/2020\

 

Washington Post:  Why reopening protests reminiscent of the tea party era are fizzling, by Kathleen Parker, 5/12/2020

The protesters began losing steam when the Koch network, underwriters of the tea party movement from a decade ago, decided to run with scientists instead of the gun-toting provocateurs trampling the spring-green grass around state capitols. The chief executive of Americans for Prosperity, the main political arm of the network, said the group prefers working with doctors, data crunchers and public policy leaders to create guidelines for a safe and staggered reopening of American businesses.

Crooks and Liars:  'Reopen My State' Protests 'Fizzle' Without Koch Money, by Frances Langum, 5/13/2020

Womp Womp! Koch money isn't funding the LIBERTY! astroturf, so...surprise! The "where's my haircut" people are going back inside.

Washington Post:   As some countries ease up, others are reimposing lockdowns amid a resurgence of coronavirus infections, by Liz Sly and Loveday Morris, 5/13/2020

New York Times:  House Democratic leaders plan to move forward on Friday with their plans for a remote Congress,  5/13/2020

Democratic leaders pushed ahead on Wednesday with their plans to change the rules of the House of Representatives to allow lawmakers to legislate remotely for the first time, unveiling a revised proposal for proxy voting and digital committee meetings during the pandemic.

 

Both changes, which are expected to win approval on Friday, would be firsts for a tradition-bound body that has been loath to alter its rules.

New York Times:  House Democrats Back Changing Rules to Allow Remote Voting During Pandemic, by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, 4/16/2020

New York Times:  Too Many States Are Flying Blind Into Reopening. Not Indiana, by Aaron E. Carroll, 5/13/2020

New York Times:  America’s True Covid Toll Already Exceeds 100,000, by Nicholas Kristof, 5/13/2020

Daily Beast:  Team Trump Pushes CDC to Revise Down Its COVID Death Counts, by Erin Banco and Asawin Suebsaeng, 5/13/2020

“I don’t worry about this overreporting issue,” Bob Anderson, the chief of the Mortality Statistics Branch in CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, told The Daily Beast. “We’re almost certainly underestimating the number of deaths [in the country].”

Daily Beast:  The COVID-19 Death Undercount Is Scarier Than You Think, by Irwin Redlener and Sean Hansenm 4/21/2020

New York Times:  Reopening Prompts New Agitation Over Workers’ Virus Exposure, by Noam Scheiber, 5/12/2020

As business restrictions are lifted, employees have moved from advocating workplace safeguards to making sure the measures aren’t removed too soon.

LA Times:  FBI serves warrant on senator in investigation of stock sales linked to coronavirus, by Del Quentin Wilbur and Jennifer Haberkorn, 5/13/2020

Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, turned over his phone to agents after they served a search warrant on the lawmaker at his residence in the Washington area, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a law enforcement action.

 

Beast:  These States May Already Be Doomed for a Second Lockdown, by Olivia Messer, 5/13/2020

According to documents obtained by NBC News from a May 7 White House coronavirus task force report, infection rates in several states had spiked by 72.4 percent or more in a single week.  But among the areas with the largest reported spikes were Amarillo, Texas, and Central City, Kentucky, the latter of which recorded a whopping 650 percent increase in confirmed cases compared to the previous week. That information clashed with claims by President Trump on Monday that “all throughout the country, the numbers are coming down rapidly.”

Daily Beast:  ‘Lightning Fast’ Coronavirus Test Hyped by Trump Is Actually ‘Slow,’ Officials Say, by Adam Rawnsley, 5/13/2020

When asked by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) about the possibility of rapid testing for meatpackers during a hearing on Tuesday, Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary Admiral Brett Giroir noted that each machine can only do four per hour and that’s very, very slow.”

Daily Beast:  Paul Manafort Released From Prison to Escape Coronavirus, Reports Say, by Jamie Ross, 5/13/2020

Daily Beast:  Dr. Fauci Patiently Shuts Down Rand Paul for Minimizing Virus Fears, by Sam Brodey, 5/12/2020

At another point, Fauci referenced the notion that the virus could “disappear”—something President Donald Trump himself has mentioned as recently as last week—and said “that’s just not going to happen, because it’s such a highly transmissible virus.”

Daily Beast:   Trump Blocks Alex Azar and Seema Verma from Testifying About COVID, by Sam Brodey, 5/5/2020

Time:   Accidental Poisonings Increased After President Trump's Disinfectant Comments, by Jeffrey Kluger, 5/12/2020

Financial Times:   Coronavirus tracked: the latest figures as countries fight to contain the pandemic | Free to read, 5/12/2020

This page provides an up-to-date visual narrative of the spread of Covid-19, dozens of charts, a ton of data. 

New York Times:  How to Create a Pandemic Depression, by Paul Krugman, 5/11/2020

A word about that unemployment report. Notice that I didn’t say “the worst unemployment since the Great Depression”; I said “a Great Depression level,” a much stronger statement.

 

An unemployment rate of 14.7 percent is pretty horrific, but the bureau included a note indicating that technical difficulties probably caused this number to understate true unemployment by almost five percentage points.

 

If this is true, we currently have an unemployment rate around 20 percent, which would be worse than all but the worst two years of the Great Depression.

Detroit Metro Times:  Gov. Whitmer becomes target of dozens of threats on private Facebook groups ahead of armed rally in Lansing, by Steve Neavling, 5/11/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Why Michigan's contact tracing plan falls short, by Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, 5/11/2020

AZCentral:  More migrants leaving Arizona-Mexico border, abandoning asylum claims, 5/11/2020

AZCentral:  Packed United flight leaves passengers scared, shocked, 5/11/2020

AZCentral:  Trump loves ... then hates how everyone is handling COVID-19, 5/8/2020 

AZCentral:  Reopening is not patriotic if it hurts others. It's a tragedy, 5/8/2020 

AZCentral:  U-turn: University scientists are back in. But will Gov. Doug Ducey listen to them?, by Laurie Roberts, 5/8/2020

It’s amazing what a day of reflection and 24 hours of brutal public exposure can do.

 

The state has suddenly decided not to fire the university scientists, after all – the ones whose models suggest that it’s not yet safe to reopen Arizona.

AZCentral: Gov. Doug Ducey fires the scientists who warn he's making a mistake by reopening Arizona, by Laurie Roberts, 5/6/2020

“I can say, scientifically, no, it's not safe to reopen unless you're planning on, you know, shutting down again after a couple of weeks,” Tim Lant, a mathematical epidemiologist at ASU, told The Republic on April 22. 

AZCentral:  Arizona state health department tells university COVID-19 modeling team to stop work, limits data access, by Rachel Leingang, 5/6/2020

The universities' model had shown that reopening at the end of May was the only scenario that didn't dramatically increase cases.

 

Arizona state health director Cara Christ said it should be "pretty easy to just pick up the phone and ask them to come back and help us out" later in the year if needed.

 

[Trump said the same thing about the White House Pandemic Response team he disbanded.]

New York Times:  Surviving Covid-19 May Not Feel Like Recovery for Some, by Jason Horowitz, 5/10/2020

Bridge Magazine/Detroit Free Press:  In Michigan, 22,000 are ‘recovered’ from coronavirus. Many still feel like hell, by Robin Erb, 5/10/2020

Destroyed kidneys, ravaged lungs and liver — the coronavirus that nearly killed some patients leaves them struggling to do everyday tasks long after Michigan considers them ‘recovered.

 

At Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids, Dr. Ralph Wang said some patients have been so hypoxic, or deprived of oxygen, that their brains now struggle to perform simple tasks — “almost like a mild brain injury.”  Some patients, Wang said, must “learn to walk and talk and go to the bathroom” again.

Detroit Free Press:  Putting a price on social distance — and life itself, by Brian Dickerson, 5/9/2020

Elected leaders and public health officials are making the same furtive calculations as they ponder how many deaths and hospitalizations the public might be willing to endure in exchange for resuming some modicum of economic and social normalcy.

Officials who discuss this tradeoff aloud risk a public firestorm. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie learned as much when he told CNN's Dana Bash that Americans might have to resign themselves to 3,000 COVID-19 deaths a day if they're serious about restarting their economy.

SciTechDaily  New Triple Antiviral Drug Combination Shows Promise for Treating COVID-19, The Lancet, 5/8/2020

The Lancet: “Triple combination of interferon beta-1b, lopinavir–ritonavir, and ribavirin in the treatment of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19: an open-label, randomised, phase 2 trial” by Prof Ivan Fan-Ngai Hung, MD; Kwok-Cheung Lung, FRCP; Eugene Yuk-Keung Tso, FRCP; Raymond Liu, FRCP; Tom Wai-Hin Chung, MRCP; Man-Yee Chu, MRCP; Yuk-Yung Ng, MRCP; Jenny Lo, MRCP; Jacky Chan, MRCP; Anthony Raymond Tam, MRCP; Hoi-Ping Shum, MD; Veronica Chan, FRCP; Alan Ka-Lun Wu, FRCPath; Kit-Man Sin, FRCP; Wai-Shing Leung, MRCP; Wai-Lam Law, FRCP; David Christopher Lung, FRCPath; Simon Sin, FRCP; Pauline Yeung, MRCP; Cyril Chik-Yan Yip, PhD; Ricky Ruiqi Zhang, PhD; Agnes Yim-Fong Fung, BSc; Erica Yuen-Wing Yan, MSc; Kit-Hang Leung, MSc; Jonathan Daniel Ip, MSc; Allen Wing-Ho Chu, MSc; Wan-Mui Chan, PhD; Anthony Chin-Ki Ng, BSc; Rodney Lee, FRCPA; Kitty Fung, FRCPA; Alwin Yeung, FRCP; Tak-Chiu Wu, FRCP; Johnny Wai-Man Chan, FRCP; Wing-Wah Yan, FRCP; Wai-Ming Chan, FRCP; Jasper Fuk-Woo Chan, MD; Albert Kwok-Wai Lie, FRCP; Owen Tak-Yin Tsang, FRCP; Vincent Chi-Chung Cheng, MD; Tak-Lun Que, FRCPath; Prof Chak-Sing Lau, MD; Kwok-Hung Chan, PhD; Kelvin Kai-Wang To, MD and Prof Kwok-Yung Yuen, MD, 8 May 2020

CBS News:  More than 12,000 Catholic churches in the U.S. applied for PPP loans – and 9,000 got them, by Chstina Capatides, 5/8/2020

Detroit Free Press:  6 things you need to know about Michigan's economy right now, and 1 budget moral, by Nancy Kaffer, 5/8/2020

How big is the shortfall?

 

Really big.

 

Every revenue stream the state has is taking a hit: Out-of-work Michiganders are not paying income tax. Casinos are shut down. We're not shopping much, and state doesn't collect sales tax on most food items. We're not gassing up our cars. Many of us will struggle to pay property taxes this year.

VOX:  Media coverage has blown anti-lockdown protests out of proportion, by Erica Chenoweth, Lara Putnam, Tommy Leung, Jeremy Pressman and Nathan Perkins, 5/10/2020

Recent anti-Trump rallies have been bigger than the anti-lockdown protests. Guess which ones got more media attention?

Detroit Free Press:  Mitch Albom: Women on coronavirus front lines mark unusual Mother's Day, by Mitch Albom, 5/10/2020

Every Monday, Tuesday and Friday, she gets up early to open the testing center. She hears her 16-year-old daughter say, “Mom, I don’t want you to go.”

 

But Tawana Nettles-Robinson goes anyhow. She goes to the SAY Detroit Family Health Clinic in Highland Park and the big white tent that is now in its parking lot and she layers up in a protective gown, gloves, face mask and eye shield, as the cars begin to line up on Glendale, one masked driver after another.

 

The SAY Detroit COVID-19 Testing Site, which Tawana coordinates, is the first independent testing site in Detroit that allows both drive-thrus and walk-ups. No insurance, no appointment, and no prescriptions are required. It came together as a result of several groups — SAY Detroit, Trinity Health, the Detroit Rescue Mission, the D2N Foundation, and Michigan Healthcare Professionals.

 

It is funded mostly by proceeds from “Human Touch,” the online work of fiction I am writing and giving away for free, chapter at a time, each Friday at humantouchstory.com. Donations through that website — which are optional — have come from as far away as Brazil and the Philippines. They are paying the bills for this unique Detroit testing site.

Detroit Free Press:  Should our college football cathedrals go empty in 2020? Let's let the science decide, by Shawn Windsor, 5/10/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan records 430 cases, reaching 46,756 statewide; death toll at 4,526, by Miriam Marini, 5/9/2020

Data also show 22,686 people have recovered from the coronavirus as of Friday, according to the state health department. This is defined by officials as cases who are 30 days out from their onset of illness.

 

Average age of coronavirus deaths: 75.1 years old.
Median age: 76.
Age range: 5 to 107.

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan ranks highest in nation for prisoner deaths from coronavirus, by Angie Jackson and Kristi Tanner, 5/9/2020

The Michigan Department of Corrections has logged more coronavirus deaths than any other state prison system and ranks second nationwide behind New Jersey for prisoner deaths per capita, according to The Marshall Project, a nonprofit journalism outfit that reports on the criminal justice system and is tracking the virus in prisons across the country.

Detroit Free Press:  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is tough enough to do what she thinks is best for Michigan, by Carol Cain, 5/9/2020

People can’t work, they can’t pay taxes, and neither can their employers. Whitmer’s budget has been blown to smithereens. But it’s saving lives in the middle of the greatest public health crisis of our time that worries her the most.

 

Appearing in an extended interview for the entire Mother’s Day edition of CBS 62’s “Michigan Matters,” Whitmer said, “From the beginning, I’ve said we’re all in this together, on the same team, fighting against this virus. The vast majority of people are doing the right things to protect themselves and others, but I understand this is a frustrating time for all.”

 

Governors don’t do pandemics and Whitmer had to get up to speed fast on the topic. She told me during our interview she first heard early words of caution about the virus from her sister, who lives in New York and is focused on global markets, in early January — several weeks before COVID-19 was confirmed in the U.S.

Detroit Free Press:  Beaumont CEO: Whitmer's stay-home order saved lives in Michigan, by John Fox, 5/8/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan's largest restaurant trade group urges Whitmer to reopen restaurants May 29, by Mark Kurlyandchik, 5/9/2020

Washington Post:  Obama says end to Michael Flynn case puts rule of law at risk, calls covid-19 response a ‘disaster’, by Hannah Knowles and Meryl Kornfield, 5/9/2020

Former president Barack Obama shared deep worries Friday about the Justice Department’s decision to drop its prosecution of ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn, telling old aides on a call that “our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk,” according to a recording obtained by Yahoo News and confirmed by an Obama spokesperson.

 

Obama also appeared to slam the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as an “absolute chaotic disaster,” offering the sort of blistering criticisms he has rarely aired in public. Obama said shortly before President Trump took office that he would only weigh in on his successor’s actions when he believes “our core values may be at stake.”

Free Press:  Guns in the Capitol make a mockery of Second Amendment rights and make Michigan a national laughingstock, by Brian Dickerson, 5/6/2020

It's been a week since armed protesters swarmed the spectators' gallery of the state Senate and mustered outside the door to House chambers, mugging for photographers and asserting their constitutional right to visit the barber, although many did not seem conspicuously concerned with personal grooming.

Detroit Free Press:  The Michigan GOP's secession plan for COVID-19, by Brian Dickerson, 5/2/2020

I'm as eager as Shirkey to return to my favorite restaurants, but I was puzzled by his televised assertion that restaurants throughout the state could safely reopen immediately, if only diners would overcome their fear. I can understand how a combination of hygiene and social distancing could make dining out safer for customers. But has Shirkey ever been in a cramped restaurant kitchen? Are workers somehow less susceptible than diners to the risks of close contact?

Detroit Free Press:  In post-pandemic economy, your job may be gone for good | Opinion, by Reed Hundt, 5/6/2020

First, as the global epicenter of viral disease and death, the United States is far from defeating the plague. At least for now, experts say, we have to focus on creating jobs that can be done safely, preferably with protective equipment and out-of-doors.

 

Second, the new economy -- let’s call it the “pandemiconomy” -- has accelerated a shattering shift from real to virtual that commenced with the arrival of the commercial Internet and digital mobile, the two events that occurred when I became chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in 1993. Changes that have unfolded slowly over the last three decades have now occurred In mere weeks. 

Detroit Free Press:  U-M economists: Michigan's jobs outlook worse than Great Recession, by Susan Tompor, 4/9/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Expect city governments to shrink thanks to COVID-19, by Patrick McLean, 5/7/2020

Overall state support by Michigan for its local governments has ranked very low historically; by some measures, Michigan’s support for local governments has ranked dead last among the 50 states.

Detroit Free Press:  Gov. James Blanchard: National Recovery depends on federal support for governors and mayors, by James Blanchard, 5/7/2020

While serious people can certainly disagree on policy decisions and closures, nothing can justify dangerous protests at the capitol building in my home state of Michigan. On April 30th, protesters including some dressed in fatigues and brandishing assault weapons, demanded entry into the legislative chamber. I’m alarmed by the fact that only one Republican state senator and no national Republican leaders have stepped up to speak out against these dangerous gatherings that needlessly put our law enforcement officers and the protesters themselves at risk. Clearly the Republican Party is no longer the party of former Governors’ George Romney and William Milliken and Presidents’ Eisenhower, Ford, Reagan and Bush.

Detroit Free Press:  6 things you need to know about Michigan's economy right now, and 1 budget moral, by Nancy Kaffer, 5/8/2020

The moral of this story


Michigan has been shortchanging everything for decades. Yeah, we were hit hard by the housing crash and the great recession. Yeah, we're a manufacturing state, and manufacturing was devastated in the last decade.

 

But what Michigan has done in the last 20 years — allowing the conditions in our schools, roads, infrastructure and social safety net to deteriorate — makes no sense. And now, when a budget shortfall is looming, it's fourth down and 20..

Detroit Free Press:  Mysterious customer leaves Balkan House restaurants a tip the size of a billboard, by Mark Kurlyandchik, 5/7/2020

Livingston Daily:  Howell hospital nurses on pandemic: 'Nurses and health care workers are resilient' by Jennifer Timar, 5/8/2020

Zarb said the biggest relief is Livingston County hasn't been hit as hard as metro Detroit.  "We planned for a surge of patients," she said. "Livingston County was so blessed to not have the surge of patients," seen in Wayne and Oakland counties.

Livingston Daily:  Hartland Farmers Market opens Saturday; Brighton, Howell delay openings, by Bill Khan, 5/7/2020

“We’re going to have our vendors spread out a little more than normal,” said Kathie Horning, who co-founded the market with the late James Sparks in 2004. “We’re going to practice social distancing.”

 

[As you can see in the article's accompanying photograph, distancing was a pipe dream.]

USA Today in  the Livingston Daily:   Coronavirus antibody tests are available around the country. Here's why they may provide a false sense of security., Kevin McCoy and David Heath, 5/7/2020

Livingston Daily:  Genoa Twp. urgent care offering COVID-19 antibody tests, health department urges caution, by Kayla Daugherty, 5/7/2020

Michigan Urgent Care and Occupational Health started offering antibody blood serum testing for COVID-19 about two weeks ago, including a location at 2300 Genoa Business Park Drive, Suite 120, in Genoa Township.

"People who want to know if they have an immunity to the virus can receive testing for $35," said the clinic owner according to the Livingston Daily.

 

What has not been proven is that the presence of antibodies proves immunity.

Livingston Daily:  Nursing home COVID-19 outbreaks: 'We're playing catch up with a vulnerable population', by Jennifer Timar, 5/7/2020

Livingston Daily:  Brighton area gym reopens despite state orders, by Jennifer Timar, 5/8/2020

Brighton gym owner James Gray said he is not imposing guidelines for social distancing or requiring anyone to wear masks.

 

"You can follow any guidelines you’d like," he says in a May 1 Youtube video. "Just please enjoy your freedom. You have the right to do what you feel is best and I’m going to exercise my right to do that as well."

 

Livingston County Sheriff Murphy said he does not have a problem with Gray's decision.

 

"We know enough about this virus now," Murphy said. "I truly believe that it should be back to free will. ... I hope people get back to their own personal hygiene. At the end of the day that’s what this is all about.".

Washington Post:  Trump Brings Back the Eighties. Leisure and Hospitality Jobs Wiped Out to 1988 Levels - Catherine Rampell, 5/8/2020

The share of the worker-age population that is employed fell to its lowest level ever, 51.3 percent.

 

The big question, of course, is how many of the people who’ve been laid off will be rehired. In Friday’s report, most people officially counted as unemployed (78 percent) said they’re on temporary layoff.

 

Let’s hope they’re right. And if not, perhaps a "cubic model" — such as the much-mocked one created by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, [contrived to suggest coronavirus deaths would cease around mid-May ]— will offer a happier outcome, a snake oils salesman's promise.

Wall Street Journal:  The Mortgage Market Never Got Fixed After 2008. Now It’s Breaking Again. - Ben Eisen, 5/9/2020

Many mortgage companies are nonbanks that don’t have deposits or other business lines to cushion them amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Wall Street Journal:   Less Traffic Isn’t Doing America’s Roads Any Favors, by Jinjoo Lee, 5/6/2020

The expected shortfall in fuel-tax revenue doesn’t bode well for companies that supply and build roads.

 

More than one observer—including President Trump himself—has noted that America’s coronavirus lockdowns are an ideal time to fix the roads. It would be killing two birds with one stone: avoiding traffic jams and providing jobs during a surge in unemployment. Sadly, the exact opposite might happen in many states, punishing private-sector companies.

Wall Street Journal:  Germany managed something unusual among large economies. It kept factories running and the virus suppressed. - Tom Fairless, 5/6/2020

Strict safety rules, testing and contact tracing enabled plants to keep running without major outbreaks.

 

MULFINGEN, Germany— When much of Europe’s economy shut down in mid-March, business kept right on going at Ebm-papst Group, a fan and motor manufacturer based near Germany’s Black Forest. The family-owned company kept its domestic factories running at 80% of normal capacity.

CNN:  WHO says world could face "significant alteration to our lifestyles" until a vaccine is developed, 5/8/2020

CNN:  Canada records second-highest unemployment rate in its history, Paula Newton, 5/8/2020

Nearly one in three Canadian workers either didn’t work in April or had reduced hours.

STAT:  Trump administration announces plan to distribute Covid-19 drug amid concerns over allocation, by Lev Facher, 5/9/2020

Doctors and public health officials have called for the federal government to create a transparent system for distributing remdesivir. Some experts have pointed to the website the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created in 2009 once the Food and Drug Administration authorized peramivir, an antiviral used to treat the H1N1 flu, on an emergency basis. 

 

[You remember 2009.  America had a president who shouldered responsibility.]

 

While some hospitals in recent days had reported receiving allocations of remdesivir directly, others received none, leaving many doctors and hospitals across the country frustrated and in the dark as to when and they might receive supplies.  The federal government’s new plan will deliver the drug to state health departments and allow them to determine which hospitals should receive it. 

 

The latest round of remdesivir distributions will send 5,600 vials of remdesivir to Illinois, 4,400 to New Jersey, 1,600 to Michigan, 1,200 to Connecticut and Maryland, and 400 to Iowa.

 

Earlier in the week, federal officials had declined to specify which hospitals and states had received remdesivir, and how many vials had been delivered. HHS finally clarified those numbers on Saturday, reporting the delivery of nearly 23,000 vials to New York, nearly 5,000 to Massachusetts, 4,000 to New Jersey, and smaller allotments to Indiana, Virginia, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.

 

Even in those states, however, the hospitals that received remdesivir were not necessarily those treating the highest numbers of coronavirus patients.

 

Though the announcement sheds some light on how the federal government is working to distribute the most Covid-19 treatment, it leaves unanswered other questions about the methodology.

 

The federal government’s announcement, for instance, made no mention of California, Pennsylvania, and Florida — meaning the states with the fifth-, sixth-, and eighth-highest Covid-19 case totals, respectively, have not received remdesivir allocations.

STAT:  A new Trump administration rule increases out-of-pocket drug costs, by Ed Silverman, 5/8/2020

As part of a final rule setting standards for health benefits, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid will allow insurers and employers to exclude certain copay assistance programs, such as cards and coupons provided by drug makers, from counting toward deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. The decision applies even when there is no generic alternative to a pricey, brand-name drug.

STAT:  Maryland governor vetoes funding for a prescription drug affordability board, by Ed Silverman, 5/8/2020

The board emerged last year after the U.S. Supreme Court scuttled a state law that aimed to bar drug makers from “price gouging” consumers.

STAT:  Why the porn industry has a lot to teach us about safety in the Covid-19 era, by Usha Lee McFarling, 5/8/2020

LOS ANGELES — As states and employers furiously develop plans to safely reopen workplaces in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, they’re grappling with what seems like an endless list of questions: where to test, who to test, and how often to test for the virus? Further complicating matters are issues of workers’ privacy, geography, politics, science, and cost. It’s a difficult mandate. But there is one place to look for guidance — the adult film industry.

 

Since the late 1990s, when an outbreak of HIV infections threatened to shutter the multibillion-dollar industry, the mainstream porn community has implemented procedures that require all performers to be tested for HIV and a host of other sexually transmitted infections every 14 days before they can be cleared to work. Any HIV-positive test leads to an immediate shutdown of all U.S. sets, followed by detailed contact tracing before sets can reopen. While not perfect, those in the industry say the nationwide PASS program works to protect thousands of performers, ensures safer workplaces, and curtails the spread of disease.

AP Flashback: CDC: 80,000 people died of flu last winter in U.S., highest death toll in 40 years, Associated Press, 9/26/2018

STAT:  A snapshot of coronavirus in the U.S.: A high plateau of new cases portends more spread, by Andrew Joseph, 5/7/2020

“I’m somewhat sympathetic, as I think everyone is, to the impulse to try to open up,” Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said last week. But, he added, “I don’t think at this point that it’s good public health advice to reopen in most parts of the United States, because cases numbers are high, and testing is poor. And that’s where we were a long time ago.”

STAT:  Three potential futures for Covid-19: recurring small outbreaks, a monster wave, or a persistent crisis, by Sharon Begley, 5/1/2020

STAT:  Routine vaccinations for U.S. children have plummeted during the Covid-19 pandemic, by Helen Branswell, 5/8/2020

CDC:  Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Routine Pediatric Vaccine Ordering and Administration — United States, 2020, by Jeanne M. Santoli, MD et al, 5/8/2020

Peter Chin-Hong MD - a map showing where Remdesvir has been distributed after its seizure by Trump's inept pet, Slenderman Jared Kushner, 5/6/2020

STAT: Doctors lambaste federal process for distributing Gilead's Covid-19 drug Remdesivir,  by Eric Bodman and Casey Ross, 5/6/2020

“In my opinion, and I think in the opinion of many of my colleagues, there is a complete lack of transparency about how this decision is being made and who is making it,” said Daniel Kaul, an infectious disease physician at the University of Michigan. His hospital’s pharmacy department informed him that their center wouldn’t be getting any doses of remdesivir after being in contact with the drug’s private distributor, AmerisourceBergen, earlier on Wednesday.

 

“Those of us on the frontlines treating people with Covid-19 need to know what the criteria are and where this drug is going to be available and why those places were selected,” he went on.“All of us want to make sure limited resources are used in the most efficient fashion. ... The government entity making this decision should reveal itself and it should state its criteria.”

May 7:  Coronavirus is spreading under the radar in US homeless shelters, by Amy Maxmen, Nature

Evidence-based solutions might protect not only the roughly 1.4 million people who use a homeless shelter or transitional housing in the United States each year — a growing population as unemployment soars and prisons release people to ease crowding — but also other people who don’t have the luxury of separating themselves from others. “What we’re seeing in this first wave in the US is that the largest clusters are in populations where people don’t have a lot of agency,” says Gina Neff, a sociologist at the University of Oxford, UK. “These populations will become the sources of new outbreaks, even when we feel like we kind of have it under control.”

Science:   Herpes virus can trigger Alzheimer’s, brain tissue study suggests, by Kelly Servick, 5/7/2020

Using tiny brainlike structures grown in a lab dish, researchers have found new evidence that a common virus responsible for cold sores might also be a cause of Alzheimer’s disease, according to STAT. The scientists reprogrammed human skin cells into neurons, grew them into 3D structures, and then infected them with the herpes simplex virus HSV-1. The cells produced buildups of the protein beta amyloid similar to plaques seen in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, the team reports this week in Science Advances.

STAT:  Using human brain tissue in lab dishes, researchers show herpes link to Alzheimer’s, by Sharon Begley, 5/6/2020

A small 3D version of the human brain develops key features of Alzheimer’s disease when it is infected with a virus that causes cold sores, scientists reported on Wednesday, adding to the evidence that this most common form of dementia can be caused by a common microbe.

 

The new research, published in Science Advances, is the first to directly show in a lab model (rather than through circumstantial evidence from human studies) that the herpes simplex virus HSV-1 might cause Alzheimer’s: Human brain-like tissue infected with the virus became riddled with amyloid plaque-like formations — the hallmark of Alzheimer’s. It also developed neuroinflammation and became less effective at conducting electrical signals, all of which happen in Alzheimer’s disease.

 

The new study used a three-dimensional, engineered human quasi-brain developed by postdoctoral fellow Dana Cairns of Tufts University. She starts with skin cells from human foreskin, then uses genetic techniques to turn them into neural stem cells, which within four days become neurons, glia, and the rest of the neural menagerie in the brain. The key step: putting the cells — 1 million of them — into tiny, donut-shaped sponges made out of silk proteins, a material that neural stem cells apparently take to like algae to a sunny pond.

 

The result is not a brain “organoid” per se; it does not replicate that organ’s structures. “We call it a tissue-engineered system,” said senior author David Kaplan of Tufts. Measuring 0.2 to 0.4 of an inch across and just under 0.1 of an inch high, it has neurons with axons and dendrites that transmit and receive electrical signals; synapses, where neurons connect; and “amazing networks,” Kaplan said — “the whole deal.”

Science:  The race is on for antibodies that stop the new coronavirus, by Jon Cohen, 5/5/2020

Jacob Glanville, an immunologist and computer scientist who runs Distributed Bio, has designed neuts for SARS-CoV-2 in a computer, drawing on genetic sequences and structures of ones known to thwart the SARS virus in cells and even mice. “I’m basically able to get a freebie ride on [past] research in a very brief period,” Glanville says.

 

With molecular modeling software, Glanville mutated the antibodies to the SARS virus into billions of variants. And using phages as well, Glanville’s group created a still larger library of antibodies that might work. The researchers then sorted through what Glanville calls “this vast mutational space” for antibodies predicted to bind to SARS-CoV-2 spike, identify 50 leads they are testing in vitro. They soon hope to select the best 13 candidates.

Science:  ‘Finally, a virus got me.’ Scientist who fought Ebola and HIV reflects on facing death from COVID-19, by Dirk Draulans, 5/8/2020

Virologist Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, fell ill with COVID-19 in mid-March:

 

I shared a room with a homeless person, a Colombian cleaner, and a man from Bangladesh—all three diabetics, incidentally, which is consistent with the known picture of the disease. The days and nights were lonely because no one had the energy to talk. I could only whisper for weeks; even now, my voice loses power in the evening. But I always had that question going around in my head: How will I be when I get out of this?

 

After fighting viruses all over the world for more than 40 years, I have become an expert in infections. I’m glad I had corona and not Ebola, although I read a scientific study yesterday that concluded you have a 30% chance of dying if you end up in a British hospital with COVID-19. That’s about the same overall mortality rate as for Ebola in 2014 in West Africa. That makes you lose your scientific level-headedness at times, and you surrender to emotional reflections. They got me, I sometimes thought. I have devoted my life to fighting viruses and finally, they get their revenge. For a week I balanced between heaven and Earth, on the edge of what could have been the end.

CNN:  She was asked to pay thousands for her coronavirus treatment, he got a free ride. She's American. He's Italian. By Ivana Kottasová, Tami Luhby and Valentina Di Donato,  5/1/2020

The Covid-19 pandemic is exposing the deep divide between how health care is approached in the US and in Europe. In Italy, like on much of the continent, the system is publicly funded and almost entirely free for anyone who needs it. Meanwhile the United States is the only developed nation without universal health care.

CNN:  Eye-opening South Korea study on Covid-19, by Kent Sepkowitz, 5/1/2020

Had the investigators waited a week, the infection would likely have spread widely to family, then to friends, then to friends' workplaces -- just as we are seeing in the outbreaks in US meat processing plants with a comparably high-density work environment. The virus knows no walls: Once a business is infected, the entire community may quickly become infected, unless dramatic action -- such as occurred in Seoul -- is taken. 

CNN:  Coronavirus found in men's semen, 5/8/2020

A team at Shangqiu Municipal Hospital tested 38 male patients treated there at the height of the pandemic in China, in January and February. About 16% of them had evidence of the coronavirus in their semen, the team reported in the journal JAMA Network Open. About a quarter of them were in the acute stage of infection and nearly 9% of them were recovering, the team reported.

 

"We found that SARS-CoV-2 can be present in the semen of patients with COVID-19, and SARS-CoV-2 may still be detected in the semen of recovering patients," Diangeng Li of Chinese People's Liberation Army General Hospital in Beijing and colleagues wrote.

CNN:  South Dakota governor tells Sioux tribes they have 48 hours to remove Covid-19 checkpoints, by Chris Boyette, 5/9/2020

According to Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe checkpoint policies posted on its social media, its reservation residents may travel within South Dakota to areas the state has not deemed a Covid-19 "hotspot" if it's for an essential activity such as medical appointments or to get supplies unavailable on the reservation. But they must complete a health questionnaire when they leave and when they return every time they go through a checkpoint.

 

Both tribes have also issued strict stay-at-home orders and curfews for their communities. South Dakota Governor Noem has not issued stay-at-home orders for the state, [because, of course, that would make too much sense.]

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CNN:  Pence's press secretary tests positive for coronavirus, Trump says, by Maegan Vazquez, Kaitlan Collins, John Harwood and Jim Acosta, 5/9/2020

CNN:  Ivanka Trump’s personal assistant has tested positive for coronavirus, source tells CNN, by Kaitlan Collins, 5/8/2020

CNN:  One of Trump's personal valets has tested positive for coronavirus, by Kaitlan Collins and Peter Morris, 5/7/2020

The valets are members of an elite military unit dedicated to the White House and often work very close to the President and first family. Trump was upset when he was informed Wednesday that the valet had tested positive, a source told CNN, and the President was subsequently tested again by the White House physician.

Ohio Capital Journal:   The grim calculus behind Ohio’s economic reopening, By Marty Schladen, 5/8/2020

“The things we can control as individuals are really going to control how we do,” Ohio Governor DeWine said. “We can wear a mask. We can observe the six-foot distance.”

 

Only a day earlier, DeWine’s fellow Republicans in the Ohio House of Representatives declined to wear masks as they gathered in the Statehouse and voted to limit DeWine’s power to impose closure orders like the ones the governor now is easing.

Daily Beast:  ‘Truly Disturbing’: Third NY Child Dies From Rare Syndrome Linked to COVID-19, by Barbie Latza Nadeau, 5/9/2020

Three New York children have died from pediatric multi-symptom inflammatory syndrome tied to COVID-19 since the pandemic began, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.  The childhood ailment has affected at least 73 children in New York state.  Cases have also been reported in Washington, D.C., California, Delaware, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington state and New Jersey.

Today:  People want to boycott Costco over the store's new mandatory mask policy, by Aly Walansky, 5/7/2020

Who's objecting? Loudmouthed science-challenged assholes.

Daily Beast:  Jim Bakker’s Prepper Village Is Having the Worst Apocalypse Ever, by Kelly Weill, 5/9/2020

So what does the coronavirus pandemic look like in this temple of survival?  “They were running out of supplies they had stocked up on when I was leaving there,” said a former employee.

 

After twenty-four convictions on fraud and conspiracy charges in the amusement park scandal and four years in prison, Bakker was released from lockup in 1994. By 2003, he’d returned to broadcast ministry, this time with an eye on the end-times. He preached the apocalypse and used a loophole in non-profit law to hawk survivalist gear like supposed health supplements and giant buckets of shelf-stable food.

 

“Imagine,” one of Bakker’s emergency food ads said, “the world is dying and you're having a breakfast for kings.” (Because his ministry is technically a nonprofit, Bakker does not “sell” his goods; he offers them as “love gifts” to people who make specific donations, like $4,500 for a “Peace of Mind Final Countdown” bundle that contained 31,000 servings of food in a variety of buckets.)

Daily Beast:  The New Trump App Is a Death Star of Fake News—and It Reaches More People Than Daytime Cable News, by Stefan Smith, 5/9/2020

Campaigns and consultants have spent the last four years worrying about the Trump campaign’s digital operation. Even before COVID-19 upended the election and forced candidates online, the Trump campaign was geofencing campaign rallies, micro-targeting digital ads, and amplifying deepfake videos.

Detroit News:  Whitmer unveils 6-phase reopen plan, extends stay-home order through May 28, by Beth LeBlanc, 5/7/2020 

Detroit Free Press:  Contact-tracing efforts may begin this week, here's how to get involved, by Miriam Marini, 5/6/2020

Detroit Free Press:  GM nets 294M in Q1, down 87%, by Jamie L. LaReau, 5/6/2020

Detroit Free Press:  GM tells UAW members its planned date to begin factory restarts, by Jamie L. LaReau, 5/5/2020

General Motors will begin to ramp up its North American assembly plants next week to restart production starting May 18.

Detroit Free Press:  Fiat Chrysler loses 1.9B in Q1, announces target date for restart, by Eric D. Lawrence, 5/5/2020

Detroit Free Press:  AK Steel to close Dearborn factory, eliminating 343 jobs, AP, 5/6/2020

AK Steel Corp. said the Dearborn factory is closing "due to rapidly deteriorating business conditions."

KOCO Channel 5 ABC: Police identify woman accused of firing shots at McDonald’s after she was told dining room was closed, 5/7/2020

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City police identified a woman accused of firing shots inside a McDonald’s restaurant after being told by employees that the dining room was closed due to coronavirus restrictions.

6ABC:  In Pennsylvania, man arrested after disrupting salute to first responders, waving gun, police said 5/6/2020

Darby, PA:  According to investigators, the suspect drove an SUV through a parade of first responders who were paying tribute to the staff at Mercy Fitzgerald Medical Center Tuesday night.  Officers said the man threatened to hurt people while waving a gun.

Detroit News:  Gov. Whitmer extends Michigan stay home order through May 28, by Paul Egan, 5/7/2020

Michigan manufacturing will resume on Monday, with the auto plants restarting one week later, on May 18.

 

"We are still safer at home," Whitmer said. "While we can re-engage in more things, we've got to be smart about it.

Fierce Biotech:  MedTech Sherlock's quick, CRISPR-based coronavirus test gets emergency nod, by Amirah Al Idrus, 5/7/2020

The test is based on the company’s namesake technology, SHERLOCK, short for Specific High-sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter unLOCKing, a Cas13a-based CRISPR system that targets RNA rather than DNA. It looks for an RNA sequence specific to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in patient samples taken from the upper airways with a swab or from airways in the lungs known as bronchoalveolar washing.

 

“If it’s there, it attaches to the Cas13 enzyme and activates it, which leads to the chewing up and cleaving of RNA probes,” Sherlock CEO Rahul Dhanda told FierceMedTech. When cleaved, those RNA molecules release a fluorescent signal to show the virus is present.

 

Sherlock did more than 2,000 tests in preparation for its FDA submission, finding it had 100% specificity and sensitivity in its clinical data, meaning that no false positives or false negatives.

Detroit News:  Detroit photographer Anthony Szczygielski, 69, dies of coronavirus complications, by Brendel Hightower, 5/7/2020

Washington Post:  Over 33 million Americans lost their job during the pandemic. 77 percent believe they’ll get it back, Post-Ipsos poll finds. By Heather Long and Emily Guskin, 5/7/2020

Economists warn over 40 percent of job losses could become permanent.

Washington Post:  Crisis begins to hit professional and public-sector jobs once considered safe, by Andrew Van Dam, 4/30/2020

Graphs and charts showing joblessness by industry, by week, by state, by sector, etc., etc., etc..

Washington Post:  SBA slashes disaster-loan limit from $2 million to $150,, etc000, shuts out nearly all new applicants, by Aaron Gregg and Erica Werner, 5/7/2020

After initially telling businesses that individual disaster loans could be as high as $2 million, SBA has now imposed a $150,000 limit without publicly announcing the change

LA Times:  Neiman Marcus files for bankruptcy, flattened by debt and idled by coronavirus, Bloomberg, 5/7/2020

LA Times:  The coronavirus hit to L.A. tourism: 22 million visitors and $13 billion in spending, by Hugo Martín, 5/7/2020

A burgeoning middle class in China has helped fuel a surge in Chinese tourists in Los Angeles, spending an average of about $6,900 per visit, according to the U.S. Travel Assn., a trade group for the country’s travel industry.  LAX, once the second- or third-busiest airport in the country with 1,200 takeoffs and landings a day, now operates about 400 takeoffs and landings daily, according to LAX officials.

LA Times:  Coronavirus plunges California into worst budget deficit in state history, by John Myers, 5/7/2020

[California Governor] Newsom’s budget team forecasts a $41.2-billion drop in tax revenues compared to their estimates from just four months ago. Most of that — $32.2 billion — would appear in the fiscal year that begins in July. Current year tax revenues, according to the report, are expected to miss the mark by $9.7 billion.

 

The impact on K-12 education funding could be especially severe. Schools receive roughly 40% of the state’s general fund revenues and, under a series of complicated constitutional formulas, could see their minimum funding cut by more than $18 billion under the Newsom administration analysis.

Daily Beast:  Meghan McCain Goes Off on Kayleigh McEnany for ‘Spinning Propaganda’, by Justin Baragona, 5/7/2020

“If the tests aren’t important, why is the White House, and everybody else getting tested before they go before the president?” McCain concluded. 

Daily Beast:  Read the CDC Coronavirus Document the White House Didn’t Want You to See, by Jamie Ross and Erin Banco, 5/7/2020

The document, officials said at the time, was incredibly intricate and showed how states could begin to open summer camps, restaurants, bars and religious centers. Officials inside the CDC said they had been working on the guidelines for several weeks and anticipated that the White House would release them to states in the following days.

 

The Associated Press reported that the document had been slated for publication last Friday—but that scientists at the CDC were then told by the White House that it “would never see the light of day.”

 

Well, they were wrong— here it is.

Daily Beast:  Trump Wants a Quick Reopening. Data His Own White House Is Examining Shows It Could Be a Disaster, by Erin Banco, 5/7/2020

Under their projections, if starting on May 15 residents in Los Angeles county were to conduct 33 percent less social distancing, the coronavirus daily case count would jump from about 471 cases to 1,467 by August 1. Similarly, Illinois’s Cook County, where Chicago is located, would see daily coronavirus case numbers spike from 626 to 2,494 between May 15 and August 1.

 

A similar study reported by The Washington Post and The New York Times this week shows the coronavirus daily case count surging as high as 200,000 by June 1. The report includes stamps from the Center for Disease Control, Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security. But officials inside the administration have said the study was not vetted before release.

Daily Beast:  Televangelist Jim Bakker Fights to Keep Selling Sham COVID-19 ‘Cure From God’, by Kate Briquelet, 5/7/2020

The disgraced Evangelical is battling the state of Missouri and a new class-action lawsuit seeking to ban him from peddling a bogus cure for coronavirus and HIV.

Detroit Free Press:  Censured Royal Oak City Commissioner Kim Gibbs caught shoplifting, by Christina Hall, 5/7/2020

"I obviously was not thinking clearly, and I take full responsibility for my actions. Recently, I had to choose between insulin and food, and I chose the insulin, which helps me stay alive.

Detroit Free Press:  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issues executive order to hasten unemployment benefits for thousands, by Darcie Moran, 5/7/2020

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered that only a current cause of unemployment be weighed when it comes to a resident’s eligibility for state benefits.

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan unemployment agency ups manpower as frustrations mount, by Darcie Moran, 4/25/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan GOP lawsuit against Gov. Whitmer unlikely to succeed, experts say, by Paul Egan, 5/7/2020

Detroit Free Press:  House and Senate sue Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over emergency powers, by Paul Egan, 5/6/2020

Detroit Free Press:  AG Nessel: Don't be confused, Whitmer's emergency orders remain in force, by Paul Egan, 5/5/2020

In a letter to law enforcement officials, Nessel said Whitmer's stay-at-home order and order closing restaurants, gyms, theaters, hair and nail salons, barbershops and many other facilities, and restricting restaurants to carryout and delivery service, remain enforceable, "regardless of what you may have heard."

Detroit Free Press:  Republican congressman Paul Mitchell sues Gov. Whitmer over handling of coronavirus, by Paul Egan, 5/4/2020

Lavora Barnes, chairwoman of the Michigan Democratic Party, called the suit a "political stunt" and "a shining example of how the GOP is failing the people of Michigan."

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan's governor and emergency powers: What you need to know, by Paul Egan, 4/30/2020

Detroit Free Press:  7 Catholic religious sisters now dead of coronavirus at same Michigan convent, by Niraj Warikoo, 5/7/2020

Seven Catholic sisters at a convent in Livonia who died last month tested positive for the coronavirus, an official with the Felician Sisters of North America told the Free Press on Wednesday.  In addition, four other sisters at the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent in Livonia died in April, a total of 11 deaths last month at the convent. There are no test results pending for the four, said Suzanne Wilcox English, the executive director of Mission Advancement at the Felician Sisters of North America.

 

The Livonia convent was home to 56 sisters before the coronavirus outbreak, English said. About one out of five of them died in one month.

Detroit Free Press:  11 Catholic religious sisters at Livonia convent die during pandemic, 5/7/2020

This is a photo gallery, comprising portraits of the eleven dead Nuns.  More than a bit of personality shines through.  I didn't/couldn't make it to the last photograph.

Detroit Free Press:  Owosso barber reopens despite state orders: 'I was in despair, I had to go back to work', by Kara Berg, 5/6/2020

"(The shutdown) collapsed me, mentally, physically and spiritually," Manke said. "I was in despair, I had to go back to work...I don't have anybody paying me unless I'm doing work."  The 77-year-old barber received a citation Wednesday for violating the executive order on the third day he was open.

Detroit Free Press:  Coronavirus pandemic could impact 40% of Michigan jobs, McKinsey says, 5/7/2020

About 1.33 million have filed for unemployment in Michigan since March 15, the state's labor department said Thursday. Michigan is one of five states sending out more than $800 million a week in benefits.

Detroit Free Press:  Coronavirus pandemic could impact 40% of Michigan jobs, McKinsey says, by Adrienne Roberts, 5/1/2020

McKinsey, a strategy and management consulting services firm, estimates nearly 2 million workers in Michigan will be affected in some way.

Detroit Free Press:  Pontiac family grieves while coronavirus leaves some domestic abuse victims in isolation, by Joe Guillen and Angie Jaskson, 5/7/2020 

Daily Beast:  Trump’s America Now Leads the World—in Suicidal Stupidity, by Michael Tomasky, 5/6/2020

Reopening things just as we were beginning to maybe get a handle on the pandemic is reckless. It’s immoral. It’s shameful. And beyond all that, it’s just stupid.

 

“American exceptionalism” is the general idea that the United States is different from other countries, endowed with special traits, better, superior. It goes back—well, actually, people debate how far it goes back.

 

But there’s no debating when it ends. It ends this month, in May 2020, under Donald Trump, who in prematurely sending people back to work (and to gyms) so they can die needlessly is destroying not just thousands of human lives but also any idea of America as a special place. That shining city on a hill business? Done.

Detroit Free Press:  Law professor: Virus reveals we all need a class in evidence, by Len Niehoff, JD, 5/5/2020

We cannot wait. We all need to becomes students of evidence right here, right now. If we don’t, we will not just repeat the errors of the past. We will blunder into fresh ones that were avoidable, but that our disregard of truth has made apocalyptic.

Bloomberg:  Tesla Idles China Plant, Suspending Vehicle Output Worldwide, 5/7/2020

While Tesla’s only car factory outside the U.S. is expecting delays in receiving parts for its Model 3, it’s also facing problems with a crucial piece of manufacturing equipment that’s being fixed 

Detroit Free Press:  Woman arraigned in death of Flint Family Dollar security guard over coronavirus mask, AP, 5/6/2020

Teague, her husband, Larry Teague, 44; and her son, Ramonyea Bishop, 23, face first-degree premeditated murder charges in Friday's killing of Calvin Munerlyn, 43, at a Family Dollar near downtown Flint.

 

Larry Teague and Bishop have yet to be arrested and are believed to be on the run, prosecutor David Leyton said.

 

 

Bloomberg:  Coronavirus Lingers in Air of Crowded Spaces, New Study Finds, by Marthe Fourcade, 4/27/2020

They found few aerosols in patient wards, supermarkets and residential buildings. Many more were detected in toilets and two areas that had large crowds passing through, including an indoor space near one of the hospitals.  Especially high concentrations appeared in the rooms where medical staff doff protective equipment, which may suggest that particles contaminating their gear became airborne again when masks, gloves and gowns are removed.

Washington Post:  Trump’s unhinged rant about a new attack ad shows his weakness, by Greg Sargent, 5/5/2020

Trump’s answer to the current catastrophe looks something like what Jedediah Britton-Purdy terms “disaster nationalism.” It’s a fusion of neo-Social Darwinist relaxation of social distancing, putting ordinary Americans and workers at terrible risk (see the ongoing carnage in meatpacking plants) with more tax cuts, shredded regulations and ethno-nationalist scapegoating of immigrants.

Jacobin Magazine:  The Only Treatment for Coronavirus Is Solidarity, by Jebediah Britton-Purdy

It’s worth remembering that our alone-together world of individualist ethics and material interdependence didn’t just happen. It takes a vast and intricate infrastructure to keep us all running in one another’s service, and in the ultimate service of return to capital: from highways to credit markets to the global trade regime. The fact that these interwoven systems are tanking financial markets around the world at the prospect that people might need to spend a few months sitting at home rather than hurrying around exchanging money shows how finely calibrated they are to profit, and how totally lacking in resilience to shifts in human need.

Jacobin Magazine:  “We’re Not Going to Work Through Coronavirus”, by David Broder, 3/12/2020

Jacobin Magazine:  Reopening the Economy Will Send Us to Hell, by Mike Davis, 4/27/2020

Washington Post:  ‘I believe I am treated worse,’ Trump says. As if. by Dana Milbank, 5/5/2020

He is dishonest. He is unjust. He has no principle, no respect for law. In his administrative madness, on his unconstitutional crusade, he uses the power of government to crush. His presidency is despotism, a dictatorship, a monstrous usurpation, a criminal wrong and an act of national suicide.

Washington Post:  I usually ignore all Trump’s tweets. Not this one. By Dvid Von Drehle, 5/5/2020

Washington Post:    We may be dramatically overestimating China’s capabilities, by David Ignatius, 5/5/2020

Washington Post:  15 children in New York City have developed a puzzling and serious inflammatory syndrome possibly linked to covid-19, by Ariana Eunjung Cha and Chelsea Janes, 5/5/2020

Washington Post:  The world will demand answers on covid-19 until China explains what happened, by David Ignatius, 4/23/2020

AirBNB:  A Message from Co-Founder and CEO Brian Chesky, 5/5/2020

Earlier today, Airbnb Co-Founder and CEO Brian Chesky sent the following note to Airbnb employees.

 

This is my seventh time talking to you from my house. Each time we’ve talked, I’ve shared good news and bad news, but today I have to share some very sad news.

 

When you’ve asked me about layoffs, I’ve said that nothing is off the table. Today, I must confirm that we are reducing the size of the Airbnb workforce.

 

Airbnb's mass layoffs included this exit package: 14 weeks' base pay, 12 months' health insurance, extensive job support, and laptops.

MEDIAite:  Trump Goes on 1 A.M. Spree Blasting ‘Mourning in America’ Ad, Calls George Conway ‘Deranged Loser of a Husband’ and ‘Moonface’, by Colby Hall, 5/5/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan man in now-famous Capitol protest photo: 'I didn't scream in anybody's face', by Gina Kaufman, 5/5/2020

But he isn't from California. He is from New Hudson, Michigan. And his name is Brian Cash.

 

"Yes, that's me," the 52-year-old flooring installer told the Free Press on Monday when asked to confirm whether he is the man in the photo, taken by Jeff Kowalsky, a photographer working for Agence France-Presse (AFP).

 

Other details about Cash: He is not concerned about the virus ("Not at all"); he doesn't believe masks protect people and won't wear one ("Ever"); he doesn't agree with the stay home order because people are still going to stores, pharmacies and gas stations anyway ("So what is the point of staying at home?"); he believes the virus was intentionally released by the Chinese government, and he said he had never voted before the 2016 election ("Because f*ck the government, you know?").

 

Cash, who expressed dislike for both the Democratic and Republican parties, said he voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary, and then Donald Trump in the general election.

 

He also is a marijuana advocate and said he was high during the interview with the Free Press. "If I'm awake, I'm high," Cash said. "But I'm not high; I'm normal."

Detroit Free Press:  Inmates, advocacy groups sue Wayne County Sheriff over COVID-19 response in jails, by Angie Jackson, 5/5/2020

Detroit Free Press:  ER visits plummet amid pandemic: 'More people are dying at home', by Tresa Baldas, 5/5/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Man who wiped face on Michigan store clerk arrested, by Andrea Perez Balderrama, 5/5/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan is considering move to ban guns inside state Capitol Building, by Paul Egan, 5/5/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Pfizer begins coronavirus vaccine testing in US; Mich. lab could mass produce it, by Tresa Baldas, 5/5/2020

After four months of working in labs, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has started testing humans in the U.S. with a potential vaccine for the coronavirus — a serum that could be mass produced at Pfizer's Kalamazoo site depending on its success.

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan Medicine to furlough workers, halt construction on new hospital, by David Jesse, 5/5/2020

The system is looking at projected financial losses of up to $230 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. Losses are expected to continue into next fiscal year as well.

 

In addition, leaders across Michigan Medicine will be taking a salary reduction. Marschall Runge, chief executive officer of Michigan Medicine, dean of the U-M Medical School and executive vice president for Medical Affairs at U-M, will reduce his compensation by 20%. Department chairs and other leaders were asked to voluntarily reduce their compensation on a scale between 5% and 15%.

 Daily Beast:  Team Trump Says He Alone Stopped the Pandemic—You Know, the One That’s Still Raging, by Matt Lewis, 5/5/2020

Fighter jets, happy doctors, Nancy Pelosi’s ice cream, and a wartime president—an ad that turns reality on its head. And it’ll probably work.

 CNBC:  Nearly a fifth of Wendy’s US restaurants are out of beef, analyst says, by Amelia Lucas, 5/5/2020

Stephens analyst James Rutherford said that a study of online menus for every Wendy’s location nationwide revealed that 1,043 restaurants — or 18% of its national footprint — have listed beef items as out of stock. More than 100 locations are still selling Wendy’s chili, which contains beef.

 

The shortages vary by state. Hundreds of Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and New York restaurants are out of beef, while other states’ menus do not indicate any supply chain issues.

Daily Beast:  Texans Brace for a COVID-19 ‘Explosion’ Just Days After Reopening, by Olivia Messer, 5/5/2020

New York Times:  Trump and His Infallible Advisers, by Paul Krugman, 5/4/2020

“You have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down close to zero.”

We’re going to have 50,000 or 60,000 deaths, and that’s great.

OK, we may have more than 100,000 deaths, but we’re doing a great job and should reopen the economy.

 

Observers trying to understand America’s lethally bad response to the coronavirus focus too much on Trump’s personal flaws, and not enough on the character of the party he leads.

 

Trump’s narcissism and solipsism are especially blatant, even flamboyant. But he isn’t an outlier; he’s more a culmination of the American right’s long-term trend toward intellectual degradation. And that degradation, more than Trump’s character, is what is leading to vast numbers of unnecessary deaths.

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan tightens time frame for handling body after death amid pandemic, by Darcie Moran, 5/4/2020

Hospitals and funeral directors now will have 24 hours to contact designated parties to handle burial and cremation arrangements after a death amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Crooks and Liars:  Trump Makes Excuses For Hydroxychloroquine: 'Nothing To Lose', by John Amato, 5/4/2020 

ABC12.com, Flint MI:   Called to order: Supreme Court holds 1st arguments by phone, By Mark Sherman and Jessica Gresko, AP, 5/4/2020

SciTechDaily:   Bad News – Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 Infects Cells of the Intestine and Multiplies There, By Hubrecht Institute, 5/4/2020

Science:  “SARS-CoV-2 productively Infects Human Gut Enterocytes” by Mart M. Lamers, Joep Beumer, Jelte van der Vaart, Kèvin Knoops, Jens Puschhof, Tim I. Breugem, Raimond B.G. Ravelli, J. Paul van Schayck, Anna Z. Mykytyn, Hans Q. Duimel, Elly van Donselaar, Samra Riesebosch, Helma J.H. Kuijpers, Debby Schipper, Willine J. van de Wetering, Miranda de Graaf, Marion Koopmans, Edwin Cuppen, Peter J. Peters, Bart L. Haagmans and Hans Clevers, 1 May 2020

ABC12.com:  Tenn. man, 64, beats coronavirus, returns home after 40 days in hospital, 5/4/2020

Five days after he was admitted to the hospital, doctors put Byler on a ventilator.

 

"The nurses, at that point, didn’t think he would survive," Shea said. "They told me that they were crying because they were really concerned that he would not turn around."

 

But Shea says her father started making slow progress, eventually pulling the ventilator out himself.

ABC12.com, Flint MI: Kroger, Costco to limit meat purchases in some states, 5/4/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Whitmer concerned about Belle Isle crowds, may put more controls on state parks, by Paul Egan, 5/4/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Grand Haven State Park closes parking lots after crowds 'overwhelm' the beach, by Meredith Spelbring, 5/3/2020 

Medium:  Women’s Resilience Is Saving the World, by Sady Doyle, 4/16/2020

As macho leaders descend into public tantrums, the coronavirus is revealing how women’s everyday emotional resilience holds our lives together

[Just two months ago:]  The Atlantic:  The Official Coronavirus Numbers Are Wrong, and Everyone Knows It, by Alexis C. Madrigal, 3/4/2020

The Atlantic:  Georgia’s Experiment in Human Sacrifice, by Amanda Mull, 4/29/2020

The state is about to find out how many people need to lose their lives to shore up the economy

michigancapitalconfidential:  Wife Says Flint Dollar Store Security Guard Killed Over Face Mask Dispute. By Tom Gantert, 5/3/2020

'Witness:  He asked a woman to put on a mask before she could come in. She spit in his face, then came back later with her dad and shot him.

Detroit Free Press:  Besties for 78 years die of coronavirus 6 days apart, now 'They're together up there', by Georgea Kovanis, 5/3/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Flint security guard dies after being shot in the head, police say, by Miriam Marini, 5/2/2020

New York Times:  ‘We Had to Do Something’: Trying to Prevent Massive Food Waste, by Michael Corkery and David Yaffe-Bellany, 5/2/2020

The closure of restaurants, hotels and school cafeterias wiped out huge sources of demand for fresh food, leaving farmers with millions of pounds of excess. While increased sales at grocery stores have made up for some of that, not since the Great Depression has so much fresh food been destroyed. (In the 1930s, the problem was that people could not afford to buy all the crops farmers were producing, which led the federal government to establish an early food stamp program.)

Daily Beast:  ‘Revenge Spending’ Hits China as Millions Travel Again, by Brendon Hong, 5/4/2020

Chinese state media is painting a picture of things nearly being back to normal in Wuhan and across the country. From a distance, that may seem true—people are, at least, out and about. But they are masked, and careful about who they approach and where they go. Occasionally, you’ll still spot extremely cautious individuals wearing full-body Tyvek suits. Purchases and food deliveries are often handed over like the two sides are conducting a hostage exchange.

Daily Beast:  An ER Doctor’s Infuriating Walk Through Central Park: ‘It’s a Slap in the Face’, by Michael Daly, 5/4/2020

Dr. Cleavon Gilman had seen the news footage of the crowds on the beaches in Florida and California.

 

But this was Central Park on Saturday afternoon, a jog away from New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. The 40-year-old emergency resident had lost so many patients that he keeps a chair between the ambulance bay and the trauma room where he sits to call families with the worst possible news.

 

And everywhere he now looked in the sun-splashed heart of the COVID-19 epicenter, he saw throngs of people ignoring social distancing as they milled about and relaxed amidst the trees and lawns, many without masks. He took it as a deep insult.

Daily Beast:  Retail Giant J. Crew files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection,  by Tom Sykes, 5/4/2020

Daily Beast:  Heathrow Boss Says Social Distancing Would Mean Half-Mile Lines to Board Big Airplanes, by Tom Sykes, 5/4/2020 

Daily Beast:   Trump Offers Lie After Lie Under Lincoln’s Unblinking Gaze, by Scott Bixby, 5/4/2020

As the 16th president stared down at the 45th president’s socially distant town hall, Trump rolled out a series of astounding falsehoods.

Daily Beast:   A Mayor Accepts a Nightmare: The COVID Tests Won’t Come, by Erin Banco, 5/4/2020

Jersey City tests about 2,100 people a week. It would need about 10 times that to safely reopen. The mayor has decided to start the re-opening anyway.

Daily Beast:   Trump Says 80,000-100,000 Americans Will Die, Calls That a ‘Success’, by Emma Tucker, 5/4/2020

Daily Beast:  Seattle Has a Sane Plan to End Lockdown. It Might Not Work., by Lynne Peeples, 5/4/2020

Daily Beast:  Tests Show Coronavirus Was Spreading in Europe Late Last Year, Weeks Earlier Than Thought, by Tom Sykes, 5/4/2020

Yves Cohen, an intensive-care chief in Paris, told local media that the virus was present in France on Dec. 27, several weeks before the first cases were confirmed. Cohen told broadcaster BFM-TV that his team revisited negative tests for flu and other viruses on dozens of patients who were in the hospital with respiratory symptoms in December and January. “Of the 24 patients, we had one positive result for COVID-19 on Dec. 27, when he was in hospital with us,” he said, adding that the test had been repeated several times to confirm the result.

Daily Beast:  Pence Finally Admits He Should Have Worn a Mask During Mayo Clinic Visit, by Emma Tucker, 5/3/2020

Daily Beast:  Trump Says He is Treated ‘Worse’ Than President Lincoln, (Who Was Assassinated), by Emma Tucker, 5/3/2020

“I am greeted by a hostile press, the likes of which no president has ever seen... They always said nobody got treated worse than Lincoln. I believe I am treated worse. You see those press conferences [about the coronavirus response], they come at me with questions that are disgraceful. Their manner of presentation and their words. I feel if I was kind to them, I would be walked off the stage.” 

WSAV-3:  Former President George W Bush urges compassion, empathy, unity, non-partisanship in video message, 5/3/2020

Bloomberg Video:  Trump Attacks George W. Bush's compassion, empathy and non-partisanship, i.e., Bush's Unity video, 5/3/2020

President Trump attacked former President George W. Bush after he released a video this weekend encouraging Americans to end the partisan divided during the Covid-19 pandemic, without mentioning Trump.

 

Washington Post:  Trump can’t blame China for his own coronavirus failures, by Max Boot, 5/3/2020

Washington Post:  These public servants are finalists for the Oscars of government. (Yes, Fauci is one of them.) By Fred Hiatt, Editorial page editor, 5/3/2020 

With 66,000 Americans dead of covid-19 already, the U.S. government is among the world’s worst responders to the pandemic. We have sent essential workers ill-equipped into danger. We have no plan to remedy a crippling shortfall in tests. Businesses and people wait desperately for loans and checks.

 

But look more closely, and what you see is a failure of leaders, not civil servants. Of our current leader most of all, with his disdain for scientists who might have prepared us, his months of belittling the growing danger, his elevation even now of wishful thinking over strategy.

Washington Post:  Forget swabs. We all need to take a character test. By Nancy Gibbs, 5/3/2020

Washington Post:  Susan Rice on Trump’s coronavirus response: ‘He has cost tens of thousands of American lives’, by Jonathan Capehart, 4/6/2020

The case of negligence she made against the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic was persuasive and emphatic. But when I asked Rice if she thought the breathtaking incompetence was deliberate, Rice tapped the brakes ever so slightly.

 

“Even I am not prepared to say that and maybe I should, but it’s just inconceivable to me to have to state a proposition that the president of the United States is willfully trying to kill Americans,” Rice told me during an interview for my “Cape Up” podcast. “I don’t want to say that. I don’t want to believe that. But I do think he’s playing politics,” Rice said before spelling out the difference in Trump’s treatment of Illinois and Michigan vs. Kentucky and Oklahoma. 

Roche:  Roche’s COVID-19 antibody test receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization and is available in markets accepting the CE mark, 5/3/2020

Basel, 03 May 2020 - Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)1 for its new Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody test. The test is designed to help determine if a patient has been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and if the patient has developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Roche has already started shipping the new antibody test to leading laboratories globally and will ramp up production capacity to high double-digit millions per month to serve healthcare systems in countries accepting the CE mark2 as well as the U.S.

 

The serology test has a specificity greater than 99.8% and sensitivity of 100% (14 Days post-PCR confirmation)

 

Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 is an immunoassay for the in-vitro qualitative detection of antibodies (including IgG) to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in human serum and plasma. Through a blood sample, the test, which is based on an in-solution double-antigen sandwich format, can detect antibodies to the new coronavirus causing COVID-19, which could signal whether a person has already been infected and potentially developed immunity to the virus. Based on the measurement of a total of 5272 samples, the Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 assay has 99.81% specificity and shows no cross-reactivity to the four human coronaviruses causing common cold. This means it can lower the chance of false positives due to the detection of similar antibodies that may be present in an individual, but are specific for coronaviruses other than SARS-CoV-2. Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 detected antibodies with 100% sensitivity in samples taken 14 days after a PCR-confirmed infection. The importance of specificity and sensitivity of a particular test will be dependent on its purpose and disease prevalence within a given population.

 

Hospitals and reference laboratories can run the test on Roche’s cobas e analysers, which are widely available around the world. These fully automated systems can provide SARS-CoV-2 test results in approximately 18 minutes for one single test, with a test throughput of up to 300 tests/hour, depending on the analyser.

New York Post:  FDA approves coronavirus antibody test that boasts near-perfect accuracy, by Jackie Salo, 5/3/2020

Wall Street Journal:  Roche Coronavirus Antibody Test Wins FDA Approval for Emergency Use, by Denise Roland, 5/3/2020

The Swiss health-care giant says its test has proven 100% accurate at detecting Covid-19 antibodies in the blood

Detroit News:  Police probe shooting of Flint security guard in confrontation over mask at Family Dollar, by George Hunter and Ariana Taylor, 5/3/2020 

Associated Press:  Calif. official fired after saying let virus run 'natural course' with vulnerable, 5/3/2020

Antioch, Calif. — A Northern California city official has been ousted after he suggested on social media that sick, old and homeless people should be left to meet their "natural course in nature" during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

He wrote on Facebook: "the World has been introduced to a new phrase Herd Immunity which is a good one. In my opinion we need to adapt a Herd Mentality. A herd gathers it ranks, it allows the sick, the old, the injured to meet its natural course in nature." [sic]

 

As for homeless people, he added that the virus would "fix what is a significant burden on our society and resources that can be used."

 

After the city council stripped him of his post, Turnage lamented: "It's not like it used to be, when you could [kick a beggar for starving too close to your limo and smugly spout opinions that would have made most Nazis cringe.]

Associated Press:  Without ‘Obamacare’ COVID-19 survivors could be uninsurable, by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, 5/3/2020 

Detroit News:  Whitmer says pandemic not negotiable, decries racism at protest, by Craig Mauger, 5/3/2020

“We’re in a global pandemic," Whitmer, a Democrat, said during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union." "This isn’t something we just negotiate ourselves out of like it’s a political matter. This is a public health crisis.”

 

“Whether you agree with me or not, I’m working to protect your life if you live in the state of Michigan," Whitmer said. "I am going to continue to do my job regardless of what tweets come out or what polls come out or what people think ... makes sense.”

Detroit News:   Macomb County shelves plan for new jail, cites pandemic, by Mike Martindale, 4/9/2020

“There’s no question we need a new facility but we will make do with what we have for now,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. “With people losing their jobs and budgets from local to state under review, this is not a good time to be planning any major building projects. It doesn’t make fiscal sense and would be in bad taste.”

Detroit News:  Michigan National Guard to aid in testing prisoners for COVID-19, by Sarah Rahal, 5/2/2020

Medical specialists from the Michigan National Guard will assist the Michigan Department of Corrections with testing every staff and prisoner in the state, Michigan State Police announced Saturday.

 

Officials said in a statement they will start Monday at the Baraga Correctional Facility and move east across the Upper Peninsula with a goal of testing one facility each day.

Daily Beast:  McConnell’s New Endgame in the Next COVID Bill: Cover for Corporate America, by Sam Stein, Sam Brodey and Asawin Suebsaeng, 5/2/2020

Detroit News:  Armed protesters in Michigan Capitol have lawmakers questioning policy, by Sarah Rahal and Craig Mauger, 5/2/2020

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, said in a statement that many people protested safely and responsibly, but he condemned others who "used intimidation and the threat of physical harm to stir up fear and feed rancor."

 

"Their actions hurt their cause and steal from the rights of others by creating an environment where responsible citizens do not feel safe enough to express themselves," Shirkey said.

 

They do not represent the Senate Republicans, he said, adding "At best, those so-called protesters are a bunch of jackasses."

 

"The building was shaking with angry people, there was not a lot of rationality," Senator Jeremy Moss said. "What were they going to do when they were inside the House chamber?"

 

State Representative Robert Wittenberg, founder of the Gun Violence Prevention Caucus, said, "There’s no need for weapons to be brought into the Capitol. ... It was scary, unnecessary and no one will speak against the right to protest. That was trying to intimidate legislators and law enforcement."

 

He said he doesn't expect the Capitol policy to change, saying the majority of Republican leadership "have never given time for a hearing on universal background checks or even revoking from abusers."

Daily Beast:  How Trump and the GOP Just Might ‘Liberate’ You to Death, by David R. Lurie, 5/3/2020

It appears that the newly discovered power of the federal government to review state health protections does not extend to second-guessing the choices of governors to recklessly risk the lives of their citizens—but permits the second-guessing of governors prudently trying to protect their citizens.

Daily Beast:   Meet Russia’s Dr. Oz, the COVID Skeptic Who Has Putin’s Ear, by Anna Nemtsova, 5/3/2020

“All signs indicate that a common flu is a much more severe infection” than COVID-19, Malysheva told her television viewers as late as March 13.

Snopes.com:  Did the 1981 ‘Farmer’s Almanac’ Predict COVID-19? By Nur Ibrahim, 5/1/2020

An old "prediction" got a new origin story.

Orange County Register:  Judge denies effort to block governor’s order to close Orange County beaches, by Laylen Connelly, 5/1/2020

Sands along the 42 miles of coast are off limits.

Orange County Register:  Why is Orange County’s coronavirus death rate lower than its neighbors’?, by Theresa Walker, 5/3/2020

UC Irvine epidemiologist: "It's a bit mysterious..."

Orange County Register:  Coronavirus: Orange County has tested more than 35,000 as of May 2, 5/2/2020

Orange County Register:  Thousands of protesters flock to Huntington Beach following state-ordered OC beach closures, by Sean Emery, Scott Schwebke and Jeong Park, 5/1/2020

Orange County Register:  Disneyland and other theme parks can’t reopen for months under state plan, by Brady MacDonald, 4/28/2020

“Politics will not drive our decision making. Protests will not drive our decision making. Political pressure will not drive our decision making,” Newsom said. “Science, data and public health will drive our decision making.”

 

California is currently in Stage 1 with stay-at-home orders still in place. Stage 2 is “weeks” away, Stage 3 is likely “months” away and Stage 4 would require coronavirus treatments that have not yet been developed, Newsom said.

Orange County Register:  This Irvine company tested most of its workforce for coronavirus antibodies the results were startling, by Teri SForza, 4/24/2020 

Orange County Register: Orange County bans gatherings, closes bars, and limits restaurants to curb coronavirus spread, by Alicia Robinson, 3/17/2020

Orange County Register:  O.C. coronavirus case count rises by 4 to 17, including new reports of community transmission, by Eric Licas, 3/15/2020

Daily Beast:  Unmasked Protesters Storm Huntington Beach After California Governor’s Closure, by William Bredderman, Will Sommer, 5/1/2020

JAMA Internal Medicine:   Contact Tracing Assessment of COVID-19 Transmission Dynamics in Taiwan and Risk at Different Exposure Periods Before and After Symptom Onset, by Hao-Yuan Cheng, MD, MSc, Shu-Wan Jian, DVM, MPH, Ding-Ping Liu, PhD, et al, 5/1/2020

Question What is the transmissibility of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to close contacts?

 

Findings In this case-ascertained study of 100 cases of confirmed COVID-19 and 2761 close contacts, the overall secondary clinical attack rate was 0.7%. The attack rate was higher among contacts whose exposure to the index case started within 5 days of symptom onset than those who were exposed later.

 

Meaning High transmissibility of COVID-19 before and immediately after symptom onset suggests that finding and isolating symptomatic patients alone may not suffice to interrupt transmission, and that more generalized measures might be required, such as social distancing.

Daily Beast:  Detroit Doctor Charged After Pushing Bogus Vitamin C Infusions as COVID-19 Cure, by Pilar Melendez, 4/28/2020

Dr. Charles Mok called the coronavirus pandemic an “opportunity to capture the market” and called clinics that closed “cowards.”  The Detroit doctor has been charged with health-care fraud after allegedly selling vitamin C infusions that he claimed would protect patients from the novel coronavirus, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Daily Beast:  Don’t Forget the Other Pandemic Killing Thousands of Americans, by Dave Briquelet, 5/3/2020

Daily Beast:  The Hospital CEOs Keeping Seven-Figure Salaries as Frontline Workers Go Without Pay, by Emily Shugerman, 5/2/2020

Last month, executives at Denver Health received bonuses of up to $230,000, just days after asking hospital workers to reduce their hours or take time off. At the University of Kentucky—which boasts some of the highest-paid administrators in the country—the college president has refused to take a pay cut, despite furloughing 1,500 medical workers.

 

Hospital CEO salaries have been ballooning for years. According to a study published in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, the average hospital CEO’s salary increased 93 percent in the decade between 2005 and 2015. In the same time frame, the average health-care worker’s salary increased just 8 percent. The average hospital CEO made $3.1 million dollars a year in 2015, according to the study. The average nurse, meanwhile, made $75,510.

 

Organizers in Michigan are also fighting back against top executives at McLaren Health Care, who have furloughed workers in several of their 14 hospitals across the state. Anger about the furloughs only increased last week, when a local ABC affiliate revealed that executives were reducing their own salaries by just 2 percent—the equivalent of one week’s lost work. (According to tax filings, CEO Philip A. Incarnati alone made $6.8 million in 2018.)

The Guardian:  Anger as Italy slowly emerges from long Covid-19 lockdown, by Lorenzo Tondo and Angela Giuffrida, 5/3/3030

After nearly two months stuck at home, citizens say the new rules don’t go far enough to save the economy or their mental health

 

Last Friday, Pietro Demita, a stylist in Lecce whose company is a leading wedding dress designer, set fire to his entire collection in protest against the lockdown, which has brought the wedding industry to near-collapse.

The Guardian: Trump's wealthy friends look to cash in during coronavirus crisis, by Peter Stone, 5/3/2020

Watchdog groups say Trump’s close ties with donors and backers deserve scrutiny as trillions in federal funds are handed out

The Guardian:  Arguing with Zombies review: Paul Krugman trumps the Republicans, by Charles Kaiser, 5/3/2020

The same tired arguments in favor of coddling the rich have been rolled out over and over again, by Republican presidents from Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump, even though there has never been a shred of serious evidence to support them.

 

These relentless efforts over five decades culminated in the Trump tax cut, memorably described by the political consultant Rick Wilson as a masterwork of “gigantic government giveaways, unfunded spending, massive debt and deficits, and a catalogue of crony capitalist freebies”.

 

Wilson also identified the billionaires’ effect on the nation’s capital. Washington, he wrote, has become “the drug-resistant syphilis of political climates, largely impervious to treatment and highly contagious”.

Washington Post:  There’s a more accurate way to compare coronavirus deaths to the flu, by Christopher Ingraham, 5/2/2020

If we measure flu mortality the same way we count covid-19 deaths, the picture becomes very stark

Washington Post:  Trump replaces HHS watchdog who found ‘severe shortages’ at hospitals combating coronavirus, by Lisa Rein, 5/2/2020

President Trump moved to replace the top watchdog at the Department of Health and Human Services after her office released a report on the shortages in testing and personal protective gear at hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

In a Friday night announcement, the White House nominated a permanent inspector general to take the reins from Christi A. Grimm, the principal deputy inspector general who has run the office since January.

Washington Post:  34 days of pandemic: Inside Trump’s desperate attempts to reopen America, by Philip Rucker, Josh Dawsey, Yasmeen Abutaleb, Robert Costa and Lena H. Sun, 5/2/2020

The epidemiological models under review in the White House Situation Room in late March were bracing. In a best-case scenario, they showed the novel coronavirus was likely to kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans. President Trump was apprehensive about so much carnage on his watch, yet also impatient to reopen the economy — and he wanted data to justify doing so.

 

So the White House considered its own analysis. A small team led by Kevin Hassett — a former chairman of Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers with no background in infectious diseases — quietly built an econometric model to guide response operations.

 

Many White House aides interpreted the analysis as predicting that the daily death count would peak in mid-April before dropping off substantially, and that there would be far fewer fatalities than initially foreseen, according to six people briefed on it.

 

This story documenting Trump’s month-long struggle to reopen America is based on interviews with 82 administration officials, outside advisers and experts with detailed knowledge of the White House’s handling of the pandemic. Many of them spoke on the condition of anonymity to recount internal discussions or share candid assessments without risk of retribution.

Washington Post:  Maryland cancels $12.5 million PPE contract with firm started by GOP operatives, by Tom Hamburger and Juliet Eilperin, 5/2/2020

State officials said the company, Blue Flame Medical, failed to deliver masks and ventilators as promised and that the matter has been referred to Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) for review.

 

Blue Flame received a down payment of nearly $6.3 million from Maryland in early April — after promising to provide within weeks desperately needed PPE for front-line medical personnel dealing with the novel coronavirus.

Guardian:  Russia now has second-highest rate of Covid-19 spread as other countries ease restrictions, 5/2/2020

If Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s estimate is correct, more than 240,000 people may have the virus, four times official figures for the city. Hospitals in the capital are already at capacity, with television footage showing ambulances forced to wait for hours to deliver the infected.

Guardian:  Not even Wall Street titans know the true cost of the coronavirus crisis, by Nils Pratley, 4/14/2020

JP Morgan’s $8.3bn bad loan provision is steep but it’s guesswork – no one has a clue about the final bill

Guardian:  Warren Buffett dumps US airline stocks, saying 'world has changed' after Covid-19, by Martin Farrer, 5/3/2020

Warren Buffett, the legendary American investor, has sold his firm’s entire holdings in the four major US airlines, warning that the “world has changed” for the aviation industry because of the coronavirus crisis.

 

In comments that will send shockwaves through financial markets already pulverised by the economic shock of the outbreak, Buffett said the outbreak could have an “extraordinarily wide” range of possible outcomes.

Guardian:   Donald Trump's four-step plan to reopen the US economy – and why it will be lethal, by Robert Reich, 5/3/2020

The president and his allies are hiding the facts and pretending ‘freedom’ conquers all. As a result, more Americans will die

 

No one knows how many Americans are infected because the Trump administration continues to drag its heels on testing. To date only 6.5m tests have been completed in a population of more than 200 million adults.

 

Florida, one of the first states to reopen, has stopped releasing medical examiners’ statistics on the number of Covid-19 victims because the figures are higher than the state’s official count.

 

But it’s impossible to fight the virus without adequate data. Dr Anthony Fauci, the administration’s leading infectious disease expert, warns that reopening poses “a really significant risk” without more testing.

 

Not surprisingly, the White House has blocked Fauci from testifying before the House.

Guardian:  ‘Nurses fell like ninepins’: death and bravery in the 1918 flu pandemic, by Mark Hongsbaum, 4/5/2020 

Guardian:  UK lockdown must not be lifted until Covid-19 transmission is understood, say scientists, by Robin McKie, 5/3/2020

Epidemiologist Anne Johnson at University College London said cutting transmissions of Covid-19 to health and social care workers had now emerged as a major priority. “Half of all new infections reported last week were among healthcare workers,” she told the Observer. “This has now become the leading edge of the spread of the disease.”

Guardian:  Brazil sees record increase in Covid-19 cases – as it happened, by Helen Sullivan, Kevin Rawlinson, Damien Gayle, Gregory Robinson and Aamna Mohdin, 4/29/2020

Schools in Turkey to stay shut until end of May; Germans urged to stay home; Vietnam says it has had no domestic transmission for two weeks.

Guardian:  White House blocks Fauci testimony as Trump welcomes Senate's return, by Amanda Holpuch, 5/2/2020

Guardian:   'How is this possible?' Researchers grapple with Covid-19's mysterious mechanism, by Melissa Davey, 5/2/2020

Something peculiar happens to a small group of Covid-19 patients on day seven of their symptoms.

MIT:  MIT Materials Scientist Offers COVID-19 Era Tips on Cleaning Your Smartphone Screen, by Abby Abazorius, 5/2/2020 

Scripps Research Institute:  Potential Vulnerability of COVID-19 Coronavirus Discovered From an Antibody Against SARS, 4/20/2020

MicroBiology:  Promising MERS Vaccine Candidate Might Be Able to Block Coronavirus Infections, 4/18/2020

University of Ottawa:  Evidence of Stray Dogs as Possible Origin of COVID-19 Pandemic, 4/14/2020

University of Ottawa biology professor Xuhua Xia, tracing coronavirus signatures across different species, has proposed that stray dogs — specifically dog intestines — may have been the origin of the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

 

Here is Dr. Xia’s explanation on why SARS-CoV-2 couldn’t have jumped directly from bats or pangolins into humans.

 

If we contrast early SARS-CoV-2 collected from December 24, 2019 to January 5, and late ones collected in March 1-13, 2020, with an average of 66.5844 days between the early and late groups, and use synonymous substitution rate as an approximation to substitution rate, then the substitution rate is 0.0278 substitutions per genome per day. The average distance between bat CoV RaTG13 and SARS-CoV-2 is 0.0365, or 1073.8158 substitutions per genome (for aligned length of 29409 sites). The time to the common ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 and bat’s RaTG13 is 19296.2808 days (= 1073.8158/2/0.0278) or about 53 years. So their common ancestor lived around 1966. The same method would date the common ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 and pangolin/Guangdong/1 back to around 1882.

University of Pittsburgh:  Promising New COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Developed, 4/2/2020

The system is highly scalable. The protein pieces are manufactured by a “cell factory” — layers upon layers of cultured cells engineered to express the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein — that can be stacked further to multiply yield. Purifying the protein also can be done at industrial scale. Mass-producing the microneedle array involves spinning down the protein-sugar mixture into a mold using a centrifuge. Once manufactured, the vaccine can sit at room temperature until it’s needed, eliminating the need for refrigeration during transport or storage.

Scripps Research Institute:   No Evidence COVID-19 Coronavirus Was Genetically Engineered in a Lab – Epidemic Has a Natural Origin, 3/18/2020

NIH:  New Coronavirus That Causes COVID-19 Is Stable for Hours on Surfaces, 3/17/2020

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology:  Important Discovery in COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine Development, 2/27/2020

Viruses:  Preliminary Identification of Potential Vaccine Targets for the COVID-19 Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) Based on SARS-CoV Immunological Studies, by Syed Faraz Ahmed, Ahmed A. Quadeer and Matthew R. McKay, 25 February 2020

Arizona State University:  Making Sense of the Viral Multiverse: Situating Coronaviruses Within Mind-Bendingly Vast Virosphere, 4/28/2020

Even for scientists used to dealing in mind-bendingly extreme numbers, the virosphere is almost unfathomably vast. It has been estimated that 100 viruses could be assigned to every star in the entire universe without exhausting the world’s supply, estimated at 1 nonillion (or 1 followed by 30 zeros).

 

Proposed: A 15 rank viral taxonomy.

SciTechDaily:  Researchers Crack COVID-19 Genetic Signature Using AI, Identify Origin, Western University, 4/29/2020

Guardian:  YouTube deletes conspiracy theorist David Icke's channel, 5/2/2020

The video-sharing site said the 68-year-old violated its policies on sharing misinformation about coronavirus, including the claim that it is linked to the 5G mobile network.

Guardian: Covid-19 throws Europe's tourism industry into chaos, Jon Henley, 5/2/2020

The European commission estimates that the EU’s hotels and restaurants will lose half their income this year.

HuffPost:  Reporter Who Tweeted About Face-Mask Fiasco Says He Was Banned From Future Pence Trips, by Mary Papenfuss, 5/1/2020

A Voice of America journalist who contradicted second lady Karen Pence regarding the vice president’s dismissal of face-mask protocol at the Mayo Clinic was banned Thursday from taking further trips with Mike Pence, The Washington Post reported.

 

A representative from Pence’s office later told Voice of America managers that the punishment might be lifted if the media organization or White House bureau chief Steve Herman apologizes, the newspaper reported.

 

Karen Pence insisted in a Fox News interview Thursday that her husband had no idea he was supposed to wear a mask during his visit earlier this week to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. However, the hospital posted a tweet that was later deleted which said the vice president had been informed about the requirement.

Crooks and Liars:   "Leave your Confederate Flags, Nazi shit, and Assault Rifles at Home," begs Republican organizer of Madison, Wisconsin, Infection Fest, By Chris Liebenthal, 4/30/2020

Livingston Daily:   9 additional COVID-19 .cases reported in Livingston County as recovered number nears 200, by Kayla Daugherty, 4/29/2020

Livingston Daily:  Greenhouse owners welcome governor's revised order allowing them to reopen amid pandemic, by Jeremy Ervin, 4/25/2020

Livingston Daily:  Business brisk as Livingston County golf courses reopen, by Bill Khan, 4/29/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Mid-pandemic opening of Canterbury Village drive-in movie theater postponed, by Darcie Moran, 4/29/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Scuffle erupts between protesters, security in Michigan House gallery, by Paul Egan, 4/29/2020

A video posted to Twitter by Michigan Information & Research Service (MIRS), a Capitol newsletter, showed House Chief Sgt. David Dickson pulling one woman out of the gallery and a second woman yelling that she had been assaulted.

 

MIRS reported the women were demonstrators associated with a group called Michigan United for Liberty.

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan activates response team to handle growing number of dead from coronavirus, by Todd Spangler, 4/30/2020

On Wednesday afternoon, the state's Department of Health and Human Services announced it was activating for the first time ever its Michigan Mortuary Response Team, which the the agency said will provide "safe and secure transfer, identification and storage of human remains until funeral homes can help families make plans."

Detroit Free Press:  Food processers, packers told to screen workers before they enter plants, by Susan Selasky, 4/27/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Beaumont ER doctors agree to pay cuts, leaves of absence amid COVID-19 crisis, by Tresa Baldas, 4/27/2020 

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan's unemployment payout tops $1.66 billion to more than 1M workers, by Frank Witsil, 4/27/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan unemployment claims drop to lowest level since start of coronavirus pandemic, by Adrienne Roberts, 4/30/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Prisoners sue Michigan Department of Corrections over coronavirus response, by Angie Jackson, 4/30/2020

More than 1,400 prisoners are confirmed to have the virus and 41 inmates have died as of late Wednesday.

Slate:  I Just Came Home to Sweden. I’m Horrified by the Coronavirus Response Here, by Eric Augustin Palm, 4/29/2020

Crooks and Liars:  Sweden COVID Policies Leave Businesses Open -- But More Elderly People Died, by Susie Madrak, 4/30/2020

The Advocate:  Pastor Tony Spell returns to Central church to preach despite being on house arrest, by Youssef Rddad, 4/26/2020

Wearing an ankle monitor attached after he was accused of threatening to run over a protester outside his Life Tabernacle Church last Sunday, the Rev. Tony Spell told his congregation it's a "dirty rotten shame when you're hiding in America."

Detroit Free Press:  Whitmer, Legislature headed for major split over Michigan's state of emergency, by Paul Egan, 4/30/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan's governor and emergency powers: What you need to know, by Paul Egan, 4/30/2020 

Detroit Free Press:  Judge refuses to block Whitmer's stay-home order, says constitutional rights not absolute, by Paul Egan, 4/30/2020

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray — an appointee of former Republican Gov. John Engler — issued an 18-page opinion Wednesday denying a request for an injunction that would block certain aspects of the order.

 

"Being forced ... by the state to remain in one’s home, in turn causing many residents to be unable to work, visit elderly relatives, and to generally move about the state," does infringe on constitutional rights in the short term, Murray wrote.

 

"But those liberty interests are, and always have been, subject to society’s interest —society being our fellow residents. They — our fellow residents — have an interest to remain unharmed by a highly communicable and deadly virus."

Daily Beast:  Europe Watches With Horror as the U.S. Rushes to Reopen, by Barbie Latza Nadeau, 4/30/2020

Daily Beast:  Rich Counties and Poor Face “Brutal” COVID Budget Holes, by Sam Brodey, 4/30/2020

“If we don’t get some semblance of relief, if someone calls 911, no one’s going to answer," said Stefan Mychajliw, Jr., the top budget official in Erie County.

Daily Beast:  Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi are veering toward a terrifyingly premature end to their COVID-19 lockdowns, according to a new pandemic analysis. By Olivia Messer and William Bredderman, 4/28/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Royal Oak commissioners censure member who flouted COVID rules at anti-Whitmer rally, by Bill Laitner, 4/28/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Essential workers to get free college under new Whitmer plan, by David Jesse, 4/29/2020

The plan is being called Futures for Frontliners. It is being billed as the first-such program in the nation.

 

“The Futures for Frontliners program is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to those who have risked their lives on the front lines of this crisis," Whitmer said in a statement. "This program will ensure tuition-free college opportunities and give these dedicated Michiganders an opportunity to earn a technical certificate, associate degree or even a bachelor’s degree.

 

Whitmer said the state would use federal grant money to pay the costs.

Detroit Free Press:  Massive declines in community college summer enrollments foreshadow tough times ahead, by David Jesse, 4/20/2020

Washtenaw County Community College sees major losses in tuition, major losses in state aid.  But property taxes? Already collected.

Daily Beast:  Coronavirus Is So Bad in This Nebraska City a Survivor Was Afraid to Go Home, by Tracy Connor, 4/30/2020

When Lemos went into the hospital on April 8, about 80 people in Grand Island, population 50,000, had tested positive for the new coronavirus.

 

The number is over 900 now, and at least 35 deaths have been reported in Hall County, which encompasses Grand Island, 10 of them in just the last day. This week, the local health director missed a public briefing because a staff member was infected and worked with symptoms.

 

“It’s so scary,” said Lemos, who believes he contracted COVID-19 from his father, a meat-cutter at the JBS plant, which is now tied to hundreds of cases. “It spread so quickly.”

Daily Beast:  Nebraskans in Virus Hot Zone ‘Terrified’ After Governor Rejects Stay-at-Home Order, by Marcella Mercer, 4/14/2020

Daily Beast:  Trump’s Too Stupid to Do Better. McConnell and His Republicans Have No Excuse, by Rick Wilson, 4/29/2020

Trump’s pronunciamientos over the desirability of bleach, disinfectants, and UV light as treatments for COVID-19, his lies about testing, and his shitter-tweeted rage fits at the “Noble Prize” media? All greeted with a wall of silence from Republican senators, even as their grip on power weakens each time Trump humiliates himself and endangers the American people.

New York Times:  Food Lines a Mile Long in America's Second-Wealthiest State, by Tracey Tully, 4/30/2020

The Wickhams’ minivan was one of thousands of vehicles that snaked as far as the eye could see one morning last week in Egg Harbor, N.J., 10 miles west of Atlantic City. The promise of fresh produce and a 30-pound box of canned food, pasta and rice from a food bank drew so many cars that traffic was snarled for nearly a mile in three directions, leading to five accidents, the police said.

New York Times:  ‘Never Thought I Would Need It’: Americans Put Pride Aside to Seek Aid, by Cara Buckley, 3/31/2020

By the hundreds of thousands, Americans are asking for help for the first time in their lives, from nail technicians in Los Angeles to airport workers in Fort Lauderdale, from bartenders in Phoenix to former reality show contestants in Minnesota. Biting back shame, and wondering guiltily about others in more dire straits, they are applying for unemployment, turning to GoFundMe, asking for money on Instagram, quietly accepting handouts from equally strapped co-workers, and showing up in unprecedented numbers at food banks, which in turn are struggling to meet soaring demand as volunteers, many of them retirees, stay home for safety.

Daily News: `You could smell the death' : Bodies found stored in U-Haul trucks outside Brooklyn funeral home, 4/29/2020

New York Times:   Dozens of Decomposing Bodies Found in Trucks at Brooklyn Funeral Home, by Alan Feuer, Ashley Southhall and Michael Gold, 4/29/2020

John DePietro, who owns the building next door to Mr. Cleckley, said he noticed five vehicles parked outside the funeral home on Tuesday.

 

“They had dead bodies in the vans and trucks,” Mr. DePietro said. “They were on top of each other in body bags.”

 

He added that he could not “judge for sure” how many bodies were in the vehicles, “but all of them were packed.”

Daily News:  Millions of women could lose contraception access amid coronavirus outbreak, by Storm Gifford, 4/29/2020

New York Times:  Cuomo Calls Subway Cars Filled With Homeless People ‘Disgusting’, 4/28/2020

“That is disgusting, what is happening on those subway cars,” he said, adding that what was shown in the image was “disrespectful to the essential workers” who rely on the subway.

 

“It’s not even safe for the homeless people to be on trains,” he added. “No face masks, you have this whole outbreak, we’re concerned about homeless people, so we let them stay on the trains without protection in this epidemic of the Covid virus? No. We have to do better than that, and we will.”

Daily News:  MTA making plans for socially-distant NYC subway when coronavirus lockdown relaxes, by Kerry Burke, Michael Gartland and Clayton Guse, 4/27/2020

New York Times:  `Plague on a Biblical Scale': Hasidic Families Hit Hard by Virus, by Liam Stack, 4/21/2020

One of the first people Shulim Leifer knew who died of the coronavirus was his great-uncle. Then his grandmother fell ill, as did two of his cousins. The man who lived next door to his childhood home died on a Tuesday, and by Friday the neighbor on the other side was dead as well. 

New York Times:  Coronavirus: ‘Huge Spike’ in Brooklyn Hasidic Community.  By Liam Stack and Nate Schweber, 4/21/2020

More than 100 test positive in two neighborhoods, all at two urgent care centers crammed with worried families. 

New York Times:  De Blasio Breaks Up Rabbi’s Funeral and Lashes Out Over Virus Distancing, by Liam Stack, 4/28/2020

“Something absolutely unacceptable happened in Williamsburg tonite: a large funeral gathering in the middle of this pandemic,” the mayor said in one post. “When I heard, I went there myself to ensure the crowd was dispersed. And what I saw WILL NOT be tolerated so long as we are fighting the Coronavirus.” 

New York Times:  Zoom Shivas and Prayer Hotlines: Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Traditions Upended by Coronavirus, by Cora Engelbrecht and Caroline Kim, 4/16/2020

New York Times:  40,000 Missing Deaths: Tracking the True Toll of the Coronavirus Outbreak, by Jin Wu, Allison McCann, Josh Katz and Elian Peltier, 4/27/2020

New York Times:  Ecuador’s Death Toll During Outbreak Is Among the Worst in the World, by José María León Cabrea y Anatoly Kurmanaev, 4/23/2020

QUITO, Ecuador — With bodies abandoned on sidewalks, slumped in wheelchairs, packed into cardboard coffins and stacked by the hundreds in morgues, it is clear that Ecuador has been devastated by the coronavirus.

 

The death toll in Ecuador during the outbreak was 15 times higher than the official number of Covid-19 deaths reported by the government, according to an analysis of mortality data by The New York Times. 

New York Times:  How Severe Are Coronavirus Outbreaks Across the U.S.? Look Up Any Metro Area, by Josh Katz, Kevin Quealy and Margot Sanger-Katz, 4/30/2020

New York Times:  U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Is Far Higher Than Reported, C.D.C. Data Suggests, by Josh Katz, Denise Lu and Margo Sanger-Katz, 4/28/2020

Total deaths in seven states that have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic are nearly 50 percent higher than normal for the five weeks from March 8 through April 11, according to new death statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is 9,000 more deaths than were reported as of April 11 in official counts of deaths from the coronavirus.

The new data is partial and most likely undercounts the recent death toll significantly. But it still illustrates how the coronavirus is causing a surge in deaths in the places it has struck, probably killing more people than the reported statistics capture. These increases belie arguments that the virus is only killing people who would have died anyway from other causes. Instead, the virus has brought a pattern of deaths unlike anything seen in recent years.

If you look at the provisional deaths from all causes, death counts in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Massachusetts, Illinois, Maryland and Colorado have spiked far above their normal levels for the period. In New York City, the home of the biggest outbreak, the number of deaths over this period is more than three times the normal number. (Recent data suggests it could have reached six times higher than normal.)

Washington Post:

Washington Post:  Frostbite’ toes and other peculiar rashes may be signs of hidden coronavirus infection, especially in the young, by Ariana Eunjung Cha, 4/29/2020

One of the clearest findings of the new paper is that most patients with “covid toes” were asymptomatic or had only mild symptoms. Another is their age. Nearly all were children or adults in their 20s and 30s — a group that as a whole tends to have a less severe bodily response to the disease than their older counterparts.

Washington Post:  The Daily 202: Human rights groups sound alarm over government crackdowns during coronavirus, by Mariana Alfaro, 4/29/2020

Washington Post:  Even where the coronavirus is past its peak, it’s often on a plateau, by Philip Bump, 4/29/2020

Washington Post:  Trump presented with grim internal polling showing him losing to Biden, by Josh Dawsey, 4/29/2020

His political team has grown more concerned in recent weeks, as the briefings became more combative while the economy cratered and coronavirus deaths continued to rise.

Washington Post:  Dissecting Laura Ingraham’s attempt to gin up a mystery around coronavirus in New York, by Philip Bump, 4/29/2020

Washington Post:  U.S. passes 60,000 dead as hopes rise for a promising drug therapy, by Anne Gearan, Christopher Rowland and Laurie McGinley, 4/29/2020

U.S. deaths from covid-19 passed 60,000 on Wednesday, a figure President Trump had once bragged would be the upper limit, his signature Mission Accomplished milestone.

Medium:  Gen X Was Born for This Shit, by Will Leitch, 3/18/2020

Generation X has long been waiting for its national moment, as presidential candidates in the age group get bounced early (sorry, Beto) and the music of our time has been all but forgotten (it’s like no one cares about Built to Spill anymore). And it turns out that the coronavirus pandemic is it. We didn’t realize it at the time, but we’ve been training our whole lives for this moment. The rest of you generations can’t get your shit together. But we’re here to fix it for you. With a shrug, of course.

Medium:  This Looks Like a Depression, Not a Recession, by Steve LeVine, 4/1/2020

The Atlantic - A look back:  How the Pandemic Will End, by Ed Yong, 3/25/2020

The U.S. may end up with the worst Covid-19 outbreak in the industrialized world. This is how it’s going to play out.

 

Partly, that’s because the White House is a ghost town of scientific expertise. A pandemic-preparedness office that was part of the National Security Council was dissolved in 2018. On January 28, Luciana Borio, who was part of that team, urged the government to “act now to prevent an American epidemic,” and specifically to work with the private sector to develop fast, easy diagnostic tests. But with the office shuttered, those warnings were published in The Wall Street Journal, rather than spoken into the president’s ear. Instead of springing into action, America sat idle.

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan construction work to resume May 7, Gov. Whitmer spokeswoman says, by Paul Egan, 4/29/2020

April 28:  No Testing, No Treatment, No Herd Immunity, No Easy Way Out, by Yascha Mounk,

We need to start preparing for a darker reality.

Associated Press: Trump to sign order keeping meat processing plants open, by Jill Colvin, 4/28/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Don't visit Holland to see the tulips this year, mayor says, by Carolyn Muyskens, 4/28/2020 

Bridge Magazine:  Coronavirus empties pediatrician offices in Michigan, decreases vaccinations, by Robin Erb, 4/28/2020 

Detroit Free Press:   Official: Michigan's curve is flattening, but some ICUs still maxed out with COVID-19 cases, by Tresa Baldas, 4/28/2020

Detroit Free Press:   Michigan reports another 160 coronavirus deaths; total cases near 40,000, by Darcie Moran, 4/28/2020

Fatality rate: 9%

 

This is out of those with known confirmed cases. Officials say more testing of mild cases can cause the fatality rate to fall.

 

The fatality rate was reported as 8% last week

 

Women make up 54% of all cases. Men make up 54% of all deaths.

April 28:  No Testing, No Treatment, No Herd Immunity, No Easy Way Out, by Yascha Mounk, The Atlantic

I am, finally, starting to reconcile myself to a darker reality: The miracle of deliverance is not in sight.

Detroit News:  GOP lawmakers don't like proposed regional map for reopening Michigan's economy, by Craig Mauger, 4/28/2020

Detroit Free Press:   Coronavirus takes heavy toll on health care workers in Michigan, causing dozen-plus deaths, by Jennifer Dixon and Kristen Jordan Shamus, 4/27/2020

Detroit Free Press:   Macomb County doctor charged health care fraud over COVID-19 treatments, by Christina Hall, 4/28/2020 

Detroit Free Press:  Feds: Infected employees at Macomb County medical spa treated patients, by Christina Hall, 4/29/2020

Detroit Free Press:   Canterbury Village to become drive-in movie theater during coronavirus pandemic, by Meredith Spelbring, 4/28/2020 

Detroit Free Press:   Ford, GM and FCA under gun to restart, rebound before cash dries up, by Jamie L. LaReau, 4/29/2020 

Detroit Free Press:   Henry Ford doctor on ventilator beats COVID-19: 'I came as close to death as you can be', by Tresa Baldas, 4/29/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Ford counts its cash amid pandemic after $70M exec pay exceeds company's profit in 2019, by Phoebe Wall Howard, 4/27/2020 

Detroit Free Press:  GM suspends dividend, takes other steps to stockpile cash amid pandemic, by Jamie L. LaReau, 4/27/2020

Detroit Free Press:  UAW to local leaders: Time to talk to GM plant management about restart process, by Jamie L. LaReau, 4/27/2020

Detroit Free Press:  1 automaker has had more COVID-19 deaths than the others. Experts say why, by Eric D. Lawrence, 4/28/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Analyst says Ford needs to 'rip the Band-Aid off' after $2B loss: What he means, by Phoebe Wall Howard, 4/28/2020

While the current landscape is grim, coming months promise to be unrelenting.

 

Adam Jonas, a respected automotive analyst at Morgan Stanley, said the time is now for a "strategic discussion" among Ford board members and top executives about consolidation or a merger in light of the intense demands for cash and liquidity over the next year or two — possibly with Volkswagen.

 

The market may force change, Jonas said. He questioned whether the world needs dozens of automakers globally, rather than maybe just 10. 

Detroit Free Press:  Report: Ford Mustang Mach-E delayed, company notifies customers in Norway, by Phoebe Wall Howard, 4/27/2020

 

Washington Post:  Trump economic adviser paints dire economic picture, 4/26/2020

Kevin Hassett, an economist temporarily advising the administration on economic policy during the pandemic, painted a dire picture on Sunday.

 

“Make no mistake, we’re looking at a really grave situation” in economic terms, he said on ABC News’s “This Week.”

 

“This is the biggest negative shock that our economy, I think, has ever seen,” Hassett said. “We’re going to be looking at unemployment rates that we saw during the Great Depression.”

 

He noted that during the recession that began in 2008, a total of 8.7 million jobs were lost.

 

“Right now, we’re losing about that many jobs every 10 days.”

Livingston Daily:   4 more die from coronavirus in Livingston County, more than 39,000 cases statewide, by Jennifer Timar, 4/28/2020

Livingston Daily:   How COVID-19 is impacting four proposed new businesses in Livingston County, by Jennifer Timar, 4/27/2020

Livingston Daily:  Salvation Army offering delivery to Livingston County elderly, homebound, by Kayla Daugherty, 4/28/2020

Livingston Daily:  Dozens of hospital staff laid off from St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Brighton clinic, by Kayla Daugherty, 4/28/2020

Livingston Daily:  Business brisk as Livingston County golf courses reopen, by Bill Khan, 4/29/2020

No-Bull Food News: Deskilling on the Disassembly Line: Technological Change and Its Consequences in Beef-Packing Since the 1960s, by Chris Wright, 6/1/2012

Channel4.com:  David Miliband: US has not set ‘the gold standard that’s necessary’ over coronavirus, by Matt Frei, 4/26/2020

David Miliband , the head of the International Rescue Committee and former Labour Foreign Secretary, has argued that the way governments respond to the coronavirus crisis will shape the whole future of global democracy.

 

It will also reveal what kind of political system is able to cope with the challenge.

Hyperallergic:  2,500 Museums You Can Now Visit Virtually, by Hakim Bishara, 3/16/2020

If you’re feeling hungry for art while you’re stranded at home, here are our 12 selections out of 2,500 world-class museums and galleries that are now offering virtual tours and online collections.

Hyperallergic:  A Daily Report on How COVID-19 Is Impacting the Art World, by Valentina Di Liscia, 4/27/2020 (updated)

Carnage...

Hyperallergic:  “The New Normal” of Awful COVID-Themed Commercials, by Dan Schindel, 4/27/2020

These days, brands love to pretend to care about us. During a pandemic, that’s gotten really weird.

Newsmax:  US Intel Repeatedly Warned Trump of Virus Threat in January Briefings, by Marisa Herman, 4/28/2020

President Donald Trump was repeatedly made aware of the threat the coronavirus posed to the U.S. in his Daily Brief back in January, The Washington Post reports.

 

Current and former U.S. officials told the newspaper that the president continued to downplay the threat when he was warned during more than a dozen classified briefings on the virus.

Washington Post:  President’s intelligence briefing book repeatedly cited virus threat, by Greg Miller and Ellen Nakashima, 4/27/2020

For weeks, the PDB — as the report is known — traced the virus’s spread around the globe, made clear that China was suppressing information about the contagion’s transmissibility and lethal toll, and raised the prospect of dire political and economic consequences.

ClickOrlando:  Publix buys food directly from farmers to donate to food banks during COVID-19 pandemic, by Erin Dobrzyn, 4/23/2020

ClickOrlando:  With 1,171 coronavirus deaths, Florida awaits word from Gov. DeSantis on when to reopen, by Emilee Speck, 4/28/2020

Florida nears 33,000 COVID-19 cases as governor eyes reopening state for business

ClickOrlando:  Lab launches $119 COVID-19 antibody test that can be purchased online, by Erin Dobrzyn, 4/28/2020

ClickOrlando:  How an Orlando nurse describes treating COVID-19 patients in hard hit NYC, by Troy Campbell, 4/28/2020

ClickOrlando:  Testing numbers from Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard may not show complete picture, by Louis Bolden, 4/27/2020

Local12:  WKRC(Cincinnati): Here's what's reopening in Ohio beginning Friday, May 1st:

The three-phase plan includes getting people back to work in fields including health care, construction, manufacturing, offices and retail. Phase 1 begins May 1 and includes health care workers, allowing all medical procedures that don’t require an overnight hospital stay.

 

Dentists and veterinarians can also return to work. A week from Monday, May 4, manufacturing, distribution and construction will be allowed to resume. All employees and clients will be required to follow safety practices, including wearing masks, conducting daily health assessments and having a limited capacity of 50% of the businesses' fire code.

 

General office buildings will be allowed to reopen on May 4. Companies are asked to have employees still work from home as much as possible. Consumer retail and services will be allowed to reopen on May 12. All employees and customers will be required to wear facial coverings.

Local12:  WKRC(Cincinnati): Gyms, salons and restaurants shut out of Ohio's Phase 1 reopenings

When asked when restaurants, barbershops, salons and gyms would reopen, Governor DeWine said he wants to reopen places with less risk first.

Local12:  WZTV: Infected surgeon teaches lung clearing techniques, 4/28/2020

Nashville orthopedic surgeon Missy Chamberland has been sick with COVID-19 for more than five weeks.

 

At about day five, things starting getting really bad. Her lungs were filling with fluid. She decided to start making YouTube videos right in the middle of fighting her life.

 

As a young doctor, she learned techniques to clear people’s lungs. Its called pulmonary toilet, and yes, it means what it sounds like: techniques to flush your lungs of all the crap that can kill you.

 

You can find Dr. Chamberland on Youtube as Missy Chamberland. Below is a link to the first COVID-19 specific video she posted. There is no playlist.

 

#1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ScR5ZPhTHE

NBC News:  Detroit health care worker dies after being denied coronavirus test 4 times, daughter says, by Janelle Griffith, 4/27/2020

When she thinks of her mother, Corrothers said there is one thought that lingers: "This did not have to happen this way."

New York Times:  As the Lakers and others return small business aid, Mnuchin says big companies could face “criminal liability.” 4/28/2020

New York Times:  Trump’s Response to Virus Reflects a Long Disregard for Science, by Lisa Friedman and Brad Plummer, 4/28/2020 

The president’s Covid-19 response has extended the administration’s longstanding practice of undermining scientific expertise for political purposes.  “Donald Trump is the most anti-science and anti-environment president we’ve ever had,” said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice University. The president’s actions, he said, have eroded one of the United States’s most enviable assets: the government’s deep scientific expertise, built over decades. “It’s extraordinarily crazy and reckless,” he said.

New York Times:  How Las Vegas Became Ground Zero for the American Jobs Crisis, by Sabrina Tavernise, 4/26/2020

As the bottom fell out of the American economy, few places were hit harder than Las Vegas, where a full one-third of the local economy is in the leisure and hospitality industry, more than in any other major metropolitan area in the country. Most of those jobs cannot be done from home.

Raw Story:   Leader of North Carolina anti-lockdown protests tests positive for COVID-19, by Brad Reed, 4/27/2020

Raw Story: Trump obsessed with ‘settling scores’ even as coronavirus kills thousands of Americans every day: report, by Sky Palma, 4/27/2020

Raw Story: Howard Stern: Trump supporters should drink disinfectants and ‘drop dead’ at their next rally, by Sky Palma, 4/27/2020

 

Raw Story: McConnell is ‘floundering’ after sucking up to Trump — and is now ‘out of touch’ with his own party: conservative columnist, by Alex Henderson, 4/27/2020

Daily Beast:  Could This Drug Stop COVID’s Sabotage of Your Immune System?, by David Axe, 4/28/2020

On March 23, Genentech got the Food and Drug Administration’s approval to begin testing the drug tocilizumab on COVID-19 patients. The company said it administered its first treatments on April 3. In all, Genentech plans to treat 330 patients at 55 clinics all over the world, including 15 in the United States.

Daily Beast:  New Model Shows How Deadly Lifting Georgia’s Lockdown May Be, by William Bredderman, Olivia Messer, 4/28/2020

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s aggressive scheme to lift Georgia out of COVID-19 lockdown may cost many thousands of lives, according to models prepared by epidemiologists and computer scientists at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in partnership with The Daily Beast.

Daily Beast:  The GOP Bet It All on Trump. Now They’re Paying the Price. by Matt Lewis, 4/28/2020 

Daily Beast:  18 Years of Donald Trump’s 9/11 Lies, Insults, and Slights, by Michael Daly, 9/11/2019

Daily Beast:  Fox News Cuts Ties With Diamond & Silk, Unofficial Trump ‘Advisers’ Who Spread Bonkers Coronavirus Claims, by Lachlan Cartwright and Justin Baragona, 4/27/2020 

Daily Beast:   An Amputated Leg, Bedsores: COVID-19’s Trickle-Down Effect in Coal Country, by Emily Shugerman, 4/27/2020

The population of Appalachia is older, poorer, and generally less healthy than the rest of the country. The region’s historically dominant industries—tobacco farming and coal mining—wreaked havoc on the lungs of its older workers, and the poverty caused by the collapse of those industries drove out most of its young. According to the Appalachian Regional Commission, rates of chronic lung disease are 27 percent higher in Appalachia than in the nation as a whole; rates of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are also above average.

 

“We’re the belt for everything—the cardiovascular disease belt, the kidney stone belt,” said Teresa Tyson, the president and CEO of Health Wagon, a mobile health service in Virginia. “The reason we pray here in the Bible Belt is because we’re praying for all of these health-care disparities.”

Daily Beast:  Fox-Loving Parents Are Driving Coronavirus-Paranoid Kids Insane, by Sam Stein, 4/28/2020

The spread of coronavirus is pitting family members against each other over the severity of the pandemic and the steps needed to combat it. The fault lines are generational and geographic. But mainly they appear determined by news appetites.

 

Danielle Misiak, of Washington, D.C., previously worked in progressive politics and is an avid MSNBC watcher. She described herself as “a Dem millennial with boomer, Trumper, Fox News watching, AOC-hating parents.” She said it has been a “daily struggle” to convince them of the merits of social distancing. Her mom, based in New Jersey, goes shopping multiple times a week and her stepfather goes to Home Depot just as often.“I genuinely believe that if Fox started reporting something as ridiculous as ‘only people with naturally red hair can get coronavirus,’ my parents would believe it,” said Misiak.

Daily Beast:  Banks Are Letting the Coronavirus Snuff Out Our Churches, by Fr. Frank Black, Rev. Jeffrey Thompson, Bob Connolly, Rabbi Joel Mosbacher, Rev. Steve Watson, 4/22/2020

AP:  Disney theme parks may remain closed until 2021, by Bobby Caina Calvan and Terry Spencer, 4/25/2020

USA Today: When will Disney World and Disneyland reopen? One analyst predicts it may not be until 2021, by Jayme Deerwester, 4/21/2020

Twitter:  

USA Today:  CDC: Frozen raspberries were culprit behind 2019 norovirus outbreak on multiple cruises, by Morgan Hines, 4/24/2020

New York Times:  Top E.R. Doctor Who Treated Virus Patients Dies by Suicide, by Ali Watkins, Michael Rothfeld, William K. Rashbaum and Brian M. Rosenthal, 4/27/2020

A top emergency room doctor at a Manhattan hospital that treated coronavirus patients died by suicide on Sunday, according to her father.

 

Dr. Lorna M. Breen, the medical director of the emergency department at NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital, died in Charlottesville, Va., where she was staying with family, her father said in an interview.

 

“She tried to do her job, and it killed her,” he said.

 

The elder Dr. Breen said his daughter had contracted the coronavirus but had gone back to work after recuperating for about a week and a half. The hospital sent her home again, before her family intervened to bring her to Charlottesville, he said.

 

Dr. Breen, 49, did not have a history of mental illness, her father said. But he said that when he last spoke with her, she seemed detached, and he could tell something was wrong. She had described to him an onslaught of patients who were dying before they could even be taken out of ambulances.

Reuters:  Special Report: Countries, companies risk billions in race for coronavirus vaccine, by Julie Steenhuysen, PetEisler, Allison Martell, Stephanie Nebehay, 4/25/2020

Historically, just 6% of vaccine candidates end up making it to market, often after a years-long process that doesn’t draw big investments until testing shows a product is likely to work. But the traditional rules of drug and vaccine development are being tossed aside in the face of a virus that has infected 2.7 million people, killed more than 192,000 and devastated the global economy. With COVID-19, the goal is to have a vaccine identified, tested and available on a scale of hundreds of millions of doses in just 12 to 18 months.

 

Even among the more encouraging prospects, very few are likely to succeed. It’s possible more than one will work; it’s possible none will. 

 

The scale of the coronavirus vaccine race has no historical parallels. CEPI has identified at least 115 ongoing vaccine initiatives worldwide.

BARDA, the U.S. R&D agency, is one of the biggest vaccine funders, with some $5 billion to spend. The agency plans to invest in five vaccine candidates, focusing mostly on projects from experienced drug makers.

 

“Each is coming with a lot of prior experience,” said Rick Bright, who until this month was BARDA’s director. “They all know how to scale up.”

Science:  How does coronavirus kill? Clinicians trace a ferocious rampage through the body, from brain to toes, by Meredith Wadman, Jennifer Couzin-Frankel, Jocelyn Kaiser, Catherine Matacic, 4/17/2020

How the virus attacks the heart and blood vessels is a mystery, but dozens of preprints and papers attest that such damage is common. A 25 March paper in JAMA Cardiology documented heart damage in nearly 20% of patients out of 416 hospitalized for COVID-19 in Wuhan, China. In another Wuhan study, 44% of 36 patients admitted to the ICU had arrhythmias.

 

The disruption seems to extend to the blood itself. Among 184 COVID-19 patients in a Dutch ICU, 38% had blood that clotted abnormally, and almost one-third already had clots, according to a 10 April paper in Thrombosis Research. Blood clots can break apart and land in the lungs, blocking vital arteries—a condition known as pulmonary embolism, which has reportedly killed COVID-19 patients. Clots from arteries can also lodge in the brain, causing stroke. Many patients have “dramatically” high levels of D-dimer, a byproduct of blood clots

Science:  New York clinical trial quietly tests heartburn remedy against coronavirus, by Brendan Borrell, 4/26/2020

The fast-growing list of possible treatments for the novel coronavirus includes an unlikely candidate: famotidine, the active compound in the over-the-counter heartburn drug Pepcid. On 7 April, the first COVID-19 patients at Northwell Health in the New York City area began to receive famotidine intravenously, at nine times the heartburn dose.

 

As of Saturday, 187 COVID-19 patients in critical status, including many on ventilators, have been enrolled in the trial, which aims for a total of 1174 people. Reports from China and molecular modeling results suggest the drug, which seems to bind to a key enzyme in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), could make a difference.

 

In reviewing 6212 COVID-19 patient records, the doctors noticed that many survivors had been suffering from chronic heartburn and were on famotidine rather than more-expensive omeprazole (Prilosec), the medicine of choice both in the United States and among wealthier Chinese. Hospitalized COVID-19 patients on famotidine appeared to be dying at a rate of about 14% compared with 27% for those not on the drug, although the analysis was crude and the result was not statistically significant.

Washington Post:  Governors need more than hopes and dreams to reopen states, by James Downie, 4/26/2020

Some states’ governors are already trying to reopen businesses and relax restrictions. In making this life-or-death decision, these governors are running ahead of the science and just hoping for the best.

Detroit Free Press:  These are the 6 new possible symptoms of the coronavirus the CDC added to its list, by Susan Miller, 4/26/2020

Chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and a loss of taste or smell.

 

Those are the six new symptoms the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautioned could be signs of the coronavirus.

 

The additions come as health experts' understanding of the confounding disease evolves. The CDC previously listed fever, cough and shortness of breath as symptoms.

 

Shortness of breath was tweaked to "shortness of breath or difficulty breathing" by the CDC.

Washington Post:  After covid-19, aging in America may never be the same, by Michele L. Norris, 4/24/2020

More than 10,000 residents and staff have died from covid-19 infections in long-term care facilities across the United States, according to an analysis of state data by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The actual death toll among nursing home residents is certainly higher because not all states release data.

 

Nursing home deaths account for more than 50 percent of all covid-19 deaths in six states: Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Utah.

 

The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act and Obama administration rules created a framework of tougher laws and stiffer penalties for quality of care, focusing on inspection control. But the Trump administration began reducing fines last year and called for relaxing rules that required all nursing homes to keep infection specialists on staff on at least a part-time basis.

 

The timing could not have been worse.

Washington Post:   How much of our lives will coronavirus change — permanently? by Jennifer Rubin, 4/27/2020

Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus task force coordinator, warns that social distancing will be in place through the end of the summer.

Washington Post:  Trump apologists’ defense has been obliterated by ‘But Lysol’, by Jennifer Rubin, 4/27/2020

This is not simply another gaffe for Trump or even another dumb idea like the wall. This was an extended conversation reflecting the grotesque ignorance and total unfitness of the man who at every turn has failed to protect the country during the worst domestic crisis since the Great Depression. It illustrated how he intellectually corrupts those around him, forcing them to sacrifice their own credibility to defend his inanities.

 

During the preceding three years, when Trump critics pointed to his incompetence, racism, cruelty, lying, contempt for democracy, economic illiteracy or xenophobia, his defenders would retort “but tax cuts” or “but Gorsuch.” Essentially, they argued, we had to forget about everything else because Trump had bestowed upon the right their precious tax cuts (along with a sustained recovery) and Supreme Court picks that gave conservatives a 5-4 majority on most cases.

 

The apologists ignored that any conservative president would have produced similar results or that policy ends do not justify the destruction of civility, decency or democracy. Nevertheless, it was enough to keep on board the wealthy donor class and the right-wing evangelical Christian hypocrites who were pleased to overlook his un-Christian conduct and character for the sake of some judges. It was enough to satisfy those willing to be persuaded and unwilling to admit their vote for him had been a tragic mistake.

 

Now, however, the disaster that Trump has been utterly incapable of addressing has wiped out the value of those tax cuts (and the stock market) and taken more than 50,000 American lives. Whatever his apologists’ defense, the response to his previous (now virtually imperceptible) accomplishments has been obliterated by “But Lysol” — that is, his mind-boggling unfitness leading him to ignore real threats and promote dangerous behavior.

Washington Post:  Covid-19 quickly kills some while others don’t show symptoms. Can genetics explain this?, by Andrea Ganna, Benjamin Neale and Mark Daly, 4/27/2020

Andrea Ganna is a group leader at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland at the University of Helsinki. Benjamin Neale is an institute member at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. Mark Daly is the founding chief of the analytic and translational genetics unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and director of the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland.

 

One of the most distinctive and perplexing features of the disease, which has killed nearly 200,000 people globally, is the wide variation in severity. Some people don’t even show symptoms, while others suffer lethal damage to their lungs and other organs, and many more are somewhere in the middle.

San Francisco Chronicle:   Exclusive: Coronavirus caused heart to rupture in nation’s first known victim, autopsy shows, by Matthias Gafni and Jill Tucker, 4/26/2020

The Santa Clara woman whose death from COVID-19 is the earliest so far known in the United States suffered a massive heart attack caused by coronavirus infection, signs of which were found throughout her body, according to an autopsy report obtained exclusively by The Chronicle.

 

Patricia Dowd, 57, died Feb. 6 and had reported flu-like symptoms in the days before her death, according to the report. The autopsy, performed by medical examiner Susan Parson, found COVID-19 viral infection in her heart, trachea, lungs and intestines.

 

“There’s something abnormal about the fact that a perfectly normal heart has burst open,” said Bay Area forensic pathologist Dr. Judy Melinek, who was not involved in the autopsy but read the report at the request of The Chronicle. “The heart has ruptured. Normal hearts don’t rupture.”

San Francisco Chronicle:  Kaiser study finds coronavirus seriously affects people regardless of age, by Erin Allday, 4/25/2020

A study of 1,300 Northern California Kaiser patients who tested positive for the coronavirus last month found that nearly a third were hospitalized and almost 1 in 10 ended up in intensive care — and nearly as many young and middle-aged adults were admitted as people age 60 and over, according to results published online Friday.

 

The analysis is among the first large studies of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in the United States, and the first in California. More than 16,200 Kaiser patients across 21 hospitals in Northern California were tested for the coronavirus in March, and about 8% came up positive.

 

The study results were published in a brief letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

JAMA:  Characteristics of Hospitalized Adults With COVID-19 in an Integrated Health Care System in California, Laura C. Myers, MD, MPH; Stephen M. Parodi, MD; Gabriel J. Escobar, MD, 4/24/2020

 

MLive:  Whitmer orders shopping hours for vulnerable residents, masks for employees checking out customers, by Roberto Acosta, 4/26/2020

LANSING, MI -- Grocery stores and pharmacies in Michigan are now required to set aside shopping hours for vulnerable residents.

 

The move is part of an executive order signed Sunday, April 26 by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to establish strategies to reduce exposure to COVID-19 for customers and employees.

 

Per the executive order, those considered to be part of the state’s vulnerable population are people over 60, pregnant women, and those with chronic health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.

MLive:  Washtenaw County reports 28 new coronavirus cases, three more deaths, by Martin Slagter, 4/25/2020

MLive:  Livingston County reports 3 more coronavirus deaths and 3 new cases, by Martin Slagter, 4/25/2020

MLive:  Whitmer defends stay-at-home order, says Michigan needed ‘unique solution’, by Martin Slagter, 4/25/2020

Having the third most positive COVID-19 cases in a state with the 10th largest population, she said, made limiting the operations of nonessential businesses and activities a necessity. 

MLive:  Michigan mortgage lenders partner with state to provide borrowers coronavirus financial relief, by John Tunison, 4/25/2020

MLive:  New Michigan coronavirus cases lowest seen in a month, but deaths still high, by John Tunison, 4/25/2020

MLive:  Despite crashes, 820,000 of 1.18M Michiganders filing for unemployment have gotten paid, by Taylor DesOrmeau, 4/23/2020

 

Washington Post:  13 hours of Trump: The president fills briefings with attacks and boasts, but little empathy, by Philip Bump and Ashley Parker, 4/26/2020

Washington Post:  Mitch McConnell isn’t a ‘stable genius, either,’ by Jennifer Rubin, 4/26/2020

Washington Post:  In Wisconsin, protesters attack stay-at-home orders as unnecessary — or a government cabal, by Holly Bailey, 4/25/2020

Washington Post:  Trump’s reopening gambit bombs, by Jennifer Rubin, 4/23/2020

The extent of the misjudgment is stunning. The latest AP-NORC poll finds, “Only 12% of Americans say the measures [for social distancing] where they live go too far. About twice as many people, 26%, believe the limits don’t go far enough. The majority of Americans — 61% — feel the steps taken by government officials to prevent infections of COVID-19 in their area are about right.” Twelve percent. That’s how unpopular Trump’s scheme is.

Washington Post:  Welcome to Donald Trump’s reelection strategy, by Fareed Zakaria, 4/23/2020

There is, of course, another path. Trump could have used the crisis to rally the nation around a common foe. He could have provided calm, sensible leadership, stayed on message with his own health officials and fostered unity rather than division. That is the approach of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has a 79 percent approval rating. It is the strategy of Emmanuel Macron, who has moved up 10 points in his polarized France.

 

But it turns out that Donald Trump knows only one dance — the populism hustle — and seems uninterested in learning any other.

Washington Post:  7 things the administration is getting wrong about testing, by Leana S. Wen, 4/22/2020

Leana S. Wen is an emergency physician and visiting professor at George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. Previously, she served as Baltimore’s health commissioner.

 

Over the past week, members of the Trump administration have issued justifications for why the United States does not need mass covid-19 testing. Here’s what they get wrong:

Washington Post:  There’s a better way to reopen society, and it’s no secret, by Michael S. Saag, 4/23/2020

Public health officials use this approach every day in controlling infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. It employs aggressive, early testing of those with symptoms (index cases), along with isolation and testing of all those who had close contact with the index case until their status is determined. Other countries, including South Korea, Israel and Germany, are accomplishing contact tracing with the aid of an expanded workforce and information technology. The index cases are treated and placed in quarantine. This process minimizes exposure and can allow us to gradually lift restrictions and begin safely returning toward normalcy.

 

The United States has expanded covid-19 testing capacity significantly in recent weeks, with up to 4 million tests being administered, currently around 140,000 a day. Unfortunately, estimates summarized by the Kaiser Family Foundation indicate that between 500,000 and 4 million tests daily will be required to manage the U.S. pandemic. The tests alone will cost billions per month — and there will also be the cost of personnel and staffing needed to manage them. No state can afford its share of this; the federal government must act.

 

To paraphrase what Chief Brody said when he first saw the actual size of the "Jaws" shark:

 

We’re going to need a bigger boat.  [And we're going to need a bigger President.]

Washington Post:  The U.S. faces two disastrous scenarios. There’s a third option. By Tim Searchinger, Anthony LaMantia and Gordon Douglas, 3/23/2020

[a glance back, one long month]

Washington Post:  Here are the innovations we need to reopen the economy, by Bill Gates, 4/23/2020

The new approach I’m most excited about is known as an RNA vaccine. (The first covid-19 vaccine to start human trials is an RNA vaccine.) Unlike a flu shot, which contains fragments of the influenza virus so your immune system can learn to attack them, an RNA vaccine gives your body the genetic code needed to produce viral fragments on its own. When the immune system sees these fragments, it learns how to attack them. An RNA vaccine essentially turns your body into its own vaccine manufacturing unit.

Washington Post:  There are no shortcuts to defeating the coronavirus, by Eugene Robinson, 4/23/2020

Washington Post::  Five actions we need to take to restore the American way of life, by Chris Christie, 4/24/2020

Washington Post::  Tensions emerge between Republicans over coronavirus spending and how to rescue the economy, by Seung Min Kim, 4/25/2020

After years of pillorying the Obama administration over spending and blocking efforts to pump more money into the economy following the 2008 financial crisis, GOP leaders now find themselves struggling with how to balance the need to prop up the struggling economy ahead of the fall’s elections with concerns that too much spending could hurt them with their base of voters.

Washington Post:  Trump is exhibiting all the symptoms of a hydroxychloroquine overdose, by Dana Milbank, 4/24/2020

My study hasn’t been peer reviewed yet, but my evidence — based on a hunch that originated in my gut — is very strong: President Trump has overdosed on hydroxychloroquine.

Washington Post::  The White House tried to move a reporter to the back of the press room, but she refused. Then Trump walked out.  By Paul Farhi, 4/25/2020

A White House official ordered a CNN reporter to give up her front-row seat and move to the back of the press room before President Trump’s briefing on Friday, in what appears to be another attempt by Trump to punish a network he calls “fake news.”  The reporter, CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins, refused to move, as did a second reporter whose seat in the rear of the room she was ordered to take.

Washington Post:  The White House attempts to humiliate CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, by Erik Wemple, 4/25/2020

The Erik Wemple Blog has asked the White House who hatched the idea to suddenly attack Collins’s front-row perch in the briefing room. It’s not clear, though we do know this: It’s a petty, personal act that was hastily and mendaciously executed. What happened here was nothing short of an abject attempt to professionally humiliate a young, female journalist. Sure, Trump has targeted men plenty of times in the briefing room and elsewhere. But hear the words of CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash earlier this month: “As a woman who covered the White House, as a woman who covers politics and policy in Washington, we have to just say, the way he treats the female reporters is just different.”

Washington Post:  Congress’s power is in its purse. And Trump has snatched it., by George Will, 4/24/2020

In his 1833 “Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States,” Justice Joseph Story, then serving on John Marshall’s Supreme Court, wrote that without Congress’s control of appropriations, “the executive would possess an unbounded power over the public purse” and “might apply all its monied resources at his pleasure.” In bicentennial year 1976, the Supreme Court held that “the expenditure of public funds is proper only when authorized by Congress.”

 

In 2012, the D.C. Circuit held that the appropriations clause is a “bulwark” of the separation of powers. On Tuesday, the court, the nation’s second-most-important, will revisit all this in a case that is probably en route to the most important court, which sits about 1,000 yards away, and can stand athwart presidential overreaching.

Washington Post:  Coronavirus is invading Red America, new data show. That’s ominous for Trump, by Greg Sargent, 4/23/2020

A new analysis from demographer William Frey finds that coronavirus is now spreading into whiter and more Republican-leaning areas of the country. Despite initially being concentrated in blue and urban areas, it has slowly extended into new parts of the Midwest and the south, into outer suburbs and small metropolitan areas, and into parts of the country carried by Trump.

Brookings Institute:  COVID-19’s recent spread shifts to suburban, whiter, and more Republican-leaning areas, by William H. Frey, 4/22/2020

Washington Post:  We are nearing the end of the beginning of the covid-19 crisis. Bigger challenges lie ahead, The Editorial Board, 4/25/2020

WHAT NOW? We are six weeks into a national pandemic emergency, an extraordinary period of disruption in which the American people have sheltered in their homes and seen one-sixth of their jobs vanish. Horrifyingly, more than 50,000 people have died. An effective vaccine is at least a year away, and that is optimistic. So what should and can be done? The incompetence of national leadership notwithstanding, we must find a realistic way forward for the next phase.

 

Sadly, the time gained with this sacrifice has been largely squandered by President Trump. The next set of challenges are: test millions more people, identify the sick, trace their contacts, and isolate the ill so that those who are able can return to work and school. These elements — testing, diagnosing, contact-tracing, isolating — are tactics that work. But to perform them at needed scale is a far more complex challenge than what has been achieved so far. It now seems clear that a huge, national wartime mobilization to meet the challenge, which many have suggested, will not take place. It will fall on 50 state governors and on localities. They must make the best of it.

 

The American people responded with alacrity, cohesion and remarkable goodwill in the face of danger over the past six weeks. They deserve straight talk about what lies ahead. Clarity and transparency are vital. We are at the end of the beginning of the worst national crisis since Pearl Harbor. The nation’s success, its resilience and recovery, depend in great measure on public confidence that the sacrifices have purpose, that there is a path out and that we will stay on it. As Mr. Trump cannot instill such confidence, it falls to other officials — local, state and federal — to plan soberly and speak honestly. It falls to each of us to help, and keep faith with, one another.

Washington Post:  The cost of Trump’s deadly state of denial, by Joe Scarborough, 4/25/2020

Daily Beast:  Pigeons on window boxes, ducks in yards, and hummingbirds on porches provide strange solace for quarantined humans, by Laura Bradley, 4/25/2020

Politico:  Florida’s No-Rules Vibe Gets a Coronavirus Reality Check, by Craig Pittman, 4/25/2020

“It’s wild to ride down Duval Street at 10 p.m., a time it would normally be busy, and everything is totally dark,” said Haskell, executive director of the Key West Literary Seminar.

 

The pause is prompting some reconsideration among the residents of what the city should look like once it reopens. They’re pro-tourism, but not for all tourism, he said.

 

“A lot of people right now are thinking we’re better off without the cruise ships,” he said.

Politico:  Fauci calls for at least doubling virus testing before reopening country, by Mohana Ravindranath, 4/25/2020

Politico:  Trump skips briefing amid fears of overexposure, by Stephanie Murray, 4/25/2020

Concerns came to a head on Thursday, when the president floated the idea that ingesting disinfectants could work as a coronavirus treatment. Trump's unfounded medical advice was met with near-universal outcry — he faced criticism from medical professionals and even the manufacturers of cleaning products.

One Month Ago:  Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently. Here’s How, by Politico Magazine, 3/19/2020

A crisis on this scale can reorder society in dramatic ways, for better or worse. Here are 34 big thinkers’ predictions for what’s to come.

Politico:  Biden wants a new stimulus 'a hell of a lot bigger' than $2 trillion, by Michael Grunwald, 4/25/2020

In a fiery half-hour interview with POLITICO, the presumptive Democratic nominee sounded a bit like his angrier and less moderate primary rivals, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, though in unexpurgated Biden style. The former vice president said that the next round of coronavirus stimulus needs to be “a hell of a lot bigger” than last month’s $2 trillion CARES Act, that it needs to include massive aid to states and cities to prevent them from “laying off a hell of a lot of teachers and cops and firefighters,” and that the administration is already “wasting a hell of a lot of money.”

Daily Beast:  Trump, In His Own Twisted Way, Finally Owns Up to a Mistake, by Matt Lewis, 4/25/2020

The Orange One’s humble shuffling off the stage Friday night without taking questions showed that even he reaches a point where he knows he blew it.

 

In a press briefing that ended quicker than a lot of Mike Tyson fights, it was Donald Trump who ended up on the mat Friday night.

 

I was primed to see how Trump would handle the fallout from Thursday night’s disastrous briefing, in which Trump pondered aloud whether injecting disinfectant might help treat patients suffering from COVID-19, when he decided to take his toys and go home. Right after he shuffled off the stage Friday night without taking a single question, the news broke that he was no longer going to be entertaining America on a nightly basis.

New York Times:  Trump suggests that the daily briefings are no longer worth his time, as the White House considers firing the health secretary. 4/25/2020

Other officials were angry that, after Mr. Azar and other top H.H.S. officials forced out Dr. Rick Bright, the head of a key drug and vaccine development agency, Mr. Azar told Vice President Mike Pence in front of a crowded task force meeting that Dr. Bright had been promoted.

Politico:   White House weighing plan to replace HHS Secretary Azar, by Adam Cancryn, Nancy Cook and Dan Diamond, 4/25/2020

Senior officials’ long-standing frustrations with the health chief have mounted during the pressure-packed response to the Covid-19 outbreak, with White House aides angry this week about Azar’s handling of the ouster of vaccine expert Rick Bright. At a recent task force meeting, Azar assured Vice President Mike Pence that Bright’s move to the National Institutes of Health was a promotion — only for Bright and his lawyers to release a statement that he would soon file a whistleblower complaint against HHS leadership.

The Guardian:  Trump says briefings 'not worth the effort' amid fallout from disinfectant comments, by Lauren Aratani, 4/25/2020

After more than a month of near-daily White House coronavirus press briefings, Donald Trump stayed behind closed doors on Saturday after advisers reportedly warned the president that his appearances were hurting his campaign.

 

Trump himself referenced his absence when he wrote on Twitter that the briefings are “not worth the time & effort”. The president wrote the tweet on Saturday evening, when he would usually be taking the podium to address journalists.

MSNBC:  Trump facing 'historic political defeat' amidst virus, says Bush aide, Ari Melber, 4/25/2020

President Trump is facing backlash for this coronavirus response, including his public remarks at a White House press briefing that suggested humans inject themselves with toxic chemicals as a cure. Former George W. Bush Speechwriter David Frum issues a warning, that Trump is “weak,” and is “headed toward an historic political defeat – one that will likely take the Republican Senate down with him.” In an interview with MSNBC’s Ari Melber, Frum implores Trump’s aides and staff to “use their power to prevent him from doing harm.”

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan State Senator wears face mask that "looks like Confederate flag" during a Senate Vote.  By Angie Jackson, 4/25/2020

Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, denied that the face covering — a red mask with blue stripes and white stars — [the infamous stars and bars] - was the Confederate flag in a WLNS-TV 6 interview.

 

[EDITOR: When People tell you who they are and who their political base is, believe them.]

Daily Beast:  Idiot Alchemist Donald Trump Says Sun and Bleach Will Save You, by Rick Wilson, 4/25/2020

“So supposing we hit the body with a tremendous—whether it’s ultraviolet or just a very powerful light,” Trump said. “And then I said supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or some other way and I think you said you’re going to test that too.”

 

“I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning? As you see it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”

 

Never forget that the man spouting this stream of absurd bullshit like a medieval alchemist with mercury poisoning is the President of the United Fucking States. The man who stood there today ranting about disinfectants and ultraviolet light cures also has control of America’s entire nuclear arsenal. Sleep tight!

The Guardian:  Top economist: US coronavirus response is like 'third world' country, by Larry Elliott, 4/22/2020

In a withering attack on the president, Joseph Stiglitz said millions of people were turning to food banks, turning up for work due to a lack of sick pay and dying because of health inequalities.

 

During an interview with the Guardian to mark the paperback publication of his book People, Power, and Profits, Stiglitz was asked whether the US might be heading for a second Great Depression.

 

“Yes is the answer in short,” he said. “If you leave it to Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell [the Republican Senate majority leader] we will have a Great Depression. If we had the right policy structure in place we could avoid it easily.”

 

Stiglitz said that as a result of Trump’s mismanagement, the White House office responsible for pandemics had been closed, funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had been cut, and the US had gone into the crisis without enough testing kits, masks and protective gear. Encouraged by Trump, some parts of the US were determined to reopen in a way that would facilitate the transmission of the disease and lead to a fresh outbreak, he added.

 

“In those circumstances it won’t be the government enforcing the lockdown, it will be fear.

Washington Post:  Live updates: WHO says no evidence recovery prevents second infection as coronavirus deaths surpass 200,000 worldwide, by Kim Bellware, Meryl Kornfield, Miriam Berger, Hannah Knowles, Jesse Dougherty and Candace Buckner, 4/25/2020

The World Health Organization on Saturday said there was not enough evidence that a person who has recovered from covid-19 is immune from a second infection.

Washington Post:  Young and middle-aged people, barely sick with covid-19, are dying of strokes, by Ariana Eunjung Cha, 4/25/2020

The man was among several recent stroke patients in their 30s to 40s who were all infected with the coronavirus. The median age for that type of severe stroke is 74.

 

As Oxley, an interventional neurologist, began the procedure to remove the clot, he observed something he had never seen before. On the monitors, the brain typically shows up as a tangle of black squiggles — “like a can of spaghetti,” he said — that provide a map of blood vessels. A clot shows up as a blank spot. As he used a needlelike device to pull out the clot, he saw new clots forming in real-time around it.

 

“This is crazy,” he remembers telling his boss.

Washington Post:  The sudden rise of the coronavirus grim reaper: Ghana’s dancing pallbearers, by Danielle Paquette, 4/25/2020

They are Ghana’s dancing pallbearers, a crew of funeral performers who have long sought to make mourners grin through grief. But as the coronavirus pandemic rages, they’ve become the accidental faces of a stay-at-home movement — comedic grim reapers edited into footage of risky behavior as a warning.

Washington Post:    One country, one system: The week that China shredded its promise on Hong Kong, by Shibani Mahtani and Timothy McLaughlin, 4/24/2020

With the world distracted by the coronavirus pandemic, China has carried out a power grab in the former British colony, whose way of life it had pledged to preserve until 2047.

Detroit Free Press:  Public memorial set for Skylar Herbert, Michigan's youngest coronavirus victim, by Meredith Spelbring, 4/25/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Coronavirus cases at Michigan prison surge as widespread testing begins, by Angie Jackson and Kristi Tanner, 4/25/2020

This week, the Department of Corrections started more robust testing at Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater, where 642 prisoners, or 44% of the population, and 31, or 11%, of staff have tested positive for the virus. The prison, which sits near the state’s southern border, now has the ninth largest known cluster of confirmed cases in the country.  Jackon's Parnall prison has the 11th largest cluster, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Detroit Free Press:  Infection rate at Michigan prison exceeds New York, Chicago jail hot spots, by Angie Jackson and Kristi Tanner, 4/15/2020

Daily Beast:  The Bureau of Prisons Just Bought a Ton of Hydroxychloroquine, Trump’s COVID-19 Miracle Drug, by Lachlan Markay, 4/7/2020

The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Justice Department’s Bureau of Prisons have both reported purchases of hydroxychloroquine since March 26, according to federal procurement records.

 

The Department of Veterans Affairs purchased $40,000 in hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets from the pharmaceutical company McKesson, and another $168,000 from the Colorado-based generic drug distributor Golden State Medical Supply. Procurement records for both list them as “emergency” purchase orders to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

 

The Bureau of Prisons’ purchase order does not mention the coronavirus. But the $60,000 purchase of hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets from the company Premium Rx National came on March 31—in the midst of a worsening outbreak at the federal correctional facilities that the bureau oversees and days before President Trump announced that he was stockpiling millions of pills of the drug. It appears to be the first time that the BOP has purchased the drug.

Daily Beast:  Doctors Are Hoarding Drug Trump Hyped—for Themselves, by Zachary Siegel, 3/24/2020

On Sunday, Katherine Rowland, a pharmacist in Eugene, Oregon, got a call from a dentist who wanted her to fill prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that President Donald Trump has hyped as a possible treatment for the new coronavirus.

 

As Rowland wrote in an outraged Twitter thread, the medication wasn’t for the dentist’s patients: He wanted it for himself, his wife, and friends. She refused to fill it.

 

“I have patients with lupus that have been on HCQ for years and now can’t get it because it’s on backorder,” she explained.

Daily Beast:  Researchers Kickstart Huge Study of Malaria Drug to Prevent Coronavirus, by Adam Rawnsley, 3/20/2020

The important thing is for researchers to do some solid science—and for everyone else not get ahead of it. That’s why researchers from the University of Minnesota have started a large human trial of hydroxychloroquine to see if it can play a role in preventing people from becoming infected with the virus.

 

The study, led by Dr. David Boulware, aims to recruit 1,500 people, which would make it one of the largest trials for the use of hydroxychloroquine against the coronavirus if successful. Boulware has previously studied chloroquine and its effect against HIV.

Detroit Free Press:  How coronavirus is changing Ramadan for Muslims in metro Detroit, by Nushrat Rahman, 4/25/2020

Livingston Daily:  Livingston County cuts budget due to the coronavirus, hiring freeze in place, by Jennifer Timar, 4/24/2020

County officials say a decline in the demand for the county jail to house federal inmates and a reduction in sales tax received at the state will cut revenues by $600,000 according to the resolution.

Politico:  First test of New York’s recovery comes in shell-shocked industry: Hospitals, by Amanda Eisenberg, 4/24/2020

Livingston Daily:  At least 55 residents at long-term care facilities in Livingston County COVID-19 positive, by Jennifer Timer, 4/24/2020

LA Times:  Navy recommends reinstatement of fired carrier captain, AP, 4/24/2020

Washington Post:  Trump Spits Back at Georgia Governor and Local Republicans Duck, by Hunter Woodall, 4/25/2020

LA Times:  Government scientist felt pressured to approve contract for work on drug Trump touted, by David S. Cloud, Melissa Healy, 4/23/2020

WASHINGTON — The federal scientist recently ousted from a senior position overseeing research on coronavirus vaccines felt pressured by Trump administration officials to award a $21-million contract to a Florida laboratory to study an anti-malaria drug touted by the president as a COVID-19 treatment, according to a person familiar with the incident.

 

“He was very concerned and was ordered to do it,” said the person.

The Guardian:  Top vaccine expert says he was fired for resisting Trump on hydroxychloroquine, by David Smith, 4/22/2020

Rick Bright was this week ousted as director of the US health department’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or Barda, and as the deputy assistant secretary for preparedness and response.

 

In a stunningly candid statement, Bright highlighted his refusal to embrace hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug relentlessly promoted by the president and Fox News despite a lack of scientific studies.

 

“Specifically, and contrary to misguided directives, I limited the broad use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, promoted by the administration as a panacea, but which clearly lack scientific merit,” Bright said.

 

“While I am prepared to look at all options and to think ‘outside the box’ for effective treatments, I rightly resisted efforts to provide an unproven drug on demand to the American public.”

Daily Beast:  MSNBC Host Torches Trump’s ‘Pathological Narcissistic Propaganda Show’ as Daily Briefings Evaporate, by Maxwell Tani, 4/25/2020

“There’s no plan or solutions coming from the White House,” Hayes said. “Instead, there is—every night carried on this network and others —a two-hour pathological narcissistic propaganda show in which the president feels some fleeting sense of satisfaction because people are watching him. And then he goes back to watching more TV.”

April 24:  ‘Distancing is impossible’: refugee camps race to avert coronavirus catastrophe, by Nidhi Subbaraman, Nature

Daily Beast:  White House Aides Groan, Try to Clean Up After ‘Dumb’ Trump Again, by Will Sommer, Asawin Suebsaeng, Adam Rawnsley, 4/24/2020

Additionally, the small but vocal community of people who consume bleach in a misguided attempt to cure medical conditions, including autism, were reveling on Friday in what they interpreted to be a presidential endorsement. Many of them use a product called Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), a chlorine dioxide product which the FDA considers “equivalent to industrial bleach.”

 

On April 17, the FDA sought an injunction against the “Genesis II Church of Health and Healing,” which sells MMS, to prevent the organization from selling MMS as a cure for Covid-19 and other ailments. The church’s “bishop,” Mark Grenon, wrote Trump a letter in April claiming that his chlorine dioxide product could “rid the body of Covid-19.” It’s not clear whether Trump actually saw Grenon’s letter.

 

Jordan Sather, a prominent QAnon conspiracy theorist who promotes MMS, tweeted that Trump’s comments proved that MMS was safe to consume.

 

“How AWESOME would it be if he starts openly looking at Chlorine Dioxide for COVID!” Sather tweeted, adding that it was a good “lung cleaner.”

MSNBC:  Brinkley: Nothing else like Trump's 'cavernous stupidity' in U.S. history, 4/24/2020

Historian and presidential biographer Douglas Brinkley and Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post react to the wild speculation we have seen from the president amid his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Daily Beast:  Trump Ends Coronavirus Briefing in Minutes After Fury Over Insane Bleach Suggestions, by Hunter Woodall and Asawin Suebsaeng, 4/24/2020

“So supposing we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light and I think you said that hasn't been checked but you’re going to test it? And then I said supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way,” Trump said, adding it “sounds interesting.”

 

After Bryan said that bleach and isopropyl alcohol kill the virus on surfaces quickly, Trump pondered: “And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks [the virus] out [from a surface] in a minute, one minute, and is there a way we can do something like that [by] injection inside or almost a cleaning, because you see it gets on the lungs and it does a tremendous number?”

LA Times:   Trump’s improvised medicine show prompts frantic health warnings, by Eli Stokols, 4/24/2020

WASHINGTON — A slew of federal and state agencies — and the makers of laundry bleach — issued an implicit rebuke to President Trump on Friday, warning the public that his off-the-cuff medical advice and off-the-wall musings in nightly White House briefings could endanger even more lives as the country’s coronavirus death toll passed 50,000.

LA Times:  No, don’t inject disinfectant: Outcry over Trump’s musing, AP, 4/24/2020

LA Times:  U.S. states build stockpiles of malaria drug touted by Trump, AP, 4/24/2020

At least 22 states and Washington, D.C., secured shipments of the drug, hydroxychloroquine, according to information compiled from state and federal officials by the Associated Press.

LA Times: FDA warns against using the drugs that Trump touts for coronavirus, AP, 4/24/2020

LA Times:  Malaria drugs fail to help coronavirus patients in controlled studies, by Melissa Healy, 4/17/2020

LA Times:  $8-billion effort aims to speed development of coronavirus vaccines and treatments, by Deborah Netburn, 4/24/2020

LA Times:  WHO is struggling against COVID-19 and a divided world testing its authority, by David Pierson, 4/1/2020

LA Times:  A doctor was arrested for warning China about the coronavirus. Then he died of it, by Alice Su, 2/6/2020

BEIJING — He sent warnings of a deadly virus on social media. The Chinese government moved to downplay the emergency, but Dr. Li Wenliang’s insistence on telling the truth turned him into a folk hero in a country that prizes secrecy and crushes dissent.


Li and seven other whistleblowers were arrested for spreading rumors. Only last week, as the coronavirus outbreak kept 50 million Chinese people on lockdown and accelerated around the world, did authorities concede that Li and the others should not have been censured.

New York Times:  Health Officials Responding to Coronavirus Lacked Proper Gear and Training, Investigation Finds, by Emily Cochrane, 4/24/2020

The report, which summed up the findings of a team of lawyers that interviewed 65 people and reviewed tens of thousands of pages of documents, offers some detail into how overwhelmed agencies were during initial federal response to the coronavirus. A separate review, conducted by the Office of the Inspector General, remains underway.

New York Times:  Trump Speech to Bring 1,000 West Point Cadets Back to Campus, by Eric Schmitt and Annie Karni, 4/24/2020

Mr. Trump told reporters that he would be speaking at the West Point graduation in the near future, noting that he did not like the look of a socially distanced graduation and that he hoped the “look” of the ceremony would be “nice and tight.” He did not announce a date for the event.

 

General Williams said in a telephone interview that returning seniors would be tested off-campus for the coronavirus. Those who test negative will then be sent to the school, where they will be monitored for 14 days before graduation. While the campus has enough dormitory rooms for the 1,000 seniors, General Williams said that he was still deciding whether seniors would share bedrooms on their return.

Washington Post:  Trump has proven it. We’re on our own, America. By David Von Drehle, 4/24/2020.

MSNBC: NYT: Trump is obsessing over TV coverage of his coronavirus response ,  ,4/24/2020

According to a New York Times report, amid the COVID-19 pandemic Trump spends much of his time away from the Oval Office obsessing about TV coverage of his administration's response.

New York Times:  Home Alone at the White House: A Sour President, With TV His Constant Companion, by Katie Rogers and Annie Karni, 4/23/2020

WASHINGTON — President Trump arrives in the Oval Office these days as late as noon, when he is usually in a sour mood after his morning marathon of television.

 

He has been up in the White House master bedroom as early as 5 a.m. watching Fox News, then CNN, with a dollop of MSNBC thrown in for rage viewing. He makes calls with the TV on in the background, his routine since he first arrived at the White House.  But now there are differences.

 

The president sees few allies no matter which channel he clicks. He is angry even with Fox, an old security blanket, for not portraying him as he would like to be seen. And he makes time to watch Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s briefings from New York, closely monitoring for a sporadic compliment or snipe.

LA Times:  California coronavirus cases top 40,000, with nearly half in L.A. County, by Alex Wigglesworth, Hannah Fry, Patrick McGreevy, John Myers, James Rainey, 4/24/2020

The number of coronavirus cases in nursing homes and other institutional settings had soared to 5,339 at 293 facilities, Ferrer said, including 3,847 residents and 1,492 staff. The rise coincides with an increase in testing in those facilities, leading to infections identified among asymptomatic people.

LA Times:  California effort will employ restaurant workers to provide meals for seniors amid coronavirus crisis, by John Myers, 4/24/2020

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state will soon launch a far-reaching program to provide three meals a day to California seniors in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, partnering with local officials to employ out-of-work restaurant workers with funding largely provided by the federal government.

LA Times:  Biden backs mail vote, suggests Trump will try to postpone election, AP, 4/24/2020

Biden chided Trump for denigrating mail balloting and for opposing direct aid for the Postal Service. Trump, who voted by mail in Florida’s presidential primary last month, recently said with no evidence that he believes mail balloting allows voters to “cheat.” Separately, the administration maneuvered to ensure that the Postal Service got no direct assistance in the $2-trillion coronavirus aid package.

LA Times:  Could Trump delay the November election? Not without risking forfeit to a Democrat, by Evan Halper, 3/17/2020

LA Times:  Trump won’t approve Postal Service loan unless agency raises charges for Amazon, AP, 4/24/2020

WASHINGTON — President Trump said Friday that he won’t approve a $10-billion loan for the U.S. Postal Service unless the agency raises charges for Amazon and other big shippers to four to five times current rates.

LA Times Column: Trump again attacks the U.S. Postal Service with lies, by Michael Hiltzik, 4/9/2020

There’s a lot of misinformation to unpack there, so let’s roll up our sleeves and get started. Let’s keep in mind that Trump is attacking a government service specifically designed to provide universal delivery, binding together a nation from the remote Aleutian Islands of Alaska to Key West, from Lake of the Woods in frigid northern Minnesota to humid Brownsville, Texas.

We don’t operate the military at a profit, or schools or any other public service; the notion that the Postal Service should be “run like a business,” as inviting that is to conservatives, is code for undermining a public good and letting private enterprise saddle up.

Detroit Free Press:  Detroit Free Press pages show the 1918 Spanish Influenza, 4/24/2020

Detroit Free Press:  75% of Michigan's nursing home COVID-19 cases are in metro Detroit. See the data, by Christina Hall, Elisha Anderson and Kristi Tanner, 4/24/2020

Michigan.gov:  MDHHS: Long Term Care Data, 4/23/2020

This MDHHS report contains data from 331 of Michigan's approximately 450 licensed Nursing facilities, listed by county and facility

Livingston Daily:  Hartland Township officials: Stay-at-home order excessive, economy should safely open, by Jennifer Timer, 4/23/2020

On Tuesday, the township's all-Republican Board of Trustees passed a resolution urging Whitmer and state lawmakers to safely reopen the economy.

Detroit Free Press:   Michigan surpasses 3,000 deaths due to coronavirus; 36,641 cases total, by Miriam Marini, 4/24/2020

Detroit Free Press Opinion:  Don't drink Lysol, dummies | Opinion by Nancy Kaffer, 4/24/2020

Detroit Free Press:   FDA, Lysol issue warnings about President Trump's treatment ideas for coronavirus, by Tresa Baldas, 4/24/2020

The Food and Drug Administration and the makers of Lysol warned that President Donald Trump's suggested treatments for COVID-19 — [injections of ] disinfectants and hydroxychloroquine — could kill.

Detroit Free Press:  Coronavirus deaths of hospital workers now under scrutiny by Michigan, federal agencies, by jennifer Dixon, 4/24/2020

Daily Beast:  ‘Dying to Bowl’: Georgia Flirts With Disaster as Lockdown Eases, by Justin Glawe, 4/24/2020

Some business owners weren’t ready to take the plunge: “What do you need before you start risking your 70-plus year old clients?”

Detroit Free Press:  Gov. Whitmer's new Michigan stay home order: What's allowed, what's not allowed, by Miriam Marini, 4/24/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Greenhouses reopening for spring in Michigan after coronavirus restrictions lifted, by Frank Witsil, 4/24/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michiganders can now travel between residences, move into new homes under new order, by Miriam Marini, 4/24/2020

Detroit Free Press:  More than 2,200 coronavirus cases in Michigan nursing homes; statewide data coming today, by Elisha Anderson and Christina Hall, 4/24/2020

"Three-quarters of these cases are in southeast Michigan,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun during a news conference Friday.

 

331 of about 450 Nursing Homes in Michigan have reported COVID-19 case data.

Detroit Free Press:  Coronavirus live updates, April 24: Michigan permits golfing, boating again, by Brian Manzullo, 4/24/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan now requires face coverings in public enclosed spaces: What you need to know, by Miriam Marini, 4/24/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Gov. Whitmer extends Michigan stay home order to May 15, allows some businesses to reopen, by Kathleen Gray and Todd Spangler, 4/24/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Watch replay: Gov. Whitmer addresses new Michigan stay home order, by Brian Manzullo, 4/24/2020

As of 10 a.m. Thursday, the State of Michigan has confirmed 2,977 deaths due to COVID-19, and 35,291 confirmed cases.

Detroit Free Press:  Royal Oak City Commissioner Kim Gibbs could face censure after attending Lansing protest, by Christina hall, 4/23/2020

Commissioner Kim Gibbs, who attended the April 15 rally to protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home order, previously told Mayor Mike Fournier that she would not resign from her four-year seat when he asked her to "strongly" consider doing so.

Detroit Free Press:  Nurse used COVID-19 crisis to sneak 150 pounds of pot into US, by Tresa Baldas, 4/23/2020

“At a time when health care professionals are working overtime to keep us safe, it’s really shameful that anyone would exploit their status as a nurse to smuggle any kind of drug into our country,” U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said on Thursday, stressing: “To stop the spread of the coronavirus, our Canadian border is open only for essential travel."

 

As the top prosecutor put it, smuggling 143 vacuum sealed bags of marijuana into the country "simply isn't essential."

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan Legislature wants to create committee to oversee Whitmer's coronavirus response, by Kathleen Gray, 4/23/2020

In the midst of the continuing spread of the coronavirus in Michigan, the Michigan Legislature has scheduled a special session for Friday to create an oversight committee to examine how Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has responded to the crisis as well as consider bills that would strip the governor of some of her powers.

Bridge Magazine:  40-year-old technology may be the last chance for some COVID-19 patients, by Robin Erb, 4/23/2020

“It doesn’t treat the patient, but it buys time,” said Dr. Robert Bartlett, a retired University of Michigan surgeon and researcher who helped pioneer the technology.

Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility, University of Oxford:   "We made it! The first batch of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine that is being used in the clinical trials here in Oxford was manufactured by my marvellous team at the CBF." - Catherine Green, 4/23/2020

University of Oxford:  Oxford COVID-19 vaccine begins human trial stage, 4/23/2020

University of Oxford:  Oxford COVID-19 vaccine programme opens for clinical trial recruitment, 3/27/2020

Livingston Daily:  Livingston Essential Transportation Service receives $4.98M in federal stimulus money, by Kayla Daugherty, 4/23/2020

Livingston Essential Transportation Service received $4.98 million, significantly more than the organization's $3.5 million annual budget. "We are being told by MDOT to prepare for lower state funding the next two years," [LETS Director Greg Kellogg] said.

Livingston Daily:  Two facilities in Livingston County have COVID-19 outbreaks, officials not releasing details, by Jennifer Timar, 4/21/2020

Livingston Daily:  Family: Howell nursing home resident dies from COVID-19, by Jennifer Timar, 4/17/2020

Livingston Daily:  'Grandma was the one person I thought would be safe:' COVID-19 cases arise in nursing home, by Jennifer Timar, 4/11/2020

Livingston Daily,  Nursing home facilities in Livingston County taking in COVID-19 patients, by Jennifer Timar, 4/6/2020

Washington Post:  Covid-19 is posing serious questions about cancer treatment. There are no easy answers., by Bobak Parang, 4/22/2020

Inscribed along the lobby wall of our pediatric floor, which has now been converted into a covid-19 ward, is the famous ending to Percy Shelley's poignant “Ode to the West Wind.” The poet, bearing witness to an agent of destruction, looks ahead and envisions an end to the darkness.

 

“O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”

Reuters:  Special Report: Former Labradoodle breeder was tapped to lead U.S. pandemic task force, by Aram Roston and Marisa Taylor, 4/22/2020

Shortly after his televised comments, Azar tapped a trusted aide with minimal public health experience to lead the agency’s day-to-day response to COVID-19. The aide, Brian Harrison, had joined the department after running a dog-breeding business for six years. Five sources say some officials in the White House derisively called him “the dog breeder.”

 

Azar’s optimistic public pronouncement and choice of an inexperienced manager are emblematic of his agency’s oft-troubled response to the crisis. His HHS is a behemoth department, overseeing almost every federal public health agency in the country, with a $1.3 trillion budget that exceeds the gross national product of most countries.

The New York Times:  The Death of the Department Store: ‘Very Few Are Likely to Survive’, by Sapna Maheshwari and Vanessa Friedman, 4/21/2020

Nothing compares to the shock the weakened industry has taken from the coronavirus pandemic. The sales of clothing and accessories fell by more than half in March, a trend that is expected to only get worse in April. The entire executive team at Lord & Taylor was let go this month. Nordstrom has canceled orders and put off paying its vendors. The Neiman Marcus Group, the most glittering of the American department store chains, is expected to declare bankruptcy in the coming days, the first major retailer felled during the current crisis.

 

“The department stores, which have been failing slowly for a very long time, really don’t get over this,” said Mark A. Cohen, the director of retail studies at Columbia University’s Business School. “The genre is toast, and looking at the other side of this, there are very few who are likely to survive.”

Reuters:  Alarmed as COVID patients' blood thickened, New York doctors try new treatments, by Jonathan Allen, 4/22/2020

RawStory:  Ohio Republican compares state’s health director — who’s Jewish — to Nazis and the Antichrist, by Travis Gettys, 4/22/2020

A recent poll showed nearly 80 percent of Ohioans approved of DeWine’s handling of the pandemic, which has more than 13,000 confirmed cases and 557 deaths.

RawStory:  Mitch McConnell prefers to see states go bankrupt rather than send federal aid, by Travis Gettys, 4/22/2020

The Kentucky Republican, whose state is among the most heavily dependent on federal aid, told talk radio host Hugh Hewitt that states should be allowed to declare bankruptcy to get out from beneath burdensome public employee pension costs, reported Bloomberg.

 

“I said yesterday we’re going to push the pause button here,” he added, “because I think this whole business of additional assistance for state and local governments needs to be thoroughly evaluated.”

RawStory:  Trump’s Scottish golf courses are tanking — and now he’s asking the UK government for a bailout, by Brad Reed, 4/23/2020

Scottish newspaper The National reports that the Trump Organization is “seeking government aid to pay most of the salaries of bartenders, bagpipers and other employees at its three money-losing golf resorts in Scotland and Ireland.”  Although the golf courses have been money losers for years, the Trump Organization is now claiming that the COVID-19 pandemic has put them in extreme danger of going bust.

Livingston Daily:  State reports reduction of COVID-19 hospitalizations, as 7 new cases reported in Livingston, by Jennifer Timar, 4/22/2020

RawStory:  ‘You hate to see it’: Internet laughs as Trump kneecaps GOP governor who took his advice, by Matthey Chapman, 4/22/2020

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump left Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) out to dry, telling the nation at his latest coronavirus press conference that he disagrees "strongly" with Kemp's decision to reopen several high-risk industries — even though he had spent weeks urging GOP governors to do exactly that.

Daily Beast:  Trump’s GOP Goes From Live Free or Die to Live Free and Die, by Michael Tomasky, 4/23/2020

Livingston Daily:  Howell Republican congressional candidate receives death threat, defends selfie with [NeoFascist] Proud Boys member, by Jennifer Timar, 4/21/2020

Daily Beast:  Southern Tourist Trap Terrified of Post-Lockdown Explosion, by Justin Glawe, 4/23/2020

Adding insult to injury in the eyes of some locals, Governor Kemp's order bars cities from enacting their own restrictions.

The New York Times:  What 5 Coronavirus Models Say the Next Month Will Look Like, by Quoctrung Bui, Josh Katz, Alicia Parlapiano and Margot Sanger-Katz, 4/22/2020

“We want them to provide more information than they can,” said Jeffrey Shaman, a co-author of the Columbia model, who said the models were still valuable in showing a range of what could happen. “We have uncertainty on top of uncertainty on top of uncertainty.”

The New York Times:  Banks Gave Richest Clients ‘Concierge Treatment’ for Pandemic Aid, by Emily Flitter and Stacy Cowley, 4/22/2020

At JPMorgan, nearly all of the 8,500 commercial and private banking clients who applied for a loan got one. That included companies like the sandwich chain Potbelly and the pharmaceutical company MannKind. At the same time, only 18,000 of more than 300,000 small-business banking customers who applied through Chase’s retail bank, where they normally did business, got loans.

The New York Times:  Luxury Hotel Company Is Biggest Beneficiary of Small-Business Funds, by Jeanna Smialek, Jikm Tankersley and Alan Rappeport, 4/22/2020

Two real estate investment trusts: Ashford Hospitality Trust and Braemar Hotels & Resorts, which together own more than 100 properties, reported in public filings that their hotels had received $53 million in forgivable loans through a government program meant to help small businesses.

The New York Times:  28,000 Missing Deaths: Tracking the True Toll of the Coronavirus Crisis, by Jin Wu, Allison McCann, Josh Katz and Elian Peltier, 4/22/2020

These numbers undermine the notion that many people who have died from the virus may soon have died anyway. In Paris, more than twice the usual number of people have died each day, far more than the peak of a bad flu season. In New York City, the number is now four times the normal amount. 

RawStory:  Coronavirus has killed 28,000 more than the official count — in just the last month: report, by Matthew Chapman, 4/22/2020

The New York Times:  Who’s Behind the ‘Reopen’ Protests? By Lisa Graves, 4/22/2020

The Tea Party, formed after America elected its first black president, used a series of health care town halls to spur angry Republicans to oppose the Affordable Care Act as a socialist takeover of American medicine. Little matter that it was modeled on a plan devised by Mitt Romney, a Republican, when he was the governor of Massachusetts.

 

Such false claims about the act have not aged well, as millions of Americans now depend on the law for health care coverage as the coronavirus contagion sweeps across the nation. And yet a Tea Party co-founder, Mark Meckler, is using the same tactics and same phony claims to stir his followers to protest against governors seeking to mitigate the Covid-19 death toll by closing businesses and banning public gatherings.

 

That public anger is both real and manufactured. The same was true in 2009, when the Koch fortune fueled the Tea Party’s attacks on the Obama administration’s health care law.

 

Still, the legend that the Tea Party was a spontaneous uprising took hold and continues to be peddled. As we face Tea Party 2.0, let’s not be fooled again.

April 22:  Coronavirus: the first three months as it happened, Nature

The New York Times:  How Do I Deal With a Friend Who Thinks Covid-19 Is a Hoax? By Kwame Anthony Appiah, 4/22/2020  

The New York Times:  More Than 4.4 Million Filed Unemployment Claims Last Week: Live Updates, 4/23/2020

“At all levels, it’s eye-watering numbers,” said Torsten Slok, chief international economist at Deutsche Bank Securities.

April 22:  New virus surging in Asia rattles scientists, The New York Times.

ECB:  Europe’s central bank lowers its lending standards to prevent a credit crunch., 22 April 2020

The extraordinary action by the central bank was a reaction to fears that hundreds of billions of euros in corporate bonds were on the verge of being downgraded to junk status, because the companies that issued the debt may not be able to repay it.

 

The mass downgrades could cause severe financial turmoil because, under the old rules, banks that hold the debt could no longer use it as collateral to borrow from the central bank.

The New York Times:  ‘Sadness’ and Disbelief From a World Missing American Leadership, by Katrin Bennhold, 4/23/2020

The coronavirus pandemic is shaking bedrock assumptions about U.S. exceptionalism. This is perhaps the first global crisis in more than a century where no one is even looking for Washington to lead.

Daily Beast:  Trump Is Using a Pandemic to Make Immigrant-Haters’ Dreams Come True, by Felipe de la Hoz, 4/22/2020

Already, the president’s allies in Congress are pushing the argument that the skyrocketing unemployment rate is a reason to terminate immigration altogether.

The New York Times:   A Beloved Bar Owner Was Skeptical About the Virus. Then He Took a Cruise. By Ginia Bellafoante, 4/19/2020

Seven days before he was admitted to the hospital, Joe and Kristen had an argument about the emerging public health crisis, which Kristen described as the only dispute she ever had with her father that she wished she hadn’t won. “He said, ‘Don’t you think this is fishy? Do you know anyone who has it? Do you know anyone who has died from it?’ And I said, ‘Dad, I don’t know anyone now, but give me a week and I bet I will.’”

The New York TImes:  ‘We Will Make the Best Out of It’: Ramadan Amid a Pandemic, by Wajahat Ali, 4/23/2020

The Prophet Muhammad once told his followers never to enter or leave a town that has the plague, to avoid spreading the disease.

Intelligencer:  Top Government Vaccine Expert Fired for Questioning Trump’s Fake Science, by Jonathan Chait, 4/22/2020

Intelligencer:  Las Vegas Mayor Offers City as ‘Control Group’ to See How Many Die Without Social Distancing, by Matt stieb, 4/22/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Gov. Whitmer warns Michigan: Some form of stay home order will exist for a while, by Kathleen Gray and Todd Spangler, 4/22/2020

"You know my stay-home order is one of the nation's more conservative, but the fact of the matter is, it's working. We are seeing the curve start to flatten. And that means we're saving lives"

Detroit Free Press:  Detroit’s Henry Ford joins coronavirus red ink, furloughs 2,800 workers, by Kristen Jordan Shamus, Jennifer Dixon, Free Press, and Robin Erb and Kelly House, Bridge Magazine, 4/22/2020

About 2,800 employees are being temporarily furloughed across the Detroit-based, six-hospital system. The employees are from areas that have closed or where services have dwindled and are not involved in direct patient care, according to a Wednesday evening news announcement.

Deroit Free Press:  Detroit to begin COVID-19 testing at skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, by Christina Hall, 4/22/2020

STAT:  Influential Covid-19 model uses flawed methods and shouldn’t guide U.S. policies, critics say, by Sharon Begley, 4/17/2020

STAT:  Blood clots in severe Covid-19 patients leave clinicians with clues about the illness — but no proven treatments, by Elizabeth Cooney, 4/16/2020

Doctors treating the sickest Covid-19 patients have zeroed in on a new phenomenon: Some people have developed widespread blood clots, their lungs peppered with tiny blockages that prevent oxygen from pumping into the bloodstream and body.

 

Physicians from the U.S., the Netherlands, and China have published a number of case reports in scientific journals about Covid-19 patients with a multitude of small blood clots. In one report, researchers in China said 7 out of 10 patients who died of Covid-19 had small blood clots throughout the bloodstream, compared to fewer than 1 in 100 people who survived. Some of the patients in those case reports received blood thinners or tPA, sometimes when there seemed to be nothing else to try. Some survived, some did not.

Free Press:  Michigan family devastated by coronavirus takes another hit, by Kristen Jordan Shamus, 4/22/2020

Blood clots appear to be a growing concern for coronavirus patients.

 

Published case reports of COVID-19 patients in the U.S., China and the Netherlands suggest some have developed a multitude of small blood clots, Stat News reported, and they can be fatal.


As many as 7 out of 10 patients who died of COVID-19 had small blood clots throughout the bloodstream, according to a report from China, compared with fewer than 1 in 100 people who survived. 

Daily Beast:  Head of Coronavirus Vaccine Research Says He Was Demoted for Questioning Drug Favored by Trump, by Blake Montgomery and Sam Stein, 4/22/2020

Dr. Rick Bright said he believed he was dismissed from his post for advocating for stringent testing of the drug Trump has called a possible coronavirus cure.

 

The doctor in charge of the federal agency overseeing research into a coronavirus vaccine said on Wednesday he was forced out of the job after questioning the efficacy of an anti-malarial drug favored by the president.

 

“Science—not politics or cronyism—has to lead the way,” Bright said in the statement. “Science, in service to the health and safety of the American people, must always trump politics.”

 

Bright has served as head of BARDA since 2016. Prior to running the agency, he led its Influenza and Emerging Infectious Diseases Division, according to the medical publication STAT, and worked at private sector biotechnology companies.

USA Today:  'Convinced': Fauci says there will be coronavirus in the fall after Trump says 'it may not come back', by Savannah Behrmann, 4/22/2020

USA Today:  CDC Director Redfield warns second coronavirus wave could be 'more difficult,' hit same time as flu, by William Cummings, 4/22/2020

"There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through," CDC Director Robert Redfield told The Washington Post. "We’re going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time."

USA Today:  Coronavirus at meatpacking plants worse than first thought, USA TODAY investigation finds, by Kyle Bagenstose, Sky Chadde and Matt Wynn, 4/22/2020

Experts say there's little risk of a dwindling protein supply because, given the choice between worker safety and keeping meat on grocery shelves, the nation’s slaughterhouses will choose to produce food.

Raw Story:  Leading economist says Trump’s coronavirus response makes the US look like ‘a third world country’, by Alex Henderson, 4/22/2020

Reno Gazette Journal:  Las Vegas mayor wants COVID-19 restrictions lifted, faces widespread national criticism, by Ed Komenda, 4/22/2020 

"We are a hospitality state. We depend on service to the customers," Goodman told the USA TODAY Network in an interview Wednesday. "I'm not talking about gaming. I'm talking about people who are out of work. We closed down with no plan of how to reopen, and that has been my plea from the beginning to the governor: Have a plan."

USA Today:  'It felt like my bones were breaking': Nurse with coronavirus thought she was going to die, by Kristina Goetz, 4/22/2020

USA Today,  New Jersey cops save fellow officer after his heart stops from coronavirus complications, by Kaitlyn Kanzler, 4/22/2020

USA Today:  Trump says he disagrees with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's decision to reopen during coronavirus outbreak, by David Jackson, 4/22/2020

Washington Post:  Trump’s battles with reporters are part of his strategy. My advice: Ignore him. By Matt Bai, 4/21/2020

One of the main themes of Trump’s presidency is that the media has aligned itself with the Democratic resistance. As a result, the public can’t believe anything it reads or watches about him in any venue other than Fox News — and sometimes not even that — because it’s all fake and designed to destroy him.

 

Every time we appear on TV, looking angry and powerless, to bemoan our shabby treatment by the president, some large bloc of voters thinks: Good, now you know how we feel.

USA Today:  What are 'COVID toes'? Doctors discover symptom of coronavirus mostly seen in kids, by Adrianna Rodriguez, 4/21/2020

The presence of purple or blue lesions on a patient’s feet and toes puzzles infectious disease experts.

 

“They’re typically painful to touch and could have a hot burning sensation,” said Dr. Ebbing Lautenbach, chief of infectious disease at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine.

 

What doctors said is most interesting about "COVID toes" is that they appear in COVID-19 patients who don’t exhibit any other symptoms.

Livingston Daily:  More than 50,000 Livingston County residents have filed for unemployment during coronavirus, by Kayla Daugherty, 4/21/2020

Daily Beast:  ‘Mortified and Appalled’: Atlanta Rages as Governor Eases Lockdown, by Khushbu Shah, 4/21/2020

USA Today:  'Keep your voice down': Trump has another confrontation with a reporter at coronavirus briefing, by William Cummings, 4/20/2020

"Many Americans are saying the exact same thing about you, that you should've warned them the virus was spreading like wildfire through the month of February instead of holding rallies with thousands of people. Why did you wait so long to warn them?" Jiang asked Trump on Sunday.

 

Trump pointed to his restrictions on travel from China, which were announced Jan. 31.

 

Jiang cut the president off to point out the restrictions "only applied to Chinese nationals" and not Americans returning from China.

 

"Nice and easy, nice and easy. Just relax," Trump told Jiang.

Washington Post:  The problem isn’t a lack of information. It’s Trump. By Dana Milbank, 4/20/2020

As President Trump, his advisers and his allies in Congress continue to try to frame the World Health Organization for Trump’s failure to prepare for the pandemic, new evidence shows that U.S. and WHO officials in China were in constant contact with each other in the crucial days of January, as the virus spread.

 

Trump administration officials from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health were among those conferring regularly in Beijing with WHO officials, twice in the week of Jan. 6, three times in the week of Jan. 13, three times in the week of Jan. 20 and twice in the week of Jan. 27. 

 

Washington Post:  Trump’s support for right-wing protests just got more ugly and dangerous, by Greg Sargent, 4/20/2020

National Geographic:  95,000 stranded at sea: What happens when a cruise ship becomes a hot zone, by Brenden Borrell, 4/20/2020

More than 100 ships are floating off the U.S. coast, waiting for a sign they can come home.

Drexel University:  Rapidly Revealing COVID-19’s Journey and Evolution With Genetic Tracing ‘Barcode, by Zhengqaio Zhao, Bahrad A. Sokhansanj and Gail Rosen, 4/10/2020

“We’re seeing that the two parts of the virus that seem not to be mutating are the ones responsible for its entry into healthy cells and packaging its RNA,” Rosen said. “Both of these are important targets for understanding the body’s immune response, identifying antiviral therapeutics and designing vaccines.”

Crooks and Liars:  Man Who Called Ohio's Lockdown Order 'Bullshit' Has Succumbed To COVID-19, by Ed Scarce, 4/20/2020

John McDaniel railed against Ohio's Gov. Mike DeWine's lockdown order on social media. Weeks later he contracted the virus. A few days ago he died.

McDaniel Bullshit Tweet 601x344

 

 

Daily Beast:  Xenophobe-In-Chief:' Trump's Executive Order Has Nothing to Do With Coronavirus, Attorneys Say, by Scott Bixby, 4/22/2020

“There are measured and productive approaches to curbing the spread of COVID-19,” said Andrea Flores, deputy policy director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Equality Division. “Unfortunately, President Trump seems more interested in fanning anti-immigrant flames than in saving lives.”

 

“They are simply using the pandemic to advance an outrageous proposal—one that white nationalists and other anti-immigrant extremists have long dreamt of implementing,” said Paola Luisi, co-director of Families Belong Together, an organization formed in response to Trump’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy. Luisi noted that during the 2016 campaign, Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to the president and the architect of the Trump administration’s immigration policy, “advocated similar proposals in a series of emails to Breitbart News in which he also shared white nationalist propaganda.”

Washington Post:  The government’s inefficient delivery means relief will come too late for many Americans, Editorial Board, 4/22/2020

National Geopgraphic:  These globe-trotting photographers rediscover their own backyards, by Rachel Hartigan Shea, 4/16/2020

Life under lockdown: vibrant, surreal, and just outside their doors.

National Geographic:  A pandemic quiets mariachis and tourism in Mexico City, by Jason Najum, 4/15/2020

Daily Beast:  Welcome to The New Abnormal, by Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast, 4/21/2020

We both love to connect, and talk. And talk. And talk. (Fine, we admit it.) We’re troublemakers who aren’t afraid to cross party and policy lines—just ask anyone in our respective political movements. Though we may come from very different worlds and very different perspectives, we’ve both come to believe that in the age of corona, the old partisan games don’t seem to mean as much.

 

We’ll be calling down some fire on the people who are making this situation worse, from that grifter in the White House to COVID truthers and deniers to scam artists and people exploiting this moment for political gain. (If you guessed that Rick named that segment of the show “Fuck That Guy,” you win a fabulous door prize!)

 

We believe that humor and fun is necessary to face the scary moments that American families confront every day, but we promise to take COVID very seriously. Ourselves? Not so much.

Wshington Post:  The coronavirus protests are a juxtaposition of life and death, by Kathleen Parker, 4/21/2020

Two scenes: Men with semiautomatic weapons strike a pose of protest in front of a state capitol. A masked health-care worker in scrubs blocks a protester’s car in Denver.

 

These two frames will be among the lasting images of the covid-19 pandemic in America, reminding us of the juxtaposition of life and death that plagued our nation in 2020. The protesters, who oppose government quarantine orders, want to return to “normal” life as it was before the virus came ashore — as though they’re the only ones. The nurse, symbolizing the nation’s brave, dedicated medical professionals, stands athwart civil disobedience — for the sake of survival.

Daily Beast:  Trump Favorite Is Under Investigation—and Getting $9541/foot to Build the Wall, Spencer Ackerman, 4/21/2020  

Daily Beast:  Andrew Cuomo Learns the One Simple Trick to Get Donald Trump to Do the Right Thing: Bend the Knee, by Matt Lewis, 4/21/2020

It’s hard not to see this as at least partly a way for Trump to demonstrate dominance over another alpha dog. The Donald knows the worth of location, location, location.

Daily Beast:  Trump "What drug? I don't know that drug." on His Miracle Drug After Study Raises Red Flag." By Tracy Connor, Adam Rawnsley, 4/21/2020

Washington Post:  Anti-malarial drug Trump touted is linked to higher rates of death in VA coronavirus patients, study says, by Christopher Rowland, 4/21/2020

Daily Beast:  The Kremlin’s ‘Little Dragon’ Goes After Coronavirus Victims—and Reporters, by Amy Knight, 4/21/2020

Ramzan Kadyrov is president of the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation, and Vladimir Putin’s most dangerous protégé. How’s he fighting COVID-19? With fear.

 

Like Putin, Kadyrov was slow responding to the coronavirus. As late as March 11, he was telling Chechens they had nothing to fear, comparing COVID-19 to the flu and encouraging them to drink lemon and honey to boost their immunity.

 

A week earlier Kadyrov’s information minister was urging tourists to come to Chechnya as a safe haven from infection. People who posted warnings on social media about the virus were accused of spreading "fake news" and forced to make public apologies.

Daily Beast:  An Alleged Insider Trading the Pandemic, Georgia Senator Loeffler Doubles Down on Mendacity, by Lachlan Markay, 4/20/2020

Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler dumped Millions in Stock After Coronavirus Briefing

Washington Post:  Trump wants to lift lockdowns. Other countries’ attempts show why the U.S. isn’t ready. By Ishaan Tharoor, 4/21/2020

Washington Post:  White House, GOP face heat after hotel and restaurant chains helped run small business program dry, by Jonathan O'Connell, 4/20/2020

The initial PPP “was flawed from top to bottom,” said Florida small business owners Duncan and Rita MacDonald-Korth. “The program has done very little to help genuine small businesses and instead has benefited large companies who have used subsidiary entities to benefit disproportionately and unfairly.”

Washington Post:  Trump aligns with the world’s ‘ostrich’ leaders, by Ishaan Tharoor, 4/20/2020

“Trump has a populist’s sixth sense for exploiting the frustrations of the masses,” noted CNN commentator Frida Ghitis. “The shutdown has already destroyed tens of millions of jobs, leaving countless Americans bereft of income and afraid for the future. Trump doesn’t want to be held responsible for any of it.”

Washington Post:  Trump’s pandemic response underscores the crisis in global politics, by Ishaan Tharoor, 4/17/2020

For years, observed William Burns, former deputy secretary of state and president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, U.S. leaders built partnerships that served as “an invaluable force multiplier” for the American agenda. The pandemic is showing a new reality: “In this one, the Trump White House’s blend of arrogance and ineptitude, against the backdrop of more than three years of diplomatic disarmament, is a force divider,” Burns said.

Deadline Detroit:  Lengel: Trump Is Trying To Make Michigan's Whitmer His New Hillary At Any Cost, by Alan Lengel, 4/20/2020

When a strategy works, it tends to be used again. As the military aphorism goes, generals fight the last war.

 

That's important to understand, as he tries his hardest to make Michigan's governor his new Hillary -- an enemy of his base -- at any cost. It starts with trying to turn Michigan residents against Gretchen Whitmer.

Deadline Detroit:  Novi's Suburban Showplace converted into a 250 bed COVID-19 Care facility,  4/20/2020

Deadline Detroit:  'It’s Unrealistic And Dangerous To Keep This Up:' Detroit Sinai-Grace Nurse Speaks Out, by Eli Saslow, 4/20/2020

We had one nursing-home patient whose heart rate dropped really low, and he wasn’t verbal at all, and you could see that he was scared and confused and working too hard to breathe. His family wishes were that he didn’t want to be intubated. We gave him a low dose of morphine for comfort. We stood in the hallway with him and took his hand and kind of rubbed his head, and as soon as we did that, this guy started to let go. We were able to be there for him, and a lot of times now, we can’t be.

NBC:  4 family members of Virginia bishop who died of coronavirus now battling it themselves, by Minyvonne Burke, 4/18/2020

Bishop Gerald Glenn of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church died from the virus. Now his wife, two daughters and son-in-law are sick.

nextstrain.org:   Genomic analysis of COVID-19 spread. Situation report 2020-04-17, Sidney M. Bell, et al, 4/17/2020

This weekly report uses publicly shared genomic data to track the spread of COVID-19. This week, we focus on the outbreak in the United States. For most areas of the U.S., we find evidence for multiple introductions -- of both international and domestic origins. This data emphasizes that the decisions made by each state profoundly impacts the fate of the others.

Intelligencer:  Trump Adviser Stephen Moore Compares Social-Distancing Protesters to Rosa Parks, by Matt Stieb, 4/20/2020

While the comparison of a civil-rights icon to protesters wishing to return to the convenience of pre-pandemic life is obviously flawed, New York Times staff writer Nikole Hannah-Jones helped provide a deeper level of context: “When people like Stephen Moore make comparisons to Rosa Parks, we should treat it as the cynical, calculated form of race baiting that it is.

The Hill:  Boston Globe prints 16 pages of death notices in one day as coronavirus cases surge, by Brooke Seipel, 4/20/2020

Deadline Detroit:  Wayne County's 1,148 Covid Deaths Are 5th Among U.S. Counties; State Cases Rise Just 1.8%, by Alan Stamm, 4/20/2020

The Hill:  WHO chief: Worst of coronavirus pandemic still ahead, by Rebecca Klar, 4/20/2020 

The Hill:  Fauci warns protests will 'backfire,' slow economic recovery, by Brett Samuels, 4/20/2020

USA Today: Fauci takes heat from protesters of stay-at-home orders, says ignoring guidelines will 'backfire', by Savannah Behrmann, 4/20/2020

Fierce Biotech:  FDA, CDC, NIH to begin validating COVID-19 antibody tests as more enter the market, by Conor Hale, 4/20/2020

Fierce Biotech:  COVID-19: New animal data back up Gilead's remdesivir as other treatment candidates emerge, by Arlene Weintraub, 4/20/2020

Fierce Biotech:  As ventilators become crucial, repair roadblocks remain, by Markian Hawryluk, 4/20/2020

For years, manufacturers of ventilators and other medical equipment have kept a tight grip on the ability of hospitals to service and repair those products, prompting lawsuits and under-the-table sharing of repair manuals and software passwords.

 

Now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for product information to keep ventilators up and running is at an all-time high.

 

Modern ventilators are typically serviced either every six months or 2,000 hours of use and can last for 10 years if maintained properly. But now, nearly every ventilator is being called into near-constant service in hot spots, with some pulled out of storage after eight years on the shelf. When any ventilator breaks down amid the surge of cases, waiting two weeks for a repair can mean patients die.

Bloomberg:  Iowa sends National Guard troops to defend meat plants from virus, by Stephen Joyce, Michael Hirtzer and Jen Skerritt, 4/20/2020

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said 250 National Guard members will help with testing and contact tracing for workers at plants operated by Tyson Foods Inc. and National Beef Packing Co.

AP:  Georgia governor Brian Kemp: Some shuttered Georgia businesses can reopen Friday, 4/20/2020

Kemp announced that gyms, hair salons, bowling alleys and tattoo parlors are among businesses that may reopen Friday.

Detroit News:  COVID-19 snuffs out annual 4/20 cannabis festivals, but the party goes on, by Candice Williams, 4/20/2020

NBC: 13 hours, 22 bodies: The long, lonesome shift of a crematory worker in the heat of COVID-19, by Rich Schapiro, 4/19/2020

Detroit News:  5-year-old with rare complication becomes first Michigan child to die of COVID-19, by Jasmin Barmore, 4/20/2020

“She was the type of girl that would just run up and jump in your arms and hug you," her mother said.

Washington Post:  Patients with heart attacks, strokes and even appendicitis vanish from hospitals, by Lenny Bernstein and Frances Stead Sellers, 4/19/2020

Five weeks into a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, many doctors say the pandemic has produced a silent sub-epidemic of people who need care at hospitals but dare not come in. They include people with inflamed appendixes, infected gall bladders, bowel obstructions and, more ominously, chest pains and stroke symptoms.  “Everybody is frightened to come to the ER.”

Fierce Biotech:  FDA, CDC, NIH to begin validating COVID-19 antibody tests as more enter the market, by Conor Hale, 4/20/2020

Washington Post:  Trump ban on fetal tissue research blocks coronavirus treatment effort, by Amy Goldstein, 3/18/2020

Just months ago, before the new coronavirus began to infect people around the world, other U.S. scientists made two highly relevant discoveries. They found that specialized mice could be transplanted with human fetal tissue that develops into lungs — the part of the body the new coronavirus invades. These “humanized mice,” they also found, could then be infected with coronaviruses — to which ordinary mice are not susceptible — closely related to the one that causes the new disease, covid-19.

USA Today:  Photos show counterprotesters dressed in scrubs blocking lockdown demonstration in Colorado, by Adrianna Rodriguez, 4/20/2020

The iconic photo was taken by Alyson McClaran

Washington Post:  When covid-19 claimed two of their own, these EMTs grieved and kept on going, by Ariana Eunjung Cha, 4/20/2020

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. — The caller was 18 years old. He was from Peru and lived with his father, just the two of them, everyone else back at home. The father, 56, had tested positive for covid-19 and now the son was unable to wake him from his bed.

 

When Dave Prina and the other EMTs arrived, there was nothing to do but express condolences and ask for the father’s identification for the paperwork. What’s the boy going to do? he wondered. How will he live? How will he pay next month’s rent?

 

“When we left, he was hysterical on the stairs,” Prina recalled.

New York Magazine:  The White House Has Erected A Blockade Stopping States and Hospitals From Getting Coronavirus PPE, by David Wallace-Wells, 4/19/2020

Whenever you start to think that the federal government under Donald Trump has hit a moral bottom, it finds a new way to shock and horrify.

First Republic Bank:   The Impact of COVID-19 on Subscription Lines of Credit, by Scott Aleali and Jeff Maier, 4/13/2020

On the hazards of life endured by the very rich, funded by the tax dollars of Trump's red hatted hordes

The Baltimore Sun:  Maryland’s confirmed coronavirus cases increase by 854, halting two days of decreasing figures, by Phil Davis, 4/20/2020

The Baltimore Sun:  Maryland doctors sound the alarm after seeing drop in heart attacks and strokes amid coronavirus pandemic, by Hallie Miller, 4/20/2020

Since the new coronavirus began tearing through Maryland communities, doctors say they’ve seen declines in the numbers of patients showing up in emergency rooms with symptoms of heart attacks and strokes.   And that worries them.

 

The number of people suffering from such symptoms likely hasn’t gone down that much, health care providers fear. Instead, they believe patients have chosen to avoid emergency room visits to their own detriment.

The Baltimore Sun:  With coronavirus spreading, Maryland Gov. Hogan signs order for expedited release of hundreds of prisoners, by Luke Broadwater, 4/19/2020

New York Times:  How Millions of Women Became the Most Essential Workers in America, by Campbell Robertson and Robert Gebeloff, 4/18/2020

One in three jobs held by women has been designated as essential, according to a New York Times analysis of census data crossed with the federal government’s essential worker guidelines. Nonwhite women are more likely to be doing essential jobs than anyone else.

 

The work they do has often been underpaid and undervalued — an unseen labor force that keeps the country running and takes care of those most in need, whether or not there is a pandemic.

The Detroit Free Press:  Mayor Duggan rejects National Guard offer to distribute food in Detroit, by Paul Egan, 4/17/2020

Gov. George Romney ordered the National Guard mobilized to Detroit in July 1967 amid five days of civil unrest and looting that left 43 people dead. Though frequently referred to as a riot, the disturbance is also known to many as the Detroit rebellion or uprising.

 

A police raid on an illegal after-hours bar was the immediate spark for the civil disturbance, but the riot also marked the release of years of building tension related to abuses by a nearly all-white Detroit police force and racial discrimination in jobs and housing.

The Atlantic:  New Zealand's Prime Minister May Be the Most Effective Leader on the Planet, by Uri Friedman, 4/19/2020

Fierce Biotech:  British government enlists AstraZeneca, BIA for new pandemic vaccine taskforce, by Ben Adams, 4/18/2020

More than 70 vaccine candidates are speeding their way through the early cycles of development...

New York Magazine:  Trump’s Plan to Contain the Coronavirus by Unleashing Anarchy Seems Risky, by Jonathan Chait, 4/17/2020

The source of Trump’s peripatetic swings is his inability to competently manage the pandemic. He wants to ease up on so