Novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 COVID-19 News from Around the Web

What Lessons Do Americans See for Humanity in the Pandemic?

Pew Research - October 9, 2020

A large majority of U.S. adults (86%) say there is some kind of lesson or set of lessons for humankind to learn from the pandemic, and about a third of Americans (35%) say the lessons were sent by God. … Some respondents see lessons in society’s failure to face up to problems like racism, economic inequality and climate change. … Many respondents mention lessons about changes people should make in their personal lives and relationships with others.

Justices say women can get abortion pill by mail, for now

AP - October 9, 2020

The Supreme Court on Thursday said it would for now continue to allow women to obtain an abortion pill by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic. The action came over the dissent of two conservative justices who would have immediately granted a Trump administration request to reinstate the requirement that women must visit a hospital, clinic or medical office to obtain a pill. … The court called for a lower-court judge to take a new look at the issue and rule within 40 days.

Scathing new report outlines U.S. and global failures in the Covid-19 response

STAT - October 9, 2020

Despite decades of warnings, the U.S. and the world were caught off guard by the Covid-19 pandemic, a scathing new report from the bipartisan Council on Foreign Relations concludes. … Among the reasons why things went wrong: inadequate funding for preparedness programs, an uncoordinated patchwork of response measures from different countries, and the U.S. wasting "precious weeks" instead of implementing public health interventions to stave off new infections early on.

The ‘evidence is clear’: Hydroxychloroquine doesn’t help COVID-19 patients

TODAY - October 9, 2020

Researchers at the University of Oxford in the U.K. have concluded that hydroxychloroquine does nothing to prevent COVID-19-related deaths. The research is a continuation of a major clinical trial that found that the drug — which has previously been touted by President Donald Trump and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro — had no clinical benefit.

A New Study Confirms Remdesivir’s Effectiveness as a Coronavirus Treatment

TIME - October 9, 2020

In a report published Oct. 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers confirmed the benefits of remdesivir for treating people hospitalized for COVID-19. … Among all the participants—both with severe COVID-19 and with more mild symptoms—those given remdesivir were able to be discharged from the hospital on average five days sooner than those receiving placebo.

Jobless claims: Another 840,000 Americans filed new unemployment claims last week

Yahoo! Finance - October 8, 2020

U.S. states saw another 840,000 jobless claims claims filed last week, as the number of Americans applying for first-time unemployment insurance benefits each week continues to hover at a historically high level. … At 840,000 last week’s new claims remained at a level still handily above the pre-pandemic record high of 695,000 from 1982.

Bleak outlook without stimulus: More layoffs, anemic growth

AP - October 8, 2020

President Donald Trump’s move Tuesday to cut off talks on another government aid package will further weaken an economy straining to recover from an epic collapse, economists say, and deepen the hardships for jobless Americans and struggling businesses. Half of all small businesses expect to need more aid from the government over the next 12 months to survive, according to a survey by the right-leaning National Federation of Independent Business. Sales for about one-fifth of small companies are still down 50% or more from pre-pandemic levels, the NFIB said. For roughly 25 million laid-off Americans who are receiving unemployment aid, weekly payments, on average, have shrunk by two-thirds since a $600-a-week federal benefit expired more than two months ago. Trump did provide an extra $300 for six weeks. But that money has also run out.

Only two US states report a decline of new cases and nationwide hospitalizations are increasing

CNN - October 8, 2020

Covid-19 cases are trending upwards across the US, with only two states reporting a decline of cases compared to last week. And hospitalizations across the country have also begun to rise, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project. Wisconsin health officials reported a record-high number of 141 new patients Wednesday, days after the state saw records in new Covid-19 cases and deaths. Gov. Tony Evers announced Wednesday the state will open a field hospital in response to the surge in hospitalizations.

New York City set to impose new COVID-19 closures despite Orthodox Jewish protests

Reuters - October 8, 2020

New York City will begin enforcing new shutdown rules on businesses and schools in coronavirus hot spots on Thursday that have already triggered angry protests from a small contingent of Orthodox Jews in one of the affected areas. Mayor Bill de Blasio first announced his plan to tamp down outbreaks in parts of Brooklyn and Queens on Sunday after the rate of positive coronavirus tests in some neighborhoods exceeded 3% for seven straight days.

Pandemic Silver Lining: Steep Drop in Kids’ Fractures

HealthDay - October 8, 2020

In a rare bit of good news tied to the coronavirus pandemic, researchers say pediatric fractures plummeted by nearly 60% this past spring. Investigators say the finding likely reflects the sudden evaporation of organized sports and curtailed playground use due to the threat of COVID-19.

The coronavirus can survive on skin for this many hours, study suggests

Fox News - October 8, 2020

New research out of Japan suggests the novel coronavirus can live on human skin for up to nine hours. In a study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases on Oct. 3, researchers from the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine found that SARS-CoV-2 outlived the influenza A virus (IAV) on human skin, which remained viable for about two hours.

New England Journal of Medicine: ‘Dangerously incompetent’ politicians must go

NBC News - October 8, 2020

The New England Journal of Medicine, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world, on Wednesday broke with a nearly two-century tradition of avoiding politics to lambast U.S. politicians for their handling of the coronavirus pandemic. In a first for the journal, the editors called for Americans to vote out leaders who have not done enough to address the pandemic. “When it comes to the response to the largest public health crisis of our time, our current political leaders have demonstrated that they are dangerously incompetent,” the editors wrote. “We should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs.”

Thousands of sick federal prisoners sought release as Covid-19 spread. Nearly all were denied.

NBC News - October 8, 2020

Data recently obtained by The Marshall Project underscores what attorneys, advocates and experts have long suspected: As the pandemic ramped up, federal prison wardens denied or ignored more than 98 percent of compassionate release requests, including many from medically vulnerable prisoners like Neba. … Of the 10,940 federal prisoners who applied for compassionate release from March through May, wardens approved 156.

Up to 150 million could join extreme poor, World Bank says

AP - October 8, 2020

Up to 150 million people could slip into extreme poverty, living on less than $1.90 a day, by late next year depending on how badly economies shrink during the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank said Wednesday in an outlook grimmer than before. Middle income-countries are expected to have 82% of the new extreme poor, including India, Nigeria and Indonesia.

Latest COVID-19 Vaccine Timetable Doesn’t Include Election Day

NPR - October 8, 2020

Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser to the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed program, has sketched out the timetable for when he thinks a COVID-19 vaccine could be ready, at least for some people living in the United States. And Election Day doesn't figure into his forecast. … Slaoui described the progress made by six companies supported by Operation Warp Speed. The two farthest along are Moderna and Pfizer.

Trump reports ‘no symptoms,’ returns to downplaying virus

AP - October 7, 2020

President Donald Trump, said to be making progress in his recovery from COVID-19, tweeted his eagerness to return to the campaign trail Tuesday even as the outbreak that has killed more than 210,000 Americans reached ever more widely into the upper echelons of the U.S. government. As Trump convalesced out of sight in the White House, the administration defended the protections it has put in place to protect the staff working there to treat and support him. Trump again publicly played down the virus on Twitter after his return from a three-day hospitalization, though even more aides tested positive, including one of his closest advisers, Stephen Miller.