September 2020 COVID 19

September 2020 COVID 19

September 1, 2020: reports of new cases had fallen significantly around the country since July; they were flat in 26 states and falling in 15 others. But in nine states, cases were still growing, and in some, setting records — especially in the Midwest.

Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota all added more cases in a recent seven-day stretch than in any previous week of the pandemic. Together, they reported 19,133 new cases in the week ending Sunday, according to a New York Times database — 6.4 percent of the national total, though the five states are home to only 4 percent of the population. In each, some of the biggest surges in new case numbers have come in college towns. (NYT story)

September 2020 COVID 19

855,652 COVID Deaths Worldwide

September 1: 25,671,845 case worldwide; 855,652 deaths worldwide

187,793 COVID Deaths USA

September 1:  6,212,708 cases in the USA; 187,793 deaths in the USA.

September 2020 COVID 19

Steroid treatment

September 2: published international clinical trials confirmed the hope that cheap, widely available steroid drugs could help seriously ill patients survive Covid-19.

Following release of the new data, the World Health Organization strongly recommended steroids for treatment of patients with severe or critical Covid-19 worldwide. But the agency recommended against giving the drugs to patients with mild disease.

The new studies include an analysis that pooled data from seven randomized clinical trials evaluating three steroids in over 1,700 patients. The study concluded that each of the three drugs reduced the risk of death.

That paper and three related studies were published in the journal JAMA, along with an editorial describing the research as an “important step forward in the treatment of patients with Covid-19.” [NYT article]

September 2020 COVID 19

US/WHO

September 3: the Trump administration pulled U.S. officials from the headquarters of the World Health Organization.

The U.S. officially announced its withdrawal from the WHO this summer, initiating a year-long process that will not go into effect until a year later on July 6, 2021. But the State Department announced on this date that the U.S. was already beginning to scale down its engagement, including “recalling the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) detailees from WHO headquarters, regional offices, and country offices, and reassigning these experts.” [NBC News article]

September 2020 COVID 19

Pledge

September 4: a Wall Street Journal article stated that a group of drug companies competing with one another to be among the first to develop coronavirus vaccines announced a pledge that they will not release any vaccines that do not follow rigorous efficacy and safety standards.

The manufacturers that are said to have signed the letter include Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, and Sanofi. [NYT article]

September 2020 COVID 19

Trial halted

September 8: the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca halted global trials of its coronavirus vaccine because of a serious and unexpected adverse reaction in a participant, the company said.

The trial’s halt, which was first reported by Stat News, would allow the British-Swedish company to conduct a safety review.

In a statement, the company described the halt as a “routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials, while it is investigated, ensuring we maintain the integrity of the trials.”

September 2020 COVID 19

902,537 COVID Deaths Worldwide

September 9:  27,769,074 case worldwide; 902,537 deaths worldwide

194,037 COVID Deaths USA

September 9:  6,514,376 cases in the USA; 194,037 deaths in the USA.

September 9:  on this date media reported that on February 7 President Trump acknowledged to the journalist Bob Woodward that he knowingly played down the coronavirus even though he was aware it was life-threatening and vastly more serious than the seasonal flu.

President Trump said: “This is deadly stuff,” Mr. Trump said in one of 18 interviews with Mr. Woodward for his coming book, “Rage.”

“You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed,” the president told Mr. Woodward in audio recordings made available on The Washington Post website. “And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flus.”

But three days after those remarks, Mr. Trump told the Fox Business anchor Trish Regan: “We’re in very good shape. We have 11 cases. And most of them are getting better very rapidly. I think they will all be better.”

A little less than two weeks later, he told reporters on the South Lawn that “we have it very much under control in this country.” [NYT article]

September 2020 COVID 19

September 10: top regulators at the Food and Drug Administration issued an unusual statement promising to uphold the scientific integrity of their work and defend the agency’s independence.

In an opinion column published in USA Today, eight directors of the F.D.A.’s regulatory centers and offices warned that “if the agency’s credibility is lost because of real or perceived interference, people will not rely on the agency’s safety warnings.”

We absolutely understand that the F.D.A., like other federal executive agencies, operates in a political environment,” they wrote. “That is a reality that we must navigate adeptly while maintaining our independence to ensure the best possible outcomes for public health.

They added, “We and our career staff do the best by public health when we are the decision makers, arriving at those decisions based on our unbiased evaluation of the scientific evidence.” [NYT story]

September 2020 COVID 19

Temperature check have little value

September 13:  the practice of checking for fever in public spaces had become increasingly common, causing a surge in sales of infrared contact-free thermometers and body temperature scanners even as scientific evidence indicating that they are of little value has solidified.

While health officials had endorsed masks and social distancing as effective measures for curbing the spread of the virus, some experts  say that taking temperatures at entry points is a gesture that is unlikely to screen out many infected people and offered little more than an illusion of safety. [NYT article]

September 2020 COVID 19

925,373 COVID Deaths Worldwide

September 13: 28,989,073 case worldwide; 925,373 deaths worldwide

198,150 COVID Deaths USA

September 13:  6,679,023 cases in the USA; 198,150 deaths in the USA.

September 2020 COVID 19

Again At Odds

September 16: President Trump rejected the professional scientific conclusions of his own government about the prospects for a widely available coronavirus vaccine and the effectiveness of masks in curbing the spread of the virus as the death toll in the United States from the disease neared 200,000.

Trump publicly slapped down Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as the president promised that a vaccine could be available in weeks and go “immediately” to the general public while diminishing the usefulness of masks despite evidence to the contrary.

Dr. Redfield had just told a Senate committee that a vaccine would not be widely available until the middle of next year and that masks were so vital in fighting the disease caused by the coronavirus, Covid-19, that they may even more important than a vaccine.

September 2020 COVID 19

945,782 COVID Deaths Worldwide

September 17: 30,070,457 case worldwide; 945,782 deaths worldwide

201,348 COVID Deaths USA

September 17:  6,828,301 cases in the USA; 201,348 deaths in the USA.

Unapproved post

September 17: The New York Times reported that a heavily criticized recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in August about who should be tested for the coronavirus was not written by C.D.C. scientists and was posted to the agency’s website despite their serious objections, The posted guidance said it was not necessary to test people without symptoms of Covid-19 even if they had been exposed to the virus.

It came at a time when public health experts were pushing for more testing rather than less, and administration officials told The Times that the document was a C.D.C. product and had been revised with input from the agency’s director, Dr. Robert Redfield.

Officials told The Times this week that the Department of Health and Human Services did the rewriting and then “dropped” it into the C.D.C.’s public website, flouting the agency’s strict scientific review process.

September 2020 COVID 19

 

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