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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

The U.S. currently has more confirmed cases of the coronavirus than any country in the world. Coronavirus is real it is not a hoax. Coronavirus is not the flu no matter what they say, you can get a flu shot which reduces the chances of you getting the flu, you cannot get a coronavirus shot because there are currently no coronavirus vaccines shots. Coronavirus is deadlier than the flu and spreads faster than the flu. Currently there are no shots or cures for the coronavirus. Coronavirus kills people of all ages. Coronavirus can remain in the air and on surfaces for more than an hour. Someone who is not showing any signs of illness can infect you. Be safe; stay home if directed, keep your distance from others, stay home if sick to prevent possible spread of the disease, wash your hands with soap before you touch your face and wash your hands with soap frequently. Below you can find the latest coronavirus updates statistics, totals, new cases, deaths per day, mortality and recovery rates, current active cases, recoveries, trends, timelines and more. #TrumpFlu, #Coronavirus, #Covid, #Virus, #Covid-19, #Corona

Donald J. Trump failure to act quickly and reasonably to protect the American people from the Coronavirus has put America lives at risks.

Live statistics and coronavirus news tracking the number of confirmed cases, recovered patients, and death toll by country due to the COVID 19 coronavirus from Wuhan, China. Coronavirus counter with new cases, historical data, and info. Daily charts, graphs, news and updates

View United States Coronavirus update with statistics and graphs: total and new cases, deaths per day, mortality and recovery rates, current active cases, recoveries, trends and timeline.

Johns Hopkins experts in global public health, infectious disease, and emergency preparedness have been at the forefront of the international response to COVID-19.

A map of cases around the world

By Elena Renken, Daniel Wood

Since the first U.S. case of the coronavirus was identified in Washington state on Jan. 21, health officials have identified more than 160,000 cases across the United States and more than 3,000 deaths. By March 17, the virus had expanded its presence from several isolated clusters in Washington, New York and California to all 50 states and the District of Columbia. To avoid spreading the disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends basic precautions such as hand-washing and cleaning frequently touched surfaces every day.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.

COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
From the evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

Cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the new coronavirus.
There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus or other diseases. The normal human body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the external temperature or weather. The most effective way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is by frequently cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water.

On February 24, President Trump tweeted, ‘The coronavirus is very much under control in the USA.’ It wasn’t.
By Michael A. Cohen Globe Columnist

“I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead. We’re going to go through a very tough two weeks.” With these words, on Tuesday afternoon, President Trump sounded a new and welcomed tone on the coronavirus. But make no mistake, hard days lie ahead because of the president’s botched, selfish, and incompetent response to the coronavirus crisis. A change in tone can’t change that catastrophic reality. Trump’s calls for vigilance are a bit like declaring it’s time to close the barn doors after the horses have escaped — and the barn is on fire and it’s threatening to burn the entire farm down. Tens of thousands of Americans (and possibly more) are likely to die because of the president. Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, Trump’s public statements and actions have followed a similar trajectory: They have been dishonest, misleading, fantastical, and dangerous. It would blow over soon, he said early on. It would go away when the weather got warmer. “The coronavirus is very much under control in the USA,” he tweeted. It wasn’t.

   The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!
   — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2020

While thankfully there’s no more talk of re-opening the economy on Easter, the damage has been done. America has become the epicenter of a global pandemic. Consider that the United States and South Korea reported their first coronavirus cases on the same day — Jan. 20. More than two months later, South Korea has just under 10,000 confirmed cases and 169 deaths. By comparison, the United States has more than 216,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 5,000 people have died. Taking into account population differences (the US has 327 million people and South Korea has around 51 million people), the number of cases is more than three times greater than South Korea — and the death toll is nearly four times as great. These horrific numbers could have been avoided with genuine presidential leadership. After the initial case was diagnosed in January, South Korea immediately began aggressive testing and quarantines. Private companies were encouraged to develop diagnostic tests. Within a month drive-through screening centers had been set up and thousands were being tested daily. In the United States, Trump refused to focus on the issue. Two days after that initial positive case he declared "We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming from China. It’s going to be just fine.” When Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was first able to talk to Trump about the coronavirus on Jan. 18, Trump wanted to talk about a recently announced vaping ban. Into February, Trump was still stubbornly resisting bureaucratic efforts to deal with the emerging crisis. The weeks lost in ramping up testing were a lost — and unforgivable —opportunity to save lives. Trump’s obstinance is bad enough — but the delay was also undoubtedly influenced by Trump’s diktat that testing should not be a priority. The more testing that was done, the more positive results there would be and that was an outcome the president did not want. Keeping the numbers low in order to avoid spooking Wall Street and negatively affecting Trump’s reelection became the administration’s focus. Those presidential-created obstacles did more than prevent essential equipment from getting to communities in need — it seeded a deadly message of doubt, particularly to Trump supporters. While more than 30 states have issued stay-at-home orders, a host of states have either not made such state-wide declarations or done partial orders. Nearly all are helmed by Republican governors. In Arizona, GOP Governor, Doug Ducey prevented cities and counties from putting in effect stay-at-home orders. He didn’t issue his own statewide decree until this week. Last week, the Republican governor of Mississippi Tate Reeves overruled city and county social distancing measures. Under pressure, he announced a stay-at-home order on Wednesday that will go into effect Friday. Trump has also publicly suggested that Democratic governors who don’t show him proper veneration will have to get in the back of the line for medical supplies. And there is emerging evidence that Republican states are having their requests for ventilators and protective equipment met while blue states are getting the short end of the stick. How many people, simply because they live in a blue state, are going to die because of this president’s petty cruelty?

healthfeedback.org

The group World Doctors Alliance spreads misinformation about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus, and the reliability of diagnostic tests

CLAIM: COVID-19 is a type of flu and is not a pandemic; PCR tests are up to 94% false positive; only 98 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported in Ireland.

VERDICT: Inaccurate

SOURCE: Doctors For Truth, World Doctors Alliance, Facebook, YouTube, 15 Oct. 2020  

DETAILS
Factually Inaccurate: The video presents several inaccurate statements. The word “pandemic” indicates the geographical distribution of a disease. COVID-19 has spread to every continent, which qualifies it as a pandemic. COVID-19 is not a type of flu as they are caused by different viruses belonging to different families. The COVID-19 death toll for Ireland reported in the video is also inaccurate, as demonstrated by official statistics.
Unsupported: The claim that PCR diagnostic tests generate a lot of false positives is vague. Assuming that the claim refers to the proportion of false positives among positive results, key parameters such as the type of test and the virus prevalence would be necessary to support the claim, yet they are not presented. more...


New research could help explain why thousands of Covid-19 survivors are facing debilitating neurological symptoms months after initially getting sick. WSJ breaks down the science behind how the coronavirus affects the brain, and what this could mean for long-haul patients. more...

Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

The CEO of Covid-19 vaccine maker Moderna warned Wednesday that the coronavirus that has brought world economies to a standstill and overwhelmed hospitals will be around “forever.” Public health officials and infectious disease experts have said there is a high likelihood that Covid-19 will become an endemic disease, meaning it will become present in communities at all times, though likely at lower levels than it is now. Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel appeared to agree Wednesday that Covid-19 will become endemic, saying “SARS-CoV-2 is not going away.” “We are going to live with this virus, we think, forever,” he said during a panel discussion at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference. Health officials will have to continuously watch for new variants of the virus, so scientists can produce vaccines to fight them, he said. Researchers in Ohio said Wednesday they’ve discovered two new variants likely originating in the U.S. and that one of them quickly became the dominant strain in Columbus, Ohio, over a three-week period in late December and early January. more...

Will Feuer

Researchers in Ohio said Wednesday that they’ve discovered two new variants of the coronavirus that likely originated in the U.S. — one of which quickly became the dominant strain in Columbus, Ohio, over a three-week period in late December and early January. Like the strain first detected in the U.K., the U.S. mutations appear to make Covid-19 more contagious but do not seem like they will diminish the effectiveness of the vaccines, researchers said. The Ohio State University researchers have not yet published their full findings, but said a non-peer-reviewed study is forthcoming. Jason McDonald, a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement to CNBC that the agency is looking at the new research. more...

Noah Higgins-Dunn

A record 4,327 people died from Covid-19 in the U.S. on Tuesday, marking the deadliest day of the pandemic so far as the federal government tries to speed up the rollout of lifesaving vaccines. It comes as researchers in Ohio say they have found two new variants that likely originated in the U.S. The new record is the second time in the last week that Covid-19 deaths have exceeded 4,000 in one day. It also pushes the nation’s weekly average of deaths per day to 3,342 — a 26% increase compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. So far, 34,804 people have died in January, on track to become the deadliest month of the pandemic in the United States. Medical experts say the nation is now in its post-holiday surge, and the situation will likely worsen before it improves. more...

Alex Galbraith

Bruce Willis was reportedly asked to leave a Rite Aid in Los Angeles for refusing to wear a mask. Unnamed sources who spoke to Page Six say the action star drew the ire of his fellow customers for walking around maskless in the pharmacy. Willis eventually left without buying anything. A photograph from the scene shows that the actor had a bandana around his neck that he didn't pull up, for whatever reason. more...

More than 20 million people have been quarantined just weeks ahead of biggest holiday of the year
Sha Hua

HONG KONG—China is battling its biggest coronavirus outbreak in months, imposing lockdowns on hard-hit areas, quarantining more than 20 million people and urging citizens to forgo unnecessary travel as the Lunar New Year holiday approaches in February. The tightening, which comes during northern China’s coldest winter in a generation, underscores official skittishness nearly a year after authorities shut down the city of Wuhan to contain the initial outbreak. On Tuesday, China’s National Health Commission reported 42 new cases of locally transmitted symptomatic infection, a day after recording 85 such cases—its highest daily count in six months. The bulk of the recent cases have been detected in the northern province of Hebei, which surrounds China’s capital city of Beijing. more...

By Cheri Mossburg and Leah Asmelash, CNN

(CNN) The surge of Covid-19 in California has just gotten even worse, after at least two gorillas at the San Diego Zoo became infected with Covid-19, the zoo and Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday. Three animals are currently showing symptoms of the virus, and it is suspected that they were infected by an asymptomatic staff member, according to a press release. This is the first known instance of coronavirus in great apes, the zoo said, though previous research has shown that some non-human primates are susceptible. The gorillas live as a family, so it is assumed that all members have been exposed, zoo officials say. It started last Wednesday, when two zoo gorillas began coughing. A preliminary test within the group showed presence of the virus on Friday, and the US Department of Agriculture's National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed the positive results Monday. It is unknown whether the gorillas will have any serious reaction, the zoo said, but they are being closely monitored. more...

by: Associated Press

Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey says she has tested positive for COVID-19 and believes she was exposed during protective isolation in the U.S. Capitol building as a result of Wednesday’s rioting. She was among dozens of lawmakers whisked to a secure location when pro-Donald Trump insurrectionists stormed the Capitol. A press release from her office on Monday notes that “a number of members within the space ignored instructions to wear masks.” more...

By Christina Maxouris, CNN

(CNN) On the heels of the country's deadliest week since the Covid-19 pandemic's start, state officials are warning of more alarming patterns following the holiday season. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the state was seeing a "real and significant increase in cases and our positivity rate from people's gatherings around the holiday." "This surge that we're in right now is at least twice the rate, the seriousness, of the previous surges that we have seen," the governor added. "This is our most dangerous time." Colorado's state epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy on Friday warned of "early signs" of a rise in Covid-19 cases. "We are starting to see the impact of the holidays show up in our data," she said. Health experts believe about one in 105 residents are currently contagious, Herlihy added.

"We continue to see a large percentage of Colorado's population actively infected with Covid-19 and having the potential to transmit infection to each other, so contact between individuals continues to be high risk in this state," Herlihy said. It's been a warning repeated across other states since the start of the New Year. Arkansas' governor said earlier this month the state was "certainly in the surge after Christmas." And Mississippi officials said on Monday the state had experienced more Covid-19 patients in the ICU than ever before and was bracing for another rise in virus numbers following the holidays. "We do strongly anticipate another surge following the holidays," State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs had said. "It's kind of been a recurring theme, it's not something that should be too surprising. And this is also occurring when we have full ICU rooms, our hospitals are really overburdened." Wednesday's unprecedented storming of the US Capitol is also a worrying event in terms of the pandemic. more...

Will Feuer

More than 4,000 people died of Covid-19 in the United States in one day for the first time on Thursday as the country reports record-high numbers and the outbreak grows more severe by the day. The U.S. has reported a record-high daily death toll on five of the past 10 days, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Over the past week, the U.S. has reported an average of more than 2,700 deaths per day, up 16% compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins data.

Nearly 20,000 people in the country have died of Covid in January alone, setting the pace for a month that will likely rival December for the deadliest month yet of the pandemic. Top health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, are warning that the outbreak is likely to get worse before it gets better. “We believe things will get worse as we get into January,” Fauci said Thursday in an interview with NPR. He said Americans can still “blunt that acceleration” if they strictly adhere to public health measures like mask wearing and social distancing. more...

Noah Higgins-Dunn

The Covid-19 outbreak is so bad in Los Angeles County, ambulances have to wait hours to drop patients at emergency rooms. Hospital beds are being crammed into gift shops, cafeterias and conference rooms as hospitals struggle to find any available space for patients. The Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency told EMS employees Monday to only administer supplemental oxygen if a patient’s saturation levels dip below 90% to conserve depleting oxygen supplies. Paramedics were also told not to transport adult heart attack patients to the hospital unless they can restore “spontaneous circulation” on site — to focus care on patients who are more likely to survive. Los Angeles is facing an unprecedented surge in coronavirus patients that is pushing area hospitals to the brink. Public health officials warn the already dire situation is projected to worsen in January. “Many hospitals have reached a point of crisis and are having to make very tough decisions about patient care,” Dr. Christina Ghaly, the county’s director of health services, said at a press briefing Monday. She urged residents to avoid the emergency room unless they’re in need of serious medical attention. more...

By Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) — As Arizona experienced periodic spikes in COVID-19 cases since last spring, Gov. Doug Ducey frequently resisted calls to take strong measures. He has declined to institute a statewide mask mandate, allowed school districts to mostly make their own choices and allowed businesses to stay open. All of those choices by the Republican governor are now getting renewed scrutiny as the Grand Canyon state becomes what health officials call the latest “hot spot of the world” because of soaring case loads.

“We have a governor and health director who don’t care. Their goal in my opinion is to vaccinate their way out of this,” said Will Humble, head of the Arizona Public Health Association “Eventually it will work. There’s just going to be a lot of dead people in the meantime.” C.J. Karamargin, the governor’s spokesman, said the current number of cases and deaths are “heartbreaking” but it’s a phenomenon happening in other states even with strict stay-at-home orders. “Faced with strict mitigation measures in place and states that have few or minimal mitigation measures in place all are experiencing the same thing,” Karamargin said. “The mitigation measures the state of Arizona put into place early on — they remain in place. We urge every Arizonan to follow them.” more...

Will Feuer

A record number of people died in the U.S. from Covid on Tuesday and Wednesday, when a mob of angry Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol during a riot. A record 3,733 people died from the virus on Tuesday, followed by 3,865 deaths Wednesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Over the past seven days, the country reported an average of 2,686 fatalities every day — a figure second only to the record set a little over two weeks ago.

Holiday festivities have led to a predicted explosion in Covid-19 cases that have overwhelmed hospitals across the nation as a vaccine rollout got off to a rocky start. Over 361,200 people in the U.S. have died of the disease since the virus arrived in the U.S. nearly 12 months ago. Since then, almost 1 in every 914 U.S. residents has died of the coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to a Reuters analysis.

D.C.’s health department on Wednesday said it halted vaccinations early after a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building, prompting the mayor to impose a 6 p.m. curfew across the city and delaying the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. more...

By Alexandra Meeks and Christina Maxouris, CNN

(CNN) Los Angeles County has been fighting a brutal battle against Covid-19 for weeks now. New infections have soared with about one in five residents who get tested for Covid-19 receiving positive results. In a little more than a month, the county doubled its number of infections, climbing from about 400,000 cases on November 30 to more than 800,000 cases on January 2, health officials said Monday. The case deluge has translated to a surge of Covid-19 patients, overwhelming hospitals and plunging intensive care unit capacity across the region to zero. There are now more than 7,600 people hospitalized with Covid-19 in in the county, 21% of whom are in the ICU, officials said

With no hospital beds available, ambulance crews in the county were given guidance not to transport patients with little chance of survival. And the patients who are transported often have to wait hours before a bed is available. "Hospitals are declaring internal disasters and having to open church gyms to serve as hospital units," Supervisor Hilda Solis said, calling the situation a "human disaster." And a person is dying of the virus every 15 minutes, Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said.
But it will get worse. Officials say they're headed into the feared surge stemming from holiday gatherings. more...

Police said Steven Brandenburg "told investigators that he believed that Covid-19 vaccine was not safe for people and could harm them and change their DNA."
By David K. Li and Samira Puskar

A pharmacist accused of trying to destroy hundreds of doses of coronavirus vaccine is a conspiracy theorist who believed the medication wasn't safe, Wisconsin authorities alleged Monday. The man, Steven Brandenburg, 46, was ordered held in lieu of $10,000 bond by Ozaukee County Circuit Court Judge Paul Malloy during a brief appearance. Police in Grafton, about 20 miles north of Milwaukee, arrested Brandenburg, a pharmacist with Advocate Aurora Health, on Thursday after 57 vials of the Moderna vaccine appeared to have been spoiled. Police said Brandenburg took the vaccine doses from a refrigerator and left them out for 12 hours, possibly rendering them useless.

Each vial contained 10 doses; in total, the material was worth $8,550 to $11,400, according to a probable cause statement by Grafton police Detective Sgt. Eric Sutherland. Brandenburg is an "admitted conspiracy theorist," and he "told investigators that he believed that Covid-19 vaccine was not safe for people and could harm them and change their DNA," Sutherland wrote. "He admitted this was an intentional act," the probable cause statement added. more...

By Madeline Holcombe, CNN

(CNN) Hospitals around the United States are racing to keep up with surges of Covid-19 patients at numbers they have not seen at any other time in the pandemic. At least 123,639 people nationwide were in the hospital with coronavirus on Saturday, marking 32 consecutive days that the number of hospitalizations has exceeded 100,000, according to the Covid Tracking Project. Cases have skyrocketed after the Thanksgiving holiday, and impacts from Christmas and New Year's celebrations are still unfolding. As of Saturday, more than 20.4 million people have been infected with the virus in the US and at least 350,186 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. And health experts worry what will happen to those numbers if infections continue to spread.

"This is about total collapse of the health care system if we have another spike," said Dr. Brad Spellberg, chief medical officer at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center. "And we, in the hospital, cannot stop that. We can only react to it. It is the public that has the power to put a stop to the spread of this virus by obeying the public health guidance that have been put out." In California, emergency room officials said hospitals are treating an unprecedented number of coronavirus patients. Design and construction experts from the US Army Corps of Engineers have been deployed to the Los Angeles area to "evaluate and where necessary upgrade oxygen delivery systems" at about a half dozen hospitals. One area hospital converted administrative offices and break rooms into treatment areas for their coronavirus patients, said Col. Julie Balten, commander of the Los Angeles District for the Corps of Engineers. more...

By Christina Zdanowicz, CNN

(CNN) -- Her smile and positive attitude are what her family and school community are remembering as they mourn the loss of a beloved teacher. Zelene Blancas, a first grade teacher at Dr. Sue A. Shook Elementary School in El Paso, Texas, died Monday, her family told CNN. She was 10 years into her career as a teacher. Blancas tested positive for coronavirus October 20 and days later, she was hospitalized, her brother, Mario Blancas, told CNN. After weeks of showing signs of recovery and taking steps on her own, her oxygen levels dropped, and she was intubated November 22. The otherwise healthy 35-year-old never came off the ventilator, her brother said. She spent two months in the hospital before dying of complications from Covid-19, her family said. more...

By Eileen AJ Connelly

Veteran talk show host Larry King has been hospitalized in Los Angeles with COVID-19. The 87-year-old broadcasting legend has survived multiple health scares in the past, including a heart attack, a stroke, prostate and lung cancer and diabetes. more...

By Melanie Gray

The Wisconsin hospital worker accused of spoiling hundreds of doses of COVID-19 vaccine didn’t tamper with the vials just once — he left them unrefrigerated twice, his boss claims. Steven Brandenburg, 46, is being held in jail on three criminal counts — recklessly endangering safety, adulterating a prescription drug and criminal damage to property — although police have not officially identified him as the alleged culprit, the Daily Mail reported. Ozaukee County Jail records show Brandenburg was booked New Year’s Eve, the same day cops arrested the culprit, and state records show he is a licensed pharmacist. Both the police and federal authorities — the FBI and the Food and Drug Administration — are investigating the tampering at Advocate Aurora Health Hospital in Grafton, about 20 miles north of Milwaukee. more...

By Benjamin Berteau and Pierre Buet, CNN

Paris (CNN) Five people have been arrested and more than 1,000 fines issued after an illegal New Year's rave in the French countryside ended on Saturday, local authorities said. More than 2,500 partygoers attended the illegal party in the region of Brittany in France, despite the government's strict coronavirus restrictions and a national night-time curfew. About 1,200 fines were issued as of Saturday morning following the rave, which started on Thursday, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said via his official Twitter profile. Trucks, sound systems and generators have been seized and Gendarmes officers "are continuing their investigation and checks so that this illegal event is harshly sanctioned," Darmanin added. Of the 1,200 fines, 800 were related to coronavirus restrictions and 400 to drug offenses, head of the Bretagne Gendarmerie forces General Pierre Sauvegrain told reporters. more...

At last count, the home had 88 infections among residents and 42 among staff.
By Associated Press

BRUSSELS — Authorities in Belgium say a 27th elderly person has died in an outbreak at a nursing home from a super-spreading St. Nick party last month but they hope the situation is now under control. The Hemelrijck home in the northern Belgium city of Mol had organized a Dec. 4 visit from a troupe playing the beloved saint who usually spreads mirth and presents. But the city and families of some of the deceased have complained that the nursing home should never have organized the party when restrictive measures on events were in place throughout the country to contain the pandemic. The Mol municipality said “the event was not coordinated with the crisis cell,” and if they had heard about it beforehand they would have stopped it. more...

By Christina Maxouris, CNN

(CNN) The US topped 20 million total infections and inched closer to 350,000 Covid-19 deaths on the first day of 2021 -- reminders of a grim reality continuing into the new year. More people have died across the US than anywhere else: nearly 348,000 Americans since the pandemic's start. About another 115,000 could die over the next month, according to projections from the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. That's while hospitalizations are at the highest levels they've ever been. The US reported a record 125,379 hospitalized Covid-19 patients nationwide Thursday, according to the Covid Tracking Project. That number dipped slightly Friday, with 125,057 hospitalizations reported -- about an 163% increase from two months ago.

A California doctor said hospitals have hit a "breaking point." "We're also worried that at some point soon we're going to have a really tough time finding the space and the staff to take care of all the sick patients coming in with Covid-19 who really need our help," said Dr. Nicole Van Groningen of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. And Friday's bleak case milestone also means the nation has also recorded by far the most Covid-19 infections. It's double what India -- the country with the second-highest number of cases -- has reported and nearly triple what Brazil -- the third country in line -- has reported. But the worst may not be over just yet: experts fear that in the coming weeks -- following holiday travel and gatherings -- the US could see another surge of cases that could also drive hospitalizations and deaths even higher. more...

Reese Oxner

The United States has reached a sobering milestone to mark the new year. On Friday, the first day of 2021, the U.S. recorded its 20 millionth confirmed coronavirus case since the beginning of the pandemic. That's according to numbers from Johns Hopkins University, which reported 20,037,736 cases and 346,687 deaths in the U.S. on at the time of publication on Friday. Over 83 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed world wide. The U.S. reached 10 million cases on Nov. 9. In less than two months, the country doubled its total number of infections. more...

By Ganesh Setty, CNN

(CNN) Virginia state Sen. Ben Chafin Jr. has died after contracting Covid-19, according to a statement from his office. He was 60 years old. "State Senator Augustus Benton (Ben) Chafin, Jr., a native son of Russell County located in Southwest Virginia, passed away on January 1, 2021 from Covid-19 complications," the statement said. The Republican lawmaker's family thanked the VCU Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia, for "its vigorous care and heartfelt support during his two weeks of medical services there."
Chafin, a cattle farmer and attorney, served Virginia's 38th District. He was elected to the state's House of Delegates in 2013 before moving to the Senate in 2014. His office remembered him Friday as "a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, economic development and health care coverage for hundreds of thousands of low-income Virginians." more...

CBS News

At least 26 residents of a Belgian retirement home have died since a visit by a volunteer dressed as Santa Claus who has since tested positive for COVID-19. A Flemish health official told AFP on Thursday it is not yet certain that it was the visitor who brought the coronavirus to the Hemelrijck home in Mol on December 5. But 26 residents have died since the visit, and 85 more have tested positive for the coronavirus, along with 40 staff. The outbreak was detected a few days after the visit, and prominent virologist Marc Van Ranst reported on Twitter that most of the infections came from the same source. The white-bearded, red-robed figure of Sinterklaas, the equivalent of the English-speaking world's Santa Claus, brings gifts to Belgians every December 6. more...

Tracy Connor

A federal judge 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. more...

By David Williams and Chuck Johnston, CNN

(CNN) A mistake at a West Virginia clinic led to 42 people being administered Covid-19 antibodies instead of the vaccine, but state and local health officials don't think they are at any risk of harm. The recipients were supposed to get their first doses of the Moderna vaccine on Wednesday at a clinic run by the Boone County Health Department, according to a statement from the West Virginia National Guard. Instead, they were given a Regeneron antibody product, which is used to treat Covid-19.

"The moment that we were notified of what happened, we acted right away to correct it, and we immediately reviewed and strengthened our protocols to enhance our distribution process to prevent this from happening again," said Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard, in the statement. The National Guard is leading the planning and logistics for distributing the vaccine. The Boone County Health Department said it has notified the 42 people and offered to give them the Covid-19 vaccine on Thursday. Officials said it was an isolated incident but did not explain how the mix-up occurred when reached for further comment. Regeneron's antibody cocktail uses a combination of two engineered immune system proteins typically given via infusion -- a different method from the injections used in vaccination. more...

By Matthew Ormseth, Rong-Gong Lin II, Luke Money, Soumya Karlamangla

A months-long surge of coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County is reaching its grim if inevitable zenith as deaths reach once-unthinkable levels, medical infrastructure is buckling under a flood of patients and officials fear the mortality numbers will only worsen in the coming weeks. The county recorded an average of 151 people dying from COVID-19 each day in the past week — a figure that’s almost as high as the average number of people dying daily from every other cause, about 170 a day. But more recently, those numbers have spiked considerably.

Single-day COVID-19 death records have been broken every day for the last three days of the year, with 242 deaths reported Tuesday, 262 on Wednesday and 291 on New Year’s Eve. The sheer number of fatalities is causing more challenges to already overwhelmed hospitals and other institutions. Many hospital morgues are now filled with bodies, and officials are trying to move them for temporary storage at the county medical examiner-coroner’s office. more...

It's the fourth consecutive day the state has set a new high mark.
Author: KHOU 11 Staff

HOUSTON — For the fourth day in a row, the sate of Texas has set a record for the number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital. On Thursday, the number of people in the state who were in the hospital with COVID-19 jumped to 12,268. It’s the first time the state has surpassed 12,000.  The state’s positivity rate is also on the rise. On Thursday, Texas reported molecular tests had 20.53 percent positivity. That’s up from Wednesday’s number, which was 18.74 percent. more...

Wall Street Journal

Officially, more than 300,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the U.S. But experts who believe the real death toll to be much higher are racing to count missed or misdiagnosed cases, in a bid to improve the nation’s public-health response. video...

By Sarah Moon and Cheri Mossburg, CNN

(CNN) Overflowing hospital morgues, increased 911 wait times, beds only opening when patients die. Hospitals in California, where almost all of the state's 40 million residents are living under stay-at-home orders, are seeing historic stress points. The surge of new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations is pushing hospitals in Los Angeles County to the "brink of catastrophe," a top health official there said. To the north in Santa Clara, one doctor said: "What we are seeing now, is not normal." Every day since November 7, Covid-19 hospitalizations in California have increased.

As of Thursday, 21,449 Covid-19 patients were in hospital beds throughout the state, with more than 4,500 of those in intensive care units. "We are in the midst of a disaster," Los Angeles County Director of Emergency Medical Services Agency Cathy Chidester said, talking about the challenges faced by hospitals due to the lack of resources and staffing. The amount of oxygen required for each coronavirus patient is putting extreme pressure on the hospital, according to Chidester. They also are running out of ambulances while response times to 911 calls are getting longer and longer, she said. Los Angeles County shattered its record of the highest number of coronavirus deaths reported on a single day since the start of the pandemic with 290 deaths Thursday, according to data from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The high number of deaths includes a backlog of cases from the holidays as well as an internet service interruption. more...

WISN 12 News talked to people who know the pharmacist accused of ruining 570 doses of the Moderna vaccine
Caroline Reinwald

GRAFTON, Wis. — On Thursday, Advocate Aurora officials confirmed the employee accused of intentionally leaving out Moderna COVID-19 vaccines no longer worked for the company. "On Saturday, December 26th, in the early morning, one of our pharmacy technicians discovered what turned out to be 57 vials of Moderna vaccine, enough for about 570 doses outside the refrigerator in which those vials were stored," said Dr. Jeff Bahr, president of Aurora Health Care Medical Group. "Over the subsequent days, as we continued our internal review, we became increasingly suspicious of the behavior of the individual in question." "The individual was suspended and after multiple interviews over the course of the week, admitted yesterday to intentionally removing the vaccine from refrigeration," Bahr said. Bahr would not go into detail about the accused pharmacist. Grafton Police Department confirmed they arrested the 46-year-old pharmacist on Thursday. They also said the spoiled vaccines are worth as much as $11,000. more...

Ricardo Torres - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Advocate Aurora Health says a now-fired employee intentionally removed 57 vials of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine from a refrigerator last weekend, causing them to become ineffective and be discarded. Initially, Aurora was "led to believe" the removal was an error. But Wednesday, the employee "acknowledged that they intentionally removed the vaccine from refrigeration," according to a statement from the health care provider. Aurora said the action by the employee is "a violation of our core values."

The employee was fired, and Aurora said it has notified "appropriate authorities for further investigation." The statement continues: "We continue to believe that vaccination is our way out of the pandemic. We are more than disappointed that this individual’s action will result in a delay of more than 500 people receiving their vaccine." Each vial contains enough vaccine for 10 vaccinations. The vials were removed Friday and most were discarded Saturday, according to an earlier statement from Aurora. more...

Pat Saperstein

Dawn Wells, who starred as “good girl” Mary Ann in popular 1960s sitcom “Gilligan’s Island,” died Wednesday of causes related to COVID-19 in Los Angeles. She was 82. Pig-tailed and attired in her ubiquitous dungaress or gingham dress, which is on display at the Hollywood Museum, the Mary Ann character was the girl-next-door to Tina Louise’s suggestive evening dress-clad Ginger, who was often subjected to leering comments from the male stars in the show’s dialogue.

She told Smashing Interviews magazine that she was happy to change her image with a role as a prostitute in “The Owl and the Pussycat” soon after the show ended, “Mary Ann was a good girl. She was polite. She was a hard worker. She would be your best friend. She cooked. She cleaned. She did all of those things, and she was a really good role model. But the first thing you want to do is break that character and go do something else,” Wells said. more...

By Joe Sutton and Jason Hanna, CNN

(CNN) Health officials in a Colorado county believe they've found a second local case of a coronavirus variant from the United Kingdom -- one that experts have said may be especially contagious -- a county public health director said Wednesday. That news comes a day after the first known case of the variant in the US was announced in Colorado's Elbert County. Both the confirmed case and the suspected instance involve men who had been working at the Good Samaritan Society assisted living facility in Simla, about 45 miles northeast of Colorado Springs, county health director Dwayne Smith told CNN.

Neither are residents of Elbert County, and they are isolating outside the county, Smith said. There is "no indication at this point" that this event has gone beyond the facility and into the larger community, he said.  The first patient had no known travel history, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said Tuesday. In part because of that, there is a good chance the variant has been spreading within the community, William Haseltine, chair and president of the global health think tank ACCESS Health International, told CNN Wednesday. The variant emerged in the UK in September, and US health officials have said in recent days as it became prevalent in the United Kingdom that it is probably already in the United States. more...

BY SAM KARLIN

Congressman-elect Luke Letlow died Tuesday evening from complications with COVID-19, shaking the Louisiana political world weeks after his election to represent Louisiana's 5th District in Congress as the state's youngest U.S. representative. Letlow, 41, died at Ochsner-LSU Health Shreveport from “complications from COVID-19,” his spokesman, Andrew Bautsch, said in a statement.

Letlow was admitted to a Monroe hospital with COVID-19 symptoms on Dec. 19th before being transferred to the Shreveport hospital and moving to the intensive care unit on Dec. 23rd. Letlow is survived by his wife, Julie Barnhill Letlow, and two young children, Bautsch said.

He was in critical condition but had recently shown signs of improvement when he "apparently suffered a cardiac event this evening that was refractory to all resuscitation efforts," said Dr. G.E. Ghali, of LSU Health Shreveport. Ghali previously said Letlow was being treated with the antiviral drug Remdesivir and steroids. Asked if Letlow had any underlying conditions that would have made his death more likely, Ghali said in a text message, "none. All COVID related." more...

Peter Stubley

Golfer Greg Norman urged Covid "doubters" to take the virus seriously as he revealed it had “kicked the crap out of me like nothing I have ever experienced before”. The 65-year-old Australian posted a picture of himself from his hospital bed on Sunday after testing positive for the disease while suffering severe headaches, muscle pain and fatigue. He wrote on Instagram: "For those doubters out there, do not judge or cast unwarranted comments and opinions I would not want anyone, even you, to experience this hideous virus.

"So I ask, do what is right, not just for you, but your family friends co-workers and other people around. I am luckier than most and for that I am thankful and blessed." Norman believes he was exposed to coronavirus while competing in the PNC Championship tournament in Orlando, Florida, last week with his son, who has also tested positive. After suffering symptoms while quarantining at home, he admitted himself to hospital on Christmas Day. He told his followers: "This sums it all up... On behalf of millions, f*** CoVid. This get this s*** behind us never to experience it again." more...

By Frances Mulraney For Dailymail.com

A health care provider in New York is being investigated after being accused of 'fraudulently' obtaining COVID-19 vaccines and distributing them to members of the public. In a statement released Saturday, the state Department of Health revealed they had received reports that Parcare Community Health Network based in Orange County had broken with New York's plan to administer the vaccine to frontline healthcare workers, and nursing home residents and staffers first. The statement said the network 'may have fraudulently obtained COVID-19 vaccine, transferred it to facilities in other parts of the state in violation of state guidelines and diverted it to members of the public'. more...

The coordinated vaccination campaign of unprecedented scale in the European Union is a crucial step in curbing a pandemic.
By Yuliya Talmazan

Mass vaccination programs began to be rolled out across Europe on Sunday after several countries reported cases of a more contagious variant of coronavirus. On what some have dubbed "V-Day," Germany, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain began inoculations, starting out with health workers and those most at risk of contracting the disease. The coordinated vaccination campaign of unprecedented scale in the European Union, home to almost 450 million people is a crucial step in curbing the global pandemic.

In Italy, the first doses of vaccine developed by American drugmaker Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech were administered to five health workers at Rome's Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases, which has been on the forefront of the fight against Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic. “Today is finally a good day,” the country’s virus czar Domenico Arcuri told a news conference. “We see the light at the end of the tunnel.” But he warned that people should "continue to be prudent, cautious and responsible," as Italy, which has recorded Europe's highest number of deaths with 72,000, still had a long road ahead. more...

Rebecca Falconer

Cases of a new variant of COVID-19 first detected in England were confirmed by health officials in Canada, Japan and several more European Union countries Saturday.

Why it matters: While there's no evidence the variant is more deadly than the original strain, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement that it could be 70% more transmissible prompted dozens of countries to ban travel from the United Kingdom. The strain, called B.1.1.7, spurred a cases spike that saw tens of millions of people in England and Wales lock down over the holidays.
   Some officials worry it may have been spreading unnoticed worldwide, as few countries have the kind of sophisticated genomic surveillance that enabled British scientists to find the variant, per the New York Times.

What’s happening: The Public Health Agency of Canada confirmed the first two cases in North America of the new coronavirus strain Saturday evening, in the province of Ontario. The agency noted in a statement "these two cases did not travel outside of Canada."

Officials in Japan said Saturday the country would close its border to all non-resident foreign nationals from midnight Monday through Jan. 31 after seven people tested positive for the variant, broadcaster NHK reports. more...

By Douglas Perry | The Oregonian/OregonLive

An Oregon mink trapped in the wild tested positive for the coronavirus this month, the Oregon Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday. The mink was captured Dec. 13 near an Oregon mink farm that is under quarantine after a November COVID-19 outbreak there. State and federal wildlife officials believe the trapped mink had recently escaped from the farm. “There is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is circulating or has been established in the wild,” ODA state veterinarian Dr. Ryan Scholz said in a statement. “Several [trapped] animals from different species were sampled, and all others were negative. Still, we are taking this situation very seriously and continuing to survey and trap near the farm.” more...

The order from President Donald Trump follows similar actions by the airlines and flight suspensions by nations concerned about coronavirus variants.
By David Ingram

The U.S. will require all air passengers arriving from the United Kingdom to test negative for Covid-19 before their departure after the identification in the U.K. of new coronavirus variants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the change late Thursday, saying in a statement that President Donald Trump would sign an order Friday to take effect Monday.

"The public health authorities in the United Kingdom recently announced the discovery of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2," the CDC said in a statement. "Preliminary analysis in the U.K. suggests that this new variant may be up to 70 percent more transmissible than previously circulating variants."

A similar requirement for negative tests has already been in effect for many U.S.-bound travelers. Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways said Monday that travelers would have to test negative for the coronavirus before boarding flights bound for New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, in response to a request from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. more...

by: Nouran Salahieh

Reporting a record number of coronavirus deaths Thursday for a second day in a row, Los Angeles County’s health director made an alarming announcement: “A person now dies every 10 minutes in L.A. County from COVID-19.” Another 148 COVID-19 deaths were reported in L.A. County on Christmas Eve, surpassing the previous record of 145 set just the day before.

“It is heartbreaking to report today nearly 150 more L.A. County residents died from COVID-19 leaving families grieving through the holiday season,” L.A. County Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. So far, 9,299 people have died of COVID-19 in the county and projections predict that the worst is yet to come. L.A. County forecasts show that another 8,700 people in L.A. County will die from COVID-19 before Jan. 31, 2021, Health Services Director Christina Ghaly said in a Thursday briefing. “That is nearly three times the number of people that died in the 911 terrorist attack,” Ghaly said. more...

Kashmira Gander

The Pfizer COVID vaccine has triggered more allergic reactions than would be expected, according to Operation Warp Speed chief scientific adviser Moncef Slaoui. However, such incident are rare, and experts say the benefits of having the COVID vaccine far outweighs the risks. On Wednesday, Slaoui said according to CNN: "That frequency [of allergic reactions] as it stood yesterday, is superior to what one would expect with other vaccines."

At that time, he was aware of six cases. Slaoui said vaccine manufacturers and the National Institutes of Health were considering starting clinical trials on COVID vaccines involving people with serious allergies to try to determine how common such responses are, and their cause. Such trials would include people who need to carry epinephrine pens.

His comments came after the Alabama Department of Public Health said a person had a severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis, several minutes after having the Pfizer COVID vaccine on Tuesday. The person had a history of serious allergic reactions to medicines but chose to receive the vaccine after having a risk assessment. more...

Justin L. Mack, Holly V. Hays - Indianapolis Star

INDIANAPOLIS – A Black doctor who died of COVID-19 after weeks of battling the virus said she was mistreated and delayed proper care at an Indiana hospital because of her race. Dr. Susan Moore, 52, died Dec. 20 following multiple hospitalizations for complications from COVID-19, first at IU Health North and later at Ascencion-St. Vincent in Carmel, Indiana. Her frustrations with the care provided at IU Health were chronicled on Facebook in multiple updates. The first came Dec. 4 when she said delays in her treatment and diagnosis were motivated by the color of her skin.

In a 7 ½-minute video posted to her Facebook page, Moore described frustrating back-and-forths with a white hospitalist with the IU Health system. She described having her complaints of severe neck pain disregarded, despite drawing from her years of medical expertise to make a self-assessment. "I was crushed," a tearful Moore said of the doctor's refusal to provide her pain medication. "He made me feel like I was a drug addict. And he knew I was a physician. I don't take narcotics. I was hurting." more...

Elinor Aspegren - USA TODAY

A COVID-19 patient at a California hospital allegedly struck and killed his roommate with an oxygen tank because he was "upset when the victim started to pray," the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday. Jesse Martinez, 37, has been arrested on suspicion of a hate crime murder and elder abuse, the sheriff's office said in a news release. The victim, an 82-year-old Hispanic man, was sharing a two-person room with Martinez at Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster in northern Los Angeles County. The men, who didn't know each other, were both receiving treatment for COVID-19, according to the department. "The suspect became upset when the victim started to pray. He then struck the victim with an oxygen tank," authorities said in the release. The victim died from his injuries the next day. more...

There are an estimated 10,000 trucks backed-up near the port of Dover, the main ferry port for France and the continent.
By Adela Suliman

LONDON — Thousands of truck drivers stranded in the U.K. on Wednesday were offered a faint glimmer of hope they could be home for Christmas after European officials eased travel restrictions imposed in response to the emergence of a mutant strain of coronavirus. The British military has been called in to help clear the gridlock caused by convoys of trucks snaked on roads near Dover, the main ferry port for France and the continent.

"We're putting in place the infrastructure. So the armed forces will be [Covid testing] in the first instance to help us to set that up and to get through some of the backlog that you've seen," Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky News. Paris and London agreed late Tuesday that drivers testing negative for Covid-19 could board ferries to France. The decision came after much of the world shut its borders to Britain to contain the new mutation. The Road Haulage Association estimated there were up to 10,000 trucks backed-up near the port. more...

Dennis Wagner, Donovan Slack and Aleszu Bajak USA TODAY

As health care workers and nursing home residents await the first syringes of the scarce COVID-19 vaccine, few realize that exactly when they will get a dose depends a lot on what state they live in. Though they’re first in line for the vaccine, some people in those groups may end up getting vaccinated after people in other states who are deemed lower priority.

That’s because the vaccine is being allocated according to the number of adults in each state, which doesn’t correlate to the number of high-risk people living or working there. So as long as supplies are limited, some states won’t get doses proportionate to their needs. In those places, medical workers and residents of long-term care facilities will be exposed to the coronavirus for weeks or months longer. And they’ll be more vulnerable to sickness and death.

Nevada is one of the winners. According to a USA TODAY analysis of data from Surgo Ventures and Ariadne Labs, it has relatively few residents in the highest priority group. Based on the federal formula, it will be able to vaccinate all frontline health workers and nursing home residents once the federal government distributes 13.6 million doses nationwide.

But Massachusetts, which has a lot of medical workers, won’t hit that threshold until 25.5  million doses have been distributed across the country — potentially weeks into the new year. By the time Massachusetts vaccinates the last person in its highest priority group, Nevada could have moved on to lower priority groups such as elderly people, teachers and grocery workers. more...

CHRISTOPHER WEBER

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California’s overwhelmed hospitals are setting up makeshift extra beds for coronavirus patients, and a handful of facilities in hard-hit Los Angeles County are drawing up emergency plans in case they have to limit how many people receive life-saving care. The number of people hospitalized across California with confirmed COVID-19 infections is more than double the state's previous peak, reached in July, and a state model forecasts the total could hit 75,000 patients by mid-January.

Plans for rationing care are not in place yet, but they need to be established because “the worst is yet to come,” said Los Angeles County's health services director, Dr. Christina Ghaly. While shipments of the vaccine are rolling out to many health care workers and nursing homes across the country, it could be months before the shots are available to the general public. Until then, four hospitals run by Los Angeles County are weighing what to do if they cannot treat everyone because of a shortage of beds or staffers.

A document recently circulated among doctors at the four hospitals proposed that instead of trying to save every life, their goal could shift to saving as many patients as possible — meaning those less likely to survive would not get the same kind of care. “Some compromise of standard of care is unavoidable; it is not that an entity, system or locale chooses to limit resources, it is that the resources are clearly not available to provide care in a regular manner,” said the document obtained by the Los Angeles Times. Many hospitals in California already have implemented emergency procedures to stretch staff and space. more...


LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. (WGN) — Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville has temporarily paused vaccinations after four employees experienced reactions. Since Thursday, four employees at Advocate Condell Medical Center experienced reactions shortly after vaccination, with symptoms including tingling and elevated heartrate. Advocate Aurora Health said the employees represent .15% of roughly 3,000 employees who have been vaccinated. more...

'These people don't usually have to wait’
Louise Hall

Rich Americans in California are offering to buy their way to the front of the coronavirus vaccine line as the state continues to see a surge in infections and deaths, reports have said. Speaking to CNN, a number of concierge doctors in the area say have received a number of requests for early access to the new vaccine in return for premium payments or donations.

Dr Jeff Toll, whose boutique internal medicine practice has admitting privileges at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said his high-profile clients have offered large sums in turn for prioritisation. The doctor told outlets that one of his clientele, which includes chief executives and entertainment figures, offered to donate $25,000 to the hospital for early access to the shot.

The doctor said that he has told patients they must wait in line as the vaccine is distributed to those most vulnerable to the disease and most likely to transmit it. "I think one of the difficult things is for physicians who take care of these high-power people to be able to say, no you have to wait," Dr Toll told CNN. "These people don't usually have to wait." more...


ELM GROVE, Wis. (AP) — Eight nuns living at a retirement home for sisters in suburban Milwaukee died of COVID-19 complications in the last week — including four who passed away on the same day — a grim reminder of how quickly the virus can spread in congregate living situations, even when precautions are taken.

Notre Dame of Elm Grove had been free of the virus for the last nine months, but the congregation that runs the home found out on Thanksgiving Day that one of the roughly 100 sisters who live there had tested positive. Despite social distancing and other mitigation efforts that were already in place, several more positive tests followed, said Sister Debra Marie Sciano, the provincial leader for School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province.

The first death happened last week, and the death announcements kept coming. Four of the eight nuns died on Monday alone, a difficult situation for other sisters in the home and members of the broader congregation, who consider each other family. “Even though they’re older and most of the sisters that did go to God are in their late 80s, 90s … we didn’t expect them to go so, so quickly,” Sciano said. “So it was just very difficult for us.” more...

Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

An influential Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Thursday overwhelmingly backed Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine, a key step paving the way to distribute the second Covid-19 vaccine in the United States next week. The nonbinding decision, which was adopted 20 to 0 with one abstention, from the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee came exactly a week after the outside group of vaccine and infectious disease experts voted to recommend Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine for an emergency use authorization, or EUA. The agency granted Pfizer’s EUA the next day and the first inoculations in the U.S. were given Monday.

The FDA advisory committee plays a key role in approving flu and other vaccines in the U.S., verifying the shots are safe for public use. While the FDA doesn’t have to follow the advisory committee’s recommendation, it often does. The U.S. plans to ship just under 6 million doses next week, pending the agency’s OK, Gen. Gustave Perna, who oversees logistics for the Operation Warp Speed vaccine project, told reporters Monday. Prior to the vote, some members of the committee stressed that their endorsement for Moderna’s vaccine was not for a full FDA approval, reiterating that the agency will still need to review more data on safety and effectiveness. more...

The Queen in the North has spoken.
By Bill Bradley

Tea is coming ... On Wednesday, amid COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in the U.S., “Game of Thrones” actor Sophie Turner posted a simple message on her Instagram story, destroying anti-maskers faster than Arya did the White Walkers. “If I can wear a mask while I give birth, you can wear a mask at Walmart, and that’s the tea,” Turner said. The video was saved by fan accounts and can be seen below: more...


Two healthcare workers in Alaska has had a severe allergic reaction to Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech’s (NASDAQ:BNTX) COVID-19 vaccine, the New York Times reported, but experts say that the vaccine is still safe for the general public. The first worker, a middle-aged woman, with no history of allergies experienced anaphylactic reaction just 10 minutes after receiving a shot at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau. She experienced a rash over her face and torso, shortness of breath and an elevated heart rate. The symptoms resolved after being administered with allergy treatment epinephrine and steroids. The patient was still in hospital being monitored on Wednesday. more...


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