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Coronavirus update: The total number of cases exceeds 30 million, and the controversial changes in CDC testing guidelines have not been made by CDC scientists



The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus that causes COVID-19 rose to more than 30 million on Friday, and the number of deaths rose to more than 946,000, with the death toll in the United States at nearly 200,000 – nearly a fifth of the world .

Controversial guidelines for coronavirus testing, published on the CDC website, which say that asymptomatic people should not be tested, even if they have been exposed to the virus, were not actually written by the CDC, the New York Times reported. the objections of the CDC scientists.

Citing inside documents and sources described as familiar with the matter, the Times says the Ministry of Health and Humanitarian Services rewrote the testing guidelines in late August and “posted”

; them on the CDC’s website without properly checking.

The recommendation contains numerous errors (including suggesting that tests are for COVID-19, the disease, not the virus), the Times reported, and did not match CDC reports, especially since asymptomatic people are considered major vectors for the spread of COVID-19. .

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quickly returned to the new direction after the noise. A new version of the testing guidelines is expected to be announced on Friday, the Times said, which has also been revised by HHS and has apparently not been properly tested.

In case you missed it (August 27):In a second embarrassment for a major U.S. public health agency this week, the CDC says asymptomatic people exposed to the infection can be tested again.

The incident appears to be another case of politicization of a historically apolitical agency that threatens to undermine its credibility during the worst pandemic of a century. HHS is seen as more susceptible to political influence, especially in recent times.

The report comes a day after President Donald Trump got involved in a dispute with the head of the country’s main public health agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over a schedule for a possible vaccine against COVID-19. Trump has said the vaccine will be ready “in weeks”, which contradicts CDC chief Robert Redfield, who has sworn it is more likely to be available in mid-2021.

Trump’s rival in the presidential race, Democrat Joe Biden, said on Thursday at an event at the CNN City Hall that he would not deceive the American public with a vaccine if he is elected.

“Note my words: If I am president, I will always be on par with the American people and I will always tell the truth,” Biden said in a statement, the Associated Press reported.

Dr. Atul Nahasi, a physician and policy adviser at the Los Angeles County Department of Health, told MSNBC that the CDC schedule, as described by Redfield, was appropriate.

“If we do get evidence that the vaccine is effective by the end of the year, we still need 300 million syringes, we need 300 million needles, we need 300 million products, and we need to deliver it to Americans all over the world. country, “Nahasi said in an interview. “So … I think the CDC is realistic here, that it can’t happen until the spring or summer of 2021 that we’re really going to get that to the American people on a large scale.”

Dr. Paul Ofit, a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who co-authored the rotavirus vaccine, told MarketWatch that even when the vaccine is ready, it will not be a panacea.

“People now see vaccines as a magic powder that is about to be sprinkled on this country and make it all go away,” he said in an interview. “It doesn’t happen that way.”

Offit outlined the logistical challenges of what is expected to be a two-dose regimen, the storage and cooling challenges that will come with sent RNA vaccines, and the fact that early vaccines are not expected to be more than 50% to 75% effective. .

“Even if it is very effective, it will still not be a sure shot. If you get 75%, that means that every fourth person who gets it can still get moderate to severe illness, which can lead to hospitalization or death, so they will still have to wear a mask, “he said. “There will probably be a higher percentage, over 25%, who can still get either mild infections or asymptomatic infections, or they can still come out and be contagious.”

Read now:This is the end of the world as we know it – and Michael Stipe from REM is not feeling well

A former Republican official in Trump’s White House – Olivia Troy, former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Mike Pence – backed Biden on Thursday, saying Trump had done wrong with the pandemic because he had always focused on re-election. not on public health

In other news:

• The U.S. Postal Service was prepared to send face masks to every U.S. household in April, but the White House canceled the plan at the last minute due to fears it could cause panic, according to numerous reports. The Washington Post first reported on Thursday that the post office had prepared a draft news release announcing a plan by the Ministry of Health and Social Services to deliver more than 600 million face masks to any home address in the country. The Post received the draft communication as part of a request for the Freedom of Information Act. NBC News later independently confirmed the Post’s report. About 135,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus since April.

• Mainland China counted 32 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, Reuters reported, noting the biggest one-day increase in more than a month and a sharp rise from the nine cases reported on Wednesday. The National Health Commission said all new cases were imported, 13 of them in the northwestern province of Shanxi and another 12 in Shanghai. China has not confirmed cases of local transmission of the virus since mid-August.

• Israel celebrates the Jewish New Year with a second national lock as officials work to curb the rise in coronavirus cases, the BBC reported. The lock will last three weeks and will require Israelis to stay 1 kilometer from their homes. The number of people allowed in synagogues has also been reduced, with no more than 10 people allowed to meet indoors. Israel has 176,933 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,169 people have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

What does the second coronavirus lock look like? Ask Israel

• The UK government has been advised by its leading scientific experts to announce a national lock to help control a second coronavirus surge, as Boris Johnson’s government health secretary Matt Hancock declined on Friday to comment on whether such a step should be taken in in the coming weeks, Pierre Briançon told MarketWatch. Many regions and cities in the UK are currently blocked after infections began to rise significantly in August, following other European countries such as Spain and France. The latest restrictions were imposed in Newcastle and other English northeastern cities on Thursday. But so far, the government has pledged to do everything possible to avoid such measures nationwide.

Latest outfits

There are currently 30.2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, according to John Hopkins, and 946,847 people have died. At least 20.6 million people have recovered.

The United States has the highest amounts in the world with 6.7 million cases and 197,644 deaths. Brazil has the second largest number of victims – 134,935 and the third largest number of cases – 4.5 million.

India is third with 84,372 deaths and second with 5.2 million deaths. Mexico is fourth with 72,179 deaths and seventh with 684,113 deaths.

The United Kingdom has 41,794 deaths and 384,087 deaths, the highest death toll in Europe and the fifth largest in the world.

China, where the disease was first reported late last year, has 90,297 cases and 4,737 deaths, according to official figures.

What is the latest medical news?

Swiss drug company Roche AG ROG,
+ 1.84%
said hospitalized patients with COVID-19 taking the rheumatoid arthritis drug Actemra were less likely to need mechanical ventilation than those receiving placebo, MarketWatch’s Jaimy Lee said.

The company’s Phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study focused on the inclusion of minority patients with COVID-19-associated pneumonia; 389 participants are involved in the process.

However, the drug did not lead to a difference in mortality, Roche said. Roche is also testing Actemra with GILD from Gilead Sciences Inc.,
-1.09%
remdezivir, which is the only previously unapproved drug approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for COVID-19 during the pandemic.

Earlier this week, Eli Lilly & Co. LLY,
+ 0.13%
and Incyte Corp. INCY,
-4.88%
said their rheumatoid arthritis drug Olumiant, when paired with remdezivir, shortened recovery time for hospitalized patients with coronavirus.

Both findings, none of which have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, indicate for the first time in months a clinical benefit of rheumatoid arthritis drugs in the treatment of some COVID-19 patients after a series of failures over the summer.

The European Commission has signed a contract with Sanofi SA SAN,
+ 0.46%

CUTTING,
+ 0.32%
and GlaxoSmithKline PLC GSK,
-0.54%

GSK,
+ 0.31%
to provide up to 300 million doses of their potential vaccine against COVID-19, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

The agreement marks the second deal concluded by the EU for the supply of coronavirus vaccines, after a deal with the British drug manufacturer AstraZeneca PLC. AZN,
+ 0.34%

AZN,
+ 1.13%.

“Agreements will soon be reached with other companies and a diversified portfolio of promising vaccines based on different types of technology will be built, increasing our chances of finding an effective remedy against the virus,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Layen.

Sanofi and GSK aim to provide the vaccine by the second half of 2021, following the launch of a Phase 1 and 2 study in September, with a Phase 3 study by the end of 2020.

What does the economy say?

The University of Michigan said the preliminary reading of the US consumer sentiment index in September was 78.9 compared to 74.1 in the previous month, Victor Reklaitis told MarketWatch.

Economists polled by MarketWatch expect 75.9.

The mood indicator covers the way consumers view their personal finances, as well as the conditions for business and purchase.

The extent of Americans’ confidence in the economy and their own financial security has good results in predicting the future. Until they feel more secure, the economy is unlikely to recover quickly from the coronavirus recession.

Connected:The numbers tell us that the economy is better, but millions of Americans do not feel it

What could help restore some confidence are additional measures by the federal government to support the economy, but analysts say divided Washington is unlikely to provide another major coronavirus relief package before the Nov. 3 election.

Separately, the index of leading economic indicators rose 1.2% in August, the Congressional Council announced on Friday. This is a slower pace than the revised growth of 2% in July and 3.1% growth in June.

“The slowdown in improvement suggests that the economic recovery from this summer could lose steam by the last stretch of 2020,” said Ataman Ozildirim, director of business cycle research at the board.

LEI is a weighted gauge of 10 indicators designed to signal peaks and valleys of the business cycle.

The main US manometers SPX,
-1.57%

DJIA,
-1.27%

COMP,
-1.91%
traded lower on Friday at noon, staying on track for weekly gains.

Additional reporting from the Associated Press, Mike Murphy, Greg Robb and Tim Rostan


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