COVID-19: key developments for Thursday, April 23, 2020

The world has 2.7 million cases.  Cases have grown by about 600,000 in the last week. The US has over 878,000 cases. The US has had over 2,000 deaths since yesterday.

There’s a huge mortality rate among ventilated patient in NYC: 88%.  This massive mortality rate is not too different than what is found in other, similar populations of ventilated patients. The study was published in JAMA.

Following WHO recommendations saved a lot of lives in Ireland:

Publix is buying excess food and giving it to food banks. They’re also donated funds to support food banks. Farmers (and food banks) really, really need the help:

More stellar government contracts for medical equipment:

Factory workers volitionally locked themselves in for a month to make millions of pounds of mask materials.

The pandemic virus killed more Americans in a month than flu did in a year:

The CDC asserts that nearly half of Americans are at elevated risk if they contract the pandemic virus due to chronic illnesses. Heart disease, respiratory diseases, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, age, and cancer are prevalent risk factors.

Governor of Illinois extends stay-at-home order through May 31. Masks are also required in public. Changes were made to business and retail rules to allow for more flexible ordering options. Telephone, online orders, and pickup options have been allowed in many circumstances.

What’s the end game, here? How do we achieve herd immunity? This is behind a sign-in wall, but here’s the gist: we either spend a year or more in lockdowns, or a whole lot of people will die. There are likely to be more waves, and when these waves coincide with fall and winter, it could potentially be a worse wave than what we’re experiencing now. Flattening the curve doesn’t mean we’re controlling the virus—it just means we’re buying time and keeping our hospitals from getting overwhelmed. Ultimately we’re waiting for a vaccine.

Adding a nylon stocking over your mask could improve its efficacy.

What works for cleaning surfaces does not necessarily work for living tissue. That’s the limit of my editorializing on this issue. I’ll leave this here for you to make of it what you will—with one caveat: don’t try this at home, okay?


    • P B

      Clean the bodies after they’re dead. Makes total sense.

      Said it once but ill say it again. If you’re wearing a mask please know how to take it off and put it on. See here:

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    • SeaBee

      Hoping this will make the update for tomorrow 🙂

      So glad to see this site getting the press it deserves! It’s an amazing resource.

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    • Jon StokesStaff

      I’ve gotten some pushback on the Trump tweet, so as the editor who pressed “Publish” on this I want to drop in a quick note:

      We try to stay out of politics on here, but this particular rant was newsworthy in and of itself. I consider this a “key development” in terms of its impact on the day’s coronavirus news and the fact that so many people were talking about it. So this was presented without much in the way of editorializing, and if it had been editorialized I’d have removed that.

      So while I understand that people have strong opinions on this particular public figure, and we all (including this site’s writers and editors) have a diversity of personal opinions that we broadcast in other venues (e.g. Twitter or FB), we try to keep them out of the blog feed… but this clip was just objectively newsworthy, which is why it’s here.

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      • Vaylon Jon Stokes

        Unfortunately, survival itself has become politicized.

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      • M Grant Jon Stokes

        I certainly appreciate the note.  If we want to consistently highlight every time a politician speaks imprecisely and inartfully without preparation, then this site would have to spend all its time on Joe Biden and the incredible things he has been saying about Coronavirus and other topics.

        There’s no point to this kind of gotcha stuff.  It detracts from the site.  I come here for actionable information, not political partisanship.  I can get plenty of that from other sites.  And it drives people away.

        Thanks for trying to keep this site on an even keel.

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      • Vaylon M Grant

        Listen, buddy. The President of the United States literally suggested that people could inject themselves with disinfectants in order to cure COVID-19.

        Instead of “imprecise” or “inartful”, here are some better ways to describe what the president said:


        “harmful misinformation”

        “rambling sh*tshow”

        “shocking display of irresponsibility that may cost lives”

        “deeply worrying display of insanity”

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      • M Grant Vaylon

        LOL, thanks for proving my point, Vaylon.

        By the way, your help is needed on this NYT article which features The Prepared:

        The comments on the article are nasty.  The overwhelmingly left-leaning commentariat (made worse by selective NYT moderation), is mostly condemning preppers as “rapacious vultures and leeches”, “causing societal collapse”, “frauds and fakes”, “paranoid pretexter” “feeding the reptile part of the human brain” and worse.

        I posted a couple of supportive comments but they have gone into the NYT moderation black hole.  Perhaps you can help out?

        One thing I did NOT observe on that thread was preppers being condemned by Trump.

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    • Cia

      I don’t think there will be an effective vaccine for several reasons. There have already been many virus mutations. A vaccine might include antigens to more than one strain, but not all of them, especially new ones. They were never able to develop a safe SARS vaccine because of antibody-dependent enhancement. The presence of disease antibodies causes enhancement, meaning serious symptoms, even death, upon reexposure to the pathogen. The Guardian had an article last week on its being in question whether a satisfactory vaccine could be developed. It is similar with dengue: Dengvaxia was introduced in the Philippines but then banned when it killed 600 children. Recovering from one of the less serious types of dengue can enable the often-deadly dengue hemorrhagic fever.

      a new study from the Prevent Elders Institute in São Paulo, Rodrigo Barbos Esper, et al, revealed dramatic differences in hospitalization rates for coronavirus: those who took HCQ starting in the first week of symptoms had a 1.7% hospitalization rate, while those who did not take it had 5.4% hospitalized. While a leaked WHO study showed that remdesivir for CV had no benefit.

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      • John AdamaStaff Cia

        IIRC, Dr. Fauci recently said they didn’t end up with a SARS vaccine because it went away on its own before they could finish the work.

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      • P B John Adama

        Saw the same interview on “The Ingraham Angle”.

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      • Cia P B

        I didn’t see that. I just found that he also discussed antibody-dependent enhancement in a JAMA interview with Howard Bachman on April 9, on YouTube.

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      • Hardened Cia

        Here’s the link to the interview:

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      • Cia Hardened

        Thank you!

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      • Cia John Adama

        Lucky for them. But it was so horrifying while it lasted that they tried to develop one or more vaccines, but failed because of antibody-dependent enhancement. Those who were supposedly protected by the vaccine had serious reactions, even death, when they were exposed to the virus again. The antibodies, whether acquired from vaccines or from recovering from the natural disease, caused negative enhancement, even death. As did Dengvaxia in the Philippines. Fauci is aware of this problem and has mentioned it.

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      • Cia Cia

        The Guardian, April 18, 2020, Don’t Bet on a Vaccine to Save us from Covid19”.

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      • P B Cia

        Not one to hope blindly and i know little about vaccine development however my hope is that technology has come a long way since then. Largest worry is that I’ve heard there isn’t much money in vaccines. Please speak freely id i’m incorrect.

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      • Cia P B

        There are countless billions in vaccines these days. But they always depend on irritating the immune system into the desired reaction, which often causes excessive and chronic inflammation, vaccine encephalitis, and serious neurological and autoimmune disease. I hope they can develop an effective and relatively safe CV vaccine. We wouldn’t take it, but I would like it to be an available option which people could choose if they were fully informed as to the risks and benefits. When I read about the many vaccines for CV being developed, I thought maybe they had a new angle to overcome the ADE problem, but apparently they don’t. It’s a strange problem, that antibodies from either the vaccine or the natural disease increase the danger of reexposure rather than prevent it. I just found several studies from many years ago with Anthony Fauci listed as a researcher, specifically looking at ADE. I’m very interested in their efforts, and we’ll see if they succeed. I hope everyone who takes the vaccine is aware of the dangers.

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      • Hardened Cia

        Encouraging news:  The British have created a vaccine that works in monkeys.

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      • Hardened Cia

        From “Avoiding pitfalls in the pursuit of a COVID-19 vaccine” (

        … there is some preliminary experimental evidence casting doubt on ADE. Two papers published in March in Cell show that antibodies against the original SARS infection, which emerged in China in 2002, could also block entry of SARS-CoV-2 into human cells. Another preprint study showed that rhesus macaques infected with SARS-CoV-2 and allowed to recover were not infected after a second exposure to the virus. Unless future data correlate severe COVID-19 cases with original SARS infections—or other diagnostic, pathology, or clinical findings indicate ADE—then there is “not much to go on that suggests ADE is a factor,” Rasmussen says.

        Barney Graham, deputy director of the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in Bethesda, MD, which is collaborating with the Cambridge, MA-based biotech Moderna on a COVID-19 vaccine candidate, also questioned the role of ADE. Dengue is a flavivirus, a family of viruses that are known to infect macrophages. FIPV also infects macrophages. ADE is unlikely to occur in the current coronavirus, Graham argues, because it does not target or grow in macrophages. Rather, SARS-CoV-2 primarily infects the respiratory epithelial cells, which present different receptors.

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      • Cia Hardened

        I hope it works! This is interesting information! Thanks!


        i just sent this to two people. I’ll study it carefully!

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