Key developments for Thursday, December 10, 2020

Some think the US is gearing up for a strike on Iran. Meanwhile, the US Military is on heightened alert in the Middle East:

And Iran is moving military assets around:

The world has over 70.6 million cases.  The world has added over 5.1 million cases since last Thursday. There have been over 1.5 million deaths in total. The US has over 16 million cases. The US has added over 1.5 million cases since last Thursday. Nearly 300,000 Americans have died. The US has gained over 200,000 new cases since yesterday. The US still leads the world in case growth by far. There have been over 3000 deaths per day in the US for multiple days running:

There have been more new COVID cases in Los Angeles County than in all of Italy today:


Canada approved the Pfizer COVID vaccine yesterday. The FDA has voted favorably on the Pfizer COVID vaccine. Emergency Use Authorization should be granted soon. This is big:

People with severe enough allergies to need an EpiPen may need to talk with their docs before getting an mRNA vaccine. Two vaccine trial participants with severe allergies had anaphalactoid reactions in the UK after getting the vaccine.

Moderna has begin testing its vaccine on children. This is critical, because it’s going to be many months before we have a vaccine approved for the young:

Pandemic-induced financial ruin is resulting in an increase in the shoplifting of food.

China’s Sinopharm vaccine is 86% effective in interim results. It’s the first indication of efficacy numbers on protein based COVID vaccines. It uses inactivated, whole virus. Although it’s not as effective as Pfizer or Moderna it’s still good enough to drive down R and help get the pandemic under control. Hopefully final results will be as good as these interim results.

Healthcare workers are seven times more likely to have severe COVID than other workers and at least twice as likely as other essential workers to get infected.

There are more COVID outbreaks in meat processing plants and more purported attempts at suppression of the information:

We’re still hoping for hundreds of millions to be vaccinated in the US by mid-year 2021, but to get there, we’re going to need the Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines on board as well as the mRNA vaccines.

Metformin is associated with a 21% lower COVID death rate in women. It has the potential for broad use, but it has some unpleasant GI side effects. I know I’d rather have the runs than die on a ventilator, and most would probably agree. Although the mechanism of action isn’t entirely clear, it’s possible that it’s because it has anti-inflammatory effects.