Welcome to the newly revamped Key Developments, now twice weekly and with non-COVID news. Right now, it’s actually still just COVID news, but we’ll be slowly morphing it into something broader as we go.
The world has almost 14 million cases. There have been 591,000 deaths. The US has over 3.6 million cases and has had over 140,000 deaths. The US has gained over 65,000 new cases since yesterday. Brazil remains second in daily case growth, followed by India.
Russia is trying to get its hands on vaccine trial data (read: hacking). Multiple western academic and pharmaceutical institutions have been reportedly been targeted. The increase in teleworking during the pandemic may make this kind of breach more likely.
Cases are rising in most US states:
— CIDRAP (@CIDRAP) July 16, 2020
No other country on the planet is failing as miserably at combating this pandemic as the US:
— WarMonitor (@TheWarMonitor) July 16, 2020
If 1/3 of the kids in Florida are testing positive right now, perhaps pushing a return to school in the fall is not the brightest idea. DeSantis says he’s not concerned about his kids returning to school.
Many ICUs in Florida are full:
Breaking news: CNN has learned that @MiamiDadeCounty has run out of ICU beds as Florida and many southern states experience explosive growth of coronavirus.
— Javi Morgado (@javimorgado) July 15, 2020
Once again, hydroxychloroquine shows no benefit. This time it’s an RCT in patients with mild illness:
“In patients with mild #Covid19, no benefit was observed with HCQ beyond the usual care.” More disappointing data on hydroxychloroquine: This time from Barcelona team incl @oriolmitja that randomized 293 patients to HCQ or no antiviral: https://t.co/1KPITyWES0
— Kai Kupferschmidt (@kakape) July 16, 2020
Unemployment claims have risen by 1.3 million this week, for a total of 51 million Americans filing a claim since the start of the pandemic. States are rapidly depleting their unemployment funds. The unemployment rate is the highest it’s been since the 1940s.
Hospitalizations are rising dramatically in LA County:
Hospitalizations are skyrocketing in Los Angeles County. Please wear a cloth face covering and stay at least 6-feet apart from others in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/4nECCCRhXu
— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) July 16, 2020
Governors in Alabama, Colorado, and Arkansas mandate mask wearing now. Kemp in Georgia, on the other hand, goes and does the opposite and prohibits local government from making mandatory orders that are more stringent than the current state order which simply recommends them. The governor of Oklahoma is positive. He has not mandated mask-wearing. Tennessee is also refusing broad mandates:
Tennessee's governor says no mask order will be issued for the state and further business shutdowns won't happen as cases spike.https://t.co/tom4lrvlSq
— KUTV2news (@KUTV2News) July 15, 2020
The Oxford/AstraZenica vaccine is looking promising. It’s possible it will be ready this year or next. This press release indicates that a study to be released on Monday will show the vaccine causes both seroconversion and t-cell conversion in patients. T-cell response is an important part of the picture:
There's been an explosion of new knowledge on the T cell response to #SARSCoV2 today, filling in big gaps. Overall very reassuring@Nature https://t.co/pMVMCJz0n7 by @Anto_Berto @bertoletti_lab @ScienceMagazine https://t.co/keT0GgxTsR by @Penn_IFI
both reviewed in prior posts pic.twitter.com/91XaXXXIax
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) July 15, 2020
The CDC is no longer collecting COVID-19 data or sharing its hospital capacity dashboard as the HHS is now handling COVID-19 data per White House instructions. After a backlash the HHS instructed the CDC to restore the site, but it still says it’s not posting the data after July 14th. The HHS is also going to be handing over COVID-19 health data to a private company, and that raises a number of questions on its own. The White House seems to be actively withholding COVID-19 data from the public.
This is very bad. https://t.co/KclpYI0zBL
— German Lopez (@germanrlopez) July 16, 2020
The good news keeps coming:
LONDON, July 16 (Reuters) – The novel coronavirus will likely return several times in the coming years, triggering new waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, the British government's chief scientific adviser said on Thursday.
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) July 16, 2020
Bars and restaurants in the Twin Cities, MN area are getting slammed with cases and are shutting down. Closures, more than six in 24 hours, are due to the rise in employee and customer cases.
Pastors and religious leaders are increasingly expecting to keep services remote. A surprising number of churches are choosing to stay open, however: nearly 50%. Some churches are not planning to reopen until next year.
The lag in deaths has caught up, as we knew it would. Deaths went down after cases trended down during lockdowns. As soon as states reopened, we knew cases would start to rise, and then deaths would rise a few weeks after that (it takes a few weeks for the illness to run its course). Deaths are rising now. We seem to be on trend to surpass our previous spring peak.
Air conditioning systems could be facilitating spread. Air currents created by these systems can help keep the droplets suspended. People seek air conditioning indoors, which is the worst place to be during this pandemic. Outdoor spaces are much safer.