News roundup for Fri, May 7, 2021

A Federal Judge has vacated the eviction moratorium. The DOJ is planning to appeal the ruling:

Montana plans to stop some federally funded unemployment benefits, citing a workforce shortage. It seems odd to do this considering its unemployment rate is currently 3.8%–the unemployment rate peaked at nearly 12% last year.

The military is working on wound gel treatments that can help seal arterial wounds in the field. Previous arterial gels have been studied but failed safety trials.

Genetically modified mosquitos have been released in the Florida Keys. The modified mosquitos pass along a fatal gene to female offspring, but not male offspring. Only female mosquitos bite and feed from animals. Previous trials of these kinds of modified mosquitos caused a 90% drop in mosquito populations. The aim of this effort is to reduce the spread of mosquito-borne disease.

The world has over 156.6 million COVID cases.  The world has gained over 5.6 million cases in a week and has maintained a similar weekly case gain for multiple weeks in a row. There have been nearly 3.3 million deaths in total. The US has over 33.3 million cases. Over 593,000 Americans have died. There have been 841 deaths in the last 24 hours in the US. The US gained over 45,000 new cases in the last day. India is leading the globe in daily deaths, with over 3,900 in the last day. India has also gained over 414,000 new cases in the last day. Brazil had over 2,500 deaths in the last day.

Deaths are way down in Los Angeles County—there are nearly 11 million people in the region:

As vaccine uptake slows, states are told to use or lose:

Pfizer is moving for EUA for younger children:

The Biden Administration says it supports the waiver of intellectual property rights on COVID vaccines. This will help other countries make their own (provided, of course, that they have the infrastructure to do so). Pharmaceutical stocks dropped precipitously after the release of the statement:

Moderna says it can provide a booster shot that protects against multiple variants. I’ve read that boosters don’t require the same safety scrutiny that non-booster vaccines do—they only require initial trials, not phase 3 trials, prior to approval:

Birth rates in the US have plummeted—a trend accelerated by the pandemic:

The possibility of a lab origin of the pandemic virus is once again in the news cycle. So far there are no definitive answers, but there are increasingly good arguments to be weary of a hasty dismissal of the idea.

COVID is creating a twin epidemic of diabetes. COVID survivors are almost 40% more likely to get a new diagnosis of diabetes in the first six months after recovery.

Vaccine ambivalence and hesitancy among Republicans is dropping. The percentage of Republicans who say they will “definitely not” get the vaccine is also declining.

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