The Environmental Protection Agency says it has a plan to address problems with water infrastructure and sanitation for Native American communities. The EPA will work with the National Tribal Water Council to address inequities in access to indoor plumbing and safe drinking water. Scores of millions of dollars of grants for these projects are ready for disbursement.
The private equity firm Blackstone warns that the current energy crunch could cause social unrest. Oil, gas, and natural gas prices are going to continue to rise. Blackstone predicts that people in the developing world will be most impacted and the most likely to suffer from unrest.
In some places in China, vegetables are more expensive than meat. Heavy storms damaged crops this year. The lack of produce coupled with the pricy energy crunch has folks worried.
Both coasts of the US were battered by storms this week. The East Coast had a significant nor’easter that left hundreds of thousands without power:
A nor’easter that battered the U.S. coast with hurricane-force wind gusts has left 425,000 people without power in Massachusetts and forced the closure of bridges, ferries and schools in the region on Wednesday. https://t.co/99gdnEOCxT
— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) October 27, 2021
The Department of Health and Human Services was evacuated secondary to a bomb threat. No reason or motivation for the threat has been revealed. The DHHS building was swept and cleared.
The world has had 246.2 million COVID cases. The world has gained 3 million cases in the last seven days. There have been ~5 million deaths in total. The US has had a cumulative 46.7 million cases—nearly 500,000 cases were added in the last seven days. Over 763,000 Americans have died—over 10,000 in the last week. The US added nearly 80,000 new cases on Wednesday and over 1,500 deaths that day as well. The US is still leading global daily case gain.
An FDA committee has voted in favor of giving EUA to Pfizer for COVID vaccines for kids aged 5-11. The data on the trials this vote is based on look very good. Kids in this age group get 1/3 the dose of an adult. The CDC will likely move to approve this as well. Doses could begin getting doled out as soon as the first week of November. Why these committees didn’t schedule meetings on this to help get kids vaccinated before they take to the streets in massive hordes on Halloween is beyond me, but I’ll take what I can get:
FDA committee votes in favor of granting emergency use authorization for Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 https://t.co/uFL59ihtsD
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) October 26, 2021
Vaccination rates impact regional COVID rates. States and regions with low vaccine uptake suffer much higher caseloads:
The 2 extremes of the US pandemic are not on its Mainland: Alaska and Puerto Rico
Alaska: back up to 140 cases/100,000 people, 31 hospitalizations/100K, 52% vaccinated
Highest case/capita of any country or state in the world
Puerto Rico: 3 hospitalizations/100K, 69% vaccinated pic.twitter.com/hifDzT5ZxE
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) October 26, 2021
Merck says it will allow other companies around the world to make its pill for COVID treatment. This will give millions of people around the globe access to a potentially life-saving drug. Vaccine makers have not yet agreed to do what Merck is doing.
People with a compromised immune system may be eligible for a 4th COVID vaccine dose:
CDC updates its Covid vaccine guidance for large swaths of immunocompromised people, saying they can receive a fourth dose of the vaccine at least six months after completing their primary vaccination series. https://t.co/LkQPZJmOXz
— Breaking News (@BreakingNews) October 27, 2021
There’s an antidepressant, fluvoxamine, that cuts COVID hospitalizations and risk significantly. Large trials have shown definite benefit over placebo.