Wed, 07/08/2020 – 10:53
- NYC schools won’t reopen in September, mayor says
- Dr. Fauci: “I never saw a virus with so many symptoms”
- Cuomo calls for press briefing at 1130ET
- Moderna completes trial enrollment
- WHO finally admits there’s “some evidence” of airborne transmission as US severs ties
- Kudlow says moving back toward lockdown would be “a mistake”
- Mt Sinai, Emergent Bio announce plans to test new COVID plasma drug
- US reports 60k+ new cases on Tuesday
- NJ orders mandatory mask wearing outside
- US coronavirus cases top 3 million
- US reports ~44k new cases Tuesday
- 56 Florida ICUs hit full capacity
- Texas hospital occupancy at more than 90%
- World reports 5k new deaths
- US sees highest daily death toll since June 9
- Brazil president says he’s taking hydroxychloroquine
- Trump demands schools reopen in the fall
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Update (1050ET): As we wait to hear from Gov Cuomo at 11:30, NYC Mayor de Blasio has predictably weighed in to announce that the city won’t be reopening schools in September, even though whether the city sticks to this plan will likely be contingent on what happens over the coming months. If there isn’t a resurgence in new cases, it might become difficult to justify.
The plan shared by de Blasio with the NYT reportedly calls for no more than 12 people including teachers to be in a classroom at a time. Most students will only attend class two or maybe three times a week.
About four months after 1.1 million New York City children were forced into online learning, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday that public schools would still not fully reopen in September, saying that classroom attendance would instead be limited to only one to three days a week in an effort to continue to curb the coronavirus outbreak.
The mayor’s release of his plan for the system, by far the nation’s largest, capped weeks of intense debate among elected officials, educators and public health experts over how to bring children back safely to 1,800 public schools.
The decision to opt for only a partial reopening, which is most likely the only way to accommodate students in school buildings while maintaining social distancing, may hinder hundreds of thousands of parents from returning to their pre-pandemic work lives, undermining the recovery of the sputtering local economy.
Still, the staggered schedules in New York City schools for September reflect a growing trend among school systems, universities and colleges around the country, which are all trying to find ways of balancing the urgent need to bring students back to classrooms and campuses while also reducing density to prevent the spread of the virus.
Under the mayor’s plan, there will probably be no more than a dozen people in a classroom at a time, including teachers and aides, a stark change from typical class size in New York City schools, which can hover around 30 children.
Of course, the city still has months to change its mind. With little evidence available on how the virus spreads among, and affects, young children, the city should have a very good safety reason if it wants to keep schools partially shut, hamstringing and burdening millions of working- and middle-class families.
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Update (1030ET): Florida has once again reported roughly 10k new cases of the coronavirus. Florida added 9,989 (+4.7%) new COVID-19 cases Wednesday. Now with 223,783 (up from 213,794 yesterday), the state also reported 14.15% of its 75,865 test results coming back positive. The number of tests run is close to record highs for the state. Florida’s positivity rate has been north of 14% since June 29. The figure is lower than yesterday’s 16.2%.
- FLORIDA COVID-19 CASES RISE 4.7% VS. PREVIOUS 7-DAY AVG. 5%
Its the biggest single-day jump in new cases on a Wednesday, and up 50% from last Wednesday’s reading.
The median age of those infected ticked lower to 39.
* * *
Update (1015ET): Just some food for thought….
FAUCI SAYS NEVER SAW VIRUS WITH SUCH A VARIETY OF SYMPTOMS
Almost as if… it isn’t natural?!
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) July 8, 2020
* * *
Update (1000ET): Doctors have been struggling to explain rare cases of people who are infected with the virus more than once, or whose symptoms just never seem to subside, even after months of infection.
One Texas man who shared his story with CNN said the second time around, his symptoms got “much worse.”
Adam Stadler was sick with Covid-19 for a month and had to be hospitalized. When he recovered, he tested negative twice. But less than two months later, he got coronavirus again.
“This section of it has been a hundred times worse than the first”https://t.co/H86OAHvAl9 pic.twitter.com/9ZDMny7jWZ
— New Day (@NewDay) July 8, 2020
* * *
Update (0950ET): Andrew Cuomo is holding a press conference this morning at 1130ET. The governor previously claimed that he wouldn’t hold another briefing unless he had something notable to share.
I will be holding a briefing and making an announcement at 11:30am ET. Watch here:https://t.co/Fq5qEEPt23
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 8, 2020
* * *
Update (0940ET): As stocks move higher after the open, Moderna just announced that it has completed recruitment for the start of the second phase of its testing, which is by far the most rigorous, and requires tens of thousands of participants.
Moderna says completed enrollment of Phase 2 COVID-19 vaccine study$MRNA
— *Walter Bloomberg (@DeItaOne) July 8, 2020
* * *
Update (0925ET): After some 200 scientists from dozens of countries urged the WHO to acknowledge the growing body of evidence suggesting that the virus can linger in the air and infect people who inadvertently inhale it, making it an “airborne” virus. The WHO had previously maintained that aersolization via coughing or sneezing via symptomatic patients was the primary means of spread.
But as the US officially severs its ties from the organization, the NGO has decided to ‘tweak’ its guidelines, but only mildly.
The World Health Organization confirmed there is “emerging evidence” of airborne transmission of the coronavirus following the publication of a letter Monday signed by 239 scientists that urged the agency to be more forthcoming about the likelihood that people can catch the virus from droplets floating in the air.
Dr. Benedetta Alleganzi, WHO Technical Lead for Infection Prevention and Control, said during a briefing Tuesday, that the agency has discussed and collaborated with many of the scientists who signed the letter.
“We acknowledge that there is emerging evidence in this field, as in all other fields regarding the Covid-19 virus and pandemic and therefore we believe that we have to be open to this evidence and understand its implications regarding the modes of transmission and also regarding the precautions that need to be taken,” Alleganzi said.
Infectious disease epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkove, with WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, said many of the letter’s signatories are engineers, “which adds to growing knowledge about the importance of ventilation, which we feel is very important.”
“We have been talking about the possibility of airborne transmission and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of Covid-19, as well as droplet. We’ve looked at fomites. We’ve looked at fecal oral. We’ve looked at mother to child. We’ve looked at animal to human, of course as well,” Van Kerkove said.
She said the agency is working on a scientific brief summarizing the current knowledge around transmission of the deadly virus, which should be available in the coming weeks.
Even still, the WHO insists that more research is needed on the issue of transmission.
* * *
Update (0900ET): As Trump’s push to reopen schools in the fall elicits the inevitable blowback from the left-leaning press, Larry Kudlow took to CNBC Wednesday morning to defend the policy, and reiterate that ‘the data’ continues to point to a V-shaped recovery, and that taking more steps back toward another lockdown would be “a big mistake.”
— CNBC (@CNBC) July 8, 2020
Earlier, Mt Sinai and Emergent Bio announced plans to cooperate on testing a newly developed drug that uses plasma harvested from the blood of recovered COVID-19 patients to try and prevent infections in front-line workers
NEW YORK and GAITHERSBURG, Md. and NEW ORLEANS and LAFAYETTE, La., July 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Mount Sinai Health System, Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE: EBS), and ImmunoTek Bio Centers today announced that they will collaborate to develop, manufacture, and conduct clinical trials to evaluate Emergent’s COVID-19 hyperimmune globulin product, COVID-HIG, including a post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) study on health care providers at high risk of COVID-19 infection and other high-risk populations, with $34.6 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD) Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND).
* * *
Update (0840ET): Following yesterday’s news that the state’s “R” rate had ticked north of 1, the threshold above which the virus is said to be expanding, New Jersey Gov Phil Murphy is reportedly planning to sign an executive order mandating mask wearing even when outdoors, where the benefits of wearing a mask are marginal, at best.
New Jerseyans may soon be required to wear face coverings outdoors, too, to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, NJ.com reports.
Shorely, you jest
MURPHY TO ORDER NEW JERSEYANS TO WEAR MASKS OUTDOORS
— Tom Flatten The Curve Hearden (@followtheh) July 8, 2020
Meanwhile, according to the latest updated figures released this morning, JHU has actually counted more than 60k new cases on Thursday, a new single day record. That’s more than the roughly 43k we noted earlier. The updated numbers were released just minutes ago.
The US reported exactly 60,021 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, according to JHU data cited by CNBC.
In a graphic produced by a team of BAML analysts, the bank breaks down how the states with the worst outbreaks – Texas, Florida, California and Arizona – are contributing to the bulk of the countrywide outbreak, while the northeastern states that have seen the most effective results have continued to see their numbers dwindle as a percentage of the total cases being counted each day.
Still, daily deaths continue to trend lower. And as we await the ‘inevitable’ jump in deaths, here’s some more food for thought, from Mark Cudmore:
If the surge in U.S. case numbers should result in increasing deaths, why haven’t we seen it by now?
Market bulls point out that the lag between the April peaks in U.S. daily cases and deaths was only five days. The lag was six days in Italy, eight days in Spain and 11 days in the U.K. We’re way past those spans now in the Sun Belt states where cases have been climbing, which is why several readers rejected my proposition this week that it was premature to relax around the trend in the U.S. death numbers.
* * *
The US coronavirus outbreak crossed a grim milestone of over 3 million confirmed cases on Tuesday as more states reported record numbers of new infections, while dozens of hospitals in Florida are facing a shortage of ICU beds.
Meanwhile, the US reported 44,953 new cases on Tuesday (remember, these numbers are reported with a 24-hour delay).
Globally, the world reported roughly 5k new deaths yesterday as the US saw its death toll top 130k.
Roughly 20% of new deaths yesterday were recorded in the US as it suffered the biggest jump in deaths in a month.
When we left off last night, 43 ICUs in the state of Florida had reached full capacity.
The number of patients in ICU beds has climbed from 180 on June 25 to 343 as of July 7, according to the data. There were 1,656 Covid-19 patients in hospital as of July 7, with 175 on ventilators, up from 885 patients in hospital on June 25, when there were 84 on ventilators.
At last count, 56 ICUs across Florida have reached capacity, according to CNN.
While Florida’s hospitals appear to be seeing the most problems with capacity, Texas isn’t far behind. Nearly 80% of the state’s hospital beds are in use, and ICUs are filling up in San Antonio and Houston, which are some of the biggest cities in the entire US. As the AP reports, leaders are warning their health facilities could become overwhelmed in the coming days.
While rising cases have reflected rising tests, and while deaths have continued to trend lower despite yesterday’s spike, Texas has a positive test rate of 13.5%, more than double the share from a month prior, even as the number of tests being carried out each day have increased substantially.
In North Houston, one hospital, United Memorial has been rapidly dedicating more and more space to virus care. Now, 88 of 117 beds are devoted to such patients, and it’s weighing the possibility of going ‘all-COVID-19’.
Finally, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Wednesday, one day after confirming he had tested positive for the virus, that he was taking hydroxychloroquine as part of his treatment regimen, and that he was feeling fine.
As the White House ratchets up pressure on Hong Kong, which reported 24 new COVID cases, with 19 of them locally transmitted infections, and 5 imported cases.
President Trump, meanwhile, is doubling down on his demands that schools across the US prepare to reopen in the fall, while accusing local officials (who have total control over education since education is handled at the local level in the US) of putting politics before the best interests of the community, according to the NYT.
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Author: Tyler Durden
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