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Florida Reports Another 10k COVID-19 Cases As Dozens Of ICUs Are Overwhelmed: Live Updates

Florida Reports Another 10k COVID-19 Cases As Dozens Of ICUs Are Overwhelmed: Live Updates

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Florida Reports Another 10k COVID-19 Cases As Dozens Of ICUs Are Overwhelmed: Live Updates Tyler Durden Wed, 07/08/2020 - 10:47

Summary:

  • 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

* * *

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....

* * *

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."

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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."

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.

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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“The Real President Is Whoever Controls The Teleprompter”: Musk Delivers Scathing Criticism Of Biden

"The Real President Is Whoever Controls The Teleprompter": Musk Delivers Scathing Criticism Of Biden

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch…

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"The Real President Is Whoever Controls The Teleprompter": Musk Delivers Scathing Criticism Of Biden

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times,

Tech billionaire Elon Musk this week warned that the United States must take steps to address inflation or it will end up like socialist Venezuela.

Musk, who is currently in the process of acquiring Twitter, told a virtual conference that he believes the government has printed too much money in recent years.

“I mean, the obvious reason for inflation is that the government printed a zillion amount of more money than it had, obviously,” Musk said, likely referring to COVID-19 relief stimulus packages worth trillions of dollars that were passed in recent years.

U.S. inflation rose by 8.3 percent in April, compared with the previous year. That’s slightly lower than the 8.5 percent spike in March, but it’s still near the 40-year high.

“So it’s like the government can’t … issue checks far in excess of revenue without there being inflation, you know, velocity of money held constant,” the Tesla CEO said.

“If the federal government writes checks, they never bounce. So that is effectively creation of more dollars. And if there are more dollars created, then the increase in the goods and services across the economy, then you have inflation, again, velocity of money held constant.”

If governments could merely “issue massive amounts of money and deficits didn’t matter, then, well, why don’t we just make the deficit 100 times bigger,” Musk asked. “The answer is, you can’t because it will basically turn the dollar into something that is worthless.”

“Various countries have tried this experiment multiple times,” Musk said.

“Have you seen Venezuela? Like the poor, poor people of Venezuela are, you know, have been just run roughshod by their government.”

In 2018, Venezuela, a country with significant reserves of oil and gas, saw its inflation rise more than 65,000 percent amid an economic crash that included plummeting oil prices and government price controls. The regime of Nicolas Maduro then started printing money, thereby devaluing its currency, which caused prices to rapidly increase.

During the conference, Musk also said the Biden administration “doesn’t seem to get a lot done” and questioned who is actually in charge. 

“The real president is whoever controls the teleprompter,” he said.

“The path to power is the path to the teleprompter.”

“The Trump administration, leaving Trump aside, there were a lot of people in the administration who were effective at getting things done,” he remarked.

Musk’s comment about the White House comes as Jeff Bezos, also one of the richest people in the world, has increasingly started to target the administration’s economic policies. Bezos, in a series of Twitter posts, said the rapid increase in federal spending is the reason why inflation is as high as it is.

“Remember the Administration tried their best to add another $3.5 TRILLION to federal spending,” Bezos wrote on Monday, drawing rebuke from several White House officials. “They failed, but if they had succeeded, inflation would be even higher than it is today, and inflation today is at a 40-year high.”

Tyler Durden Tue, 05/17/2022 - 15:05

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Type-I interferon stops immune system ‘going rogue’ during viral infections

Hamilton, ON (May 17, 2022) – McMaster University researchers have found not only how some viral infections cause severe tissue damage, but also how…

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Hamilton, ON (May 17, 2022) – McMaster University researchers have found not only how some viral infections cause severe tissue damage, but also how to reduce that damage.

Credit: Georgia Kirkos/McMaster University

Hamilton, ON (May 17, 2022) – McMaster University researchers have found not only how some viral infections cause severe tissue damage, but also how to reduce that damage.

 

They have discovered how Type I interferon (IFN) stops the immune system ‘going rogue’ and attacking the body’s own tissues when fighting viral infections, including COVID-19.

 

Their paper was published in the journal PLOS Pathogens today.

  

Senior author Ali Ashkar said IFN is a well-known anti-viral signalling molecule released by the body’s cells that can trigger a powerful immune response against harmful viruses.

 

“What we have found is that it is also critical to stop white blood cells from releasing protease enzymes, which can damage organ tissue. It has this unique dual function to kick start an immune response against a viral infection on the one hand, as well as restrain that same response to prevent significant bystander tissue damage on the other,” he said.

 

The research team investigated IFN’s ability to regulate a potentially dangerous immune response by testing it on both flu and the HSV-2 virus, a highly prevalent sexually transmitted pathogen, using mice. Data from COVID-19 patients in Germany, including post-mortem lung samples, was also used in the study.

 

“For many viral infections, it is not actually the virus that causes most of the tissue damage, it is our heightened immune activation towards the virus,” said Ashkar, a professor of medicine at McMaster.

  

First co-author of the study and PhD student Emily Feng said: “Our body’s immune response is trying to fight off the virus infection, but there’s a risk of damaging innocent healthy tissue in the process. IFNs regulates the immune response to only target tissues that are infected.

 

“By discovering the mechanisms the immune system uses that can inadvertently cause tissue damage, we can intervene during infection to prevent this damage and not necessarily have to wait until vaccines are developed to develop life-saving treatments,” she added.

 

“This applies not just to COVID-19, but also other highly infectious viruses such as flu and Ebola, which can cause tremendous and often life-threatening damage to the body’s organs,” said first study co-author Amanda Lee, a family medicine resident. 

 

Ashkar said the release of harmful proteases is the result of a ‘cytokine storm’, which is life-threatening inflammation sometimes triggered by viral infections. It has been a common cause of death in patients with COVID-19, but treatment has been developed to prevent and suppress the cytokine storm.

 

Ashkar said that steroids like dexamethasone are already used to rein in an extreme immune response to viral infections. The authors used doxycycline in their study, an antibiotic used for bacterial infections and as an anti-inflammatory agent, inhibits the function of proteases causing the bystander tissue damage.

 

Lee added: “This has the potential in the future to be used to alleviate virus-induced life-threatening inflammation and warrants further research.” 

 

The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

 

-30-

 

Editors:

Pictures of Ali Ashkar and Emily Feng may be found at https://bit.ly/3wmSw0D

  

 

 


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mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna fare better against COVID-19 variants of concern

A comparison of four COVID-19 vaccinations shows that messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines — Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — perform better against the World…

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A comparison of four COVID-19 vaccinations shows that messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines — Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — perform better against the World Health Organization’s variants of concern (VOCs) than viral vector vaccines — AstraZeneca and J&J/Janssen. Although they all effectively prevent severe disease by VOCs, the research, publishing May 17th in the open access journal PLOS Medicine, suggests that people receiving a viral vector vaccine are more vulnerable to infection by new variants.

Credit: Carlos Reusser Monsalvez, Flickr (CC0, https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/)

A comparison of four COVID-19 vaccinations shows that messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines — Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — perform better against the World Health Organization’s variants of concern (VOCs) than viral vector vaccines — AstraZeneca and J&J/Janssen. Although they all effectively prevent severe disease by VOCs, the research, publishing May 17th in the open access journal PLOS Medicine, suggests that people receiving a viral vector vaccine are more vulnerable to infection by new variants.

By March 2022, COVID-19 had caused over 450 million confirmed infections and six million reported deaths. The first vaccines approved in the US and Europe that protect against serious infection are Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which deliver genetic code, known as mRNA, to the bodies’ cells, whereas Oxford/AstraZeneca and J&J/Janssen are viral vector vaccines that use a modified version of a different virus — a vector — to deliver instructions to our cells. Three vaccines are delivered as two separate injections a few weeks apart, and J&J/Janssen as a single dose.

Marit J. van Gils at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues, took blood samples from 165 healthcare workers, three and four weeks after first and second vaccination respectively, and for J&J/Janssen at four to five and eight weeks after vaccination. Samples were collected before, and four weeks after a Pfizer-BioNTech booster.

Four weeks after the initial two doses, antibody responses to the original SARS-CoV-2 viral strain were highest in recipients of Moderna, followed closely by Pfizer-BioNTech, and were substantially lower in those who received viral vector vaccines. Tested against the VOCs – Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron – neutralizing antibodies were higher in the mRNA vaccine recipients compared to those who had viral vector vaccines. The ability to neutralize VOCs was reduced in all vaccine groups, with the greatest reduction against Omicron. The Pfizer-BioNTech booster increased antibody responses in all groups with substantial improvement against VOCs, including Omicron.

The researchers caution that their AstraZeneca group was significantly older, because of safety concerns for the vaccine in younger age groups. As immune responses tend to weaken with age, this could affect the results. This group was also smaller because the Dutch government halted use for a period.

van Gils concludes, “Four COVID-19 vaccines induce substantially different antibody responses.”

#####

In your coverage, please use this URL to provide access to the freely available paper in PLOS Medicine:

http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1003991

Citation: van Gils MJ, Lavell A, van der Straten K, Appelman B, Bontjer I, Poniman M, et al. (2022) Antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 variants induced by four different SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in health care workers in the Netherlands: A prospective cohort study. PLoS Med 19(5): e1003991. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003991

 

Author Countries: The Netherlands, United States

 

Funding: This work was supported by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) ZonMw (Vici grant no. 91818627 to R.W.S., S3 study, grant agreement no. 10430022010023 to M.K.B.; RECoVERED, grant agreement no. 10150062010002 to M.D.d.J.), by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (grant no. INV002022 and INV008818 to R.W.S. and INV-024617 to M.J.v.G.), by Amsterdam UMC through the AMC Fellowship (to M.J.v.G.) and the Corona Research Fund (to M.K.B.), and by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program (RECoVER, grant no. 101003589 to M.D.d.J). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


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