First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting.
Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that.
I had this written before yesterday’s predictable–and predicted–seditious scene at the Capitol. I did not redo it and will not rehash it, but will add two telling tweets:
(no details of the methodology of this poll of 1,397 registered voters)
It’s a shame this joyous occasion was overshadowed by the violence, but let’s still celebrate this historic event:
BREAKING: Democrat Jon Ossoff has defeated GOP incumbent David Perdue in Georgia’s runoff, reports @AP.— AJ+ (@ajplus) January 6, 2021
With Raphael Warnock’s win, the Senate is now split 50-50, and VP-elect Kamala Harris will have the tie-breaking vote. pic.twitter.com/OxiGexo93R
I didn’t know the historical context of Ossoff’s win. This is a good lesson:
We couldn’t find a “fat lady” singing … but you get the idea… pic.twitter.com/AvF1pZleOE— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) January 6, 2021
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How does MINORITY Leader Mitch McConnell sound to you???— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) January 6, 2021
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WATCH: This is the moment Republicans voted to remove Lt. Gov. John Fetterman — who objected, as presiding officer, to the GOP’s efforts to block Sen. Jim Brewster from taking the oath of office. pic.twitter.com/Z9nhGUQ0rd— Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (@PittsburghPG) January 6, 2021
still an incredible, negligent lack of testing.
Drugs and Vaccines:
Debate continues on approach to vaccinations. Give 2 doses, as studied, or focus on getting 1 dose into more people as quickly as possible, delaying the 2nd
Here’s a rational proposal to compare and study this relatively quickly:
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More on the timing debate from physicians Bob Wachter and Ashish Jha (pro single dose to more, quickly)
As expected, our @washingtonpost editorial today on the delayed second dose vaccine strategy has generated a vigorous and interesting dialogue. https://t.co/ZxrgVj3TJe Here are my takeaways (a thread): 1/18— Bob Wachter (@Bob_Wachter) January 4, 2021
b. Concern that delay means more people won’t return for 2nd dose – we can probably estimate this from other programs w/ return visits at variable times. Is it really true that people will have a harder time coming back in 3 months than 1, or we'll lose track of them more? 13/18— Bob Wachter (@Bob_Wachter) January 4, 2021
vs. Florian Krammer, another virologist, against single dose:
2) I don't know if 12 weeks is going to be a huge issue, but that time frame should be minimized as much as possible. Also, there are good reasons for giving the second dose. It is likely that the second dose is needed to generate long lived and strong immunity.— Florian Krammer (@florian_krammer) January 3, 2021
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Chief Operation Warp Speed adviser Moncef Slaoui suggested giving adults 18-55 two half-doses of the Moderna vaccine to help speed up the rollout. (CNBC)–
FDA says to stick w original 2 dose administration that has been studied.
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But a big problem, besides supply, is that the states are not prepared to administer the vaccines they have on hand. Where was the planning?
A single-dose regimen that offers less protection from COVID-19 may alleviate supply constraints w/ 2-dose vaccine— Tom Bollyky (@TomBollyky) January 4, 2021
But it does so at expense of aggravating demand & administration constraints that are greater hurdle to vaccinating vulnerable groups in UShttps://t.co/eDH8oI65E5
Carl Zimmer has a nicely illustrated series of explainers on how the different vaccines work
Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/health/oxford-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine.html
(Pfizer’s and Moderna’s work the same way, but require different storage temperatures).
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Excellent thread on improving vaccine distribution. Start here:
Vaccines don't save lives, vaccinations do. The Trump administration's plan to get vaccines in to the arms of Americans has largely failed, with now only 28.4% of the distributed doses administered. Here I propose my vaccination plan, leveraging key locations for vaccination. pic.twitter.com/ZuKw1FI4hc— Benjy Renton (@bhrenton) January 5, 2021
Relying on CVS and Walgreens as cornerstones of a vaccine rollout plan is like using a spigot at a camping site to put out a forest fire. We need to be erecting mass vaccination sites, strategically placed across the country.
First, let us discuss breadth. The Trump administration has forged partnerships with ~37 pharmacy companies to help distribute vaccines. As we can see from this @NBCNews analysis, 80% of Americans live within 5 miles of a participating pharmacy chain.
We need more mass vaccination sites. As a geographer, I look at why places are located where they are and how they can best serve communities. Here are my criteria for a possible vaccination site:
– The site cannot disrupt normal function of society (schools less ideal) – High throughput of individuals – Need the ability to hold and monitor for allergic reactions – Cannot cause a superspreader event during vaccination (no tight indoor spaces)
The key here is while pharmacies will be a huge help, we need to increase our reach into “pharmacy deserts.” @JoeBiden has advocated for vaccination mobile to reach rural America, but to enhance reach we turn to one place: the fairground.
Using geospatial analysis to estimate individuals’ proximity to a fairground, convention center or exhibition center, we can see that 45% of Americans live within 5 miles of these locations. These are now often unused and suitable for mass drive-through or walk-in vaccination…
However, in urban areas, convention centers may not be enough. It is for this reason we discuss depth in vaccination: enabling high-capacity mass vaccination sites. For this, we turn to major sporting venues (MLB, NBA, NCAA, NFL, etc.). This is where depth comes in.
Experts such as @JReinerMD and @PeterHotez have called for these sites to be opened as mass vaccination centers. The federal government should forge partnerships with these organizations (good PR opportunity for them) and start setting then up.
MLB stadiums are critical locations to help address racial and ethic inequities. In counties with stadiums, the average percentage of Black residents is 22%, compared to 9% in counties without stadiums. For Hispanic residents, those statistics are 19% and 11%.
As we can see from this scatter plot, some counties (especially those in the South) have high proportions of Black residents but low numbers of pharmacies per capita. This is why not 1 type of location (pharmacies) will solely work; enhancing our portfolio of sites is necessary. pic.twitter.com/dVusciVzYX— Benjy Renton (@bhrenton) January 5, 2021
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I'm only half-joking when I say they should recruit vets to help give the vaccine. On any given vaccine clinic day, I can get 60+ patients done in 2 hours, and that's patients trying to bite me.— Mark Primiano (@Doctor1Hundred) January 3, 2021
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Its freezer kaput, this NorCal hospital had two hours to give out vaccine shots https://t.co/A5miJ1ccrw— L.A. Times Health (@latimeshealth) January 5, 2021
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Lower zinc levels linked to higher risk of death from COVID-19
StudyFinds by John Anderer
BARCELONA, Spain — A recent study is making a strong case for all of us to add a bit more zinc to our diets. Spanish researchers report COVID-19 patients with low levels of zinc suffer from poorer health outcomes and a higher risk of death.
For years, zinc has had a reputation for impeding the replication and reproduction of multiple viruses in the blood. However, the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 and zinc is still largely unknown. The study, led by Dr. Roberto Güerri-Fernández from Hospital Del Mar in Barcelona, is providing some much needed clarity.
Researchers conducted a retrospective analysis on a group of asymptomatic COVID-19 patients being treated between March and April of 2020. The team included factors like demography, pre-existing chronic conditions, laboratory results, and chosen treatments. They also looked at the “clinical severity” of each patient’s COVID-19 infection. Importantly, the study measured each patient’s baseline zinc levels upon admission to the hospital.
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Inspiring role model, building trust in the Black community
@DrRayMD and @NdidiUnaka I thought of you both when I saw this post on Facebook. Eric Yancy is a legendary community pediatrician in Indianapolis who I had the pleasure of learning from while a Resident at Riley. pic.twitter.com/TqVlLTlZOa— Chris Peltier, MD, FAAP (@cpeltier007) December 31, 2020
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.@UCSanDiego introduces vending machines for #COVID19 tests.— Josh Barocas, MD (@jabarocas) January 6, 2021
How about throwing in some #narcan, rapid #HIV tests, masks, and condoms and you have a real #harmreduction innovation? @ABC https://t.co/4YCgaNurub
U.S. coronavirus cases crossed the 20 million mark on Friday
it took 200 days to reach the first 5 million cases, 93 days to go from 5 million cases to 10 million, 31 days from 10 million to 15 million cases and only 25 days to go from 15 million to 20 million cases.
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Q&A: Will COVID-19 become endemic?
During a recent WHO briefing, David L. Heymann, MD, chair of WHO’s Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Infectious Hazards, said vaccines and good public health practice will help the world “learn to live with COVID-19.”
“It appears at present that the destiny of SARS-CoV-2 is to become endemic, as have four other human coronaviruses, and that it will continue to mutate as it reproduces in human cells, especially in areas of more intense transmission,” said Heymann, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
We asked Heymann to further discuss the potential of COVID-19 to stick around despite the availability of effective vaccines.
Q: Will SARS-CoV-2 become endemic?
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SARS-CoV2 transmission on international flight (Boeing 777)
The virus spread despite 5 of them reporting mask use.
3/Pre-flight testing did not catch the index case infection. Post-flight testing while in quarantine in New Zealand did, underscoring the importance of policy that requires quarantine for visitors. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/27/3/20-4714_article
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NEW: The Trump administration allowed 15 poultry plants to increase line speeds during the pandemic, which appears to have hastened the spread of covid-19. Biden has opposed faster line speeds. By @kimberlykindyhttps://t.co/TyAorBxF3z— Brady Dennis (@brady_dennis) January 4, 2021
Tips, general reading for public:
Wash your hands.
Rinse and repeat.
The Washington Post obtained a recording of Trump urging Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to overturn the results of the election.— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) January 3, 2021
Here’s the audio…pic.twitter.com/VaEUgHuuu5
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Atlanta-area mail delays, which Postmaster Louis DeJoy promised would improve following the national slowdown last summer, remain far below USPS standards, threatening to disenfranchise thousands of legal voters who mailed in ballots in the runoffs. https://t.co/G3cj6ofxVX— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 5, 2021
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Jonathan Swan Describes How Lincoln Project Pence Ad Set Off Trump: He Was 'Enraged' https://t.co/sh0Zx4SNna— Mediaite (@Mediaite) January 5, 2021
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I'm so pissed off right now! Healthcare workers are dying on the frontlines treating patients with COVID in Arizona with ZERO HELP from Gov @dougducey and his son Jack Ducey is having maskless parties? UNBELIEVABLE!!! pic.twitter.com/4Wyf6qEJ0B— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) January 5, 2021
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So @GovRicketts – you’re alright with these frontline workers toiling for your meatpacking factories, but you’re not OK with vaccinating them? That’s inhumane.— Abraar Karan (@AbraarKaran) January 5, 2021
How do these people get elected? #covid19 https://t.co/SIOs5RDVfA
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The same thing happened Friday in Gwinnett County, GA, a notoriously pro-ICE county: The new sheriff ran on terminating 287(g), & he did so immediately upon taking office.— Taniel (@Taniel) January 5, 2021
Context: In November, I wrote on the transformation in these 2 counties: https://t.co/vX017kGUkL
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Leo Frank, 31-year-old president of the Atlanta chapter of B’nai B’rith, was lynched in Marietta, Georgia, 105 years ago last summer, causing many fellow Jews to leave the state. This is one important backstory of Jon Ossoff’s campaign to become a U.S. Senator tonight. pic.twitter.com/pjO6YwCP8c— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) January 6, 2021
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Covid cases are 16% higher per capita in the counties Trump solidly won in Georgia & deaths are 37% higher. – Charles Gaba
Feel good du jour:
Some good news: Ahmed Muhammad, founder of Kits Cubed, a nonprofit that aims to make STEM education more accessible, has been accepted into Stanford University. https://t.co/mYNJXn2JM7— KQED (@KQED) January 5, 2021
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My nephew wanted to play the cello w/ me to start the new year 🎻 pic.twitter.com/tzWSUU8hDb— Ruben Harris – rub3nharris.eth (@rubenharris) January 2, 2021
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Bits of beauty: