Coronavirus Tidbits #50 5/21/20

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Announcements:

First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting.

Tidbits will likely be a bit shorter and a little less frequent for the next little bit. I have been immersed in it and I need to spend a little more time on self-care, which for me means seeing the spring flowers emerge and digging in the dirt.

Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that.

News 

More lies and deflection from the WH

REPORTER: The US has 4 percent of the world’s population and 30 percent of the Covid-19 cases. What would you have done differently? TRUMP: “Well, nothing.”

“We are in that category along with Germany as the lowest … if you don’t include New York & New Jersey we’re just about in a class by ourselves” —

Reality: the US has more than twice as many deaths as 2nd-hardest hit country & is 12th worst in terms of deaths per one million people.

US: 29 dead per 100.000 capita

Germany: 10 dead per 100 k. Source: Johns Hopkins Uni.

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The Lancet Medical Journal Refutes Trump Statement On WHO’s Response To COVID-19 In China

His “statement is factually incorrect,” the British journal politely stated.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/trump-who-the-lancet-coronavirus_n_5ec3f5f9c5b6f29ae489512c

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Rebekah Jones, Florida Health Department manager, says she was  forced to resign, for refusing to delete coronavirus data

https://www.tampabay.com/news/health/2020/05/19/florida-health-department-officials-told-manager-to-delete-coronavirus-data-before-reassigning-her-emails-show/

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‘Hard stop’: States could lose National Guard virus workers

The Trump administration’s order ends deployments on June 24, just one day before thousands would qualify for education and retirement benefits.

Governors fear that will help fuel a second wave.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/19/national-guard-coronavirus-267514

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Wait for more clusters of Covid from religious groups:

a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order to allow religious groups in North Carolina to assemble for services inside for the next 14 days — striking down Gov. Roy Cooper’s (D) executive order that banned large gatherings inside houses of worship as part of the state’s first phase of reopening…

yet Appellate court agrees that Illinois stay-at-home order does not discriminate against religious groups

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Navajo Native Americans in New Mexico have now surpassed NY in coronavirus cases.

Unconscionable that in 2020 is that many do not have water, no broadband (internet) and must travel miles for food.

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Some people are claiming stores requiring facemasks is an ADA violation. It’s not. Here’s the scoop:

More at https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1262456063565139971.html

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says four-day workweek could help rebuild country’s economy after COVID-19

Microsoft tried this last year w a 40% increase in productivity.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/new-zealand-four-day-workweek-jacinda-ardern/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab7e&linkId=89063164

Diagnostics:

still an incredible, negligent lack of testing.

This article is pretty damning about #COVID19 testing data combining screening and antibody tests. Could be used for “How to Lie With Statistics.”

‘How Could the CDC Make That Mistake?’

The government’s disease-fighting agency is conflating viral and antibody tests, compromising a few crucial metrics that governors depend on to reopen their economies. Pennsylvania, Georgia, Texas, and other states are doing the same.

This is not merely a technical error. States have set quantitative guidelines for reopening their economies based on these flawed data points.

The two tests are totally different signals,” Harvard’s Ashish Jha told (The Atlantic). By combining the two types of results, the CDC has made them both “uninterpretable,” he said.

the inclusion of antibody data in Florida is one reason the CDC has reported hundreds of thousands more tests in Florida than the state government has.

So blending viral and antibody tests “will drive down your positive rate in a very dramatic way,” Jha said.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/05/cdc-and-states-are-misreporting-covid-19-test-data-pennsylvania-georgia-texas/611935/

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Georgia, in particular, seemed to go out of their way to dupe people

What a surprise!

“The state of Georgia made it look like its covid cases were going down ***by putting the dates out of order on its chart*** May 5 was followed by April 25, then back to May again, whatever made it look like a downslope.”
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-05-18/georgia-coronavirus-numbers-reopening-manipulated-data-brian-kemp ~ ~ ~

Scientists baffled by decision to stop a pioneering coronavirus testing project

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01543-x?utm_source

Drugs:

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FDA’s Stephen Hahn appears to have wimped out about hydroxychloroquine after Trump says he takes it

FDA now says that taking hydroxychloroquine is “ultimately” a choice between patients and their health-care providers, appearing to soften its earlier advisory against taking the anti-malaria drug outside of a hospital.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/19/fda-appears-to-soften-stance-on-hydroxychloroquine-after-trump-says-he-takes-malaria-drug.html

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Hydroxychloroquine drug touted by Trump is linked to increased risk of death in coronavirus patients, study says

For those given hydroxychloroquine, there was a 34 percent increase in risk of mortality and a 137 percent increased risk of a serious heart arrhythmias. For those receiving hydroxychloroquine and an antibiotic — the cocktail endorsed by Trump — there was a 45 percent increased risk of death and a 411 percent increased risk of serious heart arrhythmias.

Those given chloroquine had a 37 percent increased risk of death and a 256 percent increased risk of serious heart arrhythmias. For those taking chloroquine and an antibiotic, there was a 37 percent increased risk of death and a 301 percent increased risk of serious heart arrhythmias.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/22/hydroxychloroquine-coronavirus-study/? citing The Lancet:

https://www.thelancet.com/lancet/article/s0140673620311806

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Don’t trust the hype about Moderna’s vaccine…

They only reported results on 8 of 45 trial participants.

We don’t know how long the antibodies formed will last, or if they are protective.

https://www.statnews.com/2020/05/19/vaccine-experts-say-moderna-didnt-produce-data-critical-to-assessing-covid-19-vaccine/

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T cells found in coronavirus patients ‘bode well’ for long-term immunity

two studies show infected people harbor T cells that target the virus—and may help them recover. Both studies also found that some people never infected with SARS-CoV-2 have these cellular defenses, most likely because they were previously infected with other coronaviruses that cause the common cold.

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/368/6493/809.full

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Two studies in monkeys suggest COVID-19 antibodies provide immunity

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-05/bidm-bvp051920.php

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‘It’s something I have never seen’: How the Covid-19 virus hijacks cells

https://www.statnews.com/2020/05/21/coronavirus-hijacks-cells-in-unique-ways/?

Devices:

Survey finds 87% of America’s nurses forced to reuse protective equipment

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/20/survey-finds-87-of-americas-nurses-are-forced-to-reuse-protective-equipment

In the meanwhile:

Epidemiology/Infection control:

New resource:

The COVID Racial Data Tracker

https://covidtracking.com/race

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Why Do Countries’ COVID-19 Death Rates Vary So Much?

— Multiple factors at play: testing capacity, case definitions, age distribution, preparedness

https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/86527?

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Why public bathrooms are a stumbling block for reopening.

A variety of approaches, many involving hiring extra workers to clean.

“People are converting to fixtures with touchless features,” said Jon Dommisse, director of strategy for Bradley Corp., a Wisconsin-based maker of workplace washroom equipment. “They’re swapping out faucets, dryers, anything with buttons, levers, knobs. They’re reducing the number of people allowed in at a time, taking doors off and adding wash stations outside the bathroom to relieve crowding. Most of all, we’re seeing a commitment to almost relentless levels of cleaning.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/coronavirus-reopen-bathrooms/2020/05/18/a6ed57fc-93ba-11ea-82b4-c8db161ff6e5_story.html

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Tips, general reading for public:

StayAtHome

Wash your hands.

Rinse and repeat.

Politics:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/05/20/trump-just-said-corrupt-part-out-loud/

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Snark du jour. Pelosi really knows how to needle Trump,

calling him “morbidly obese.”

“I didn’t know that he would be so sensitive, he’s always talking about other people’s weight, their pounds, so — I don’t want to spend any more time on his distraction because as you see in the last couple of days, so much of the time has been spent on what he said rather than that, I think he should recognize his words weigh a ton,” Pelosi said, noting the times he told Americans to inject disinfectant…. “Let’s not dwell on him, we have to dwell on is over 90,000 Americans have died,…”

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Precisely what I’ve said about the pseudopatriotic macho showmanship display in lieu of doing anything useful:

Feel good du jour:

When a family’s outdoor sculptures were stolen, neighbors rallied. Now, towering art lines their street.

While having someone steal their art is rotten, seeing neighbors rally and now have a rotating display of art in their neighborhood is pretty cool.

https://youtu.be/MxUDo0ljIFs

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Comic relief:

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Perspective/Poem

Thoughtful read by Dr. Milton Packer

Universal SARS-CoV-2 Testing Is the Answer to Social Distancing

https://www.medpagetoday.com/blogs/revolutionandrevelation/86584?

Bits of beauty:

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