Coronavirus Tidbits #81 9/10/20

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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.

New Post @Forbes:

Rural Communities Needlessly Risk Covid-19 From Prisons

Even as I wrote this today, the US Marshals irresponsibly transferred in more prisoners, including at least 1 who has already tested positive.


Trump Knew…

And yet the Republicans remain silent…

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More lies and hiding data by the Trump administration:

The White House has been blocking access to its weekly coronavirus task force reports, enabling the administration and governors to downplay the threat of the virus, according to the Center for Public Integrity (CPI), which has regularly obtained those reports.

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Proud Mama moment–daughter and her team got nice coverage in CNN!

The FDA’s new CURE ID app for frontline doctors could help discover Covid-19 treatments faster

This drug repurposing–researching already approved drugs for new, hard to treat problems–is a very exciting approach to boost drug development for many illnesses.

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Important Food Allergy Warning!

If you have food allergies you should know that the FDA has “loosened” their regulations on labeling ingredients on foods. This means that not everything has to be listed. – via Savannah Marcum

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Stunning photos


still an incredible, negligent lack of testing.


AstraZeneca Vaccine trial put on hold due to serious adverse event (possible side effect) in a volunteer.

This is absolutely the responsible response from a sponsor–pause the trial if something bad happens, so you can sort out if it is related to your drug or treatment or not. Reassuring that AZ did this, given the pressure they are under politically. and financially.

This is one more reason that the FDA should not grant an EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) for distribution of any vaccine before studies are complete or there is such a strong signal of efficacy that it would be unethical to continue a comparison. This is why studies have Data Safety Monitoring Boards.

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The adverse event was transverse myelitis in one patient, which is inflammation of the spinal cord. 

The patient was subsequently felt to have multiple sclerosis as the cause of her symptoms.

As Francis Collins said, when there are many patients, “some of them may get ill and you always have to try to figure out: Is that because of the vaccine, or were they going to get that illness anyway?”

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As Pressure Mounts, CEOs Commit to Science, Safety in Developing COVID-19 Vaccines

The CEOs of nine leading developers of vaccine candidates against COVID-19 today signed a statement pledging “a united commitment to uphold the integrity of the scientific process” by pursuing approvals or emergency use authorizations (EUAs) only for vaccines that pass muster in Phase III trials by proving safety and effectiveness.

The CEOs’ statement comes as their companies race to bring the therapeutics to market, and as President Donald Trump said Friday that the U.S. “remain[s] on track to deliver a vaccine before the end of the year and maybe even before November 1st.”

The companies are AstraZeneca, BioNTech, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Merck & Co., Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer, and Sanofi.


Epidemiology/Infection control:

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That big Sturgis rally? Lot’s of criticism about the claim that it => 250k cases

See thread by Ashish Jha for explanation about the hype around the numbers:

Tips, general reading for public:


Wash your hands.

Rinse and repeat.


Coronavirus cases spike among school-age children in Florida, while state orders some counties to keep data hidden

Infuriating and negligent…all because Trump and DeSantis want kids to be in school…

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Paul Alexander, a senior adviser to HHS’ assistant secretary for public affairs Michael Caputo, tried to stop Fauci from encouraging widespread testing and masks in schools…

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Say goodbye to Fauci…

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Feel good du jour:

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Comic relief:


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“What I regret in my life are failures of kindness. Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded …. sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly.”  George Saunders, 2013.

Bits of beauty:


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  • lydia A.P. Martin

    Dear Judy,

    Both Jim and I enjoy your regular updates, and so to know your expert findings about virus testing and work on a possible virus vaccine for covid 19.
    It was also so good to read about Heather!!! It is wonderful she is also involved in the research area and working for new Cure ID.

    There is so much confusing information, generally, that it is good to have yours as reliable and up to date information.
    We still deal with our daughter’s unreliable informations from conspiracy sources, which are real to her and cause her a great deal of concern, which unfortunately we can not argue or counter as it really leads nowhere But we focus with her on all the positive things in her life.

    All your anecdotes are wonderful, and your nature pictures are very beautiful! Very comforting as well as aesthetically pleasing., and hope giving. There is so much beauty in this world.
    THANK YOU, Judy, for walking with us in this pandemic stricken world. Thank you for all your work and love you put into this. Hug, Lydia.

    • Judy Stone

      Thank you again for your kind words. I’m sorry you are having trouble about conspiracy theories. Heartbreaking. Wish I could help with more than virtual hugs. Take care.