Coronavirus Tidbits #89 10/7/20 COVITA special


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.


Trump rollercoaster

includes hospitalization at Walter Reed, Rx w Remdesivir, Regeneron's monoclonal antibody (made with embryonic tissue). Decadron was added--that's given for folks w pneumonia and is not consistent w "mild" disease. No mention of Hydroxychloroquine. Decadron can cause agitation, delirium, can also => depression, coming off the high it gives some people.

He then staged his joy ride to meet his fans (the white supremacist Proud Boys), endangering his Secret Service Agents force to be with him in an enclosed space w minimal ventilation.

Trump claimed that "Covid is no big deal" and people should not let their lives be dominated by it...ignoring the 200,000 dead here alone. Facebook has deleted a post in which President Trump had claimed Covid-19 was "less lethal" than the flu.

Then yesterday (10/5) he insisted on returning to the White House, with a dramatic made-for-Hollywood entrance. Upon his return, he promptly removed his mask, exposing those around him, and showing that he has learned Zero from this experience. His balcony scene was reminiscent of Evita.

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US military chiefs in quarantine after Adm Charles W Ray, the vice commandant of the US Coast Guard, tests positive

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White House staff and senior Republicans who have contracted COVID-19-

but White House reportedly decided not to ask the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help “contact-trace” and none is being done

Melania -- "feels well"

Kellyanne Conway -- ill

Hope Hicks -- ill

Kayleigh McEnany -- asymptomatic; not wearing a mask to meet w press

Chris Christie -- checked into hospital

Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wi) -- went to Oktoberfest

Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC)

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT)

Nicholas Luna, an assistant and ‘body man’ for Trump

RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel

Notre Dame President John Jenkins


Claudia Conway -- who said Kellyanne lied to her that she had a negative test

Bill Stepian, campaign manager

2 military aides

a military staffer “directly assigned to support the President”

2 communications aides Chad Gilmartin and Karoline Leavitt both have coronavirus, Other mid-level staffers have tested positive 

White House reporters, New York Times’s Michael Shear (and now his wife) and 2 others

Pastor Greg Laurie of Riverside, Ca megachurch

Stephen Miller!

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still an incredible, negligent last of testing.


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Significant adverse events in vaccine trials:

Three patients taking part in clinical trials for Moderna's coronavirus vaccine candidate and two taking part in Pfizer's study have experienced intense side effects, according to a report published by CNBC. Those effects included high fever, pounding headaches, intense chills, and exhaustion.

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A main sticking point has been the recommendation that volunteers who have participated in vaccine clinical trials be followed for a median of two months after the final dose before any authorization is granted...

(This would push results back past Election Day)

The Food and Drug Administration’s new guidelines were intended to assure companies developing vaccines that they were being held to a common standard and to reassure the public. Polls suggest that Americans are increasingly wary about taking a coronavirus vaccine: A survey published last month by the Pew Research Center found that 51 percent of Americans would either probably or definitely take one, down from 72 percent in May.

10/6 White House backed down and FDA is sticking with their plan

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The US should join an international Covid-19 vaccine pool (COVAX)

and should contribute 10% of the country’s vaccine for redistribution to low-income countries, a panel of experts convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommended.

“Amid the catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic, the United States should consider it a moral duty, as a leading nation and member of the G7/G20, to embrace its humanitarian legacy by re-engaging and leading on the international stage in support of lower-resourced nations,” said the report from the 18-member committee on equitable allocation of vaccine for the novel coronavirus.

“We need the world because in the worst-case scenario, what if none of our vaccines work and we have to go globally to buy vaccines? … The other thing is we really need to be able to get samples of the virus from different parts of the world to detect changes. So, we’re dependent on the world and the world’s dependent on us,” Foege said.

(Thus far, Trump has refused to join COVAX)

The plan also outlines prioritization for vaccines:



Epidemiology/Infection control:

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Tips, general reading for public:


Wash your hands.

Rinse and repeat.


Infectious disease icon Bill Foege asks CDC director to expose White House, orchestrate his own firing

This letter from Foege to Redield is destined to be a classic; highly recommended.

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Supreme Court sides with Republicans in South Carolina dispute over witness requirements for mail-in ballots

ballots already sent in without a witness should be counted.

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Amy Coney Barrett: 

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Other/Action items:

The Department of Homeland Security recently proposed the reclassification of complaint records as “temporary” to the National Archives and Records Administration. If approved, the proposal would give the DHS the authority to destroy within four years records documenting a long history of abuse at the agency, and at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, one of its major operational components.

Join us in demanding NARA preserve these records so that we can hold the DHS and CBP accountable.

Feel good du jour:

Comic relief:

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Bonus: “In his 2004 book, “Trump: Think Like a Billionaire: Everything You Need to Know About Success, Real Estate, and Life,” Trump wrote, “My favorite Broadway show is 'Evita' by Andrew Lloyd Webber, starring Patti LuPone. I saw it six times, mostly with Ivana,”’

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Bits of beauty:


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