Coronavirus Tidbits #94 10/25/20

Announcements:

Apologies to my fans. Sorry this did not send on Sunday as intended. Do you think DeJoy's reach has extended to MailChimp???

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 #GOTV efforts.

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

My latest Forbes post: 

Polio Eradication Program Key In Covid-19 Response

on how the infrastructure designed to eradicate Polio is now being used for Covid-19

https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2020/10/24/polio-eradication-program-key-in-covid-19-response/#1c08ef9447a8

News 

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This is a shameful political choice by this administration:

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Mike Pence, head of Coronavirus task force, is out campaigning, falsely claiming that is "essential" work, despite his Chief of Staff and 4 others (so far) now testing positive.

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Recommended reading/training: Choose Democracy

How to Beat an Election-Related Power Grab

https://choosedemocracy.us/trainings/#.X5VxoxNKh-U

Twitter has blocked me from posting links to this site.

 

Diagnostics:

still an incredible, negligent last of testing.

Drugs:

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‘There’s only one chance to do this right’—FDA panel wrestles with COVID-19 vaccine issues

ScienceInsider

By Jon Cohen

Oct. 23, 2020

Concerns raised yesterday by an advisory group to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may once again tap the brakes on Operation Warp Speed, the U.S. government’s $10.8 billion push to rapidly move candidate COVID-19 vaccines from concept to communities.

As new U.S. cases of the pandemic coronavirus set a daily high of more than 75,000, FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) held a 9-hour virtual meeting to discuss a regulatory pathway that could permit the widescale use of a COVID-19 vaccine that has only minimal evidence of safety and efficacy. A so-called emergency use authorization (EUA) could use preliminary data from vaccine efficacy trials now underway to shave many months off the standard approval process, and FDA wanted VRBPAC to weigh in about the wisdom of taking this shortcut. The hearing, live-streamed on YouTube, drew intense interest, and some of the committee members—a mix of academics, consumer representatives, and government scientists—had an unsettling but clear message to FDA: Hold your horses.

Read more...

Devices:

Epidemiology/Infection control:

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First COVID-19 Wave Offers ICUs Lessons for Next Time

— Medication shortages forced hospitals to get creative, but staff shortages still loom large

https://www.medpagetoday.com/meetingcoverage/chest/89225?

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Adoption of Strategies to Mitigate Transmission of COVID-19 During a Statewide Primary Election

Physical modifications to polling locations were reported by respondents, including spacing of voting booths ≥6 feet apart (88%), modifying polling location layout such that voters moved through the space in one direction (80%), and use of visual cues to remind voters to stay ≥6 feet apart (87%)

14% reported that their polling location ran out of hand sanitizer or cleaning supplies on election day. Availability of masks for poll workers at polling stations was reported by 88% of respondents and for voters by 70%.

Nearly three quarters (72%) of respondents reported contact (within 6 feet) with >100 persons and 27% reported close contact (within 6 feet for ≥15 minutes) with >100 persons on election day.

The large number of close contacts (≤6 feet for ≥15 minutes) reported by poll workers underscores the potential for in-person voting locations to serve as mass gathering events, supporting current guidance related to the importance of absentee voting, extended polling location hours, and other voting options that reduce congregation of voters in polling locations.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6943e2.htm?

Tips, general reading for public:

StayAtHome

Wash your hands.

Rinse and repeat.

Get a humidifier and run it over the winter--dry air will help the coronavirus (and other respiratory viruses spread)

https://www.statnews.com/2020/10/21/covid19-winter-dry-indoor-air-helps-coronavirus-spread/

Politics:

 

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As election nears, Trump leans on health care agencies to aid his campaign

Amid mounting desperation about his reelection odds, President Trump has increasingly come to rely on an unorthodox campaign tool: the Department of Health and Human Services.

As the Nov. 3 election draws closer, HHS and the agencies within it have rolled out several initiatives clearly motivated as much by the election as by policy considerations. Most notably, the administration has announced plans to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on seemingly political projects like a mass marketing campaign to “inspire hope” about Covid-19 and a pending plan to mail $200 pharmacy gift certificates to millions of seniors.

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All that Went Wrong at CDC

ProPublica and Science both published sweeping exposés on the failures of American public health and the Trump administration in curtailing the pandemic, focusing on the impact to the CDC.

One insider complained that the agency was turned into "an agent of propaganda for a political regime," according to the ProPublicapiece.

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Feel good du jour:

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Comic relief:

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This letter made me smile...

Perspective/Poem

Bits of beauty:

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