COVID-19

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NIAID Director suggests new COVID-19 cases could ‘go up to 100,000 a day’

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, provided a dire warning today during a Senate committee hearing. “We are now having 40-plus thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around,” Fauci said in response to a question about the likely U.S. coronavirus death toll 

Meanwhile, the European Union has confirmed that Americans will not be allowed to travel to the bloc of 27 countries when it reopens to some foreign travel Wednesday.

Additional information:

Washington Post: Fauci testifies new coronavirus cases could ‘go up to 100,000 a day’

BBC: Coronavirus: Fauci warns of 100,000 US cases per day

AMP Reveals Latest Video in COVID-19 Series

The latest addition to AMP’s COVID-19 video series is now out. The short movie highlights and corrects many of the myths, conspiracy theories and untruths that have spread along with the novel coronavirus itself. As you might expect, the video focuses on some of the misleading claims made by animal research opponents. But it also features other false statements that have impeded America’s ability to respond to the global pandemic. 

The video is titled “Debunking the Myths Surrounding COVID-19. ” It can be found on both YouTube and Vimeo. The links are below. AMP has also posted the clip on our COVID-19 resources pages and on all our social media channels including Facebook and Twitter.

We hope you take the time to watch. And if you like it, please share it on your social media channels. 

YouTube 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2YJsCR9Qro

Vimeo

https://vimeo.com/manage/432263878/general

 

New Study Suggests Large Percentage of COVID-19 Cases in U.S. Went Undetected in March

A new study in Science Translational Medicine claims as many as 8.7 million Americans were infected with COVID-19 in March, but more than 80% of them were never diagnosed.

The estimate comes from a review of cases where patients went to the doctor with influenza-like illnesses that were never diagnosed as coronavirus, influenza or any of the other viruses that usually circulate in winter. Only 100,000 novel coronavirus cases were officially reported during that time period. 

The study can be found at this link.

More information about the study can be found in this report from CNN.

Study Shows Steroid Reduces Deaths Among Patients With Severe COVID-19

For the first time, a therapy has been shown to possibly improve the survival odds for patients suffering from the most severe cases of COVID-19. In a large study, the steroid drug dexamethasone was shown to reduce deaths by a third in patients hospitalized with the novel coronavirus. The full data has yet to be published. 

Some experts quickly celebrated the results. However, others including surgeon, writer and public health researcher Atul Gawande has urged caution. He responded by tweeting, “after all the retractions and walk backs, it is unacceptable to tout study results by press release without releasing the paper.”

Additional details can be found in this story published by STAT News.

NIH Launches COVID-19 Patient Data Platform to Speed Treatments

The National Institutes of Health today announced it has launched a centralized database to store and study medical record data generated from patients nationwide who have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. The program is part of the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C).  The effort aims to rapidly translate clinical information into increased knowledge about COVID-19 in order to better diagnose, track and treat the disease. 

More information can be found in this press release from the NIH.

NIH Scientists Identify Features That Differentiate SARS-CoV-2 From Other Coronaviruses

According to a press release issued today by the National Institutes of Health, researchers from the National Library of Medicine have identified key genomic features of SARS-CoV-2 that distinguish it from other members of the coronavirus family. The NIH says the research could be a crucial step in helping scientists develop approaches to predict, by genome analysis alone, the severity of future coronavirus disease outbreaks and detect animal coronaviruses that have the potential to infect humans. 

The findings were published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

Here’s a link to the NIH press release containing additional information.   

Worth Reading – Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Here are a few recent COVID-19 articles that we think are worth reading. 

Physician, biologist, oncologist and author Siddhartha Mukherjee hosted a roundtable discussion in the New York Times with a variety of experts. The topic: Can a COVID-19 vaccine truly be developed in a matter of months vs. years? The experts highlighted the progress made to date and spoke at length several times about the importance of animal studies. The article can be found at this link.

Also worth reading today: 

NBC Boston: No Evidence That Pets Play Significant Role in Spread of COVID-19, CDC Says

NIH: Study identifies potential approach to treat severe respiratory distress in patients with COVID-19 (more…)

What We’re Reading About COVID-19 – Monday, June 1, 2020

Here are a few articles that might be of interest:

General News 

There are concerns the protests we are seeing across the nation and around the globe following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police will set off another COVID-19 wave. The mayor of Los Angeles is concerned the gatherings will become “super spreader” events.  

Of course, one of the major challenges of the novel coronavirus is the fact that some people can unknowingly be carriers. The BBC recently published a story about this unique and troubling aspect of the disease. 

Research News 

Eli Lilly says it has started human trials of an antibody therapy designed to treat COVID-19. Results are expected in late June.  (more…)

Pew Poll: Trust in Medical Scientists Grows in U.S.

According to a new national survey by Pew Research Center, Americans’ confidence in health scientists has grown since the COVID-19 outbreak first began. Furthermore, most U.S. adults think the outbreak increases the importance of scientific developments.

Those who said they have a “a great deal of confidence” in medical scientists to act in the public’s best interests has gone up from 35% before the outbreak to 43%. A large percentage of respondents (46%) said they currently have “a fair amount” of confidence that scientists will act in the public’s best interests.  

However, the polling data also reflects growing partisan divisions over the risk the novel coronavirus poses to public health, as well as public confidence in the scientific and medical community and the role such experts are playing in public policy.

Additional details about the Pew poll can be found at this link.

White House Unveils New Vaccine Effort

The White House today formally announced two men chosen to lead the country’s rapid vaccine development efforts. Earlier this week it was reported Moncef Slaoui, the ex-head of GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccines division, will lead the push alongside four-star Army General Gustave Perna. Slaoui will act as the chief adviser to the vaccine effort. Perna will serve as the chief operating officer overseeing logistics. Both of these individuals supplement the vaccine development efforts already underway by the federal government, including those tacking place at the National Institutes of Health.

More information:

Donald Trump unveils new vaccine effort – CNN