Coronavirus Newsbites

In the US, 1 million more cases in two weeks
The US coronavirus crisis is getting worse, and it's doing so at an astonishing speed. The country reported more Covid-19 infections in the last two weeks than it did for all of June, and it's now edging closer to a new milestone: 4 million cases. To put that into perspective, it took 14 weeks for 1 million Americans to get infected. In six weeks, that number jumped to 2 million. Four weeks later, it was at 3 million. Now, just two weeks after that, the country is on the verge of 4 million.

White House cafeteria staffer tests positive for Covid-19
Administration officials were alerted tonight that a cafeteria employee on the White House grounds has tested positive for coronavirus, according to an email viewed by CNN.

Ike’s Eatery -- located in the Executive Office building -- and the cafeteria in the New Executive Office Building have both been temporarily closed, though the email cautioned that risk of transmission is low due to precautions like gloves and masks.

Those facilities are separate from the West Wing mess, but dozens of West Wing staffers walk to Ike’s for meals.

“There is no reason for panic or alarm,” the email reads.

The email says they conducted contact tracing and claim no executive office staff need to quarantine due to exposure.

Fauci, Birx missing from Trump’s coronavirus briefings because they can immediately fact check him, health expert says
Leading health experts and White House coronavirus task force members Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx have been noticeably missing from President Donald Trump’s Covid-19 briefings because they can fact check what he says, Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine at George Washington University, told CNN’s Kate Bolduan Wednesday.

... Reiner emphasized that the public actually needs to the blunt facts about the pandemic, “the unvarnished truth.”

Pinning hopes on vaccine is not the right coronavirus strategy, expert says
"Pinning all our hopes on a vaccine that works immediately is not the right strategy," Dr. William Haseltine, a former professor at Harvard University's medical and public health schools, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

Haseltine said a broad public health strategy is a better way to contain the spread of the virus along with the help of a vaccine and therapeutic drugs. Mandating masks will help but Haseltine said, "we need a lot more than masks to contain this epidemic that's running through our country like a freight train."

Haseltine recommended closing bars and other places where young people congregate at night and ban holding large meetings in the worst-hit regions. Life won't get better until people make major changes to their behavior and public health services come forward with more resources, he said.

Bill Gates says the coronavirus crisis in the US is 'an ugly picture' and that 'serious mistakes were made' in how the virus was handled
  • Bill Gates criticized the US coronavirus response, calling the current state of the outbreak in the US "an ugly picture."
  • In an interview with CBS News, Gates said that "serious mistakes were made" in how the virus was handled, pointing to reopenings and mask compliance as the two main issues.
  • "We actually had criteria for opening up that said you had to have cases declining and we opened up with cases increasing," Gates said. "We somehow got masks as this politicized thing ... and some like, harbinger of freedom, that just covering your mouth was awful."
  • Gates has been actively involved in the government's coronavirus response since the beginning of the outbreak in the US through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation has committed more than $250 million to developing coronavirus diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.