Covid-19 🦠 Newsbites

Coronavirus Newsbites

CNN Coronavirus Update
The United States recorded more than 1,000 coronavirus deaths for four days running last week.

The staggering, repeat toll has ushered in a new sense of urgency in the nation as public health experts call for another shut down.

While cases surge in parts of the South and West, Dr. Deborah Birx, the Trump administration’s coronavirus response coordinator, made a visit to Kentucky on Sunday, where she urged officials in the region -- citing Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia -- to close bars, cut back indoor restaurant capacity and limit social gatherings to 10 people. She also recommended that "100%" of people wear masks when they are in public -- something that some local leaders are still unwilling to enforce.

With overwhelmed hospitals and lengthy delays in testing, some local leaders across the US -- including the mayors of Houston and Los Angeles -- have said a second stay-at-home order might be possible.

Federal and state officials now seem to agree that backlogs for Covid-19 testing and extended wait times for results pose a serious problem to containing the pandemic. Speaking on CNN’s "State of the Union," Adm. Brett Giroir, the Trump administration official overseeing coronavirus testing, conceded that turnaround times are still too long. The director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, said last week that such delays undercut the value of the testing. CNN has previously reported results can now take an average of four to six days, but over a week in places experiencing surges.

Traveling while Asian during the pandemic
"I hope we don't get sick from these Ch*nks"

Those are the words an Asian-American woman from Seattle, Washington, heard while boarding an airplane. The passenger who said it was staring directly at her.

This is one of more than 2,100 anti-Asian, pandemic-related hate incidents documented and submitted to Stop AAPI Hate, a reporting center founded by the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council. Since its launch in March, Stop AAPI Hate has recorded incidents ranging from verbal harassment and physical assault to civil rights violations.

"I'm terrified of walking around looking like this and people shouting at me," Pete Rojwongsuriya, a travel blogger born and raised in Thailand, said.

Another study finds hydroxychloroquine does not help Covid-19 patients
Don't listen to Jair Bolsonaro's advice on hydroxychloroquine. Announcing he had tested negative for coronavirus this weekend, the Brazilian President posted an image of himself on Twitter with what appeared to be a box of the anti-malarial drug. Bolsonaro has repeatedly endorsed the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus patients, despite multiple studies showing that it does not help, and could even be harmful.

A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine last week, led by researchers in Brazil, found that hydroxychloroquine -- given either alone or in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin -- did not improve the conditions of hospitalized patients with mild-to-moderate Covid-19. Additionally, unusual heart rhythms and elevated liver-enzyme levels were more frequent in patients receiving hydroxychloroquine, according to the study.

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube scrub platforms of viral video making false coronavirus claims
President Trump shared multiple versions of the video with his 84 million Twitter followers Monday night despite the dubious claims running counter to his administration's own public health experts. Spokespersons for the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

During the press conference, a speaker who identifies herself as a doctor makes a number of dubious claims, including that "you don't need masks" to prevent spread of the coronavirus, and that recent studies showing hydroxychloroquine is ineffective for the treatment of Covid-19 are "fake science" sponsored by "fake pharma companies."

New Jersey governor condemns house party at a packed Airbnb with over 700 guests
A house party in New Jersey was so packed with partygoers openly flouting the state's Covid-19 crowd guidelines this weekend that it took police officers over 5 hours to break it up.

The bust occurred on Sunday at around 8:30 p.m., when police officers arrived at a house in Jackson that was being rented out through Airbnb, according to a statement by Captain Steven Laskiewicz posted on the Jackson Police Department's Facebook page.

Still, the party continued to grow, with the crowd surging to an estimated 700 people with well over 100 vehicles parked in the area, according to the statement. It took police until 1 a.m. to fully clearly the residence. The homeowner and two party organizers were each issued summons, the statement said.

Miami Marlins' coronavirus outbreak pushes MLB to postpone three games
A number of players and coaches on the Miami Marlins tested positive for Covid-19, pushing Major League Baseball to postpone three games and raising questions about its plans to hold a season amid a pandemic.

... The positive tests come just days after MLB began its abbreviated 60-game season -- which had been delayed from its usual April opening because of the pandemic -- and already threaten to upend the young season.

... The Marlins are not the first team to have players test positive and go on the injured list, but they are the first team to have an outbreak of this size.

To try to limit outbreaks, MLB is holding games without fans and has banned high-fives, fist bumps and spitting among players.

Still, the outbreak among players and staff underscores the difficulty -- if not impossibility -- of bringing large groups of people into close proximity for long periods of time when the coronavirus is so widespread in the American community.

Contact tracing of Miami's opponents shows how quickly the virus might spread through the league.

Doja Cat tested positive for coronavirus after downplaying it
Back in early March Doja Cat had some words for those she said were unnecessarily afraid of Covid-19.

During an Instagram Live on her verified account, the sometimes controversial rapper and singer said she didn't fear the virus and had some NSFW words for those who did. "It's a flu," she told her followers.

"You just take some Mucinex (a cold and flu medication) and drink water and tea and sleep. That's all you gotta do."

She has now revealed that she contracted coronavirus.

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