Coronavirus Newsbites

CNN Coronavirus Update
The World Health Organization said young people are "increasingly driving" the pandemic. "Many are unaware they're infected with very mild symptoms or none at all. This can result in them unknowingly passing on the virus to others," said WHO official Takeshi Kasai.

Sewage could hold the key to stopping new coronavirus outbreaks
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is not too shy to look at poop in order to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. Studies have shown the virus can be found in feces from people who are sick and also from people who don’t yet have Covid-19 symptoms. Since about 80% of US homes are connected to some kind of municipal sewer system, sewage can become a great tool to track the spread of the disease across the nation.

The CDC is hoping its new sewage monitoring program will complement the still-inadequate testing and contact-tracing, giving a good big picture of how widespread the infection is and giving communities a few extra days to prepare for surge capacity in hospitals or to make lockdown decisions.

A similar program has been tested in Germany earlier this year, but the idea of looking at sewage during epidemics isn’t brand new even in the US — it was used during polio outbreaks in the past.

Women-led countries handled the coronavirus pandemic 'systematically and significantly better' than those run by men, study says
  • Countries led by women have responded to the coronavirus pandemic better than those led by men, according to a new study.
  • The study of 194 countries found that "being female-led has provided countries with an advantage in the current crisis." The research has not been peer reviewed.
  • Male-led countries like the US, Italy, Brazil, and the UK have recorded far higher death tolls than female-led countries like Germany, New Zealand, Taiwan, and Finland.
  • The authors say this is no coincidence, arguing that women leaders communicated better and locked down faster, and therefore experienced far fewer fatalities overall.
  • The argument that women make for more compassionate, effective leaders has grown in popularity during the pandemic, as many male leaders face criticism for taking unneeded risks.

An overwhelming majority of Americans say the US response to coronavirus makes them feel embarrassed
  • A strong majority of Americans (58%) disapprove of Trump's handling of the pandemic, and 68% say they're embarrassed by the way the US has responded, according to a new CNN poll.
  • Overall, 93% of Democrats and 33% of Republicans said they're more embarrassed than proud by the way the US has responded to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The US has the highest number of reported coronavirus cases and fatalities in the world.
  • There have been nearly 5.5 million reported coronavirus cases in the US, and over 171,000 confirmed fatalities. The US has had more COVID-19 cases than some countries have people.

Oleandrin, the coronavirus 'treatment' reportedly touted by Trump, comes from a plant so deadly it's been used to poison people
  • President Trump recently touted the botanical compound oleandrin as a potential treatment for the coronavirus, although there's no evidence of its effectiveness.
  • The substance is derived from the oleander plant, a highly poisonous shrub known for its use in real-life homicides as well as fictional murders.
  • Oleandrin has been recommended as a "cure" by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who has a financial stake in the company developing the oleandrin product.

Local officials in Wuhan, China, withheld information on the threat of the coronavirus from Beijing, US intel reportedly reveals
  • US intel found that local officials failed to report the coronavirus threat to Beijing for weeks, hindering attempts at stemming the spread of the virus, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
  • According to an internal report relayed by US officials to The Times, local officials in Wuhan, China — where the coronavirus originated — hid information on the coronavirus from central government leaders, likely out of fear of retribution from the country's Communist government.
  • The Trump administration has previously accused China's central government of covering up the virus, but the US intel, which was circulated in June, shows the complexity behind the situation as the outbreak unfolded.
  • "It makes a huge difference if it was Wuhan or Beijing," Michael Pillsbury, director for Chinese strategy at Hudson Institute and outside adviser to President Donald Trump, told The Times.
  • The internal report was commissioned as a follow-up to a report from the Department of Homeland Security that said Chinese officials hid the coronavirus to hoard medical supplies, the Associated Press reported in May.