Covid-19 🦠 Newsbites
Trump contradicts the C.D.C. chief’s testimony on masks and vaccines.
Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told senators that the coronavirus could be controlled in six to 12 weeks — if all Americans wore masks.

He called face coverings the most “powerful public health tool we have,” saying that they are “more guaranteed to protect” against the virus than a vaccine, for which he offered a cautious timeline of broad distribution by mid-2021. Watch his remarks.

It was Dr. Redfield’s first congressional appearance since reports outlined how political appointees at the Health and Human Services Department tried to tamper with key C.D.C. coronavirus reports. One, Michael Caputo, the department’s top spokesman, announced a leave of absence days after delivering an outlandish rant online.

An Experimental Drug Protects Covid-19 Patients, Eli Lilly Claims
A glimmer of treatment hope: An experimental infusion of a monoclonal antibody — ,a manufactured copy of an antibody produced by a recovered Covid-19 patient — markedly reduced levels of the virus and reduced hospitalizations its maker, Eli Lilly, said. The research has not yet been independently vetted.

It is the first potential treatment for patients with mild or moderate Covid-19. (The two other treatments that have proved helpful, the antiviral remdesivir and the steroid dexamethasone, are only for the seriously ill.)

Big Ten Will Play Football in 2020, Reversing Decision
The Big Ten will play football as soon as Oct. 23, reversing its planned postponement after pressure from coaches, parents and even President Trump.

The league said players, coaches, trainers and others present on playing and practice fields would undergo daily testing for the virus. Any player who tested positive would be barred from games for at least 21 days, and a team would stop practice and competition for at least a week if it recorded a positive rate of more than 5 percent over seven days.

More than 8,500 cases of the virus have been reported at the Big Ten’s 14 universities over the course of the pandemic, according to a Times database of infections at colleges. Health officials near some Big Ten campuses, including Michigan State and Wisconsin, are cracking down on students who are partying.

N.Y.C. Is Opening Its Own Virus Testing Lab to Address Shortages
New York City is opening a lab to help process tens of thousands more coronavirus tests a week, with results processed in 24 to 48 hours, just as the city is about to return to public school classes and indoor dining.

The city has one of the country’s most ambitious testing programs, swabbing more than 200,000 people a week — more than 2 percent of all city residents. The new lab should help significantly expand on that.

Conspiracy theorist ‘hoax pandemic’ video goes viral despite Facebook ban
As social media platforms fight to curb a wave of online conspiracy theories, a video by far-right broadcaster Alex Jones claiming the coronavirus outbreak is a “hoax” has been viewed more than one million times in recent months

The video was posted to Alex Jones’s InfoWars website on June 21. In the five-minute clip, Jones -- a US conspiracy theorist known for calling 9/11 an inside job and saying the Sandy Hook school shooting never happened -- makes various claims about the Covid-19 outbreak.

CLAIM: The United Nations said the economic crisis caused by the pandemic is ‘a good thing’ - FALSE

CLAIM: Hospitals were empty during lockdown - MISLEADING

CLAIM: There were ‘no patients’ for US hospital ships - FALSE

CLAIM: Hospitals received $52,000 for every Covid-19 patient and knowingly misdiagnosed patients - UNSUBSTANTIATED

CLAIM: Doctors banned from social media for calling the pandemic a ‘hoax’ - MISLEADING

CLAIM: The virus has spread most in urban Democratic Party areas because ‘it can’t stand sunlight’ - FALSE

CLAIM: Democratic-led areas tell people to ‘never’ remove their masks - FALSE

The Rockefeller foundation admits to planning the pandemic - FALSE

CLAIM: Covid-19 is only killing older people - FALSE

CLAIM: Governors ordered people to go to nursing homes ‘to get the death numbers up’ - UNSUBSTANTIATED

Measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 remain legal in Canada
Facebook posts claim that Covid-19 regulations, such as mandatory mask ordinances, have been declared illegal in Canada. This is false; the Canadian parliament has made no such law, and the government said the “Council” that claimed to void the laws is not a legitimate lawmaking body.

Viral Post Falsely Attributed to Golfer Bubba Watson
A viral post falsely attributed to PGA star Bubba Watson criticizes the Black Lives Matter movement and measures taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Watson has said the post “ain’t from me.”

Trump Reprises Inaccurate COVID-19 Comparisons with Europe
In a series of recent appearances, President Donald Trump continued to wrongly insist that the U.S. compares favorably with Europe on both coronavirus cases and deaths.

Trump falsely said that Europe’s COVID-19 outbreaks are “much worse” than those in America and that the U.S. has also done “much, much better” on coronavirus deaths, including by having a significantly lower excess mortality rate. While coronavirus cases are increasing in Europe, the U.S.’s per-capita rate is still higher, as is the best estimate of the excess mortality rate.

Trump has made inaccurate comparisons with Europe before, but in a Sept. 10 press briefing, two weekend campaign rallies in Nevada and a Sept. 15 televised town hall, the president continued to insist that the U.S. compares favorably with Europe on coronavirus cases and deaths.

Joe Biden Slams Trump Over COVID-19, Says He Would Mandate Masks
Joe Biden said Wednesday he would issue an executive order imposing a national mask mandate, if it's determined he has the legal authority to do so. And if he's not allowed to do that as president, Biden said, he would ask the nation's 50 governors at a White House meeting to do it as a coordinated campaign.

Trump: CDC Head Was Wrong on Coronavirus Vaccine Timeline
President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was wrong to say a vaccine wouldn't be available to the general population until later next year.

"I think he made a mistake when he said that," Trump said at a press conference at the White House. "It's just incorrect information."

CDC officials dismissed state and local health authorities' concerns about COVID-19 and suggested they seek advice from other states, documents show
  • The Centers for Disease Control advised state and local health authorities to make decisions on their own or look to other states and academic studies on how to handle the coronavirus pandemic, USA Today reported.
  • Documents obtained by USA Today show CDC representatives and officials downplaying information about the virus to health officials.
  • In one instance, the agency advised a Kentucky official to allow visitors into nursing homes in March when those facilities have been among the ones hardest hit by the pandemic.