Covid-19 🦠 Newsbites
More people have died from Covid-19 than in the past 5 flu seasons combined. And coronavirus is much more contagious
President Donald Trump keeps downplaying the coronavirus even after it killed more than a million people around the world and left him hospitalized for three days. He has now claimed Covid-19 is "in most populations far less lethal!!!" than the flu. That's not true. Here are the facts.

In just eight months, Covid-19 has killed more Americans than the flu did during the last five flu seasons combined.

The novel coronavirus is also much more contagious than the flu. While research shows that someone with the flu infects an average of about 1.28 other people, someone with Covid-19 infects an average of about 2 to 3 other people when mitigation efforts such as stay-at-home orders or masks are not in place.

On top of that, the coronavirus can be spread for many days without symptoms. The incubation period for the flu is much shorter, meaning people are likely to start feeling sick earlier and avoid contact with others.

There’s also a vaccine available for the flu and experts say the number of flu deaths could be drastically reduced if more people got flu shots.

Facebook removes Trump post falsely saying flu is more lethal than Covid
Even Facebook has pushed back against the claim by removing a post from Trump about the flu, but it’s unlikely that will have any effect on the President’s approach. His advice to not let the coronavirus "dominate your life" has left loved ones of Covid-19 victims furious.

... Tuesday afternoon, Trump tweeted, "REPEAL SECTION 230!!!" He said no more than that, leaving precisely what he was referring to out of the tweet, but it was likely a response to the actions taken by Facebook and Twitter. Section 230 is shorthand for the part of US law that gives tech companies immunity for almost all of their decisions regarding content moderation.

Trump told Americans not to let coronavirus 'dominate your life.' This is what loved ones of victims have to say.
"It not only has dominated the lives of the people we've lost. It's dominated the families of those people. It’s dominated, and it still does, the hospital, the health heroes that were working every day to save my husband, the doctors, and nurses ... it's insulting," Amanda Kloots, wife of Broadway star Nick Cordero, told CNN. Cordero fought the virus for 95 days and died. Cordero and Kloots have a 1-year-old son together.

FDA wants two months of safety data before considering Covid-19 vaccine
The US Food and Drug Administration made clear Tuesday it will want to see two months of follow-up data after volunteers get their second vaccine doses for clinical trials testing potential coronavirus vaccines.

That would make it difficult, if not impossible, for any vaccine maker to apply for emergency use authorization by Election Day, as President Trump has suggested, or by the end of October, as the CEO of Pfizer has hinted.

The NFL will now record players and coaches to make sure they're adhering to coronavirus protocols
The NFL on Monday informed its 32 teams of new Covid-19 protocols, including the implementation of a video monitoring system and a ban on gatherings outside of team facilities.

The memo describes the video monitoring system as being used to ensure compliance with the leagues mandate that team personnel wear personal protective equipment at all times while in a team facility or traveling.

Teams were given a stern reminder that they must follow the health and safety protocols already in place or risk the financial consequences and competitive imbalance that would come from missing games.

Will the virus change Donald Trump?
On day three of his hospitalization with coronavirus, The White House released images from Walter Reed Medical Center showing a President Donald Trump rarely seen. Rendered wan by the disease that has devastated the country he is supposed to lead, he sat in shirtsleeves looking weary and worried. With no bulky suit to broaden his shoulders, Trump seemed more like a vulnerable old man than the fearsome figure revealed in Bob Woodward's bestselling "Rage."

The President has access to the best medical care in the world. He has every chance to fully recover from the infection he likely acquired at one of the gatherings where mask-wearing was neglected out of respect for his own political pose. But with the country poised to mark death number 210,000, we should be asking: Will illness change Donald Trump?

,,, Meadows' candor about the President's condition has been followed by a return of the kind of spin we've become accustomed to with a President who has made more than 20,000 false and misleading statements and claims. By Saturday night, Meadows was announcing, "He's made unbelievable improvements."

The President had been infuriated by the more realistic viewpoint the chief of staff had offered the day before. Meadow's return to Trumpspeak -- "unbelievable improvements" -- should be considered the final answer to the question: Will anything change now that the President has been diagnosed?"

As Meadows fell in line, he also demonstrated the power of the President's commitment to his self-image as the special guy who always wins, and the malleability of those around him. Some other pictures of the President at recent events are shockingly informative. In these photos, people mingle freely indoors at the White House without the masks and social distancing recommended to keep people safe. These are, presumably smart and sophisticated people but to a person -- they risked their lives as they demonstrated their loyalty to the President's fantasy that he knows more, about everything, than everyone.

On Sunday afternoon, as if to punctuate the point that his fantasy matters more than anything else, the President got into a Secret Service vehicle for a spin down the street to wave at supporters who had gathered near Walter Reed in Maryland. As a person carrying the virus, he is contagious and yet, he and the agents who accompanied him wore masks but no additional protective gear as they shared the closed cabin.

The killer virus struck Donald Trump -- and it won't change much of anything.

Italy makes face masks mandatory, even outdoors, around the country.
The Italian government announced a new order making face masks mandatory around the country on Wednesday, including in outdoor areas when social distancing cannot be maintained, in an effort to stem a second wave of virus cases.

The decree, proposed by the Cabinet, was approved in Parliament on Wednesday despite opposition from right-wing lawmakers. Over 40 members of the body were themselves in quarantine this week, after three members tested positive for the virus.

The mask rule will also be extended to indoor private spaces, including offices. Children under the age of six and people practicing sports will be exempt.