Pandemic Not Over: More People Died In First Part Of 2021 Than All Of 2020
Despite increasing vaccinations in wealthier nations, the pace of deaths due to covid continues to rise as the official death tally surpasses 1.88 million people around the world. And the rise of more contagious and deadlier variants worries global health officials.
The Wall Street Journal:
Covid-19 Deaths This Year Have Already Eclipsed 2020’s Toll
More people have died from Covid-19 already this year than in all of 2020, according to official counts, highlighting how the global pandemic is far from over even as vaccines beat back the virus in wealthy nations. It took less than six months for the globe to record more than 1.88 million Covid-19 deaths this year, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data collected by Johns Hopkins University. The university’s count for 2021 edged just ahead of the 2020 death toll on Thursday. (Kamp, Douglas and Forero, 6/10)
Deadlier Variant Is Now Dominant Strain Of COVID CDC Confirms
A mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, known as the British variant or B-117, was found in 66% of new U.S. COVID-19 cases tested during the two weeks ending April 24, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. A second mutation, known as the Brazilian variant or P-1, was found in 5% of new cases during the same period. Public health officials have been warning that if not enough people are vaccinated as soon as possible, a more virulent coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could take hold and become the dominant strain in the United States. The CDC report confirms that already has happened. (Vestal, 6/10)
In related news about the spread of the coronavirus —
2 Passengers Test Positive For COVID-19 On 1st North American Cruise Since 2020
Two passengers sharing the same stateroom on board the first North American cruise since 2020 tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. All crew and adult passengers on board the Celebrity Millennium had to show proof that they were fully vaccinated as well as provide a negative COVID-19 test prior to or at the time of boarding. The passengers found out they were positive while undergoing testing before disembarking the ship in St. Maarten. (Kaji and Benitez, 6/10)
Bitcoin 2021 Attendees Report Covid Cases After Returning From Miami
Some of the 12,000 attendees who flew into Miami last weekend for the biggest bitcoin event in history have started testing positive for Covid. Bitcoin 2021 drew crypto enthusiasts from around the world to the Mana Wynwood convention center in Miami’s arts and entertainment district. For three days, conference goers packed into crowded auditoriums, glad-handed and hugged. It was the first major conference since the pandemic started, and many attendees said they were relieved to be out among colleagues trading news and updates. (Sigalos, 6/10)
The New York Times:
The C.D.C.’s New Leader Follows The Science. Is That Enough?
On her first day as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January, Dr. Rochelle Walensky ordered a review of all Covid-related guidance on the agency’s website. Some of its advice had been twisted by the Trump administration, and her message was clear: The C.D.C. would no longer bend to political meddling. Four months later, Dr. Walensky announced that vaccinated people could stop wearing masks in most settings. The recommendation startled not just the White House but also state and local leaders, prompting criticism that she had failed to prepare Americans for the agency’s latest about-face during the pandemic. (Mandavilli, 6/10)