Latest Morning Briefing Stories
Hospitals and other medical facilities need to prioritize protective gear and safety measures for their workers, experts say. Although there’s been a sharp increase in deaths linked to the pandemic, the underlying causes is more systemic, experts say. Meanwhile, the lives of front-line workers are remembered.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has faded from public view as the White House shifts its messaging toward reopening, but the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is still speaking out about his concerns for the country. Meanwhile, in other administration news, The Wall Street Journal fact checks Vice President Mike Pence’s claims about Project Airbridge.
Scientists are seeing a disturbing trend between an increase in deforestation and a surge of new diseases. Six out of every 10 diseases in humans, and three-quarters of the world’s emerging infectious diseases, are zoonotic, and many of them come from man encroaching on animals’ homes. In other scientific news: cancer, genetics, and disabilities.
“For both the African American and Latino populations there’s a triple threat,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the CDC. “The first is that there’s more exposure, the second is that there’s more underlying health problems sometimes, and the third is there’s less access to health care.” Meanwhile, experts in the Trump administration remain largely quiet on the disparities being seen in the pandemic.
“If there is a policy around using face masks in place, it does actually come with a fairly large effect,” says Holger Schünemann, an epidemiologist at McMaster University. The political fight over mask-wearing was on display at President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa, where there were few face coverings to be seen in the audience. Meanwhile, California pass a mandate that residents wear masks in public spaces. And airlines struggle with mask enforcement.
News outlets investigate tactics employed by law enforcement during recent protests of racism and police violence. Calls for reform by protesters and lawmakers are also reported.
The decision from NIH is just the latest to signal that hydroxychloroquine, the drug President Donald Trump touted as a “game changer,” doesn’t work for COVID-19 patients. Meanwhile, scientists urge caution on a promising steroid treatment.
The Washington Post and ProPublica report on stories of how U.S. efforts to test for the coronavirus have been hampered by bad equipment that yielded false results. Meanwhile, other testing questions persist, such as, who pays? News outlets report on other tracking and test developments.
Scientists are worried a vaccine will be developed and work best in younger people–who are far less vulnerable to COVID than seniors are. Other vaccine news focuses on the global development race.
Nursing homes are being offered financial incentives to take on COVID patients, but it might be backfiring for other residents who are being cleared out to make room. Nursing home officials, however, insist that the evictions are warranted. Other nursing homes news comes out of West Virginia, New York, Georgia and Michigan.
Tyson revealed that 481 employees across its northwest Arkansas facilities have tested positive for COVID-19 this month. The outbreak has prompted China to halt poultry imports from the Springdale, Arkansas plant.
“In most disasters, the vast majority of people do well,” said Dr. Steven Southwick, a professor of psychiatry at Yale who has worked with survivors after numerous cataclysms, including mass shootings. “Very few people understand how resilient they really are until faced with extraordinary circumstances. In fact, one of our first jobs in these situations is to call attention to just that.” In other public health news: summer and sleep-away camps; gyms and sports; a socially distant Father’s Day; and more.
Prisons have long struggled with overcrowding, but the coronavius is casting a harsh spotlight on the problem.
Media outlets take a look at how the pandemic looks in states across the country, including the dozen or so that are seeing record highs in cases.
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro says the Trump administration is preparing for an additional wave of coronavirus infections. Meanwhile public health experts warn that the nation is still in the “first wave” of the pandemic.
“I would rather spend this summer in Rome with my family than in Phoenix,” Ashish Jha, head of Harvard’s Global Health Institute, tells Politico. Meanwhile, WHO reports the largest single-day increase of the outbreak, with many of the new cases coming from the Americas. Media outlets report on news from China, Italy, Nordic countries, South Sudan, Africa, Iraq, India and more.
In mice, they can eliminate the cells partly responsible for many diseases of aging, researchers report. In other news: hemophilia gene therapy and concerns over AbbVie-Allergan merger.
The latest poll comes amid protracted controversy over the cost of medicines, where there’s been little congressional or federal progress made despite bipartisan support for curing the high prices. Meanwhile, a new analysis warns about scientific research in the age of COVID.
About 6,000 deaths are recorded annually, a number that is 1.5 times higher than the general public. Critics said the road map wasn’t completed with enough input from veteran service organizations.
Most Americans get insurance through work, so fears about losing a job can outweigh concerns about sickness. Public health news is on domestic workers; overnights in hotels; surviving at age 83; and the return of youth sports.