Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease doctor, told Bioreports that it has been months since President Trump attended a White House Coronavirus Task Force meeting.
Fauci noted that Vice President Mike Pence is the administration’s point person on the task force and he “translates” to Trump what the task force discusses.
Here’s what Fauci said this morning about Trump and the task force meetings:
“You know, it was months ago, but, you know, when we have our task force meeting, it’s run, as you know, by Vice President Pence and the vice president then translates that the President, himself. But the last time the President was physically at a task force meeting was several months ago,” Fauci said.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the US, said a nationwide policy on masks and social distancing is crucial to mitigating the spread of Covid-19.
Fauci’s comments come just after the US recorded 184,000 new Covid-19 cases on Friday.
“Everybody has got to do it,” Fauci said about mask wearing and social distancing. “There is no excuse not to do that right now. Because we know that can turn things around. I mean, that is the tool we have. As I’ve mentioned just recently and as you eluded to, we have good news with regard to the vaccine. So there is light at the end of the tunnel. Help is coming and that should, I believe, motivate people to just say we are going to double down and do this uniformly. Those are the tools we have right now. And they do work. We can get this to plateau to come down.”
Fauci added that without a nationwide policy, the US could hit 439,000 total deaths due to Covid-19 by March 1.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, will be discussing the coronavirus pandemic on Bioreports’s “State of the Union” at 9 a.m. ET.
Authorities in Perth, Australia, told a planeload of domestic travelers on Sunday that they must either leave the state or undergo a two-week self-quarantine after the Western Australian (WA) government changed its border policy while they were mid-flight.
On Sunday the WA government added South Australia (SA) to its list of Australian States subject to a 14-day self-quarantine, after SA announced three cases of community transmission in Adelaide.
The decision was undertaken while 160 passengers on board Qantas Flight 889 were flying from Adelaide, which is in SA, to Perth, according to Bioreports affiliate 9 News. They were tested and then told they must self-quarantine or return to Adelaide, 9 News reported.
The airport was otherwise a scene of joyous reunions on Sunday, one day after a 222-day interstate hard border ended. The WA government introduced a so-called “controlled border” on Saturday with other States of Australia, after shutting off travel from the rest of the country in March to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Only international travelers, and domestic arrivals from the states of Victoria, New South Wales and SA will be forced into quarantine.
The WA government released a statement Sunday and said the measures will be regularly reviewed.
We will monitor the position in South Australia very closely and will strengthen measures if required,” the statement said. “We understand these changes will cause frustration for many people, but these steps are being taken on the best health advice to protect everyone. The State Government thanks all arrivals for their patience and understanding.”
International travelers are still banned from entering Australia during the pandemic, unless they are citizens, permanent residents or have successfully applied for an exemption. Those who do return from overseas must undergo 14 days of strict hotel quarantine.
The Super Bowl, the crown jewel of American sports, is scheduled for the first Sunday in February at Raymond James Stadium in Florida at a time when total US deaths from the coronavirus are projected to be nearly 400,000 — about six times the venue’s seating capacity.
“Our objective is for all teams to safely and responsibly complete the regular season within our 17-week schedule — and have a full postseason, culminating with the Super Bowl with fans in the stands on February 7th in Tampa,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week as the league embarked on the second half of the season.
“We are committed to completing the season as scheduled.”
It’s a tall order, as coronavirus infections and deaths surge across the country in a fall and winter wave that Americans have expected for months. Largely praised for its stringent pandemic protocols, the NFL has reached a crucial point in its quest to become the nation’s first major sport to play a full and mostly uninterrupted season during the health crisis.
“Getting to the Super Bowl, it’s completely possible,” said Tara Kirk Sell, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “It really depends on both your tolerance for risk and tolerance for having cases. And if you really don’t care about having too many cases, then there’s really no problem, right? I do think the league has done a lot of good things to reduce risk. The question is: Is that enough? And it’s going to get so much harder going forward.”
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At least 10 people have been killed in a fire at a Romanian hospital treating Covid-19 patients, the hospital’s spokesperson said in a statement Saturday. They were all patients.
The blaze broke out in an intensive care unit treating a total of 16 coronavirus patients at the Piatra Neamt County Emergency Hospital.
The “tragedy…has left the whole country mourning,” Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis said in a statement on Saturday.
I am deeply saddened by the death of the patients in the intensive care unit and I send my condolences and much strength to their families in these difficult times,” he added.
Several other people were seriously injured, including a doctor who tried to rescue the patients. The doctor suffered burns on 40% of his body and is currently in a stable condition, the statement read.
Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban called the doctor a hero for running into the blaze to help the patients, some of them unconscious and on ventilators.
Nelu Tataru, Romania’s Minister of Health, said the doctor will be transferred to a hospital in the country’s capital Bucharest by a military medical plane. The six patients who survived the fire have been transferred to a hospital in the city of Iasi.
Tataru said the cause of the fire is being investigated and he’s waiting for the results to come in from the Regional Emergency Department (ISU) and the General Prosecutor’s Office.
Cases are soaring in the country. On Saturday, there were 557 Covid-19 cases for every 100,000 people, according to a two-week average compiled by European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). In total there have been 353,185 confirmed cases of the virus and 8,813 Covid-19 related deaths since the pandemic started, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
As the United States grapples with a steep surge in Covid-19 cases, states such as Colorado are enacting emergency measures.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis ordered the state’s Emergency Operations center to return to the highest level of operations so that all agencies, federal partners and voluntary organizations can work together to respond to the spread and hospitals can prepare for threats to capacity, the governor’s office said Saturday.
I will never give up on Coloradans and I know we have the resolve to do what is necessary to defeat this virus,” Polis said in the release. “We simply must do a better job of wearing masks, physically distancing and avoiding social interactions with those outside our households. It’s up to us, Colorado, the time for change is now.”
With 1,100 residents in the hospital with the virus and more than 4,400 new cases reported Saturday, the state health department said, Colorado is just one of many states racing to respond to spiking cases. Across the country, 45 states are reporting an increase of cases above 10% compared to last week, which has brought the national total to more than 10.9 million cases and 245,600 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
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Lily was taking her lunch break at the Dublin nursing home where she works when a friend called with the news that an official-looking letter had arrived for her.
She asked the friend to open it and read it aloud.
You no longer have permission to remain in the State and you must now return voluntarily to your country of origin or be deported,” the letter, from Ireland’s Department of Justice and Equality said. It told her she had five days to inform the authorities of her decision.
A flood of emotions rushed up at her, through the layers of her protective equipment. Lily said she wanted to cry, but forced the tears back down inside.
“I had to stay strong for the residents,” she said. “So, I put on a smile but deep down it was incredibly painful.”
Lily — whose name has been changed for her safety — said she fled anti-LGBTQ persecution in her native Zimbabwe and came to Ireland in 2016.
She wanted to help others, so studied to qualify as a healthcare assistant; she landed a job as a care worker at a nursing home last year, and hopes to study for her nursing degree in future.
She has worked at the care home throughout the coronavirus pandemic, taking only three weeks off when she contracted the virus herself in April.
Near the beginning of the pandemic, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organization reported that Ireland had the highest rate of Covid-19 infection among healthcare workers anywhere in Europe.
Once she had recovered, Lily returned to work. In the months that followed, she said she watched as the disease took the lives of some of the elderly residents she had cared for.
“There were so many people dying. It was unbearable,” she said.
Now, with deportation looming, Lily feels she’s facing something akin to her own death sentence.
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According to Johns Hopkins University’s tally of cases, the United State has recorded at least 10,903,890 cases of coronavirus including 245,598 deaths.
On Saturday, Johns Hopkins University reported 166,555 new cases and 1,266 additional deaths. This is the second highest number of cases reported in a single day since the pandemic began and the 12th consecutive day of new case totals surpassing 100,000, according to JHU data.
The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.
For the latest Johns Hopkins University US numbers, check here. Bioreports’s map using JHU data continues to refresh every 15 mins.