COVID-19 day 162: 📈 2,634,432 cases; 127,410 deaths : 30 June 2020

NY-NJ-CT expand travel advisory to 16 states; Goldman Sachs endorses masks for the economy; AZ hospital triage management called "death panels"; two wildly divergent bills for tests in TX

It’s day 162 since the first case of coronavirus disease was announced in the United States. And the pandemic becomes more politicized each day.

In late April, the pandemic dominated the national news. Despite the fact that the outbreak was then concentrated in “blue” states like California, New York and Washington, less than half (47%) of Republicans surveyed by Pew thought COVID-19 thought it had “been made a bigger deal than it really is.” In other words, exaggerated. Only 14% of Democrats shared that view.

Flash forward to June (survey was 04-15 June), when the outbreak was getting a second wind in states with Republican governors (Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas and Florida). The number of Republicans who said COVID-19 was overhyped jumped to almost two-thirds (63%). Democrats chimed in at 18%, effectively no change (within sampling margin of error).

Not surprisingly, those surveyed who think COVID-19 has been exaggerated “rely most on Donald Trump and the White House task force for relevant news and information…. Republicans who rely on the president for COVID-19 news are 11 percentage points more likely than Republicans who turn mostly to other sources to say the outbreak has been exaggerated (71% vs. 60%)… 54% of Republicans say the White House gets the facts right at least most of the time, compared with only about one-in-ten Democrats (9%).”

Roughly one-third of Americans who have heard about it see truth in the conspiracy theory that the COVID-19 outbreak was intentionally planned by people in power

Heaven help us.

NOTE: most Americans cannot differentiate between “facts” and “opinion”.

Share ⚡️COVID-19 Memo from a News Hound

🦠 TuesdayJohns Hopkins reported 2,634,432 (2,590,552) cases and 127,410 (126,140) deaths, an increase of 1.69% (1.63%) and 1.01% (0.27%), respectively, since Monday (Sunday). A week ago, the daily numbers increased by 1.50% and 0.69%, respectively.

  • The seven-day average: 40,266 ⬆️ (38,705) cases and 876 ⬆️(771) deaths 

  • Percent of cases leading to death: 4.84% ⬇️(4.87%)

  • Today’s case rate is 758.35 per 100,000; the death rate, 37.93 per 100,000.

  • One week ago, the case rate was 709.06 per 100,000; the death rate, 36.62 per 100,000.

Note: numbers in (.) are from the prior day and are provided for context. I include the seven-day average because dailies vary so much in the course of a week, particularly over a weekend.

🤓 Recommended reading

I respect James Fallows, deeply. Highly recommended.

In these two fundamentally similar undertakings—managing the skies, containing disease outbreaks—the United States has set a global example of success in one and of failure in the other. It has among the fewest aviation-related fatalities in the world, despite having the largest number of flights. But with respect to the coronavirus pandemic, it has suffered by far the largest number of fatalities, about one-quarter of the global total, despite having less than one-20th of the world’s population.

The 3 Weeks That Changed Everything. Imagine if the National Transportation Safety Board investigated America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Atlantic, 29 June 2020.

🔬 Research and medical news

A multi-year study of flu viruses in pigs across 10 China provinces identified a swine influenza strain with the potential for pandemic spread in humans.

Emerging flu virus in Chinese pigs has pandemic potential, researchers say. CIDRAP, 30 June 2020.

Our “health care system” is broken. But you know that.

The two got drive-thru [COVID-19] tests at Austin Emergency Center in Austin…The emergency room charged Harvey $199 in cash. LeBlanc, who paid with insurance, was charged $6,408… LeBlanc’s health insurer negotiated the total bill down to $1,128. The plan said she was responsible for $928 of that.

Two Friends in Texas Were Tested for Coronavirus. One Bill Was $199. The Other? $6,408. NYT via Yahoo News, 29 June 2020. h/t Karen Anderson

🎦 Recommended viewing

COVID-19: Safely Getting Back to Work and Back to School. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions hearing, 30 June 2020.

Sections (no jump links, sorry!)
1, Around the country; 2, Around the world; 3, Politics, economics and COVID-19; 4, Case count; 5, What you can do and resources

⓵ Around the country

🌵Arizona has a triage protocol for managing hospital resources in case they become overwhelmed by COVID-19. If you have already a chronic or serious disease or are elderly, you move to the bottom of the list. Hospitals have to create protocols for decision making before the crisis hits. But this crisis is in large part manmade, with the leader of the pack being GOP Gov. Doug Doucey.

Gov. Doucey invoked these “crisis care standards” on Monday because of spiking cases and the need for hospitals to implement “surge plans.”

The health care professionals who urged Ducey to allow the standards (and also to reinstate his stay-at-home order, which he ignored) said they never thought they’d be asking for such a thing.

Will Humble, the executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association, said, “It's the only time that this has happened in my lifetime. I mean they used it in Vietnam, and they use it in war. But for civilian purposes, I can't think of a time when this has been implemented…”

“Historically, our use of crisis care standards in the United States has been limited to terrorist attacks, mass shootings, battlegrounds, and aviation accidents,” [the petition] says. “What pains us most is that this was avoidable.”

🍺 Broken record: I do not understand the logic that states followed when they allowed bars to open early. On Tuesday, Colorado joined Arizona, Florida and Texas in shutting down bars. Virginia reversed itself and will not allow bars to reopen this week. Delaware will close bars at its beaches before the 4th of July weekend.

🚫New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have expanded their travel advisory to 16 states, adding California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee. The original either states have not been lifted: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

All travelers entering the tri-state area from a state that has a positive test rate of more than 10 per 100,000, or more than a 10% test positivity rate over a seven-day average, will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

⓶ Around the world

✅ The European Union has recommended that travel to Europe can resume Wednesday from 15 countries. That list does not include Brazil, India, Russia or the United States, the top four countries in the world in terms of number of cases and in terms of daily reported cases. Tuesday’s reported cases:

  • 88,374, Brazil (659.6 per 100K)

  • 56,634, India (42.43 per 100K)

  • 44,865, United States (796.19 per 100K)

  • 20,150, Russia (443.3 per 100K)

Like the NY/NJ/CT tri-state pact, the EU uses a formula:

  • over the last 14 days, the number of new COVID-19 cases and the per capita infection rate should be at or below the EU average of 15 June 2020

  • a stable or decreasing trend of new cases over this 14-day period

  • other issues of surveillance, containment, contact tracing and the like

✅ Shifting hemispheres, Melbourne, Australia, has locked down 36 suburbs because Victoria reported 64 new cases of COVID-19. The US had only 11 states report fewer than 64 cases on Tuesday.


⓷ Politics, economics and COVID-19

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) “urged people to take CDC guidelines to wear a face covering seriously and lamented the politicization of mask-wearing.”

“Unfortunately, this simple life-saving practice has become part of the political debate that says if you're for [President] Trump, you don't wear a mask, if you're against Trump, you do,” Alexander said. “That's why I've suggested that the president occasionally wear a mask, even though in most cases it’s not necessary for him to do so. The president has plenty of admirers. They would follow his lead.”

Robert Redfield, MD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also reported that hospitalization rates are up in 12 states.

💲If you won’t wear a mask to protect your neighbor, will you wear one for the economy? Economists at Goldman Sachs analyzed data from counties and countries level and determined that “higher rates of mask use are associated with lower rates of infection.” Statewide mask requirements reduces the growth rate by 25%.

A face mask mandate could potentially substitute for lockdowns that would otherwise subtract nearly 5% from GDP.

⓸ Case count

There is a lag between being contagious and showing symptoms, between having a test and getting its results. There is also a lag in reports of cases and deaths making their way into daily results; this lag is visible in predictable declines for both reports containing weekend data.

🌎 30 June 

WHO Situation report, 162

  • Globally: 10 185 374 cases (163 865 new) with 503 862 deaths (3 946 new)

  • The Americas: 5 136 705 cases (94 219 new) with 247 129 deaths (2 338 new)

  • US: 2 537 636 cases (41 008 new) with 126 203 deaths (885 new)

Johns Hopkins interactive dashboard (11.00 pm Pacific)

  • Global confirmed: 10,450,628 (10,302,052)

  • Total deaths: 510,632 (505,505)

  • Recovered: 5,336,996 (5,235,813)

🇺🇸 30 June 

  • CDC: 2,581,229 (35,664) cases and 126,739 (370) deaths

  • Johns Hopkins*: 2,634,432 (2,590,552) cases and 127,410 (126,140) deaths

  • State data*:  2,541,711 (2,578,079) identified cases and 119,435 (119,762) deaths
    Why WI data do not match state website; KS reports only M-W-F

  • Total tests (US, Johns Hopkins): 32,206,245 (31,557,407)
    Take with a grain of saltTests not necessarily people. The CDC and at least 11 other states have combined the data for active infections with data for antibodies, boosting total number of tests which can drop the percentage who test positive.

📣 View weekly state infographics

* Johns Hopkins data, ~11.00 pm Pacific.
State data include DC, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands

The virus was not created in a lab and the weight of evidence is it was not released intentionallyAlthough early reports tied the outbreak to a market in Wuhan, China, analyses of genomic data in January suggested that the virus might have developed elsewhere.

⓹ What you can do


👓 See COVID-19 resource collection at WiredPen.
📝 Subscribe to Kathy’s COVID-19 Memo :: COVID-19 Memo archives
🦠 COVID-19 @
📊 Visualizations: USWorld
🌐 Global news(at WiredPen)

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