COVID-19 day 190: 📈 61,738 new cases, 1,245 new deaths (US): 28 July 2020

Baseball stumbles out of the box as 17 Miami Marlins players test positive; HCQ, the drug that will not go quietly into the night; can NC curb cases by banning nighttime liquor sales?

It’s day 190 since the first case of coronavirus disease was announced in the United States. Wuhan, China has a confirmed COVID-19 case load of 50,340 people. Since January. The United States reported 61,738 cases on Tuesday. Every day here is the entirety of Wuhan’s seven months.

Sections (no jump links, sorry!)
1, One big thing; 2, Key metrics; 3, Recommendations; 4, Politics, economics & COVID;
5, Resources

⓵ One big thing - HCQ, the drug that will not go quietly into the night

The squeaky wheel in the White House may be Peter Naravvo, but it’s the President whose public pronouncements keep hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in the news.

A misleading video Monday caused HCQ to rise yet again. No research from around the world — including the US National Institutes of Health and WHO —has found evidence that hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment for coronavirus, “as repeatedly recommended by President Trump.”

On Monday, President Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. shared a video posted by Breitbart News of a group calling itself America's Frontline Doctors. They claimed, among other things, that HCQ was a legitimate COVID-19 treatment.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube removed the video. SquareSpace seems to have taken down the group’s website as well. (You can still watch the video on Breitbart, 45:43 minutes worth.)

Breitbart livestreamed people wearing white coats, speaking in front of the US Supreme Court building at an event organized by Tea Party Patriots Action.

In the video, Dr Stella Immanuel, a doctor from Houston, says she has successfully treated 350 coronavirus patients "and counting" with hydroxychloroquine…

According to the Daily Beast, Dr Immanuel has previously claimed the government is run by "reptilians" and that scientists are developing a vaccine to stop people being religious, among other bizarre views…

At Tuesday's briefing, Mr Trump questioned why the White House coronavirus expert [Dr. Fauci] and his fellow task-force member Dr Deborah Birx were popular, but his administration was not.

He said: "They're highly thought of but nobody likes me. It can only be my personality, that's all."

Who is the Tea Party Patriots? Per Bloomberg, it is a “a right-wing nonprofit group co-founded by Jenny Beth Martin, who has crusaded against government spending and has said she believes the government is over reacting to the Covid-19 pandemic.” See their 2017 IRS filing.

HCQ, a (brief) timeline

  • 20 March: Trump says his belief in one potential coronavirus drug is ‘just a feeling’

  • 28 March: FDA issues emergency use authorization

  • 09 April: CDC deletes advice on front-running COVID-19 drugs from website

  • 21 April: Study finds no benefit, higher death rate in patients taking hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19

  • 05 May: Ousted vaccine official alleges he was demoted for prioritizing ‘science and safety’

  • 20 May: Trump falsely denies FDA warning on hydroxychloroquine, baselessly alleges political bias in study

  • 09 June: Three big studies dim hopes that hydroxychloroquine can treat or prevent COVID-19

  • 15 June: FDA has revoked the emergency use authorization (EUA) to use hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat COVID-19

  • 01 July: FDA cautions against use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for COVID-19 outside of the hospital setting or a clinical trial due to risk of heart rhythm problems

  • 10 July: Touting criticized study, White House presses FDA to authorize hydroxychloroquine—again

  • 16 July: New Covid-19 study, despite flaws, adds to case against hydroxychloroquine

  • 29 July: Trump defends disproved hydroxychloroquine again as COVID-19 cure

Unfortunately, this is unlikely to be the last time Trump touts fake science.

Share ⚡️COVID-19 Memo from a News Hound

⓶ Key metrics

🦠 TuesdayJohns Hopkins reported 4,351,997 (61,738 new) cases and 149,256 (1,245 new) deaths, an increase of 1.44% and 0.84%, respectively, since Monday. A week ago, the daily numbers increased by 1.50% and 0.26%, respectively.

  • Today
    - seven-day average: 65,248 cases and 1,044 deaths 
    - 3.43% cases leading to death
    - case rate, 1,314.79 per 100,000; death rate, 45.09 per 100,000

  • One week ago
    - seven-day average: 65,634 cases and 713 deaths 
    - 3.68% cases leading to death
    - case rate, 1,157.09 per 100,000; death rate, 42.57 per 100,000

Note: the seven-day average is important because dailies vary due to factors other than actual case numbers, particularly over a weekend.

🇺🇸 28 July 

  • CDC: 4,280,135 (54,448 new) cases & 147,672 (1,126 new) deaths
    One week ago: 3,761,362 (63,201 new) cases & 140,157 (498 new) deaths

  • State data*:  4,333,972 (58,779 new) cases & 141,451 (1,142 new) deaths
    One week ago: 3,814,864 (56,273 new) cases & 133,289 (365 new) deaths
    KS reports only M-W-F; CT and RI report only M-F

  • WHO Situation report, 190
    4 209 509 (61 498 new) cases & 146 331 (604 new) deaths
    One week ago: 3 685 460 cases (66 963 new) & 139 468 deaths (877 new)

🌎 28 July 

Johns Hopkins interactive dashboard (11.00 pm Pacific)

  • Global cases 16,682,030 (200,800 new) cases & 659,374 (5,322) deaths
    One week ago: 14 348 858 cases (229 780 new) & 603 691 deaths (5 111 new)

* 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 that it was not released intentionallyAlthough early reports tied the outbreak to a market in Wuhan, China, analyses of genomic data have suggested that the virus developed elsewhere.

⓷ Recommendations

🤓 Recommended reading

After 9/11, physical security became a national obsession, especially in airports, where the Transportation Security Administration patted down the crotches of innumerable grandmothers for possible explosives. My colleague Jim Fallows repeatedly referred to this wasteful bonanza as “security theater.”

COVID-19 has reawakened America’s spirit of misdirected anxiety, inspiring businesses and families to obsess over risk-reduction rituals that make us feel safer but don’t actually do much to reduce risk—even as more dangerous activities are still allowed. This is hygiene theater.

Hygiene Theater Is a Huge Waste of Time. The Atlantic, 27 July 2020.

“Physicians are routinely exposed to tragedy and death resulting in occupationally induced anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Yet doctors receive no routine on-the-job support. Instead, they risk punishment when asking for help,” writes Dr. Pamela Wible, a family doctor in Oregon. She published a paper on the subject last year in the journal Qualitative Research in Medicine and Healthcare, which ran a special issue on physician mental health. “State boards, hospitals, and insurance companies interrogate doctors about their mental health, read their confidential medical records, and then deny health plan participation, medical liability coverage, hospital privileges, and state licensure.”

Our Family's Tragedy: Dr. Lorna Breen Is the Canary in the Coal Mine. US News & World Report, 28 July 2020.

🔬 Research and medical news

Two research letters published today in JAMA Network Open highlight racial disparities in COVID-19 burden—regardless of income level—and examine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data presentation that may perpetuate racial health disparities.

Studies: People of color bear larger share of COVID-19 burden. CIDRAP, 28 July 2020.

⓸ Politics, economics and COVID-19

✅ Cases in Arizona, Florida and Texas appear to be slowing; however the downward slope is often longer than the rise. Deaths, however, are on the rise. On Monday, Texas adjusted its cumulative total upwards by 631 deaths, using death certificates for tallies.

🆘Hong Kong (population 7.5 million) is reporting 100+ cases a day, up from 10 cases a day a few weeks ago. Leaders are concerned about the impact on the city’s hospital infrastructure; face masks are required; restaurant dining is banned; and gatherings from different households are limited to two people. For context, Washington State(population 7.6 million) reported 686 new cases Wednesday.

☆ Every state needs a Texas Tribune.

⚾️The Miami Marlins paused their season this week, just days after it had begun, after at least 17 players tested positive for COVID-19.

Baseball couldn't get through its first weekend without a possible nightmare scenario emerging…. what is now a 17-person outbreak is the exact kind of situation MLB's system of protocols was designed to prevent, insofar as anything related to COVID-19 is preventable.

The ripple effect: Marlins are quarantined in Philadelphia after playing the Philadelphia Phillies over the weekend. The Phillies in turn postponed their Monday and Tuesday night games against the New York Yankees.

But school classrooms are safe. Right. Remember, locker rooms aside, baseball is an outdoor, mostly non-contact, sport.

🍸North Carolina is banning the sale of alcohol from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. in an attempt to “slow the spread of the coronavirus among young people, who now make up the majority of the state’s cases.”

[Gov. Roy] Cooper’s executive order on alcohol sales applies to restaurants, breweries, distilleries and other businesses that sell alcoholic drinks for onsite consumption. The order is in effect through Aug. 31. Bars will continue to remain closed, as they have since mid-March.

According to Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services, the ban, which begin Friday, is designed to discourage the “bar-type scene in a restaurant.” North Carolina DHHS data show that 6-in-10 cases are among people aged 18-49.

⓹ Resources

👓 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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