“As long as you have any member of society, any demographic group, who’s not seriously trying to get to the end game of suppressing this, it will continue to smolder and smolder and smolder, and that will be the reason why, in a non-unified way, we’ve plateaued at an unacceptable level.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci did not hold back during a conversation hosted by the Harvard School of Public Health Webcast. Fauci told CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who was moderating the event, that there was a “a degree of anti-science feeling” in the United States that is hurting the efforts to get the pandemic under control.
But that anti-scientific skepticism around Covid-19 has also had personal consequences for Fauci, America’s leading infectious disease expert. “Getting death threats for me and my family, harassing my daughters to the point where I need to get security…I wouldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams that people who object to things that are pure public health principles are so set against it, and don’t like what you and I say, namely in the word of science, that they actually threaten you,” he said. “I wish that they did not have to go through that.”
Fauci’s comments came just as Facebook announced it had removed a post from President Donald Trump that falsely claimed children were “almost immune” to Covid-19. Twitter temporarily barred the Trump campaign from tweeting over the same false claim.
Children are getting infected with the coronavirus. Florida said earlier this week that 38,000 minors have contracted Covid-19 in the state. And while they don’t typically get as sick as adults, they can still become dangerously ill. Dozens of children have died in the US from Covid-19.
America’s adversaries are also actively stirring up confusion around the coronavirus. A new report from the US State Department accused Russia of conducting a sophisticated disinformation and propaganda campaign to push dangerous falsehoods about the pandemic as it spread across the globe. The report detailed attempts to stoke anti-vaccine sentiments and push conspiracy theories about the origins of the virus.
Fauci has spent months trying to get across the message that simple solutions such as social distancing and masks will help slow down the spread of the potentially deadly virus. He hasn’t shied away from publicly fact-checking the President on a number of issues. Yesterday, he warned that the “highly transmissible” virus isn’t likely to be eradicated from the planet, directly contradicting the President who said the virus will “go away.”
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED
Q: Is it true that kids aren’t big spreaders of coronavirus? How much do children get Covid-19?
A: While children are far less likely to die from the coronavirus than adults, more studies are showing that kids can contract and spread it — contrary to claims made by Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
A study out of South Korea shows children who are at least 10 years old can transmit Covid-19 within a household just as much as adults can.
In the US, a CDC study showed more than half of the children ages 6 to 10 who attended a Georgia summer camp in June and got tested for Covid-19 tested positive. The study — which examined test results following a camp that more than 600 children and 120 staffers attended — found that 51% of those ages 6 to 10 tested positive; 44% of those ages 11 to 17 tested positive; and 33% of those ages 18 to 21 tested positive.
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WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
Coronavirus patients may develop skin rashes and discoloration
As Covid-19 started to spread across the US earlier this year, dermatology offices began to see suspicious signs on some patients’ skin: Red or purple toes, itchy hives, mottled bumps on fingers, a lacy red rash that spread across legs and arms.
The disease often triggers significant inflammation in its victims, in some cases producing a so-called cytokine storm, which appears to be causing the worst damage in advanced patients.
Last month, researchers from King’s College London called for skin rashes and “Covid fingers and toes” to be considered as a key symptom of the virus, even arguing that they can occur in the absence of any other symptoms. The researchers used data from around 336,000 people in the UK. They found that 8.8% of people who tested positive for the virus reported a skin rash as a symptom, compared with 5.4% of people who tested negative.
Key coronavirus symptoms that are widely accepted include fever, cough and shortness of breath, but a range of other signs have been suggested. The loss of smell and taste, another outlier, was recently included on the list of most common symptoms by the US CDC.
The 9 US cities Birx is worried about
Baltimore, Atlanta, Kansas City, Portland, Omaha, Chicago, Boston, Detroit and Washington, DC, along with the Central Valley in California, are among the places the White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx listed as new areas of concern in a private phone call with state and local officials Wednesday, the Center for Public Integrity reported.
The rising case numbers appear to be driven by younger people who are not taking the virus seriously. Since the beginning of June, the case rate for people in the age group of 30 to 49 nearly tripled and the case rate for people between the ages of 18 to 29 nearly quadrupled. “This is also the age group that is most likely to be attending the large parties that we keep seeing,” LA County public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said.
One man went to a church. Almost 100 others got infected.
A 56-year-old man with Covid-19 went to church in Ohio in mid-June. The result of that outing: 91 other people got sick, including 53 who were at the service, according to Ohio’s governor MIke De Wine.
“It spread like wildfire, wildfire. Very, very scary,” De Wine said, urging everyone in the state to wear masks and practice social distancing.
To illustrate how one infected person can spread the virus, state health officials released a color graphic showing how the cases radiated to some who weren’t even at the service. One instance of spread was a family in which a 34-year-old man became sick. His 31-year-old wife also became infected, as did four children between the ages of 1 and 11. The wife and two children of the 56-year-old worshipper mentioned by the governor also got sick.
Beirut hospitals were already struggling. Then a blast injured 5,000 people.
Lebanon is setting up field hospitals in the capital of Beirut after a massive explosion killed 137 people and left 5,000 others wounded. The tragedy comes at a time when the health system was already struggling in the face of rising coronavirus cases.
“We in the health sector are suffering from a crisis in the face of the coronavirus, to which this human and health catastrophe has now been added,” Lebanon’s health minister said while calling for international assistance. “We suffer from a shortage in the number of beds and a lack of equipment to help injured people and those are in critical conditions.”
Muslims are being blamed for England’s coronavirus outbreaks
Muslims in England have found themselves blamed for spreading the coronavirus after the UK government announced local lockdowns just hours before Eid al-Adha, one of the holiest festivals in Islam. The affected areas included Greater Manchester, Leicester and other places with a significant Islamic population.
Craig Whittaker, a Conservative MP suggested that England’s ethnic minorities were not adhering to pandemic guidelines. “If you look at the areas where we’ve seen rises and cases the vast majority — not, by any stretch of the imagination, all areas — but it is the BAME [Black, Asian, and minority ethnic] communities that are not taking it seriously enough,” Whittaker said Friday during an interview with LBC radio. When asked if he was talking about the Muslim population, Whittaker replied: “Of course.”
Much of the recent blame placed on Muslims appears to be driven by the fact that Covid-19 has hit the country’s ethnic minorities harder than the majority population. But according to Public Health England, the discrepancy was caused by a complex of range of factors, including the fact that BAME people were more likely to live in overcrowded and urban areas, and to work in jobs that put them at risk of catching Covid-19, Zamira Rahim reports.
ON OUR RADAR
- Germany has reported more than 1,000 new cases for the first time in three months, and France has seen the highest daily rise in infections in more than two months.
- People are getting sick and even dying after swallowing hand sanitizer, the US CDC said.
- Illinois Republican Rep. Rodney Davis tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday, his office said in a statement, making him the third congressman over the last week to report having the virus.
- A woman in Texas is praying every night below her husband’s hospital window as he fights the coronavirus.
- North Korea’s first suspected coronavirus patient was tested but the results were “inconclusive.”
- Over 100 students have been quarantined in a Mississippi school district after several individuals tested positive for Covid-19.
- Best friends, married for 35 years, died from coronavirus just 11 days apart.
- L’Oreal workers are worried they could lose their jobs if they don’t return to the office.
- “Big Brother” has returned with color-coded pods and no hugs.
- A lottery prize winner got her check from a robot. Because, pandemic.
- Former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe tested positive for Covid-19 after a house arrest order.
- Chicago public schools will start the school year all virtual.
5 ways businesses can prevent a costly mental health crisis
The global pandemic has sparked a corporate work-from-home revolution — a new opportunity for many workers who for decades have been tethered to offices, daily commutes and in-person meetings.
But a number of clinicians and mental health advocates are sounding the alarm about a “sprawling mental health crisis” that is beginning to arise as a result of the pandemic. They are urging businesses to address the crisis by taking the following steps:
- Openly and consistently talk about mental health
- Train managers on mental health
- Ditch the “one-size-fits-all” approach
- Redesign employee benefits to support mental health
- Show that your commitment to mental health is authentic
“For most students, they need an adult at home that can problem-solve with them. Keep them focused and just support them similarly to what you see in the classroom.” — Dr. Nikolai Vitti, Superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District
About 17% of all students in the US do not have the technology or internet access they need to log in to school at home. Now that many schools will be teaching virtually this fall, how will those students get the tools they need to connect? CNN Correspondent Evan McMorris-Santoro talks with Dr. Vitti about his plan for getting every student online by the start of the school year.Listen Now.