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    Dear Reader:

    This is the record of new deaths reported for yesterday, Sept 9, 2020 in the 14  countries with the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world (from over 6.5 millions in the U.S. -> to over 344 thousand cases in France): 1,209 in the USA, 1,168 in India, 1,136 in Brazil, 703 in Mexico, 253 in Argentina, 236 in Columbia, 142 in Russia, 127 in Iran, 113 in Peru, 82 in South Africa, 30 in France, 34 in Spain, 20 in Chile, 8 in the U.K..

    Here is a record of new deaths yesterday in some of the countries considered to be “first world countries” (Wikipedia’s definition: “any country with little political risk and a well functioning democracy, rule of  law, capitalistic economy, economic stability, and high standard of living”): 34 in Spain, 30 in France, 16 in Japan, 14 in Italy, 11 in Australia,  3 in Belgium, 3 in Ireland, 3 in Greece, 3 in Portugal, 3 in South Korea, 2 in Canada 1 in Germany, 1 in Switzerland, 1 in Finland, zero in Sweden, zero in Denmark.

    The U.S.A has long been considered a first world/ developed country, yet the number of Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. is the highest in the world, and the three countries closest to its number of deaths are Brazil, India and Mexico, all developing countries.

    Why is a first world/ developed country, first in number of Covid-19 cases and deaths in the world?

    My answer: because it is fitting less and less the definition of a first world country. Let’s look again at the definition:

    any country with little political risk“- the president of the United States of America said publicly, and it is recorded, that the only way he will lose the elections this coming November, is if the elections are rigged (corrupted), meaning, if he loses the election.. he doesn’t really lose, in his mind and in his supporters’ minds.

    He was asked if he will vacate the White House if he loses, and he suggested that he might not leave. There is a widespread concern that he will not leave the White House willingly, if he loses. All this and more creates a significant political risk.

    More of the definition: “a well functioning democracy“- the president of the USA hired his friend, one of his most generous campaign donors, to be in charge of the U.S. Postal Service, a man with no experience with the post office, hired for the purpose of interfering with the November elections, that is, to rig, or corrupt the elections.

    More of the definition: “rule by law“- the president of the U.S. broke too many rules and laws to list,  from using the White House property for his reelection campaign, to interfering with criminal investigations, to repeatedly telling the American people most recently to commit the felony of voting twice (one by mail, second in-person).. to encouraging vigilante justice (“If you don’t allow police to do their job, then the American people have to defend themselves some way”), and on and on and on .. so much more.

    More of the definition: “economic stability, and high standard of living“- the president has been terribly hurting the economy by his negligent and corrupt handling of the pandemic in the U.S. The gap between the rich and the poor is growing and growing, which is a characteristic of developing countries.

    Overall: we have a criminal president, one who lies every day, again and again, one who breaks countless rules and laws, and no one stops him.. what do you call a leader who breaks the law repeatedly, in all kinds of ways, one who is chipping into democracy every day?

    If Trump is reelected in November, it is a game changer of humongous proportions for the U.S.: the U.S. will bid its farewell to democracy, and hello to dictatorship.

    If Trump is not reelected, and if he leaves or is removed from the White House, and if he and his supporters/ fans do not interfere with the change of power to a Biden presidency, then the United States of America has a chance to recover from what I hope to become one day, a distant (but not forgotten and not repeated) Trump Nightmare.


    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by anita.

    * Correction: chipping away at democracy, not “chipping into democracy”.



    Dear Reader:

    Worldometer, Sept 14: Getting close to reported 30 million cases and 1 million deaths worldwide.

    There are close to 7 million cases and 200,000 deaths in the US, with almost 33 thousand new cases and 392 new deaths yesterday.

    There are close to 5 million cases and over 80,000 deaths in India, with over 93 thousand new cases and 1,140 new deaths yesterday.

    There are over 4 million cases and over 132 thousand deaths in Brazil, with over 14 thousand new cases and 389 new deaths yesterday.

    France is experiencing a second wave of infections, starting in early August, having reached its peak Sept 12 with an all time record high of 10,561 new cases. The first wave record high was March 31 with 7,578 new cases. Second wave deaths haven’t caught up yet to the second wave increase in cases.

    A second wave of infections in the U.K. is beginning has begun to form, beginning at the end of August, 3,330 new cases yesterday.

    There are increases in cases in Italy and less so, in Germany. Japan’s second wave has reached its peak on Aug 3 with almost 2 thousand new cases; first wave peak was in April 11 with 743 new cases.



    Dear Reader:

    Worldometer, Sept 16: getting very close to reported 30 million cases, and closer to 1 million deaths worldwide (30; 1). There are closer to 7 million cases and over 200 thousand deaths in the U.S, 1197 new deaths yesterday. Greatest increases in new cases is in India, next- in the US, next in Spain, next in Brazil.

    ABC News, Next Twin disasters: How the West Coast fires might impact the Covid-19 pandemic (Sept 15): “Now we’re battling two public health crises,”… a pulmonologist at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and volunteer medical spokesperson for the American Lung Association, told ABC News. And it gets worse: The two forces of nature may interact with each other.

    “When we have public health concerns from wildfires to hurricanes, we worry about worsening spread of the virus,”… Wildfire smoke causes air pollution by creating..microscopically small particles that may bypass filters in the nose and throat and penetrate deep into the lungs. These particles can cause airway inflammation, leading to increased susceptibility to respiratory infections, aggravation of underlying respiratory conditions and increased risks for hospitalization and death from pneumonia.

    “Ongoing studies will give us more information on wildfire smoke and COVID-19, but we do know that air pollution makes COVID-19 worse, especially if you have underlying conditions,” said Simone Wildes, M.D., an infectious disease specialist.. The combination of airway inflammation caused by irritants in smoke plus underlying conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease create a ‘perfect storm” for poor COVID-19 outcomes, she added.

    “Even if you have great working lungs, if you breathe in remnants from fires, your lungs may be impaired and ill-prepared to fight off the virus,” said Galiatsatos… Now, experts are concerned that the wildfires may add to the pandemic’s strain on California’s hospitals. “Hospitals are going to have to treat a lot of breathing problems as a result of damage from fire exposure. Capacity will be stretched,” said Wildes. As people are forced to flee from the fires and take refuge together, social distancing efforts may be compromised. Shelter crowding is a major concern, she said, but so are the effects of inhaling toxins from wildfire smoke…COVID-19 and smoke inhalation can result in similar symptoms — shortness of breath, sore throat, cough..”

    CBS News, Trump says “I don’t think science knows” about climate (Sept 15): “President Trump landed in California Monday framed by a smoky sky. He made a rare West Coast swing as wildfires ravage California, Oregon and Washington, and has already approved emergency declarations for the states.

    “In California, the president questioned climate change, and blamed the fires on poor forest management even though many forests in California are federally managed. California National Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot disagreed that the rapidly spreading wildfires could entirely be blamed on forest management. He told Mr. Trump, ‘We want to work with you to really recognize the changing climate, and what it means to our forests.’ Crowfoot warned, ‘If we ignore that science, and sort of put our head in the sand, and think it’s all about vegetation management, we’re not going to succeed together protecting Californians.’ The president claimed the climate would “start getting cooler. ‘I wish science agreed with you,” Crowfoot replied. ‘I don’t think science knows,” the president responded.

    “The smoke has  destroyed air quality up and down the West Coast, yielding the eerie orange images of San Francisco last week. Together, the dozens of fires have burned more than 3 million acres.  The president has long denied the impact of man-made influence on climate change”.

    USA Today, Western Wildfires, Joe Biden cites climate change (Sept 15): “Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Monday cited climate change as a key factor in the fires blazing through much of the West, but Donald Trump on a visit to a California wildfire command center blamed ‘forest management’ for not controlling the situation…

    “If you give a climate denier four more years in the White House, why would we be surprised that we have more America ablaze?.. Wally Covington, professor of forestry at Northern Arizona University, attributed the fires to the decades-old failure of policymakers in addressing climate change and the effects of aggressive fire suppression on forests.’I was hopeful back in the ’90s and ’80s that maybe we would reverse climate change effects. Now I’m kind of pessimistic,” Covington said…

    “The wildfires and recent extreme weather underscore an urgent need to address climate change, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Monday. Biden was speaking shortly before President Donald Trump was to meet in California with Gov. Gavin Newsom and others to discuss the fires.Biden said the tragedy requires “leadership, not scapegoating” and that “it’s clear we are not safe in Donald Trump’s America.’… California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted: ‘The hots are getting hotter. The wets are getting wetter. Climate change isn’t something that is going to happen in the future. It’s happening right NOW.”

    NBC News, Majority of adults don’t trust Trump’s comments on Covid-19 vaccine (Sept 15): “A majority of American adults don’t trust what President Donald Trump has said about a coronavirus vaccine… 58 percent of adults who identify as Republicans or lean Republican say they trust what Trump has said about a vaccine… Just 3 percent of Democrats and those who lean Democratic say they trust the president’s vaccine rhetoric, while 88 percent say they don’t… There have also been reports that political appointees have tried to control messaging from the scientific experts, and experts raised concerns that the Trump administration was eroding faith in public health”.




    Dear Reader:

    Worldometer, Sept 17: over 30 million cases and getting closer to a million deaths worldwide. Getting closer to 7 million cases and over 201 thousand deaths in the U.S, over 40 thousand new cases and 1,151 new deaths in the U.S. yesterday.

    Over 5 million cases and over 84 thousand deaths in India, a record high of almost 98 thousand new cases and 1,139 new deaths yesterday.

    Yesterday, a record high of almost 12 thousand new cases were reported in Spain, 239 new deaths; close to 10 thousand new cases in France; a record high of more than 6 thousand new cases in Israel, almost 4 thousand new cases in the U.K., over 2 thousand new cases in Germany, over 1,500 new cases in the Netherlands, 1,450 new cases in Italy, 944 new cases in Canada,  40 new cases in Australia, zero new cases in China.

    AP Associated Press, Sept 16: “BERLIN (AP) — Satellite images show that smoke from wildfires in the western United States has reached as far as Europe, scientists said Wednesday…smoke from the fires had traveled 8,000 kilometers (almost 5,000 miles) through the atmosphere to Britain and other parts of northern Europe…’The scale and magnitude of these fires are at a level much higher than in any of the 18 years that our monitoring data covers, since 2003,’ Mark Parrington, a senior scientist and wildfire expert at Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, said.”



    Dear Reader:

    Worldometer (Sept 18): Over 30 million cases and over 950 thousand deaths worldwide. Yesterday, there were over 96 thousand new cases and 1,174 new deaths in India/ over 46 thousand new cases and 879 new deaths in the U.S./ over 35 thousand new cases and 857 new deaths in Brazil/ over 10 thousand new cases and and 50 new deaths in France/ over 4 thousands new cases (over 6 thousand new cases the day before yesterday) and 8 new deaths in Israel/ over 4 thousand new cases and 162 new deaths in Spain/ over 3 thousand new cases and 21 new deaths in the U.K.

    AFP: Europe imposes fresh curbs as global cases top 30 million (Sept 18): “Large parts of Europe on Friday geared up for broad new restrictions to stop the coronavirus and Israel became the first developed country to enforce a second nationwide shutdown, as infections worldwide topped the 30-million mark.

    Spain was set to unveil a raft of restrictions as officials in Madrid warned the capital had been overwhelmed by the virus and called for “decisive” action from central government… Britain’s government meanwhile warned on Friday that it could reimpose a national lockdown, noting rates of hospitalisation are doubling every eight days, and France prepared to roll out new curbs for major cities.



    Dear Reader:

    Worldometer, Sept 21: Over 31.4 million cases and over 967.5 thousand deaths worldwide. Over 7.4 million cases and over 204 thousand deaths in the U.S. Over 33 thousand new cases and 294 new deaths in the U.S. yesterday.

    Health, Dr. Fauci warns, don’t go there, Sept 20: “There’s a lot of advice about how to stay safe from the coronavirus this fall, but the nation’s top infectious-disease expert wants you to keep one tip at top of mind: stay out of restaurants and bars—basically, away from any indoor spaces with crowds.

    “In many states, restaurants and bars were closed early in the pandemic. Some states reopened bars, only to close them again when several outbreaks were linked to bars. Eight months into the COVID-19 era, New York is only just now allowing indoor restaurant service (at 25% capacity) as of Sept. 30; there, bars are still outdoor-only… Why? Fauci said that if you look at the figures on the CDC website, ‘that’s really telling.,, It shows the … risk of different types of situations that give you a higher risk of transmissibility, and coming right out at you from the figure is restaurants, bars, and gyms,’ said Fauci. ‘When you have restaurants indoors in a situation where you have a high degree of infection in the community [and] you’re not wearing a mask, that’s a problem… There’s no doubt about that.. those are things that are crystal clear’. In June, Fauci told a Congressional hearing, “Congregation at a bar inside is bad news. We’ve really got to stop that. Right now.” That month, 107 coronavirus cases were linked to a single bar in East Lansing, Michigan. In recent weeks, many colleges have welcomed students back to campus, only to cancel in-person classes because of COVID-19 outbreaks linked to indoor parties and gatherings.

    “Fauci has repeatedly advised that “outdoors is better than indoors.” Several studies have shown that the coronavirus can spread readily indoors via recirculated air in ventilation systems, while transmission outdoors is much less likely. Fresh air causes coronavirus particles to disperse before they can be inhaled or otherwise invade the mucous membranes, which experts believe are the primary means of COVID-19 transmission.

    “As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest”.

    The Washington Post, the CDC says Covid-19 is airborne and spread by aerosols, warns of badly ventilated spaces, Sept 20: “For months, scientists and public health experts have warned of mounting evidence that the novel coronavirus is airborne, transmitted through tiny droplets called aerosols that linger in the air much longer than the larger globs that come from coughing or sneezing. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees. The CDC recently changed its official guidance to note that aerosols are ‘thought to be the main way the virus spreads’ and to warn that badly ventilated indoor spaces are particularly dangerous.

    “’There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes),” the agency stated. “In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk. ‘While the CDC has not called for any new action to address the airborne threat of a virus that has now killed nearly 200,000 Americans, experts said the change should help to shift policy and public behavior…

    “‘Researchers long suspected that the virus could travel much farther, especially indoors and in places where people talk loudly or sing. Infamously, one infected person in March unknowingly passed covid-19 to 52 others at a choir practice in Washington state. Similar indoor ‘superspreader’ events added weight to the idea of an airborne threat… ‘Cloth masks are not designed to block aerosols. And 6 feet apart may be insufficient, [especially] indoors [with] poor ventilation.’ The change should drive people to adopt concrete solutions to slowing airborne transmission, Jimenez said, such as wearing more tightly fitting masks, improving ventilation and keeping as much distance as possible from others when indoors.”

    Reuters, U.S., to  surpass grim milestone of 200,000 Covid-19 deaths (Sept 21): “Trump has frequently questioned the advice of scientific experts on everything from the timing of a vaccine to reopening schools and businesses to wearing a mask. He has refused to support a national mask mandate and held large political rallies where few wore masks. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield recently told Congress that a face mask would provide more guaranteed protection than a vaccine, which would only be broadly available by ‘late second quarter, third quarter 2021.’

    “Trump refuted the timeline for the vaccine and said that it may be available in a matter of weeks and ahead of the Nov. 3 election. On Friday he said he expects all Americans to have a vaccine by April. Biden, who often wears a mask and has said he would require masks nationwide, has warned against a rushed release of a vaccine, saying, ‘Let me be clear: I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump.’…

    “The University of Washington’s health institute is forecasting coronavirus fatalities reaching 378,000 by the end of 2020, with the daily death toll skyrocketing to 3,000 per day in December. Over 70% of those in the United States who have lost their lives to the virus were over the age of 65, according to CDC data. The southern states of Texas and Florida contributed the most deaths in the United States in the past two weeks and was closely followed by California. California, Texas and Florida – the three most populous U.S. states – have recorded the most coronavirus infections and have long surpassed the state of New York, which was the epicenter of the outbreak in early 2020. The country as a whole is reporting over 40,000 new infections on average each day. Six out of every 10,000 residents in the United States has died of the virus, according to Reuters data, one of the highest rates among developed nations. Brazil follows the United States in the number of overall deaths due to the virus, with over 136,000 fatalities.”


    • This reply was modified 4 months ago by anita.

    Dear Reader:

    Worldometer (Sept 22): Almost 32 million cases and over 972 thousand deaths worldwide. Over 7 million cases and over 205 thousand deaths in the U.S. Over 30 thousands new cases and 384 new deaths yesterday, in the U.S.

    CNN, Anthony Fauci U.S. 200,000 Coronavirus deaths (Sept 22): “Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday said the US reaching 200,000 coronavirus deaths is ‘very sobering, and in some respects, stunning,’ while adding that Americans should trust medical experts despite at times conflicting signals from the highest levels of government.

    “‘The idea of 200,000 deaths is really very sobering, and in some respects, stunning,’ the nation’s top infectious doctor told CNN’s Sanjay Gupta during the Citizen by CNN conference shortly before the US reached the grim milestone late Tuesday morning. ‘We do have within our capability — even before we get a vaccine, which we will get reasonably soon — we have the capability by doing things that we have been speaking about for so long, Sanjay, that could prevent the transmission, and by preventing transmission, ultimately preventing the morbidity and mortality that we see.’ He mentioned measures such as frequent hand washing and mask wearing.

    “Fauci said he is concerned about the country not having control of the virus’ spread ahead of the winter season that could exacerbate it. And depending upon your own social situation, indoors for you or another person may mean poor ventilation, poor air flow. And difficulty getting the kind of removal of anything that would lead to spread,’ adding that he’d like to see the US go into the fall and winter months ‘at such a low level that when you have the inevitable cases, you can handle them.’

    “‘I don’t want to really make this kind of a dark thing that ‘oh, my goodness, it’s inevitable that we are going to get into serious trouble,’ he continued. ‘We can’t throw our hands up and say, ‘It’s hopeless, it’s going to happen anyway.’ That is unacceptable to take that approach. On the other hand, it’s not acceptable to not realize that we are entering into a risk period and we’ve got to act accordingly as we enter into that risk period.’

    “President Donald Trump had praised his administration’s response to the pandemic on Monday, telling “Fox & Friends” that “we’ve done a phenomenal job’ and giving himself an “A+” on how he has handled the virus.

    “Fauci, answering a question Tuesday from a viewer on what grade he would give Trump’s pandemic response, said, ‘Take a look at the numbers and make up your own mind.. I mean, you know, we don’t need a sound bite from me. Take a look at the numbers,’ he said.

    “On Monday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention abruptly reverted to its previous guidance about how coronavirus is transmitted, removing language about airborne transmission it had posted days earlier. The move added to confusion about the virus spurred by mixed messaging from the White House on preventative measures and mask wearing.

    “Many doctors and researchers have also cautioned for months that the virus can be transmitted through small airborne viral particles. Asked where people should get trusted information about the virus, Fauci said Tuesday, ‘they need to get it by following the scientific data and the scientific evidence… The fact is you’ve got to go with the scientific data,’ he said.

    “‘One of the things that the public needs to understand is that this is an evolving situation and the people who say, ‘Well, how can I trust anybody because things change,’ what changes is the fact that we are in an evolving outbreak. And the things that we did not know a few months ago allowed us to at the time use the scientific information to make recommendations that were appropriate at the time and because the data were telling us at the same time. As we learned more, things changed. It’s appropriate to make changes in recommendations based on the additional knowledge that you know.’

    “He also said one can assume ‘that some aspect of transmission can be and is by aerosol’ and said ‘it doesn’t change anything that we have been saying: It means wear your mask.'”


    • This reply was modified 4 months ago by anita.

    Dear Reader:

    Worldometer (Sept 23): Almost 32 million cases and close to 1 million deaths worldwide.

    Over 7 million cases and over 205 thousand deaths in the US, with over 36 thousand new cases and 968 new deaths yesterday.

    India, with over 5.7 million cases and over 96 thousand deaths, reported over 80 thousand new cases and 1056 new deaths yesterday. Brazil with over 4.6 million cases and over 138 thousand deaths reported over 35 thousand new cases and 809 new deaths yesterday.

    Close to 11 thousand new cases (second record high following March 20) and 241 new deaths in Spain. Close to 5 thousand new cases (highest since May 2) and  37 new deaths yesterday.

    AP: The latest: More restrictions in store for hard-hit Madrid (Sept 23):  “MADRID — Health authorities in Madrid may extend to more communities the restrictions on movement it imposed on areas of the Spanish capital with high coronavirus infection rates. About 860,000 Madrid residents already are required to justify trips out of 37 neighborhoods, mostly working-class areas. People have complained that the restrictions stigmatize the poor. The region’s deputy health chief, Antonio Zapatero, said Wednesday that a decision on additional measures, including possible customer limits in restaurants, would be announced on Friday, Zapatero said the outbreak situation in the Madrid region, which has a population of 6.6 million, was one of “sustained increase.”

    “Madrid had a contagion rate of 772 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days, nearly three times Spain’s national average of 287 cases per 100,000. Other parts of the country are also seeing increases in new confirmed cases. Spain recorded 241 more virus-related deaths on Tuesday, bringing the total death toll to 30,904.”

    CBS News: U.K. leader tightens up Covid restrictions as virus surges back (Sept 23):

    “London— British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hit U.K. residents with some sobering numbers on Tuesday evening, and then tightened up coronavirus restrictions in a bid to avert grim worst case scenarios. ‘A month ago, on average, around 1,000 people across the U.K. were testing positive for coronavirus every day,’ Johnson said. ‘The latest figure has almost quadrupled to 3,929.’  Worrying officials even more was the fact that, as France and Spain have seen with their “second wave,” the rise in new infections has now started to translate into more hospitalizations in the U.K., and even a slight upturn in the number of deaths recorded every day.

    “If nothing is done to stem the spread of the virus, Johnson warned that the current trajectory could mean hundreds of deaths per day by next month. So after encouraging people to return to their workplaces in July, on Tuesday the premier told people in England to revert to working from home if they can. In Scotland and Wales, the work-from-home advice from national leaders had never even been lifted… From this week masks will also be mandatory across England for retail staff and in taxis, with fines going up to about $250 for rule breakers. Businesses that fail to comply could be fined more than $12,000, or even shut down. Pubs and restaurants will be forced to close at 10 p.m. across the U.K., and soccer stadiums will be shut to the public. For now, schools across Britain will remain open. Johnson warned that the reinstated measures could last for six months, or at least until the rate of the disease’s spread is brought back under control.

    “The key metric used by his government is the so-called “R” number, which measures how many others a single person infected with the virus is expected to pass it on to. If the R number is over 1, then one COVID-19 carrier would be expected, statistically, to infect more than one other person, reflecting a spreading epidemic. U.K. health officials put the R number at around 1.2-1.4 as of Tuesday, and until it comes back down to 1 or lower, the measures are unlikely to be eased — and they could be increased. Johnson’s administration has not ruled out imposing a second nationwide lockdown.

    “‘Now is the time for us all to summon the discipline and resolve and spirit of togetherness that will carry us through,’ Johnson said.

    Business Insider: Trump once defined success as keeping US Covid deaths below 200,000. When he failed, he said real failure would be 2.5 million , he said real failure would be 2.5 million dead (Sept 23):

    “On Tuesday, the US’ Covid-19 death toll surpassed 200,000… In March, President Donald Trump said that if the US could keep the death toll between 100,000 and 200,000 that would be a ‘very good job.’ At the time, the figure was seen as a distant prospect, and a way to distract from the rate at which the virus was spreading.

    “Months later, when 200,000 had indeed died, Trump instead switched to a new criterion. He claimed instead that because the US made the “right” decisions, a hypothetical 2.5 million deaths had been prevented. The United States hit a grim milestone on Tuesday, recording 200,000 coronavirus deaths and 6.8 million infections, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The figures are the worst in the world.

    “Throughout the crisis, President Donald Trump’s criteria for what constitutes success in battling the pandemic has shifted as the number of infections and death toll has continued to mount. As the virus first began to spread through the US in February, the president said that it would just go away. And later, as the death toll reached 2,400, Trump said that he would have done a “very good job” if the US could keep its death toll between 100,000 and 200,000…

    “On Tuesday when asked about the number of deaths having tipped 200,000, Trump said “it’s a shame” and “a horrible thing.” He went on to claim that because the US had not reached the 2 million or more deaths number he cited before, that his decisions had been correct. ‘I think if we didn’t do it properly and didn’t do it right, you’d have two and a half million deaths,’ he said.

    “Under Trump’s new set of criteria, it would seem anything below 2.5 million deaths could be hailed as a success.

    “After his comments to reporters Tuesday, he set off for a rally in Pennsylvania, where few supporters wore masks or observed social distancing. At the rally, he largely avoided the topic of the coronavirus death toll. Instead, he attacked his rival for the presidency, Democratic nominee Joe Biden, claiming Biden has received plastic surgery which his mask conceals. Biden has consistently advocated wearing masks. ‘What the hell did he spend all that money on the plastic surgery if he’s going to cover it up?’ said Trump.”



    Dear Reader:

    Worldometer (Sept 28): More than 33.4 million cases and over a million deaths worldwide.

    Over 7.3 million cases and over 209.5 thousand deaths in the US, with over 33.7 thousand new cases and 276 new deaths yesterday (a decrease from 737 new deaths the day before yesterday).

    India, with over 6 million cases and over 96 thousand deaths reported over 82.7 thousand new cases and 1,040 new deaths yesterday.

    Vox, Experts say Covid-19 cases are likely to surge (Sept 28): “The surge of Covid-19 cases and deaths in America over the summer resulted from a toxic mix of factors: states reopening, lockdown fatigue, and a season typically filled with vacations and holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. People gathered and celebrated indoors — at bars, restaurants, and friends and family’s homes. Millions of people got sick, and tens of thousands died.

    “This fall, experts worry it will all happen again: States are rolling back restrictions, people are eager to get back to normal, and Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up. America may be on the verge of repeating the same mistakes, which would risk yet another surge in the Covid-19 epidemic…

    “Part of the problem is America never really suppressed its Covid-19 cases to begin with. Think of a disease epidemic like a forest fire: It’s going to be really difficult to contain the virus when there are still flames raging in parts of the forest and small embers practically everywhere. The country always risks a full blaze with each step toward reopening and with each failure to take precautions seriously. Consider Florida. This month, the state reopened bars and, more recently, restaurants, despite the high risk of these indoor spaces. The last time Florida opened bars, in June, experts said the establishments were largely to blame for the state’s massive Covid-19 outbreak in the summer. As Florida reopens now, it has roughly two to three times the number of Covid-19 cases that it had in early June.. The state is fanning its flames while its most recent fire is nowhere near extinguished…

    “The fall and winter threaten to make things much worse. Schools will continue to reopen. The cold in northern parts of America will push people back inside, where the virus has a much easier time spreading than the outdoors. Families and friends will come together for the holidays. A flu season could strain the health care system further…

    “Of particular interest is indoor dining at restaurants and bars, which are reopening at varying levels across the country. Experts characterize these settings as perhaps the worst imaginable spaces for Covid-19 spread: People are close together for long periods of time; they can’t wear masks as they eat or drink; the air can’t dilute the virus like it can outdoors; and alcohol could lead people to drop their guards further…

    “By striking this balance, the country can not only avoid more infections and deaths but potentially an outbreak from getting so bad that it necessitates another lockdown. While experts all agreed that there’s zero political appetite for a lockdown right now, a massive surge in the fall and winter could leave the US with no other option. Israel, for example, has shut down until early October at the earliest after suffering a massive increase in cases…

    “The country (USA) has already shown a much higher tolerance for Covid-19 cases and deaths than the rest of the developed world. Trump, for his part, seems content with that — recently stating that the coronavirus “affects virtually nobody” and showing no interest in changing his hands-off approach. If that holds, America could suffer tens of thousands more predictable, preventable deaths, on top of the 200,000 Covid-19 deaths it’s already seen.”



    Dear Reader:

    Worldometer (Sept 29): Still over 33 million cases and over a million deaths worldwide. Still over 7 million cases and close to 210 thousand deaths in the US, with over 37 thousand new cases and 355 new deaths yesterday. There are over 6 million cases and close to 100 thousand deaths in India, with almost 70 thousand new cases and 77 new deaths yesterday.

    The New York Times, Pandemic is far from over, experts say, despite Trump allies’ claims (Sept 29): “In the last two weeks, leading epidemiologists from many respected institutions have, through different methods, reached the same conclusion: About 85 to 90 percent of the American population is still susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the current pandemic. The number is important because it means that “herd immunity” — the point at which a disease stops spreading because nearly everyone in a population has contracted it — is still very far off.

    “The evidence — both from antibody testing and from epidemiological modeling — runs strongly counter to a theory being promoted in influential circles that the United States has either already achieved herd immunity or is close to doing so, and that the pandemic is all but over. That conclusion would imply that businesses, schools and restaurants could safely reopen, and that masks and other distancing measures could be abandoned…

    “That belief began circulating months ago on conservative news programs like those of Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham. It has been cited several times by Dr. Scott W. Atlas, President Trump’s new pandemic adviser. It appears to be behind Mr. Trump’s recent remarks that the pandemic is “rounding the corner”, and “would go away even without a vaccine”…

    “On Friday, the C.D.C., citing still-unreleased data from blood samples collected at commercial laboratories across the country this summer, said that less than 10 percent of samples contained antibodies to the virus…

    “The chief proponents of the idea that herd immunity is somehow close at hand are American and European medical professionals who oppose lockdowns. They contend that most people in the world are immune to the virus thanks to “T-cell immunity” derived from having contracted common colds that were caused by the four relatively benign coronaviruses that have circulated for years. But this theory is unfounded. Helper T-cells are white blood cells that, once “primed” by an initial infection, can linger in the tissues for decades until they meet the same virus again and destroy it, by triggering the production of antibodies and by summoning other virus-killers…

    “Primed T-cells may lower the odds of dying from the new, dangerous coronavirus, Dr. Crotty said, but that has not been proven. There is no evidence that they protect against becoming infected with it. The experts who promote the theory that primed T-cells even stop infections typically are not immunologists. Dr. Atlas, a radiologist, has argued on Fox News since July that ‘people have immunity, even people that didn’t get the infection.’.. Dr. Fauci said that he ‘knew of no scientific evidence’ that common cold-derived T-cells protect against infection with SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, he added, any contention that the pandemic was dying out ‘makes absolutely no sense at all.’..

    “The assumption that T-cells primed by common colds offer protection against SARS-CoV-2 is ‘completely speculative,’ said Dr. Crotty (a virologist at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology) who was a co-author of the first study to show that primed T-cells exist in stored blood. ‘It’s possible they help. It’s possible they don’t do anything. And it’s possible they are harmful.’ So, he said, the claim that 50 percent of Americans have prior immunity and 20 percent have been immunized by infection, so therefore 70 percent herd immunity has been reached, as Mr. Cummins and Senator Paul have suggested, ‘is convenient arithmetic, but it’s just wrong arithmetic.'”

    The Washington Post, CDC’s credibility is eroded by internal blunders and external attacks.. (Sept 28): “The agency’s response to the worst public health crisis in a century — the coronavirus pandemic — has been marked by technical blunders and botched messaging. The agency has endured false accusations and interference by Trump administration political appointees…

    “CDC Director Robert Redfield, appointed by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar in 2018, is a well-known AIDS researcher who had never led an organization so large and complex. While his credentials are solid, he does not cut an effective, confidence-inspiring figure on television. He often speaks in a monotone, his eyes frequently closed…

    “Inside the CDC, staffers acknowledge Redfield’s limitations as a leader but are fearful that, if he is ousted or quits, the White House will install someone of a more distinctly political or ideological bent — such as Scott Atlas, a Stanford University neuroradiologist and Trump pandemic adviser. Atlas, who has said pandemic fears are overblown, has become a Trump favorite and has publicly criticized Redfield in recent days. Atlas has no experience in public health but attends all meetings of the White House coronavirus task force. Moving to replace Redfield with someone such as Atlas would further erode morale and probably lead to resignations, staffers say.”

    CNN, Police broke up a massive party of over 1,000 people at Florida State University off-campus housing (Sept 28): “Police officers in Tallahassee, home of Florida State University’s sprawling campus, responded to more than a dozen calls for in reference to large crowds last weekend.. The massive party came as nearly 1,500 students have tested positive for the coronavirus since testing began August 2. Florida Gov. Rick DeSantis called for ‘some type of bill of rights for students’ that would protect them from ‘draconian’ punishments put in place to stop its spread.. ‘That’s what college kids do, and they’re at low risk,’ DeSantis said about the partying students. ‘And I just think that we’ve got to be reasonable about this and really focus the efforts on where the most significant risk is.’

    “John Thrasher, FSU’s president, appealed to students in a letter last month to wear masks and stay six feet apart, admonishing those who hosted or attended large parties or gatherings. ‘The choices you make don’t just impact you,’ Thrasher said in the September 18 letter. ‘They affect your friends, families, professors, FSU staff and the Tallahassee community at large, as well as our ability to hold in-person classes and future events and provide campus services.'”




    Dear Reader:

    Worldometer (October 2): over 34.6 million cases and over a million deaths worldwide. Over 7.5 million cases and almost 213 thousand deaths in the US, with over 47 thousand new cases and 920 new deaths yesterday.

    There are 2,628 new cases and 129 new deaths in Florida yesterday, 2,277 new cases and 47 new deaths in North Carolina, 1,965 new cases and 26 new deaths in Missouri.

    The Washington Post, Trump says he and first lady have tested positive for coronavirus, Oct 1: “President Trump and his wife, Melania, have contracted the novel coronavirus, he announced early Friday, after months in which he has often played down a pandemic that has killed more than 205,000 Americans and sickened millions more.

    “Trump, 74, was diagnosed hours after it became publicly known that Hope Hicks, a top Trump aide who traveled with him on Air Force One and Marine One this week, tested positive Thursday morning…  Vice President Pence tested negative for the virus Friday morning, a spokesman said…

    “Even as the virus exploded across the nation, Trump has continued to hold large events indoors and outdoors featuring mostly maskless crowds of people who squeezed together to greet the president… Trump has regularly appeared in public and in private without a mask — and has mocked Biden for wearing one and for curbing his campaign events for safety’s sake. The president has insisted that the virus is mostly dangerous to older people — a group to which he belongs — or those with health complications, although medical experts say the virus can strike anyone…

    “At Tuesday’s debate, Trump was pressed on his insistence on having huge campaign rallies where no one is required to wear facial coverings or to socially distance. ‘We’ve had no negative effect, and we’ve had 35 to 40,000 people at some of these rallies,’ Trump said. Biden shot back: “He’s been totally irresponsible the way in which he has handled the social distancing and people wearing masks, basically encouraged them not to. He’s a fool on this.’ Trump replied: ‘If you could get the crowds, you would have done the same thing. But you can’t. Nobody cares.’”

    AFP, Trump age and weight add to Covid risks, Oct 2: “As a 74-year-old obese man, Donald Trump has several known risk factors after contracting Covid-19, but experts say it is difficult to predict how the American president will be affected by a disease that leaves some without symptoms but is deadly to others…

    “At his most recent medical check-up, published in June, Trump weighed-in at 244 pounds (110.67 kg). For his height of six feet and three inches (1.91 meters), this means he exceeded the official threshold of obesity for a second year in a row. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person in this category is three times as likely to need hospital care than someone with a lower weight.  Another high risk factor is age.  The CDC reports that eight of 10 Covid-19 related deaths in the US are of people over 65…

    “Coronavirus infection can begin on a slow burn, often taking several days before symptoms appear ‘Most studies suggest that those with symptomatic COVID-19 infections could remain outside hospital during the first 5-7 days of the illness but thereafter it may become more serious requiring hospitalisation — or they start to recover by themselves,’ said Julian Tang, Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Leicester.

    “Trump is the latest world leader to become infected.  Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalised with the virus in April and spent three nights in intensive care, before recovering and returning to work… Tang said it was ‘not so surprising’ that both men had caught the virus, given the large number of contacts they would have as part of their everyday duties.

    “Trump has also been reluctant to endorse protective measures.  He first appeared in public in a mask in July, but has since rarely been seen wearing one… Trump sparked uproar earlier this year by saying he was taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure, against the advice of many medical authorities.  The drug, which he later stopped, has shown in several trials to have no benefit as a Covid-19 treatment.”

    abc News, ‘Aerosol’ vs. ‘airborne’ vs. ‘droplets’ amid Covid-19, what you need to know, Oct 2: “Aerosol is a catch-all term for any solid or liquid particle so tiny and lightweight it can become suspended in air and float. Smoke and dust are examples. Some viruses can become aerosols, making airborne transmission possible… Airborne is when a droplet containing a virus is small enough to float in the air, and airborne transmission occurs when that infectious particle is inhaled by someone else. An example would be catching a cold from someone across the room who sneezes, with those particles making their way into your body and infecting you.

    Droplets are large mucus or saliva particles heavier than air that fall toward the ground as soon as they’re expelled, and droplet transmission typically occurs when a droplet containing a virus comes in contact with another person’s eyes, nose or mouth. An example might be a loud-talking person whose droplets make contact with your face. Viruses travel much farther when airborne compared with when they’re contained in droplets.

    “COVID-19 originally was thought to be spread only by droplet transmission — 6-foot social distancing guidelines were based on research that showed droplet transmission occurred most easily at such short distances. Scientists still believe this is the primary way coronavirus spreads person to person.

    “But more evidence is mounting that the virus could become an aerosol, leading to airborne spread. Although many scientists now believe airborne transmission is possible, many agree the majority of infections happen when people are crowded close together, exchanging the heavier droplets.

    “The World Health Organization updated its online COVID-19 guidance in July to include information on airborne transmission. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention followed suit on Sept. 18 but retracted the information a few days later, stating it was posted in error. The CDC has yet to issue an update on airborne transmission. For many scientists, the CDC’s confusing, disjointed stance on airborne transmission has been discouraging. The scientific community decried the mixed messaging, emphasizing the need for clear, unified public information.

    “‘The science supporting [airborne transmission] is not as strong as we would like,’ added Schaffner, saying there’s still debate over the exact role airborne transmission plays in spreading COVID-19. Still, infectious disease experts like Schaffner say it’s important for the CDC to at least acknowledge it’s possible — particularly in indoor spaces with poor ventilation. With clearer guidance from the CDC, Schaffner said, businesses operating indoor spaces can better prepare themselves by taking precautions, like adding new ventilation systems and limiting crowds, to defend against possible transmission.”



    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by anita.

    Dear Reader:

    Worldometer (October 6): over 35 million cases and over a million deaths worldwide. Over 7.6 million cases and over 215 thousand deaths in the U.S., with over 41.5 thousand new cases and 421 new deaths yesterday.

    There are over 6.7 million cases and over 103.7 thousand deaths in India, with over 59.8 thousand new cases and 886 new deaths yesterday.

    All-time pandemic highs of new cases occurred Monday, Oct 5, in the U.K. (12,594 new cases), in the Netherland (4,579 new cases), in Canada (2,804 new cases), and in Switzerland (1,548 new cases). Yesterday was Finland’s second wave pandemic high of 164 new cases.

    All-time pandemic high of new cases occurred Sunday, Oct 4 in Belgium (3,389 new cases), and Friday, Oct 2 in Hungary (1,322 new cases) and in Greece (460 new cases).

    All-time pandemic high occurred three days ago, Saturday, Oct 3 in France (17 thousand new cases), in the Ukraine (4,661 new cases), in Poland (2,367 new cases).  The same day was Italy’s second wave pandemic high (2,844 new cases; March-May was the first wave with 6,544 new cases high , second wave started August), Austria’s second wave pandemic high (1,058 new cases), and Ireland’s second wave pandemic high (605 new cases).

    Germany’s second wave high was yesterday, Oct 5 (3,086 new cases; March -May was the first wave with 6,933 new cases high).

    Israel’s all time pandemic high occurred on Sept 23 (11,316 new cases), and Denmark’s all time pandemic high occurred on Sept 25 (678 new cases).

    The Telegraph, Winter resurgence of Covid-19 predicted as experts warn of hard times ahead (Aug 18): “Scientists say the virus spreads faster in cold dry air and may peak again when we are huddled inside. There is growing evidence that seasonal factors could influence the evolution of the current Covid‐19 pandemic, with experts predicting human-to-human transmission of the virus will become more widespread in winter…

    “The latest study, published on Tuesday in Transboundary and Emerging Disease Journal, found an association between low relative humidity and an increase in community transmission of Sars-CoV-2 in the Greater Sydney area during the early stages of the pandemic. It estimated that for every one per cent drop in relative humidity, confirmed Covid-19 cases increased by seven to eight per cent.

    “Although it rains more in winter, the air comes dryer because cold air holds less moisture. It’s why we have “muggy” summers and “crisp” winters. Indoor heating dries things further through evaporation. Why would the virus prefer dry air? According to Professor Michael Ward, an epidemiologist at the University of Sydney and lead author of the study, it’s because the droplets we exhale become smaller when they have less moisture to become enveloped in.

    “‘When you sneeze and cough, those smaller infectious aerosols can stay suspended in the air for longer,’ he told the Australian, the newspaper which first reported the research. ‘That increases the exposure for other people. When the air is humid and the aerosols are larger and heavier, they fall and hit surfaces quicker,’ he said…

    “Human behaviour also plays an important role. As the biologist and physicist Richard Neher at the University of Basel has noted, ‘people spend more time indoors’ in winter…Combine this with drier, less ventilated rooms and the pronounced seasonality of other coronaviruses and it is clear the European winter poses a clear risk of second spike…’To me, this suggests controlling Sars-CoV-2 in the Northern Hemisphere will become a lot harder over the next six months and things might spiral out of control quickly.”



    Dear Reader:

    Worldometer (October 8): over 36 million cases and over a million deaths worldwide. Over 7.8 million cases and over 217 thousand deaths in the U.S., with over 48 thousand new cases and 930 new deaths yesterday. The greatest increases in cases has been in Florida, Wisconsin and Illinois.

    More than 78 thousand new cases and 963 new deaths in India yesterday. Yesterday, an all-time-pandemic high of over 18.7 thousand new cases in France. The all-time-pandemic-high in the U.K occurred the day before yesterday, Oct 6: over 14.5 thousand new cases. Oct 6 was also the winter highest number of new cases in Russia:  over 11.61 thousand new cases (May is the all-time-pandemic high of new cases with a 11.65 thousand new cases in Russia).

    Yesterday was the winter highest number of new cases in Italy: 3.67 thousand new cases. Yesterday was also an all-time-pandemic high of new cases (over 3 thousands), and an all-time-pandemic-high of new deaths (74) in Poland.

    – The northern hemisphere winter-in-progress is bringing about what I refer to as the Winter Wave, in progress.



    Dear Reader:

    Worldometer (October 11): over 37.7 million cases and over 1.08 million deaths worldwide. Almost 8 million cases and almost 220 thousand deaths in the U.S., with over 54 thousand new cases and 723 new deaths yesterday. The greatest recent daily increases in new cases (from most to least) are in Illinois, Wisconsin, California, Texas and Tennessee, each with a recent increase of over 2 thousand cases.

    Over 15 thousand new cases  and 81 new deaths yesterday in the U.K.,  in this Northern Hemisphere (Canada, U.S. Europe) Winter Pandemic Wave.

    There were over 74.5 thousand new cases and 921 new deaths yesterday in India.



    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by anita.
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