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Day 101: Pulling Into May

USA

  • White House blocks Fauci from testifying at House coronavirus hearing. A White House spokesman said it would be “counter-productive” for the health official to testify, adding that the Trump administration would work with Congress on testimony at a later date. 
  • There may be good evidence to suggest that the quadrivalent seasonal flu shot does not raise the risk of contracting Covid-19, or warrant a worsened outcome if one does contract the disease.
  • The Ars Technica COVID-19 vaccine primer: 100-plus in the works, 8 in clinical trials. They have at least 102 vaccine candidates in development worldwide. Eight of those have already entered early clinical trials in people. At least two have protected a small number of monkeys from infection with the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, that causes COVID-19.
  • At least 30 states have started allowing some businesses to operate or announced plans to do so in May. The reopening of America, however, is happening with little consensus on how it should proceed with state and local officials and, in some cases, business owners drawing their own conclusions about how to balance medical and economic risks.
  • The coronavirus pandemic is likely to last at least another 18 months and won’t be controlled until about two-thirds of the world’s population is immune, said a report by a team of longstanding pandemic experts. They recommended that the U.S. prepare for a worst-case scenario, including a second big wave of coronavirus infections in the fall and winter. In the best-case scenario, people will continue to die from the virus, they predicted. (CNN / Bloomberg)
  • Trump, notorious for hating to help anyone for any reason, says he’s in no rush to help states that are short on cash. He said Democrats would have to make concessions if they want grants for state governments. “If they do it, they’re going to have to give us a lot,” Trump said in a podcast interview with conservative commentator Dan Bongino that aired Friday.
  • Attorney General William Barr said it’s time “to start rolling back” in a measured way restrictions that were put in place to deal with the coronavirus crisis, a signal the Justice Department could consider legal action against officials who resist acting.Trump, meanwhile, tweeted support for protesters – some of whom were armed – in Michigan, telling Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to “make a deal” with them. Last month, Trump tweeted to “LIBERATE” Michigan.
  • Mike Pence’s office threatened to retaliate against the journalist who revealed that Pence’s staff aware of the requirement to wear face masks while visiting the Mayo Clinic. Pence was the only one in the room not wearing one during his visit, despite the Minnesota clinic requiring all visitors to wear masks to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. Karen Pence claimed that Pence wasn’t aware of the rule until after the visit, but reporter Steve Herman tweeted that “All of us who traveled with [Pence] were notified by the office of @VP the day before the trip that wearing of masks was required by the @MayoClinic and to prepare accordingly.” Pence’s office contacted Herman, saying he violated the off-the-record terms that had been sent to him and other reporters before the trip and then banned him from traveling on Air Force Two unless Herman apologizes for his tweet. On Thursday, Pence wore a face mask while visiting a General Motors plant that is making ventilators.
  • Publicly traded companies received more than $1 billion in funds meant for small businesses from the economic stimulus package. Nearly 300 public companies have reported receiving money from the Paycheck Protection Program

Today’s projection data:
Total projected cases in the US: 1,147,978
Total projected deaths in the US: 64,399

Today’s actual data:
Total cases in the US: 1,131,876
Total deaths in the US: 65,708

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