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Coronavirus

Trump Knew Coronavirus Was ‘Deadly,’ Bob Woodward Book Says

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“I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic,” Trump said on the TV show Hannity on Wednesday.

What We Know:

  • In his new book, Rage, out September 15th, a lauded journalist named Bob Woodward shares a series of interviews that he had with President Trump from December 2019 to July 2020. In said interviews, on February 7th, President Trump admitted that he knew the virus was airborne and “more deadly than even your strenuous flus”. At the time he believed it was 5 times as deadly as the common flu, even as he tried to quiet concerns from the public about the virus. “I wanted to always play it down,” Trump told Woodward on March 19th.
  • Rage also shares damning assessments of President Trump’s tenure from national security officials including former Defense Secretary James Mattis, former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Mattis alone referred to Trump as “dangerous” and “unfit” to serve the office of the presidency and the American people.
  • President Trump has defended his statements on Twitter, to reporters, on Fox News, and in a White House Press Conference. When speaking with Sean Hannity on Wednesday, Trump said he didn’t want to cause further panic about the virus.

“I’m a cheerleader for this country, and I don’t want to see panic. We would have lost 2 million-2.5 million lives instead of the number we’re talking about—anything above one is no good, it’s no good, we can’t have it, it was China’s fault. They sent this to us, and it’s no good.”

  • President Trump went on to say that other Democratic leaders like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi were ‘way way late’ in recognizing the dangers of the virus. Though both leaders waited to acknowledge the danger of the virus, it’s unclear whether they had access to the same information as President Trump.
  • Trump also clarified his hope that states will open up quickly. He listed North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Michigan as states who “don’t know what they’re doing, frankly,” because they are still experiencing shutdowns.
  • The President took his the defense to Twitter.

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden reacted to the comments by saying the President’s actions were “disgusting” and a “life and death betrayal of the American people”. Mr. Biden focused on the numbers noting that experts believe if Trump had changed course just one week sooner 36,000 lives would have been saved and going on to say, “If he acted two weeks sooner, back in March, 54,000 lives would have been spared in March and April alone.”
  • How are conservative thinkers reacting to the news? Greg Gutfield of Fox News shared his feelings on the matter with Fox and Friends saying that this is a democratic tactic to incite panic, “Trump told Woodward that information because to him, it was an obvious truth—that leaders know stuff they keep from the public they have to manage, because that’s their role as a leader so you don’t make it worse…There is the comfortable and well-known phrase, ‘Keep calm and carry on.’ It’s well-known for a reason. Experts I talk to, every time I talk to them, said the panic can be worse than the pandemonium.”
  • The President is facing criticism from all sides for not embracing the reality of the virus earlier than he did, as well as for saying it was part of a Democratic hoax at a campaign rally in South Carolina in February of this year. He has also faced accusations of racism for blaming the virus on China and calling it the “Chinese virus”.

Coronavirus has taken the lives of over 191,000 Americans so far and rages on.

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Coronavirus

28-year-old Houston Doctor Dies after Battle with Coronavirus

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28-year-old Houston Doctor Dies after Battle with Coronavirus

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, its deathly unforgiving grasp continues to take young bright minds from us. A 28-year-old Houston doctor from Syracuse has passed away after contracting a serious case of coronavirus and battling it for over two months, says the family.

What We Know:

  • According to Syracuse.com, Dr. Adeline Fagan was on her way towards completing her second year of residency as an Obstetrician-Gynecologist (OB-GYN) in Houston, and later became infected with coronavirus in July while doing a rotation treating other coronavirus patients in the emergency room.
  • Fagan moved to Houston to continue her career, while most of her family remained in Syracuse, New York. Soon after learning the news of their daughter falling ill, her parents had to travel from New York all the way down to Texas. This prompted the family to start a GoFundMe page in an effort to help cover all related medical and travel costs, which ended up raising around $160,000 by more than 3,000 donors.
  • Fagan’s family wrote, “That morning, she went into work feeling well and excited to see patients, but by the evening she began to feel under the weather.” They explained how what started out as the regular flu, quickly turned into a week’s stay at the hospital.
  • As time went on, her condition seemed to worsen every day. Eventually, medical professionals suggested they try an experimental drug on her and placed the patient in a life-support device called the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine (ECMO).

  • “Before we could see if this new drug was effective, her lungs could no longer support her,” her family wrote.
  • After those treatments were administered Fagan spent, what would be the remainder of her life, connected to a ventilator in an intensive care unit. That was when the family received news their daughter was doing slightly better and before the family was told over the weekend that she had suffered “massive brain bleeding”, which required surgery immediately. A doctor noted that this sort of event is not usual after a patient spends time in the ECMO.
  • The surgery was a last-ditch effort to save young Fagan’s life. The family was made aware she had a brutal 1 in a million chance of making it through the procedure. Even if she had survived, she would have unfortunately suffered long term and possibly lifelong effects such as several severe cognitive and sensory problems.

The family last recollection of Fagan was spending the “the remaining minutes hugging, comforting, and talking to Adeline, and then the world stopped”. As of September 22nd, 2020, over 2,600 people from the ages of 18-39 have died from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

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Single Plane Passenger Gave COVID-19 to 15 Others, CDC Says

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According to a study published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a single passenger spread COVID-19 to 15 other passengers aboard a flight from London, England to Hanoi, Vietnam.

What We Know:

  • In the study, researchers identified a 27-year-old woman from Vietnam who had a sore throat and a cough before the flight as the source of the outbreak. As a result of the March 1 flight, twelve passengers in business class, two passengers in economy, and a crew member were infected. Additionally, upon the women’s arrival in Vietnam, her symptoms progressed further and she tested positive for coronavirus four days later.
  • According to the study, by March 10, contact tracing was conducted for all 217 people aboard the flight. While the people aboard the flight traveled to 15 different provinces in Vietnam, there was no “strong evidence” supporting potential COVID-19 exposure to others outside those on the flight.
  • “The risk for on-board transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during long flights is real and has the potential to cause COVID-19 clusters of substantial size,” the study’s authors wrote. “Our findings call for tightened screening and infection prevention measures by public health authorities, regulators, and the airline industry.”
  • Health officials said at the time of Vietnam Airlines flight’s arrival, passengers and crew members were not required to wear masks at airports or when on airplanes. At the time, all passengers from COVID-19-infected areas, including the United Kingdom, were screened by thermal imaging upon their arrival, but the study does not say whether the woman was flagged for symptoms or not.
  • In its public health guidance, the CDC says that viruses are not easily spread on planes because of the air filtration systems used on them but that sitting within 6 feet of other people and touching frequently used surfaces on long-haul flights can increase the risk of contracting COVID-19. The Washington Post reported that since March, the CDC has found that nearly 11,000 people were exposed to the coronavirus on flights.

The authors of the Vietnam flight study recommended mandatory face coverings, routine hand-washing and testing protocols, and quarantine policies for arriving passengers from countries of high risk.

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NFL Levies Over $1M in Fines Against Teams, Coaches Who Didn’t Wear Masks

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Three NFL teams and their coaches were fined for not wearing face coverings during games this past Sunday.

What We Know:

  • The teams facing fines are the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Denver Broncos. Each team is being fined $250,000 and the head coaches of those teams, Seattle’s Pete Carroll, San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan, and Denver’s Vic Fangio, were also each fined $100,000 for not wearing a face-covering during their games. Carroll, Shanahan, and Fangio were all seen wearing their gaiter masks around their necks repeatedly on Sunday.

Kyle Shanahan, without a mask, on the sideline of Sunday’s game. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll celebrates a touchdown without a mask. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio walks the sideline without a mask. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

  • Last week, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, Troy Vincent, sent a memo to all league clubs cautioning all coaching personnel to wear their masks at all times. In the memo, Vincent said that any team or coach who failed to meet and follow the protocols would be fined.
  • The memo came after the first NFL Sunday in which several NFL coaches were seen not following the league’s protocols for face coverings intended to protect players and coaches alike from the spread of the coronavirus. The NFL protocol is that either a mask or a face shield that covers their nose and mouth must be worn on the sidelines and in the bench area during games at all times.
  • “We must remain vigilant and disciplined in following the processes and protocols put in place by not only the league, union, and clubs, but also by state and local governments,” Vincent said in the memo. “The NFL-NFLPA Game Day Protocol, which reflects the advice of infectious disease experts, club medical staff, and local and state governmental regulations requires all individuals with bench area access (including coaches and members of the club medical staff) to wear face coverings at all times.”
  • During Monday night’s game in Las Vegas, both Saints head coach Sean Payton and Raiders head coach Jon Gruden were seen without face coverings. In March, Payton was the first person in the NFL to publicly share that he tested positive for the coronavirus. Gruden, when asked about it in his post-game interview, said he also previously had the virus and would accept the fine if the NFL ordered it. It is expected both teams will face fines later today.

The three teams have not commented on their fines.

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