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Anthony Fauci warns: Coronavirus could return in seasonal cycles unless we get a vaccine

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There is a strong chance the new coronavirus could return in seasonal cycles, a senior US scientist said Wednesday, underscoring the urgent need to find a vaccine and effective treatments.

Anthony Fauci, who leads research into infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health, told a briefing the virus was beginning to take root in the southern hemisphere, where winter is on its way.

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“What we’re starting to see now… in southern Africa and in the southern hemisphere countries, is that we’re having cases that are appearing as they go into their winter season,” he said.

“And if, in fact, they have a substantial outbreak, it will be inevitable that we need to be prepared that we’ll get a cycle around the second time.

“It totally emphasizes the need to do what we’re doing in developing a vaccine, testing it quickly and trying to get it ready so that we’ll have a vaccine available for that next cycle.”

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There are currently two vaccines that have entered human trials — one in the US and one in China — and they could be a year to a year-and-a-half away from deployment.

Treatments are also being investigated — some new drugs and others that have been repurposed, including the antimalarials chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.

“I know we’ll be successful in putting this down now, but we really need to be prepared for another cycle,” Fauci concluded.

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Fauci’s comments suggesting the virus does better in colder weather than it does in hot and humid conditions follows a recent Chinese research paper — still preliminary and awaiting peer-review — that reached the same conclusion.

The reasons are thought to include that respiratory droplets remain airborne for longer in colder weather, and that cold weather weakens immunity.

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Another potential reason is that viruses degrade more quickly on hotter surfaces, possibly because a protective layer of fat that envelops them dries out quicker.

But reduced infection rate does not mean the virus gets eliminated — Australia has had almost 2,500 confirmed cases and 8 deaths, for example.


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West Virginia woman rushes to Mexico border with secret government documents — then seeks asylum in Russia

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NBC News 4 investigative reporter Scott MacFarlane discovered a strange tale that could be Russia's next espionage scandal.

According to court filings of the incident, a West Virginia woman has confessed to driving to Mexico with her daughter with a series of top-secret U.S. government documents. She then sought asylum in Russia.

The documents MacFarlane posted on Twitter detail the items that were seized by the FBI and the travel that Ms. Elizabeth Shirley appeared to make from West Virginia to Mexico City.

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Trump is ‘going too far’ in his culture war drumbeat — and it’s scaring voters: GOP analysts

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On Monday, McClatchy reported that Republican political strategists believe President Donald Trump's attempts to define the 2020 election as a culture war is backfiring, by repelling voters he needs to win to pander to voters he already has.

"His back up against a wall, President Donald Trump has made a concerted effort in recent weeks to regain a coalition of white voters who can help him win the 2020 presidential election with a message finely calibrated to play on racial anxieties," reported Francesca Chambers and Alex Roarty. "Preaching a 'law and order' message that harkens back to the turbulent 1960s, Trump is betting that a 'silent majority' of voters who are unwilling to publicly admit their true feelings about the racial divide will rally to his candidacy at the secret ballot box."

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Conservative Max Boot has a horrific scenario for how Trump could claim victory — even if he loses

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Conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot penned a horrifying scenario in which President Donald Trump could still steal the election, even if he lost in November.

Writing Monday, Boot explained that Trump is already working to sow doubt in the November election, claiming "Mail-In Ballots will lead to MASSIVE electoral fraud and a RIGGED 2020 Election," Boot quoted the president. It's not only a lie, but it will also endanger his own voters, who think it isn't safe to vote with an absentee ballot in November and may risk their health to stand in line.

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