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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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BUSTED: Trump adviser Peter Navarro publicly contradicted his own dire coronavirus warnings to the White House

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White House trade adviser circulated coronavirus warnings inside the administration, even as he assured the public that everything was under control.

Navarro circulated two memos within the White House in late January and February warning that a full-blown outbreak could devastate the U.S., but he continued going on television to present a much more rosy outlook, reported CNN's KFile.

His Jan. 29 memo warned COVID-19 could infect up to 100 million Americans and kill "as many as 1-2 million souls," but he made no mention of those dire predictions when he went on CNBC that same day to promote the USMCA trade agreement.

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Coronavirus pandemic reveals GOP’s soft civil war

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JB Pritzker appeared on PBS Newshour. The Democratic governor of Illinois said the White House had arranged for personal protective equipment (PPE) to be flown in from China to meet shortages in the US. On its arrival, Pritzker said, the PPE will be turned over to private firms. States like his, which are experiencing the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, are expected to bid against each other for access to it.

This article was originally published at The Editorial Board

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Republicans scrambling for a new 2020 election game plan in wake of Trump’s COVID-19 debacle: Ex-Ted Cruz aide

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Republicans who had hoped to see Donald Trump re-elected and their hold on the Senate maintained in the November election because of a strong economy are scrambling to come up with a new strategy now that millions are out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Writing for the conservative Bulwark, former Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) aide Amanda Carpenter, explained that the GOP leadership has their work cut out for them in the wake of the COVID-19 health crisis that may leave hundreds of thousands dead and millions out of work.

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