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White House predicts upward of 240,000 US coronavirus deaths as Trump warns of ‘painful’ weeks ahead

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President Donald Trump warned the nation Tuesday to brace for “a hell of a bad two weeks,” as his top infectious disease experts projected that upward of 240,000 people will die from coronavirus in the U.S. even if current social distancing guidelines are precisely maintained.Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, two of the country’s top immunologists and senior advisers on Trump’s coronavirus task force, offered an extremely alarming estimate during a briefing at the White House.The doctors stressed that the death toll could be lower if Americans radically change their lifestyles over the next…

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COVID-19

Cancer patients twice as likely to die from COVID-19: study

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People with cancer are more than twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than those without it, a large study published Thursday found.

The data on more than 900 patients in the US, Canada and Spain which appeared in a paper in The Lancet, found that mortality increased the further the cancer had progressed.

Cancer patients with decreased ability to carry out daily life tasks were more at risk than those with higher functionality.

The paper's authors looked at how many people died within 30 days of being diagnosed of COVID-19 of all causes.

"The 30-day all-cause mortality was 13 percent, more than twice the mortality reported as the global average by Johns Hopkins," Toni Choueiri, an oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute who co-authored the paper told AFP.

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COVID-19

Ethics complaint filed to force Trump’s COVID-19 Vaccine Czar — a former pharma exec — to submit to ethics rules

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A pair of consumer watchdog groups on Thursday filed a formal federal ethics complaint stating that President Donald Trump's so-called "Vaccine Czar"—a former pharmaceutical executive with deep personal investments in the industry—should be forced to submit to the same conflict of interest and financial disclosure rules as other government officials charged with overseeing large sums of taxpayer money, especially as he stands to personally profit from his duties.

"Slaoui's blatant ties to Big Pharma, including the very drug corporations he's funneling money to, should make even the Trump administration blush."—Margarida Jorge, Lower Drug Prices Now

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COVID-19

Latin America’s slums facing losing battle against virus spread

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As the coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe, Latin America's slum dwellers waited defenseless in its path. Now, with the region becoming the new epicenter of the crisis, the virus is unleashing destruction on its most vulnerable populations.

With limited sanitation and little space, millions of people living cheek by jowl in slums cannot take even the most basic hand-washing and social distancing precautions recommended by health authorities.

"We are increasingly concerned about the poor and other vulnerable groups more at risk from disease and death from the virus," Pan American Health Organization chief Carissa Etienne said this week.

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