Despite the fact that the U.S. is the number one world hotspot for coronavirus, with nearly 1.13 million confirmed cases and over 65,605 deaths (nearly triple that of any other nation), the Trump administration has pulled the U.S. out of a World Health Organization (WHO) global initiative “to speed the development, production and distribution of drugs and vaccines against COVID-19,” a spokesman for the U.S. mission in Geneva told Reuters.
“There will be no U.S. official participation”, he said. “We look forward to learning more about this initiative in support of international cooperation to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 as soon as possible.”
Trump’s decision makes sense considering that he has been scapegoating the WHO for his downplaying of the ongoing pandemic’s viral threat despite receiving 12 classified briefings about its lethality. After blaming the WHO for “faulty reports” underscoring the coronavirus’s danger, Trump pulled U.S. funding from the United Nations’ health agency, a move widely condemned by world health leaders.
But as we reported, the WHO is just Trump’s sixth scapegoat for defecting blame: “First, it was the media that was at fault,” the Associated Press wrote. “Then, Democratic governors came under fire. China, President Barack Obama and federal watchdogs have all had a turn in the crosshairs. And now it’s the World Health Organization that’s to blame.”
It’s hardly a relief this week to hear that Trump has directed U.S. pharmaceutical companies, government agencies and military to conduct “Operation Warp Speed,” the developing 300 million doses of vaccine by January, because the goal is literally unprecedented and may well prove a pipedream.
Surely international collaboration could help the U.S. create a vaccine even more quickly, but then again, if that happened, Trump wouldn’t get to take credit for it.
COVID-19 cases skyrocket among younger Americans as states reopen
The coronavirus is tearing into a new demographic as states relax social distancing guidelines.
Younger Americans have gone back to work in the service industry and congregating in public, and their activity seems to be bearing out ominous predictions from public health experts, reported The Daily Beast.
“Watch what’s happening before and after the peak,” said epidemiologist Dr. Judith Malmgren, of the University of Washington’s school of public health. “The disease didn’t change, but the people who were infected changed.”
Native American tribes’ pandemic response is hamstrung by many inequities
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is novel, but pandemic threats to indigenous peoples are anything but new. Diseases like measles, smallpox and the Spanish flu have decimated Native American communities ever since the arrival of the first European colonizers.
Now COVID-19 is having similarly devastating impacts in Indian country. Some reservations are reporting infection rates many times higher than those observed in the general U.S. population.
Antibody injections could fight COVID-19 infections – an infectious disease expert explains the prospects
Antibodies are part of us – literally.
We have billions of them in our bodies with a combined weight of about 100 grams, or about the weight of a bar of soap. If there are so many antibodies inside our bodies then they must be safe and very important, right?
Indeed, antibodies are perhaps the safest type of therapy and have many important functions. One of them is to protect and cure infections caused by viruses. The human immune system can produce antibodies specific for each type virus that bind strongly to the virus and block it from infecting our cells – so-called neutralizing antibodies.