Tuesday CoronaBuzz, October 6, 2020, Part 2: Everything Else. 30 pointers to new resources, useful stuff, research news, and more.

Trying to do this newsletter right now is like trying to wash dishes during a tornado. I’ll keep pegging away. Please wear a mask. Wash your hands. Stay at home if you can. Please be careful. I love you.


University of Minnesota: New tool ranks COVID-19 responses of 19 hard-hit nations. “The 10-item COVID-SCORE tool, created and validated by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, the City University of New York (CUNY), and other international organizations, was used in mid-June to survey the attitudes of 13,426 randomly selected participants in 19 countries heavily affected by the pandemic on key issues such as governmental messaging, access to health services, and social welfare.”


Washington Post: Virginia governor develops mild covid-19 symptoms, scorns Trump for downplaying disease. “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said Monday that he has developed ‘mild’ symptoms of covid-19 more than a week after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, but he is continuing to conduct business remotely.”

Fox 5 DC: DC reports 105 new coronavirus cases in one day period; highest one-day spike since June. ” Over 100 new cases of coronavirus were reported in the District during a one day period earlier this week, according to statistics released by the city. The increase of 105 new cases was recorded between October 4 and October 5. This marks the highest one day increase in cases since 130 positive cases were recorded from June 1 to June 2.”


CNN: Facebook removes Trump post falsely saying flu is more lethal than Covid. “Facebook on Tuesday removed a post from President Trump in which he falsely claimed that Covid-19 is less deadly than the seasonal flu. Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone confirmed the company removed the post for breaking its rules on Covid-19 misinformation.”


Boston Globe: He listened to Trump and didn’t wear a mask. He died just days before the president announced his COVID-19 diagnosis. “All told, seven of Stephanie Landaverde’s family members have contracted the virus in the past two weeks, including an aunt and her two children. They are now recovering at home. The family suspects that her grandfather introduced the virus into their midst, as he was the first to show symptoms.”

Mother Jones: Are We Rome Yet?. “Are we Rome? It’s a question people in the United States have been asking for almost as long as there’s been a United States. It’s also the title of a 2007 book by Cullen Murphy, editor-­at-large of the Atlantic and—full disclosure—­my dad. The book struck a nerve at a time when the United States was mired in two unending wars, beset by growing inequality, and on the verge of economic collapse. But a lot’s changed since then; now we have the wars, the inequality, the threat of economic collapse plus a global pandemic and a president who was once the star of The Apprentice. So with the fall of Rome on everyone’s minds again, I called up my paterfamilias a few months ago to ask a variation of another age-old question: Are we there yet?”

Wall Street Journal: Food Crisis Grows Amid Coronavirus Pandemic. “The pandemic has doubled the number of people who are acutely food insecure, said Arif Husain, chief economist at the United Nations World Food Programme, from 135 million people in 2019 to 270 million. Food aid will be at a record, he said, hopefully reaching some 138 million people globally with food and cash assistance, topping a previous peak after the Iraq war.”


WRAL: Craving an NC State Fair biscuit? Cary church behind fair’s ‘original country ham biscuit’ offers virtual class. “If the 2020 N.C. State Fair had gone on as planned this year, First United Methodist Church of Cary members would be celebrating 105 years of whipping up biscuits from scratch, drawing thousands to their spot for the flaky treats. For more than a century, church members have made the biscuits by hand — as many as 4,500 in a day — and serving them up with ham or on their own. Proceeds from the booth go towards missions projects. State officials canceled the fair in July because of the ongoing pandemic. It would have opened Oct. 15.”

Democrat & Chronicle: Saturday Night Live’s COVID-19 plan? $150 checks for audience members to meet restrictions. “The venerable NBC sketch comedy show opened its 46th season live from Studio 8H in New York’s Rockefeller Center on Saturday, welcoming a live audience in a state that has some of the most restrictive COVID-19 rules in the country. New York’s coronavirus restrictions for media productions such as SNL make clear media productions can only have a live studio audience if it consists entirely of paid cast, crew or employees. That’s where the check came in.”


AP: Minneapolis restaurant quarantines 13 who worked Trump event. “Thirteen staff members from a Minneapolis steakhouse were quarantining after the restaurant catered a fundraiser attended by President Donald Trump during his visit to Minnesota last week, the restaurant said Monday.”

USA Today: You can preorder a $100 ‘Trump defeats COVID’ commemorative coin at White House Gift Shop. “Coins commemorating President Donald Trump surviving COVID-19 are already available for preorder at an online gift shop. The $100 ‘Trump defeats COVID’ coins are for sale on the website of the White House Gift Shop, which is not affiliated with the White House.”


Bloomberg BusinessWeek: Houston Had an All-American Pandemic Response: Ignore Until It’s Too Late. “I’m from Houston, but I was supposed to be back only briefly this spring before returning to Brazil, where I’ve lived and worked for much of the past decade. Instead, with my return on hold, I found myself spending months wandering an uncannily quiet, traffic-less city. As the bad news mounted, I saw Houston fumble to grasp the gravity of the situation. With temperatures rising high enough that the air above the asphalt wobbled, Houston slipped into a delusional state, a kind of public-health fever dream.”

RawStory: GOP county chair in Arkansas dies from COVID-19 – his committee hosted a maskless gathering last month. “Steven Farmer’s GOP committee hosted a social gathering with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), who just recovered from COVID-19, in mid-September. The Reagan Day event was photographed extensively, and it showed very few masks being worn and no social distancing.”

Loudoun Now (Virginia): AG Herring: Localities Must Comply with FOIA During Emergency. “Attorney General Mark Herring has issued an advisory opinion warning local governments that the state’s open government laws remain in effect during the state of emergency declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic—which could have a bearing on Loudoun County’s own emergency rules.”


Detroit News: FDA to demand two months safety data, expert review for vaccine. “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration plans to have an expert panel review any COVID-19 vaccine application for emergency use, along with at least two months of safety data, according to a document posted by the agency Tuesday.”

CNN: Trump has personally pressured drug company CEOs repeatedly to speed vaccine. “Even before his diagnosis, the President had taken to calling drug companies to check on their vaccine trials, asking how much longer they’ll take and ginning up the pressure around his desire for a vaccine before Election Day. He’s also signaling he might speed up the federal approval process, conspicuously stalling Food and Drug Administration recommendations that would delay a vaccine authorization.”

Wall Street Journal: Fed’s Powell Says U.S. Faces ‘Tragic’ Risks From Doing Too Little to Support Economy. “Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned of potentially tragic economic consequences that could result if Congress and the White House don’t provide additional support to households and businesses disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.”


Mic: Now Claudia Conway’s TikTok is a source for tracing the White House coronavirus outbreak. “The circle of people infected with coronavirus with ties to the White House keeps growing. Late Friday, former aide Kellyanne Conway confirmed her positive diagnosis. A couple days later, her daughter, Claudia Conway, indicated she’d caught the virus from her mother. These coronavirus cases weren’t reported by official sources, however. Claudia broke the news on TikTok.”

Politico: Riverside megachurch pastor who attended White House event contracts Covid-19. “The evangelical pastor of a high-profile California megachurch with links to President Trump announced Monday he’s among those who have contracted Covid-19 following the recent White House event for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Pastor Greg Laurie of Riverside’s Harvest Christian Fellowship confirmed on his Facebook page that he tested positive for the virus over the weekend.”

Houston Chronicle: Sen. John Cornyn says Trump ‘let his guard down’ on COVID. “U.S. Sen. John Cornyn said Monday that President Donald Trump ‘let his guard down’ on the coronavirus and that the president’s rhetoric has created ‘confusion’ as the country has struggled to get the pandemic under control.”


CNN: North Carolina elementary school teacher dies days after testing positive for Covid-19. “A third-grade teacher died in North Carolina days after testing positive for Covid-19 and while her students were quarantined as a result of the exposure. Julie Davis, who taught at Norwood Elementary School in Stanly County, died from Covid-19 related complications, according to Michelle Bailey, a spokeswoman for the Stanly County School District.”

Politico: Trump official pressured CDC to change report on Covid and kids. “In early September, as many school districts were still deciding whether to hold in-person classes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention altered the title of a scientific report on the coronavirus and removed words like ‘pediatric’ from its text, days after a Trump administration appointee requested similar changes, according to emails obtained by POLITICO.”


NBC News: Covid apps went through the hype cycle. Now, they might be ready to work.. “Jen Tracy, 36, was sick of hearing people bickering about how to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and last week, New Jersey offered an alternative she liked better: a smartphone app. Tracy, who lives in Pine Hill, New Jersey, became one of the early adopters of an app the state rolled out to try to slow the spread of Covid-19. The app displays statistics, such as the percentage of people who are reporting symptoms, and maybe more importantly, it’s designed to alert people if they’ve been near someone else who’s tested positive.”


The Conversation: COVID-19 anti-vaxxers use the same arguments from 135 years ago. “As a historian of medicine, it’s become clear from researching the history of vaccines that those who promote anti-vaccination consistently use a standard set of strategies. Although it can be hard to see patterns of argument in the modern context, looking back at a historical instance of epidemic and misinformation provides a useful case study for revealing today’s recurring anti-vaccination strategies.”

Pew (I don’t do the Pew Pew Pew thing in this newsletter): Unfavorable Views of China Reach Historic Highs in Many Countries. “Views of China have grown more negative in recent years across many advanced economies, and unfavorable opinion has soared over the past year, a new 14-country Pew Research Center survey shows. Today, a majority in each of the surveyed countries has an unfavorable opinion of China. And in Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United States, South Korea, Spain and Canada, negative views have reached their highest points since the Center began polling on this topic more than a decade ago.”


Nature: COVID-19 vaccines: how to ensure Africa has access. “Last month, a grand experiment was launched. Its aim? To speed up the development of COVID‑19 vaccines and make sure they are distributed equitably among higher- and lower-income countries. This welcome endeavour is called the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) initiative. It is co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. As of 1 October, 167 countries have signed up, covering nearly two-thirds of the global population. More have expressed interest, according to Gavi.”

CNN: Former Secret Service agent: I’m stunned by what I saw. “United States Secret Service Agents are mission-driven women and men who have dedicated their lives to their protectees, regardless of the personal risk they themselves may face. This is the uncompromising reality that comes with being a Secret Service agent; it is the ethos that drives every agent to ensure that something greater than themselves is protected — the office the Presidency. But the other reality is that we should never have seen the President and his Secret Service agents in the armored limo on Sunday.”

New York Times: It’s Time for the Debates to Go Remote. “After the first presidential debate, it looked as if the big question looming over the next one would be whether anyone could do anything to keep President Trump from constantly interrupting former Vice President Joseph R. Biden. A week later, we’re wondering if it’s possible to hold a debate without creating a biohazard.”

Washington Post: Trump’s covid-19 diagnosis gives him one last chance to reset his campaign. “President Trump’s covid-19 diagnosis is a blessing in disguise, because it has given him one last chance to win over millions of reluctant voters who approve of his policies but not of him. His illness has created a moment of sympathy, and with it an unexpected opportunity for a reset. He needs to seize that moment by offering the American people a clear vision for how he will end this pandemic. He may not take this advice, but whether he does may well determine whether Americans give him a second term.” I think with his bonkers decision to stop stimulus negotiations, this probably is no longer a strategy, but it’s an interesting editorial.


Mother Jones: Trump Is Now Fundraising Off His COVID Lies. “In a fundraising email sent to supporters Tuesday morning—titled ‘Best I’ve felt in 20 years!’—President Trump continued to downplay the threat of the coronavirus while seeming to suggest that therapeutics alone could defeat the disease that has claimed more than 210,000 American lives.”

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