President Trump administration tells states be ready to distribute novel coronavirus vaccine by Nov 1.
Clinical trials of a COVID-19 vaccine can be legitimately cut short and could allow a vaccine to become available more quickly than previously expected if results are overwhelming, Dr. Anthony Fauci says. And the CDC is telling some health officials to be ready to start distributing a vaccine by November, according to one report.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he is confident the experts making the call on a vaccine would not be swayed by political pressure as Election Day approaches.
The Trump administration announced a nationwide ban on evictions until December to ease financial pressures fueled by the pandemic. The federal edict came down after some states, including California and Nevada, announced similar protections against evictions.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney apologized on Twitter after a photo of him eating in a Maryland restaurant made the rounds on social media. And Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi faced criticism for visiting a hair salon in San Francisco despite the city’s current guidelines intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Some significant developments:
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday defended the Trump administration’s controversial decision not to participate in a global alliance to develop and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine.
The COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel, part of the National Institutes of Health, said Wednesday that there’s no solid evidence for or against recommending convalescent plasma to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
Antibodies produced after infection by the coronavirus last for at least four months after diagnosis, longer than previously believed, a new study finds.
Who should be the first to get the coronavirus vaccine? Front-line health care workers, paramedics, firefighters and police, all of whom are at higher risk of contracting the virus, according to a new report from the National Academies of Science, Medicine and Engineering.
Analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Tuesday shows four states set records for new cases in a week while two states had a record number of deaths in a week. New case records were set in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and West Virginia. Record numbers of deaths were reported in Arkansas, Hawaii and Guam. The U.S. has 6 million confirmed cases and over 184,000 deaths. Globally, there are 25.8 million cases and more than 858,000 people have died.
The CDC is telling some health officials around the country to be ready to start distributing a vaccine to prevent the coronavirus by November, the New York Times reports.
That would be on the early side of what officials have laid out as a best-case scenario: that a vaccine will be ready by the end of the year. A COVID-19 vaccine could be available earlier than expected if ongoing clinical trials produce overwhelmingly positive results, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease official, told Kaiser Health News.
“Limited COVID -19 vaccine doses may be available by early November 2020, but COVID-19 vaccine supply will increase substantially in 2021,” reads the CDC document.
At least two clinical trials of 30,000 volunteers are now expected to conclude by the end of the year, but Fauci said an independent board has the authority to end the trials weeks early if interim results are overwhelmingly positive or negative.
Budget deficit headed to $3.3 trillion
The federal budget deficit is projected to hit a record $3.3 trillion because of COVID-19 costs and the recession, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.
That’s more than triple the 2019 shortfall. The deficit projection was attributed to the coronavirus disruption of the economy and the cost of legislation enacted by Congress in response to the pandemic.
It was less than a year ago that Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned lawmakers that the ballooning federal debt could hamper Congress’ ability to support the economy in a downturn – and that was months before the coronavirus appeared in the U.S.
“The federal budget is on an unsustainable path, with high and rising debt,” Powell told the Joint Economic Committee in November.