Should-Reads of the Week From Lauren Olsen

The Friday Breeze

Need to learn one of the best and most provocative tales from the week? Welcome to the Friday Breeze, the place we compile all of them — so that you’re set along with your weekend studying.

Hiya! I’m Lauren Olsen, your new Publication Editor. That’s proper — the completely official, no extra fill-ins, always-here-for-you Publication Editor. Because the alternative for editor extraordinaire Brianna Labuskes, I’m right here to deal with all of your well being information wants.

Why sure, you’re proper — a pandemic is a heck of a time to take over this job. I’d argue, nevertheless, that it’s one of the best time, as a result of who doesn’t want a hand finding out all this craziness? To date, 2020 has been like attempting to color the “Mona Lisa” whereas using a unicycle in a rainstorm — in different phrases, a sloppy mess teetering on catastrophe — however, hopefully, when it’s finished we’d all handle to smile.

Within the meantime, I received’t Louvre you within the lurch. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) Make sure to learn every day’s high well being information headlines in KHN’s Morning Briefing, compiled by yours actually. Please subscribe, for those who haven’t already — and inform your colleagues and pals, too. Have a remark concerning the Briefing or the Breeze? Ship me an e mail at laureno@kff.org. I stay up for listening to from you.

A Reward for You, My New Buddy

As a result of we’ve simply met, I’d wish to give you a token of friendship: At the moment’s Breeze will do its finest to have a constructive spin. Issues are dreary sufficient on the earth proper now — you don’t want me to blow extra grey clouds your approach. Within the phrases of Helen Keller, “Though the world is filled with struggling, additionally it is filled with the overcoming of it.”

The Friday Breeze

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What’s Donald Up To?

At the moment, let’s play a sport known as “What’s Donald Up To?” You received’t win any factors or cash. What you’ll win is the data that there are 180 days till Inauguration Day! (I suppose your actual prize can be if “your man” wins, whether or not it’s President Donald Trump, Joe Biden or Kanye West.)

So what’s Donald as much as? He started his busy week of tweeting, mask-wearing and name-calling with a feisty interview with Fox Information’ Chris Wallace on Sunday. In it, he lamented elevated COVID testing (“I’m glad we do it, but it surely actually skews the numbers”), known as Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s infectious ailments famous person, an “alarmist,” boasted concerning the sagging U.S. financial system (“I constructed the best financial system in historical past, I’m now doing it once more”), reasserted his opinion that the virus will “disappear” and downplayed the possibly devastating bodily results of COVID-19 by saying some folks simply have the “sniffles.” When requested concerning the almost 1,000 deaths a day within the U.S., Trump stated it “is what it’s.” On the constructive aspect? Effectively, the interview was solely about an hour.

The critiques rolled in, and for many of the week we noticed a kinder, gentler model of Trump. Possibly it was as a result of he was completely satisfied he supposedly aced the Montreal Cognitive Evaluation, a check that detects early indicators of dementia. Or possibly it was as a result of he’d handed “a number of” COVID checks a day, in response to his press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany. (“I don’t know of any time I’ve taken two in in the future,” he clarified just a few hours later.) Or maybe he was merely feeling beneficiant, offering $5 billion for struggling nursing properties, resuming COVID activity power briefings, renewing the nationwide public well being emergency and even (gasp!) tweeting a pic of himself sporting a masks. However I believe the actual purpose could have been as a result of two White Home cafeterias closed this week after a staffer examined constructive for the coronavirus — offering one other excuse for him to maintain consuming McDonald’s. (Only a principle.)

Even so, Trump’s good temper subsided by the top of the week, in all probability as a result of he needed to cancel the GOP conference in Jacksonville, Florida, amid the state’s rising COVID instances. (To not point out that the Duval County sheriff did warn him about not with the ability to present safety.)

Questioning what Biden, Trump’s possible Democratic rival in November, was as much as? Effectively, this week he launched his large “caregiving plan” for People — $775 billion over 10 years. (That definitely would purchase lots of Care Bears.)

California and the Horrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Unhealthy Day

California, probably the most populous state, on Wednesday surpassed New York because the worst-hit state for instances (tallying 413,576 as of that day). The rise of 12,112 was the most important single-day enhance because the pandemic began. On the nationwide stage, there have been Four million instances — it took solely 15 days to leap from Three million to Four million — and the loss of life toll stands at 144,000. Sadly, the rise in instances is outpacing the rise in testing, with The New York Instances explaining: “About 21,000 instances had been reported per day in early June, when the constructive check price was 4.eight %. As testing expanded, the constructive check price ought to have fallen. … As an alternative, the constructive check price has almost doubled.”

The variety of COVID instances is probably going 10 occasions increased than what we thought, consultants now say. On Saturday, the FDA authorised the usage of pooled testing, basically permitting the testing of many extra folks utilizing fewer checks. However the White Home, to not be outdone, introduced it might push to part out funding for testing from the COVID-relief invoice in Congress. (Extra on that in a minute.)

Within the “oops” class, 113 folks in Rhode Island, about 90 in Connecticut, 26 in Kentucky and dozens in New York had been informed that they had COVID-19 when actually that they had examined adverse. (Does that qualify as constructive information? I’m undecided, however I’m completely satisfied these people are wonderful.) Conversely, in The Villages, Florida, one among America’s largest retirement communities identified for its golf and rockin’ home events, is seeing a spike in constructive instances, leaping from the one digits final month to at the least 29 final week.

Scientists delved into the massive query this week: Are you able to get reinfected with COVID? And absolutely the, no-doubt-about-it reply was: Um, undecided. But it surely’s unlikely, they are saying. Scientists did decide that mosquitoes most probably don’t unfold COVID, they usually’re testing whether or not UV gentle, which may kill many nasty germs, can kill this virus, too. As a bonus, the CDC now says that for those who do get sick, you need to isolate for 10 days, not 14. (However severely in poor health sufferers ought to isolate for 20 days.)

So A lot for Trip

Congress returned from a two-week summer time recess Monday to start work on the fifth COVID-relief invoice of the yr, and it performed out like a real-life model of Chevy Chase’s “Nationwide Lampoon’s Trip,” starring Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell as Clark Griswold, Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi because the Ferrari-driving Christie Brinkley and Trump because the safety guard at Walley World who principally ends their enjoyable. (My goodness, can’t you simply envision it?)

Republicans had a $1 trillion agenda that included funds for colleges and COVID testing, a payroll tax minimize, direct checks for people and $600-a-week stipends for laid-off staff. Senate Republicans appeared close to a take care of the White Home on Wednesday because the Griswold household station wagon chugged alongside. However the automotive crashed Thursday when the 2 teams failed to succeed in an settlement on the unemployment concern. (Thoughts you, the Democrats haven’t even gotten concerned but.) Republicans vowed to have a brand new deal subsequent week. As all this was occurring, smooth-driving Pelosi left tire tracks throughout Trump whereas talking on CNN’s “The State of affairs Room” on Tuesday, calling the coronavirus the “Trump virus.”

Let’s Make a Deal: Which Vaccine Is Behind Door No. 1?

Am I the one one that can’t preserve monitor of all of the vaccines and coverings in play? Chinese language group Sinopharm stated it’s going to have a vaccine prepared for the general public earlier than the top of the yr. (Woohoo!) British pharmaceutical agency Synairgen introduced a breakthrough nebulizer therapy that reduces the severity of COVID-19, and Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine AZD1222 confirmed promising ends in human trials, too. In the meantime, behind Door No. 2, the Russians are insisting they didn’t attempt to steal British coronavirus vaccine analysis.

Again within the good ol’ U.S. of A., 5 pharmaceutical giants testified to Congress on Tuesday that they wouldn’t minimize corners when growing a vaccine. And Wednesday, as if on cue, Pfizer and German agency BioNTech made an uncommon $1.95 billion deal to produce 100 million doses of a not-yet-finished vaccine to the federal authorities, which plans on giving it to People without charge. (To not nitpick, however there are 330 million folks in America. I’m not nice a math, however nonetheless …)

In the meantime, behind Door No. 3, the Division of Justice indicted two Chinese language nationals this week on expenses that they hacked and stole analysis from corporations engaged on COVID vaccines within the U.S., the U.Ok., Sweden, Spain, Australia and different nations.

The REALLY Necessary Questions

Certain, all of that stuff has huge implications. However right here in the actual world, we’re frightened about less complicated stuff. For instance, when can I watch NFL soccer? (Not for some time.) Has baseball began? (Sure!) Can I journey to the Bahamas (no), Niagara Falls (sure) or New York (possibly)? If I dwell in California and want a haircut, the place can I get one? (Outside.) Ought to I purchase my teen some condoms? (It’s as much as you, however extra adolescents are improvising with plastic wrap — shudder.) Does it harm to get shot with a less-lethal projectile? (Um, HECK YES.) Ought to I put on a masks in Atlanta, at a Marriott lodge or when shopping for denims on the Hole? (Sure.) How about on the financial institution? (Sure, so long as you promise to not rob the joint.)

That about wraps it up for me. Hope you loved my inaugural Breeze. Preserve smiling! Till subsequent week,

— Lauren

Lauren Olsen:
lolsen@kff.org

Associated Subjects

California International Well being Watch Prescribed drugs Public Well being States

COVID-19 Friday Breeze Trump Administration U.S. Congress

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