Gov. Cuomo asks MTA to disinfect subway trains daily. Firms test UV light treatments. NIH offers explanation for $3.7 million bat research project.
Today’s update starts out with fantastic news that there is a treatment for COVID-19 that has been shown effective in controlled testing.’
White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that data from a coronavirus drug trial testing Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir showed “quite good news” and sets a new standard of care for Covid-19 patients.
Speaking to reporters from the White House, Fauci said he was told data from the trial showed a “clear-cut positive effect in diminishing time to recover.”
Fauci said the median time of recovery for patients taking the drug was 11 days, compared with 15 days in the placebo group. He said the mortality benefit of remdesivir “has not yet reached statistical significance.”
The Food and Drug Administration is poised to give a thumbs-up for its emergency use.
The US Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved any drugs for the treatment of the coronavirus. But it plans to announce an emergency-use authorization for remdesivir, according to The New York Times. The authorization could come as soon as Wednesday, The Times reported, citing a senior administration official.
In a statement to CNN, the FDA said it is in talks with Gilead Sciences, the maker of remdesivir, about making the drug available to patients.
“As part of the FDA’s commitment to expediting the development and availability of potential COVID-19 treatments, the agency has been engaged in … discussions with Gilead Sciences regarding making remdesivir available to patients as quickly as possible, as appropriate,” FDA spokesman Michael Felberbaum said in statement.
Governor Cuomo asks MTA to disinfect subway trains daily
New York City’s subways are a veritable coronavirus paradise.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said during his daily coronavirus update Wednesday that he is asking the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City to come up with a plan to disinfect all subway trains on a daily basis. Cuomo said the MTA has until Thursday to deliver.
Cuomo called the request “a tremendous undertaking that has never been done before,” but said it is necessary so that essential workers using the subway can get to work safely. “Any essential worker who shows up and gets on a train should know that the train was disinfected the night before. We don’t want them to stay home. We owe it to them to be able to say, the train you ride, the bus you ride has been disinfected and is clean,” he said.
On Wednesday night, the MTA issued emergency regulations to strengthen its code of conduct for the city’s subway system. The new rules say “no person is permitted to remain in a station for more than an hour” and “no person can remain on a train or on the platform after an announcement that the train is being taken out of service.”
Firms test UV light treatments that Trump was mocked for mentioning
Maybe the subway system would benefit from the use of UV light technology.
President Trump has been mocked relentlessly for suggesting that ultraviolet light could be brought “inside the body” to kill the coronavirus, but there is ongoing research to do just that.
For example, the pharmaceutical firm Aytu BioScience announced on April 20, four days before the Trump remarks, that it has signed an exclusive licensing deal with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The center has developed and is testing a UV-A “Healight” designed to be inserted via a catheter inside the trachea to kill pathogens, including the coronavirus.
Additionally, there is a unit designed for use in planes.
Dimer UCV Innovations created a UV-C-emitting cleaning machine called GermFalcon for the airline industry in 2014 – but it’s only with the coronavirus that demand has really taken off.
“We didn’t want it to take a pandemic to create the demand in this industry. That’s the situation we’re in and we’re building our units as quickly as we can,” said Elliot Kreitenberg, president and cofounder of Dimer UCV Innovations.
He did not give details on sales of the unit, but said use of the machine had been offered to the industry for free during the pandemic.
GermFalcon is a food cart-sized robotic tool that is pushed down the aisle of the plane. Mechanical wings expand and emit UV-C light onto cabin surfaces.
NIH offers an explanation for $3.7 million bat research project at pandemic origin center, Wuhan
The National Institute of Health is now explaining why it sent millions of taxpayer dollars to the Wuhan Virology Institute.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s chief infectious disease specialist, was the latest to fan the debate when he mentioned the grant during a White House briefing without offering many details.
Officials at the National Institutes of Health and Fauci’s own division there, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), say there is far less to the story than meets the eye.
First off, the United States didn’t give all the money to China. And secondly, it had nothing to do specifically with COVID-19. Rather, it was a multi-year grant dating back six years to study coronaviruses like Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and others in Asian bats in China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Myanmar, officials said.
“The grant you are referencing is a multi-site, multi-country project supporting research that aims to understand what factors allow coronaviruses, including close relatives to SARS, to evolve and jump into the human population and cause disease (called a spillover event),” NIH told Just the News.
Trump set to travel to Arizona next week amid a push to lift coronavirus restrictions
The President is heading out to Arizona to begin pressing states to reopen.
President Donald Trump said Wednesday he plans to travel to Arizona next week, leaving the confines of Washington for the first time in more than a month as the administration begins pushing states to ease coronavirus restrictions that have crippled the U.S. economy.
The White House is arranging plans for the president to visit a manufacturing plant that makes masks, senior administration officials said. They did not identify the precise location or day of the visit.
“I think I’m going to Arizona next week. We look forward to that. And I’m going to, I hope, Ohio very soon,” Trump told reporters during a roundtable discussion with business executives from companies including Hilton, Waffle House and Wynn Resorts.
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