Today’s update will begin with a summation of the predictions about a coronavirus catastrophe following the economic reopening of Georgia, Florida, and Texas: They were spectacularly wrong!

Three large Southern states that moved aggressively to reopen amid the coronavirus crisis have seen new cases and deaths largely hold steady since then — despite several controversies over some of their data.

In Georgia, where Gov. Brian Kemp bucked the White House and local officials to lift a stay-at-home order on April 24, the state reported 862 cases on Thursday, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

That was less than the 946 new cases counted on Wednesday, but helped spur a slight rise in a seven-day rolling average that’s been basically trending downward since the start of the Peach State’s reopening.

…Florida — which was among the last states to impose a coronavirus lockdown, on April 2 — hit a record 1,413 new cases on April 16, followed by a record 83 deaths on April 28, according to the Tallahassee Reports website.

Since the state began reopening on May 4, its seven-day average of new cases is essentially flat, according to a chart published by the New York Times.

…In Texas, there were 945 new cases on Thursday, for a total 52,268, according to the Texas Tribune.

The seven-day average of new cases rose fairly steadily from around 1,000 on May 1, when Gov. Greg Abbott began lifting the lockdown he ordered March 19, but began dipping on Sunday and is now around 1,250, according to a chart prepared by the Tribune.

Las Vegas Strip tentatively set to reopen June 4

Viva Las Vegas!

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) said the Las Vegas Strip could tentatively reopen on June 4, a potentially major economic boost to the city amid shutdowns due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Sisolak started the first phase of Nevada’s reopening earlier this month and said a second phase could commence if data on the outbreak continues to be positive. He will hold a briefing next week to provide Nevadans with an update on the pandemic.

“If Nevada’s COVID-19 data continues to reflect positive or consistent trends through the Memorial Day Weekend, the Governor will announce a Phase 2 reopening date at the Tuesday press conference, along with business reopening and statewide continuing operation guidelines,” his office said.

Research shows nearly half of accounts tweeting about coronavirus are bots

Further research is needed to determine if the bots are Russian or Chinese.

Nearly half of the Twitter accounts spreading messages on the social media platform about the coronavirus pandemic are likely bots, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University said Wednesday.

Researchers culled through more than 200 million tweets discussing the virus since January and found that about 45% were sent by accounts that behave more like computerized robots than humans.

It is too early to say conclusively which individuals or groups are behind the bot accounts, but researchers said the tweets appeared aimed at sowing division in America.

“We do know that it looks like it’s a propaganda machine, and it definitely matches the Russian and Chinese playbooks, but it would take a tremendous amount of resources to substantiate that,” said Kathleen Carley, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University who is conducting a study into bot-generated coronavirus activity on Twitter that has yet to be published.

A majority of the population may have ‘some degree’ of preexisting immunity to COVID-19

Research is now indicating that up to 60% of people may already have some built-in resistance to coronavirus infection.

A new study from scientists in the United States suggests that a significant majority of the population may already have some level of immunity to the coronavirus, a possible explanation for why so many individuals seem to experience few to no symptoms from the disease.

The study, written by researchers in California, New York and North Carolina and soon to be published in the journal Cell, discovered that certain types of cells in blood samples taken from donors in 2015-2018—well before COVID-19 arose—were reactive against the COVID-19 virus. In other words, those blood samples were at least partially immune from the coronavirus even though they had never been exposed to it.

“CD4+ T cell responses were detected in 40-60% of unexposed individuals. This may be reflective of some degree of crossreactive, preexisting immunity to SARS- CoV-2 in some, but not all, individuals,” the researchers state in the paper.

Coronavirus pandemic could be over in the U.S. by November 11

A new scientific model predicts the virus will continue its steady decline with no second wave.

The coronavirus pandemic in the United States could be over as early as mid-November, new modeling has shown.

Researchers at Singapore University of Technology and Design have created a complex model predicting the exact date the pandemic will end in the US, UK, and other countries around the world.

According to the data, the US is on track to be coronavirus-free by November 11, while the UK could see an earlier end date of September 30.

The model predicts the trajectory of the spread of the virus over time while tracking the actual number of new confirmed cases per day in a given country.


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