FDA grants emergency use authorization antibody test. Johnson & Johnson aims for 1B doses of vaccine by next year. Sioux won’t close coronavirus checkpoints. Elon Musk says ‘arrest ME’ after he defies coronavirus lockdown restrictions and reopens Tesla plant.
Today’s update will start with a review of where the Wuhan Coronavirus deaths have occurred in this country.
Over half of all documented coronavirus deaths have occurred in just five states, following the trend seen in other nations that show heavily concentrated and very localize outbreaks.
Of the nearly 80,000 deaths from the virus in this country as of Saturday afternoon, nearly 48,700, or about 60 percent, had occurred in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
New York remains the hardest-hit state of any in the country by far, having logged nearly 27,000 deaths as of Saturday afternoon. The next-hardest-hit state, New Jersey, had recorded over 9,100.
Those numbers reflect a startling regionalism to the disease, which has brought much of the economic and social life of the United States to a grinding halt. New York and New Jersey also top the country’s list for number of deaths adjusted for population, while Massachusetts, Michigan and Pennsylvania also fall in the top ten.
Those concentrated numbers are reflective of a virus that seems to strike noticeably heavier in some locations than others, a pattern that has borne out in numerous countries around the world.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has prepared a map of the total number of cases, which also reflects the same pattern.
It is quite clear that a one-size-fits-all pandemic approach was doomed to failures, and a smart governor will choose the response model that fits the nature of the disease outbreak in his or her state. On the other hand, unwise governors will make decisions based on the needs of party politics and the desire for future election glory on a national scale.
FDA grants emergency use authorization to Abbott Labs’ new coronavirus antibody test.
Antibody testing will be critical in firming the actual infection fatality rate and assessing how the coronavirus is spread.
The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for Abbott Laboratories’ new coronavirus test that detects Covid-19 antibodies, the company announced Monday.
Abbott said it plans to ship nearly 30 million tests this month and will have the capacity to ship 60 million tests in June.
The tests can indicate whether a person has had Covid-19 and was either asymptomatic or recovered.
“Having more options of highly reliable tests across our platforms will help healthcare workers and health officials as they conduct broad scale testing for Covid-19,” Abbott CEO Robert Ford said in a statement.
Johnson & Johnson aims to produce 1B doses of COVID-19 vaccine by next year.
The speed of vaccine development and production for the coronavirus is astounding.
Johnson & Johnson executives said the company is aiming to deliver a billion coronavirus vaccines by next year. Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Paul Stoffels said the company is speeding up manufacturing and preparing clinical trials for a potential vaccine in September.
Dr. Stoffels noted that he doesn’t think COVID-19 will go away on its own and is spreading throughout the U.S. so quickly that drugs are urgently needed to control it. The chief scientific officer is not ruling out the possibility of distributing a vaccine before it advances out of clinical trials.
“Well clinical trials will need to be done to show that it is effective and that will take some time,” he explained. “We will have some vaccine available this year, but it all depends on….it will depend on the authorities, the FDA and others to decide whether it can be used earlier before clear efficacy data are available.”
South Dakota Sioux tribe refuses to take down coronavirus checkpoints despite the governor’s ultimatum.
Despite Gov. Kristi Noem’s demands for it to open highways running through the reservation, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in South Dakota has refused to remove coronavirus checkpoints.
Noem, a Republican, sent letters to the tribe’s chairman, Harold Frazier, and to the president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Julian Bear Runner, giving them 48 hours to take down what she called illegal checkpoints before she’d take “necessary legal action” in federal court.
Chairman Frazier said Sunday that the checkpoints set up by the tribe in April are meant to monitor and track the potential spread of COVID-19 onto tribal lands.
“We want to ensure that people coming from ‘hot spots’ or highly infected areas, we ask them to go around our land,” Frazier told CNN.
“With the lack of resources we have medically, this is our best tool we have right now” against the spread of the coronavirus, he said, adding that “the nearest health care, critical care is three hours away from where we live.”
Some 12,000 people live on the Cheyenne River Reservation covering about 4,267 square miles in Dewey and Ziebach counties. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe runs an eight-bed medical facility – with no intensive care unit – to serve their population.
U.S. Highway 212 and S.D. Highways 65, 63, and 20 pass through the reservation. South Dakota, along with only a handful of states, never issued a stay-at-home order. Though, both tribes have issued stay-at-home orders for their residents.
Elon Musk says ‘arrest ME’ after he defies coronavirus lockdown restrictions and reopens Tesla plant.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed his company has resumed operations at its main California plant in defiance of the state’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions and dared state authorities to arrest him for the violation.
The plant in Fremont, south of San Francisco, had been closed since March 23 in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
But early Monday evening Musk confirmed in a tweet that Tesla is restarting production at the facility ‘against Alameda County rules.’
‘I will be on the line with everyone else,’ he continued. ‘If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.’
The controversial move comes as the latest salvo in an ongoing war between Musk and Alameda County, after Tesla filed a lawsuit against local officials on Saturday for ordering the the Fremont facility to shutter until June.
Musk called the order ‘super messed up’ in a separate tweet Monday, claiming that ‘all other auto companies in US are approved to resume. Only Tesla has been singled out.’
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