Despite President Donald Trump repeatedly assuring the nation that a coronavirus vaccine would be approved before Election Day, a key vaccine developer said Thursday its product won't be released to the public until March 2021 at the earliest.
Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci rebutted some of the president's claims during Tuesday's debate with former vice president Joe Biden, telling ABC News his views on masks were "taken out of context."
A new study out of Cornell found that Trump is the "single largest" transmitter of misinformation surrounding COVID-19, touting false "miracle cures" and giving credence to dubious claims about the origins of the virus.
"Saturday Night Live," which is set to come back this week, may be in some hot water with the state of New York. The show's producers announced that it would welcome a live audience for the recording despite regulations prohibiting most live audiences. A spokesman for the state's health department said "that restriction has not changed."
Some significant developments:
- September was the worst month for India during the pandemic. The country reported 86,821 new coronavirus cases and 1,181 fatalities on Thursday.
- Researchers from Kansas State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have found that mosquitoes cannot transmit COVID-19.
- The NFL postponed Sunday's game between the Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers indefinitely following an outbreak among Titans' staff and players.
- As of Wednesday, seven states set records for new cases in a week while three states had a record number of deaths in a week.
📈 Today's numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 7.2 million cases and over 207,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Globally, there have been 34 million cases and more than 1 million fatalities.
📰 What we're reading: Colby College in Waterville, Maine, is running one of the nation's most rigorous COVID-19 testing programs. So far, it's working to keep coronavirus cases at bay while colleges across the nation are experiencing outbreaks.
🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak, state by state.
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COVID-19 patients who suffer cardiac arrest don't often survive, study finds
A new study reveals that a significant portion of severely ill COVID-19 patients suffer from cardiac arrest, and when they do, treatment is often useless, particularly for older patients.
Only 12% of patients who were received cardiopulmonary resuscitation when they were hospitalized for COVID-19 survived to be released from the hospital, and many of those suffered from brain damage. Of the oldest patients, over 80, only 3% — one out of 34 patients — survived until hospital discharge, the study found. Patients treated in hospitals with fewer than 50 intensive care beds fared worse than those at the largest hospitals, according to the study, published in the BMJ.
Dr. David Leaf, a nephrologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital who helped lead the research, said the people most likely to survive were younger and only needed CPR for a short amount of time. He said the research suggested that family members may want to consider whether a “do not resuscitate” order is appropriate in case of cardiac arrest for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. CPR can leave survivors with broken ribs and other injuries.
“It’s reasonable to maybe do a few minutes of CPR, but if it doesn’t seem to be working, maybe stop,” Leaf said, adding that such decisions are very personal and should be made by the patient, or family.
– Karen Weintraub
The day the airline industry didn't want to see coming is here: Oct. 1, when 32,000 American Airlines and United Airlines employees have been furloughed after lawmakers and the White House failed to agree on a broad pandemic relief package, including more federal aid for airlines.
American Airlines flight attendant Breaunna Ross, 29, delivered a tearful goodbye to passengers over the intercom on a flight before she was furloughed. Her video went viral, receiving over 140,000 views.
"I will never forget seeing your faces today," she said. "Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the kindness shown on today's flight."
Executives from both American and United said that they would reverse the furloughs if airline aid were approved in Washington.
– David Oliver
Mere days after President Donald Trump sparred with former Vice President Joe Biden on the national stage, disseminating multiple falsehoods on voting and mail-in ballots, a study by Cornell has found that the president is the "single largest driver of misinformation around COVID."
The findings, first reported by the New York Times, identified 11 topics of misinformation, including false theories about the provenance of the virus and ineffective "miracle cures" such as the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine that circulated in "traditional media" outlets. Researchers also found "that the majority of COVID misinformation is conveyed by the media without question or correction."
“That’s concerning in that there are real-world dire health implications," lead author Sarah Evanega told the Times.
About every 2 seconds another American tested positive in September, and about every 2 minutes another American died from coronavirus, a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data for the month shows. But overall, cases fell 17.5% and deaths fell 21.1% from August totals.
Twenty-seven states reported more cases in September than they had in August, while 25 states, Guam and Puerto Rico reported more deaths. Epidemiologists have also warned of a possible fall surge. In the latest two weeks, 23 states along with the District of Columbia and Guam reported more cases than they had in the previous two weeks. The rate of those new cases more than doubled in Alaska and North Dakota; rapid increases are also seen in Missouri, New York and Pennsylvania.
– Michael Stucka
After the first month of the 2020-21 academic year, schools across New York state report that at least 1,200 students and staff have tested positive for the coronavirus, and 693 public and private schools had reported at least one infection.
Around 700 of those infected were students, said state officials, who pointed out the count doesn’t capture the full extent of cases among schoolchildren. A separate data system operated by state health officials has documented around 2,300 infections among school-age children since Sept. 1.
Tulsa, Oklahoma, where President Trump in June held his first rally since the coronavirus pandemic hit, has extended its mask mandate through Jan. 31 and expanded it to include children older than 10.
The Tulsa metro area has seen a recent decline in its test positivity rate, but Oklahoma has one of the highest percentages of new infections in the country. On Thursday, the state health department reported 1,170 new cases for a total of 88,369.
Almost 700 Wisconsin patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Wednesday, nearly double the number two weeks earlier, the state hospital association reported. At ThedaCare in Wisconsin's Fox Valley, where hospitals have been among some of the state's hardest hit, vice president and chief medical officer for acute care Dr. Michael Hooker said the surge of coronavirus patients is happening much faster than expected.
"We're really fighting a war in the hospital," he said, adding that the surge could overwhelm hospitals in as little as two weeks if not managed. The state's top health officials said this week Wisconsin is closer than ever to having to open an emergency field hospital built in the spring at the state fairgrounds.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump's campaign moved a rally scheduled for Saturday to Janesville in the southern part of the state after La Crosse officials voiced objections to the activity based on surging cases of COVID-19. Trump is still planning an event later that day in Green Bay -- which city leaders also oppose -- as he seeks to shore up support in the battleground state.
– Madeline Heim, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
Report: Moderna vaccine won't come until spring 2021
One of the key companies developing a COVID-19 vaccine will not have it ready until March 2021, at the earliest. Stéphane Bancel, CEO of the pharmaceuticals company Moderna, told the Financial Times in an interview that the company will be unable to request emergency authorization from the FDA until at least November. Guidelines mandate that trial participants be screened for at least two months after the vaccine is taken.
“I think a late (first quarter), early (second quarter) approval is a reasonable timeline, based on what we know from our vaccine,” he told the publication, noting that vaccines by other manufacturers — such as Pfizer — may be out sooner due to a different trial procedure.
After President Donald Trump pointed out that Dr. Anthony Fauci and other medical experts initially discouraged the use of masks — which is partially true, according to a USA TODAY fact check — Fauci said he was "taken out of context" in an interview with ABC News.
Speaking on the "Start Here" podcast, he said that he discouraged mask use "very early on" due to a severe shortage of masks. "The feeling was that people who were wanting to have masks in the community," he said, "might be hoarding masks and making the shortage of masks even greater."
By April, with findings pointing toward the importance of mask-wearing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended masks for public use. Fauci has since made it very clear that masks are crucial when stepping out in public. "Anybody who has been listening to me over the last several months know that a conversation does not go by where I do not strongly recommend that people wear masks."
In Colby College, a small liberal arts school in Waterville, Maine, students are almost always wearing masks. They're required to by the college at almost all times, which surpasses state guidance. The results are impressive: The campus has recorded fewer than a dozen coronavirus cases since the semester began in August. The state has among the lowest caseloads in the nation, with only about 5,400 cases.
Among the school's other mandates: A stringent testing program, mandatory contact tracing by phone and no visitors on campus. Such requirements during pre-pandemic times likely would have been met with resistance or indifference from students. Now, they're welcomed. What remains unknown is what will happen to Colby and other colleges as the winter months draw closer, people move inside and coronavirus fatigue sets in.
– Chris Quintana, USA TODAY
The decision by "Saturday Night Live" to welcome a live audience for its upcoming season premiere has drawn concern from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration, which questioned whether the venerable show's plan complies with state COVID-19 restrictions. The NBC sketch comedy show has been taking requests through a third party for tickets to its show this Saturday, when it is scheduled to open its 46th season and make a return to the famed Studio 8H in Manhattan's Rockefeller Center.
New York's COVID-19 rules, however, say television shows and other media productions are prohibited from having a live audience unless it is made up entirely of paid employees, cast or crew. Asked whether "SNL's" live audience plan complies with state rules, Department of Health spokesman Gary Holmes noted the state banned ticketed events on March 16 and "that restriction has not changed."
– Jon Campbell, New York State Team
Researchers from Kansas State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have found that mosquitoes cannot transmit COVID-19 from an infected person to an uninfected person. They gave mosquitoes blood infected with COVID-19 and found the virus did not replicate in the mosquitoes. "We conclude that (the) biting (insects) do not pose a risk for transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to humans or animals following a SARS-CoV-2 infected blood meal," researchers wrote in the journal bioRxiv. The study has yet to be peer-reviewed.
An outbreak in Washington state that has infected at least 25 people is linked to a spa. King County's public health department is advising individuals who visited Salish Lodge and Spa in Snoqualmie, Washington, between Sept. 16 and Sept. 30 to get tested for COVID-19 and quarantine for two weeks. The spa has since temporarily closed.
Washington had reported 87,522 cases and 2,126 deaths as of Thursday morning, per the state's Department of Health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will extend its "no-sail" order for the U.S. cruise industry through Oct. 31, a person familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly told USA TODAY. The CDC's previous order had been scheduled to expire Sept. 30 after extensions to the original mid-March order in April and again in July.
The CDC requested that the order be extended to Feb. 15, but compromised with the White House coronavirus task force to extend it until Oct. 31, four days before the Nov. 3 election.
– Morgan Hines
COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY
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Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID news: Trump misinformation; Moderna vaccine; SNL; Fauci masks