The Latest From the CDC on COVID-19
A media briefing provides important perspective on the pandemic, from preexisting conditions to pregnancy.
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A media briefing provides important perspective on the pandemic, from preexisting conditions to pregnancy.
The CDC says research shows an estimated 10 additional cases for each *known* case of COVID-19 in America,
Consequently, the CDC estimates a small portion of the entire nation – under 8% – have been exposed to COVID-19.
CDC Dir. Dr. Redfield says estimates for asymptomatic spread are btwn 20-80%.
Dr. Redfield says in March, about 27% or 1 in 4 deaths in America were attributed to a pneumonia, flu or COVID-19; now the percentage is more "normal," around 7%. Still he says this latest "significant increase" of cases is important and still part of the "first wave" of this pandemic in America.
A beloved single dad inspired it.
A president made it official.
"To have a father - to be a father - is to come very near the heart of life itself." Pres. Richard Nixon, 1972, in his proclamation making Father's Day a permanent national holiday. Sonora Dodd who had lobbied for the day since 1910 was alive to see it happen. She passed away in 1978. Read Pres. Nixon's by clicking on the source page.
A snapshot on how Americans feel in 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t necessarily made us more sad (historically speaking) but perhaps more hot under the collar.
“…fewer Americans report crying or feeling dazed than after either the Kennedy assassination in 1963 or the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, but more report having lost their temper or feeling bored during the pandemic.”
“More Americans than in previous decades are unhappy and pessimistic about the future, and at the same time, more are relatively satisfied financially.”
In 2018, nearly 6 out of 10 Americans believed their children would exceed their current standard of living.
Today, about 4 in 10 Americans feel their children will exceed their current standard of living.
That’s the lowest percentage since the question was first added to the survey in 1994.
This survey concluded days before the death of George Floyd in police custody. Consequently, the answers do not include any reflection of the last several weeks of civil unrest in America. How do you think that impacts the results?
The CDC’s latest report compiles what we’ve learned about COVID-19 in America from the very first case in January through the end of May.
Here’s what you should know.
January 22: First case of COVID-19 confirmed in Washington State. The patient was a man who had recently traveled to Wuhan, China – the site of the first outbreak.
~ just over 4 months later ~
May 30: 1.7M+ confirmed cases.
*The CDC has *some* demographic information on an est. 1.3M cases.
“…pandemic continues to be severe.”
Those with pre-existing conditions were 6x more likely to require hospitalizations and 12x more likely to die than those without pre-existing conditions.
The most common pre-existing conditions: heart disease, diabetes and chronic lung disease.
Median age: 48 years
*NEW DATA*: Incidents of COVID-19 HIGHER among 40-59 year-olds (and specifically among 50-59-year-olds) than those 60-79 years old.
Overall: Highest incidents among those older than 80 and lowest in children younger than 9.
Most common symptoms: 70% reported fever, cough or shortness of breath.
The big takeaways: Pre-existing conditions remain a major factor for serious cases of COVID-19. Data continues to show Hispanic and Black Americans are disproportionately affected by the new coronavirus. Limits on data (less than half of all cases included info on race, fewer on health conditions) inhibit CDC's explanation as to why.
A day honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice likely began with grieving women honoring their loved ones (and their once-enemies) in the exact same way, at the exact same time.
“They start to see these Union graves that are just laying there, kind of barren….Their hearts start to feel bad for the mothers who have lost these children. So, they start to throw flowers on the Yankee graves. And then that story gets published everywhere.”
"We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance...Let no vandalism of avarice of neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of free and undivided republic." Maj. General John A. Logan
What We Learned
“I put China on there so you could see how basically unrealistic this could be.”
“This isn’t going to be like a light switch. It’s more like a sunrise.”
“I don’t think anyone is out of the woods right now.”
“We could double or triple the number of tests we could be doing daily, if we had the swabs and reagents.”
“Testing is a local thing.”
While the U.S. embraces “wartime” footing against COVID-19, here’s the latest on the pandemic’s impact on America’s longest war.
On February 29, America announced the framework for a “peace deal” with the Taliban, effectively providing a pathway to ending America’s longest war.
In exchange for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops, the Taliban agreed to cut ties with terrorist groups like al-Qaeda, negotiate with the current Afghan government, and “reduce violence.”
“Both sides should accelerate efforts to meet targets specified in the US-Taliban agreement as soon as possible. The potential for COVID-19 outbreaks in prisons poses a real threat and all the more reason to move urgently.”
The first American soldiers landed in Afghanistan in October 2001. Reportedly, Taliban members are being recruited by al-Qaeda, the terrorist group behind the 9/11 attacks. In the meantime, 3 American contractors were evacuated from Afghanistan this weekend after testing positive for COVID-19.
What To Know About The World Health Organization
WHO: World Health Organization
Founded: 1948 – as a specialized agency of the United Nations (founded 1945 after WWII).
Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
Team: 7,000+ people in 150+ countries
Mission: Provide healthcare and respond to public health emergencies.
Similarly to the UN, member nations contribute dues (based on a formula including factors such as population) & voluntary funds (from member nations OR private donors, e.g. nonprofits).
Pres. Trump accused the WHO of mismanaging the COVID-19 crisis by being too differential to China where the virus emerged. He said his administration will stop America’s funding of the WHO pending an investigation.
Something To Note: Congress allocates taxpayer money. It’s a legal debate whether the President can *permanently or unilaterally* halt funding.
“One of the most dangerous and costly decisions from the WHO was its disastrous decision to oppose travel restrictions from China and other nations.”
“WHO’s role is to provide rational & science-based recommendations to countries. But at the end of the day, a sovereign country has the autonomy to do what it thinks is right, and based on the situation.”
“The World Health Organization leads and coordinates the fight against pandemics. It’s what they do. You don’t stop firefighters from doing their jobs during a five-alarm fire.”
“There are certainly flaws with the way WHO handled this pandemic… If we step away and cease funding because we’re worried about WHO being unduly influenced by Chinese funding and Chinese influence, by stepping away we’re only ensuring that China will have more influence.”
A new report from the Associated Press suggests China withheld critical information about the severity of COVID-19 as it gained speed. China's Foreign Minister said that "allegations of a cover-up or lack of transparency in China are groundless."
What We Learned Today
“We’re very concerned… It’s very sad. There’s nothing we can do about it right now except to try & give them the best possible care.”
“It’s really given us great heart.”
“No absolute prediction, but I think we’re going to be in good shape.”
The FDA streamlined a treatment for COVID-19.
What it is & why it matters.
The FDA approved emergency use of the following drugs for treating COVID-19: chloroquine phosphate & hydroxychloroquine sulfate.
This allows the drugs to be used in ways in which they haven’t been tested & originally approved.
You may hear about hydroxychloroquine used with the antibiotic azithromycin.
A small but recent study in France showed some positive results of using a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin for patients with COVID-19.
The study examined 80 patients who received the drugs. They ranged in age from 18 to 88-yrs-old, more than half had preexisting conditions. ALL RECOVERED except two: an 86-yr-old died & a 74-yr-old remained in ICU.
“We believe other teams should urgently evaluate this cost-effective therapeutic strategy, to both avoid the spread of the disease and treat patients as soon as possible before severe respiratory irreversible complications take hold.”
First approved by FDA in 1955.
Prescribed for malaria & autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
The new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is very similar to the 2003 SARS virus. After that outbreak the CDC studied a “relative” of hydroxychloroquine (chloroquine) that showed promise for shortening or even preventing infection.
Developed by a medical team in Croatia – patented in 1981.
Common dosage often called a “Z-Pak.”
Prescribed frequently in 3 or 5 day-doses.
Often used to battle bacterial infections, like sinus and ear infections.
The FDA issued a warning after a married couple ingested chloroquine phosphate, an ingredient in fish food, to prevent COVID-19; the husband died and the wife was hospitalized.
Doctors have raised concerns about the use of hydroxychloroquine & azithromycin ~ especially in combination ~ as a rare side effect in *some people* can lead to cardiac arrest.
Why would the combination of drugs work? And what's the potential side effects for those with COVID-19? Two big, important, and unanswered questions. We'll keep you posted. You can check out the French study on our source page.
WHAT WE LEARNED TODAY
“Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before victory was won.”
“We really built this on scientific evidence and the ability to save hundreds of thousands of lives.”
“A model is as good as the assumptions you put into the model.”
In less than 90 days, the whole world changed.
As we look ahead to what’s next, here’s how we got here.
12/31: World Health Organization (WHO) informed of viral pneumonia in Wuhan, China, reminiscent of SARS. First patients *reportedly* emerged in beginning of December.
The source of the first infection remains unknown. Initial reports point to a seafood/wild animal market, where humans come in close contact w/animals known to carry coronaviruses (ex: bats).
1/13: First case outside China (Thailand)
1/21: First travel-related case confirmed in U.S. (Washington state)
1/30: First instance of person-to-person spread in U.S. (Illinois); WHO issues “public health emergency”
1/31: First cases in Italy; U.S. bans entry by most foreign nationals who traveled to China within the past 14 days
“We understand that this may be concerning, but based on what we know now, we still believe the immediate risk to the American public is low.”
2/5: U.S. begins distribution of tests
2/11: WHO officially unveils name “COVID-19” for “coronavirus disease 2019”
2/26: First case of community spread in U.S. (California); CDC warns Americans of potential disruptions to everyday life
2/29: First U.S. death (Washington); First state declares emergency (Washington)
“I understand this whole situation may seem overwhelming and that disruption to everyday life may be severe. But these are things that people need to start thinking about now.”
3/11: WHO characterizes the outbreak as a “pandemic” as virus spreads to 114 countries outside China.
3/13: Pres. Trump declares “national emergency”
3/16: Pres. Trump announces 15-day social distancing guidelines.
3/26: For the first time, the U.S. ranks #1 in cases worldwide with 85,000+
On March 29, a day before the "15 Days to Slow The Spread" campaign was set to come to an end, Pres. Trump extended the social distancing guidelines for another 30 days, through at least April 30th.