“American Exceptionalism on the Virus” New York Times, June 29, 2020 / Image: The New York Times / Source: Johns Hopkins University


Global coronavirus cases reached a new milestone on Sunday at 10 million total reported cases and 500,000 dead. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has warned that hospitalizations and deaths could surge in the coming weeks and that time is running out to curb the virus’ spread. Even so, Azar did not join other U.S. officials who are urging President Donald Trump to set an example for the nation by wearing a face mask, a topic that has become central to partisan disagreements and the source of localized movements seeking to boycott them

Twelve states have delayed their phased reopening plans to again slow the spread of the virus, including California, where bars were ordered to reclose.

Global markets are down on the bleak report of new infections, which are pushing millions more people into hunger, the United Nations has warned. The agency is seeking almost $5 billion to aid a record 138 million people in low-income countries. Russian authorities are intimidating doctors who counter the country’s official message that COVID-19 cases are down and the country is in recovery, even as new infections climb. A survey of European residents found that their view of the U.S. as a “useful ally on matters of global significance” is in decline amid the pandemic.

The Chinese military has approved the use of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by drugmaker CanSino Biologics following successful clinical trials, although the company said the commercial success of the vaccine cannot be guaranteed. A traditional herbal Chinese medicine developed 2,000 years ago is also resurging as a popular treatment option there.

Critics of the Food and Drug Administration’s efforts to swiftly provide antibody tests by permitting them in the market without review say that the decision is backfiring. As cases climb, they say health authorities are unable to gauge the true size of the outbreak.

Americans seeking travel this summer say they hope to book a trip of one to five days this month, prompting health experts to create safety guidelines for many popular beaches. The number of travelers choosing to fly is also on the rise, moving American Airlines to join United in filling flights to capacity once more.

Icelandic musician Björk will hold some of the world’s first in-person concerts in her home country since the pandemic began. Following Iceland’s success at managing the spread, she will hold three concerts in August. The pandemic continues to reshape artists’ methods to announce new music and reach their audiences around the globe.

How Will Covid-19 Affect the Next Round of College Applicants? Here’s an Early Look. – The Chronicle of Higher Education – 6/29/2020
“High-school seniors believe life’s going to be back to normal and hunky-dory by the time they’re ready to apply to college,” […] “But yet again we see disparities on full display. For the Class of 2021, the students who were already hurting are now hurting even more compared with white students and those from higher levels of income.”

Study Found Traces of Coronavirus in Europe in March 2019. Here’s What That Means – ScienceAlert – 6/29/2020
They found evidence of the virus on January 15, 2020, 41 days before the first official case was declared on February 25, 2020. All the samples before this date were negative, except for a sample from March 12, 2019, which gave a positive result in their PCR test for coronavirus.

How nature became the pandemic’s latest victim – New Statesman – 6/29/2020
Not only is the Arctic literally on fire, but the pollutants that ravaged our atmosphere before Covid-19 are likely to return with a vengeance as soon as its spread is curbed. Oil demand is set to bounce back in 2021. Airlines have successfully lobbied for an amendment to their climate targets.

Coronavirus survivors at risk of PTSD, say experts – The Independent – 6/29/2020
Research by the group found that some people discharged from intensive care after being seriously ill with Covid-19 felt panicky when going out alone in case they became sick or felt angry with themselves for not being “back to normal by now”.

The Hidden Racism of Vaccine Testing – The New Republic – 6/29/2020
Sociologist Jill A. Fisher does ask, in her new book, Adverse Events, and the answers she gets from first-in-human test subjects show how systemic anti-Black racism in the United States maintains the clinical trials industry and how the industry circles back to hold people of color disproportionately in positions of economic precarity.


Anjalee Khemlani @AnjKhem 29 Jun Gilead announces US price for remdesivir: -government price of $390 per vial-private insurance will be $520 per vialAt this price “we believe all patients will have access.” $GILD CEO says in latest open letter.Estimates were in the thousands of $$

Dr. Lucky Tran 😷 @luckytran 29 Jun So, a third of Americans say they won’t get the #COVID19 vaccine even if it is widely available and low cost.The damage that antivaxxers are doing keeps growing exponentially.

Bloomberg Law @BLaw 29 Jun 3M settled with two more companies who it says unfairly took advantage of the Covid-19 outbreak by infringing its trademarks and gouging the prices of its N95 masks.

Rebecca Burns @RebeccaBurns 29 Jun “America has created the most expensive, least effective health care system in the modern world, and the most vulnerable Americans have been paying for that failure with their lives since long before the coronavirus came to town.”

Megan Ranney MD MPH @meganranney 29 Jun “the doses will ship starting Monday and extinguish the full amount of Gilead’s donation of 120,647 treatment courses” It may not be the best drug we could hope for, but it was something.


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