“Graphic looking at countries with the highest #coronavirus death tolls and their respective death rates as of August 24” – AFP News Agency / Data: AFP database


Trade talks between the U.S. and China elevated global stocks amid signs of warmer trade relations and futures pointed to a rise in the S&P 500. Oil benchmarks were mixed as traders watched the progress of tropical storms Marco and Laura in the Gulf of Mexico, which are expected to strike in rapid succession this week. 

Researchers in Hong Kong reported what appears to be the first confirmed case of COVID-19 reinfection, raising questions about a possible short-lived immunity. However, scientists questioned the extent to which the case pointed to broader concerns about reinfection. The patient developed mild symptoms in mid-March, then tested positive again in August after returning from a trip to Spain, though remains asymptomatic. 

Speakers at the first night of the Republican National Convention focused on President Donald Trump’s handling of coronavirus, stating he has done “a lot to fight and has saved lives,” despite the president’s dismissal of the gravity of the virus early on and resistance to wearing a mask. The president appeared in a video with health care workers and first responders, and an RNC video argued the media, the World Health Organization, and Democrats underplayed the virus. The U.S. still has one of the highest rates of coronavirus in the world. 

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris will be tested regularly for coronavirus as their in-person campaigning intensifies in the final 10 weeks before Election Day. Biden’s deputy campaign manager said he has not yet been tested after campaigning cautiously under the advice of health experts and Delaware’s coronavirus rules. 

Protests were reignited in Kenosha, Wisconsin Monday night following the police shooting of a 29-year-old Black man. Jacob Blake was shot multiple times in the back while he tried to enter an SUV through the driver’s side door while his 3-,5-, and 8-year-old children sat in the vehicle. The American Civil Liberties Union found that fatal shootings by police did not appear to ease up amid the pandemic and that Blacks, Latinx, and Native Americans continue to be disproportionately affected by deadly police shootings. The data also showed that several states saw a rise in the rate of people fatally shot by police in 2020 over the previous five years. 

Scholars of early modern England have shown how plague and protest are often correlated, beginning with the Black Death of 1348 laying the groundwork for the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. Some scholars note how citizens perceived public health policies as tyrannical, thus defying orders. Measures imposed by the government often led to a sense of “inequity and penalization” among the middle class. 

Following months of remote learning, many of the 7.1 million U.S. students who receive special services have fallen behind on developing and maintaining certain skills crucial for their independence. Parents teaching children with special needs at home say no support staff and lack of specialized training has been difficult. Within the broader school reopening crisis, teachers are also worried about their safety, as these students often need physical touch to comfort them and may have a harder time remembering to follow social distancing and mask regulations. 

The elusive and solitary prehistoric-looking animal, the pangolin, is being studied for its possible involvement in the origins of COVID-19, giving the animal a strange ambivalence – endangered, and dangerous. Pangolins are susceptible to coronaviruses and some have shown to carry viruses very similar to SARS-CoV-2, though experts say more field research is needed to study how animal infections can become human infections.

Four scenarios on how we might develop immunity to Covid-19 – STAT – 8/25/2020
Peiris isn’t alone. STAT asked a number of experts to map out scenarios of how we might come to coexist with this new threat. In a time of uncertainty, the scenarios they sketched were actually hopeful, even if the relief most envisage is not immediately around the corner.

Convalescent plasma: What you need to know – Medical Press – 8/25/2020
The United States has issued an emergency authorization to use blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients as a treatment against the disease. […] In June, the Mayo Clinic analyzed the safety of plasma following transfusion in a group of 20,000 COVID-19 patients, finding extremely low rates of side-effects such as heart failure, lung injury, allergic reaction and death.

How Syracuse researchers are using cows to fight coronavirus – Syracuse – 8/25/2020
Through genetic engineering, the animals’ natural genes that produce cow antibodies are shut off. An artificial human chromosome is inserted in the cow so they produce human antibodies instead of cow antibodies. The cows are injected with a non-infectious protein of Covid-19 and within a few weeks produce large amounts of antibodies that fight the virus.

Ventilators could be adapted to help two COVID-19 patients at once – ScienceDaily – 8/24/2020
Now, researchers from King’s College London and Imperial College London have developed a theoretical model for how one ventilator could be used to treat two patients. They say that, although splitting ventilators can be inherently dangerous, their model shows how some of the issues can be mitigated by using variable resistances and one-way valves.

Dreaming A Little Dream During COVID-19 – Qrius – 8/25/2020
Surveys show that many people are concerned about the consequences of the virus for themselves and their loved ones. These concerns, together with physical distancing, isolation, and economic concerns, are associated with increased levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and sleep-related problems.


Carl Quintanilla @carlquintanilla 24 Aug “One of the potential dangers if you prematurely let a vaccine out is that it would make it difficult, if not impossible, for the other vaccines to enroll people in their trial,” Fauci said. @Reuters

Be Part of Research @NIHRtakepart 24 Aug “It was all systems go!” – Learn from a research nurse, pharmacist; research coordinator about what life is like working on an innovative NIHR-supported cell therapy trial offering hope to #Covid19 patients: @uhbtrust @uhbresearch @CRN_WMid

NPR @NPR 24 Aug The FDA gave approval to expand use of blood plasma in treating COVID-19 patients — but it’s unclear how effective it is.The move comes after Trump baselessly accused the FDA and “deep state” of stalling the authorization to hurt his reelection chances.

TheStreet @TheStreet 24 Aug The FDA issues an “emergency use authorization” for convalescent plasma treatment and, according to a report, AstraZeneca’s #COVID19 vaccine candidate may be fast-tracked by the Trump administration. @byKatherineRoss has the latest. Read more

Murdoch Children’s @MCRI_for_kids 25 Aug As the race for a #COVID-19 vaccine continues @nytimes keeps track of the latest #CoronavirusVaccines in development. @MCRI_for_kids BRACE Trial is mentioned as one of the eight vaccines currently conducting Phase 3 trials. https://t.co/cpj4x9yPk4


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