CNN – Since most US states are going in the wrong direction with coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has pulled in important information about how the virus spreads.
The United States is on the verge of 200,000 coronavirus deaths, with the number of new cases increasing in 28 states, according to Johns Hopkins University.
“We may have a very apocalyptic case, I’m sorry to say,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
“And it happens because we force schools to reopen in high-transfer areas. We force colleges to reopen, and we do not have the leadership nationally,” people say, wearing masks and making social distance and doing all the things we have to do. “
Dr Jeanne Marrazzo, director of communicable diseases at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, said she agrees this autumn “may be apocalyptic” after the recent peaks.
“Why are we going back? I think there are some reasons,” Marrazzo said.
“One is that there is general fatigue. People are really tired of this,” she said. “And then the other thing is … the completely contradictory messages we get – not just misinformation, but also the confusion about how things are spread.”
She quoted a recent update from the CDC as saying that you can get Covid-19 just by inhaling small particles from an infected person’s breath that lingers or travels in the air.
“There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and inhaled by others and travel longer than 6 feet,” the CDC’s website said in an update Friday. “In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk.”
Many doctors have known this for several months – hence their basis for the public to wear masks.
“The updated guide would have been good if it came out in May last year,” Hotez said. “We knew all these things months ago.”
But on Monday afternoon, the CDC’s update was removed.
“The fact that they have withdrawn this, even though this is common scientific knowledge at this time, one has to wonder what is behind it,” says Dr. Leana Wen, a CNN medical analyst and an emergency physician at George Washington University.
“Was there political pressure? Political interference that drives this rather than science?”
Both the heads of the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration were appointed by President Donald Trump. And while Trump said he gives himself an “A +” when it comes to dealing with the pandemic, he has also said he “always wants to play it down.”
Asked why the CDC withdrew its aerosolized proliferation update, a spokesman said it was published by mistake.
“Draft proposed amendments to these recommendations were inadvertently published on the agency’s official website,” CDC spokesman Jason McDonald said in an email to CNN.
“The CDC is currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Once the process is complete, the update language will be published.”
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Where Covid-19 cases rise and fall
As of Monday, 28 states had more new cases in the past week compared to the previous week, according to Johns Hopkins data.
Sixteen states are holding on, and only six states are showing declines in new cases: Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, Michigan, South Carolina and Vermont.
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But it is not just the raw number of new cases that the public should be aware of. It is also the test’s positivity levels – the proportion of tests taken that turn out to be positive.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended to governments to maintain test positivity levels at or below 5% for at least two weeks before reopening.
As of Monday morning, 27 states and Puerto Rico have test positivity levels higher than the 5% threshold, according to Johns Hopkins University.
At the other end of the spectrum, five states have test positivity levels below 1% – Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York.
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The race for a (safe and effective) vaccine
CDC Chief Dr. Robert Redfield has said that a vaccine may not be available to most Americans until mid-2021.
But Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser to Operation Warp Speed, told CNBC on Monday that “we are pretty close” to having a Covid-19 vaccine.
At least three vaccines are in Phase 3 clinical trials in the United States. Slaoui said it is possible that the effect of the vaccine can be determined between October and January.
“The longer we wait, the more likely,” Slaoui said.
If approval or authorization is granted in November or December, “for example, we may be able to vaccinate the most susceptible populations in the United States by December 2020,” Slaoui said.
“Most of the elderly population and first-time workers in January 2021 and the rest of the U.S. population will gradually in February, March and April,” Slaoui said.