Coronavirus Dwell Updates: World Approaches One Million Deaths

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A senior Trump official rejects a report that he has the F.D.A. to mitigate new vaccination guidelines.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows denied reports that he was pressuring the Food and Drug Administration to soften new, stricter guidelines the agency was preparing for emergency coronavirus vaccine approval.

"Why should we do this?" He asked Margaret Brennan on CBS's Face the Nation program on Sunday.

Mr. Meadows said he was only interested in the guidelines for quality control reasons: "My challenge to the F.D.A. just make sure it is based on science and real numbers. "

The new guidelines that are currently being developed would establish more specific criteria for clinical trial data than the current guidelines and recommend that the data be reviewed prior to the F.D.A. to be verified by a committee of independent experts. approves each vaccine based on information from several people familiar with a design.

President Trump suggested on Wednesday that the new guidelines were a "political move" and that the White House might not approve them.

That same day, Mr. Meadows called Stephen Hahn, the F.D.A. Commissioner and insisted that the agency provide a detailed rationale for the new guidelines, according to a report in the Washington Post.

Ms. Brennan asked why the White House was involved in the F.D.A. would insert and raised concerns about political interference. "We want to make sure it's safe," Meadows replied. "We try to make sure that the guidance we give doesn't get in the way of getting things out of the way quickly" but also "doesn't distract from it."

Ultimately, he added that the F.D.A. Guidelines would ensure that anyone who receives the vaccine can "do so with the assurance that the process is being carried out properly".

Mr Meadows' reasoning matched that of Michael Caputo, former Department of Health and Human Services spokesman, when he responded to reports two weeks ago that he and one of his staff had pressured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention To make changes to its weekly disease ratings.

The adjutant "makes his position known and his position is sometimes not popular with career scholars," Caputo told the Times on September 12, the day before he made outlandish allegations against C.D.C. Scientists in an online video and a few days before the medical vacation. "It's called science. Disagreements are science."

Also on "Face the Nation" was Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner of the F.D.A. from May 2017 to April 2019, said the expected guidelines were not "a revision of agency standards or any sort of higher bar" but "an articulation of the principles and standards that the FDA has used for a long time and is openly communicating with businesses who develop vaccines. "

Dr. Gottlieb, a doctor on the board of directors at Pfizer, one of the companies involved in developing a coronavirus vaccine, believes there is widespread agreement that the publicly discussed guidelines "largely meet everyone's expectations."

He said he preferred the F.D.A. Issue the guidelines "because they would provide more transparency," but regardless, "I think these will be the principles governing this process."

When the world's deaths approach a million, new trouble spots continue to emerge.

As the world nears yet another pathological pandemic threshold, a million coronavirus death toll, the fastest growing countries in the world are spread out around the world and new trouble spots are constantly emerging.

The daily number of lives lost to the virus increased in August and September, reaching more than 5,000 people in an average of seven days. On Sunday morning the global total was 993,600, According to a database from the New York Times.

On Saturday, India, the world's second most populous nation, continued to lead to daily virus-related deaths with around 7,700 deaths in the past seven days. The United States ranks second with more than 5,000, Brazil in third with more than 4,800, and Mexico in fourth with nearly 3,000. These four countries are responsible for more than half of all deaths from the virus worldwide, according to the Times database.

New trouble spots are also emerging in smaller countries like Israel, which last week led the world in new cases per capita.

The pandemic continues to wreak havoc in South America, where countries like Argentina, Colombia and Peru are recording thousands of new cases every day, as well as some of the world's highest per capita deaths.

As the seasons change, some countries that were badly affected by the virus in spring and summer are beginning to abandon their lockdown policies, raising fears of future fluctuations. Great Britain, Spain and France have already had second waves of infection in Europe.

In places where the autumn cold is leading people back into homes, classrooms and offices, health experts warn that the virus can reappear in areas that have previously slowed its spread.

The virus poses a greater threat in crowded indoor spaces than outdoors. In the southern U.S. states, for example, there was a spike in infections as temperatures rose this summer, causing people to stay indoors with air conditioners buzzing.

"I'm a little concerned that we will see this shift to the north latitudes when the weather turns cold," said Linsey Marr of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, who studies how viruses move through the air.

If you are not living with an infected person – in which case the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have specific guidelines – then protecting yourself at home will not require exceptional measures, said Dr. Marr. And if you're anywhere else, wearing a face covering and washing your hands are still the best ways to protect yourself indoors.

Health experts gave various tips to avoid the virus indoors: open the windows, buy an air filter – and forget about the ultraviolet light. Fear of the risk of indoor transmission has fueled a market for expensive equipment that promises to scrub surfaces – and even the air. However, most of these products are overdone and can even have unintended harmful effects.

"Anything that sounds fancy and is not proven – those are all things to avoid," said Delphine Farmer, atmospheric chemist at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. "Soap and water work wonderfully."

Managers of larger buildings should encourage those who can work from home and employ strategies such as adding air filters and disinfecting surfaces. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created an app that can be used to determine how many people can safely gather in a given room and for how long.

Regardless of these precautions, the optimal strategy is to simply wear a mask indoors, said Martin Bazant, chemical engineer at M.I.T., adding, "This is a far greater effect than either of these strategies would provide."

Even a state as widespread as Montana can be prone to spikes in some cases.

The coronavirus is growing in one of the most rural states in the country, Montana, whose population is so dispersed that Billings is the only city in the state that can claim more than 100,000 residents.

Daily reports of new cases in the state have more than doubled in the past two weeks, to an average of 250 per day, according to a database from the New York Times. This shakes the records and raises concerns that the state's hospitals may be overwhelmed.

Other states in the mountain west and northern Great Plains are also badly affected, including Wyoming, Utah, and North Dakota.

The impact of the coronavirus in Montana has been relatively minor until recently. While coastal cities like Seattle and New York saw large eruptions in April and May, Montana's fall curve had an almost imperceptible bump.

Now Montana reports three times as many cases a day as King County, Washington, including Seattle, and has twice the population of Montana. Nearly half of the state's 171 total deaths from Covid-19 occurred in the past month and hospital admissions have risen sharply.

Part of the increase is due to outbreaks in prisons and nursing homes, which have proven to be vulnerable in both rural and urban states. State experts also point to the recent reopening of schools and universities and the beginning of sports practice.

The number of cases in school-age children has increased more than 90 percent since the first week of September, Stacey Anderson, the state's leading epidemiologist, told reporters Tuesday.

There are seven Indian reservations in Montana that have struggled to keep the virus out but are now seeing worrying increases in some cases. The Blackfeet Nation, which closed its border with Glacier National Park in the summer to prevent tourists potentially infected with the virus from driving through the city, imposed two-week quarantines on two of their cities last week since it in some cases there was an increase.

State officials urged residents to save Montana from the heavy toll the virus has taken in denser, more populous states like Texas or Florida by following the state's mask mandate and social distancing guidelines.

"We have a unique opportunity here in Montana, through our location and through learning from others around us," said Greg Holzman, the state physician. "We don't have to have these results here."

Vermont's population is exploding and the small towns are struggling to keep up.

In cities like Winhall, which were home to 769 people year round before the pandemic, this is no longer the problem.

Instead, officials are barely able to keep up with the growth spurt.

Elizabeth Grant, the town clerk, estimates the town's population exceeded 10,000 in the summer. When the school reopened earlier this month, enrollment had risen 54, a jump of more than 25 percent, causing the cost to taxpayers to exceed projections by half a million dollars.

The post ran out of available mailbox. Boxing in mid-June. Electricians and plumbers are booked until Christmas. Complaints about bears have quadrupled.

Real estate agents in town knew something was happening in late April when Governor Phil Scott cautiously began reopening businesses.

Since then, the number of single-family homes available in Winhall and Stratton, the adjacent ski area, has dropped from 129 to 29, the lowest level since 2003, according to Tim Apps, real estate agent at Vermont Sales Group.

The question now is whether the newcomers will stay, as many of their companies only allowed remote working on a temporary basis.

Officials will have a better sense of how many people moved to the state in just a few weeks after collecting numbers on school enrollment, which in Vermont had been falling for a decade. They expect a nationwide increase of 2 to 5 percent and in some cities even 15 percent, said Michael S. Pieciak, commissioner of the State Department of Financial Regulation.

Infections are increasing rapidly in France. Over the past seven days, an average of more than 10,000 new cases per day have been reported, more than double what it was at the height of the country's first wave in the spring.

"We have been warning for a few weeks that we have not defeated the epidemic," French Health Minister Olivier Véran told the French media on Sunday. “The virus hasn't gone away. The epidemic has increased again. "

According to a database from the New York Times, the number of deaths from Covid-19 has increased 83 percent in the past 14 days. Still, the death rate – an average of 50 deaths a day last week – is far lower than it was in the spring, when the number averaged over 1,000 a day. Still, dozens of cities and regions across the country are preparing to impose new restrictions on Monday to contain the rising tide of infections.

The French authorities have put a number of French cities, including Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux, on "heightened alert" which will limit public gatherings to no more than 10 people as of Monday. Bars have to close early and closed sports facilities have to be closed completely.

The hospitals are now under pressure again. Around 600 new Covid-19 hospital stays have been carried out every day since mid-September. Covid-19 patients now make up at least 10 percent of ICU patients across the country.

In recent months, France has expanded its testing policy, with more than a million tests being carried out per week, or around five times more than in April. However, French laboratories are unable to keep up with the number of tests being carried out, leading to a backlog of tests that have hampered France's strategy to prevent a second outbreak.

On Saturday, two Nobel Prize-winning economists suggested in the Le Monde newspaper that France impose a national lockdown on most December so families can safely gather together for the end of the year holidays and “save Christmas”.

Mr Véran replied that a lockdown was not yet part of the government's plans: "We are not ruling out any option, but we are not planning a suspension option, we are acting to prevent it."


Melbourne is further easing its lockdown as cases fall faster than expected.

Efforts to fight the virus in the Australian state of Victoria are "ahead of schedule," Prime Minister Dan Andrews said on Sunday as he announced further easing of restrictions after two months of severe lockdown in Melbourne, the state capital.

The curfew in Melbourne, the country's second-largest city, will be lifted starting at 5 a.m. on Monday, said Andrews, who denied it due to an emerging legal challenge. Childcare facilities will reopen and outdoor public gatherings of up to five people from two different households will be allowed. Elementary school students will return to school from October 12th.

Melbourne residents must continue to be at home except for care or nursing, essential shopping, exercise, and work or education that cannot be done from home. Restaurants and cafes are closed for dining service. Other rules have been tightened, with fines for illegal indoor or outdoor gatherings of nearly A $ 5,000 or about $ 3,500. The residents now have to wear customized face masks instead of scarves or headscarves.

Melbourne's 14-day rolling average of new cases, which was over 400 at the height of the city's outbreak last month, is now 22.1, well below the 30-50 target, that second step out of the lockdown take out. If the decline in cases continues, all restrictions on leaving the house could be lifted on October 19, a week ahead of schedule, Andrews said.

"It's a remarkable thing – and an achievement that belongs to every single Victorian," he said. “Because we beat this thing with grit, courage and heart. We're driving it down. We win."

In other global developments:

  • With positive coronavirus tests hitting new highs, the number of seriously ill people threatening to overload intensive care units and hospitals reports alarming numbers of younger patients. Israeli Officials on Sunday asked the public to heed the lockdown measures towards Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.

  • in the Madrid, About 1,000 protesters took to the streets on Sunday to demand an end to a partial lockdown imposed by the regional government last Monday on approximately one million residents in certain neighborhoods, most of them in working-class suburbs. While the Madrid authorities have argued that the lockdown was necessary to contain a second wave of infections, the decision has sparked protests and outrage among residents, who they consider discriminatory. That stance was strengthened on Friday when Spanish Health Minister Salvador Ila said Madrid should have introduced stricter restrictions on the entire capital region instead.

  • Great Britain a member of the government's Scientific Advisory Board may have warned that, without further restrictions, they could "get caught in a cycle of epidemic waves". Adviser Jeremy Farrar wrote in the Times of London that the tightening of measures announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week was a "fudge" and "would not deliver an open economy or save lives". Mr Farrar called for a ban on people from different households meeting indoors and said further closings of restaurants, pubs, gyms, places of worship and non-essential shops should also be considered as the country tries to climb steeply to stop the infections.

  • South Korea on Sunday called for a joint investigation into the death of a South Korean official killed by North Korean forces who discovered him swimming in North Korean waters. South Korea said the official tried to carry out a robbery and the troops shot him and set his body on fire because of unfounded fears that he was infected with the virus. The north denies important parts of this account. "Since the results of South and North Korea are patchy, we ask for a joint investigation so that we can establish the truth as soon as possible," said Suh Choo-suk, deputy director for national security in South Korea.

Charitable giving has increased and broken new ground this year as donors large and small responded first to the pandemic and then to social justice after the assassination of George Floyd in May.

Foundation Source, which advises smaller business and family foundations, recently surveyed its members and found that 39 percent of respondents postponed their foundations' duties in response to this year's events, while 42 percent increased their donations.

"We saw a change in behavior," said Stefanie Borsari, National Director of Customer Service at Foundation Source. "Of the top reasons people have shifted their mission or focus," she added, "the largest was certainly Covid, but about a third of those surveyed also noted concerns about social justice."

A June report from Fidelity Charitable, the largest US grant funder, said that national food aid program grants rose 667 percent, but donors continued to donate to their regular charities.

What smaller foundations and individual donors have often been missing, however, is information about which nonprofits in which communities would best use their donations. Two new philanthropic databases aim to fill this void by highlighting nonprofits that address social justice and pandemic issues.

The first, Give Blck, which went online on Friday, aims to draw attention to nonprofits founded by Schwarz that were little known or too small to be highlighted by some of the leading philanthropic rating agencies. The second is an interactive map created by Vanguard Charitable, the funder-recommended fund arm of the mutual fund company. It should be released next month.

For generations, snow days have meant sleeping, lounging in front of the TV with hot cocoa and hours of tobogganing and snowball fights.

Now it probably means that you are signing up for a long-pitch zoom lesson on a laptop.

As the weather cools and winter approaches, many school principals in snow-capped states prepare teachers, parents, and students to say goodbye to snowy days. This month, New York City, the nation's largest school system, canceled it for the year, spearheading the pandemic that has forced districts everywhere to look for ways to make up for lost days.

The New York ruling followed steps other administrators had taken since last March when schools were forced to switch to online learning, and officials realized they could do so even in dangerous weather.

"We said, 'Wow, this might really be a solution for future snow days," said Robb Malay, a school principal who oversees seven counties in southern New Hampshire.

For many teachers, the end of the snowy day seems inevitable, said Denis Anglim, 31, who teaches high school English and history in Philadelphia.

"To ensure continuity of the curriculum, this is a good thing," he said. "But not to cling to the nostalgia of waking up at 5 a.m. and looking at the ticker at the bottom of the TV to see if your school closes."

The official poster for the 2020 French Open, which started on Sunday and runs until October 11, features a view of a sunlit sand court through a dense ring of green leaves.

This poster was commissioned long before this year's tournament started as it was postponed from May to September due to the pandemic.

If it were painted for the new French Open dates, falling leaves and chestnuts would be better suited.

This is not the first time that a major tennis event will be held at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris this fall. But none of the others ended in mid-October, and none of them had to deal with the coronavirus, which is on the rise again in France. The second wave forced the organizers to reduce their big plans for a nearly full house to a meager 1,000 spectators per day on the entire site.

A happier change is the new retractable roof over the main square by Philippe Chatrier, which will allow the game to continue if the frequent rain forecast for Week 1 turns out to be correct.

The Chatrier-Platz and the 11 other places in Roland Garros were also equipped with lights for the first time so that the game can continue after dark.

Reporting was written by Ellen Barry, William J. Broad, Damien Cave, Choe Sang-Hun, Christopher Clarey, Maria Cramer, and David M. Halbfinger, Jennifer Jett, Apoorva Mandavilli, Konstante Méheut, Raphael Minder, Zach Montague, Anna Schaverien, Eileen Sullivan, Paul Sullivan and Lucy Tompkins.


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