CDC Director Warns Second Wave Will Be More Difficult

The latest in COVID-19

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CDC Director Warns Second Wave Will Be More Difficult

Quick Take

  • CDC director Robert Redfield warns of the resurgence of coronavirus in Fall.
  • President Trump suspends the issuance of new green cards for 60 days, impacting spouses of U.S. citizens.
  • Autopsy shows the first coronavirus death in the U.S. was on Feb. 6th in California.
  • Dr. Rick Bright has been abruptly dismissed after questioning the hard push for hydroxychloroquine.

There are now more than 850k confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. and more than 47k Americans have died from coronavirus.

February Death In California Shift Virus Timeline

New autopsy results now show that two Californians died of coronavirus in early and mid-February — up to three weeks before the previously known first US death from the virus. The first death in the U.S. is now known to be on Feb. 6th, changing our understanding of how early the virus has been spreading in the country. The United States’ previously understood first coronavirus death happened on February 29 in Kirkland, Washington.

The two Californians had no significant travel history that would have exposed them to the virus. Officials presume that each of them, one from the bay area and the other from Santa Clara, caught the virus through community spread.

News about the two February deaths adds to evidence suggesting far more people may have been infected in Los Angeles and Santa Clara counties. Two studies involving antibody blood tests in California so far have suggested that the number of people already infected is dozens of times higher than officially reported. The Los Angeles County study estimates that between 2.8% and 5.6% of the population, nearly half a million people, have COVID-19 antibodies.

Trump Signs Executive Order To Limit Immigration

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that suspends certain types of imigrantion for the next 60 days. The measure contains broad carve-outs for some groups, including medical professionals, farm workers and family members and spouses of U.S. citizens. The order also applies to foreign nationals seeking a green card who are outside the United States at the time of the order.

Trump touted the move as a way to ensure that unemployed Americans will be first in line for jobs as our economy reopens and that it will “preserve our health care resources for American patients.” The largest groups affected by the order are children and spouses of legal permanent residents.

Americans married with immigrant spouses have also been cut out from government stimulus checks. American citizens who file taxes jointly with a spouse who uses an Individual TIN are ineligible, which includes those who are undocumented and those who may be in the legalization process. Over 10 million people are affected by the exclusion.

No Emergency Aid for DACA Students

The Education Department has issued guidelines prohibiting colleges and universities from granting emergency assistance to undocumented students, even those currently under federal protection. $12 billion in funding was allocated for colleges and universities under the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package law passed last month.

Half of the allocated funds are supposed to go directly to students affected by campus closures. In the coming weeks, schools are expected to award emergency relief grants to students to pay for expenses like food, housing, child care and technology.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos doubled down on the ban for DACA students saying the CARES Act makes clear that the “relief fund should be targeted to U.S. citizens.” Harvard has announced that it would not accept $8.6 million in taxpayer money that the university was set to receive as part of an emergency relief package, after receiving much criticism for applying.

Doctor Ousted Over Trump-Endorsed Treatments

Dr. Rick Bright has been abruptly dismissed as the director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, for insisting that the government invest the billions of dollars allocated by Congress to address Covid-19 into safe and scientifically vetted solutions, and not in drugs that lack scientific merit.

Dr. Bright suggested that the leadership of the Health and Human Services Department was not committed to following science and wanted to fund drugs promoted by Trump’s political allies. He also claimed the administration tried to broaden the use of hydroxychloroquine in an unsafe manner and may even have endangered lives by pushing the drug, which is typically used to treat lupus and other conditions.

A new study suggests that hydroxychloroquine, which is typically used to treat malaria and lupus, might actually harm the prognosis of critically ill patients. 

Second Wave Of Coronavirus Likely To Be More Devastating

CDC director Robert Redfield warns that the resurgence of coronavirus coinciding with the flu season in fall will be even more difficult than the pandemic we just went through. If the virus has a second wave that coincides with the start of flu season, which is already responsible for thousands of deaths each year, then the nation’s health care system will likely be even more overwhelmed and under-supplied than it has been during the current outbreak of coronavirus.

The remarks from the CDC angered President Trump, who claimed the director Redfield was misquoted. In today’s briefing Redfield made it clear that he was not misquoted. Trump then asked Dr. Deborah Birx, a senior member of the coronavirus task force “wouldn’t you say there’s a good chance that Covid will not come back?” Birx replied with “We don’t know.”