Must-Reads of the Week From Lauren Olsen

Hiya! I’m Lauren Olsen, your new Newsletter Editor. That’s proper — the completely official, no extra fill-ins, always-here-for-you Newsletter Editor. As the substitute for editor extraordinaire Brianna Labuskes, I’m right here to sort out all of your well being information wants.

Why sure, you’re proper — a pandemic is a heck of a time to take over this job. I’d argue, nevertheless, that it’s the greatest time, as a result of who doesn’t want a hand finding out all this craziness? So far, 2020 has been like attempting to color the “Mona Lisa” whereas driving a unicycle in a rainstorm — in different phrases, a sloppy mess teetering on catastrophe — however, with a bit of luck, when it’s performed we’d all handle to smile.

In the meantime, I gained’t Louvre you within the lurch. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) Be certain to learn every day’s high well being information headlines in KHN’s Morning Briefing, compiled by yours really. Please subscribe, if you happen to haven’t already — and inform your colleagues and associates, too. Have a remark concerning the Briefing or the Breeze? Send me an e-mail at”> I stay up for listening to from you.

A Gift for You, My New Friend

Because we’ve simply met, I’d wish to give you a token of friendship: Today’s Breeze will do its greatest to have a constructive spin. Things are dreary sufficient on the earth proper now — you don’t want me to blow extra grey clouds your method. In the phrases of Helen Keller, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”

What’s Donald Up To?

Today, let’s play a recreation known as “What’s Donald Up To?” You gained’t win any factors or cash. What you will win is the data that there are 180 days till Inauguration Day! (I suppose your actual prize will probably be if “your guy” wins, whether or not it’s President Donald Trump, Joe Biden or Kanye West.)

So what is Donald as much as? He started his busy week of tweeting, mask-wearing and name-calling with a feisty interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Sunday. In it, he lamented increased COVID testing (“I’m glad we do it, but it really skews the numbers”), known as Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s infectious illnesses famous person, an “alarmist,” boasted concerning the sagging U.S. economy (“I built the greatest economy in history, I’m now doing it again”), reasserted his opinion that the virus will “disappear” and downplayed the doubtless devastating bodily results of COVID-19 by saying some individuals simply have the “sniffles.” When requested concerning the practically 1,000 deaths a day within the U.S., Trump mentioned it “is what it is.” On the constructive aspect? Well, the interview was solely about an hour.

The critiques rolled in, and for many of the week we noticed a kinder, gentler model of Trump. Maybe it was as a result of he was glad he supposedly aced the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, a take a look at that detects early indicators of dementia. Or possibly it was as a result of he’d handed “multiple” COVID assessments a day, based on his press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany. (“I don’t know of any time I’ve taken two in one day,” he clarified a couple of hours later.) Or maybe he was merely feeling beneficiant, offering $5 billion for struggling nursing homes, resuming COVID task force briefings, renewing the nationwide public health emergency and even (gasp!) tweeting a pic of himself wearing a mask. But I believe the actual purpose might have been as a result of two White House cafeterias closed this week after a staffer examined constructive for the coronavirus — offering one other excuse for him to maintain consuming McDonald’s. (Just a concept.)

Even so, Trump’s good temper subsided by the top of the week, in all probability as a result of he needed to cancel the GOP convention in Jacksonville, Florida, amid the state’s rising COVID cases. (Not to say that the Duval County sheriff did warn him about not with the ability to present safety.)

Wondering what Biden, Trump’s possible Democratic rival in November, was as much as? Well, this week he launched his huge “caregiving plan” for Americans — $775 billion over 10 years. (That definitely would buy a lot of Care Bears.)

California and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

California, essentially the most populous state, on Wednesday surpassed New York because the worst-hit state for cases (tallying 413,576 as of that day). The enhance of 12,112 was the most important single-day enhance because the pandemic began. At the nationwide degree, there have been four million circumstances — it took only 15 days to leap from three million to four million — and the loss of life toll stands at 144,000. Unfortunately, the rise in circumstances is outpacing the rise in testing, with The New York Times explaining: “About 21,000 cases were reported per day in early June, when the positive test rate was 4.8 percent. As testing expanded, the positive test rate should have fallen. … Instead, the positive test rate has nearly doubled.”

The variety of COVID circumstances is probably going 10 times higher than what we thought, specialists now say. On Saturday, the FDA authorized using pooled testing, basically permitting the testing of many extra individuals utilizing fewer assessments. But the White House, to not be outdone, introduced it will push to phase out funding for testing from the COVID-relief invoice in Congress. (More on that in a minute.)

In the “oops” class, 113 individuals in Rhode Island, about 90 in Connecticut, 26 in Kentucky and dozens in New York have been advised that they had COVID-19 when in reality that they had examined damaging. (Does that qualify as constructive information? I’m unsure, however I’m glad these people are nice.) Conversely, in The Villages, Florida, one among America’s greatest retirement communities recognized for its golf and rockin’ home events, is seeing a spike in constructive circumstances, leaping from the one digits final month to at the least 29 final week.

Scientists delved into the massive query this week: Can you get reinfected with COVID? And absolutely the, no-doubt-about-it reply was: Um, unsure. But it’s unlikely, they are saying. Scientists did decide that mosquitoes most probably don’t unfold COVID, they usually’re testing whether or not UV light, which might kill many nasty germs, can kill this virus, too. As a bonus, the CDC now says that if you happen to do get sick, it is best to isolate for 10 days, not 14. (But severely sick sufferers ought to isolate for 20 days.)

So Much for Vacation

Congress returned from a two-week summer season recess Monday to start work on the fifth COVID-relief invoice of the 12 months, and it performed out like a real-life model of Chevy Chase’s “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” starring Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as Clark Griswold, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi because the Ferrari-driving Christie Brinkley and Trump because the safety guard at Walley World who principally ends their enjoyable. (My goodness, can’t you simply envision it?)

Republicans had a $1 trillion agenda that included funds for faculties and COVID testing, a payroll tax lower, direct checks for people and $600-a-week stipends for laid-off employees. Senate Republicans seemed near a deal with the White House on Wednesday because the Griswold household station wagon chugged alongside. But the automotive crashed Thursday when the 2 teams failed to reach an agreement on the unemployment concern. (Mind you, the Democrats haven’t even gotten concerned but.) Republicans vowed to have a new deal next week. As all this was occurring, smooth-driving Pelosi left tire tracks throughout Trump whereas talking on CNN’s “The Situation Room” on Tuesday, calling the coronavirus the “Trump virus.”

Let’s Make a Deal: Which Vaccine Is Behind Door No. 1?

Am I the one one who can’t preserve observe of all of the vaccines and coverings in play? Chinese group Sinopharm mentioned it would have a vaccine prepared for the general public before the end of the year. (Woohoo!) British pharmaceutical agency Synairgen introduced a breakthrough nebulizer treatment that reduces the severity of COVID-19, and Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine AZD1222 showed promising results in human trials, too. Meanwhile, behind Door No. 2, the Russians are insisting they didn’t try to steal British coronavirus vaccine research.

Back within the good ol’ U.S. of A., five pharmaceutical giants testified to Congress on Tuesday that they wouldn’t lower corners when growing a vaccine. And Wednesday, as if on cue, Pfizer and German agency BioNTech made an unusual $1.95 billion deal to produce 100 million doses of a not-yet-finished vaccine to the federal authorities, which plans on giving it to Americans without charge. (Not to nitpick, however there are 330 million individuals in America. I’m not nice a math, however nonetheless …)

Meanwhile, behind Door No. three, the Department of Justice indicted two Chinese nationals this week on costs that they hacked and stole analysis from corporations engaged on COVID vaccines within the U.S., the U.Okay., Sweden, Spain, Australia and different nations.

The REALLY Important Questions

Sure, all of that stuff has large implications. But right here in the actual world, we’re anxious about easier stuff. For instance, when can I watch NFL football? (Not for some time.) Has baseball began? (Yes!) Can I journey to the Bahamas (no), Niagara Falls (sure) or New York (possibly)? If I reside in California and wish a haircut, the place can I get one? (Outdoors.) Should I purchase my teen some condoms? (It’s as much as you, however extra adolescents are improvising with plastic wrapshudder.) Does it harm to get shot with a less-lethal projectile? (Um, HECK YES.) Should I put on a masks in Atlanta, at a Marriott hotel or when shopping for denims on the Gap? (Yes.) How about at the bank? (Yes, so long as you promise to not rob the joint.)

That about wraps it up for me. Hope you loved my inaugural Breeze. Keep smiling! Until subsequent week,

— Lauren

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