New estimates of the number of asymptomatic people with the coronavirus suggest that “silent” COVID-19 is much more prevalent than once thought — but these individuals may not spread the virus for as long as symptomatic patients do, a study from China suggests.
The report, based on 78 people in Wuhan, China, was published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Network Open. All of the patients were confirmed to have COVID-19; a little more than half of the patients (58 percent) had symptoms, while 42 percent did not.
Louisiana cop fired for saying ‘unfortunate’ more black people didn’t die of coronavirus
A Louisiana police officer was fired over a Facebook comment that said it was “unfortunate” more black people did not die of the coronavirus.
The chief of police in Kaplan, about 87 miles southwest of Baton Rouge, said Officer Steven Aucoin commented under a local news station’s live feed of the governor’s coronavirus news conference on May 15. Aucoin was fired later that day.
CBS affiliate KLFY in Lafayette, Louisiana, reported that Aucoin’s post was made on its Facebook page in response to another commenter who wrote,”virus that was created to kill all the BLACKS is death.”
“Well it didn’t work,” Aucoin wrote, “how unfortunate,” according to screenshots shown by KLFY.
Animated map: See the U.S. coronavirus death toll hit 100,000 across the U.S.
From the first reported COVID-19 fatality March 1 to the 100,000th death, every U.S. state and territory, except American Samoa, has lost a resident to the coronavirus pandemic. Watch the day-by-day rise in reported deaths in this animated map:
Disney announces plans to reopen in mid-July
The Walt Disney Company announced plans Wednesday to begin a phased reopening of some of its Orlando, Florida, parks later this summer.
The plans have been approved by the Orange County Recovery Taskforce and endorsed by the mayor of Orange County, but still need to be approved by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom are planning to open July 11. Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios are set to open July 15. That’s more than one month after other Orlando-based parks such as SeaWorld, which is planning to open for staff on June 10 and June 11 for the public.
The parks will have “substantially lower numbers of guests” when they first open, Disney CEO Bob Chapek told CNBC in an interview Wednesday morning. While he did not give a specific number for capacity, he said “the number of people we put in the park” will be a “function of the six-foot social distancing guidance that we have from the CDC.”
There will be temperature checks for guests and employees, and masks will be required throughout the park for everyone over the age of three.
Some Disney attractions that draw large group gatherings, such as parades and nighttime events, won’t return when the parks first reopen. High-touch experiences such as playgrounds and character meet-and-greets will also be temporarily unavailable.
Half of Americans would get a COVID-19 vaccine, AP-NORC poll finds
Only about half of Americans say they would get a COVID-19 vaccine if the scientists working furiously to create one succeed, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
That’s surprisingly low considering the effort going into the global race for a vaccine against the coronavirus that has sparked a pandemic since first emerging from China late last year. But more people might eventually roll up their sleeves: The poll, released Wednesday, found 31 percent simply weren’t sure if they’d get vaccinated. Another 1 in 5 said they’d refuse.
Federal remdesivir trial enters second phase. Here’s what’s next.
A large federal trial of remdesivir has entered its next phase, in which researchers will test the effects of combining the antiviral drug with a pill to bring down inflammation.
The pill, called baricitinib, was approved in 2018 to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Remdesivir, manufactured by Gilead Sciences, is the only treatment that’s been shown in a clinical trial to have an effect on COVID-19 so far. Preliminary results from that trial, which included sites worldwide, published Friday in The New England Journal of Medicine, found that the drug reduced patients’ length of hospital stay by about four days, from 15 days, on average, to 11 days. More than 1,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 received either remdesivir or a placebo.
Boeing to lay off almost 7,000 workers this week
Boeing announced plans to lay off 6,770 workers this week, as the coronavirus crisis continues to hammer the aircraft manufacturer.
“We have come to the unfortunate moment of having to start involuntary layoffs. We’re notifying the first 6,770 of our U.S. team members this week that they will be affected,” Boeing CEO David Calhoun wrote Wednesday in a letter to employees he called an “update on workforce actions.”
Citing the “whipsawing” of the global pandemic, Calhoun said “it will take some years” for the airline industry to “return to what it was just two months ago.”
Air travel has seen a 95 percent decline in traffic since the coronavirus hit, with major airlines canceling flights, pulling out of airports, and laying off large swaths of their staff.
In March, Chicago-based Boeing saw a near-record number of order cancellations for its passenger jets, and zero new orders in April, exacerbating the company’s financial woes. The troubled 737 Max aircraft has been grounded worldwide since last March, following two fatal crashes.
Feds’ response to Native Americans is another ‘broken promise,’ Warren, Haaland say
Two Democratic lawmakers, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, are asking the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to update its 2018 report on how the federal government has failed to sufficiently fund Native American communities in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
The report, “Broken Promises: Continuing Federal Funding Shortfall for Native Americans,” described vast health care, housing and educational disparities and stated that “the efforts undertaken by the federal government in the past 15 years have resulted in only minor improvements, at best, for the Native population as a whole.”
“The Administration’s failure to uphold the trust responsibility to provide adequate relief, health services, and public safety resources to tribal communities has exacerbated the pandemic’s impact. This failure requires the Commission’s voice,” Warren and Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico wrote in their request to the commission, which makes recommendations to the administration.
The lawmakers noted that promised federal funding to tribal nations and urban Indian organizations was significantly delayed from the onset of the pandemic. The issue of funding disbursement remains an ongoing problem, tribal leaders have said.
NYC hopes to do 50K coronavirus tests per day by Aug. 1
New York City, now doing about 20,000 coronavirus per day, hopes to have that rate up to 50,000 a day by Aug. 1, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.
The country’s largest city has the capacity to conduct 27,000 tests a day at more than 180 sites that are open now or will be operating shortly, according to the mayor.
“It’s getting easier and easier for more and more New Yorkers to get testing,” the mayor told reporters during his daily briefly on the city’s efforts to fight the global pandemic. “And that’s going to help us move forward.”
New York City has been the nation’s epicenter for the coronavirus, with over 21,300 deaths.