The proposed US COVID testing program is inherently flawed.

A commonly heard refrain has been the call for COVID testing as a preamble to reducing social distancing. The concept underlying this is that people will be screened to identify infected individuals, and then they and their contacts will be identified and isolated. This will control transmission and reduce the number of infections. While thisContinue reading “The proposed US COVID testing program is inherently flawed.”

Yahoo “News” screws up; but states need to do better when counting COVID.

Yahoo! “News” has an article today that demonstrates what is wrong with internet coverage of COVID. The article, entitled “Greatest Increases of COVID Deaths Projected in Republican states,” at first confused me, because it wasn’t clear what a “Republican state” is. The author, Kristin Myers, seems to define a kind of state that isn’t in theContinue reading “Yahoo “News” screws up; but states need to do better when counting COVID.”

Flash; You may not want to be tested for COVID-19 using the Abbott ID NOW.

Today, a paper available online reinforced concerns that the Abbott ID NOW, a rapid molecular (genetic) detection test for COVID-19 viral RNA, is significantly less sensitive than traditional genetic assays employing the polymerize chain reaction. The major advantage for the Abbott test is that it is a small device that can be transported to testing sites andContinue reading “Flash; You may not want to be tested for COVID-19 using the Abbott ID NOW.”

I am having a meltdown about today’s Senate hearing.

I tried to write a rational assessment of today’s hearing, but that effort seemed much too polite given the actual proceedings.  What seems clear now is that the government does not know what to do next about COVID. It is whipsawed between being accused of being too restrictive and destroying the economy, or too aggressively reducingContinue reading “I am having a meltdown about today’s Senate hearing.”

More news on COVID antibody screening

Three interesting articles came out concerning antibody testing in COVID-19. The first was a prepublication on antibody testing from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. The study was conducted from March 26 to April 10, 2020 and looked at 1,343 mildly symptomatic outpatient subjects (only 3% had been ill enough to be seen in the emergency department).Continue reading “More news on COVID antibody screening”

The L.A. Times imagines a new strain of COVID-19 that most scientists do not believe exists.

Yesterday my daughter told me how there was a “new and more deadly strain of COVID-19 out there.” I also had a potential business colleague ask me if the “new strain of COVID would be detected by current antibody assays?” While random genetic (nucleotide base) changes have been used to follow the COVID geographic migration,Continue reading “The L.A. Times imagines a new strain of COVID-19 that most scientists do not believe exists.”

Hydroxychloroquine continues to be unimpressive when used to treat COVID.

In the largest study to date, hydroxychloroquine failed to show benefits when treating COVID patients. Of interest, as compared to some other reports, it also did not show harm. The study was funded by the NIH, conducted by researchers at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City, and publishedContinue reading “Hydroxychloroquine continues to be unimpressive when used to treat COVID.”