The beginning of the end of the pandemic?

Today’s big news was Moderna’s press release of the results from the Phase I clinical trial of its Coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine, comprised of RNA coding for the spike protein of COVID, induces the cells in the recipient to produce portions of the coronavirus protein, which then induce an immune response. The vaccine showed noContinue reading “The beginning of the end of the pandemic?”

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.”

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.”

An Update from last night.

The lead story on NBC was again the “rare” auto-inflammatory syndrome. NY State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker reiterated an alert to medical providers regarding the “potential association” between “multi-system inflammatory syndrome” — or Kawasaki disease — and COVID-19.  The major change from yesterday is that according to Dr. Zucker, “there are now sixty-four (64) suspected pediatric clinicalContinue reading “An Update from last night.”

Can “Excess Mortality” numbers guide the way forward?

Two physicians, Dr. Jeremy Faust from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Dr. Carlos del Rio, professor of medicine and global health at Emory University, have proposed that the metric of “excess mortality” be used to define when it is safe to “reemerge” from our current restrictions in an opinion piece in the Washington Post.Continue reading “Can “Excess Mortality” numbers guide the way forward?”

A flurry of “reports” of Kawasaki disease in COVID-19.

Reports dominated the news channels tonight about a “new” complication from COVID-19 infection in children — Kawasaki disease. Dramatic pictures of children on ventilators were displayed across the screen with warnings from grieving parents. Since Kawasaki disease is a suspected complication of many viral infections, I wondered what the evidence of this disease was inContinue reading “A flurry of “reports” of Kawasaki disease in COVID-19.”

Is Michigan really “leading the country” for COVID-19 deaths?

Today I address a remarkable announcement from CBS WWMT (Channel 3) in Grand Rapids Michigan. Their website proudly announces that Michigan has “the nation’s highest COVID-19 death rate.” They also definitively state that the elevated COVID-19 death rate in some Michigan counties was based on “differences in economics.”  They came to this conclusion because theyContinue reading “Is Michigan really “leading the country” for COVID-19 deaths?”

Is it wrong to investigate if the coronavirus came from a lab accident?

Today I want to highlight two articles from different news sources. The first is from the Associated Press and outlines findings from the US intelligence community (IC) that have definitively concluded the current coronavirus outbreak was not caused by a purposely engineered virus. However, it says the IC is still examining whether the pandemic mayContinue reading “Is it wrong to investigate if the coronavirus came from a lab accident?”