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COVID-19 Pandemic: ~56M Cases, ~1.3M Dead


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And on the other side of the coin, NYCDOH officials reporting zero C19 deaths for 11 July. Preliminary and subject to change, but this is the most significant milestone yet.

God it’s been a crazy 9 months but today was a bittersweet day where it becomes that much more clear how close to the end we are 

A reminder that I saw on Twitter this morning:       “The coronavirus doesn’t care if you’re tired of the coronavirus.”

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2 hours ago, Snowman11 said:

Very good speech

 

He is right about the bill. 600 bucks is way too little.

You are kidding right?  This was negotiated with his own leaders and Congress, while he was too consumed with QAnon-level conspiracy theories on the election to pay any attention.  Every bill is imperfect, but to not sign this would be madness, given how much people are hurting.  Also, the dems wanted $2000 before but were told no by the Senate and the Administration in the past.  

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/12/22/trump-stimulus-video-bill/

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This vaccine tracker from Bloomberg is pretty cool. Shows 2.4MM vaccinated worldwide and 776K in the US, through today. I assume it's updated daily. I don't think we'll make it to 20MM in the US by the end of the year, as hoped, but I'd guess by about a week or so later.  

 

 

Also, for people nervous about vaccine distribution, I'm pretty sure if we can vaccinate 65% of children and ~50% of Americans over 3-4 months for influenza, we can vaccinate the ~60% of adult Americans who say they will get a vaccine between now and the end of April (that's 160MM people and we should have doses for 200MM by the end of June, so it might take until past the end of April by a bit). The distribution system for COVID is essentially identical to what we've been doing for the flu for decades, apart from the cryogenic storage requirements for the Pfizer vaccine, which isn't that complicated really (just needs dry ice).
 


https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/covid-vaccine-tracker-global-distribution/

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7 hours ago, ru848789 said:

You are kidding right?  This was negotiated with his own leaders and Congress, while he was too consumed with QAnon-level conspiracy theories on the election to pay any attention.  Every bill is imperfect, but to not sign this would be madness, given how much people are hurting.  Also, the dems wanted $2000 before but were told no by the Senate and the Administration in the past.  

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/12/22/trump-stimulus-video-bill/

Kidding about what? 600 dollars is not going to do anything for families.

 

Pelosi and Turtle can go jump off a cliff.

 

They were at odds for months 

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Not good...

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-variant-children/uk-coronavirus-variant-may-be-more-able-to-infect-children-scientists-idUKKBN28V2EV

“We now have high confidence that this variant does have a transmission advantage over other virus variants that are currently in the UK,” said Peter Horby, a professor of emerging infectious diseases at Oxford University and chair of NERVTAG.
“There is a hint that it has a higher propensity to infect children,”

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13 minutes ago, mcscrew said:

Not good...

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-variant-children/uk-coronavirus-variant-may-be-more-able-to-infect-children-scientists-idUKKBN28V2EV

“We now have high confidence that this variant does have a transmission advantage over other virus variants that are currently in the UK,” said Peter Horby, a professor of emerging infectious diseases at Oxford University and chair of NERVTAG.
“There is a hint that it has a higher propensity to infect children,”

As long as the 2 vaxx work against it, I will be relieved

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2 hours ago, Snowman11 said:

Kidding about what? 600 dollars is not going to do anything for families.

 

Pelosi and Turtle can go jump off a cliff.

 

They were at odds for months 

 

Pelosi wanted 2000 for months.

 

McConnell didn't want ANY AT ALL. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, mcscrew said:

Not good...

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-variant-children/uk-coronavirus-variant-may-be-more-able-to-infect-children-scientists-idUKKBN28V2EV

“We now have high confidence that this variant does have a transmission advantage over other virus variants that are currently in the UK,” said Peter Horby, a professor of emerging infectious diseases at Oxford University and chair of NERVTAG.
“There is a hint that it has a higher propensity to infect children,”

His statement is based on epidemiological inference, not actual scientific transmission data from animal studies (underway), and the apparent greater transmission could be primarily due to other factors (superspreaders, founder effects, travel, etc), although it could also be more infectious.  See my post from last night.  

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Operation Warp Speed, today, announced they were supporting Merck's plan with $356MM to scale up and manufacture ~100K doses of its new anti-inflammatory drug (purchased from OncoImmune a month ago), which has shown very promising results in a small phase III trial in severely ill COVID patients. This is great news, as it's a very challenging biological process to make this drug, which is why Merck got involved on the manufacturing end.  
 
Also, as the Bloomberg article noted, Merck's antiviral drug molnupiravir (discovered years ago at Emory University and looking for a disease to treat) should have clinical results in January (I've been supporting development and scale-up to manufacturing for this drug, as a post-retirement consultant for many months, as it's a "small molecule" made chemically, whereas the antibody is made biologically for the most part). The interesting thing about the anti-inflammatory drug that got the OWS support is that it's targeted at severely ill COVID patients in the hospital, while the antiviral drug is targeted at mild to moderately ill COVID patients, much like remdesivir and the Regeneron/Lilly antibody drugs, where they look to be most effective.
 
Given the numbers in the US of severely ill patients are far, far smaller than mildly ill ones, there likely would be enough doses of the anti-inflammatory drug for anyone who needed it by late spring, when it would be available, given likely major reductions in cases by then, due to the vaccine rollout. On the other hand, especially given current infection rates there are nowhere near enough doses of the drugs for mildly ill patients in the US or certainly worldwide and might not be, still, once many to most are vaccinated (if the desire was to give these drugs to all of them).
 

 

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5 hours ago, Snowman11 said:

Kidding about what? 600 dollars is not going to do anything for families.

 

Pelosi and Turtle can go jump off a cliff.

 

They were at odds for months 

$600 vs. $2000 is nearly immaterial, as that's a stopgap - not renewing unemployment benefits is the killer for millions who have those benefits end next week.  Shitty pork-filled bill, I agree, but it's needed and negotiating a perfect bill will leave millions suffering.  

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On 12/22/2020 at 3:31 PM, WxInTheHeights said:

Tuesday. In the bleh mood again so just post and go.

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On to Wednesday...

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From Governor Cuomo - checking on the number of vaccines and gathering information on the UK strain. MRNA vaxx appears to have more doses than anticipated. Covid spike from Halloween but not from Thanksgiving and we're not near shutdown capacity in hospitals. The interesting thing here is working with the Buffalo Bills, who will host an NFL playoff game. NYSDOH proposal is 6,700 fans with rapid testing and contact tracing. Again, only a proposal, not set in stone. Idea is to see if venues could reopen with rapid testing. We'll see.

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On 12/22/2020 at 6:40 PM, ru848789 said:

SD currently has less cases per capita than those three states, but peaked at far higher cases per capita than those states peaked at, with SD peaking at about 1600 cases/1MM (and down near 600/1MM now), RI peaking at 1200 cases/1MM (and dropping), PA peaking at ~800 cases/1MM (and dropping), and CA peaking now at about 1100-1200 cases/1MM.  Ergo, SD had a significantly greater peak in cases (and hospitalizations/deaths) than these states, which is most likely due to that state's anti-masking stance - and the main reason the other states are not far lower than SD is that even "democratic" states still have 40% of their population who are Trumpers who don't practice good masking, especially outside of heavily monitored public indoor spaces, like stores. 

 

And my comparison on NJ in the spring vs. now is quite scientific.  We know masks were barely worn in the spring (they weren't even recommended by the CDC until early April), whereas they're fairly heavily worn now, but still nowhere near everyone is wearing them, just like in CA/RI/PA (and we're inside much more than when it was warm), which is why we've had a 2nd peak instead of remaining low, like we were in the summer.  I do think our 2nd peak in NJ has been lower than these other three states due to how much worse our outbreak was in the spring, meaning we had more infected, so less targets remaining to infect.  

I agree with you in part, however “cases” as defined by a PCR test I’m not sure are a good measure.  A PCR positive doesn’t mean clinical infection, it doesn’t mean someone can infect others. 
 

There is no other disease that we use PCR tests in such a diagnostic method, nor was the PCR designed to be used in this way. 
 

The Upper Midwest rise and fell together.  The case loads were very similar even though comparing lockdown MN to more laissez-faire SD is significant since they had a very different reaction and public health policy to the virus.  
 

The overwhelming majority of people in the US develop adaptive immunity to COVID, about half have innate immunity.  This virus does behave very similar to the flu, although it is more fatal in the older and immunosuppressed segments of the population (compromised, chronically ill and obese).  

210C1F11-8568-4A31-98E9-9D0DE880B59C.jpeg

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22 hours ago, WxInTheHeights said:

On to Wednesday...

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1474620971_Screenshot2020-12-23at3_51_49PM.png.bcf1eb01b86e4ec1736f05fb1c6e39a8.png

From Governor Cuomo - checking on the number of vaccines and gathering information on the UK strain. MRNA vaxx appears to have more doses than anticipated. Covid spike from Halloween but not from Thanksgiving and we're not near shutdown capacity in hospitals. The interesting thing here is working with the Buffalo Bills, who will host an NFL playoff game. NYSDOH proposal is 6,700 fans with rapid testing and contact tracing. Again, only a proposal, not set in stone. Idea is to see if venues could reopen with rapid testing. We'll see.

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The latest as Christmas comes upon us. I do not have the updated NYS vaxx data, so that column is out today. I've also updated the records.

 

I might just do small summaries the next few days to give myself a bit of a Christmas breather. We'll see. Certainly going to be some post and gos with no pressers coming out of City Hall nor Albany.

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On 12/19/2020 at 1:57 PM, ru848789 said:

 

See my long post below on this from a few weeks back, where I was estimating we had 2-4X the number of cases (positive cases by the viral PCR assay - actual cases would've been easily 10X) back in April than we actually reported.  Let's say that's about 10K cases per day in NJ (vs. the 3500/day reported back then at the peak) which is about 2X the current case rate, which has peaked around 5K cases/day.  See the graphic below.  

 

That aligns reasonably well with hospitalizations, which peaked at about 8000 total in the spring, which is about 2X the 4000 total we're peaking at now - and hospitalizations are a far better indicator of the extent of an outbreak, as they're not dependent on testing rates, like cases are (assuming people aren't going to hospitals more ore less than they were in the spring, which is unlikely). 

 

And as I've been saying since summer, deaths per hospitalization have dropped by at least 50%, so if our hospitalizations peak around half of what we saw in the spring, we should expect deaths to peak at about 1/4 of what we saw in the spring - and right now they're at about 1/5 what we saw in the spring and should be peaking soon.  All of this applies to NY also, relatively speaking.  

 

As an aside, there's no better "proof" that masks work (even if imperfectly) than the NJ/NY data.  We weren't masking at all in the Spring, while masking is at least mostly being practiced now (at least in public indoor spaces, but not private ones, which is why cases are still pretty high) and we likely have about half the cases we had then.  Compare that to states like the Dakotas and others that have poor masking compliance, which have about 2.5-3X the case rates we have now (per capita) and are even higher than our estimated spring case rates.  

 

hLe4etG.png

 

 

 

On 12/22/2020 at 5:48 PM, BadKarma said:

South Dakota now has far less cases per capita than heavily masked states like Rhode Island, PA and California.  
 

NY/NJ have been exposed to COViD much longer than the Dakotas and the West Coast.  
 

In addition, humans usually don’t change one behavior.  They change several.   There is much more attempt at disease mitigation in NY/NJ than only masks, so I’m not your comparison is scientific. 

 

On 12/22/2020 at 6:40 PM, ru848789 said:

SD currently has less cases per capita than those three states, but peaked at far higher cases per capita than those states peaked at, with SD peaking at about 1600 cases/1MM (and down near 600/1MM now), RI peaking at 1200 cases/1MM (and dropping), PA peaking at ~800 cases/1MM (and dropping), and CA peaking now at about 1100-1200 cases/1MM.  Ergo, SD had a significantly greater peak in cases (and hospitalizations/deaths) than these states, which is most likely due to that state's anti-masking stance - and the main reason the other states are not far lower than SD is that even "democratic" states still have 40% of their population who are Trumpers who don't practice good masking, especially outside of heavily monitored public indoor spaces, like stores. 

 

And my comparison on NJ in the spring vs. now is quite scientific.  We know masks were barely worn in the spring (they weren't even recommended by the CDC until early April), whereas they're fairly heavily worn now, but still nowhere near everyone is wearing them, just like in CA/RI/PA (and we're inside much more than when it was warm), which is why we've had a 2nd peak instead of remaining low, like we were in the summer.  I do think our 2nd peak in NJ has been lower than these other three states due to how much worse our outbreak was in the spring, meaning we had more infected, so less targets remaining to infect.  

 

2 hours ago, BadKarma said:

I agree with you in part, however “cases” as defined by a PCR test I’m not sure are a good measure.  A PCR positive doesn’t mean clinical infection, it doesn’t mean someone can infect others. 
 

There is no other disease that we use PCR tests in such a diagnostic method, nor was the PCR designed to be used in this way. 
 

The Upper Midwest rise and fell together.  The case loads were very similar even though comparing lockdown MN to more laissez-faire SD is significant since they had a very different reaction and public health policy to the virus.  
 

The overwhelming majority of people in the US develop adaptive immunity to COVID, about half have innate immunity.  This virus does behave very similar to the flu, although it is more fatal in the older and immunosuppressed segments of the population (compromised, chronically ill and obese).  

210C1F11-8568-4A31-98E9-9D0DE880B59C.jpeg

 

C'mon, stop playing games. My original post was all about hospitalizations and deaths because, as I stated and have stated many times, viral PCR testing and the resulting positives are so variable as to not be that useful and then you replied with, "but look at the SD test results," so then I corrected your inaccurate post on cases, to which you then reply that I shouldn't be looking at cases, which is ridiculous given my first post and your response.  And no, this is not like the flu, at all, either in transmissibility (it's much greater) or its effects (it's far more deadly and debilitating for those who don't die for anyone over 25 and especially over 50).  

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On 12/8/2020 at 1:00 AM, ru848789 said:

Fantastic article.  I love the part about pre-developing vaccines for a host of virus classes now and doing the animal and then early clinical testing in healthy volunteers and then manufacture at least millions of doses at risk, so that if it looks like one of these viruses could take off in a pandemic, we could be ready to do phase III trials very soon after the risk was identified. 

 

For COVID, if this approach had been taken, it's possible we could've had the vaccine ready for rollout in April.  Most of us have been just amazed at even getting to emergency approval in 11 months vs. the typical 4+ years, but reading this makes it clear we can go even faster - if we pre-invest, which is not something we tend to do well, unfortunately.  

 

The article also reiterates something I've tried to remind people of - that without doing the fundamental research on viruses, genetics, vaccines, immunology, etc., as well as how those all applied to SARS and MERS (where vaccines were developed but never deployed as the outbreaks died out), there's simply no way we would've gotten this and other vaccines developed in anywhere near a year.

 

I also love the story of how Dr. Fauci and his staff at NAIAD were talking to Moderna R&D leads within a day after first getting the genetic sequence of the virus from the Chinese and saying they needed to get an mRNA vaccine going ASAP.  I think a lot of people don't really know what a distinguished scientific leader Fauci is.  I've read a few of his papers and he's done some amazing work.  

 

https://www.contagionlive.com/view/anthony-fauci-how-covid19-vaccines-progressed-quickly-safely

 

The Chinese published the sequence of SARS-CoV-2 in a public database on January 10,” he explained. “I got my team together on the 11th (of January) and said, ‘We’ve got to partner with Moderna and put this in an mRNA platform.’ By the 15th, we started doing it. Sixty-five days later, we were in a phase 1 trial. And 7 months later, we’re in a phase 3 trial. That process would normally take a few years, but we didn’t compromise anything.”

 

In a follow-up to the post above, for anyone wondering how the hell these COVID vaccines were developed, tested, and approved so fast and especially for those who worry that corners were cut, this Reddit COVID forum FAQ is superb. The whole thing is worth reading.

Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year for everyone in these trying times.
 

 

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https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4037
 

“Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said, “Ideally, you want an antiviral vaccine to do two things . . . first, reduce the likelihood you will get severely ill and go to the hospital, and two, prevent infection and therefore interrupt disease transmission.”7

Yet the current phase III trials are not actually set up to prove either (table 1). None of the trials currently under way are designed to detect a reduction in any serious outcome such as hospital admissions, use of intensive care, or deaths. Nor are the vaccines being studied to determine whether they can interrupt transmission of the virus.”

 

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Today's quickie summary. Like I said, might just go the quick route the next few days - probably go back to full update either Monday or Tuesday.

 

NYS total: 12,446 new positives on 226,560 tests, a positive rate of 5.49%. Totals: 903,716/24,296,753 (3.72%)

NYC: 4,147 positives on 92,987 tests, a positive rate of 4.49%. Totals: 400,473/10,292,879 (3.89%)

xNYC: 8,275 positives on 133,573 tests, a positive rate of 6.20%. Totals: 503,243/14,003,874 (3.59%)

 

Statewide, there are 6,950 patients hospitalized, an increase of 22. 1,148 patients are in intensive care, a decrease of 12.

In NYC, 2,391 patients are in hospitals, an increase of 4, of which 435 are in intensive care, which is unchanged from yesterday.

 

NYC reports 49,536 first doses of vaccine have been distributed.

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