Archive for August, 2020

Twitter deletes claim minimizing coronavirus death toll, which Trump retweeted – The Washington Post

August 31st, 2020

The rest were people who “had 2-3 other serious illnesses,” said the tweet, which has since been replaced with a message saying it “is no longer available because it violated the Twitter Rules.” A Twitter spokesperson said the tweet violated the company’s coronavirus misinformation policy.

The claim appears to be a reference to the CDC’s Wednesday update to its death data and resources page, which noted that in 6 percent of reported deaths, covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, “was the only cause mentioned.”

However, that does not mean only 6 percent of reported deaths are attributed to the virus — it means 94 percent of people had at least one additional factor contributing to their deaths. In addition, the information is no secret addendum: It’s been on the CDC site since at least May.

The president also retweeted a link to an article by far-right Gateway Pundit — which remains on his page — containing the “Mel Q” tweet and using the 6 percent figure to attack members of Trump’s own coronavirus task force.

“So let’s get this straight — based on the recommendation of doctors Fauci and Birx the US shut down the entire economy based on 9,000 American deaths due entirely to the China coronavirus?” said the article, referring to top U.S. infectious-disease expert Anthony S. Fauci and White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany justified Trump’s retweet as purely informative in her Monday press briefing.

“He was highlighting new CDC information that came out that was worth noting,” she said, without acknowledging a question about whether he was attempting to downplay the country’s death toll.

A representative for the agency did not immediately respond to questions about Trump’s retweet.

“Comorbidities” reported by the CDC include heart disease, obesity, diabetes and hypertension — conditions that can make a person more vulnerable to the virus. Each would be listed on a person’s death certificate, along with covid-19. Death certificates may also list sepsis, respiratory arrest, kidney failure or other conditions as the immediate cause of death, but those are caused by the infection. The virus remains the reason that they died, said Nasia Safdar, an infectious-disease professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

“We know that most people with covid have some other underlying condition, which increases their risk of dying from covid and getting covid in the first place,” she said.

The CDC update provides a compilation of data on comorbidities, showing what other conditions are present in people who die of the coronavirus and helping reveal who might be most at risk. But it isn’t a departure from what the health agency or public health experts have said in the past. The CDC has said for months that people with underlying health issues are at greater risk of developing serious symptoms from the coronavirus.

“When you see that ‘only 6%’ of people had COVID-19 as the sole reason listed on their death forms, what it means is that there were only a small fraction of people who died of the disease who didn’t have any other underlying or immediate causes noted by the medical certifiers,” Australian epidemiologist Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz wrote in a post on Medium. “This is completely unsurprising, as it’s pretty rare that someone wouldn’t have at least one issue caused by coronavirus prior to their death, and all it means is that in 94% of cases people who had COVID-19 also developed other issues, or had other problems at the same time.”

Conspiracy theories and misinformation have been a persistent problem amid the coronavirus pandemic, causing alarm among public health experts. Safdar noted that once a false claim “gets out there, it goes on like wildfire.”

“It seems like almost anything can be twisted to fit a particular message that one wants to deliver,” she said. “Even facts that, on the face of it, seem quite clear and incontrovertible.”


Chadwick Boseman’s battle with colon cancer – ABC News

August 31st, 2020

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Chadwick Boseman’s battle with colon cancer – YouTube


Google’s Android TV dongle could cost just $50, according to this leak – The Verge

August 31st, 2020

Arizona Gov. Ducey announces aggressive plan to expand access to flu vaccine – FOX 10 News Phoenix

August 31st, 2020

Governor Doug Ducey held a conference on August 31 on the same day that Arizona reported 174 new coronavirus cases but no new deaths. This was his first news conference in months. He spoke, not about the coronavirus, but the flu, urging Arizonans to get a flu shot.

The governor also responded to criticism about his recent trip to Washington, D.C. where he was spotted not wearing a mask.

Aug. 31’s news conference was all about the flu season as Ducey said preventing the flu is more important than ever before. That’s because this flu season creates more challenges with the double whammy of COVID-19.

Ducey says 700 people die from the flu each year in Arizona and in 2019, the state had more than 36,000 cases of flu — the highest ever.

Ducey and Arizona Department of Health Director Dr. Cara Christ went on to stress the importance of getting a flu vaccination and said the flu shot is the single best way to prevent the flu. It reduces symptoms and the amount of time you are contagious.

In an effort to expand access to vaccinations, they will be available to the underinsured and uninsured. The vaccines will also be available at some COVID-19 testing sites.

Here’s what Dr. Christ had to say about what could happen this flu season:

“With this upcoming flu season and with COVID-19 still circulating in our communities, there is a potential that our healthcare system could be overwhelmed.. that’s why it’s critical for us to take proactive steps to prevent the spread of both diseases.”

Christ warns that with flu season/COVID, hospitals run the risk of being overwhelmed. Last year, Arizona had more than 36,000 cases of flu – the highest ever. She also stated AZDHS will follow up COVID-19 guidance complaints with law enforcement, just like they did with three bars over the Aug. 29-30 weekend (Bottled Blonde, Casa Amigos and Glow Shots & Cocktails). 

Coronavirus in Arizona: Latest case numbers

Get five free fask masks

Students and parents can get five free face masks through a partnership with Hanes. AZDHS provides a mask order form that requires an email address, first and last name, and mailing address at

According to the AZDHS website, “We encourage anyone in a vulnerable population, who is a student (or parents on behalf of students) or school staff member, or who may not be able to purchase a mask to place an order below. Each order will provide 5 washable, reusable cloth face masks, one order per household. If you have questions about ordering or for information about how this program works, visit our FAQs page. For questions about your order or the product itself please contact Hanes at 1-800-503-6698.”

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Arizona sees a downward trend in hospitalizations 

The state Department of Health Services said on August 31 that the number of total coronavirus cases since the pandemic began stands at 201,835. The number of deaths remains 5,029 after officials realized a death had been counted twice.

Hospitalizations, including ventilator and intensive care unit bed usage, continue to inch downward.

D.C. Mask Controversy: Ducey explains why he was spotted not wearing one

The governor also responded to criticism about his recent trip to Washington, D.C. where he was spotted not wearing a mask. Ducey said the event was outdoors. When he’s indoors, he wears a mask. He says he’s not wearing one while taking questions from reporters because the deaf community said they need to read his lips, in addition to the ASL interpreter.

“People can exercise their First Amendment rights whether it’s a protest or political event which is what I was at, a political event, which happened to be outdoors.. when I indoors, I wear a mask. When I’m in a business, when I’m in a grocery store, when I’m in the office, where I’m anywhere inside, where I can’t socially distance or it’s mandated, I’m wearing a mask,” he said.

Meanwhile, a bar near Arizona State University in Tempe became the third metro Phoenix establishment to have its liquor license suspended over the weekend for violating requirements to reopen under coronavirus protocol.

State health officials have been watching for bars that are in violation of social distancing, masking, dancing, standing, and table occupancy limitations in Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order issued June 29.

In general, the number of coronavirus infections is thought to be higher because many people have not been tested. Studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick.

For most people, COVID-19 causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a few weeks. But for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

Get the latest coronavirus news by downloading the FOX 10 News App. Our promise is that our alerts are there to inform you – not scare you.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Monitor your health daily

MAP: Worldwide interactive Coronavirus case data

MAP: Arizona Coronavirus cases by zip code


CDC: How coronavirus spreads, symptoms, prevention, treatment, FAQ

Arizona COVID-19 resources, FAQ:

On, you’ll find extensive coverage about COVID-19, including breaking news from around the country, exclusive interviews with health officials, and informative content from a variety of public health resources.


Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

Right now there’s one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it’s not too late to get it. It won’t protect you from catching the coronavirus, but may put you in a better position to fight it.

To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.

And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms – don’t go straight to your doctor’s office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.

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Soon: Anyone who wants a test, can get a test – Politico

August 31st, 2020

With help from Myah Ward

WHICH TEST IS BEST — The country crossed 6 million Covid confirmed infections today, and President Donald Trump often complains that the country tests too much. His newest Covid adviser said today that healthy people shouldn’t get tested. Top administration officials pressured the CDC into issuing similar guidance against testing asymptomatic people who have been exposed.


The problem throughout the pandemic, however, is that the country hasn’t always been testing enough, according to most scientific experts, and that test results are too slow to be useful. Trump’s own administration seems to want to test more, too: Health agencies are paying Abbott Labs $750 million for 150 million new rapid tests to be deployed in high risk areas like nursing homes. The FDA has approved dozens of different Covid tests.

The proliferation of new tests is making ubiquitous testing a possibility in the near future, but we’re not there yet.

There are two broad types of diagnostic tests that have received emergency authorization from the FDA: PCR tests, which detect a virus’ genetic material, and antigen tests, which detect proteins on the virus’ surface. (There are also antibody tests, which tell whether someone was infected with a virus, but let’s focus on detecting a current infection.)

PCR tests are highly accurate, but require a central lab to analyze the sample, whether a nasal swab or saliva.

The spit test the NBA used in its bubble is a PCR test that needs to be sent to a lab. But it doesn’t require swabs and uses fewer reagents, sidestepping supply chain problems that have dogged labs. It’s also potentially easier to collect saliva than nasal swabs.

Accuracy is the tradeoff for speed. Antigen tests can be analyzed wherever the sample, a nasal or throat swab, is taken, usually within an hour or less.

Some studies have shown up to 50 percent false negatives for antigen tests. (Remember when Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine falsely tested positive for Covid and had to skip a meeting with Trump?)

Faster, less accurate tests should be the first line of defense against Covid-19, says Daniel Larremore, a computer scientist at the University of Colorado Boulder who has been modeling Covid. An accurate PCR test that delivers results weeks after infection isn’t useful for an asymptomatic patient. Catching half of those infections with a quick antigen or spit test would do a lot of good, and preserve more reliable tests for those who have already tested positive or have symptoms, he said.

The $5 Abbott test the administration is buying is an antigen test. Unlike two other antigen tests that have received FDA approval, it doesn’t require a specialized machine, which should make it more widely accessible.

The at-home pregnancy test model for coronavirus isn’t here yet, though the Abbott test is a step in that direction. The FDA-approved tests for Covid all require a doctor’s note and a trained professional to carry them out.

Ongoing studies are trying to figure out how accurate the tests are if there’s some kind of user error, like a person who leaves the sample in their hot car for a couple of hours. And one company, e25, is working on a paper-strip spit test that would pretty much be the pandemic’s version of a home pregnancy test. It has yet to receive FDA approval.

The Abbott test — or any other rapid test — has other drawbacks aside from inaccuracy: Not all results will get reported to authorities, though the administration is still requiring results to be reported. And the cost, even of $5, could further widen testing disparities between wealthy and poor communities.

Welcome to POLITICO Nightly: Coronavirus Special Edition. Finally caught up on this excellent podcast and might be convinced that the CIA wrote the Scorpions’ “Wind of Change.” Reach out [email protected] or on Twitter at @renurayasam.

RNC TRUMP V. TWITTER TRUMP For one week, the Republican Party sent out a parade of people to make the case that the president, insulter-in-chief, has a heart. Within days, Twitter Trump had returned.

At the RNC, everyone from little-known Americans to first lady Melania Trump insisted the Trump who lashes out on social media and in press conferences is not the compassionate man they see “when the cameras are off,” as Vice President Mike Pence put it. But over the weekend, Trump went right back to his bare-knuckle approach, White House reporter Meridith McGraw writes. He insulted his niece and boosted a video from a white nationalist user who falsely blamed “Black Lives Matter/Antifa” for a violent 2019 incident. He mocked and retweeted profane jokes about the Portland mayor and retweeted a video of Trump supporters in Portland shooting paintball guns and pepper spray at racial justice protesters in the city, saying it “cannot be unexpected.”

And at a briefing this evening, Trump dished out numerous incendiary claims about violence in “Democrat-run cities” for nearly 30 minutes. He alleged the violence is caused by “left-wing indoctrination,” insisted “the violent rioters share Biden talking points” and proclaimed “paint is not bullets” when asked about the protesting Trump supporters in Portland, where one Trump supporter was shot and killed over the weekend.

The dichotomy highlights the challenge facing the GOP with nine weeks left in the campaign: How to make Trump seem more palatable to voters who may largely agree with his policies but are turned off by his tactics, while still letting Trump rile up his base.

DEMS RED OVER RED ZONES — Senior Trump administration officials privately warned seven states in June about dangerous coronavirus outbreaks that put them in the highest risk “red zone” while publicly dismissing concerns about a second wave of Covid-19, according to White House documents House Democrats released today.

The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis released eight weeks of previously confidential reports obtained from the White House coronavirus task force that Democrats said showed the administration acting over the summer to willfully cover up public health risks for political gain, health care reporter Alice Miranda Ollstein writes.

“Rather than being straight with the American people and creating a national plan to fix the problem, the president and his enablers kept these alarming reports private,” Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the subcommittee’s chair, said in a statement. “As a result of the president’s failures, more than 58,000 additional Americans have died since the Task Force first started issuing private warnings, and many of the Task Force’s recommendations still have not been implemented.”

White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah said the administration began a public health messaging campaign in July to states with large outbreaks “to warn the public to follow mitigation practices to bring down the number of cases.”

“The notion that we are trying to hide information from the public is absurd,” she said.

PICKING THE LOCKDOWN — A second lockdown, which some economists and epidemiologists have argued for in recent weeks, is a bad idea, argues Harvard’s James Stock, an economist who is working with a team that includes epidemiologist Michael Mina to model how to avoid a surge in deaths without another economic shutdown.

Nightly’s Myah Ward talked with Stock about why he believes stringent adoption of measures like face masks, social distancing and limits on group gatherings, as well as other mitigation efforts like testing and contact tracing, are enough to suppress the virus. This conversation has been edited.

What were the economic costs of the first lockdown?

Because we failed to pursue a strategy where we actually fully suppressed the virus, people are just afraid. And as long as people are afraid, we’re going to see slow economic activity. And that’s exacerbated by the lockdown. The lockdowns are part of the story, but really it’s our failure so far to suppress the virus that prevents people from wanting to go out and engage in economic activity.

We’re big supporters of opening up almost all of the economy, but the key word there is almost. You can’t just open up bars. You can’t open up sporting events and things like that. The really high-contact activities have to be shut down until we have this thing totally under control.

What would you say to the economists and epidemiologists who advocate for another lockdown?

To me, that just sounds like giving up. To say it’s easier somehow for the politicians to tell everybody that you have to stay at home than to tell them that you need to wear masks. Or to tell Congress that it’s easier to shut down the economy again and see the unemployment rate go up to 15 percent or 18 percent, or whatever it is, than it is for you to pass a measure where you support $100 billion in testing. I don’t see that as being an effective solution. It’s not a realistic solution, and it’s an extremely costly solution.

How does your research apply to school reopenings?

Some districts have schools where you can get more social distancing, and others are in these old buildings, virtually crammed together with bad ventilation. But by and large, if the virus level is low and you have these other measures in place, then you don’t need to have school closings. I view that as a really costly lockdown. That’s kind of like closing malls and people not flying, but this is even more costly in ways that are difficult to measure. And it’s not necessary if you do the other things.

Right now, I am on the side of, I really would like the kids through grade six to be in school in-person. I understand why people are hesitant about that.

Nightly asks you: Send us pictures of your Covid-19 work or study space. Send your photo to [email protected]. We’ll include select photos in our Friday edition.

‘DO I LOOK LIKE A RADICAL SOCIALIST?’ Biden today blamed Trump for the violence that has accompanied mass protests for racial justice, accusing the president of “long ago” forfeiting “any moral leadership in this country.” In a speech in Pittsburgh, the Democratic presidential nominee portrayed Trump as having lost control of a country rocked by a series of converging crises and being guilty “for years” of fomenting racial tensions that have led to violence, which he also denounced.

“Ask yourself: Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” Biden said. “I want a safe America, safe from Covid, safe from crime and looting, safe from racially motivated violence, safe from bad cops. And let me be crystal clear: safe from four more years of Donald Trump.” The speech came a little more than a week after a police officer in Kenosha, Wis., shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, seven times in the back as he leaned over into his car, sparking protests and violence in the city.

Partisan goggles Are we a country that’s failed disastrously to respond to a global pandemic, or a country that’s overrun by protests and violence on the streets? Democrats and Republicans painted wildly different pictures of America at their party conventions this month. In the latest POLITICO Dispatch, Scott Bland breaks down the biggest takeaways from the past two weeks — and what they tell us about what’s next.

PANDEMIC PRIMATE PERIL — Pandemic shortages have become familiar to us over the five months, whether in PPE, tests or toilet paper. But a new shortage has scientists and researchers worried: monkeys. “Nationally, there is basically a big shortage,” Koen Van Rompay, an infectious-disease scientist at the California National Primate Research Center, told The Atlantic. The problem has three sources: a limited pool for a huge number of Covid-19 research projects, a huge downturn in the number of monkeys coming from China, and previous shortages being made worse.

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57 cases of COVID-19 linked to outbreak at Calgary church –

August 31st, 2020

At least 57 cases of COVID-19 are linked to an outbreak at a Calgary church.

The cases are tied to the Kidanemehret Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church in northeast Calgary, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw. said Monday.

Anyone who has attended the church in the past two weeks should get tested, she said, and any children who attended the church should not go to school this week. 

The outbreak was identified only in the past several days. Hinshaw said public health teams are still working on contact tracing to determine its full scope and how the virus has spread. 

The cases were part of 426 reported over the weekend, bringing the total active cases in Alberta to 1,370. 

“We know from a few of the outbreaks that we’ve seen in the last several weeks that sometimes it’s possible, again, for the wrong person to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and unfortunately spread can happen when you have that confluence of an individual who is infectious who may not know that they are,” she said.

“And perhaps, again, there’s either a lapse, or, again, we’re looking very closely at the last few outbreaks to understand, does our guidance need to be updated?”

Last week, Hinshaw had said the majority of new cases were linked to social gatherings, ranging from formal events such as worship services to family get-togethers. 

There are two other ongoing outbreaks, each with dozens of cases, linked to religious gatherings in the province: one in Deadwood, Alta., and one at the Bible Pentecostal Church in Edmonton.

“It is critical, as always, that members of this church be supported and not targeted or stigmatized. An outbreak can occur anywhere, and those involved need our compassion in this difficult time,” Hinshaw said. 

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Chadwick Boseman’s Death Sheds New Light On Increased Colon Cancer Rates | NBC Nightly News – NBC News

August 31st, 2020

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Chadwick Boseman’s Death Sheds New Light On Increased Colon Cancer Rates | NBC Nightly News – YouTube


FDA Chief Willing To Fast Track COVID-19 Vaccine Before Clinical Trials End | NBC Nightly News – NBC News

August 31st, 2020

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FDA Chief Willing To Fast Track COVID-19 Vaccine Before Clinical Trials End | NBC Nightly News – YouTube


Leak says a first-of-its-kind Apple device will be released alongside the iPhone 12 – BGR

August 31st, 2020

OnePlus explains why OxygenOS 11 looks like one UI you’ve seen before – 9to5Google

August 31st, 2020