Coronavirus is now the third leading cause of death in the US, doctor says
Mike Stunson, Sacramento Bee
It only took a month for coronavirus to become the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to a San Diego doctor and data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
China Concealed Extent of Virus Outbreak, U.S. Intelligence Says
Nick Wadhams and Jennifer Jacobs, Bloomberg
China has concealed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in its country, under-reporting both total cases and deaths it’s suffered from the disease, the U.S. intelligence community concluded in a classified report to the White House, according to three U.S. officials.
New York City Deploys 45 Mobile Morgues as Virus Deaths Strain Funeral Homes
Alan Feuer and Andrea Salcedo, The New York Times
“When you overwhelm the health system, you also overwhelm the death system,” one funeral director said.
Anthony Fauci’s security is stepped up as doctor and face of U.S. coronavirus response receives threats
Isaac Stanley-Becker et al., The Washington Post
Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-diseases expert and the face of the U.S. response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, is facing growing threats to his personal safety, prompting the government to step up his security, according to people familiar with the matter.
California coronavirus death toll passes 200 as L.A. threatens to cut utilities for nonessential businesses
Hannah Fry et al., Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Wednesday advised the Department of Water and Power to shut off utilities to nonessential businesses violating the city’s order to close, he said at an evening news conference.
Social distancing works. The earlier the better, California and Washington data show.
Geoffrey A. Fowler et al., The Washington Post
Two weeks into mandatory stay-at-home orders in the San Francisco Bay area and Washington state, there’s evidence the curve of infections is flattening compared with other U.S. metro areas.
Behind the scenes, Kushner takes charge of coronavirus response
Adam Cancryn and Dan Diamond, Politico
Trump’s son-in-law sets up shop at FEMA as his portfolio balloons to include manufacturing, supplies and long-term planning.
A Ventilator Stockpile, With One Hitch: Thousands Do Not Work
David E. Sanger et al., The New York Times
While President Trump has assured states that thousands of ventilators remain at the ready, thousands more are in storage, unmaintained or otherwise unusable.
Los Angeles mayor tells 4 million to wear masks
Robert Jablon, The Associated Press
The mayor of Los Angeles urged 4 million residents to wear masks to combat the coronavirus when they walk out in public, even as state health officials shied away from requiring a coverup.
A Boston Hospital Nears Its Limits
Clayton Dalton, The New Yorker
The system is coping, but the intensity of COVID-19 has surprised even experienced doctors.
Democrats Push to Address Infrastructure in Fourth Coronavirus Stimulus Package
Natalie Andrews, The Wall Street Journal
Five-year $760 billion infrastructure plan unveiled earlier this year fits with President Trump’s new $2 trillion infrastructure proposal, Democrats say.
Patient Has Virus and Serious Cancer. Should Doctors Withhold Ventilator?
Joseph Goldstein, The New York Times
With a looming shortage of equipment for coronavirus patients in New York City, doctors say they may soon need to make difficult choices.
44 Texas Students Have Coronavirus After Spring Break Trip
David Montgomery and Manny Fernandez, The New York Times
A group of about 70 students from the University of Texas at Austin celebrated spring break in Mexico, then returned to find that dozens had tested positive.
Coronavirus Seems to Be Infecting and Killing More Men Than Women
Katie Camero, The Wall Street Journal
Scientists sift through clues from differences in social behavior, work roles and sex chromosomes.
New York Wants Health Workers to Join the Fight Against COVID-19. Will It Pick Up Their Medical Bills if They Get Sick?
Sean Campbell and Talia Buford, ProPublica
States are recruiting retirees, recent graduates and other health professionals to help overwhelmed hospitals, but if they contract the virus while serving patients, they could be on the hook for any out-of-pocket medical costs.
Trinity Health Michigan to furlough 2,500, cut executive pay due to COVID-19
Jay Greene, Modern Healthcare
Trinity Health Michigan will furlough about 2,500 employees and cut executive pay as it deals with the financial impact from coronavirus on its eight hospitals, medical centers and other healthcare facilities in Michigan.
Nursing home infections, deaths surge amid lockdown measures
Jim Mustian et al., The Associated Press
Nursing homes across the country have been in lockdown for weeks under federal orders to protect their frail, elderly residents from coronavirus, but a wave of deadly outbreaks nearly every day since suggests that the measures including a ban on visits and daily health screenings of staffers either came too late or were not rigorous enough.
Bankruptcy court approves buyer for West Virginia hospital
The Associated Press
A federal bankruptcy court has approved a health care facility’s $3.7 million bid for most assets of the only hospital in a southern West Virginia county that planned to close this month.
DaVita, Fresenius partner to create network of COVID-19 dialysis clinics
Shelby Livingston, Modern Healthcare
The country’s largest dialysis providers are joining forces to protect some of the most vulnerable patients during the coronavirus pandemic.
Pharma, Biotech and Devices
California Company Under Scrutiny For ‘At-Home’ Coronavirus Test Claims
Tom Dreisbach, NPR News
With government authorities warning an anxious public about scams related to the coronavirus, a California company is facing scrutiny by members of Congress and the city attorney of Los Angeles for selling COVID-19 test kits that it claimed can be used “in the home or at the bedside.”
Malaria Drug Helps Virus Patients Improve, in Small Study
Denise Grady, The New York Times
The malaria drug hydroxychloroquine helped to speed the recovery of a small number of patients who were mildly ill from the coronavirus, doctors in China reported this week.
Big biotech venture funds raise billions despite coronavirus fears
Matthew Herper and Kate Sheridan, Stat News
The economy is grinding to a near-halt because of Covid-19. In the biotechnology sector, which is normally insulated from the rest of the market, clinical trials are being paused and even laboratory work has been stopped, with cell cultures put in the freezer. It would hardly seem to be time for investors to put money to work.
Ultragenyx’s gene therapy technology finds another interested party
Jacob Bell, BioPharmaDive
Ultragenyx, a rare disease drug developer, has agreed to out-license its gene therapy technology to Tokyo-based Daiichi Sankyo in a deal worth at least $225 million.
Covid-19 spreads too fast for traditional contact tracing. New digital tools could help
Sharon Begley, Stat News
Every strategy for releasing Covid-19’s vise-grip on daily life starts with identifying cases and tracing their contacts — the laborious task of public health workers tracking down people who have crossed paths with a newly diagnosed patient, so they can be quarantined well before they show symptoms.
Telemedicine, Once a Hard Sell, Can’t Keep Up With Demand
Parmy Olson, The Wall Street Journal
The new coronavirus outbreak is testing the industry’s capacity, sending companies scrambling for doctors and new services.
Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives
Beating This Pandemic — and the Next
David Beier and Andrew Sullivan, Morning Consult
We’re in the midst of one of the gravest tests America has ever faced. It’s a moment to set aside partisanship and make decisions in the interest of the American people.
Treatment of 5 Critically Ill Patients With COVID-19 With Convalescent Plasma
Chenguang Shen et al., JAMA
In this uncontrolled case series of 5 critically ill patients with COVID-19 and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), administration of convalescent plasma containing neutralizing antibody was followed by an improvement in clinical status.
FTC sues to unwind Altria’s $12.8 billion investment in Juul
Makena Kelly, The Verge
The commission is suing on alleged antitrust violations.
U.S. Futures Rise; Oil Surges on China Stockpiling: Markets Wrap
Yakob Peterseil, Bloomberg
U.S. equity futures rose with European stocks on Thursday as investors braced for the latest unemployment data from the world’s biggest economy. Oil surged after China unveiled plans to boost its reserves.