The government on Saturday said two pan-India studies on the genome of the coronavirus in India suggest that the virus is genetically stable and has shown no major mutation. The announcement was made after a review meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Covid-19 pandemic situation.
Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell detailed a $500B coronavirus relief bill that he said the Senate will vote on this Wednesday. The bill will expand federal unemployment benefits, replenish the PPP, provide over $100B to schools and fund vaccine production and distribution as well as testing and tracing. A similar bill in Sept. was supported by 52 Republicans before it was blocked by Democrats.
Nancy Goroff, a physical organic chemist and longtime faculty member at Stony Brook University is up against Representative Lee Zeldin (R–NY), a lawyer seeking his fourth term, in November. Commenting on her bid for Congress, Goroff said her scientific expertise will help Congress deal effectively with the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and a host of other issues.
Sen. Lindsey Graham was set to debate Jaime Harrison, his opponent in the South Carolina senate race but the format was changed to two separate panels after Graham refused to take a test for COVID and Harrison refused to share a stage with Graham if he didn’t. Recent polls show Graham up by 6 percent after earlier polls showed a much closer race
As cases of COVID-19 surge across the Upper Midwest and the northern Plains, rural communities are finding it difficult to cope with the onslaught of the pandemic. Doctors have expressed concerns that infections may overwhelm communities with limited medical resources. Rural counties across Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana have recorded extremely high cases of the virus.
The Commission on Presidential debates announced on Friday six topics for the final debate between President Trump and Joe Biden. The topics include: ’Fighting COVID-19,’ ’American Families,’ ’Race in America,’ ’Climate Change,’ ’National Security’ and ’Leadership.’ The debate is scheduled to take place on Oct. 22 in Tennessee. The moderator for the debate is NBC’s Kristen Welker.
For the first time since the start of the pandemic, France has recorded a total of 30,621 new COVID-19 infections in a single day. The country also has 1,750 patients in intensive care units - an increase of 77 in the last 24 hours. Streets of Paris were emptied on Saturday as people were asked to stay home to stem a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
The US reported more than 69,000 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the highest daily count for the country since late July. There have now been more than 8M COVID-19 cases reported and at least 218,600 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. The surge comes as experts warn the nation could face a ’substantial third wave’ of infections that will be further complicated in the winter.
Maria E. Ruiz Bonilla, a former employee at McDonald’s in San Jose, California, was fired after working at the joint for more than 16 years. This was because Bonilla staged many employee protests for the food chain failed to follow coronavirus protections. She filed a retaliation lawsuit against McDonald’s on Friday demanding them to issue her pay and cover the cost of damages.
Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the rising number of COVID-19 cases as new restrictions were imposed in several European nations. Through her weekly video podcast, she said ’Difficult months are ahead of us. How winter will be, how our Christmas will be, that will all be decided in these coming days and weeks, and it will be decided by our behavior.’
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House announced a ban on the sale of alcohol in all House of Commons bars and restaurants after London’s coronavirus restrictions were stepped up. He said that the prohibition will come into effect on Saturday. Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary had earlier announced that London would be placed under Tier 2 measures, which ban indoor mixing between households.
Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester slammed the government and accused it of treating the region as a ’sacrificial lamb’. Local leaders have also rejected the strictest coronavirus measures put in place recently. Leaders in the region also unanimously opposed being put into the highest category of the government’s 3-tier system for localized coronavirus induced restrictions.
Iran announced Saturday that its death toll from the coronavirus has passed 30,000. There are 4,721 virus patients that are in critical condition. The Islamic Republic has been struggling with the coronavirus since announcing its first cases in February, with more than 526,000 confirmed cases. On Wednesday, officials announced a travel ban to and from five major cities, including Tehran.
Trump attempted to woo American seniors, as he touted the efforts by his administration to swiftly deliver a vaccine for COVID-19. He also announced a new public-private partnership which aims to deliver a possible vaccine to senior citizens without any charge. He announced that the federal government would partner with CVS and Walgreens to immediately deliver a vaccine directly to nursing homes.
Melania Trump has called for attention to be shifted to the ’next generation’ after reports emerged about her ex-close friend and adviser Stephanie Wolkoff’s book and recent remarks about her. Ms. Trump also noted that she has been able to reflect on personal things, as she tested positive for COVID-19, and said she wants to continue devoting time to her initiative ’Be Best’.
The WHO’s massive Solidarity study of COVID-19 therapies has been finalized with disappointing results. The study looked at four treatment for the coronavirus: remdesivir; hydroxychloroquine; lopinavir-ritonavir (a combination antiviral treatment used for HIV) and interferon β1a. None showed particularly good results. It was the largest study involving over 11,000 patients in 30 countries.
Farmers in Delhi’s neighboring states burn crop stubble after harvesting ends in the kharif (summer through autumn) season every year, compounding the air pollution woes of India’s capital. This year, residents fear even worse with the Covid pandemic raging. People with respiratory illness are stocking oxygen cylinders and pulse oximeters, and praying to survive the dual onslaught on their lungs.
Health officials, in the city of Jiaxing in China, are offering residents an experimental COVID-19 vaccine for £46 ($59.41) per person. Among the first to receive the vaccination, would be key workers and those at high risk of the virus, according to the health authority in the city. This is the first time the Chinese government has publicly made such vaccine available to ordinary citizens.
A Finnish lawmaker tested positive for COVID-19. The Finnish PM Sanna Marin left the European Union summit as she had recently attended a meeting with the lawmaker. Marin self-isolated as a precautionary measure. The incident has occurred a day after the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, also left the summit to self-isolate after a close contact of hers tested positive.
A coronavirus outbreak in Qingdao, China, which prompted mass testing of millions of residents, has been traced back to two dock workers. A total of 12 locally transmitted cases were reported last weekend. City officials since, in a matter of four days, tested more than 10 million people. The director of Qingdao Health Commission and the president of the Qingdao Chest Hospital have been sacked.
Angela Merkel warned that Germany is on the brink of a COVID-19 disaster as a record number of cases have been seen. Local leaders have not backed the tough restrictions urged by the German Chancellor to control the spread of the disease. Germany, which had relatively few cases in the spring, has seen its highest-ever tallies of the disease lately and the number of deaths also continue to rise.
Joe Biden, at an ABC town hall Thursday, said he would take a potential coronavirus vaccine ’if the body of scientists’ says it’s ready. He added that he meets with leading scientists several times a week to be briefed on the potential vaccine. ’They’re not there yet. And most scientists say, it’s not likely to have a vaccine that would be available until the beginning of next year’, he said.
French police have searched the home and office of the country’s home minister Oliver Veran while conducting an investigation into the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Cops also searched the homes of ex-prime minister Edouard Philippe as well as other top officials. A special court had ordered the probe after several complaints of government mishandling of the crisis were reported.
NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie quizzed President Trump on a range of topics Thursday, which included his finances, action on coronavirus, and the rightwing conspiracy theory QAnon. Some praised Guthrie for her direct questioning, praising her for fact-checking him in real time. Others called her approach biased, with Fox News anchors suggesting Trump ’pretty much debated Savannah Guthrie’.