The presidential campaign of Joe Biden announced that a person who flew with him in recent days has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The positive test came following contact tracing after two of Senator Kamala Harris’ staffers tested positive for the virus. The official who tested positive is an administrative member of the Aviation company that charters Mr. Joe Biden’s aircraft.
Covid-19 is making a huge comeback in Europe after a drop in positive cases in Summer since the pandemic reached Europe. France registered 30,621 new cases on Thursday, which is a record for the country. This is a jump of 22,591 from Wednesday. It also has 1,750 patients in intensive care units, which is an increase of 77 in 24 hours. France has been one of the most affected countries in Europe.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has written a letter to President Donald Trump, in which he urged Trump to meet governors of US states and guide them on how the coronavirus vaccines should be distributed once they are approved. Cuomo wrote governors are willing to assist his efforts on national vaccination mission but added ’additional guidance is needed on the roles and expectations of states.’
A recent study by the US Department of Defense and United Airlines showed that passengers wearing masks on planes, even packed ones, are at almost no risk of contracting Covid-19. It showed air filtration and circulation on planes lead to the near-immediate dispersal of particles carrying the virus and it would take at least 54 hours of sitting next to a Covid-infected passenger to get infected.
Hope Hicks, a senior White House adviser has joined President Donald Trump on his two day trip to North Carolina and Florida, two weeks after having tested positive for the novel coronavirus. One of President Trump’s closest aides, Hicks was seen leaving the White House with him on Thursday afternoon. She was not wearing a mask and this was her first public appearance since her diagnosis on Oct 1.
Europe starts to battle a second wave of COVID-19 which has resulted in tough restrictions to be put up in various countries, which have been deemed as being ’absolutely necessary’ by the WHO. Strict new measures have been imposed in different European capitals and cities even though the situation is much better than it was during March and April.
A member of the office of Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission has tested positive for COVID-19. This resulted in the president leaving the EU Summit in Brussels as she self-quarantined herself for the second time in a month in line with COVID-19 health rules. She tweeted later on that she had tested negative for the disease but would self-isolate as a precaution.
Many US colleges and universities are seeing fewer international students enroll this fall due to travel and visa restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This could lead to a loss of a minimum of $3 billion. With barriers up for international student’s entry into the US, many students are already looking at going to other countries like Canada, which may have an economic effect on the US.
Brazilian police found cash hidden in Senator Chico Rodrigues’s underpants during a search of his house in a Covid-19-related corruption probe. Rodrigues, a key ally of President Jair Bolsonaro, had cash totalling 15,000 reais ($2,675) hidden near his buttocks. Earlier, cops found 10,000 reais ($1,780) and $6,000 in a safe. Rodrigues, now under arrest, has resigned from the government and Senate.
Democratic VP nominee Kamala Harris will temporarily put her campaign travel on hold after two people involved in the Joe Biden presidential campaign tested positive for Covid-19. According to the campaign, neither of the two aides had contact with Harris or Joe Biden in the 48 hours before their results came. It said Harris’s decision to postpone her travel was ’out of an abundance of caution.’
Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, while replying to a question by Yahoo News on whether herd immunity is a viable strategy for the US to adopt, said, ’That (getting mass-infected with Covid-19 for achieving herd immunity) is nonsense, and anybody who knows anything about epidemiology will tell you that that is nonsense and very dangerous.’
Speaking on the ’Pod Save America’ podcast, former President Obama criticized President Trump. Sounding the alarm bells on the rapid spread of false information on social media, Obama said ’Trump is a symptom of it and an accelerant to it’. Obama said the rapid spread of misinformation is hindering productive debates on substantive issues in the country, including climate change and COVID-19.
Global drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance reported a $520 million – what it called – ’adverse Covid-19 impact’ but rebounded in the fourth quarter. Walgreens said it made $373 million in the final quarter of fiscal 2020 after losing $1.7 billion in the previous, when millions stayed home to avoid the pandemic. It saw a double-digit percentage drop in its international pharmacy operation.
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced in Parliament that the government raised the coronavirus alert level for London, which is Europe’s richest city, to ’Tier 2’ (high-risk level) from Tier 1 (medium-risk level) and imposed stricter measures to contain the virus. Eleven zones are seeing over 100 new cases a week per 100,000 people. Richmond, Hackney, Redbridge are among the worst hit.
Ryanair has announced big reductions in its winter schedule after European governments imposed travel restrictions for the Covid-19 pandemic. But the airline said more than the pandemic itself, the ’mismanagement’ by the governments is behind the cutbacks airlines are ’forced’ to make. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary also said the cutbacks were ’a better short-term outcome than mass job losses.’
After the announcement of new COVID-19 restrictions by the UK government, pub chain Marston’s is set to make 2,150 workers redundant. The measures introduced by the government to tackle the surge in the COVID-19 cases have been blamed by the pub. The measures include a curfew at 10pm, and a three-tier lockdown system. The company also called for urgent help from the government to protect jobs.
Wells Fargo has fired more than 100 staffers after an internal investigation found they had fraudulently applied for and received coronavirus relief funding for themselves under the SBA’’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program according to Bloomberg and Forbes. The megabank said it would cooperate fully with authorities on any further investigation. JPMorgan fired dozens for similar behavior.
Barron Trump, Melania and Donald Trump’s 14-year-old son, tested positive for Covid-19 in early October after initially testing negative when his parents had tested positive. Barron, and his parents have more recently tested negative. Barron showed no symptoms at any time. Melania said her own experience was ’like a rollercoaster’ after contracting the virus herself in early October.
The UK’s National Health Service has warned that unless strictest restrictions are imposed in northern England, the number of people dying of Covid-19 infection will continue to rise for three weeks. The leaders in north England are in a standoff with the government. They accuse London of putting pressure on northern regions without sufficient financial support for individuals and businesses.
The US CDC said on Wednesday that COVID-19 vaccines may not be initially recommended for children. Children have not yet been tested for any experimental coronavirus vaccine. The CDC added that early clinical trials, so far, have only included non-pregnant adults. Separately, Pfizer plans enroll children as young as 12 in its trial, while AstraZeneca has plans to test children between five to 12.
Senator Elizabeth Warren slammed Disney on Wednesday after the company reportedly laid off 28,000 workers, and also allegedly restored the salaries of its senior executives during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Senator Warren further noted that Disney had invested in compensation packages, dividend payments and stock buybacks in recent years for executives and stockholders.
YouTube said it would remove any video containing information about Covid-19 vaccines which contradicts local or global health bodies, such as the CDC or the WHO. It comes after a Facebook announcement that says it will ban ads that discourage people from getting vaccines.
Berlin has dropped polite public messaging on the Covid-19 pandemic in favor of a blunt reminder of the rules. An ad placed by the German capital’s senate in local papers shows an elderly woman showing her middle finger, next to the words: ’A finger-wag for all those without a mask: we stick to corona rules.’ However, as the ad comes from the city government, some Berliner’s didn’t like it.
UnitedHealth Group upgraded its 2020 outlook after holding off while trying to judge COVID-19’s impact. Health insurers reaped huge profits in H12020 as pandemic kept people out of health care system. The company now expects adjusted net earnings to range between $16.50 to $16.75 per share for 2020 up from its previous guidance between $16.25 and $16.55 per share provided during late last year.