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America faces ‘darkest winter in modern history’: US whistleblower

“Without clear planning and implementation of the steps that I and other experts have outlined, 2020 will be the darkest winter in modern history,” Bright cautioned.

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Anthony Fauci

New York, May 14 : Barely 48 hours after America’s top infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci warned of suffering and death if states reopen too quickly, Dr Rick Bright, a government whistleblower who was recently fired by the Trump administration, delivered chilling testimony saying that the US faces the “darkest winter in modern history” unless leaders act decisively to prevent a rebound of the coronavirus.

“Our window of opportunity is closing,” Bright said. “If we fail to develop a national coordinated response, based in science, I fear the pandemic will get far worse and be prolonged, causing unprecedented illness and fatalities.”

US President Donald Trump has dismissed Bright as “a disgruntled guy” just as he brushed aside Dr Fauci’s warnings earlier this week that premature reopening may “turn the clock back”.

Until recently, Bright was the director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).

Bright tore into America’s response and urged the government to allow scientists to speak without “fear of retribution”.

He called for increasing public education around the “simple things” like hand washing and mask wearing in public.

“We need a national testing strategy. The virus is here, it is everywhere. We need to be able to test and isolate”, he said in a sobering, five-minute opening statement.

“Pages from our pandemic playbook have been ignored by leaders,” according to Bright.

“The undeniable fact is there will be a resurgence of (COVID-19) this fall, greatly compounding the challenges of seasonal influenza and putting an unprecedented strain on our health care system.

“Without clear planning and implementation of the steps that I and other experts have outlined, 2020 will be the darkest winter in modern history,” Bright cautioned.

Bright claims he became a target after he urged early efforts to invest in vaccine development and stock up on strategic national supplies.

According to Bright, “we still do not have a standardised, coordinated plan to lead us through this response.”

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Coronavirus: Global COVID-19 cases surpass 21mn: Johns Hopkins

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RUSSIA CORONAVIRUS

Washington, Aug 15 : The overall number of global coronavirus cases has surpassed the 21 million mark, while the deaths were nearing 763,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

As of Saturday morning, the total number of cases stood at 21,066,992 and the fatalities rose to 762,997, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update.

The US accounted for the world’s highest number of infections and fatalities at 5,309,138 and 168,396, respectively, according to the CSSE.

Brazil came in the second place with 3,226,443 infections and 105,490 deaths.

In terms of cases, India ranks third (2,461,190), and is followed by Russia (910,778), South Africa (579,140), Mexico (511,369), Peru (507,996), Colombia (433,805), Chile (382,111), Spain (342,813), Iran (338,825), the UK (315,605), Saudi Arabia (295,902), Pakistan (287,300), Argentina (282,437), Bangladesh (271,881), Italy (252,809), France (249,655), Turkey (246,861), Germany (223,791), Iraq (168,290), Philippines (153,660), Indonesia (135,123), Canada (123,521), Qatar (114,532) and Kazakhstan (101,848), the CSSE figures showed.

The other countries with over 10,000 deaths are the Mexico (55,908), India (48,040), UK (46,791), Italy (35,234), France (30,410), Spain (28,617), Peru (25,648), Iran (19,331), Russia (15,467), Colombia (14,145), South Africa (11,556) and Chile (10,340).

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CDC forecast projects 200,000 COVID-19 deaths in US by Sept 5

If the United States allowed the coronavirus to spread unchecked in an attempt to try to achieve so-called herd immunity, the “death toll would be enormous,” Anthony Fauci, U.S. top infectious disease expert, warned.

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Coronavirus Death US

WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 : A new ensemble forecast published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has projected up to 200,000 total COVID-19 deaths in the United States by Sept. 5.

The projection published Thursday forecast that 4,200 to 10,600 new COVID-19 deaths will be reported during the week ending Sept. 5 and that 180,000 to 200,000 total COVID-19 deaths will be reported by that date.

“State- and territory-level ensemble forecasts predict that the number of reported new deaths per week may increase over the next four weeks in Colorado and may decrease in Arizona, the Northern Mariana Islands, Vermont, and Wyoming,” the CDC said on its forecasting website.

If the United States allowed the coronavirus to spread unchecked in an attempt to try to achieve so-called herd immunity, the “death toll would be enormous,” Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned on Thursday.

“If everyone contracted it, even with the relatively high percentage of people without symptoms … a lot of people are going to die,” Fauci said during a live Instagram session.

“Testing continues to fall, especially in the South, one of the areas where the country needs it the most. Cases, too, are falling, which remains hard to interpret, given the testing decline — but fewer people are now in the hospital with COVID-19 than last week,” said a new report of The COVID Tracking Project.

This is the second week in a row that hospitalizations seem to have dropped, which suggests that infections may be declining independently of testing reductions, according to the report.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States topped 5.29 million as of Friday afternoon with more than 168,100 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

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Coronavirus: India now past 24L COVID cases

India’s COVID-19 tally crossed the 24-lakh mark on Friday with 64,553 new cases in 24 hours, while the toll climbed to 48,040 with 1,007 more fatalities, said the Health Ministry

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Coronavirus outbreak

India’s COVID-19 tally crossed the 24-lakh mark on Friday with 64,553 new cases in 24 hours, while the toll climbed to 48,040 with 1,007 more fatalities, said the Health Ministry.

Out of the total 2,461,190 cases, recoveries have surged to 1,751,555 with a record 55,573 more people recuperating in the past 24 hours, taking the recovery rate to nearly 71.17%.

The actual caseload of the country is the active cases, which currently stands at 6,61,595.

Notably, the case fatality rate, which is the proportion of people who die from the disease among individuals diagnosed, has dropped to 1.96%, the ministry said.

The country had touched the 20-lakh mark on August 7 and added more than four lakh cases in seven days. The silver lining, however, is that the gap between recoveries and active cases is growing every day. Currently, recoveries are over 10 lakh more than the active cases.

As many as 8,48,728 samples were tested on Thursday, taking the total to 2,76,94,416 samples being tested till date, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Maharashtra remained the worst-hit state with a total of 5,60,126 cases and 19,063 deaths; followed by Tamil Nadu with 3,20,355 cases and 5,397 deaths. Then comes Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh.

On Thursday, the union government stated that it has distributed more than 3.04 crore N95 masks, more than 1.28 crore PPE kits to states, union territories and central institutions free of cost in the last five months. Over 22,000 ‘Make in India’ ventilators have also been delivered.

The Centre has been strengthening the health infrastructure to fight the pandemic and effectively manage it. Along with augmenting COVID-19 facilities, the government has been providing medical supplies free of cost to the state and union territories to supplement their efforts.

India continues to be the third worst-hit after Brazil with 3,164,785 infections and 104,201 deaths, and the US with 5,248,172 cases and 167,092 fatalities.

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