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Covid cases shatter record in US, Trump and Fauci haven’t met for ‘months’

In recent days, Trump has called Fauci and his ilk “idiots” and claimed that Americans are tired of “Covid, Covid, Covid” all the time.

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Fauci over Trump

New York, Oct 24 : US president Donald Trump and his top infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci have not met in “several months” and White House virus task force meetings have been reduced to once a week, according to new revelations into the inner workings of a disastrous coronavirus response in the world’s wealthiest country.

The US recorded 71,671 new cases Thursday, with several states setting records across the Midwest and West. This is the single highest daily tally since the pandemic began. Texas leads with maximum new cases. The seven-day rolling average for new daily Covid-19 cases in the US was 44,647 two weeks ago.

The virus has killed more than 223,000 people in the US and sickened more than 8 million.

Less than 24 hours after the final presidential debate on October 22, US President Donald Trump was back at the White House holding a mini superspreader event while the country’s top infectious diseases expert is urging the government to see the logic of a “golden mean” that factors common sense public health guidelines to reopen the economy. Trump had 30 people huddled around him in the Oval Office on Friday and only one woman in that group was wearing a mask.

“Every time I talk about these things, people get concerned about shutting down. We’re not talking about shutting down, but we’re talking about doubling down on some of the fundamental public health measures that we need to adhere to – the universal wearing of masks,” Fauci said during a television interview on Friday.

During the same interview, Fauci revealed that Trump hasn’t attended a coronavirus task force meeting for months.

Days ahead of the US 2020 election, the coronavirus pandemic continues to haunt incumbent Donald Trump both in debates and his poll numbers. He trails Biden in both national and battleground polling.

In recent days, Trump has called Fauci and his ilk “idiots” and claimed that Americans are tired of “Covid, Covid, Covid” all the time.

Trump has mocked Biden for wearing masks and for adhering to public health guidance. “We can’t live like that,” Trump has said often, and continues to hold superspreader rallies and aggressively push the idea of herd immunity.

Fauci has pinned America’s failure to contain the virus on the lack of a uniform guidance from the top, without mentioning Trump. “I’ve always felt that uniformity of response and consistency of response is always a good thing. People know where they stand, know what they need to do and it was certain fundamental things that have not been adhered to consistently,” he said on Friday.

In the US, at least 5 vaccine candidates are in Phase 3 trials. The vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech is among several leading candidates in final testing. Two studies which started trials on July 27 are fully enrolled and ready to start collecting data.

Fauci said we’ll likely know about vaccine efficacy and safety latest by early December and that vaccine doses will be made and ready to go by the end of the year for frontline workers and the most vulnerable. The vaccine will be available widely only by the summer of 2021, according to US public health officials.

Cities

Amid cyclones, Andhra Police lends hand to disaster management

Policemen also took boats from the Fisheries Department to reach out to stranded people and also engaged the local revenue officials to supply food.

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Cyclone Nisarga

Amaravati: In the recent heavy rains, floods and very severe cyclonic storm Nivar, Andhra Pradesh Police was on the forefront to save lives, feed stranded people and bring order amid the chaos, officers said.

The state witnessed torrential downpours in October and November powered by back-to-back cyclones, resulting in almost all the water bodies overflowing, causing much trouble to the common man and farmers alike.

Amidst these conditions, police personnel from constables to Superintendents of Police were working round the clock to help people.

“We had deployed almost 1,500 people from the district force for cyclone duties. We also got one platoon of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF). We were deployed continuously for almost 72 hours,” Prakasam’s Superintendent of Police Siddharth Kaushal told IANS.

Amid incessant rain, policemen were deployed at all spots where the streams and water bodies were overflowing, at coastal villages, and to assist the district administration in evacuation.

“We assisted district administration in crowd control. At least 10 rescue operations were carried out in the district to save lives,” said Kaushal.

The SP said a special control and command post, equipped with radio communication, was set up in case mobile phones stopped working.

“Even till today (Monday) morning, we had deployed police in some places, preventing vehicles going in certain roads which were still under water,” he said.

Policemen also took boats from the Fisheries Department to reach out to stranded people and also engaged the local revenue officials to supply food.

In Nellore district, which bore the brunt of Nivar, along with Chittoor and Kadapa, three policemen carried a two-month-old baby to safety in Nellore town.

Policemen manned the Midatalavagu, a water body in spate near Kondapuram village to secure people and their movement.

They also monitored the rainwater inflows and outflows at Somasila dam where three gates were opened.

On National Highway 16 (NH 16), near Janardhan Reddy colony in Nellore, police supervised repairs to the road to prevent disruption of vehicle movement.

In similar fashion, police have also enabled the repair of a damaged bridge near Baghat Singh colony on NH 16 and also cleared many trees which were uprooted.

They also rescued two farmers from the middle of a raging water body after they were stuck there.

Not just the elements, police were also compelled to battle rumours.

On Monday, a Nellore district police official busted some rumours circulating claiming that the Kundaleru dam was breached.

–IANS

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Economy to grow only 0.3% in 2 years as India enters first technical recession

Due to a weaker-than-expected 2QFY21, we revise down our 3QFY21 and 4QFY21 growth forecasts.

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National debt under Modi govt surges

New Delhi, Nov 30: The Indian economy is forecast to show an average growth of only 0.3 per cent in two years as India enters its first technical recession, GDP could post further decline in 3QFY21.

As per a report by Motilal Oswal Financial Services, “Real GDP declined 7.5 per cent YoY in 2QFY21 (or 3QCY20), worse than our expectation, but better than the market consensus”.

Fiscal spending, consumption plus investments, posted its first major contraction since FY15 and is the worst on record. On the contrary, decline in private spending narrowed to -9.2 per cent in 2QFY21 from -35.4 per cent YoY in 1Q. The government and private sectors are naturally highly interlinked with each other, the report said.

A comparison of India with other major nations suggests India is no longer the worst affected economy — as the Philippines’ real GDP saw double-digit decline in 3QCY20 and decline was also higher in the UK and Mexico.

Due to a weaker-than-expected 2QFY21, we revise down our 3QFY21 and 4QFY21 growth forecasts.

“We now pencil in a decline of 1–2 per cent YoY in 3QFY21 (v/s a negligible decline earlier) and growth of 2–3 per cent YoY in 4QFY21 (v/s +4.2 per cent projected earlier). Accordingly, India’s real GDP is forecast to decline 7.5 per cent YoY in FY21 (v/s the previous forecast of -6.5 per cent ), but grow 8.5 per cent in FY22 (against 7.8 per cent growth expected earlier). This implies average growth of only 0.3 per cent in the two years,” the report said.

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Fauci warns of ‘surge upon a surge’ in US Covid-19 cases

His warning came as more than 90,000 Covid-19 patients are currently hospitalized across the US, with over 18,000 in intensive care units, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

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Anthony Fauci

Washington, Nov 30: Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious diseases expert, has warned that the US might witness a “surge upon a surge” of new coronavirus cases cases in the weeks after Thanksgiving due to cold weather and travel.

“We don’t want to frighten people, but that’s just the reality,” Xinhua news agency quoted Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as saying on Sunday night in an ABC News interview.

“Having said that, we have to be careful now because there almost certainly is going to be an uptick because of what has happened with the travel.

“We understand the importance of families getting together. And it’s just something that we have to deal with that we likely will have an increase in cases, as we get into the colder weeks of the winter, and as we approach the Christmas season,” he added.

Fauci urged travellers to be safe when returning home from holiday travels, encouraging them to quarantine if possible and to get tested.

When asked if people should expect similar restrictions and recommendations for Christmas this year, the top expert replied: “I can’t see how we’re not gonna have the same thing because when you have the kind of infection that we have, it doesn’t all of a sudden turn around like that.

“So clearly in the next few weeks, we’re gonna have the same sort of thing and perhaps even two or three weeks down the line… We may see a surge upon a surge.”

Fauci added that he did not foresee “a relaxation” of the current Center for Disease Control (CDC) restrictions.

His warning came as more than 90,000 Covid-19 patients are currently hospitalized across the US, with over 18,000 in intensive care units, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

In its latest update on Monday, the Johns Hopkins University revealed that the US’ current caseload and death toll stood at 13,374,162 and 266,838, respectively.

The two tallies account for the world’s highest, making the US the worst-hit country.

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