Politics Overnight Healthcare: Fauci predicts 100,000 virus cases a day if US can't control outbreaks | Trump officials seek to reassure about safety of potential COVID-19 vaccine
Fauci tells House committee he's 'cautiously optimistic' about progress made on coronavirus vaccine
Dr. Anthony Fauci is among those who are scheduled to testify before House lawmakers on Tuesday about the Trump administration's coroanvirus response.Fauci said there were a number of promising vaccines in development and that it's about "when and not if" they get positive results. He reiterated his hope that a vaccine could be made available by the end of 2020 or early 2021.
Welcome to Tuesday's Overnight Health Care.
There are more than 2.6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., including 127,000 deaths. Anthony Fauci issued a stark warning to members of Congress about the coming weeks and months if the U.S. does not alter the trajectory of the pandemic. And the FDA released its requirements for approving a COVID-19 vaccine, as officials sought to reassure the public about the agency's independence.
Fauci says no guarantee U.S. will have effective COVID-19 vaccine, warns spread 'could get very bad'
The United States cannot count on the availability of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, the government's top infectious diseases expert said on Tuesday, and he warned that the daily surge in cases could more than double if Americans fail to take steps to get the virus under control. © Thomson Reuters Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases prepares to testify ahead of a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 30, 2020.
We'll start with Fauci:
Fauci predicts 100,000 new COVID-19 cases per day if US can't control outbreaks
Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, warned members of Congress on Tuesday that the U.S. could reach 100,000 new COVID-19 cases per day if the country does not get a handle on the pandemic.
Speaking before the Senate health committee, Fauci said the country is heading in the "wrong direction" as the average number of daily cases continues to go up.
"We need to do something about that and we need to do it very quickly," said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
California reports 110 COVID-19 deaths as outbreaks grow
The novel coronavirus is surging across the country, as states report record numbers of cases and hospitalizations just ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend.California reported 110 deaths on Wednesday, the most the state has recorded since the spring.Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) ordered all bars, dine-in restaurants, indoor movie theaters and indoor tasting rooms at wineries in 19 counties across the state to close, due to the rise in coronavirus cases.States like Arizona and Ohio, reported record numbers of cases on Wednesday. Some records have been broken on a near-daily basis, while others were set at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in the spring.
The U.S. is now recording 40,000 new cases per day, surpassing previous records set in April when New York was the epicenter of the outbreak. States started recording increases after Memorial Day when many states lifted restrictions on businesses and activities that had been in place to slow the spread of the virus.
Fauci said while more than half of the new cases are coming from four states, they put the whole country at risk.
Trump officials seek to reassure about safety of potential coronavirus vaccine
Top Trump administration health officials want to reassure the public that any potential coronavirus vaccine will only be approved if it is safe, and the fast-track process won't be influenced by political pressure.
Democratic lawmakers and public health experts have expressed concern that President Trump's focus on developing a vaccine will pressure the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) into approving a vaccine before it's safe.
GOP lawmaker calls for White House coronavirus task force to be disbanded
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, is calling for the White House coronavirus task force to be disbanded to prevent health officials from causing President Trump's message about the economy to be "distorted.""Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx continue to contradict many of President Trump's stated goals and actions for returning to normalcy as we know more about the COVID-19 outbreak," Biggs"Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx continue to contradict many of President Trump's stated goals and actions for returning to normalcy as we know more about the COVID-19 outbreak," Biggs said in a statement Thursday.
To assuage some of that concern, the agency on Tuesday released a guidance that outlines conditions for approving a COVID-19 vaccine.
The guidelines: Among other provisions, any vaccine needs to be at least 50 percent more effective than a placebo in preventing the disease, and drug companies must enroll at least 30,000 people in a clinical trial, including racial and ethnic minorities.
Caveat: The guidelines are applicable to full approvals, which generally require more evidence. FDA could issue emergency use authorizations to get a drug to market quickly, especially during a national public health emergency.
What they said:
"I want the American people to hear me when I say we will use the science and data from those trials, and will ensure that our high levels of standards for safety and efficacy are met," FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said during the hearing.
Harvard analysis: Only 17 states and DC are meeting testing targets
The U.S. is still not testing enough for the coronavirus, a new analysis from the Harvard Global Health Institute finds.
WHO records new single-day high in global coronavirus cases
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported more than 210,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus around the world on Saturday, marking a new high in infections over a 24-hour period.Data from the agency showed that 211,411 cases of the virus were confirmed worldwide, representing a 20 percent increase from the previous day. The previous high in single-day infections was reported on June 28, when roughly 190,000 cases of the virus were confirmed globally.
According to the analysis, 14 states along with Washington, D.C., are doing enough testing to mitigate the spread of the virus: Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wyoming.
The three states meeting the higher goal of suppression-level testing are Vermont, Hawaii and Alaska, with West Virginia, Montana, and New Jersey close behind, the analysis finds.
Big picture: The United States is conducting about 500,000 tests per day, a significant improvement from earlier in the outbreak. But the Harvard estimate states that given how large the current outbreak is, the country needs about 1 million tests per day to mitigate the spread of the virus, and about 4 million tests per day to go even further and suppress the virus.
Biden hits Trump over coronavirus response: 'It's not working'
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden hit President Trump over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in a speech on Tuesday, stressing the need for a uniform nationwide response.
"We need real plans, real guidelines with uniform nationwide standards to help us chart our economic reopening," the former vice president told reporters during an address in Wilmington, Del. "Whatever it is that we're doing now, it's not working. The state-by-state approach will only produce confusion and slow any progress."
Fauci warns against 'false complacency' on COVID-19
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, warned on Tuesday the U.S. should not fall into "false complacency" because COVID-19 death rates have dropped, noting the virus can cause other severe health outcomes. "It's a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death," Fauci said Tuesday during a live-streamed press conference hosted by Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) "There's so many other things that are very dangerous and bad about this virus, don't get yourself into a false complacency."The rate of COVID-19 deaths has dropped in the U.S. since mid-April when New York was the epicenter of the outbreak.
Biden went on to emphasize the need for all Americans to wear a mask amid the pandemic, which Trump has said should be decided by localities.
"We need an absolute clear message from the top of our federal government that everyone needs to wear a mask. Period," Biden said.
GOP senator urges Trump to wear a mask
Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) urged Americans to stop politicizing the use of masks to slow the spread of COVID-19, adding that it would help if President Trump wore one himself once in a while.
"Unfortunately this simple lifesaving practice has become part of a political debate that says: If you're for Trump, you don't wear a mask. If you're against Trump, you do," Alexander said Tuesday during a hearing focused on COVID-19.
"That is why I have suggested the president should occasionally wear a mask even though there are not many occasions when it is necessary for him to do so. The president has millions of admirers. They would follow his lead. It would help end this political debate. The stakes are too high for it to continue."
What we're reading
Adam Silver: On track but coronavirus spread may stop NBA ()
Workers filed more than 4,000 complaints about protective gear. Some still died. ()
As virus roars back, so do signs of a new round of layoffs ()
In the Covid-19 death of a hospital food worker, a microcosm of the pandemic ()
Pandemic unleashes a spike in overdose deaths ()
State by state
Virginia prepares to enter Phase 3, as D.C. worries and cases spike elsewhere ()
For the first time since start of coronavirus pandemic, Massachusetts reports no new coronavirus deaths, 114 new cases ()
July 4 will be a do-or-die moment for California as coronavirus rages ()
Los Angeles County closes beaches for July 4 weekend, citing coronavirus risk ()
Overnight Health Care: Trump says White House will pressure governors to open schools | Administration formally moves to withdraw US from WHO | Fauci warns against 'false complacency' on COVID-19
Welcome to Tuesday's Overnight Health Care. Anthony Fauci warned not to take comfort in a falling death rate. The CDC found 87 percent of workers with COVID-19 at meat processing plants are minorities. And President Trump said he is going to pressure governors to open schools in the fall. Let's start with schools Trump says White House will pressure governors to open schoolsPresident Trump on Tuesday said his administration would put pressure on governors to get schools opened in the fall amid rising coronavirus cases in the United States.
The Hill op-eds
Overnight Health Care: Fauci says hard-hit states should be 'pausing' reopening | Florida records record number of coronavirus deaths | Redfield says keeping schools closed poses greater health threat to children than reopening .
Welcome to Thursday's Overnight Health Care. Anthony Fauci said hard-hit states should "pause" reopening, Robert Redfield echoed Trump in pushing for schools to reopen, and Florida's death toll hit a daily record.We'll start with Fauci:Fauci says hard-hit states should be 'pausing' the reopening processAmerica's top infectious disease doctor Anthony Fauci said Thursday the states being hit hardest by coronavirus infections should not be moving forward with reopening, but stopped short of calling for full shutdowns.