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Covid-19 Live Updates: American Public Grows Increasingly Wary of Virus Vaccines

Covid-19 Live Updates: American Public Grows Increasingly Wary of Virus Vaccines

 

As the Trump administration has pressed publicly for top-speed development and approval of a coronavirus vaccine, allotting billions of dollars to pharmaceutical companies, political leaders and public health experts have warned of the dangers of rushing the process.

That divide has only grown recently, as two of the country’s high-profile governors, Andrew M. Cuomo of New York and Gavin Newsom of California, revealed their caution about potential vaccines.

Mr. Newsom announced plans to form an independent panel in his state to review any federally approved vaccines before they are administered to residents. “Of course we won’t take anyone’s word for it,” he said in a news briefing Monday.

California’s new case rates have stayed relatively low, but in much of the rest of the country, the numbers are alarming: On Friday, according to a New York Times database, the United States reported at least 70,464 new cases, the highest figure since July 24. Over the past week, there has been an average of 56,655 cases per day, an increase of 30 percent from the average two weeks earlier.

Mr. Newsom’s announcement came after Mr. Cuomo said last month that New York would also review vaccines approved by the federal government — although Mr. Cuomo tied the move to doubts raised when President Trump suggested that he would reject tougher Food and Drug Administration guidelines. “Frankly, I’m not going to trust the federal government’s opinion,” Mr. Cuomo said.

Recent surveys appear to show that the public shares the governors’ skepticism, with the idea of getting a vaccine as soon as it is available losing appeal for many Americans.

In a poll of likely voters conducted by The New York Times and Siena College, 33 percent said they would definitely or probably not take a vaccine after F.D.A. approval.

In a STAT-Harris poll of about 2,000 people, conducted Oct. 7-10 and published Monday, 58 percent of respondents said they would get vaccinated right away, down from 69 percent who said the same in August.

The decline was twice as steep among Black respondents: Just 43 percent said in October that they would get the vaccine, down from 65 percent in August.

 

 


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A Combative Trump and a Deliberate Biden Spar From Afar at Town Halls

A Combative Trump and a Deliberate Biden Spar From Afar at Town Halls

 

President Trump spoke positively about an extremist conspiracy-theory group, expressed skepticism about mask-wearing, rebuked his own F.B.I. director and attacked the legitimacy of the 2020 election in a televised town hall forum on Thursday, veering far away from a focused campaign appeal. Instead, he further stoked the country’s political rifts as his Democratic opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., pushed a deliberate mesغیر مجاز می باشدe anchored in concerns over public health and promises to restore political norms.

Mr. Trump’s defensive and combative performance came on a night that was supposed to feature a debate between him and Mr. Biden, but that morphed into a long-distance study in contrasts on different television networks after the president declined to participate in a virtual debate.

 

On the central issue of the election, the coronavirus pandemic, the two candidates appeared to inhabit not just different television sets but different universes. Mr. Biden has made the full embrace of strict public health guidelines the centerpiece of his candidacy, while Mr. Trump has continued to defy even the recommendations of his own government on matters as basic as the use of masks — a pattern that persisted in their opposing events on Thursday.

 

Mr. Biden lashed virtually every aspect of the president’s handling of the health crisis, including his language on masks.

“The words of a president matter,” Mr. Biden said. “When a president doesn’t wear a mask or makes fun of folks like me when I was wearing a mask for a long time, then, you know, people say, ‘Well, it mustn’t be that important.’”

 

In perhaps his most incendiary remarks, Mr. Trump repeatedly declined to disavow QAnon, a pro-Trump internet community that has been described by law enforcement as a potential domestic terrorism threat. The president professed to have no knowledge of the group, and as a result could not disavow it, but then demonstrated specific knowledge of one of its core conspiracy theories involving pedophilia that is entirely false.

“I know nothing about it,” Mr. Trump said. “I do know they are very much against pedophilia. They fight it very hard.”

When the NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie pressed Mr. Trump to reject the community’s essential worldview, and described some of its most extreme and bogus elements, the president gave no ground: “I don’t know,” he insisted. “No, I don’t know.”

 

 

 https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/15/us/politics/presidential-town-halls.html


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As Virus Spread, Reports of Trump Administration’s Private Briefings Fueled Sell-Off

As Virus Spread, Reports of Trump Administration’s Private Briefings Fueled Sell-Off

 

 

A hedge fund consultant’s summary of private presentations by White House economic advisers fanned investor worries.

On the afternoon of Feb. 24, President Trump declared on Twitter that the coronavirus was “very much under control” in the United States, one of numerous rosy statements that he and his advisers made at the time about the worsening epidemic. He even added an observation for investors: “Stock market starting to look very good to me!”

But hours earlier, senior members of the president’s economic team, privately addressing board members of the conservative Hoover Institution, were less confident. Tomas J. Philipson, a senior economic adviser to the president, told the group he could not yet estimate the effects of the virus on the American economy. To some in the group, the implication was that an outbreak could prove worse than Mr. Philipson and other Trump administration advisers were signaling in public at the time.

The next day, board members — many of them Republican donors — got another taste of government uncertainty from Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council. Hours after he had boasted on CNBC that the virus was contained in the United States and “it’s pretty close to airtight,” Mr. Kudlow delivered a more ambiguous private mesغیر مجاز می باشدe. He asserted that the virus was “contained in the U.S., to date, but now we just don’t know,” according to a document describing the sessions obtained by The New York Times.

The document, written by a hedge fund consultant who attended the three-day gathering of Hoover’s board, was stark. “What struck me,” the consultant wrote, was that nearly every official he heard from raised the virus “as a point of concern, totally unprovoked.”

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White House Embraces Covid-19 ‘Herd Immunity’ Declaration

White House Embraces Covid-19

‘Herd Immunity’ Declaration

 

The Midwest and West are driving a virus surge in the U.S. The Eli Lilly antibody trial is paused because of potential safety concerns, just a day after Johnson & Johnson announced the pause of its coronavirus vaccine trial because of a sick volunteer.

 

Here’s what you need to know:
·        

White House embraces a declaration from scientists that opposes lockdowns and relies on ‘herd immunity.’

 

·        

The Midwest and West are driving a surge in U.S. cases.

 

·        

Eli Lilly antibody trial is paused because of potential safety concerns.

 

·        

Virginia’s governor was also a possible target of an anti-government plot, the F.B.I. says.

 

·        

Europe scrambles to halt a rising wave of virus cases with more refined travel restrictions and closures.

 

·        

Cristiano Ronaldo has tested positive for the coronavirus.

 

·        

Facing a pandemic shortfall, an Ohio college cuts 18 majors.

 

·        

Trump’s biggest fan in India, who cried when his idol contracted the virus, has died.

 

·        

Can you watch English soccer in person? It might depend on how good the teams are.

 

·        

After a 7-month wait, one tourist got Machu Picchu all to himself.

 

 

 

The White House has embraced a declaration by a group of scientists arguing that authorities should allow the coronavirus to spread among young healthy people while protecting the elderly and the vulnerable — an approach that would rely on arriving at “herd immunity” through infections rather than a vaccine.

Many experts say “herd immunity” — the point at which a disease stops spreading because nearly everyone in a population has contracted it — is still very far-off. Leading experts have concluded, using different scientific methods, that about 85 to 90 percent of the American population is still susceptible to the coronavirus.

On a call convened Monday by the White House, two senior administration officials, both speaking anonymously because they were not authorized to give their names, cited an October 4 petition titled The Great Barrington Declaration, which argues against lockdowns and calls for a reopening of businesses and schools.

“Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health,” the declaration states, adding, “The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection.”

The declaration has more than 9,000 signatories from all over the world, its website says, though most of the names are not public. The document grew out of a meeting hosted by the American Institute for Economic Research, a libertarian-leaning research organization.

Its lead authors include Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, an epidemiologist and infectious disease expert at Stanford University, the academic home of Dr. Scott Atlas, President Trump’s science adviser. Dr. Atlas has also espoused herd immunity.

The declaration’s architects include Sunetra Gupta and Gabriela Gomes, two scientists who have proposed that societies may achieve herd immunity when 10 to 20 percent of their populations have been infected with the virus, a position most epidemiologists diغیر مجاز می باشدree with.

Last month, at the request of The New York Times, three epidemiological teams calculated the percentage of the country that is infected. What they found runs strongly counter to the theory being promoted in influential circles that the United States has either already achieved herd immunity or is close to doing so, and that the pandemic is all but over. That conclusion would imply that businesses, schools and restaurants could safely reopen, and that masks and other distancing measures could be abandoned.

“The idea that herd immunity will happen at 10 or 20 percent is just nonsense,” said Dr. Christopher J.L. Murray, director of the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which produced the epidemic model frequently cited during White House news briefings as the epidemic hit hard in the spring.

The move comes amid a coronavirus outbreak at the White House that has now grown to more than 20 people, as evidence mounts that the administration did little to prevent or contain the virus’s spread.

On Tuesday night, officials with the Department of Labor said that the wife of the secretary, Eugene Scalia, tested positive for the coronavirus earlier in the day. Trish Scalia, who was said to be experiencing “mild symptoms,” and her husband were at a Rose Garden event honoring Judge Amy Coney Barrett that is being eyed as the source of several infections in people connected to the White House. The secretary tested negative, officials said, but he will work from home “for the time being.”

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TRUMP ENGINEERED A SUDDEN WINDFALL IN 2016 AS CAMPAIGN FUNDS DWINDLED

TRUMP ENGINEERED A SUDDEN WINDFALL IN 2016 AS CAMPAIGN

FUNDS DWINDLED

 

 

 

 

Tax records expose more than million in highly unusual payments from the Las Vegas hotel Donald Trump owns with Phil Ruffin, routed through other Trump companies and paid out in cash.

 

Donald J. Trump needed money.

His “self-funded” presidential campaign was short on funds, and he was struggling to win over leery Republican donors. His golf courses and the hotel he would soon open in the Old Post Office in Washington were eating away at what cash he had left on hand, his tax records show.

And in early 2016, Deutsche Bank, the last big lender still doing business with him, unexpectedly turned down his request for a loan. The funds, Mr. Trump had told his bankers, would help shore up his Turnberry golf resort in Scotland. Some bankers feared the money would instead be diverted to his campaign.

That January, Mr. Trump sold a lot of stock — .1 million worth. He sold another .8 million worth in February, and .5 million in March. In April, he sold .1 million more.

And the president’s long-hidden tax records, obtained by The New York Times, also reveal this: how he engineered a sudden financial windfall — more than million in what experts describe as highly unusual one-off payments from the Las Vegas hotel he owns with his friend the casino mogul Phil Ruffin.

In previous articles on the tax records, The Times has reported that, in all but a few years since 2000, chronic business losses and aggressive accounting strategies have allowed Mr. Trump to largely avoid paying federal income taxes. And while the hundreds of millions of dollars earned from “The Apprentice” and his attendant celebrity rescued his business career, those riches, together with the marketing power of the Trump brand, were ebbing when he announced his 2016 presidential run.

The new findings, part of The Times’s continuing investigation, cast light on Mr. Trump’s financial maneuverings in that time of fiscal turmoil and unlikely political victory. Indeed, they may offer a hint to one of the enduring mysteries of his campaign: In its waning days, as his own giving had slowed to a trickle, Mr. Trump contributed million, leaving many people wondering where the burst of cash had come from.

The tax records, by their nature, do not specify whether the more than million in payments from the Trump-Ruffin hotel helped prop up Mr. Trump’s campaign, his businesses or both. But they do show how the cash flowed, in a chain of transactions, to several Trump-controlled companies and then directly to Mr. Trump himself.

The bulk of the money went through a company called Trump Las Vegas Sales and Marketing that had little previous income, no clear business purpose and no employees. The Trump-Ruffin joint venture wrote it all off as a business expense.

 source

 


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