Abled ALERT: Outbreak | Emergency. COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic. Ongoing Coverage. Text is placed before an illustration of microscopic COVID-19 cells.

Total Cases

1,495,051

+144,528 in 24 hours

Total Deaths

87,469

+12,613 in 24 hours

Total Recovered

317,640

+32,576 in 24 hours

Total Countries

184

– in 12 hours

Global map of COVID-19 pandemic with infection clusters shown as red dots sized to the proportion of cases. Map prepared by the CSSE department at Johns Hopkins University.

US

419,975

+33,175 in 24 hours

Spain

146,690

+6,179 in 24 hours

Italy

139,422

+3,836 in 24 hours

France

113,955

+3,907 in 24 hours

Germany

110,698

+3,240 in 24 hours

China

82,809

+91 in 24 hours

Iran

64,586

+1,997 in 24 hours

UK

61,474

+5,534 in 24 hours

Turkey

38,226

+4,117 in 24 hours

Belgium

23,403

+1,209 in 24 hours

Switzerland

23,248

+995 in 24 hours

Netherlands

20,681

+972 in 12 hours

Canada

18,447

+1,401 in 24 hours

Brazil

14,511

+1,879 in 24 hours

Portugal

13,141

+699 in 24 hours

Austria

12,937

+304 in 24 hours

South Korea

10,384

+53 in 24 hours

Israel

9,404

+156 in 24 hours

Russia

8,672

+1,175 in 24 hours

Sweden

8,419

+726 in 24 hours

UPDATED: 4/08/2020, 12:30:00 PM PDT

Map developed and data correlated at Johns Hopkins University CSSE and best viewed in landscape mode. Live Dashboard

Abled.ALERT: Photo of medical personnel wheeling a COVID-19 patient in a parking lot.

Cases By Country

 419,975 US
146,690 Spain
139,422 Italy
113,955 France
110,698 Germany
82,809 China
64,586 Iran
61,474 United Kingdom
38,226 Turkey
23,403 Belgium
23,248 Switzerland
20,681 Netherlands
18,447 Canada
14,511 Brazil
13,141 Portugal
12,937 Austria
10,384 Korea, South
9,404 Israel
8,672 Russia
8,419 Sweden
6,086 Norway
6,074 Ireland
6,010 Australia
5,916 India
5,597 Denmark
5,546 Chile
5,221 Czechia
5,205 Poland
4,761 Romania
4,450 Ecuador
4,342 Peru
4,257 Japan
4,196 Pakistan
4,119 Malaysia
3,870 Philippines
3,122 Saudi Arabia
3,034 Luxembourg
2,956 Indonesia
2,785 Mexico
2,666 Serbia
2,659 United Arab Emirates
2,487 Finland
2,369 Thailand
2,249 Panama
2,210 Qatar
2,111 Dominican Republic
1,884 Greece
1,845 South Africa
1,780 Colombia
1,715 Argentina
1,668 Ukraine
1,623 Singapore
1,616 Iceland
1,572 Algeria
1,560 Egypt
1,343 Croatia
1,275 Morocco
1,210 New Zealand
1,202 Iraq
1,185 Estonia
1,174 Moldova
1,091 Slovenia
1,066 Belarus
912 Lithuania
895 Hungary
881 Armenia
855 Kuwait
823 Bahrain
822 Azerbaijan
803 Bosnia and Herzegovina
727 Kazakhstan
712 Diamond Princess
685 Cameroon
682 Slovakia
623 Tunisia
617 North Macedonia
593 Bulgaria
577 Latvia
576 Lebanon
564 Andorra
545 Uzbekistan
526 Cyprus
502 Costa Rica
457 Cuba
444 Afghanistan
424 Uruguay
419 Oman
414 Burkina Faso
400 Albania
379 Taiwan*
358 Jordan
349 Cote d’Ivoire
313 Ghana
312 Honduras
299 Malta
279 San Marino
278 Niger
273 Mauritius
270 Kyrgyzstan
263 West Bank and Gaza
254 Nigeria
251 Vietnam
248 Montenegro
244 Senegal
218 Bangladesh
211 Georgia
210 Bolivia
189 Sri Lanka
184 Kosovo
180 Congo (Kinshasa)
179 Kenya
166 Venezuela
144 Guinea
135 Brunei
135 Djibouti
119 Paraguay
117 Cambodia
110 Rwanda
107 Trinidad and Tobago
93 El Salvador
93 Madagascar
87 Guatemala
81 Monaco
78 Liechtenstein
70 Togo
63 Barbados
63 Jamaica
59 Mali
55 Ethiopia
53 Uganda
45 Congo (Brazzaville)
39 Zambia
36 Bahamas
33 Guinea-Bissau
33 Guyana
31 Eritrea
31 Liberia
30 Gabon
27 Haiti
26 Benin
25 Tanzania
22 Burma
21 Libya
19 Antigua and Barbuda
19 Maldives
19 Syria
17 Angola
17 Mozambique
16 Equatorial Guinea
16 Mongolia
16 Namibia
15 Dominica
15 Fiji
15 Laos
14 Saint Lucia
14 Sudan
12 Eswatini
12 Grenada
12 Somalia
11 Saint Kitts and Nevis
11 Seychelles
11 Zimbabwe
10 Chad
10 Suriname
9 MS Zaandam
9 Nepal
8 Belize
8 Central African Republic
8 Holy See
8 Malawi
8 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
7 Cabo Verde
7 Sierra Leone
6 Botswana
6 Mauritania
6 Nicaragua
5 Bhutan
4 Gambia
4 Sao Tome and Principe
4 Western Sahara
3 Burundi
2 Papua New Guinea
2 South Sudan
1 Timor-Leste

 

Click – to close.






Abled.ALERT: Video thumbnail photo of American playwright Terence McNally showing the title of a documentary about him "Every Act of Life".

Deaths By Country

 17,669 deaths 

  Italy

14,673 deaths 

  Spain

12,935 deaths 

United States

10,869 deaths 

  France

7,097 deaths 

  United Kingdom

4,571 deaths 

New York City New York US

3,993 deaths 

  Iran

3,213 deaths 

 Hubei China

2,248 deaths 

  Netherlands

2,240 deaths 

  Belgium

2,196 deaths 

  Germany

895 deaths 

  Switzerland

812 deaths 

  Turkey

800 deaths 

  Brazil

687 deaths 

  Sweden

500 deaths 

Nassau New York US

446 deaths 

Wayne Michigan US

380 deaths 

  Portugal

323 deaths 

Suffolk New York US

314 deaths 

Bergen New Jersey US

283 deaths 

Westchester New York US

276 deaths 

Essex New Jersey US

273 deaths 

  Austria

249 deaths 

Cook Illinois US

242 deaths 

  Ecuador

240 deaths 

  Indonesia

235 deaths 

  Ireland

234 deaths 

Oakland Michigan US

230 deaths 

King Washington US

220 deaths 

  Romania

218 deaths 

  Denmark

208 deaths 

Orleans Louisiana US

205 deaths 

  Algeria

200 deaths 

  Korea, South

191 deaths 

Unassigned New York US

182 deaths 

  Philippines

178 deaths 

  India

173 deaths 

Los Angeles California US

159 deaths 

  Poland

153 deaths 

 Ontario Canada

150 deaths 

 Quebec Canada

149 deaths 

Jefferson Louisiana US

141 deaths 

  Mexico

141 deaths 

Macomb Michigan US

139 deaths 

Middlesex New Jersey US

135 deaths 

Rockland New York US

132 deaths 

Fairfield Connecticut US

125 deaths 

Union New Jersey US

122 deaths 

Hudson New Jersey US

121 deaths 

  Peru

108 deaths 

  Dominican Republic

103 deaths 

  Egypt

102 deaths 

Morris New Jersey US

101 deaths 

  Norway

101 deaths 

Ocean New Jersey US

99 deaths 

  Czechia

93 deaths 

  Japan

93 deaths 

  Morocco

93 deaths 

Orange New York US

87 deaths 

Philadelphia Pennsylvania US

86 deaths 

Monmouth New Jersey US

83 deaths 

  Greece

73 deaths 

  Israel

71 deaths 

Passaic New Jersey US

69 deaths 

  Iraq

69 deaths 

Palm Beach Florida US

68 deaths 

Middlesex Massachusetts US

65 deaths 

  Malaysia

65 deaths 

  Serbia

65 deaths 

Clark Nevada US

63 deaths 

  Argentina

63 deaths 

  Russia

61 deaths 

Dougherty Georgia US

61 deaths 

Snohomish Washington US

60 deaths 

  Pakistan

60 deaths 

New Haven Connecticut US

59 deaths 

  Panama

58 deaths 

  Hungary

58 deaths 

Broward Florida US

58 deaths 

Marion Indiana US

56 deaths 

Milwaukee Wisconsin US

55 deaths 

Hampden Massachusetts US

52 deaths 

  Ukraine

50 deaths 

  Colombia

49 deaths 

Miami-Dade Florida US

48 deaths 

  Chile

48 deaths 

Hartford Connecticut US

46 deaths 

  Luxembourg

46 deaths 

Somerset New Jersey US

45 deaths 

Erie New York US

43 deaths 

 British Columbia Canada

43 deaths 

Santa Clara California US

42 deaths 

Unassigned Virginia US

41 deaths 

  Saudi Arabia

41 deaths 

Fulton Georgia US

40 deaths 

  Finland

40 deaths 

  Slovenia

40 deaths 

Suffolk Massachusetts US

39 deaths 

Genesee Michigan US

37 deaths 

Maricopa Arizona US

37 deaths 

Montgomery Pennsylvania US

35 deaths 

St. John the Baptist Louisiana US

35 deaths 

Essex Massachusetts US

35 deaths 

Norfolk Massachusetts US

34 deaths 

  Bosnia and Herzegovina

34 deaths 

  San Marino

33 deaths 

East Baton Rouge Louisiana US

32 deaths 

Prince George’s Maryland US

31 deaths 

San Diego California US

31 deaths 

Monroe New York US

30 deaths 

  Thailand

30 deaths 

Will Illinois US

29 deaths 

  North Macedonia

29 deaths 

Unassigned Colorado US

29 deaths 

Cobb Georgia US

28 deaths 

Riverside California US

28 deaths 

El Paso Colorado US

28 deaths 

Mercer New Jersey US

28 deaths 

Mahoning Ohio US

27 deaths 

  Moldova

27 deaths 

District of Columbia District of Columbia US

27 deaths 

Unassigned Rhode Island US

26 deaths 

 Alberta Canada

26 deaths 

Weld Colorado US

26 deaths 

DuPage Illinois US

26 deaths 

Montgomery Maryland US

26 deaths 

Plymouth Massachusetts US

25 deaths 

Caddo Louisiana US

24 deaths 

  Bulgaria

24 deaths 

  Estonia

24 deaths 

  Tunisia

24 deaths 

St. Louis Missouri US

24 deaths 

Bucks Pennsylvania US

24 deaths 

 Puerto Rico US

23 deaths 

  Andorra

23 deaths 

  Burkina Faso

23 deaths 

Worcester Massachusetts US

23 deaths 

Cuyahoga Ohio US

23 deaths 

Delaware Pennsylvania US

23 deaths 

Harris Texas US

22 deaths 

  Albania

22 deaths 

 Henan China

22 deaths 

  Honduras

22 deaths 

Jefferson Kentucky US

22 deaths 

Camden New Jersey US

21 deaths 

 New South Wales Australia

21 deaths 

Sacramento California US

21 deaths 

San Mateo California US

21 deaths 

Sussex New Jersey US

20 deaths 

  Bangladesh

20 deaths 

Lake Illinois US

20 deaths 

Dallas Texas US

19 deaths 

  Croatia

19 deaths 

  Lebanon

19 deaths 

St. Charles Louisiana US

19 deaths 

Tarrant Texas US

19 deaths 

Benton Washington US

19 deaths 

Whatcom Washington US

18 deaths 

  Congo (Kinshasa)

18 deaths 

  South Africa

18 deaths 

Jefferson Colorado US

18 deaths 

Kane Illinois US

18 deaths 

St. Tammany Louisiana US

18 deaths 

Carroll Maryland US

18 deaths 

Hennepin Minnesota US

18 deaths 

Sumner Tennessee US

18 deaths 

Bexar Texas US

18 deaths 

Unassigned Vermont US

17 deaths 

San Bernardino California US

17 deaths 

Franklin Massachusetts US

17 deaths 

Burlington New Jersey US

17 deaths 

Monroe Pennsylvania US

17 deaths 

Northampton Pennsylvania US

17 deaths 

Shelby Tennessee US

17 deaths 

Yakima Washington US

16 deaths 

Pima Arizona US

16 deaths 

Berkshire Massachusetts US

16 deaths 

Bristol Massachusetts US

16 deaths 

Lucas Ohio US

16 deaths 

Tulsa Oklahoma US

15 deaths 

  Bolivia

15 deaths 

  Lithuania

15 deaths 

Alameda California US

15 deaths 

Orange California US

15 deaths 

Arapahoe Colorado US

15 deaths 

Denver Colorado US

15 deaths 

Gwinnett Georgia US

15 deaths 

Lee Georgia US

15 deaths 

Hamilton Indiana US

15 deaths 

Ascension Louisiana US

15 deaths 

Oklahoma Oklahoma US

14 deaths 

  Afghanistan

14 deaths 

Coconino Arizona US

14 deaths 

Lee Florida US

14 deaths 

Terrebonne Louisiana US

14 deaths 

Miami Ohio US

14 deaths 

Cleveland Oklahoma US

14 deaths 

Lancaster Pennsylvania US

14 deaths 

Pierce Washington US

13 deaths 

  Belarus

13 deaths 

 Heilongjiang China

13 deaths 

Jefferson Alabama US

13 deaths 

San Joaquin California US

13 deaths 

Tolland Connecticut US

13 deaths 

Baltimore Maryland US

13 deaths 

Washtenaw Michigan US

13 deaths 

Hamilton Ohio US

13 deaths 

Beaver Pennsylvania US

13 deaths 

Davidson Tennessee US

13 deaths 

Clark Washington US

13 deaths 

Spokane Washington US

12 deaths 

 Victoria Australia

12 deaths 

  Cuba

12 deaths 

  United Arab Emirates

12 deaths 

Unassigned Arizona US

12 deaths 

Unassigned Arkansas US

12 deaths 

Adams Colorado US

12 deaths 

Bartow Georgia US

12 deaths 

Lake Indiana US

12 deaths 

Wyandotte Kansas US

12 deaths 

Anne Arundel Maryland US

12 deaths 

St. Louis City Missouri US

12 deaths 

Franklin Ohio US

12 deaths 

Summit Ohio US

12 deaths 

Berks Pennsylvania US

12 deaths 

Lackawanna Pennsylvania US

12 deaths 

Lehigh Pennsylvania US

11 deaths 

  Diamond Princess

11 deaths 

  Niger

11 deaths 

Clayton Georgia US

11 deaths 

DeKalb Georgia US

11 deaths 

Mitchell Georgia US

11 deaths 

Madison Indiana US

11 deaths 

Johnson Kansas US

11 deaths 

Lafourche Louisiana US

11 deaths 

Unassigned Massachusetts US

11 deaths 

Luzerne Pennsylvania US

11 deaths 

Dane Wisconsin US

10 deaths 

  Cameroon

10 deaths 

Marin California US

10 deaths 

San Francisco California US

10 deaths 

Duval Florida US

10 deaths 

Orange Florida US

10 deaths 

Lafayette Louisiana US

10 deaths 

St. Bernard Louisiana US

10 deaths 

Cumberland Maine US

10 deaths 

Baltimore City Maryland US

10 deaths 

Barnstable Massachusetts US

10 deaths 

Unassigned New Hampshire US

10 deaths 

Dutchess New York US

10 deaths 

Allegheny Pennsylvania US

 

Click – to close.

 






Abled.ALERT: Photo of Prince Charles of Great Britain speaking at a dinner.

Recoveries By Country

77,567 recovered

China

48,021 recovered

Spain

36,081 recovered

Germany

29,812 recovered

Iran

26,491 recovered

Italy

23,127 recovered

US

21,452 recovered

France

9,800 recovered

Switzerland

6,776 recovered

Korea, South

4,681 recovered

Belgium

4,512 recovered

Austria

4,047 recovered

Canada

1,846 recovered

Turkey

1,763 recovered

Denmark

1,487 recovered

Malaysia

1,333 recovered

Peru

1,115 recovered

Chile

1,080 recovered

Australia

888 recovered

Thailand

801 recovered

Israel

633 recovered

Iceland

633 recovered

Mexico

631 recovered

Saudi Arabia

622 recovered

Japan

619 recovered

Diamond Princess

580 recovered

Russia

528 recovered

Romania

506 recovered

India

500 recovered

Luxembourg

477 recovered

Bahrain

467 recovered

Pakistan

452 recovered

Iraq

406 recovered

Singapore

358 recovered

Argentina

339 recovered

United Kingdom

305 recovered

Egypt

300 recovered

Finland

282 recovered

New Zealand

272 recovered

Netherlands

269 recovered

Greece

239 recovered

United Arab Emirates

237 recovered

Algeria

233 recovered

Czechia

222 recovered

Indonesia

222 recovered

Poland

205 recovered

Sweden

196 recovered

Portugal

179 recovered

Croatia

178 recovered

Qatar

154 recovered

Albania

150 recovered

Jordan

150 recovered

Uruguay

140 recovered

Ecuador

134 recovered

Burkina Faso

127 recovered

Brazil

126 recovered

Vietnam

120 recovered

Slovenia

114 recovered

Armenia

113 recovered

Senegal

111 recovered

Kuwait

100 recovered

Colombia

97 recovered

Morocco

96 recovered

Philippines

95 recovered

South Africa

94 recovered

Hungary

91 recovered

Brunei

79 recovered

Bosnia and Herzegovina

77 recovered

Belarus

72 recovered

Estonia

72 recovered

Oman

65 recovered

Venezuela

63 recovered

Azerbaijan

63 recovered

Cambodia

62 recovered

Lebanon

61 recovered

Taiwan*

60 recovered

Cameroon

55 recovered

Liechtenstein

54 recovered

Kazakhstan

52 recovered

Andorra

52 recovered

Cyprus

50 recovered

Dominican Republic

50 recovered

Georgia

48 recovered

Cote d’Ivoire

44 recovered

Nigeria

44 recovered

Sri Lanka

44 recovered

West Bank and Gaza

42 recovered

Bulgaria

40 recovered

Moldova

40 recovered

San Marino

35 recovered

North Macedonia

35 recovered

Ukraine

34 recovered

Ghana

33 recovered

Bangladesh

33 recovered

Kyrgyzstan

32 recovered

Norway

30 recovered

Kosovo

30 recovered

Uzbekistan

29 recovered

Afghanistan

29 recovered

Costa Rica

27 recovered

Cuba

26 recovered

Niger

25 recovered

Ireland

25 recovered

Djibouti

25 recovered

Tunisia

23 recovered

Togo

19 recovered

Mauritius

17 recovered

Guatemala

16 recovered

Latvia

16 recovered

Mali

16 recovered

Panama

16 recovered

Slovakia

15 recovered

Paraguay

13 recovered

Maldives

11 recovered

Madagascar

10 recovered

Jamaica

9 recovered

Congo (Kinshasa)

9 recovered

El Salvador

9 recovered

Kenya

8 recovered

Barbados

8 recovered

Guyana

8 recovered

Lithuania

7 recovered

Eswatini

7 recovered

Rwanda

7 recovered

Zambia

6 recovered

Honduras

5 recovered

Bahamas

5 recovered

Benin

5 recovered

Guinea

5 recovered

Malta

5 recovered

Tanzania

4 recovered

Ethiopia

4 recovered

Monaco

4 recovered

Mongolia

4 recovered

Montenegro

4 recovered

Syria

3 recovered

Equatorial Guinea

3 recovered

Liberia

3 recovered

Namibia

3 recovered

Suriname

2 recovered

Angola

2 recovered

Bhutan

2 recovered

Bolivia

2 recovered

Chad

2 recovered

Congo (Brazzaville)

2 recovered

Gambia

2 recovered

Holy See

2 recovered

Libya

2 recovered

Mauritania

2 recovered

Sudan

1 recovered

Cabo Verde

1 recovered

Dominica

1 recovered

Gabon

1 recovered

Mozambique

1 recovered

Nepal

1 recovered

Saint Lucia

1 recovered

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

1 recovered

Somalia

1 recovered

Trinidad and Tobago

 

Click – to close.






NEED TO KNOW

Ventilator Drugs Crisis

Abled.ALERT: Video still showing an anesthesiologist and an assistant dressed in protective gear intubating a mannequin as a demonstration of what would be done with a COVID-19 patient in respiratory distress.

Coronavirus briefings and the resulting media headlines focus on having enough ventilators. Yet, the growing shortage of drugs needed to sedate patients intubated on those ventilators may become a catastrophe.

Like An Ambulance Low On Gas

There is an invisible 800-pound gorilla in the room every time the topic of ventilators comes up in White House or state coronavirus briefings.

If you’re a health professional, you can have all the ventilators in the world, but they’re not going to do you, or COVID-19 patients, any good if you run out of the essential medications required to use them.

At the stage a C19 patient develops breathing difficulties because fluid is filling the lungs, they need to be rush to the  ICU (Intensive Care Unit) and intubated.

This means giving them oxygen and a mix of medications to induce sedation before a breathing tube is inserted in their throat and down their trachea and then connected to a mechanical ventilator that helps them breathe better than they can on their own.

Then you need medications to maintain that sedation, which in some C19 cases can last for weeks. Without adequate supplies of fentanyl, propofol (yes, the drug that killed Michael Jackson) and versed, the prospect of intubation without them would be excruciatingly torturous and not even feasible.

Ventilators would sit idle just like a fleet of ambulances that have run out of gas.

And there’s no quick fix. With healthcare systems being overwhelmed around the world by this pandemic, those on the frontlines are raising the alarms about the dwindling medication supply, as much as 80% of it filled by generics produced outside the United States in China and India.

So invoking the wartime Defense Production Act isn’t even an option for those companies. And DEA hospital restrictions on volume-buying many of these controlled substances, coupled with a mandatory three-week sterility quarantine, mean time is not only of the essence – we’re already behind.

Dan Kistner negotiates cheaper medicine contracts for over half of hospitals and healthcare facilities in the United States, including purchases of sedatives, pain meds and paralytics essential for patients who are on ventilators.

The Group Senior VP at group purchasing organization Vizient says even “if you started making more of these drugs today, it would take a minimum of five weeks to get it into the hands of an ER doctor beside a ventilator . . . you have to act now.”

In addition to the drug shortage, hospitals and care facilities could face a shortage of healthcare workers trained to operate them.

Dr. Doug White, an intensive care physician at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine told ABC News, “If you have a thousand more ventilators magically appear, do you have the 20 ICU [Intensive Care Unit] doctors, 300 ICU nurses, 150 respiratory therapists and all of the [personal protective equipment] needed to support those 1,000 new ventilators? Simply put, ventilators don’t run themselves.” 

So, what to do?

Freelance investigative journalist, and the 2019-2020 Snedden Chair of Journalism at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Lois Parshley posed that question to Kistner and health professionals on the COVID-19 front.

You can read the answers she got at Vox.com.  You can also listen to a report from Melissa Block on NPR’s “All Things Considered” where Dan Kistner explains that the FDA has been “receptive” to recommendations from Vizient to respond to this challenge.

 

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Ventilator Alternatives?

Abled.ALERT: Video still of a hospital mannequin wearing a CPAP breathing mask for non-invasive ventilation.

As U.S. President Trump enacts wartime powers to force the auto industry to build ventilators, researchers are testing non-invasive methods for ventilation not dependent on the rapidly diminishing supply of sedation drugs. 

Testing "Viagra Gas"

It’s been used to treat newborns with heart defects, and it led to the development of the erectile dysfunction medication Viagra.

Now, nitric oxide, a colorless gas that causes blood vessels to dilate, or expand, by relaxing the smooth muscle in them, is being tested to see if it can help COVID-19 patients avoid the need for being hooked up to a ventilator and the invasive intubation process that involves.

In a new international clinical trial overseen by Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital, and involving partner facilities in Alabama, Louisiana, Austria, Italy and Sweden.

Using a non-invasive CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine, often used by people with sleep apnea, coronavirus patients with mild to moderate symptoms will inhale the nitric oxide gas for 20 to 30 minutes twice a day for two weeks.

If the study results show promise, this treatment approach could be put into widespread use immediately because the gas is already FDA approved.

Professor of Pediatrics, Surgery and Medicine Dr. Keith Scott, principal investigator of the trial taking place at Louisiana State University Health in Shreveport, says, “Nitric oxide is one of possibly many therapeutic agents that may show it will help mitigate COVID-19 severe lung injury. It is not a silver bullet but it’s our hope it would have a positive affect on reducing the progression of a disease that devastates the lungs.”

He added, “Most of these patients will be on the ventilator and have severe lung injuries so it would be a loved one who would decide if they wanted us to try this. It’s just really a raging phenomenon that occurs in the lung and if we can just calm that down a little bit and allow the body’s natural systems to come in and heal it, that’s the real goal.”

A second trial is also being considered that would have healthcare workers who are routinely exposed to COVID-19 patients inhaling a high dose of the gas for 10 to 15 minutes at the start and end of every shift.

 

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Can C19 Re-infect?

Abled.ALERT: Stock photo of an African-American couple. The man holds a tissue, while the woman checks a thermometer.

Studies out of China, and reports from Japan and South Korea are producing frightening headlines about recovered COVID-19 patients testing positive for the new coronavirus after being discharged. Should we be worried?

Sick After Getting Better

Is it a re-infection? Is it a relapse? Is it a virus mutation? Is it the result of a mistake in testing? Many questions have popped-up in the wake of those worrisome headlines out of Asia.

Anecdotal reports from separate friends in California report symptoms similar to coronavirus infection that occurred in late November/early December that went away and then re-appeared a few weeks later in January. This, without the benefit of testing to confirm or rule-out if it was the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus.

That’s because they simply didn’t know about it yet. The government in Wuhan, China didn’t confirm that health officials there were contending with dozens of cases of pneumonia from an unknown cause until December 31, and researchers in China didn’t identify the virus until January 8.

The first case in the U.S. wasn’t identified until January 21 in a man from Washington State who developed symptoms after returning from a trip to the Wuhan region.

It’s also a virus that impacts different people in different ways – some have mild symptoms for a day or two, while others are flat on their backs, out of commission for a week or two. And some who don’t show any symptoms or ill effects have tested positive, meaning that, until that test, they can be invisible “super-spreaders”.

In either scenario, the prevailing wisdom is that the body would be building antibodies to the infection within a week to 10 days after infection. A number of infectious disease experts say testing positive after what seemed like a recovery could be the result of a false negative and that the patient is still infected.

Residual RNA from the virus could be another source of a positive test result, post-recovery, and it’s also possible the virus becomes latent elsewhere in the body after a high immune response, only to rise again “when the coast seems clear.”

We’re still relatively early into this pandemic, and as more time goes by, researchers will hopefully be able to compile more definitive data. 

Hillary Leung has examined this in more detail at Time.com, including the data results from Shenzhen, China where almost 15% of coronavirus patients tested positive after they were discharged.

 

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Heart Attack Or C19?

Abled.ALERT: Illustration of the heart and surrounding blood vessels in a transparent male torso.

More evidence is emerging from around the world that the COVID-19 coronavirus may be damaging the heart as well as the lungs in many patients because it triggers a cytokine storm. We explain what that is below.

The C19 Cytokine Storm

With every new diagnosis of COVID-19 disease caused by the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, doctors are accumulating more knowledge that raises more troubling questions.

One of them is: “Should every coronavirus patient be tested for high blood levels of troponin to see if the virus has attacked the heart?” 

That’s a question New York Times science and medicine reporter Gina Kolata raises in documenting the case of a 64 year-old patient rushed to a Brooklyn hospital with all the signs of a serious heart attack, including high levels of a protein called troponin, and an “ominous heart rhythm”.

Yet in surgery, doctors didn’t find any blocked arteries. They concluded it wasn’t a heart attack. It was coronavirus.

That conclusion appears to concur with similar cases in China and Italy documented in the  Journal of American Medicine Cardiology (JAMA Cardiology), with a study lead at Wuhan University saying they found 20% of COVID-19 patients had some evidence of heart damage.

The resulting question is whether that damage is caused by the virus itself, or the body’s immune response to it? When bacteria or viruses invade the body, our immune system cells “spray the battlefield” with cytokines, a family of molecular messengers that have various functions. If the response gets out of control and turns into a flood – the aforementioned “cytokine storm” – the resulting inflammation and potential for blood clots damages the lungs and the heart.

Damaged lungs can increase the risk for arrhythmias. Some COVID-19 patients have reported a rapid heartbeat that felt like it was going to “beat out of their chest”.

The Wuhan study found that the risk of death was over four times higher among COVID-19 patients with heart complications than those without. That becomes an ominous clarion for medical professionals around the world to assess the heart, as well as the lungs in treating COVID-19 infection.

 

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Airborne C19 Danger?

Abled.ALERT: Photo of an adult nursing ward at London South Bank University.

Fears that the C19 virus can be spread through the air have risen after a new study found high levels of it in the air of hospital rooms and traces in corridors hours after patients had left. More cautionary details below.

New Contagion Concerns

As the world learned about the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus, people were told by health authorities everywhere that it is spread by droplets through coughing and sneezing.

Then we progressively learned the virus could survive on surfaces for hours and days.

Now, a new, but small, study out of the University of Nebraska says the virus can spread through the air and remain contagious for hours – just the frightening scenario health officials have been dreading.

During the initial isolation of 13 people confirmed positive with COVID-19 infection, air and surface samples were collected in 11 isolation rooms to examine environmental contamination.

Air collectors found high levels of C19 in the air in hospital rooms hours after patients had left. Just as troubling, they found traces of it in the corridors outside those rooms where medical staff had been coming and going, suggesting that COVID-19 patients, even those who are only mildly ill, may create aerosols of virus and contaminate surfaces that may pose a risk for transmission.

This means it’s possible people may become infected even if they are not in the presence of someone who is.

The UNMC Newsroom is quick to emphasize, “IMPORTANT context about this information: Our findings DO NOT confirm that this virus spreads in an airborne fashion.

The identification of genetic material from the virus that causes COVID-19 in air samples found in this study provides limited evidence that some potential for airborne transmission exists.

More study is underway to determine if live culturable virus was captured in this study and additional evidence is needed to determine the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission via the airborne route.”

That said, there is a very important takeaway from the study: “Our findings show how important it is for health care workers providing direct care to these patients to take enhanced transmission precautions,” said John Lowe, PhD, vice chancellor for Inter-professional Health Security Training and Education.

“That means wearing the proper personal protective equipment, using negative air pressure rooms for these patients whenever possible and being mindful about the method of entering and exiting these rooms.”

You can read more about the study at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

 

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Allergies, Flu Or C19?

Abled.ALERT: Photo shows a woman sneezing into a handkerchief near flowers and bushes in her garden.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has collided head-on with cold and flu season, and is now spreading well into allergy season. The dilemma for many people is how to tell the symptoms apart? We compare them below.

Comparing Symptoms

In this mashup of cold, flu and now allergy season, the biggest symptom a cough or sneeze may trigger is fear – fear that it’s COVID-19.

Because so much is unknown about the new coronavirus, possible symptoms are evolving as the pandemic spreads and more cases are treated by doctors.

Dr. Bruce Aylward of the World Health Organization told npr that 90% of COVID-19 patients have a high fever as an early symptom and 70% have a dry cough. “It’s not the sniffles,” he says. “It’s not a runny nose. That can be a symptom, but that’s rare.”

Spring has come early for the estimated 19 million allergy sufferers in the U.S., and with it a paranoia that their usual seasonal symptoms of red eyes, a runny nose, scratchy throat, coughs, sneeze and body aches may be the signs of the more sinister coronavirus.

Time/AP reports that Jessica Tanniehill, 39 of Adamsville, Alabama ran that gamut of symptoms and figured her seasonal allergies had started. But then they were followed by shortness of breath. She had tested positive for COVID-19, but the report points out that this “doesn’t preclude the possibility she’d had allergies as well.”

In the following TAB section, we’ve placed a “Symptoms Map” compiled by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) based on shared data from the CDC and WHO that differentiates symptoms between conditions.

 

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Abled.ALERT: C19 Symptoms. Title banner with partial 3D image of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease.

Allergies, Cold, Flu or COVID-19?

The Symptoms Map shared below from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) consolidates data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and does not include more recent anecdotal reports of gastrointestinal pains and loss of appetite and loss of sense of smell, although researchers are reporting the last two are affecting up to 60% of those who test positive for the coronavirus.

It also doesn’t include symptoms that may mimic a heart attack which have evolved out of two studies, one in China and one in Nebraska. You can read more about that in our “Heart Attack or C19?” report above.

UPDATE: Data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz has written in the New York Times Opinion section that Google searches for “loss of smell” and “eye pain” or “burning eyes” have correlated with the rise of COVID-19 diagnoses in geographic hotspots.

He said the data showed that searches in Italy for “bruciore occhi” (“burning eyes”) were five times their usual levels in March, and above fourfold in Spain, and up 50% in Iran and that the condition could be considered symptoms of the coronavirus. However none of this has been confirmed by health officials.

Other data points out that sneezing and a runny or stuffy nose is one symptom that largely differentiates cold and allergies from COVID-19. Another differentiating symptom, according to the AAFA graphic, is shortness of breath. People suffering from shortness of breath could be a sign they have COVID-19.

Allergies, cold and flu can trigger shortness of breath for those with asthma, according to AAFA. Regardless, anyone developing chest pain and/or shortness of breath should  seek immediate medical attention.

Symptoms Map best viewed in landscape orientation on smartphones and tablets.

Click * to close this Tab.

Abled.ALERT: Symptoms comparison map for Allergies, Cold, Flu and COVID-19. Text list in previous report or FAQS section.

C19 LOGS

Abled.ALERT: C19 News Logs. Text against a 3D model of the COVID-19 virus in front of transparent news frames over a blurred hot spot map.

CDC New Guidance For Critical Workforce

Essential healthcare workers who have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 can go back to work if they are asymptomatic.

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield unveiled the new guidelines Wednesday during the daily White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing. That changes the previous guidance where critical workers had to self-isolate at home for 14 days if exposed to someone who was infected.

The critical workforce includes healthcare workers, those in the food supply and public transportation sectors.

Abled.ALERT: Photo of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking via video feed from isolation for COVID-19.

Updates on UK PM Johnson

Ten days after testing positive for COVID-19 infection, Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was admitted to St. Thomas’ Hospital, across the Thames from the Houses of Parliament.

Monday evening he was moved to the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) as his symptoms worsened, where he was put on oxygen.

We’ll provide daily updates on his condition while he remains in the ICU.

UK Wednesday Update

Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed at the daily coronavirus press briefing that the prime minister remained in intensive care but his condition was “improving”.

He gave the update on the PM’s health before granting frontline charities an extra £750 million in funding so they can keep going through the coronavirus crisis.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the equivalent of the Finance Minister in other countries.

 

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UK Tuesday Update

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab stepped-in at Downing Street’s Coronavirus Briefing for Prime Minister Boris Johnson who was moved into ICU Monday evening as his COVID-19 symptoms worsened.

Mr. Raab provides an update on the PM’s condition and the government’s ongoing response to the C19 pandemic.

 

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UK's Plan B?

As you may have seen in the previous video, Britain’s First Secretary Dominic Raab stood-in for PM Boris Johnson at Downing Street’s daily C19 briefing.

He said Johnson had asked him to deputize “where necessary”, but reiterated that the Prime Minister remains in-control.

However many questions are being raised about what would happen if he weren’t able to continue leading the economy.

This report from Reuters points out that, unlike some countries, Britain doesn’t have a formal succession plan should the PM become incapacitated.

 

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Trump Praises Food Workers

U.S. President Donald Trump singled out food workers across America for praise and thanks at the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing on Monday.

The President Trump also thanked other critical infrastructure employees.

 

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NY Wednesday Briefing

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) held a briefing in Albany on the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The governor announced 779 New Yorkers had died the previous day, the highest single-day death toll for the state.

However, he also said the declining number of new cases and hospitalizations were evidence that the curve was flattening.

Governor Cuomo credited the social distancing measures as the reason the curve was flattening and called on New Yorkers to keep adhering to the practices.

“Don’t get over confident, don’t get complacent,” he said. “We’re still in the midst of this.”

 

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Coronavirus Sunday Briefing

White House Coronavirus Task Force Briefing

President Trump joined several members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force to give an update on the federal government’s response to the pandemic. “Things are happening, he said. “We’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.”

The president also sent well wishes to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson who is now hospitalized several days after testing positive for COVID-19.

Other topics he touched on included hydroxychloroquine usage for virus treatment, distribution of medical equipment and the new CDC recommendation to wear a mask when out in public.

 

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Abled.ALERT-Photo of U.S. President Donald Trump with members of the Coronavirus Task Force at a press briefing in the White House.

Free C19 Care For Uninsured

U.S. President Donald Trump has announced that all uninsured people in the country will get free COVID-19 treatment using funds from the $2.2 trillion dollar economic package he signed into law last week.

At the daily Coronavirus Task Force briefing at the White House, the President said “I can so proudly announce that hospitals and health care providers treating uninsured coronavirus patients will be reimbursed by the federal government using funds from the economic relief package.”

When Mr, trump was asked how illegal immigrants fit into the plan, he deflected the question by saying “We’ll be talking about that at a different time.” He also said the administration would not re-open the Obamacare exchanges.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that any hospital that accepts federal funding “will be forbidden from balance billing the uninsured for the cost of their care.”

He also had advice for anyone who has lost their job because of the COVID-19 pandemic: “I would also like to remind people that if you have lost employer insurance coverage, you have insurance options that you should look into. You would be eligible for a special enrollment, back on the health care of exchanges, and depending on your states, you may be eligible for Medicaid.”

 

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Abled.ALERT; Photo illustration closeup of a man wearing a 3M N-95 respirator mask with a digital relief pattern of lines on his head.

Medical Gear Export Ban

The United States is banning exports of vital medical supplies such as N95 respirator masks, gowns and other protective equipment. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau immediately said blocking the flow of equipment across the border would be a “mistake that could backfire”, pointing out that Canadian healthcare professionals go to work in COVID-19 hotspot Detroit every day. 

In making the announcement, U.S. President Donald Trump also left the door open for exports in certain cases, saying “But if somebody ordered – if Italy, if Spain – who has big problems – these are, countries with tremendous problems, France – if they have long-term orders and they are in there and they want to get certain things, I’d let them go out in certain instances because I think it’s only fair. They have problems that are proportionately or relatively bigger than our problems.”

The President also invoked the Korean War-era Defense Production Act to force 3M to ramp-up production of protective respirator masks after previously accusing them of price gouging, saying “it was a big surprise to many in government” that they were selling masks to higher bidding countries.

The comment produced backlash from European officials in the wake of reports of U.S. government representatives pushing aside buyers from other countries on a tarmac in China and paying double in cash for masks and other supplies the Chinese government was sending to France. The President this week also accepted an offer of supplies of 90 tons of medical equipment from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

3M officials denied the accusations and said they were working with the U.S. Attorney General and attorneys general in every state. They also said the company obtained approval from China to export to the U.S. 10 million N-95 respirators manufactured by 3M in China.

 

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Abled-ALERT: Screen capture of a Tweet by California Governor Gavin Newsom about receiving broken ventilators. Full text follows in the story dropdown.

Dry Rot In Expired Masks

As state governors across the United States receive medical supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile, many are complaining about receiving defective ventilators, and protective face masks full of dry rot with expiry dates of 2010.

California Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted that “LA received 170 broken ventilators from the national stockpile. Rather than complaining, we put them on a truck, drove them up overnight, and had  @Bloom_Energy get to work fixing them. 

Monday they’ll (sic) back in LA–fixed. That’s the spirit of CA.”

Alabama officials returned almost 6,000 masks that contained dry rot. Oregon officials also complained about receiving masks with flimsy elastic that could snap and put medical workers at risk of infection. They explained some of the equipment was purchased 10 years ago at the height of the H1N1 flu epidemic, and other supplies had been recalled by the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.

Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado has called for an investigation into the supply and distribution of ventilators in the stockpile.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of boxes of Zantac sitting on store shelves.

Zantac Removed From Sale

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has requested the immediate removal of all Zantac products and generic versions of the heartburn medication removed from sale in pharmacies and stores.

This follows months of investigations that discovered trace amounts of a contaminant called N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in specific lots of ranitidine, the active drug in Zantac.

That contaminant has been classified as a “probable human carcinogen” by the World Health Organization.

In a press release, the FDA says it has determined that “the impurity in some ranitidine products increases over time and when stored at higher than room temperatures.”

The agency has advised people who are currently taking Zantac or any generic forms of ranitidine to stop and switch to other heartburn medications that don’t contain the drug.

 

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CA Schools Stay Closed

California Governor Gavin Newsom Coronavirus News Conference

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) started off his coronavirus briefing with current numbers – nearly 800 ICU beds – are currently occupied by coronavirus patients in the state.

Gov. Newsom, who’s been holding a daily press conference to discuss the state’s response to the pandemic, also announced that California has recorded 8,155 COVID-19 cases and 171 deaths.

Those are up from the 6,932 cases and 150 deaths he disclosed Tuesday.

With this number, other data and models, Gov. Newsom announced that the state’s public school buidlings will remain closed as the pandemic continues. He also said the state would be releasing new guidelines for use of face masks in the community.

 

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Emergency Aid Session

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau To Recall Parliament

Calling it the “largest economic program in Canada’s history,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today Parliament will be recalled to pass new legislation to deliver billions of dollars more in  emergency COVID-19 aid.

Saying “This must be a Team Canada effort”, he reached out to opposition parties to recall Parliament to push through expanded income support for Canadians and  a boost in wage subsidies for businesses.  

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of syringes, bottles and ampoules of medicine on surgical cloths.

The HOPE Trial

The growing tally of COVID-19 cases, and an estimate by the Society of Critical Care Medicine that up to 960 thousand infected patients across the U.S. may require ventilators makes for a very scary scenario when you realize that there are only about 200 thousand machines in the country.

A doctor in Seattle thinks he has a quick and affordable solution.

Dr. Steven Quay is the Founder and CEO of biopharma company Atossa Therapuetics and has invented seven FDA-approved medicines. He’s seeking new approval for what he thinks can be a a one-two knockout combo for COVID-19 that would eliminate the need for patients to go on ventilators.

The first drug is an inhaled blood-thinner called nebulizer heparin which coats the protein found on the surface of the new coronavirus. The second is N-acetylcysteine (NAC), often used to prevent asthma attacks and treat overdoses from Tylenol/acetaminophen.

It breaks down the protein and prevents it from entering the lungs. Dr. Quay told DailyMail.com, “It’s like putting the key into the car to start it, but the key is covered with peanut butter. It can’t get in and it won’t start the car.

Since both drugs are already FDA-approved and reasonably priced, and the fact there have been 12 clinical trials involving over 780 patients with lung damage who improved after being treating with one or both of the drugs without needed ventilation, Dr. Quay is hoping to get it fast-tracked.

The new trial has been nicknamed the nebulized Heparin-N-acetylcysteine in COVID-19 Patients by Evaluation of pulmonary function, or the HOPE trial.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of a British Airways passenger jet taxiing past other parked BA jets at Heathrow Airport outside of London.

BA Closes Gatwick

One day after discount airline EasyJet grounded its entire fleet of 330 planes, British Airways has closed its full operation at Gatwick Airport in West Sussex and will be concentrating reduced service at Heathrow Airport outside London.

At the moment, there is no travel ban in the U.K. which many people see as stark contrast to the U.S. and E.U. which have shut their borders down.

Flights are still arriving in the U.K from COVID-19 hotspots such as Italy, Spain and the U.S. because British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is currently infected with C-19, wanted to keep the borders open to allow stranded Brits to come home.

His Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab supports the move, but there is a rift in the Cabinet as Home Secretary Priti Patel wants the borders closed.

All of this has hit many airlines hard, particularly Norwegian – the third largest airline at Gatwick – which has temporarily laid off 90 percent of its workforce – about 7,300 people.

British Airways has posted the following message on its website:

“We’re currently experiencing extremely high call volumes. Please don’t call or message unless you’re travelling in the next 72 hours so we can help those needing urgent rebooking. If you have a question relating to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) please check the FAQs below or to find out more about our flexible booking options please visit our book with confidence section.”

The airline is also offering flexibility win re-bookings for customers: “To allow greater flexibility you can change the destination, date of travel, or both without being charged a change fee, on all new bookings made from Tuesday 3 March to Sunday 31 May 2020, or receive a voucher for any existing bookings that depart up to Sunday 31 May 2020. Find out more “.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of airbnb logo on a window with the office background out of focus.

$250M Aid For Hosts

So many sectors within the Travel industry have been hit hard by the financial shockwaves emanating from the COVID-19 pandemic.

With more and more airlines grounding and international borders shutting down, the aftershocks are hitting people who rent out their homes on Airbnb.

Company CEO Brian Chesky has sent a letter to hosts saying Airbnb is allocating $250 million dollars to pay 25 % of their normal cancellation fees for reservations with check-in dates between March 14 and May 31.

The company had angered hosts when it previously announced that guests would receive a full refund for the cancellation of reservations made on or before March 14 for check-in between March 14 and April 14.

Jane Lahner Lee at Reuters.com reports that Airbnb is also creating a $10 million dollar relief fund for its Superhosts. Read more details about the available grants.

 

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"Very Painful 2 Weeks"

President Trump White House Briefing

President Trump, along with members of the Coronavirus Task Force, briefed reporters on the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The president spoke of the efforts governors around the country are making to mitigate the spread of the virus.

He also discussed the medical equipment recently released to the states with about 10,000 ventilators being held back to accommodate needs during the surge of the pandemic.

The president stressed how the next two weeks for the country will be difficult, saying that it will be “a very, very painful two weeks.”

 

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Cuomo's Brother Tests Positive

New York Governor Cuomo Coronavirus News Conference

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) held a briefing in Albany on the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The governor provided an update on the total number of cases and tests performed as well as efforts to coordinate the resources of the various public and private hospitals in the state.

The governor criticized the patchwork system of each state competing against each other and the federal government to purchase ventilators.

“It’s like being on eBay with 50 other states,” he said. Gov. Cuomo said the federal government should have purchased the ventilators and then distributed them to the states by need.

He also talked about his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, testing positive for coronavirus, and reminded New Yorkers “everyone is subject to this virus.”

 

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NM Testing Criteria Changes

New Mexico Announces Changes To Coronavirus Testing Criteria

New Mexico’s Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel announces new changes to testing criteria, which will include asymptomatic individuals – those living with family members who are positive, or who’ve had close contact in nursing homes or congregant settings.

As of today, there are 24 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

As of today, there are 26 COVID-19 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.

The Department of Health has detected community spread and is investigating cases with no known exposure. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive.

To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare.

These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close.

New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo shows Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, USACE Commanding General and 54th U.S. Army Chief of Engineers, looking down on the Jacob Javits Convention Center floor in New York City, where USACE is adapting 160,000 square feet of space over multiple floors to provide 1,000 beds for non-COVID-19 patients.

Brace For Impact 100K+

The number of COVID-19 cases across the U.S. has surged past 100 thousand, and as the situation in New York City, considered the country’s epicenter of the pandemic, grows more dire, national, state and local officials are bracing for what’s expected to be an “acceleration phase’ of confirmed cases in growing hotspots.

Seattle, the first American hotspot, has the highest number of cases outside New York City, but there are growing concerns about worsening conditions in New Orleans, Boston and Chicago in the wake of Mardi Gras and students returning from Spring Break.

In fact, Louisiana has experienced the fastest growth of new cases worldwide, and in New Orleans, its huge convention center is being converted into a massive field hospital.

Cases are also spiking in Los Angeles which is expected to match the infection numbers in NYC sometime in the next five days.

The Army Corps of Engineers top brass are looking at potentially converting about 114 facilities across the U.S. into field hospitals – many to treat non-C19 patients to ease the burden on front-line hospitals.

In many cities, medical personnel have been taking to social media to complain about a lack of protective clothing and supplies, and to warn families that they may not be able to save their loved ones because they are running out of ventilators.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of an Apple laptop and iPhone showing the company's COVID-19 Screening tool on the screens.

Apple's C19 Screening Tool

Apple has launched a COVID-19 screening tool  website and app that allow users to screen themselves for symptoms of the coronavirus.

Developed in partnership with the CDC, FEMA, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Apple cautioned that it’s “designed to be a resource for individuals and does not replace instructions from healthcare providers or guidance from state and local health authorities.”

When you visit the website or download the app, the first thing you’re asked is whether you’re screening for yourself or someone else.

After you click your answer, a warning screen appears instructing anyone with constant chest pain or pressure, extreme difficulty breathing, severe and constant dizziness or lightheadedness, slurred speech or difficulty waking up to immediately call 911.

If you aren’t experiencing any of those symptoms, you’ll continue to a questionnaire that asks about symptoms, travel, preexisting conditions and contact with other people.

After you submit your answers, the tool shows recommendations from the CDC on how to proceed, including guidance on social distancing and self-isolation, how to monitor symptoms at home, whether to get tested and when to seek advice from a medical professional.

Apple says the screening tool does not require signing in with an Apple ID, and the company says “individual responses will not be sent to Apple or any government organization.”

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of Abbott Laboratories' ID Now diagnostic test unit for COVID-19 which is about the size of a small toaster with a sloping front face and a small digital touchscreen.

Emergency OK For New Test

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given emergency use authorization (EUA) to Abbott Laboratories for the fastest available molecular point-of-care test for detecting the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

Abbott says its “ID Now” unit can deliver positive results in as quickly as five minutes, and negative results in 13 minutes.

The company says it’s ramping up production to deliver 50 thousand “ID Now” tests per day, starting next week.

Because the unit is about the size of a small toaster, it can be used in a variety of locations outside hospitals, such as doctors’ offices and urgent care clinics.

Abbott plans to use “ID Now” in conjunction with another system that received emergency use authorization last week to produce about five million tests in April.

 

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1M Americans Tested

President Trump White House Briefing

U.S. President Donald Trump said, “Today, we reached a historic milestone in our war against the coronavirus. Over 1 million Americans have now been tested.”

The President also used the briefing in the White House Rose Garden to show off a new testing kit that can provide positive results in five minutes. (Described in detail in the Tests tab of our C19 Rx Case Logs section.)

Mr. Trump also announced that the U.S. would be sending approximately “$100 million dollars worth of things, of surgical and medick and hospital things” to Italy, Spain and France.

This despite an earlier call with U.S. governors who complained they can’t get medical supplies because the federal government has been buying them up.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo expands on this developing “bidding war” in the briefing video that follows this one.

 

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Supply Bidding Wars

New York Governor Cuomo Coronavirus News Conference

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) reiterates that it is not a time to play politics right now and he’s not going to engage in any as his state battles the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the highest number of deaths and positive cases in the United States, Gov. Cuomo also called on health care workers from across the country to come and volunteer their services to help with the mounting number of cases and deaths.

 

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"All Hands On Deck"

California Governor Newsom Coronavirus News Conference

A state-by-state forecast from researchers at the University of Washington’s medical school estimates the COVID-19 pandemic will create peak demand on California’s health care resources on April 26, and the state will see more than 4,300 deaths from the infection well into August, but the state will be likely able to meet the need for hospital beds.

California Governor Gavin Newsom says the state has been preparing for a surge that will require a two-thirds increase in hospital system capacity, and the state’s own modeling points to a peak in the second half of May.

With over 5,700 confirmed C19 cases in California, and 135 deaths, Gov. Newsom called on retired or jobless health care professionals to help boost the state’s response.

Referring to it as an “all hands on deck situation”, Newsom said “If you have a background in health care, we need your help,” asking interested individuals to visit healthcorps.ca.gov.

Those who want to sign up must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Have a valid driver’s license or passport and a social security card
  • Have a valid California license for clinical practice or be a medical or nursing student
  • Have no negative licensure or certification actions (for licensed or certified professionals)

Volunteers will be paid and receive malpractice insurance coverage. Newsom said officials are currently working out the budget, which will come from federal and state funding.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of ventilators with attached monitors lined-up outside a hospital.

Trump Invokes Wartime Act

U.S. President Donald Trump has exercised his authority under the Defense Production Act to require General Motors to “act, perform, and prioritize contracts or orders for the number of ventilators” deemed necessary by the health and human services secretary amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Defense Production Act, (DPA) was first enacted by President Harry Truman in 1950 after North Korea invaded South Korea, setting off what would become a three year conflict. The invocation of the DPA was meant to ensure the U.S. forces had the military equipment and supplies they needed. 

The law authorizes the president to require companies to sign contracts or fill orders for products needed for the nation’s defense. It also lets the president make sure price gouging doesn’t occur and gives the president freedom to incentivize the expanded production, with loans and purchase commitments, for instance.

Used periodically during the Cold War to increase production of defense supplies, Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton both used it in 2001 to ensure shippers delivered natural gas equipment and electrical equipment to California, during its energy crisis. 

Two years later, Bush invoked it to prioritize the shipment of GPS receivers to British forces in Iraq. President Barack Obama invoked the DPA to fast-track development of high-tech defense products.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of a Dyson ventilator attached to the side rails of a hospital bed.

New Dyson Ventilator

James Dyson, the British billionaire inventor known for revolutionary vacuums, hair dryers and air purifiers, has designed a new ventilator in 10 days.

It was prompted that long ago by a phone call from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson whose government has ordered 10 thousand units to support the National Health Service (NHS) to cope with the increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients.

Dyson says the new device can be manufactured quickly, efficiently and at volume. In a letter to employees, he wrote “A ventilator supports a patient who is no longer able to maintain their own airways, but sadly there is currently a significant shortage, both in the UK and other countries around the world.”

He continued “The core challenge was how to design and deliver a new, sophisticated medical product in volume and in an extremely short space of time,” he added. “The race is now on to get it into production.”

Dyson also wrote that the company would donate 5,000 units to the international efforts to treat the pandemic.

 

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AbledALERT: Video still frame of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announcing new domestic travel restrictions for anyone with COVID-19 symptoms.

Showing Symptoms = Travel Ban

The government of Canada has issued a domestic travel ban on planes and trains for anyone showing symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the restrictions come into effect at noon ET on Monday, March 30.

Trudeau said “It will be important for operators of airlines and trains to ensure that people who are exhibiting symptoms do not board those trains. It will be a Transport Canada rule that will be enforced, but at the same time, we’re telling people stay home if it’s not absolutely essential for you to travel.”

The Public Health Agency of Canada is providing guidance to airlines and rail companies about conducting health checks on passengers boarding flights and trains within Canada or departing from Canada.

On the same day, the Prime Minister’s wife announced that she has recovered from COVID-19 after being infected with the virus on a trip to the UK in early March.

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau wrote on Facebook “I am feeling so much better and have received the all clear from my physician and Ottawa Public Health. From the bottom of my heart, I want to say thank you to everyone who reached out to me with their well wishes. And to everyone who is suffering right now, I send you all my love.”

 

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The Queen’s Tribute

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has made a special address to the nation for only the fifth time in her 67 year reign.

In paying tribute to a “generation of Britons as strong as any” in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic, Her Majesty’s reassuring and comforting address from Windsor Castle, had people, who were old enough to remember – including HM – recalling her very first broadcast, also from Windsor, during another challenging time 80 years ago.

Since her words are applicable to those on the coronavirus frontlines in any country, we have embedded both addresses here, for your inspiration.

Abled.ALERT: Vintage photo of two male computer programmers working with large mainframe computers in the early 60s.

Urgent: 'COBOLers' Needed

With over 15 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits in the last three weeks, states’ Departments of Labor are being overwhelmed in a different way from hospitals and healthcare facilities.

While the urgent list on the healthcare front includes ventilators and PPE’s (Personal Protective Equipment such as masks and gloves, the urgent list for those trying to process those jobless claims includes older computer programmers.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has issued a call for volunteers who know how to code a half-century-old language called COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language) used primarily with mainframe computer systems.

Many other states are facing the same urgent need as are most federal departments with aging computer infrastructure.

COBOL hasn’t been taught in U.S. universities since the 80s, yet a 2017 Reuters report found there are an estimated 220 billion lines of COBOL in use today.

On average, the majority of COBOL programmers are most likely to be between 45 to 55 years-old.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Lab worker holds a rack of test tubes filled with blood plasma.

Treatment OK'd For Sickest

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of what it calls “COVID-19 convalescent plasma” for patients with life-threatening forms of the illness.

The serum is derived from the donated blood of COVID-19 survivors who have built up antibodies to the new coronavirus.

The move comes after promising results in China where doctors began using the protocol last month.

It will take time to build-up plasma supplies across the country, as the medical community awaits FDA approval to use the treatment for frontline responders at risk from repeated exposure to infected patients.

Officials caution there is no guarantee of success, and scientists in China who gave 15 out of 30 COVID-19 patients hydroxychloroquine say 13 of them tested negative a week later, but so did 14 who only received supportive care. The study is considered too small for conclusive results.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Stock photo of an elderly man with a nasal oxygen cannula and gown in bed while his wife places a hand on his shoulder.

NL Nursing Homes 40% Infected

After being late to implement mandatory stay-at-home and social distancing measures because of it’s “herd immunity” philosophy, the government of the Netherlands is now dealing with over 20 thousand COVID-19 infections.

It’s public health authority, RIVM (Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu – which translates as National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) has revealed that about 40% of nursing homes in the country are infected with coronavirus.

DutchNews.nl reports that RIVM infectious diseases chief Jaap van Dissel briefed Dutch MPs on Wednesday morning that coronavirus cases have been identified in at least 900 of the Netherlands’ 2,500 nursing homes.

The country has seen 2,248 deaths to-date from COVID-19 infections.

  

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of ambulance paramedics in protective gear loading a patient's IV police into a mobile unit.

New C19 Mutation?

Researchers in China are warning of a possible new mutation of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease and say it could infect people for almost two months.

Previously, researchers found patients who survived the virus stop being infectious after an average of 20 days. The longest previous case was 37 days.

But now military researchers in China have found a middle-aged man who tested positive for 49 days and needed to be treated with a plasma transfusion from recovered patients.

Despite having only mild symptoms, the man had infected lesions on his lungs which cleared up after treatment in the hospital.

The researchers fear that this could mean a new mild sub-type has mutated from the coronavirus which could be harder to eliminate as other “chronic” patients who would not be treated because of mild or non-showing symptoms could continue to spread the infection.

 

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Abled.People: Photo of music icon Dolly Parton wearing reading glasses and holding the book "The Little Engine That Could".

Goodnight With Dolly

Music legend Dollar Parton is hoping to provide “comfort and reassurance to coping kids and families during the shelter-in-place mandates” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How? By launching a weekly series in which she reads a children’s book to an online audience at bedtime.

Goodnight With Dolly” will be streamed on youTube and elsewhere starting today (Thursday, April 2) at 7pm EDT, although the YouTube channel says the premiere will be at 16:00 (4pm).

The musician and philanthropist, known better as “the Book Lady” to most youngsters, will be reading books from her Imagination Library project, and the first book in the series is The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper.

The Dolly Parton Foundation’s Imagination Library has delivered more than 130 million free books to children since it began in Tennessee in 1995, earning special recognition from the Library of Congress.

Dolly has also pledged $1 million dollars to coronavirus research being done at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. That’s the same amount she gifted to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in gratitude for the cancer care her niece received there over two decades ago.

That same year, Dolly came to the rescue of families after wildfires ravaged parts of her home town of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg Tennessee by setting up the “My People Fund” and donating $1,000 a month for the next 5 months to each family who had lost a primary residence in the fire. When she arrived to deliver on her promise she surprised the families with a bonus $5,000 each for a total of $10,000 to each family.

She also created the “Mountain Tough” organization to provide ongoing support for the fire victims over the next three years and pledged to fund it with $3 million dollars.

Said Dolly in her usual self-deprecating way, “It makes me feel humble. I don’t put myself on any kind of pedestal for doing this because it’s the right thing to do. I’m a Smoky Mountain girl, and I’ve been blessed in my life to become a celebrity. And when you’re in a position to help, you should help.”

Dolly, you make us all feel humble and grateful to have you in your lives! God bless you!

 

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Abled®People is just one of the many networks of Abled®com. We’re integrating some previews of the kind of content you can expect from across our networks into our ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We hope you find it helpful and inspiring.

Abled.ALERT: Photo shows tobacco plants being cultivated indoors under growing lights.

Plant-based C19 Vaccine

For all the misery and death tobacco plants have wreaked upon humans since they were first cultivated for smoking, they may now find absolution as miracle plants in the fight against COVID-19 infection.

British American Tobacco, the maker of cigarette brands Benson & Hedges, Dunhill, Kucky Strike and Rothman’s, says it is developing a potential vaccine for coronavirus using tobacco plants.

The company says “The vaccine in development uses BAT’s proprietary, fast-growing tobacco plant technology which has several advantages over conventional vaccine production technology:

  • It is potentially safer given that tobacco plants can’t host pathogens which cause human disease.
  •  
  • The vaccine formulation KBP is developing remains stable at room temperature, unlike conventional vaccines which often require refrigeration.
  •  
  • It has the potential to deliver an effective immune response in a single dose.
  •  
  • It is faster because the elements of the vaccine accumulate in tobacco plants much more quickly – 6 weeks in tobacco plants versus several months using conventional methods.

That means, if all goes well and the company gets support from government agencies and what it calls “the right partners” it could produce between one million and three million doses of vaccine beginning in June.

The London-listed company says its US biotech subsidiary, Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP), has moved to pre-clinical testing and that it will work on the vaccine on a not-for-profit basis.

 

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Abled.People: Photo of 104 year-old Bill Lapschies wearing a surgical mask and wearing a WW II Veteran cap while sitting in a wheelchair outside a Veteran's home in Lebanon, Oregon.

Oldest C19 Survivor

Bill Lapschies has survived a few things in his lifetime, like the Spanish Flu of 1918 and World War II.

He now has the distinction, at 104 years of age, of being the oldest known survivor of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The war veteran was one of the first two residents of the Edward C. Allworth Veterans’ Home in Lebanon, Oregon to test positive for the new coronavirus infection.

He has since recovered. The other man, in his 90s, did not and has since died.

The virus spread among 16 people at the home to date. Of those, two died, two are in serious condition, three are stable and eight have recovered.

Born in Salem, Oregon in 1916, Mr. Lapschies was put into isolation with other residents who were suspected of developing symptoms. His were relatively mild, and he never developed respiratory problems.

On April 1, family and friends gathered to celebrate his 104th birthday.

The veteran is among a growing list of centenarian survivors of the new coronavirus – including a 103 year-old woman in China, a 103 year-old woman in Iran, and a 102 year-old woman in Italy.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo shows the camp-clad members of the Joint Task Force - Civil Support (JTF-CS) conducting a Rehearsal of Concept (ROC) drill practicing deployment and objectives on top of a large map of their target disaster site spread out on a floor in front of two large monitors.

US Military Activates C19 Response

In an Exclusive, Newsweek is reporting the U.S. military has activated its never-before-used federal response to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

William M. Arkin writes “While being hit with coronavirus at rates equivalent to the civilian population, the U.S. military has activated its “defense support of civil authorities” apparatus, establishing liaisons in all 50 states, activating units and command posts, and moving forces to provide medical, transportation, logistics, and communications support in New York and Washington states.”

The Joint Task Force-Civil Support response has never before been activated on a nationwide scale, despite being formulated in 1999 , and implements homeland defense, and civil support contingency plans under the dual commands of Lt. General Laura Richardson, the commander of Army North, and governors in each state. 

The response is made up of various commands, including the two hospital ships that have been deployed to New York and Los Angeles.

Read the full report at Newsweek, which also addresses unfounded rumors that National Guard troops were being deployed to support a nationwide quarantine, as well as Army North specifying that military forces “will not directly participate in civilian law enforcement activities.”

 

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Abled.ALERT: Lab worker holds a rack of test tubes filled with blood plasma.

Treatment Approved For Sickest

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of what it calls “COVID-19 convalescent plasma” for patients with life-threatening forms of the illness.

The serum is derived from the donated blood of COVID-19 survivors who have built up antibodies to the new coronavirus.

The move comes after promising results in China where doctors began using the protocol last month.

It will take time to build-up plasma supplies across the country, as the medical community awaits FDA approval to use the treatment for frontline responders at risk from repeated exposure to infected patients.

Officials caution there is no guarantee of success, and scientists in China who gave 15 out of 30 COVID-19 patients hydroxychloroquine say 13 of them tested negative a week later, but so did 14 who only received supportive care. The study is considered too small for conclusive results.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo shows a "Reception" sign floating in the foreground with a blurred image of a customer checking in at a hotel front desk inn the background.

No Hotel Refunds in NL

Holiday travelers in many countries are getting stuck between a rock and hotels because of the C19 pandemic.

If you are stuck at home because of a government-mandated quarantine, what are your chances of getting your money back from a hotel or holiday park where you have made an advance booking?

That’s an issue travelers, consumer groups and lawyers are wrestling with the relevant legal questions in the Netherlands where some businesses are seeing 95% cancellations.

The outcome depends on who is doing the cancelling.

if a hotel or holiday park cancels your stay then you do have the right to your money back.

if the consumer is cancelling, then the terms of the booking are key.

DutchNews.nl spoke with lawyer Martijn Zwennes of Spuistraat 10 Advocaten in Amsterdam who says “If you are cancelling, then it is your own problem: the hotel is still there and it has the room. But we recommend that you do see if both parties can come up with a solution in a reasonable manner, because this is an exceptional situation.” He adds that if you made a non-changeable booking and want to claim on your travel insurance, you might also be unlucky: many travel insurance policies will not cover the coronavirus lockdown because it is such an extreme event.

Needless to say, this is making consumers very angry and frustrated.

Senay Bozias has done a great article on the challenges facing both consumers and businesses on this front.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of a man in a motorized wheelchair wearing an oxygen tube in San Francisco.

No Ventilators For Disabled?

With hospitals across the U.S. running low or running out of available ventilators, as well as last-resort drug supplies, the prospect of making hard choices about who gets treated and who doesn’t is raising real fears among disability rights groups.

So much so, that several have filed civil rights complaints with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights. They claim that plans or proposals to ration ventilator access in Alabama and Washington State will discriminate against disabled Americans, violating their rights and putting their lives at risk.

Ivanova Smith, who has an intellectual disability, is one of the people making a complaint. She told NPR, “There’s been a long history of people with intellectual, development mental disabilities having our medical care denied.”

“Because we’re not seen as valuable,” she said. “We’re not seen as productive or needed. When that’s not true.”

Alabama’s Emergency Operations Plan , also a subject of a complaint, focuses on managing access to ventilators during an event that the governor deems a public health crisis.

The protocol lists several health conditions for which providers should “not offer mechanical ventilator support,” including heart failure, respiratory failure and metastatic cancer. It also says “persons with severe mental retardation, advanced dementia or severe traumatic brain injury may be poor candidates for ventilator support.”

The complaint by the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program and The ARC of the United States claims this policy discriminates against people with intellectual and cognitive disabilities in violation of federal laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.

James Tucker, director of the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program, said in a press release, “In this time of crisis, we cannot devalue the lives of others in our community based on their disabilities. It’s morally wrong, and it violates the law.”

Health officials say the trigger for rationing care, or invoking what are known as “crisis standards,” will be when there are more COVID-19 patients than ventilators.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of rifles lining a wall under stuffed wild game heads, and. above handgun cases in a gun store.

Are Gun Stores "Essential"?

The debate over the Constitutional “right to bear arms” is testy enough at the best of times. Put a Presidential election year together with a nationwide pandemic and you’ve got a tinderbox ready to blow.

With over 200 million Americans under “lockdown” orders, and businesses ordered to close unless deemed “essential”, where does that leave gun stores?

Ask gun shop owners and they say “of course they should be considered essential ” because people want to protect themselves and their families in case overwhelmed hospitals and supermarkets create public anarchy.

Ask gun control advocates and they say that only puts communities at greater risk because of potentially incomplete background checks, as well as the “wingnut” factor as they cite the case of a man in Georgia who was arrested for allegedly pulling a gun on two women wearing surgical masks at a post office. His excuse? He thought they were infected with the COVID-19 virus.

Even the states can’t agree. NPR compiled the following list:

In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf allowed gun shops to open with new social distancing rules at the urging of some justices on the state’s high court.

The Los Angeles County sheriff has twice ordered gun shops to close. His initial decision was followed by an outcry and an opinion from the county’s top lawyers that gun retailers could keep their doors open during the pandemic. Asked who was right, Gov. Gavin Newsom said it was up to local sheriffs.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Friday that purchasing and possession of firearms during the pandemic is indeed essential.

Washington state is shuttering gun shops by not listing firearm retailers on its list of essential operations.

In New Orleans, the mayor issued an emergency proclamation that allows for the suspension of “alcoholic beverages, firearms and explosives” if deemed necessary.

Meanwhile, in other parts of the country, the question awaits the outcome of legal battles.

Lawyers with the New Jersey Second Amendment Society filed a federal lawsuit this week against the state’s governor for not classifying gun retailers as essential.

NPR’s Bobby Allyn has done a great examination of the debate.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of a woman holding her arms wide as she questions a police officer at Maroubra Beach in Australia as it's being closed down.

Fines & Jail In Australia

Two-thirds of Australia’s more than 3580 COVID-19 cases have been linked to overseas travel, prompting the government to invoke a mandatory 14 day quarantine for returning travelers in state-funded hotel rooms.

And just to make sure they stay in their rooms, the doors will be guarded by police, soldiers and private security guards. Any travelers who manage to give security the slip will face fines and jail time.

Businesses will also face fines, as high as $9900 in Victoria, if they flout mass gathering restrictions.

9News Australia provides this overview of the new regulations.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo showing hundreds of cubicles as the Excel London Exhibition Centre is refitted to become the NHS Nightingale Hospital.

UK Mega Hospital Readied

As the U.K. surpasses 17,000 cases of COVID-19 infection, with the death toll in the country rising by 260 in a single day, work continues on an emergency coronavirus field hospital.

The ExCel London Centre is being refitted to transform the exhibition facility into the NHS Nightingale hospital.

Hundreds of cubicles have been installed to house 4,000 new beds along with ventilators, oxygen and additional equipment that is vital for treating people infected with the virus.

When it opens next week, the mega-hospital will be headed by veteran nurse Deidre Barr, 62,  who is coming out of retirement for the assignment.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of Prince Charles of Great Britain speaking at a dinner.

Charles Positive For C19

The heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, has tested positive for COVID-19 infection. 

The 71 year-old Prince of Wales is said to have a “mild form” of the virus and is self-isolating at his home on the Balmoral estate in Scotland with his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

She has not shown any symptoms of infection and has tested negative for the virus.

Immediate concern shifted to his parents Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, both in their 90s, who both moved to isolate at Windsor Castle last week from Buckingham Palace and Sandringham, respectively. This after a worker at the Palace tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

Charles last met with the Queen on March 12, and met hundreds of people since March 9 during the Commonwealth Day celebrations, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

On the 10th he attended the WaterAid summit in London and met with Prince Albert of Monaco who has also tested positive for the virus.

*UPDATE: Concerns have increased for the Queen, as she had her last audience with Prime Minister Johnson on March 11th, the day before her last meeting with Prince Charles, both of whom have since tested positive for C19.

Buckingham Palace has advised that the Queen “remains in good health, and is following all the appropriate advice with regards to her welfare.”

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of 36 year old Kayla Williams, a black woman with long hair in south London.

Rejected Patients Die

As infection and death rates from C19 continue to rise around the world, more stories are emerging of patients being refused treatment and then subsequently dying of the disease.

A 17 year-old boy in Los Angeles with no pre-existing health conditions, who had developed respiratory problems, died after being turned away from an urgent care facility.

The reason? He didn’t have health insurance and his family was told to take him to a public hospital. The boy went into cardiac arrest on the way, and died  six hours later.

Overseas, 36-year-old Kayla Williams died at her flat in south London of suspected Covid-19 a day after calling 999 and being told to look after herself at home.

The mother of three, died a day after paramedics were called to her home in Peckham, and her husband was told she was not a priority.

This may be a harbinger of things to come as test kits become more available and confirmed C19 cases are expected to spike in the coming weeks. With hospitals in many countries reporting a shortage of ventilators, there is a fear doctors will have to make tough decisions about who will get treatment and who won’t based on severity of symptoms and age, as well as the availability of both medicine and equipment.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of factory worker in protective gear holding scooped tablets in both gloved hands as a machine deposits them into a plastic lined collection pail.

Doctors Hoarding Drugs

ProPublica, a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power has exposed unusual and fraudulent prescribing activity as doctors stockpile unproven COVID-19 drugs.

A nationwide shortage of two drugs prescribed for patients with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, is being driven in part by doctors inappropriately prescribing the medicines for family, friends and themselves.

Several states states have moved to restrict prescribing of the drugs as some lupus patients report difficulty getting refills.

Garth Reynolds, executive director of the Illinois Pharmacists Association called the doctors’ actions “disgraceful and completely selfish”.

Read the full report at ProPublica.

UPDATE: Medical regulators in Canada suspect some doctors in the country have also been stockpiling drugs by writing prescriptions for family and friends.

As “CBC Investigates” reports, they can be sanctioned if they’re found out.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of New York City's Times Square vibrantly lit-up at night.

Left NYC Recently? Quarantine!

After NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio calls his city ” the epicenter” of the U.S. COVID-19 outbreak, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House pandemic response coordinator, warns people who’ve recently left NYC to self-quarantine for two weeks, even if they don’t show any symptoms.

The mayor predicts that half of the city’s 8.6 million residents will become infected, and that people ‘need to be ready’ for New York staying in lockdown until the end of May.

The same day, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he is keeping all schools across the state closed for another two weeks, until April 15. 

Speaking at a press conference at the Javits Center where a field hospital holding 1,000 beds has been set up, Cuomo rallied a crowd of National Guard troops and called open them to “kick coronavirus’ ass before it peaks in 21 days”.

There are now more than 44,000 cases of the virus in New York state including 25,573 in New York City.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo: Two young women take a selfie with the lighted Olympic Rings lit-up at night while floating on a barge in Tokyo Bay behind them.

Olympics Postponement Impact$

For the first time in their history, the Olympic Games have been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The three times they have been previously cancelled, the world was at war.

For host city Tokyo, potential, losses on top of the estimated #30 billion (£25.4 billion) costs to date could reach an estimated 640.8 billion yen ($5.7 billion/£4.9 billion).

That includes the costs of maintaining all Olympic facilities for another year, renegotiating contracts for a wide range of logistics services as well as lost income from the over 600 thousand tourists expected to travel to Tokyo for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

Tom Hamilton, a Senior Writer at ESPN has done a great article on the fiscal and logistical nightmare this creates.

 

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Abled.ALERT: C19 Rx Logs. Text against a 3D model of the COVID-19 virus against a blurred global map of hotspots.
Abled.ALERT: Photo of Abbott Laboratories' ID Now diagnostic test unit for COVID-19 which is about the size of a small toaster with a sloping front face and a small digital touchscreen.

Emergency OK For New Test

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given emergency use authorization (EUA) to Abbott Laboratories for the fastest available molecular point-of-care test for detecting the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

Abbott says its “ID Now” unit can deliver positive results in as quickly as five minutes, and negative results in 13 minutes.

The company says it’s ramping up production to deliver 50 thousand “ID Now” tests per day, starting next week.

Because the unit is about the size of a small toaster, it can be used in a variety of locations outside hospitals, such as doctors’ offices and urgent care clinics.

Abbott plans to use “ID Now” in conjunction with another system that received emergency use authorization last week to produce about five million tests in April.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of an Apple laptop and iPhone showing the company's COVID-19 Screening tool on the screens.

Apple's C19 Screening Tool

Apple has launched a COVID-19 screening tool  website and app that allow users to screen themselves for symptoms of the coronavirus.

Developed in partnership with the CDC, FEMA, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Apple cautioned that it’s “designed to be a resource for individuals and does not replace instructions from healthcare providers or guidance from state and local health authorities.”

When you visit the website or download the app, the first thing you’re asked is whether you’re screening for yourself or someone else.

After you click your answer, a warning screen appears instructing anyone with constant chest pain or pressure, extreme difficulty breathing, severe and constant dizziness or lightheadedness, slurred speech or difficulty waking up to immediately call 911.

If you aren’t experiencing any of those symptoms, you’ll continue to a questionnaire that asks about symptoms, travel, preexisting conditions and contact with other people.

After you submit your answers, the tool shows recommendations from the CDC on how to proceed, including guidance on social distancing and self-isolation, how to monitor symptoms at home, whether to get tested and when to seek advice from a medical professional.

Apple says the screening tool does not require signing in with an Apple ID, and the company says “individual responses will not be sent to Apple or any government organization.”

 

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Abled.ALERT: Screen photo of the Baseline COVID-19 testing program. A woman is holding a tablet device.

Baseline Testing Launches

Earlier in March, President Trump said Google had 1,700 engineers working on a new website that would help Americans determine whether to seek testing for COVID-19.

That came as something of a surprise to Google, who like Dr. Michael Fauci had to do a bit of an . . .”ahem, not quite.”

Google quickly clarified that an affiliated company, Verily, was indeed at work on the project, but on a limited scale. The website is now functional in “select counties” in California.

Perhaps in an effort to make up some credibility for themselves and the President, Google quickly launched a very basic national website that provides users with information and alerts about the coronavirus.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Lab worker holds a rack of test tubes filled with blood plasma.

Plasma Approved For The Sickest

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of what it calls “COVID-19 convalescent plasma” for patients with life-threatening forms of the illness.

The serum is derived from the donated blood of COVID-19 survivors who have built up antibodies to the new coronavirus.

The move comes after promising results in China where doctors began using the protocol last month.

It will take time to build-up plasma supplies across the country, as the medical community awaits FDA approval to use the treatment for frontline responders at risk from repeated exposure to infected patients.

Officials caution there is no guarantee of success.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of a Dyson ventilator attached to the side rails of a hospital bed.

New Dyson Ventilator

James Dyson, the British billionaire inventor known for revolutionary vacuums, hair dryers and air purifiers, has designed a new ventilator in 10 days.

It was prompted that long ago by a phone call from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson whose government has ordered 10 thousand units to support the National Health Service (NHS) to cope with the increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients.

Dyson says the new device can be manufactured quickly, efficiently and at volume. In a letter to employees, he wrote “A ventilator supports a patient who is no longer able to maintain their own airways, but sadly there is currently a significant shortage, both in the UK and other countries around the world.”

He continued “The core challenge was how to design and deliver a new, sophisticated medical product in volume and in an extremely short space of time,” he added. “The race is now on to get it into production.”

 

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Dyson also wrote that the company would donate 5,000 units to the international efforts to treat the pandemic.






Abled.ALERT: Photo of ventilators with attached monitors lined-up outside a hospital.

Trump Invokes Wartime Act

U.S. President Donald Trump has exercised his authority under the Defense Production Act to require General Motors to “act, perform, and prioritize contracts or orders for the number of ventilators” deemed necessary by the health and human services secretary amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Defense Production Act, (DPA) was first enacted by President Harry Truman in 1950 after North Korea invaded South Korea, setting off what would become a three year conflict. The invocation of the DPA was meant to ensure the U.S. forces had the military equipment and supplies they needed. 

The law authorizes the president to require companies to sign contracts or fill orders for products needed for the nation’s defense. It also lets the president make sure price gouging doesn’t occur and gives the president freedom to incentivize the expanded production, with loans and purchase commitments, for instance.

Used periodically during the Cold War to increase production of defense supplies, Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton both used it in 2001 to ensure shippers delivered natural gas equipment and electrical equipment to California, during its energy crisis. 

Two years later, Bush invoked it to prioritize the shipment of GPS receivers to British forces in Iraq. President Barack Obama invoked the DPA to fast-track development of high-tech defense products.

 

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Abled.ALERT: mages of white blood cells adapted from an electron microscope that look like ping pong balls covered in shredded coconut.

HIV-Cancer Rx Impacts C19

An experimental drug being fast-tracked for HIV and breast cancer patients is showing potential in treating COVID-19 patients.

Leronlimab was given to seven critically-ill C19 patients in New York. Two of them went from ventilators in the ICU to a regular hospital room within days.

All but one of the patients are said to be improving.

The drug works by calming inflammation caused by the body’s immune response to infection. If the immune response is too strong and the inflammation gets out of control, a patient develops pneumonia as fluid starts to fill the “breathing branches” of alveoli in the lungs.

This leads to respiratory distress syndrome, a condition that requires a ventilator, and one that is killing HIV and COVID-19 patients.

CytoDyn, the company that’s developed Leronlimab, is preparing to treat another 75 patients with mild or moderate coronavirus infection, and if they show the same improvements as the first set of patients, it could get fast-tracked FDA approval for emergency use very quickly.

 

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Abled Alert: A Doctor fills a syringe from a bottle of Remdesivir as a masked patient waits for the injection.

Rx Raises Hopes & Concerns

As researchers in a number of countries race to develop a vaccine, drugs approved for other conditions are making news as potential treatments for patients with the newest coronavirus.

At an earlier stage in the outbreak, Remdesivir, a drug approved to treat Ebola, was showing promising treatment results, but because of potential side-effects such as liver toxicity, it requires further clinical study before being used on the frontlines of treating COVID-19.

The drug had been developed to treat Ebola, and entered a clinical trial in February after anecdotal results from the first patients treated with it for COVID-19.

All three patients treated with remdesivir recovered, but they also reported significant gastrointestinal symptoms. Investigators also noticed elevated liver enzyme levels in their blood samples.

Andrew Joseph at statnews.com has done an excellent in-depth chronicle of the long and winding clinical journey Gilead Sciences is traveling with this drug that is raising as many concerns as it is raising hopes.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of a box of Chloroquine injection ampoules with a bunch of the ampoules stacked on top of the box in a lab.

Chloroquine Overdoses

In the wake of the excitement surrounding Remdesivir, another drug – Chloroquine – approved for treating malaria, lupus and severe rheumatoid arthritis, was being hailed as a “miracle drug” after a number of COVID-19 patients in critical condition said it made the difference between life and death.

However, this drug is also not without serious side-effects, including liver toxicity. Officials in Nigeria report three cases of chloroquine poisoning after people overdosed on the drug.

Some doctors and individuals have been reporting successful treatment outcomes when using a combination of the less-toxic hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic Azithromycin.

The Trump administration has taken measures to allow critically-ill COVID-19 patients to have access to these as-yet unproven therapies.

*UPDATE: Chloroquine Phospate Death

Arizona man (61) dies, and his wife (68) is in critical condition after ingesting a chloroquine phosphate aquarium product that the wife had used to treat parasites in her Koi fish.

Within 20 minutes of each mixing a teaspoon of the product with soda because they feared COVID-19 infection, the woman began vomiting and the husband had trouble breathing, and both were rushed to a hospital.

This comes after U.S. President Donald Trump had incorrectly stated that the Food and Drug Administration had fast-tracked approval of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, with the epilogue,”If things don’t go as planned, it’s not going to kill anybody.”

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo shows a closeup of a lab worker holding a vial filled with liquid. A VGXI logo patch is visible on his lab coat.

DNA Vaccine Trials Begin

A Phase 1 clinical trial on healthy humans of a potential vaccine for the SARS CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease began rolling out today on two fronts.

Pennsylvania biotech firm Inovio, which has received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and CEPI (The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations), is enrolling up to 40 people in Philadelphia at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and in Kansas City, MO at the Center for Pharmaceutical Research.

If you’re in these areas and want to enroll as a participant you can Contact The Research Team. You can also call the Kansas City office at 816-943-0770.

The Phase 1 study will see the vaccine candidate, called INO-4800, given to the participants in two doses, four weeks apart.  The initial immune responses and safety data from the study are expected by late summer.

This has been a fast-track rapid response effort with a remarkable timeline of ten weeks from funding to provision of the vaccine, and distribution to the trial centers.

VGXI, Inc., a wholly-owned Texas-based subsidiary of Seoul, South Korea-based GeneOne Life Science, and INOVIO’s manufacturing partner for the last 13 years, enabled the expedited manufacture, testing, and release of the INO-4800 plasmid clinical product. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has also funded INOVIO’s collaborator Ology Bioservices to manufacture additional doses of INO-4800.

INOVIO plans to have one million doses of the vaccine available by year-end for additional trials and emergency use, pending appropriate regulatory guidance and funding.

How is the vaccine supposed to work?

That’s explained in the following INOVIA video, made in 2017, long before the COVID-19 pandemic, but based on the same proprietary DNA delivery protocol developed during the company’s vaccine efforts for HPV (Human Papilloma Virus, Zika, Lassa fever, Ebola, HIV and coronaviruses associated with MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). 

On smartphones, you can scroll down to view it. On tablets (in landscape orientation, and desktop monitors, you can view it in the column to the right.

 

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How DNA Vaccine Works

What’s unique about the INO-4800 vaccine candidate that INOVIO has begun testing in healthy humans in a Phase 1 Clinical Trial?

Well, two things. First, is the medicine itself.

As the company explains, “DNA medicines are composed of optimized DNA plasmids, which are small circles of double-stranded DNA that are synthesized or reorganized by a computer sequencing technology and designed to produce a specific immune response in the body.”

Second, is getting it to where it needs to go in the body.

As further explained, “INOVIO is the first and only company to have clinically demonstrated that a DNA medicine can be delivered directly into cells in the body via a proprietary smart device to produce a robust and tolerable immune response.

INOVIO’s DNA medicines deliver optimized plasmids directly into cells intramuscularly or intradermally using INOVIO’s proprietary hand-held smart device called CELLECTRA®.

CELLECTRA® uses a brief electrical pulse to open small pores in the cell reversibly to allow the plasmids to enter, overcoming a key limitation of other DNA and mRNA approaches.

Once inside the cell, the plasmids are used by the cell’s own machinery to generate specific coded antigens, which then stimulate an immune response. Administration with the CELLECTRA device ensures that the DNA medicine is delivered directly into the body’s cells, where it can go to work immediately mounting an immune response.

With more than 2,000 patients receiving INOVIO investigational DNA medicines in more than 6,000 applications across a range of clinical trials, INOVIO has a strong track record of rapidly generating DNA medicine candidates to meet urgent global health needs.”

 

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Abled.ALERT: Stock photo of a lab technician wearing gloves and holding a vial of blood labeled "Coronavirus TEST".

C19 Antibody Tests Begin

Despite researchers and the government in the U.K. finding that blood antibody tests “haven’t performed well” and “wouldn’t meet the criteria for a good test”, the U.S.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has begun rolling out just such a test for people who don’t show any symptoms of the new coronavirus.

The difference from current swab tests that take a sample from the nose or throat looking for genetic presence of the virus, is that these tests require a blood draw and can only be analyzed to hunt for antibodies in certified labs.

These serology tests can determine if people have been previously infected with the coronavirus and have built up antibodies to it. The results will provide data in tracking how the virus has spread  and how its affected different people.

Three groups will be targeted, with the first being people in hotspots such as New York City, Florida, Louisiana and Michigan who were not diagnosed with the virus.

The second will be people in lower-affected areas, and the third will be healthcare workers.

British researchers and health officials have said the antibody tests were not accurate enough on people who had only had mild illnesses, and none were good enough for public use.

However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading infectious disease expert on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has stated he’s optimistic about the antibody tests and told The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah recently “If this virus acts like every other virus that we know, once you get infected, get better, clear the virus, then you’ll have immunity that will protect you against re-infection.”

That, of course, remains to be seen.

 

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Moderna Titles Transcript

Here is a transcript for blind and visually-impaired users of the onscreen text titles used in this video supplied by Moderna.

The video consists of animated illustrations explaining how the company creates synthetic components from the genetic coding of the COVID-19 virus and injects them into the body enabling patients to essential make their own vaccine.

Onscreen Text:

(Moderna logo animation at beginning and end of video.) About mRNA-1273, Moderna’s Potential Vaccine Against COVID-19.

 

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1st Human Trial Expands

The first human clinical trial for a COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine has been underway in Seattle since mid-March, and is now being expanded to Atlanta.

The trial aims to enroll a total of 45 participants across the two cities at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) in Seattle, and Emory University and the Hope Clinic in Decatur, Georgia to “ensure efficient enrollment”.

Participants will receive two shots of the experimental vaccine approximately one month apart and will be followed for approximately one year.

Adults in the Atlanta area who are interested in joining this study should contact [email protected] (for the Hope Clinic in Decatur) or [email protected] (for the Emory campus in Atlanta). 

One of the first vaccine production projects to receive funding from CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations in Oslo, Norway, the clinical trial is a partnership between Moderna, a biotech research company based in Cambridge Massachusetts, and scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.  NIAID Director, Dr. Anthony Fauci, is the man you’ve often seen and heard as part of the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefings.

If you watched the video above, you will have learned that the approach uses Messenger RNA, written as mRNA, which plays a fundamental role in human biology. It  delivers the instructions stored in DNA to make the proteins required in every living cell.

The trial’s approach uses mRNA medicines to instruct a patient’s own cells to produce proteins that could prevent, treat, or cure disease, So, in the case of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the patient  essentially produces their own vaccine for the virus.

 

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This Is Essential Viewing!

If you haven’t already watched the preceding video, then the following will explain why you should.

It was conducted on March 6 in London by Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman. The guest is Dr. Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPIThe Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations based in Oslo, Norway. It is currently overseeing eight projects around the world to produce a COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine.

Because the interview was conducted before the World Health Organization declared the growing coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic emergency, some of the infection rates will be dated, but the core information and additional context provide a clear and deeper understanding of how this differs from the “normal” flu, and how the response should be shaped.

Cathy Newman also raises questions about potential conflict of interest and whether it’s in the best interests of Dr. Hatchett and the Coalition to “scare people” to enable more funding.

His answer is dispassionate, credible and full of integrity. And if you read his biography that’s linked to his name, you’ll understand why he has the position he does, and why Dr. Hatchett’s words garner respect.

The next time you hear someone spouting off some new conspiracy theory related to C19, have them watch this interview, and hear his assessment that “this is the most frightening outbreak” he’s dealt with in his 20-year career.

 

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CEPI Leads 8 Vaccine Efforts

Throughout this “Vaccine” section, you’ll see frequent mention of CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations based in Oslo, Norway, because it’s overseeing eight vaccine development projects around the world.

CEPI is a global partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil society organizations launched in Davos in 2017 to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics. Their Mission, according to their website, “is to accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases and enable equitable access to these vaccines for people during outbreaks.

In February, 2020, CEPI made an urgent call for $2 billion to support the development of a vaccine against the virus responsible for COVID-19.

To date, CEPI has initiated eight COVID-19 vaccine development projects with Curevac, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Moderna, Novavax, The University of Hong Kong, The University of Oxford, The University of Queensland and a consortium led by Institut Pasteur to develop COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

You’ll read about some of them in the section, as well as the recent £210 million(US$270 million) boost in funding for CEPI from the British government. Previous financial support for CEPI’s COVID-19 efforts has been provided by the Governments of Germany, Norway, Denmark, and Finland. CEPI has so far received over $430 million towards its $2 billion funding goal.

As CEPI CEO Dr. Richard Hatchett said of the UK contribution, “This financial boost from the UK will help us continue our rapid progress towards producing safe and effective vaccines, which are globally accessible, within the next 12 to 18 months.

 

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J&J Titles Transcript

Here is a transcript for blind and visually-impaired users of the onscreen text titles used in this video supplied by Johnson and Johnson. The video consists primarily of scenes of researchers working in laboratories intercut with interviews of company executives in a meeting room background.

Onscreen Text:

With our commitment to fighting established and emerging epidemic threats, we are mobilized and already working on a vaccine for the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Paul Stoffels, M.D., Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson and Johnson.

Hanneke Schuitemaker, Ph.D., Head of Viral Vaccines, Janssen Vaccines and Prevention B.V., Johnson & Johnson.

Johan Van Hoof, M.D., Global Head, Janssen Vaccines and Prevention B.V., Johnson & Johnson.

 

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J&J Vows 1B Vaccine Doses

The U.S. government has contracted pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson to develop a vaccine for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Forbes magazine says the $456 million dollar funding is the largest vaccine contract to-date, and also includes funding for J&J’s pharmaceutical branch Janssen to work on a new anti-viral treatment for C19.

Johnson & Johnson will match the funding, meaning that over $1 billion dollars will go into the effort. The company earlier announced a lead candidate vaccine that looks promising and expects to begin human clinical trials by September.

By contrast, Moderna, a biotech company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, already began human trials in Seattle on March 17 with a vaccine based on synthetic mRNA that can be injected into patients to help them create their own therapies. Our report on their efforts follows this one.

The company says it’s ramping-up production at its 125 facilities world-wide and hopes to be ready to distribute a billion doses by 2021.

As a result, MarketWatch reports: “The Dow Jones Industrial Average is soaring Monday afternoon with shares of Johnson & Johnson and Merck delivering strong returns for the index.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson JNJ, +7.99% and Merck MRK, +7.27% have contributed to the blue-chip gauge’s intraday rally, as the Dow DJIA, +3.19% is trading 720 points, or 3.3%, higher.

Johnson & Johnson’s shares are up $10.07 (8.2%) while those of Merck have gained $5.30 (7.4%), combining for a roughly 104-point boost for the Dow.”

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of U.K. Prime Minister working at a circular desk as he looks at a large video screen at Number 10 Downing Street in London as he participates in a global teleconference with G20 leaders.

UK's £210 Million Vaccine Boost

On the day he would test positive for COVID-19 infection, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a £210 million(US$270 million) boost in funding for the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), an international organization based in Oslo, Norway.

The announcement followed a virtual conference with G20 leaders and acknowledged the coalition’s recent global call for $2 billion to progress COVID-19 vaccines through to manufacture.

10 Downing Street issued a statement: “To date, this is the largest single contribution by any country to the key international fund to find a coronavirus vaccine. It will ensure British scientists and researchers continue to lead the global fight against the virus.

The Prime Minister is calling on governments to work together to create a vaccine as quickly as possible and make it available to anyone who needs it.

The UK, along with many other countries, is channelling funding to CEPI which is supporting the development of vaccines that will be available throughout the world.

Future vaccines will be made available at the lowest possible price to the NHS and other countries’ healthcare systems.

CEPI has announced that it requires $2 billion additional funding from international governments to develop the crucial vaccine.

If all G20 governments pledged $100 million funding this shortfall would be met instantly. The UK has already gone beyond its share by committing £250 million to CEPI to date, and the UK is asking all governments to contribute to this important international goal.”

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of lab workers dressed in protective gear in the midst of metal tanks, plastic bottles and other equipment at the University of Queensland in Australia.

$17M Injection To Speed Vaccine

The race is on to develop a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus as it races across the globe getting progressively closer to one million cases of infection.

One effort at the University of Queensland in Australia has just been fast-tracked with a $17 million cash injection to shave six months off getting to human trials. If achieved it could mean a vaccine in the hands of medical professionals by early 2021.

That may not sound like fast-tracking, but in the world of vaccine development, that’s light speed compared to the 10 to 20 years it can normally take.

The funding package includes $10 million from the State Government, $3 million from the Federal Government and $3.5 million from the Paul Ramsay Foundation. UQ is the only Australian organization, and one of only six globally, to be tasked by the Oslo-based Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

British pharmaceutical giant GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) has provided the technology to UQ program which also has additional funding from Clover Biopharmaceuticals, a Chinese biotech company that’s making a vaccine called Covid-19 S-Trimer.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of a male researcher looking into an electron microscope as a female researcher wears protective goggles in the background while she works with lab samples at the Pasteur Institute.

Measles Leads C19 Effort

As mentioned in the previous two reports, CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations based in Oslo, Norway, has added an eighth COVID-19 vaccine candidate to its portfolio.

CEPI will invest an initial US$4.9 million in a partnering agreement with a consortium led by the Institut Pasteur that will include Themis and the University of Pittsburgh to develop a vaccine candidate against COVID-19 based on measles-vector technology.

This collaboration brings CEPI’s total investment in COVID-19 vaccine R&D to US$29.2 million.

In a first step, CEPI funding will support the preclinical testing, initial manufacture of vaccine materials, and preparatory work for phase 1 studies.

To date, CEPI has provided initial funding to Curevac, Inc., Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Moderna, Inc., Novavax, Inc., The University of Hong Kong, The University of Oxford, and The University of Queensland to develop COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

Measles vector platform
The measles vaccine is used here as a vehicle. Using the measles vaccine virus (also called MV) as a vector, recombinant vaccines can be designed to express antigens from other pathogens (Chikungunya virus, Lassa fever, MERS, HIV, dengue, West Nile, yellow fever, or other emerging diseases).

The use of the modified MV as a vehicle for vaccination against these pathogens makes it possible to deliver the antigens directly in the compartments of the immune system capable of inducing a protective memory response.

With its broadly applicable technology platform licensed to Themis, the Institut Pasteur has successfully collaborated for 10 years with Themis.

This approach was used to develop a vaccine candidate against SARS, and CEPI has previously partnered with Themis and Institut Pasteur to harness this technology to develop vaccine candidates against Chikungunya, MERS, and Lassa fever.

 

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Abled.ALERT: C19 Case Logs. Text against a 3D model of the COVID-19 virus against a transparent global map.
Abled.ALERT: Photo shows Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, USACE Commanding General and 54th U.S. Army Chief of Engineers, looking down on the Jacob Javits Convention Center floor in New York City, where USACE is adapting 160,000 square feet of space over multiple floors to provide 1,000 beds for non-COVID-19 patients.

Brace For Impact 100K+

The number of COVID-19 cases across the U.S. has surged past 100 thousand, and as the situation in New York City, considered the country’s epicenter of the pandemic, grows more dire, national, state and local officials are bracing for what’s expected to be an “acceleration phase’ of confirmed cases in growing hotspots.

Seattle, the first American hotspot, has the highest number of cases outside New York City, but there are growing concerns about worsening conditions in New Orleans, Boston and Chicago in the wake of Mardi Gras and students returning from Spring Break.

In fact, Louisiana has experienced the fastest growth of new cases worldwide, and in New Orleans, its huge convention center is being converted into a massive field hospital.

Cases are also spiking in Los Angeles which is expected to match the infection numbers in NYC sometime in the next five days.

The Army Corps of Engineers top brass are looking at potentially converting about 114 facilities across the U.S. into field hospitals – many to treat non-C19 patients to ease the burden on front-line hospitals.

In many cities, medical personnel have been taking to social media to complain about a lack of protective clothing and supplies, and to warn families that they may not be able to save their loved ones because they are running out of ventilators.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of an Apple laptop and iPhone showing the company's COVID-19 Screening tool on the screens.

Apple's C19 Screening Tool

Apple has launched a COVID-19 screening tool  website and app that allow users to screen themselves for symptoms of the coronavirus.

Developed in partnership with the CDC, FEMA, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Apple cautioned that it’s “designed to be a resource for individuals and does not replace instructions from healthcare providers or guidance from state and local health authorities.”

When you visit the website or download the app, the first thing you’re asked is whether you’re screening for yourself or someone else.

After you click your answer, a warning screen appears instructing anyone with constant chest pain or pressure, extreme difficulty breathing, severe and constant dizziness or lightheadedness, slurred speech or difficulty waking up to immediately call 911.

If you aren’t experiencing any of those symptoms, you’ll continue to a questionnaire that asks about symptoms, travel, preexisting conditions and contact with other people.

After you submit your answers, the tool shows recommendations from the CDC on how to proceed, including guidance on social distancing and self-isolation, how to monitor symptoms at home, whether to get tested and when to seek advice from a medical professional.

Apple says the screening tool does not require signing in with an Apple ID, and the company says “individual responses will not be sent to Apple or any government organization.”

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of Abbott Laboratories' ID Now diagnostic test unit for COVID-19 which is about the size of a small toaster with a sloping front face and a small digital touchscreen.

Emergency OK For New Test

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given emergency use authorization (EUA) to Abbott Laboratories for the fastest available molecular point-of-care test for detecting the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

Abbott says its “ID Now” unit can deliver positive results in as quickly as five minutes, and negative results in 13 minutes.

The company says it’s ramping up production to deliver 50 thousand “ID Now” tests per day, starting next week.

Because the unit is about the size of a small toaster, it can be used in a variety of locations outside hospitals, such as doctors’ offices and urgent care clinics.

Abbott plans to use “ID Now” in conjunction with another system that received emergency use authorization last week to produce about five million tests in April.

 

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Notable C-19 Deaths

Date of death Country of death Name Age Notes
January 25 China (Wuhan) Liang Wudong 60 Doctor, first death due to hospital-acquired infection[1]
January 26 China (Wuhan) Wang Xianliang 62 Former chief of Ethnic and Religious Affairs Commission of Wuhan[2]
January 27 China (Wuhan) Yang Xiaobo 57 Former mayor of Huangshi[3]
January 31 China (Wuhan) Wen Zengxian 68 Former Deputy director-general of the Civil Affairs Department of Hubei Province[4]
February 6 China (Wuhan) Qiu Jun 72 Bodybuilder[5]
February 7 China (Wuhan) Hong Ling 53 Geneticist, professor[6]
February 7 China (Wuhan) Li Wenliang 33 Ophthalmologist, the first person to warn about the Covid-19 outbreak[7][8]
February 10 China (Wuhan) Lin Zhengbin 62 Organ transplantation expert[9]
February 13 China (Wuhan) Liu Shouxiang 61 Watercolor painter and professor[10]
February 14 China (Wuhan) Liu Fan 59 Deputy Chief Nurse of Wuchang Hospital[11]
February 15 China (Wuhan) Duan Zhengcheng 85 Industrial engineer and inventor[12]
February 27 Iran (Tehran) Hadi Khosroshahi 81 Cleric and diplomat, former Ambassador to the Vatican[13]
March 2 Iran (Tehran) Mohammad Mirmohammadi 71 Senior adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei[14]
March 5 Iran (Tehran) Hossein Sheikholeslam 67 Politician and diplomat[15]
March 7 Iran (Langarud) Reza Mohammadi Langroudi 91 Ayatollah[16]
March 7 Iran (Tehran) Fatemeh Rahbar 55/56 Member of Parliament[17]
March 9 Italy (Treviso) Italo De Zan 94 Cyclist[18]
March 9 South Korea (Daegu) Lee Cha-su 62 Politician and activist[19]
March 9 Iran (Tehran) Mohammad-Reza Rahchamani 67 Member of Parliament[20]
March 10 Iran (Tehran) Mohammad Kiavash 89 Politician[21]
March 10 Spain (Madrid) Marcelo Peralta 59 Argentine-born saxophonist and teacher[22]
March 12 Italy (Asti) Giovanni Battista Rabino 88 Former member of Parliament[23]
March 13 Iran Nasser Shabani   General, senior commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps[24]
March 14 Italy (Milan) Piero Schlesinger 89 Jurist and banker[25]
March 15 Italy (Milan) Vittorio Gregotti 92 Architect[26]
March 15 Turkey (Üsküdar) Aytaç Yalman 79 General, former Commander of the Turkish Army[27]
March 16 France (Ajaccio) Nicolas Alfonsi 83 Politician and lawyer, former Member of Senate and Mayor of Piana[28]
March 16 Italy (Crema) Sergio Bassi 69 Folk singer-songwriter[29]
March 16 Iran (Qom) Hashem Bathaie Golpayegani 78/79 Cleric and Member of Assembly of Experts[30]
March 16 Italy (Mestre) Francesco Saverio Pavone 75 Magistrate[31]
March 16 Iran (Tehran) Fariborz Raisdana 71/72 Economist and professor[32]
March 17 United States (Seattle) Stephen Schwartz 78 University of Washington pathology professor[33]
March 18 Burkina Faso (Ouagadougou) Rose Marie Compaoré 61 2nd Vice President of the National Assembly of Burkina Faso[34]
March 18 Italy (Carrara) Luciano Federici 81 Footballer[35]
March 18 France Jean Leber 80/81 Violinist[36]
March 18 France (Paris) Henri Richelet 75 Painter[37]
March 18 United States (Scarsdale) Sérgio Trindade 79 Brazilian-born chemical engineer and researcher, member of the IPCC[38]
March 19 Italy (Bergamo) Innocenzo Donina 69 Footballer[39]
March 19 Iran (Tehran) Hamid Kahram 61/62 Politician and veterinarian[40]
March 19 France (Paris) Aurlus Mabélé 66 Musician and composer originally from the Republic of the Congo [41]
March 19 Italy (Fidenza) Antonio Michele Stanca 77 Geneticist[42]
March 20 Spain (Madrid) Carlos Falcó 83 Grandee of Spain, socialite and entrepreneur[43]
March 20 France (Paris) Jacques Oudin 80 Former senator[44]
March 20 Italy (Vicenza) Marino Quaresimin 82 Politician[45]
March 21 Philippines (Manila) Aileen Baviera 60 Political scientist and sinologist[46]
March 21 Spain Vicenç Capdevila 83 Former Mayor of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat and former Deputy[47]
March 21 France (Paris) Marguerite Aucouturier 87 Psychoanalyst[48]
March 21 France (Lille) Jean-Jacques Razafindranazy 68 Madagascar born doctor[49]
March 21 Spain (Madrid) Lorenzo Sanz 76 Businessman, former president of Real Madrid[50]
March 22 Spain (Barcelona) Germà Colón 91 Philologist[51]
March 22 Spain (Alicante) Benito Joanet 84 Footballer and coach[52]
March 22 Spain (Ciudad Real) José María Loizaga Viguri 83 Businessman[53]
March 22 United States (New York) Mike Longo 83 Jazz pianist, composer, author[54]
March 23 United States (Craryville) Maurice Berger 63 Art curator and professor[55]
March 23 Spain (Segovia) Lucia Bosè 89 Italian neorealism actress, Miss Italia 1947[56][8]
March 23 Spain (Madrid) José Folgado 75 Businessman, economist and politician[57]
March 23 United Kingdom Paul Karslake 65 Artist[58]
March 23 Zimbabwe (Harare) Zororo Makamba 30 Journalist[8]
March 23 Pakistan (Gilgit) Usama Riaz 26 Medical doctor[59]
March 23 Italy (Syracuse) Calogero Rizzuto 65 Architect and historic preservationist[60]
March 23 United States (Schenectady) Walter Robb 91 Engineer, executive, and philanthropist[61]
March 23 France (Clamart) Lucien Sève 93 Philosopher and political activist[62]
March 23[a] United Kingdom William Stern 84 Hungarian born businessman, survivor of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp[63]
March 23 United States (New York) Nashom Wooden 50 Performance artist[64][8]
March 24 Italy (Genoa) Lorenzo Acquarone 89 Lawyer and politician and MP [65]
March 24 France (Melun) Manu Dibango 86 Saxophonist and songwriter, originally from Cameroon[66][8]
March 24 Hungary (Budapest) Steven Dick 37 British diplomat[67][68]
March 24 United Kingdom (London) Mohamed Farah 59 Somali international footballer[69]
March 24 United States (Ridgewood) Alan Finder 72 Journalist[70]
March 24 United States (Sarasota) Terrence McNally 81 Playwright and screenwriter[71][8]
March 24 France (Paris) John F. Murray 93 American pulmonologist[72][8]
March 24 Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo) Jenny Polanco 62 Fashion designer[73][74][8]
March 25 Netherlands (Tilburg) Harry Aarts 90 Politician, former member of the House of Representatives[75]
March 25 Italy (Santa Maria Nuova) Danilo Barozzi 92 Cyclist[76]
March 25 United States (New York) Mark Blum 69 Actor[77][8]
March 25 United States (Montclair) Floyd Cardoz 59 Chef and television personality[78][8]
March 25 Brazil (São Paulo) Martinho Lutero Galati 66 Conductor[79]
March 25 France (Paris) Paul Goma 84 Political dissident and writer, originally Romanian[80]
March 25 Italy (Milan) Detto Mariano 82 Musician and composer[81]
March 25 Italy (Brescia) Angelo Moreschi 67 Missionary bishop, Apostolic Vicar of Gambella[82]
March 26 Philippines (Manila) Menggie Cobarrubias 66 Actor[83]
March 26 Sweden Olle Holmquist 83 Trombonist[84]
March 26 France (Paris) María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma 86 Princess, activist and political sociologist[85]
March 26 Brazil (São Paulo) Naomi Munakata 64 Conductor[86]
March 26 Italy (Lucca) Luigi Roni 78 Singer[87]
March 26 United States (New York) Michael Sorkin 71 Architect, critic[88][8]
March 26 United Kingdom (Rutherglen) Hamish Wilson 77 Actor[89]
March 27 Brazil (Rio de Janeiro) Daniel Azulay 72 Comic book artist[90]
March 27 Spain (Logroño) Jesús Gayoso Rey 48 Civil Guard Lieutenant colonel and head of GAR[91]
March 27 United States (Dallas) Orlando McDaniel 59 American football player[92]
March 27 United States (Rockport) Michael McKinnell 84 Architect[93]
March 28 Sweden (Stockholm) Kerstin Behrendtz 69 Radio broadcaster[94]
March 28 Spain Chato Galante 71 Activist and former political prisoner[95]
March 28 Uruguay (Montevideo) Rodolfo González Rissotto 70 Politician[96]
March 28 United States (Great Neck) William B. Helmreich 74 Sociologist, Professor[97][98][8]
March 28 United States Pearson Jordan 69 Sprinter, represented Barbados at the 1976 Summer Olympics [99][100]
March 28 United Kingdom (London) Azam Khan 93 Pakistani-born squash player[101]
March 28 France (Paris) Michel Tibon-Cornillot   Philosopher and anthropologist[102]
March 28 United States William Wolf 94 Film and theater critic[103]
March 29 United States (New York) Peg Broadbent 56 British born CFO of Jefferies Group[104]
March 29 Spain (Madrid) José Luis Capón 72 Football player[105]
March 29 France (Paris) Patrick Devedjian 75 President of Hauts-de-Seine, former government minister[106]
March 29 United States (Nashville) Joe Diffie 61 Country singer[107][8]
March 29 United States (Salt Lake City) Robert H. Garff 78 Businessman and former Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives[108]
March 29 United States (New York) Maria Mercader 54 Television news producer and journalist[109][8]
March 29 United States (New York) Alan Merrill 69 Lead singer of Arrows and songwriter[110][8]
March 29 France (Angers) Francis Rapp 93 Medievalist historian[111]
March 29 Italy (Ponte San Pietro) Angelo Rottoli 61 Boxer[112]
March 29 Japan (Tokyo) Ken Shimura 70 Comedian[113][8]
March 29 France (Villeneuve-Saint-Georges) Henri Tincq 74 Journalist[114]
March 30 United States (New York) Lorena Borjas 59 Mexican American transgender and immigrant rights activist[115][8]
March 30 United States (New York) James T. Goodrich 73 Neurosurgeon[116][8]
March 30 United Kingdom David Hodgkiss 71 Chairman of Lancashire County Cricket Club[117]
March 30 Serbia (Belgrade) Milutin Knežević 71 Serbian Orthodox bishop, Eparch of Valjevo[118]
March 30 France (Neuilly) Joachim Yhombi-Opango 81 Former President and Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo[119]
March 31 United States (Los Angeles) Julie Bennett 88 Voice actor[120]
March 31 United States (New York) Wilhelm Burmann 80 German born ballet master and teacher[121]
March 31 Belarus (Vitebsk) Viktar Dashkevich 75 Stage actor[122]
March 31 Senegal (Dakar) Pape Diouf 68 Journalist, former president of Olympique de Marseille[123][124][8]
March 31 France (Strasbourg) Rafael Gómez Nieto 99 Spanish Civil War and World War II veteran, last surviving member of La Nueve.[125]
March 31 United Kingdom (Glasgow) James Gordon 83 Businessman and politician, founder of Radio Clyde, member of the House of Lords[126]
March 31 United Kingdom (London) Andrew Jack 76 Dialect coach and actor[127]
March 31 United States Cristina Monet-Palaci 64 Musician[128]
March 31 Sweden (Stockholm) Tomas Oneborg 62 Photographer[129]
March 31 United Kingdom (London) Sa’ad Galadiman Patigi 67 Nigerian born medical director[130]
March 31 South Africa (Umhlanga) Gita Ramjee 63 HIV prevention researcher[131][8]
March 31 United States (New York) Wallace Roney 59 Jazz trumpeter[132][8]
March 31 United Kingdom Peter J. N. Sinclair 73 Economist[133]
March 31 Spain Daniel Yuste 75 Cyclist[134]
April 1 Serbia (Belgrade) Branislav Blažić 63 Surgeon and politician, former Minister of Environmental Protection[135]
April 1 United States (Hyattsville) David Driskell 88 Visual artist and academic[136]
April 1 United States (Greenwich) Kevin Duffy 87 Former judge for the U.S. District Court for Southern New York[137][8]
April 1   Bernard Epin 83 French writer and literary critic[138]
April 1 United Kingdom (London) Nur Hassan Hussein 83 Former Prime Minister of Somalia[139]
April 1 United States (New Orleans) Ellis Marsalis Jr. 85 Jazz pianist[140][8]
April 1 United States (Saddle River) Bucky Pizzarelli 94 Jazz guitarist[141][8]
April 1 United States (Poughkeepsie) Adam Schlesinger 52 Songwriter, member of Fountains of Wayne[142][143][144][8]
April 2 Spain (Madrid) Goyo Benito 73 Footballer[145]
April 2 United States (New York) Patricia Bosworth 86 Actress and author[146][8]
April 2 Lebanon (Beirut) Bernardita Catalla 62 Philippine ambassador to Lebanon[147]
April 2 Italy (Romano di Lombardia) Zaccaria Cometti 83 Footballer[148]
April 2 France (Bry-sur-Marne) François de Gaulle 98 Catholic priest and missionary[149]
April 2 Argentina (Mendoza) Juan Giménez 76 Comic book artist and illustrator [150][151]
April 2 United Kingdom (Bristol) Eddie Large 78 Comedian[152][153]
April 2 United States Aaron Rubashkin 92 Businessman[154][155]
April 2 India (Amritsar) Nirmal Singh Khalsa 67 Singer, Ragi of Darbar Sahib[156]
April 2 France (Lens) Arnold Sowinski 89 Footballer[157]
April 2 United States (Honolulu) Arthur Whistler 75 Ethnobotanist, academic and writer[158]
April 3 United States (Sioux Falls) Bob Glanzer 74 Politician, member of the South Dakota House of Representatives[159]
April 3 Spain (Madrid) Francisco Hernando Contreras 74 Housing developer[160]
April 3 Ecuador (Guayaquil) Rodrigo Pesántez Rodas 82 Writer and poet[161]
April 3 Ecuador Omar Quintana 76 Politician, sports executive, and businessman, former president of the National Congress of Ecuador[162]
April 3 United Kingdom (London) Tim Robinson 85 Writer and cartographer[163]
April 3 Italy (Cesena) Sergio Rossi 84 Shoe designer[164][8]
April 3 United States Arlene Stringer-Cuevas 86 Former member of the New York City Council[165]
April 4 United Kingdom (London) Jay Benedict 68 American actor, who worked mainly in Britain[166][167]
April 4 Belgium (Brussels) Philippe Bodson 75 Businessman and politician[168]
April 4 United States (Shelter Island) Forrest Compton 94 Actor[169]
April 4 Brazil (São Paulo) Florindo Corral 70 Businessman[170]
April 4 United States (New Orleans) Tom Dempsey 73 American football placekicker[171]
April 4 France (Paris) Xavier Dor 91 Embryologist and anti-abortion activist[172]
April 4 United States (New York) Muhammad Sirajul Islam 77 Former member of Bangladeshi parliament[173]
April 4 France (Paris) Marcel Moreau 86 Belgian writer[174]
April 4 United Kingdom (London) Anton Sebastianpillai 70s Author (writing as Anton Sebastian) and consultant geriatrician.[175]
April 4 United Kingdom (Bath) Alexander Thynn 87 Aristocrat, 7th Marquess of Bath[176]
April 4 France Frida Wattenberg 95 Member of the French resistance[177]
April 5 United States (Aurora) Lee Fierro 91 Actress[178]
April 5 Egypt (Cairo) Mahmoud Jibril 67 Politician, formerly acting Prime Minister of Libya[179]
April 5 United Kingdom (London) John Laws 74 Former Lord Justice of Appeal[180]
April 5   Michel Parisse 83 French historian[181][182]
April 6 United States Helène Aylon 89 Ecofeminist artist[183]
April 6 Spain (Lleida) Josep Maria Benet i Jornet 79 Playwright and screenwriter[184]
April 6 Spain (Toledo) Alfonso Cortina 76 Former President of Repsol YPF[185]
April 6   Jacques Le Brun 88 French historian[186]
April 6 Israel (Jerusalem) Mark Steiner 77 American born mathematician and professor of philosophy[187]
April 6 United States (Philadelphia) Stephen Sulyk 95 Ukrainian Catholic bishop, Archeparch emeritus of Philadelphia[188]
April 7 United Kingdom (London) Jawdat Al-Qazwini 67 Iraqi scholar[189]
April 7 Switzerland Roger Chappot 79 Olympic ice hockey player[190]
April 7 France (Aix-en-Provence) Robert Chaudenson 82 Linguist[191]
April 7 France (Paris) Jean-Laurent Cochet 85 Actor and director [192]
April 7 United States (Woodland Hills) Allen Garfield 80 Actor[193]
April 7 United Kingdom (London) Hudeydi 92 Musician in traditional Somali genre[194]
April 7 Russia (Moscow) Mishik Kazaryan 72 Armenian born physicist[195]
April 7 United States (New York) Yaakov Perlow 89 Hasidic rabbi[196][197]
April 7 United States (Nashville) John Prine 73 Singer and songwriter[198][199]
April 7   Nipper Read 95 Police officer and boxing administrator[200]
April 7 Italy (Potenza) Donato Sabia 56 Middle-distance runner[201]
April 7 United States (New York) Hal Willner 64 Music producer[202]
April 8 Spain (Madrid) Miguel Jones 81 Footballer[203]

 

Compiled by Wikipedia

 

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John Prine 73

Fans of legendary singer-songwriter John Prine had been holding their collective breath since March 29.

On that day, amidst the surging COVID-19 data noise enveloping the world, it was like a hush fell over the audience after his wife and manager, Fiona Whelan Prine, informed those fans that the two-time cancer survivor was hospitalized because of coronavirus infection and was in critical condition.

Nine days later, on April 7, that collective breath became a huge sigh of sadness at his passing.

The next day, Fiona wrote on his website (we quote a portion), “Our beloved John died yesterday evening at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville TN.

I sat with John – who was deeply sedated- in the hours before he passed and will be forever grateful for that opportunity.

My dearest wish is that people of all ages take this virus seriously and follow guidelines set by the CDC. We send our condolences and love to the thousands of other American families who are grieving the loss of loved ones at this time – and to so many other families across the world.”

The feeling many of us have when someone we know passes is “there are no words”. No words that could possibly articulate the utter depth and mix of emotions at times of loss.

However, in the case of John Prine, there are more words than you can imagine.

Slate.com music critic Carl Wilson articulates many of them in a wonderfully-written, and heartfelt celebration of John Prine’s life and career in “Please Don’t Bury John Prine“.

And we’ve placed a few gems from John Prine’s “Americana” below. In the end, it’s most appropriate for Fiona to have the last words:

We have no words to describe the grief our family is experiencing at this time. John was the love of my life and adored by our sons Jody, Jack and Tommy, daughter in law Fanny, and by our grandchildren.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the outpouring of love we have received from family, friends, and fans all over the world. John will be so missed but he will continue to comfort us with his words and music and the gifts of kindness, humor and love he left for all of us to share.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of famed Italian shoe designer Sergio Rossi standing with his arms crossed and smiling in front of an automated rack of shoe forms at a factory in Italy.

Sergio Rossi 84

Iconic Italian shoe designer Sergio Rossi has died from COVID-19 infection. He was 84.

He was based in a part of the world hit hardest by the new coronavirus pandemic – the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and had been hospitalized for days in the ICU of the Buffalini Hospital in Cesena.

Learning the craft from his father in the town of San Mauro Pascoli, and taking over his father’s business in 1956, Rossi once said, “I was born among leather . . . watching my father at work, I stole his trade. I have always thought of myself as a calzuler, a cobbler, then I became a ‘creative manager.”

Rossi launched his namesake label in 1968. As Carrie Goldberg writes in Harper’s Bazaar, “Rossi’s innovation in the world of women’s shoes was undisputed; one of his most notable designs, the Opanca sandal, featured a curved sole, which flows seamlessly into the heel.”

At footwear news.com, (FN) where she provides a look back at Sergio Rossi’s most iconic shoes, Shannon Adducci takes the description of the Opanca sandal a step further as “a Slavic-inspired sandal with an insole that curved upwards around the foot. With a kitten heel and thin strips of red leather hugging the top of the foot, it was an early model for the sexy, strappy sandal that is so ubiquitous today (it’s also a shoe that his son Gianvito Rossi is well known for).”

The article provides photos of iconic designs from each decade, and chronicles later partnerships with names like Gianni Versace and Dolce & Gabbana. Rossi revealed his strategy in a 2003 interview: ” I followed designers, rather than advertising.

This way the Sergio Rossi brand travelled and became known by the right circles, press, buyers, thus reaching our customers through the advertising photos of the designers with whom I collaborated.”

In 1999, Rossi sold 70% of his company to Gucci Group (now Kering), and retired several years later. Kering sold the company in 2015 to an Italian private equity firm.

Current CEO Riccardo Sciutto has been meticulous in protecting the integrity of the founder’s legacy and designs. He told FN that he last saw the designer over Christmas when he showed him the Sergio Rossi archive assembled at the brand’s San Mauro Pascoli headquarters.

Sciutto revealed “He was so amazed to see it all in one place. He said to me, ‘I can die here.’” Those words, Sciutto admits, have been haunting him since.

Stephanie Hirschmiller writes, in an FN exclusive, that the CEO now has plans for a museum to honor the late founder.

Closing words we’ll leave to the designer’s son Gianvito Rossi, who created his own namesake luxury shoe label in 2007.

“He has always stood out for his class and his strong, charismatic, generous, courageous character: a natural leader, loved and respected at the same time by his collaborators, with whom, in the long journey of his life he created one big family.

There are those who have had the good fortune to transform their art into a work and those who have the extraordinary talent of transforming their work into a work of art. Sergio Rossi was this man.

A husband, father, grandfather and progenitor of a family that followed his example. The family offers, with love, their last goodbye. With the unquenchable fire of your passion, you taught us that there are no limits for those who love what they do. Goodbye maestro.”

 

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Abled.ALERT: Video still-frame of actress and author Patricia Bosworth smiling as she sits at a desk at a book signing for her memoir "The Men in my Life". hardcover volumes stand upright on shelving behind her.

Patricia Bosworth 86

If you wanted to capture the essence of Patricia Bosworth in a paragraph, you’d be hard – pressed to do any better than the opening of an appreciation of her life penned by Mark Rozzo for Vanity Fair, which is how the world learned of her passing:

“Patricia Bosworth, who died this week due to coronavirus complications, at 86, wrote breezily, with a gossamer touch, as if an intimate friend were telling you the latest over a coffee or a martini. Which is very much how she was: a champion chatterbox, charmer, encourager, motivator, and, above all, truth-teller.” 

It is a lovely tribute from the magazine where she wrote for decades. As Rozzo puts it, “Her editors were always delighted to get one of her pieces; they promised to be full of sparkle even as they tangled with dark themes, much like her best-selling books.”

Born into privilege on April 24, 1933 in San Francisco, Patricia Crum was later advised by her lawyer father, Bartley Crum, to take her mother’s maiden name for her acting aspirations to avoid giving future critics the potential ammunition to calm a role a “crummy performance.”

Her father’s defense during the “McCarthy Era” communist witch – hunt, of the members of the “Hollywood Ten“, and his support of left-wing causes put his career into a slow, painful dive. In her first memoir, Patricia revealed her father had informed on two colleagues.

Subsequently labeled as a subversive, Crum lost most of his clients. The subsequent stress of harassment culminated in two suicide attempts – the second one, successful in 1959.

It was the second of two suicides in her family. Six years earlier, her brother, said to be conflicted over his homosexuality, compounded by depression, shot himself in his dorm room at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

The year before, Patricia had graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and auditioned for famed acting coach Lee Strasberg, founding Artistic Director at The Actors Studio where she studied alongside future iconic names such as Brando, McQueen, Monroe, Newman and Fonda. As in Jane, a future subject of her bestselling biographies.

After initial stage works, Patricia starred beside Audrey Hepburn in 1959’s “The Nun’s Story“. Throughout this timeline, she married twice, took up writing pieces for The New York Times and New York magazine, eventually editing at Harper’s Bazaar, McCall’s, Mirabella and Vanity Fair magazines.

Biographies and two powerful memoirs followed. The first project, “Montgomery Clift: A Biography” in 1978, won acclaim in The Times. Patricia first met the subject when he was lounging in the family’s living room as a client of her father. She pilfered one of his cigarette butts from an ashtray and kept it for the rest of her life.

Other biography subjects would be photographer Diane Arbus, and actors Marlon Brando and Jane Fonda. They were either suicides (Arbus), survivors of a relative’s suicide (Jane Fonda) or flamboyantly self-destructive (Clift, Brando).

She explained in an interview that writing these books was “one of the ways I coped with and tried to understand why the two men I loved most in the world had decided to kill themselves.”

The memoirs of Patricia Bosworth, “Anything Your Little Heart Desires” and “The Men in My Life” were written two decades apart. The first, a chronicle of her father’s life – the second, her survival of the two suicides, her sexual awakening and an actor’s life in New York.

In her later years, Patricia taught literary non-fiction at Columbia University and Barnard College and ran the Playwright – Directors Unit at the Actors Studio.

Just before she fell ill, Patricia had returned from doing research for her next book. She had emailed Frank Rozzo about her “incredible trip to the Deep South”, visiting landmarks of the civil rights movement and freedom fighters in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee.

The resulting “Protest Song: Paul Robeson, J. Edgar Hoover, and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Equality,” is to be published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux next year. 

You can learn more details about this prolific writer in obituaries penned by Elsa Dixler in The New York Times, and Matt Schudel in The Washington Post.

 

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Abled.Alert: Photo of the band "Fountains of Wayne" with Adam Schlesinger highlighted in a circle.

Adam Schlesinger 52

Coronavirus complications have claimed the life of singer – songwriter – producer Adam Schlesinger at the age of 52. The passing of the member of 90s group Fountains of Wayne sadly became one of more frequently  emerging cases that COVID-19 was killing not just the elderly.

Schlesinger, a divorced father of two daughters, had been in a hospital in Poughkeepsie in upstate New York, and was placed on a ventilator for over a week. His lawyer, Josh Grier, said the day before he died, Schlesinger was “very sick and heavily sedated.”

As well as the work with his band, Schlesinger was a prolific composer  in the fields of  music, theater, film and television. He worked as a producer and mixer for others, including The Monkees and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin.

His songs have been covered by other artists, including Katy Perry, the Jonas Brothers, America, Sara Silverman with will.i.am , Ken Jeong with Nicki Minaj and Pat Monahan and  on “The Billboard Music Awards”, and The Monkees.

Schlesinger’s compositions for TV programs earned three Grammy nominations with one of them winning the 2009 Grammy for Best Comedy Album “A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All“, co-written with long-time collaborator David Javerbaum, the executive producer of “The Daily Show”, and co-produced with Steven M. Gold.

He racked-up nine Emmy nominations, winning three – the most recent being the Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics award in 2019 for “Antidepressants Are So Not a Big Deal“.

Schlesinger wrote songs for a number of Broadway and off-Broadway theater productions, earning two 2008 Tony nominations with David Javerbaum for the musical adaptation of John Waters’ film Cry-Baby.

At the time of his death, he had been collaborating with Sarah Silverman on a musical adaptation of her book “The Bedwetter“. It was set to begin previews in May, and opening night was set for June 10, 2020.

On the film front, Schlesinger’s music, whether written, scored and/or co-produced, has been featured in live-action and animated movies, including “Shallow Hal“, “Ice Age: Continental Drift“, “There’s Something About Mary“, “Scary Movie” and more.

He was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award in 1997 for writing and co-producing the title song for the movie “That Thing You Do.”

It was a fictional story of a one-hit wonder band set in the 1960s and was directed by Tom Hanks, who recently  posted on his social media pages, “There would be no Playtone without Adam Schlesinger, without his That Thing You Do! He was a One-der.

 Lost him to COVID-19. Terribly sad today.”

 

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Patricia Bosworth Interviewed in 2017

Because of the wide expanse of cultural, personal and political history Patricia Bosworth’s legacy of work covers, we thought we’d feature an interview that provides a great overview of that legacy.

On March 7, 2017, journalist Sheryl McCarthy sat down with Bosworth in the studios at City University of New York.

The introduction for it reads: “Stage and screen actress, Patricia Bosworth, turned to storytelling, authoring biographies of Montgomery Clift, Marlon Brando, and Diane Arbus. Her earlier memoir “Anything Your Little Heart Desires” is about her fascinating family. In her latest work-“The Men in My Life” we get closer to Bosworth’s life both private and professional.”

Abled.ALERT: Photo of a side view of a clear plastic infant hospital bassinet nestled in a tubed metal frame.

C19 Claims Illinois Infant

Thirteen new deaths have been recorded from COVID-19 in the state of Illinois. One of them was an infant under the age of one.

Illinois Public Health Director, Dr. Ngozi Ezike says, “There has never been a case of COVID-19 death in an infant. If you haven’t been paying attention, maybe this is your wake-up call.”

At a press conference on Saturday, Governor Jay Pritzker said: ‘Upon hearing it, I admit I was shaken. We should grieve with our family of state employees, with the many people we’ve already lost to this virus, young and old.’

A letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine by Chinese researchers earlier this month reported the death of a 10-month-old with COVID-19. The infant had a bowel blockage and organ failure, and died four weeks after being hospitalized.

Officials in Illinois have not specified the exact age of the infant who died.

Earlier in the week week, a three-week-old infant in New York was identified as the youngest patient in the US to test positive for the new coronavirus.

Fox News reports the baby was treated at NYU Winthrop Hospital on Long Island in Mineola for several days, but has since been released and is now recovering at home.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo montage of three New York Police Department employees who've died of COVID-19 disease.

C19 Ravaging NYPD

The New York Police Department is mourning the loss of three highly respected employees to COVID-19 infection.

In the photo montage above from left to right, 48 year-old Detective Cedric Dixon died Saturday;  Giacomina Barr-Brown, a civilian employee for the NYPD, died of the virus inside her home on Thursday; and 62 year-0ld Dennis Dickson, a custodial assistant, died earlier this week.

Detective Dixon, a 14-year veteran who reportedly had asthma and diabetes, was the first uniformed officer from the force to die from C19. Barr-Brown was a seven-year veteran of the NYPD staff, and Dickson fell ill after he had been disinfecting 1 Police Plaza.

Over 500 NYPD personnel, including 442 officers have contracted C19, according to records obtained by DailyMail.com. In just one day, 4,111 uniformed officers – or more than 10% of the force – called in sick.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of 36 year old Kayla Williams, a black woman with long hair in south London.

Rejected Patients Die

As infection and death rates from C19 continue to rise around the world, more stories are emerging of patients being refused treatment and then subsequently dying of the disease.

A 17 year-old boy in Los Angeles with no pre-existing health conditions, who had developed respiratory problems, died after being turned away from an urgent care facility.

The reason? He didn’t have health insurance and his family was told to take him to a public hospital. The boy went into cardiac arrest on the way, and died  six hours later.

Overseas, 36-year-old Kayla Williams died at her flat in south London of suspected Covid-19 a day after calling 999 and being told to look after herself at home.

The mother of three, died a day after paramedics were called to her home in Peckham, and her husband was told she was not a priority.

This may be a harbinger of things to come as test kits become more available and confirmed C19 cases are expected to spike in the coming weeks.

With hospitals in many countries reporting a shortage of ventilators, there is a fear doctors will have to make tough decisions about who will get treatment and who won’t based on severity of symptoms and age, as well as the availability of both medicine and equipment.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of Ellis Marsalis playing a grand piano onstage with the audience behind him.

Ellis Marsalis Jr. 85

It was only a matter of time before the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease would be taking a toll on notable pioneers in American culture and life.

Such was the case on April 1 when it claimed Ellis Marsalis, the patriarch of New Orleans’ most famous musical family. 

As NPR put it, “Over a lifetime in music, he achieved renown not only as a pianist and composer in his own right, but as one of the most influential music educators in the U.S. — imparting his extensive knowledge to students like pianist and vocalist Harry Connick Jr., trumpeter Terence Blanchard and of course, his four (of six) sons who followed his path into music.”

NPR’s Jazz Profiles provides a 53 minute listen to a detailed overview of Ellis Marsalis’ life and career.

We’ll focus on the tributes from those whose lives he impacted in many ways:

Statement of Branford Marsalis:

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my father, Ellis Marsalis Jr., as a result of complications from the Coronavirus.  He was admitted to the hospital on Saturday and died peacefully this evening. My dad was a giant of a musician and teacher, but an even greater father.  He poured everything he had into making us the best of what we could be. And to quote my friend and Harvard Law Professor David Wilkins who just sent me the following text: “We can all marvel at the sheer audacity of a man who believed he could teach his black boys to be excellent in a world that denied that very possibility, and then watch them go on to redefine what excellence means for all time.”

Statement of Harry Connick, Jr.:

among the countless lessons ellis taught me, the most important was the process of discovery. he already knew everything i was trying to learn; but he always made me figure things out for myself. he was a grand master educator, an inimitable pianist, a caring mentor and a dear friend. i wouldn’t be who i am without him. i’ll miss him with all my heart.

Statement of EMCM Leadership:

Our hearts are broken as we mourn the passing of a true legend, Ellis Marsalis, Jr.  A gifted master educator, Ellis enriched the lives of thousands, including in his tireless work as the artistic director of the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, established in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Ellis was a deeply kind person of great character who was passionate about education and music. We at EMCM are dedicated to upholding and fulfilling the vision of this great  American and New Orleans treasure. And while the pandemic that took Ellis from us will delay our celebration of his life, we will have a celebration befitting Ellis’s legacy. Stay tuned.

Statement of Michele Brierre, Executive Director:

A true legend has passed but not without enriching  the lives of so many of us whom he touched. Ellis Marsalis was a master educator with a unique ability to share his gifts and wisdom.  As important, Ellis defined character. In how he lived his life, he set a worthy example for us all. It has been my life’s great fortune and pleasure to work under Ellis’s guidance for the past decade as the Executive Director of the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music.  The Center lives on to fulfill the passion and to uphold the legacy of this great  American treasure.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Video frame from a Yogi Bear carton with the character Cindy Bear pulling Yogi closer with an umbrella.

Julie Bennett 88

Entertainment industry veterans who were part of the indelible sights and sounds etched into the memories of those who are old enough to have lived through the Sixties have now reached the age range that makes them most vulnerable to the ravages of COVID-19 disease.

Julie Bennett, best known as the voice of Cindy Bear in “The Yogi Bear Show“, died March 31 at the age of 88 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after testing positive for the new coronavirus the week before.

As well as various incarnations of Cindy Bear, Bennett’s  voice was also cast in Garfield and Friends, Spider-Man: The Animated Series and a Spider-Man video game. She did have some live-action roles in the TV series Moonlighting and Crossings.

Born in New York City and raised in Los Angeles, she returned to Manhattan after college to appear in soap operas on radio and dramas on TV.

Also a writer, Bennett was known for The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure (1967), Lux Video Theatre (1950) and Mathnet (1987).

In what was referred to as her second act, Julie Bennett became a realtor on the side and also a talent agent, representing clients under the pseudonym Marianne Daniels.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of Jazz trumpeter Wallace Roney performing in concert.

Wallace Roney 59

As the great scourge that is the COVID-19 pandemic blankets more of the world, Twitter has become a moving repository for tributes to “the fallen”.

Jazz bassist Christian McBride tweeted, “Our collective spirits are taking some serious blows these days. Saying goodbye to one my beloved big brothers is especially hard. May the great Wallace Roney RIP.”

Roney, a protege of jazz icon Miles Davis, and a legend in his own right over a four-decade career, died of complications from coronavirus infection at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey. He was 59.

Born in Philadelphia, Roney got his early jazz education at home from his father’s love of Miles Davis, and his mother’s appreciation of Thelonious Monk.

Perfect pitch and trumpet lessons from the age of 5 eventually earned him a place as the youngest member of The Philadelphia Brass at 12. A few years later, his family moved to Washington, D.C., and he attended the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, and later earned degrees at Howard University and the Berklee College of Music.

Roney began his career in the early 1980s and was a member of both Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and the Tony Williams Quintet. Roney studied with Davis from 1985 until the latter’s death in 1991.

Nate Chinen from 88.3fm WBGO.org public radio via NPR, takes us through the finer details of Wallace Roney’s illustrious career and what he describes as the “public benediction by his idol and mentor, Miles Davis, that catapulted him into a rare stratum of jazz celebrity.”

An article at heavy.com provides additional insights and video examples of different stages in Roney’s career, including some poignant words from some young musicians who contributed to what would be his last album.

And among his “last words” in an interview with Glide magazine at the time, Roney said “My music is uncompromising, so I look for musicians who have an expansive understanding of what’s possible and who have the ability to play above that, but who are always cognizant of what’s going on around them.

I tell them ‘be true to who you are. Go all the way in, learn every part of what the masters have done, but let it come out of you’.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of British actor and dialect coach Andrew Jack with long-flowing white hair and a beard sitting on the set of a Star Wars movie with Harrison Ford in the background.

Andrew Jack 76

The COVID-19 death of Star Wars actor and dialect coach Andrew Jack became another heartbreaking example of families separated by quarantines.

His representative Jill McCullough told Metro.co.uk: ‘He died this morning of Covid-19  at St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey.

Andrew lived on one the oldest working houseboats on the Thames, he was fiercely independent but madly in love with his wife – also a dialect coach – Gabrielle Rogers.

Tragically she is stuck in quarantine in Australia having just flown in from NZ last week. She was unable to see or talk to him at the end of his life and there is a chance a funeral may not be held.”

Andrew played Major Caluan Ematt in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi and was actively working until a few weeks ago. His career as a dialect coach is even more prolific, having worked on over 80 films with some of the biggest stars, including Robert Downey Jr. in 1992’s Chaplin and Pierce Brosnan in his first outing as James Bond in 1995’s Goldeneye.

At the time of his passing, Andrew Jack had been working on the upcoming The Batman movie with Robert Pattinson.

Tributes have started to roll in from some of the many stars he’s worked with. Mark Hamill, 68, who originated the role of Luke Skywalker, tweeted “I’m so sorry and saddened to hear we have lost Andrew Jack. He was such a kind gentleman who was deeply gifted & beloved by all who knew him. My deepest condolences to his family.”

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth worked with Andrew on a number of films, starting with 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman, 2019’s Men In Black: International, and more recent movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

He wrote on Instagram alongside a picture of Andrew: “I lost a dear friend this week to Coronavirus. Andrew Jack was a wonderful, kind, beautiful soul and I and many others will miss him greatly.

I worked on a number of films with him over the years and he was the best dialect/voice coach in the game and was beyond instrumental in helping shape me as an actor. My love and support goes out to his family and to anyone and everyone who is struggling during this time. Sending everyone across the globe love and compassion. Peace.”

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of Alan Merrill performing at a Japan Day concert. He has long flowing hair and is playing a black Les Paul electric guitar.

Alan Merrill 69

“The Coronavirus took my father this morning. I was given 2 minutes to say my goodbyes before I was rushed out.”

Mirroring a heartrending trend for spouses and children of hospitalized COVID-19 patients as the pandemic lurched through more and more families, a daughter wrote a heartbreaking goodbye to her father on Facebook.

The father was 70’s rocker Alan Merrill, 69, who co-wrote the song “I Love Rock and Roll” for his band The Arrows in 1975, which became a rock anthem when Joan Jett covered it in 1982.

The daughter is Lisa Merrill, who posted “He seemed peaceful and as I left there was still a glimmer of hope that he wouldn’t be a ticker on the right hand side of the CNN/Fox news screen. I walked 50 blocks home still with hope in my heart . . . By the time I got in the doors to my apartment I received the news that he was gone.”

Joan Jett tweeted, “I’ve just learned of the awful news that Alan Merrill has passed. My thoughts and love go to his family, friends and music community as a whole.

I can still remember watching the Arrows on TV in London and being blown away by the song that screamed hit to me. With deep gratitude and sadness, wishing him a safe journey to the other side.”

Merrill is also survived by his wife, Joanna Lisanti, who took to Facebook to share the devastating details of the events leading up to his death.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of country music star Joe Diffie in-concert.

Joe Diffie 61

Two days after announcing he had tested positive with the C19 virus, country star Joe Diffie died on March 29 of complications from COVID-19 disease. He was 61.

The Tulsa, Oklahoma native was the first country celebrity to go public with a coronavirus diagnosis.

Diffie was a member of the famed Grand Ole Opry for over 25 years, and had a string of hits throughout the 1990s and his albums “Honky Tonk Attitude” and “Third Rock From The Sun” went platinum, spinning off 18 Top 10 singles, with five topping the Billboard record charts.

Married four times, Joe Diffie is survived by his wife Tara Terpening Diffie, and seven children.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of Spain's Princess Maria Theresa smiling at a function.

First Royal Death 86

Princess Maria Teresa of Spain has died at the age of 86 after testing positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, marking the first member of any royal household to succumb to the virus.

The Princess was born in Paris, France on July 28, 1933 to parents, Prince Xavier and Madeleine de Bourbon, one of six children.

The royals are members of the House of Bourbon-Parma which is a cadet branch of the Spanish royal family, descended from the French Capetian dynasty. A cadet branch is created when a young member of a Royal Family, who is not the current heir, is granted lands and titles of his own. 

The passing of the Princess comes after new headlines revealed that Prince Charles of the UK and Prince Albert of Monaco have both tested positive for C19 and have now emerged from self-isolating.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of former French-Armenian Minister Patrick Devedjian.

Senior EU Politician 75

Former French-Armenian Minister Patrick Devedjian has become one of the first high-profile politicians to die of COVID-19.

The 75 year-old former cabinet minister and former president of the Parisian Haut-de-Seine administrative district tweeted from his hospital bed Thursday morning that he had tested positive for C19.

“I am affected by the epidemic, therefore I am able to bear witness directly to the exceptional work of doctors and nurses. I’m sending them a big thank you for their constant help to all their patients.”

A lawyer by profession, Patrick Devedjian was a deputy for the 13th district of Hauts-de-Seine from 1986 to 2017, mayor of Antony from 1983 to 2002 and elected departmental councilor in 2004. He has chaired the department since 2007.

A close adviser of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy since the 1990s, he was Minister under the Prime Minister in charge of the Implementation of the Recovery Plan, a special ministerial post created for two years after the global financial crisis of 2008, since December 2008.

Armenia’s leaders immediately paid tribute to the late French-Armenian politician.

“It is with great sorrow that I learned of the demise of Patrick Devedjian. He was an exceptional personality, a politician of convictions and principles, faithful fighter for the Armenian cause, an essential figure in French-Armenian friendship,” Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in a Twitter post.

“This is a severe blow to the French Armenians, the Armenian people and France,” Pashinyan added.

Your can learn more at MASSISPOST about Devedjian’s involvement as one of the lawyers of four members of the Armenian Secret Army for Liberation of Armenia who had captured the Turkish consulate in 1981, raking 60 hostages.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Family photo of 21 year-old Chloe Middleton.

No Health Issues 21

“My beautiful, kind-hearted 21 year old niece has passed away from Covid-19. She had no underlying health conditions.”

Those sad words were posted on Facebook by Emily Mistry who urged others to “do your bit” to stop the spread of the disease.

Other family members of Chloe Middleton,  of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire in the UK, echoed the sentiments.

Her mother Diane said the family was “shattered beyond belief”, adding “the reality of this virus is only unfolding before our eyes. Please, please adhere to the government guidelines.”

 

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Abled.ALERT: Selfie tweeted by Top Chef Master Floyd Cardoz from his hospital bed.

Floyd Cardoz 59

Beloved Chef Floyd Cardoz, who competed on “Top Chef,” and won “Top Chef Masters,” died of complications from COVID-19 He was 59.

A week before his death, Cardoz posted on Instagram that he was “feeling feverish” and “as a precautionary measure” had admitted himself to a New York hospital. He also apologized for “causing undue panic” about an earlier post about his health.

Cardoz, who operated successful restaurants in both India and New York, had traveled from Mumbai to New York through Frankfurt, Germany, on March 8.

He was born in India and moved to New York City to pursue a culinary career. In 1997, he opened his most famous restaurant, Tabla, followed by North End Grill, Paowalla and Bombay Bread Bar. In 2011, he won the third season of “Top Chef Masters.”

“Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi was one of the first to pay tribute to Cardoz: “I am beyond saddened to wake up today and hear the news of my dear friend @floydcardoz’s passing. Floyd made us all so proud,” she wrote on Instagram. “Nobody who lived in NY in the early aughts could forget how delicious and packed Tabla always was. He had an impish smile, an innate need to make those around him happy, and a delicious touch. This is a huge loss, not only for the professional food world, but for Indians everywhere. My heart goes out to his wife Barkha and their whole family.”

 

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Abled.ALERT: Video thumbnail photo of American playwright Terence McNally showing the title of a documentary about him "Every Act of Life".

Terrance McNally 81

Terrence McNally, an American playwright whose career included winning Tony Awards for the plays “Love! Valour! Compassion!” and “Master Class” and the musicals “Ragtime” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” has died of complications from COVID-19.

He was 81.

McNally was a lung cancer survivor who lived with COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

McNally was the first-ever openly gay playwright and wrote the first play to feature a gay character on Broadway. He met John Steinbeck and traveled the world as a tutor to his children, dated Edward Albee and had his first play on Broadway flop, all before he was 24 year old.

A documentary about him, “Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life” premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2018. Lance Carter reviewed it at dailyactor.com.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of actor Mark Blum at an HB Studio gala in New York in 2019.

Mark Blum 69

Mark Blum, an actor known for his roles in the films “Desperately Seeking Susan” and “Crocodile Dundee,” as well as the recent TV series “You,” has died of complications from COVID-19. He was 69 and also had asthma.

Blum was an Obie Award winner, and, as Anita Gates puts it in a detailed obituary in the New York Times, “was an omnipresent figure in the Off-Broadway world for decades.”

At the time of his passing, Blum was an acting teacher at HB Studio in New York City.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Frame from the film "Nathalie Granger" showing Italian actress Lucia Bosé with long black hair.

Lucia Bosè 89

Lucia Bosè, the Italian actress, who appeared in more than 50 movies including Fellini’s “Satyricon,” died March 23 at age 89. Spanish reports said she died of pneumonia and was infected with COVID-19.

UK film critic Leonardo Goi tweeted, “I had a chance to revisit Marguerite Duras’ NATHALIE GRANGER not too long ago. Today, Lucia Bosè – who in the film stars opposite Jeanne Moreau and a super young Gérard Depardieu – died of coronavirus.”

Lucia found fame after winning the Miss Italia competition in 1947, at just 16 years of age. Before starting in films in 1950, she worked for several years in her family’s pastry shop, Pasticceria Galli, in Milan.

She known for playing played detached, ethereal beauties in movies such as The Lady Without Camelias (1953), Story of a Love Affair(1950) and Fellini Satyricon (1969). She was married to Luis Miguel Dominguín.

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo of African Jazz-funk saxophone legend Manu Dibango in concert.

Manu Dibango 86

The African jazz-funk saxophone legend died of coronavirus on March 24. He was 86. Manu Dibango was born in Cameroon and moved to Paris at 15.

A pioneer of “world music” in the 70’s, and a leader in the Afro jazz movement, Dibango was best known for the 1972 hit “Soul Makossa.”

It was the B-side of a recording made to support the Cameroon soccer team in the Africa Cup of Nations, but it went on to score radio play by influential New York DJs.

It exploded on the world stage  after being sampled by Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones on “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin‘,” as well as songs by Will Smith, Kanye West, Rihanna and A Tribe Called Quest.

In the end, the singer and saxophonist died of complications from the coronavirus in a hospital near Paris. 

His Facebook page carried the following announcement: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove, who passed away on 24th of March 2020, at 86 years old, further to covid 19. His funeral service will be held in strict privacy, and a tribute to his memory will be organized when possible.

If you wish to express your condolences, please write to the following email: [email protected].”

 

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Abled.ALERT: Photo Photo of beloved Japanese comedian Ken Shimura sitting in a passenger plane.

Ken Shimura 70

The man known as “Japan’s Robin Williams” has died one week after testing positive for the new coronavirus. Ken Shimura became the first Japanese celebrity to announce his infection, and the first the die from it.

The beloved comedian was hospitalized on March 20 after developing a fever and being diagnosed with pneumonia.  He was diagnosed with COVID-19 on the 23rd and succumbed to it on March 27.

Shimura’s passing sent a wave of sadness through multiple generations of Japanese society. A representative from Shimura’s agency said, “I am sure he was working hard with a sense of mission to deliver laughter to people. I don’t think he imagined he would die a death like this.”

Shimura was to begin work on a movie in April. He was set to run the Tokyo Olympic torch relay representing his hometown of Higashimurayama in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics until they were postponed to 2021.

Tributes poured-in and reflected his cross-generational appeal, especially since some of his classic routines are available to watch on YouTube, including everything from the crude “Fart Duel“, to one of his best-known bits as an English teacher.

Ken Shimura’s foray into comedy came into the public eye in the early 70s as part of a rock band-turned comedy troupe The Drifters. Patrick St. Michel, a contributing writer for “the japan times” has crafted a detailed overview of Shimura’s career progression and the influence of his subsequent entertainment legacy on the people of Japan.

 

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A Musical Tribute To Manu Dibango

We found the beautiful gem below while searching through YouTube to link to the many songs inspired by the rhythms of Manu Dibango.

Angélique Kidjo is a singer-songwriter, actress and activist from Benin. Her full name and the breadth and scope of the languages she speaks, the music she creates and the social advocacy she champions will leave you both truly in awe and truly humbled.

And we feel privileged to share her tribute to Manu Dibango with you:

“Dear Manu Dibango, you’ve always been there for me from my beginnings in Paris to this rehearsal just 2 months ago! You’re the original Giant of African Music and a beautiful human being. This coda of #SoulMakossa is for you!”

Canada's PM Still Isolates

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged more support for children and seniors in COVID-19 support in his address to the nation on Sunday.

He also provided an update on his family, and said he will continue to self-isolate even after his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau said she had received a clean bill of health, after testing positive for the coronavirus.

 






Trudeau Thanks Supporters

In a series of videos on Instagram, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the wife of Canada’s Prime Minister says she has been given a ‘clear bill of health’ from health officials, after having tested positive for COVID-19 infection.

She was diagnosed after returning from the WE charity event that was held in London on March 4. At the time, she posed for a photo with actor Idris Alba (seen in the following column), who has since, also tested positive for C19.

Grégoire Trudeau thanked Canadians for their support and offered encouragement to get through the pandemic.






Abled.ALERT: Photo of Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, the wife of Canada's Prime Minister, stands with actor Idris Alba and some attendees at the WE charity Event in London behind a large 3D WE logo.

Actor Alba Refutes Rumors

Days after posing for a photo at the WE charity event in London with Canada’s “First Lady” Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, actor Idris Alba learned the Prime Minister’s wife had tested positive for C19.

While he didn’t show any symptoms, Alba posted a video on Twitter explaining why he decided to get tested, which turned out positive. His wife, Sabrina Dhowre, has also since tested positive for C19 and in a subsequent Twitter post that follows, Alba says they are doing ok.

The 47-year-old actor, also shut down rumors and conspiracy theories claiming that he and other celebrities have been paid to say that they have been infected by the COVID-19 virus.

He also addressed criticism that he got tested even though he didn’t have any symptoms, “I think the debate about rich and poor and who’s getting it and who’s not, I think, is not a healthy debate. It’s like, I got a test but I also got COVID. Does that make me preferential? I don’t understand that . . . I think that the negativity around test-shaming is counterproductive.”

 






Abled.ALERT: Actors Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson wearing curved caps post a selfie to Instagram.

Tom & Rita Back Home

“‘Hey, Foks… We’re home now and, like the rest of America, we carry on sheltering in place and social distancing. Many, many thanks to everyone in Australia who looked after us. 

Their care and guidance made possible our return to the USA. And many thanks to all of you who reached out with well wishes. Rita and I so appreciate it. Hanx.”

And with that post, actors Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, who were the first celebrities to go public about testing positive for COVID-19, let their fans know they were doing much better.

They were in Australia where Tom was playing Colonel Tom Parker, the manager of Elvis Presley in director Baz Luhrman’s movie about the singer’s early days. Because of the ongoing C19 pandemic, production on the film has been suspended.

 






COVID-19 FAQS

Abled.ALERT: Outbreak | Emergency: COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic. Abled.FAQS. Image: Lab workers in hazmat suits work at a desk.

What Is COVID-19 Coronavirus?

Illustration of microscopic view of COVID-19 Coronavirus.

COVID-19 is the short-form name given to a new Coronavirus disease discovered in 2019.

Coronaviruses are transmitted between animals and people and cause illnesses like the common cold, flu and more serious diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

It is an infectious disease newly identified in Wuhan, China in November, 2019.

It has since been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), meaning that it has spread  across international boundaries and continents and is infecting large numbers of people.

Sources: CDC | WHOWikipedia 

More resources:

Here are some COVID-19 Factsheets in multiple languages from the New York City Department of Health:

 

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How Does It Spread?

Image of people traveling through an airport.

Coughing and Sneezing

The virus spreads by respiratory droplets. These spread by coughing, sneezing, or through respiratory secretions.

A person who is infected with COVID-19 but not experiencing any symptoms can still spread the infection to others. 

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others.

That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.

How long someone is actively sick can vary so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with doctors, infection prevention and control experts, and public health officials and involves considering specifics of each situation including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and results of laboratory testing for that patient.

Current CDC guidance for when it is OK to release someone from isolation is made on a case by case basis and includes meeting all of the following requirements:

  • The patient is free from fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  •  
  • The patient is no longer showing symptoms, including cough.
  •  
  • The patient has tested negative on at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.

Someone who has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.

 

Sources: CDC | mass.gov

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What Are The Symptoms?

Symptoms illustration: Severe Symptoms: High Fever; Pneumonia. Primary Symptoms: Fever, runny nose, dry cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, body ache. Illustration by The University of Alabama at Birmingham.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), common coronavirus symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough (usually dry)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired

Other less common symptoms can include:

  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Aches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea or nausea

The CDC believes symptoms may appear two to 14 days after coming in contact with the virus. WHO has declared it a global pandemic (an outbreak of a new virus that spreads easily).

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

 

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately!

 

Emergency warning signs include*:

 

1. Trouble breathing

2. Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

3. New confusion or inability to arouse

4. Bluish lips or face

 

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Sources: CDC | 

 

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Are There Any Treatments?

Bottles of Remdesivir are grouped together on a shelf in a hospital for COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, China.

*UPDATE: FDA Approves Plasma Treatment For COVID-19

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of what it calls “COVID-19 convalescent plasma” for patients with life-threatening forms of the illness.

The serum is derived from the donated blood of COVID-19 survivors who have built up antibodies to the new coronavirus. More details in our Headlines section.

Other than this, there are currently no other approved treatments or preventive vaccines for COVID-19 infection. 

As researchers in a number of countries race to develop a vaccine, drugs approved for other conditions are making news as potential treatments for patients with the newest coronavirus.

At an earlier stage in the outbreak, Remdesivir, a drug approved to treat Ebola, was showing promising treatment results, but because of potential side-effects such as liver toxicity, it requires further clinical study before being used on the frontlines of treating COVID-19.

Since then another drug – Chloroquine – approved for treating malaria, lupus and severe rheumatoid arthritis, was being hailed as a “miracle drug” after a number of patients in critical condition said it made the difference between life and death.

However, this drug is also not without serious side-effects, including liver toxicity. Officials in Nigeria report three cases of chloroquine poisoning after people overdosed on the drug.

Some doctors and individuals have been reporting successful treatment outcomes when using a combination of the less-toxic hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic Azithromycin.

The Trump administration has taken measures to allow critically-ill COVID-19 patients to have access to these as-yet unproven therapies.

 

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How Can I Protect Myself?

Illustration showing phases of hand washing. 1. water and soap. 2. Palm to palm. 3. Between fingers. 4. Focus on thumbs. 5. Back of hands. 6. Focus on wrists. Illustration from initial.com.sg

Take Steps To Protect Yourself

protect-wash-hands.png

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  •  

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Avoid close contact

Take steps to protect others

COVIDweb_02_bed.png

Stay home if you’re sick

COVIDweb_06_coverCough.png

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  •  

COVIDweb_05_mask.png

Wear a facemask if you are sick

  • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  •  
  • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
  •  

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Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Sources: CDC

More Resources:

Here are links to multiple language versions of a flyer prepared by the New York City Department of Health:

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What Should Caregivers Do?

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Caring For Someone At Home

Most people who get sick with COVID-19 will have only mild illness and should recover at home.* Care at home can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and help protect people who are at risk for getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

COVID-19 spreads between people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

If you are caring for someone at home, monitor for emergency signsprevent the spread of germstreat symptoms, and carefully consider when to end home isolation.

*Note: Older adults and people of any age with certain serious underlying medical conditions like lung disease, heart disease, or diabetes are at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness and should seek care as soon as symptoms start.

Monitor the person for worsening symptoms. Know the emergency warning signs.

  • Have their healthcare provider’s contact information on hand.
  • If they are getting sicker, call their healthcare provider. For medical emergencies, call 911 and notify the dispatch personnel that they have or are suspected to have COVID-19.

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately.

Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Prevent the spread of germs when caring for someone who is sick

  • Have the person stay in one room, away from other people, including yourself, as much as possible. 
    •  
    • If possible, have them use a separate bathroom.
    •  
    • Avoid sharing personal household items, like dishes, towels, and bedding
    •  
    • If facemasks are available, have them wear a facemask when they are around people, including you.
    •  
    • It the sick person can’t wear a facemask, you should wear one while in the same room with them, if facemasks are available.
    •  
    • If the sick person needs to be around others (within the home, in a vehicle, or doctor’s office), they should wear a facemask.
    •  
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after interacting with the sick person. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  •  
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  •  
  • Every day, clean all surfaces that are touched often, like counters, tabletops, and doorknobs
    • Use household cleaning sprays or wipes according to the label instructions.
    •  
  • Wash laundry thoroughly.
    • If laundry is soiled, wear disposable gloves and keep the soiled items away from your body while laundering. Wash your hands immediately after removing gloves.
    •  
  • Avoid having any unnecessary visitors.
  •  
  • For any additional questions about their care, contact their healthcare provider or state or local health department.

Provide symptom treatment

  • Make sure the sick person drinks a lot of fluids to stay hydrated and rests at home.
  •  
  • Over-the-counter medicines may help with symptoms.
  •  
  • For most people, symptoms last a few days and get better after a week.

When to end home isolation (staying home)

  • People with COVID-19 who have stayed home (are home isolated) can stop home isolation under the following conditions:
  •  
    • If they will not have a test to determine if they are still contagious, they can leave home after these three things have happened:
    •  
      • They have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers)
        AND
      • other symptoms have improved (for example, when their cough or shortness of breath have improved)
        AND
      • at least 7 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared
      •  
    • If they will be tested to determine if they are still contagious, they can leave home after these three things have happened:
    •  
      • They no longer have a fever (without the use medicine that reduces fevers)
        AND
      • other symptoms have improved (for example, when their cough or shortness of breath have improved)
        AND
      • They received two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart. Their doctor will follow CDC guidelines.

Sources: CDC |

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Abled FAQS: Cover coughs and sneezes. Socially isolate and wear a face mask if you are sick. Wash hands with soap often. Clean and disinfect surfaces. Seek immediate help if you have difficulty breathing.

A VISUAL JOURNEY THROUGH COVID-19 INFECTION

The video below is one of the best 3D animations that visually explains the progression of of COVID-19 Coronavirus infection.

It’s produced by High Impact®, which provides animations and other services for the legal profession. Our sharing of it is not an endorsement of, or advertisement for, the company.

It is simply part of our efforts to curate the best information and resources to increase knowledge of the COVID-19 pandemic to enable people to make informed choices in responding to this massive global health challenge.

Video best viewed in landscape orientation.

Abled®People Special Feature

Dolly Parton: “The Book Lady”

Abled.People: Photo of music icon Dolly Parton wearing reading glasses and holding the book "The Little Engine That Could".

That’s the name most youngsters know beloved music legend Dolly Parton by, and she’s hoping to provide comfort every Thursday in the midst of fear and chaos by reading bedtime stories to children.

We’ve embedded the first episode here. You can see what’s coming up in the series at Dolly’s Imagination Library.

Dolly's Heart of Gold

Music legend Dollar Parton is hoping to provide “comfort and reassurance to coping kids and families during the shelter-in-place mandates” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How? By launching a weekly series in which she reads a children’s book to an online audience at bedtime.

Goodnight With Dolly” will be streamed on youTube and elsewhere starting today (Thursday, April 2) at 7pm EDT, although the YouTube channel says the premiere will be at 16:00 (4pm).

The musician and philanthropist, known better as “the Book Lady” to most youngsters, will be reading books from her Imagination Library project, and the first book in the series is The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper.

The Dolly Parton Foundation’s Imagination Library has delivered more than 130 million free books to children since it began in Tennessee in 1995, earning special recognition from the Library of Congress.

Dolly has also pledged $1 million dollars to coronavirus research being done at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. That’s the same amount she gifted to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in gratitude for the cancer care her niece received there over two decades ago.

That same year, Dolly came to the rescue of families after wildfires ravaged parts of her home town of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg Tennessee by setting up the “My People Fund” and donating $1,000 a month for the next 5 months to each family who had lost a primary residence in the fire. When she arrived to deliver on her promise she surprised the families with a bonus $5,000 each for a total of $10,000 to each family.

She also created the “Mountain Tough” organization to provide ongoing support for the fire victims over the next three years and pledged to fund it with $3 million dollars.

Said Dolly in her usual self-deprecating way, “It makes me feel humble. I don’t put myself on any kind of pedestal for doing this because it’s the right thing to do. I’m a Smoky Mountain girl, and I’ve been blessed in my life to become a celebrity. And when you’re in a position to help, you should help.”

Dolly, you make us all feel humble and grateful to have you in your lives! God bless you!

 

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HOW TO HELP

The elderly are most at risk from Coronavirus. But children are affected too. What parents should know. Public service announcement for Unicef USA over a photo of a child washing hands with soap and water. Link to Unicef site.

#GetUsPPE

URGENT NEED FOR PPE

The growing scale of the COVID-19 pandemic is overwhelming medical facilities and medical professionals world-wide, and causing a critical shortage in PPE (Personal Protection Equipment).

#GetUsPPE is a coalition of people in medicine that is trying to coordinate donation and distribution of masks, gloves, goggles and other essential items through an online data base that connects donors with healthcare workers and facilities.

They are also trying to unite with the maker community to validate designs that can be widely shared among the medical community and easily printed in local manufacturing facilities.

You can request or give as follows:

I NEED PPE | I HAVE PPE

Image montage of high demand PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) including N95 Respirator Masks, Surgical Masks, Protective Goggles, Gloves (Nitrile, non-powdered), Face Shields, (Wipes: Disinfectant.

RELATED AGENCIES

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THE URGENT NEED FOR INFORMED CHOICES

As we continue with the updates and upgrades to our Abled®com Networks, our awareness of the conflicting and confusing information circulating during the COVID-19 pandemic led us to the decision to transform our Home page, in the interim, to a consolidated and curated COVID-19 information hub.

We want to help everyone live an Abled® life by being able to make informed choices based upon non-partisan facts via our independent journalism.

Our Abled®ALERT Network will be evolving in real time as we build this organic, constantly updating resource, and we hope you find it helpful.

EMERGENCY

This is our highest level ALERT. It is a warning about a natural or man-made disaster or other situation that requires prompt attention and immediate action.

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MISSING

This is our ALERT for any person reported missing to law enforcement and includes official Amber Alerts, or wandering related to Autism or Alzheimer’s disease.

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OUTBREAK

This is our ALERT for any reported outbreaks of illness caused by infectious bacteria or viruses spreading throughout the human population regardless of infection source.

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RECALL

This is for Auto | Consumer | Food | Medical recalls for products that pose a threat to human safety through continued use or consumption.

THREAT

This is our early warning ALERT for any perceived physical, financial or cyber threat to personal, community or national safety based on information from various agencies.

WEATHER

This is our ALERT in advance of and during weather-related events that pose any threat to personal safety, animals or property based on information from various agencies.

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WE ARE UPGRADING EVERYTHING!

 

We are in the process of making everything about our networks more ABLED!

From switching hosting platforms, to upgrading our CMS, to upgrading security and updating our content, we’re busy with improving the overall accessibility, functionality and user experience for you.

That means that most of our links will be disabled throughout this process, and we apologize in advance for the inconvenience. But it will be worth the wait!

In the meantime, the links in our navigation bar will remain active, and we’ll keep you posted about our progress.

Our mission is to provide an informational experience that gives everyone a chance live a more Abled® life by making better informed choices throughout life, and is accessible to everyone whether or not you’re living with a health, physical or sensory condition.

We’re also looking to partner with advertisers, marketers and investors in this phase of scaling-up our global presence, so feel free to contact us at [email protected]

We look forward to flipping all kinds of switches to give you a new and improved experience and thank you for your patience in the meantime.

The Abled Team

INFORMING AND INNOVATING

We’re constructing new content delivery formats that provide a quick and enjoyable way to inform yourself about what’s going on in the world around you, while also providing relevant options to expand that knowledge with integrated content, products and services.

Our Abled.News Networks curate unbiased information that will enhance your decision-making to enable you to live a more Abled.Life whether living with a health, physical or sensory condition or not.

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CONSOLIDATING AND CURATING

In the same way we consolidate and curate information throughout our Abled.ALERT and Abled.News networks, we’re building our new platform to do the same in major cities around the world so that you can find community, content, products and services that are relevant to you in a quick, convenient and equally accessible way.

If you are an advertiser, marketer or entrepreneur and wish to list your accessible enterprise, or if you’re interested in being an affiliated partner in your city, drop us a line at [email protected] and we’ll be happy to discuss what we can build together! 

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