September 8 coronavirus news

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3:41 p.m. ET, September 8, 2020

Coronavirus has disrupted care for other diseases globally, Fauci says

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks remotely during the Research! America 2020 Summit.
Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks remotely during the Research! America 2020 Summit. Research! America

Covid-19 has interfered with care and prevention efforts for other diseases around the world, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday.

“Unfortunately, it’s been disruptive across the board, not only in the United States but globally,” Fauci said during the Research! America 2020 Summit.

People are missing screening for things “that you need to pay attention to,” such as breast cancer and prostate cancer. And they’re missing follow-up appointments for other conditions. 

“You can wind up getting into a situation where diseases that have nothing to do with Covid, diseases of different types, infection, cancer, autoimmune, inflammatory, they might get neglected and routine checkups that you would need tend to get neglected,” he said.

Fauci said that it is known in the HIV community that disruption of services and availability of drugs can really be a problem.

“Bottom line is, it’s quite disruptive and has deleterious effects on how we handle other diseases,” he said.

 

3:11 p.m. ET, September 8, 2020

More than half a million US children have been diagnosed with Covid-19

From CNN’s Jen Christensen

More than 513,000 US children have been diagnosed with Covid-19, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

The groups found that 70,630 new child cases were reported from Aug. 20 through Sept. 3. This is a 16% increase in child cases over two weeks, bringing up the total to at least 513,415 cases, the groups said in their weekly report on pediatric coronavirus cases.

“These numbers are a chilling reminder of why we need to take this virus seriously,” said American Academy of Pediatrics President Dr. Sally Goza. “While much remains unknown about COVID-19, we do know that the spread among children reflects what is happening in the broader communities,” she added.

“A disproportionate number of cases are reported in Black and Hispanic children and in places where there is high poverty. We must work harder to address societal inequities that contribute to these disparities.” 

Children represent nearly 10% of all reported cases in the US, according to the report. The child cases are likely underreported because the tally relies on state data that is inconsistently collected.

“This rapid rise in positive cases occurred over the summer, and as the weather cools, we know people will spend more time indoors,” said Dr. Sean O’Leary, the vice chair of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases. 

“Now we are heading into flu season. We must take this seriously and implement the public health measures we know can help. That includes wearing masks, avoiding large crowds, and maintaining social distance. In addition, it will be really important for everyone to get an influenza vaccine this year. These measures will help protect everyone, including children.” 

 

3:03 p.m. ET, September 8, 2020

Fauci says vaccine unlikely to be ready by Election Day

From CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas

A lab technician sorts blood samples as part of a Covid-19 vaccine study in Hollywood, Florida.
A lab technician sorts blood samples as part of a Covid-19 vaccine study in Hollywood, Florida. Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday he is cautiously optimistic that a vaccine will be proven safe and effective by the end of the year. But he said that’s unlikely to happen by Election Day. 

President Trump has said he thinks a Covid-19 vaccine could be ready by Election Day, Nov. 3, but Fauci said this is unlikely.

“The only way you can see that scenario come true, is if there are so many infections in the clinical trial sites that you get an efficacy answer sooner than you would have projected,” Fauci said during an event sponsored by Research! America.

“It's unlikely that we'll have a definitive answer at that time,” he added. “More likely by the end of the year.”

There are currently three vaccine candidates in large-scale, Phase Three clinical trials in the US.

“You have a lot of candidates in play, which really is the reason why we're optimistic that we will be successful with one or more, and that will likely start taking place by the end of the calendar year 2020,” said Fauci.

2:59 p.m. ET, September 8, 2020

We should continue to encourage people to get the flu vaccine, Fauci says

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

A man gets a flu shot at a health facility in Washington, DC, in January.
A man gets a flu shot at a health facility in Washington, DC, in January. Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images

People can hope for a mild flu season like that just experienced in the southern hemisphere, but they need to get vaccinated, too, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday.

“One of the things we can say is that we should continue to encourage people to get vaccinated with the influenza vaccine,” Fauci said during an event sponsored by Research! America. 

Australia had “one of the lowest rates of influenza infection in memory,” Fauci said. “If we can do that, I think that would be very favorable,” he added.

“If what happened in the southern hemisphere happens here, that would be a very good and favorable thing,” Fauci added. 

Mask use, social distancing and hand washing have not only helped prevent the spread of coronavirus, but they likely helped stop the spread of flu, too, he said.

If the US does have what Fauci calls a “full-blown” flu season without getting control over the coronavirus, doctors, hospitals and others will struggle to tell the two infections apart. Plus, the sheer number of sick people could overwhelm the healthcare system.

“That’s the reason why, when you have two coexisting infections during the winter months, it becomes problematic,” he said. 

2:59 p.m. ET, September 8, 2020

House Democrat and consumer advocacy group call on Trump to let generic drug makers produce remdesivir

From CNN's John Bonifield

Vials of remdesivir are seen in Hamburg, Germany, in April.
Vials of remdesivir are seen in Hamburg, Germany, in April. Ulrich Perrey/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

To increase the supply of remdesivir for the treatment of Covid-19 in the United States, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, a Democrat from Texas, and the consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen are calling for President Trump to let generic drug makers produce the drug. 

Gilead, the California company that makes remdesivir, has exclusive rights to sell the drug in the US.

The situation is different in other countries. 

“There are manufactures in India and Pakistan and the United Kingdom that have been safely producing generic remdesivir in over 100 countries. Unfortunately, we’re not one of them,” Doggett said during a virtual news conference hosted by the advocacy groups PrEP4All Collaboration, Public Citizen and Social Security Works.

“We could quickly expand the supply if Trump would belatedly exert some leadership,” Doggett added.

About the supply in the US: About 38 hospitals in 12 states have reported shortages of remdesivir since July, according to a report by Public Citizen.

Doctors on the call expressed concern over shortages of remdesivir in the US.

“We do not have enough remdesivir nationally,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a CNN medical analyst. “There simply is not enough of it to go around. 

Dr. Thomas Patterson, chief of infectious diseases at UT Health San Antonio, said his hospital faced shortages of remdesivir during a surge of Covid-19 in August.

“We received enough remdesivir to treat less than a third of the admitted patients — so a really woefully inadequate supply,” Patterson said.

US hospitals do not directly purchase remdesivir the way they do other drugs. Because there isn’t enough to go around, the US Department of Health and Human Services regularly ships remdesivir to states, which then deliver the drugs to hospitals.

2:18 p.m. ET, September 8, 2020

College students should be isolated on campus, Fauci says

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Colleges and universities should try their best to isolate students infected with Covid-19 on campus rather than sending them home, so that they don’t infect other students or take the virus home with them, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday.

With students coming from all over the country, colleges and universities can be especially important in spreading the virus, Fauci said during an event sponsored by Research! America.

“You send them back to their community, you will in essence be reseeding with individuals who are capable of transmitting infection, many communities throughout the country,” Fauci said. “So it’s much, much better to have the capability to put them in a place where they could comfortably recover.”

Colleges and universities are handling Covid-19 in different ways, he said, with some going completely online. Several he has spoken with are testing everybody once, the first time they come onto the campus, so that they start off with a baseline. Then they are doing surveillance testing at various intervals.

“The ones who are doing that and who have the capability of handling students who ultimately get infected seem to be successfully being able to open,” he said. Colleges that cannot sequester students tend to be doing much more virtual or online teaching.

K-12 schools are much more of a local issue, Fauci said. The prudent approach, he said, is to decide how to reopen depending on whether the community is in a green, yellow or red zone.

Green zone schools are able to open for in-person teaching with “relative impunity” as long as they are able to identify and make accommodations for infected students. Yellow zone schools have to be able to adjust and adapt, doing things like modifying the schedule. In red zone schools “you really better be very careful before you bring the children back because you don’t want to create a situation where you have a hyper-spreading event, as you might have in the school,” he said.

2:11 p.m. ET, September 8, 2020

Fauci on Covid-19 vaccines: "We’ve got to regain the trust of the community"

From CNN Health’s Lauren Mascarenhas

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks Tuesday during an event organized by Research! America.
Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks Tuesday during an event organized by Research! America. Research! America

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, today discussed the importance of letting people know what’s going on with development and approval of Covid-19 vaccines.

“We've got to regain the trust of the community about when we say something is safe and effective, they can be confident that it is safe and effective,” he said.

He said it’s important to engage communities in vaccine education, including with public service announcements broadcast on radio and television as well as in-person efforts.

“That's with PSAs, that's with getting out into the community yourself, boots on the ground, speaking to people, getting them involved,” Fauci said during an event organized by Research! Amerca. “It is not an easy process, but it is definitely worthwhile.”

Fauci added that it’s important that more minority people are included in the clinical trials for Covid-19 vaccines. 

“We want to make sure that when we say that something is safe and effective, we mean it's safe and effective for everyone,” he said. 

2:28 p.m. ET, September 8, 2020

Some World Cup qualifying games moved to 2021 because of the pandemic

Honduras' Alberth Elis, in white, battles Panama's Alberto Quinteros for the ball during a World Cup qualifier in 2016.
Honduras' Alberth Elis, in white, battles Panama's Alberto Quinteros for the ball during a World Cup qualifier in 2016. Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images

The governing body for soccer in North America has announced that it is rescheduling qualifying games for the 2022 FIFA World Cup that were slated for this fall. 

The Confederation of North, Central American, and Caribbean Association Football, also known as CONCACAF, said first-round qualifiers scheduled for October and November will now be played in March of 2021. 

“Many parts of the region continue to have very challenging public health situations, and that has been a key factor in this decision,” CONCACAF said in a statement Tuesday. “Additionally, several countries across the confederation have travel restrictions and quarantine requirements, which would make international football involving 30 national teams extremely difficult.”

CONCACAF will provide a new 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying schedule after consulting with FIFA, the global governing body for soccer.

1:17 p.m. ET, September 8, 2020

US surpasses 6.3 million coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Virginia Langmaid

There are at least 6,308,741 cases of coronavirus in the US, and at least 189,323 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

So far on Monday, Johns Hopkins has recorded 8,119 new cases and 115 reported deaths.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.