On a tragic day when US deaths passed 80,000, President Donald Trump bragged about handling his government for the crisis, saying “we have met this time and we have won.” But contrary to his claim at Rose Garden yesterday, not everyone who wants to be tested can do it. Eligibility criteria vary dramatically from one state to another, and some jurisdictions still suffer from a lack of key ingredients.
Meanwhile, Trump experts themselves and the World Health Organization warn against returning to normal life too soon. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, plans to warn the Senate committee during today’s hearing that if the US was opened prematurely, Americans would face “unnecessary suffering and death,” according to an email he sent to The New York Times.
Fauci is currently in “modified quarantine” after two administrative staff tested positive for the virus. Trump is worried that the White House outbreak will reduce his message that the crisis is easing and countries must start reopening, according to someone he talked to.
YOU ASK. WE ANSWER
Q: Does the antibody test allow us to go back to work?
A: When the government scrambles to restart the economy, one way to get people back to work is to get support: an antibody test. The hope is that those who have been infected may have developed enough antibodies to make them invulnerable – get them back to work safely – even though this knowledge is far from settled. But experts warn that going down this route can create new problems, including discrimination at work, or people who deliberately try to get infected so they can get back to their work faster, “playing Russian roulette” with their lives, as said by a doctor.
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WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
Memo mask for West Wing staff
While officials are now required to wear face masks in the West Wing, Trump, who says he cannot imagine wearing a mask in public, may be less likely to do so. The First Lady, on the other hand, has been wary of practicing social distance and wearing a mask, and has asked staff in the East Wing to do the same.
Elsewhere, masks have become an important part of the reopening strategy. They are now required in the Paris metro system, after France began lifting the key yesterday. Across the Straits, Britain has recommended that masks be worn on public transportation, due to some lifting restrictions – but they are still not mandatory.
What the White House can learn from Downing Street
If Trump needs to remind how easily the corona virus can spread at work, he just needs to pick up the phone and call his friend Boris Johnson, Luke McGee writes. The British Prime Minister knew firsthand the pain of Covid-19, after surviving a serious virus attack that left his government in control at the worst possible time.
Experts say the UK offers a simple lesson for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence: If you cannot stay healthy, you cannot lead your country through this crisis.
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Cases are increasing in newly reopened countries
South Korea, China and Germany – countries where home stay measures and other restrictions have recently been lifted – have reported spikes in infection. In the past 24 hours, Germany has recorded more than 900 new cases.
“Over the weekend we see signs of challenges that may lie ahead,” said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, referring to the surge in cases in three countries. Tedros added that the uptick is a sign that, without vaccines, strict social distance measures must continue.
IN OUR RADAR
- Twitter says it will brand coronavirus tweets that are misleading – even if it’s from Trump.
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk has stepped up his stand with California officials, announcing the automaker will continue production and oppose locking orders.
- NFL games can be the perfect storm to spread viruses – even without fans – Dr. Fauci warned.
- Around the neighborhood police patrol. Army uniforms stand guard at checkpoints. Breaking up quarantine can mean jail time for tourists in Hawaii.
- Winter antibodies, llamas on agriculture managed by the University of Ghent in Belgium, can be very important in neutralizing Covid-19.
- “Go to work. Don’t go to work. Go outside. Don’t go outside.” Comedian Matt Lucas took aim at Boris Johnson, parodying some of his appointments by order to stay at home in England.
- A fire in a Russian hospital has killed five coronavirus patients. The fire may have been caused by a malfunctioning ventilator, the state news agency reported.
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