Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 1,038th day of the pandemic and the anniversary of the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.
In news we cover today, a doctor whose license was suspended then had it revoked after using the pandemic to make herself “look better” and a Florida realtor was charged with fraudulently obtaining almost $400,00 in federal pandemic-relief loans.
A luxury realtor in Florida was charged with fraudulently with fraudulently obtaining pandemic-relief loans and grants under the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Relief Program. Daniela Rendon“submitted fraudulent applications seeking Covid-19 relief funds from the Small Business Administration and PPP,” the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida said in a statement.
Rendon received approximately $381,000 in fraudulent funds, according to prosecutors. She used a payroll processor to issue “fraudulent payroll checks to herself, family members, and friends and used the funds to lease a 2021 Bentley Bentley Bentayga, rent a luxury Biscayne Bay apartment, pay for cosmetic dermatology procedures, and refinish her designer shoes.”
The indictment charges Rendon with seven counts of wire fraud, two counts of money laundering, and one count of aggravated identity theft and she faces up to 20 years in prison.
If you think that the number of coronavirus cases is universally in decline, you unfortunately would be mistaken. Los Angeles County reported that the number of SARS-CoV-2 patients in its hospitals is slightly up, rising by eight people to 697, the state reported on Friday. Still, the number of new infections and hospitalizations in the county remained relatively constant and at a relatively low rate over the past week, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported, with 1,482 new cases and 22 additional virus-related deaths on Friday.
Meanwhile, a physician in New York City used the pretense of the pandemic “to make herself look better” when she told a state investigator in 2020 that she was treating SARS-CoV-2 patients at Northwell Health hospitals in April and May of that year, according to New York State records.
Dr. Malini Rao, an anesthesiologist who had had her license suspended in 2017 over allegations that she failed to properly place an epidural catheter in a patient, followed by probation for three years, worked just several shifts at hospitals in Glen Cove and Syosset before she was fired on April 13, 2020 after a supervisor at Northwell discovered the previous disciplinary actions against her.
The state found that she “exuded a false sympathetic appeal with an emphasis on exaggerating her limited work during the pandemic to the point of it becoming an insult to medical professionals who genuinely worked tirelessly and selflessly through the pandemic,” according to hearing records. In addition, her license to practice medicine was permanently revoked.
Finally, former New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo may face scrutiny over the state’s handling of the early days of the pandemic at a congressional hearing later this year. Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis told the New York Post that “[I]t’s quite possible that the committee will subpoena either Governor Cuomo or his former chief of staff Melissa DeRosa,” earlier this week, citing high levels of interest from the Republican majority in Congress.
Now here are the daily statistics for Sunday, February 12.
As of Sunday morning, the world has recorded 677.6 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.2 million cases, and 6.78 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 650 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.1 million.
The reader should note that infrequent reporting from some sources may appear as spikes in new case figures or death tolls.
Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Sundayat press time is 20,777,797, an increase of 96,000. Out of that figure, 99.8%, or 20,736,563, are considered mild, and 0.2%, or 41,234, are listed as critical. The percentage of cases considered critical has not changed over the past three months.
The United States reported 14,142 new coronavirus infections on Friday for the previous day, compared to 112,192 on Thursday, 31,892 on Wednesday, and and 24,780 on Tuesday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The 7-day incidence rate is now 38,803. Figures for the weekend (reported the following day) are typically 30% to 60% of those posted on weekdays due to a lower number of tests being conducted.
Data for Saturday and Sunday were not available at press time.
The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 39,670, a figure down 14% over the past 14 days, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources. The average daily death toll over the same period is 449, a decrease of 14% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 29,225, a decrease of 13%. In addition, the number of patients in ICUs was 3,619, a decrease of 15% and the test positivity rate is now 10%, an increase of 4% over the same period.
In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Sunday, recorded just under 104.8 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 1.14 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, 44.7 million, and a reported death toll of 530,750.
The newest data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed that, at the end of July, the number of Covid or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now 823,623, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, behind the United States. Rosstat last reported that 3,284 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in July 2022, down from 5,023 in June, 7,008 in May and 11,583 in April.
Meanwhile, France is the country with the third highest number of cases, with 39.6 million, and Germany is in the number four slot, with 37.9 million total cases.
Brazil, which has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 697,672, has recorded 36.9 million cases, placing it in the number five slot.
The other five countries with total case figures over the 20 million mark are Japan, with 32.9 million cases, South Korea, with over 30.3 million cases, placing it in the number seven slot, and Italy, with 25.5 million, as number eight, as well as the United Kingdom, with 24.3 million, and Russia, with 22.1 million.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Thursday, 269.2 million people in the United States – or 81.1% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 69.2%, or 229.8 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 668.8 million. Breaking this down further, 92% of the population over the age of 18 – or 237.6 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 78.9% of the same group – or 203.8 million people – is fully vaccinated. In addition, 19.2% of the same population, or over 49.5 million people, has already received an updated or bivalent booster dose of vaccine.
Starting on June 13, 2022, the CDC began to update vaccine data on a weekly basis and publish the updated information on Thursdays by 8 p.m. EDT, a statement on the agency’s website said.
Some 69.4% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Sunday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information. So far, 13.27 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 1.09 million doses are now administered each day.
Meanwhile, only 26.4% of people in low-income countries have received one dose, while in countries such as Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, at least 75% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine.
Only a handful of the world’s poorest countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal – have reached the 70% mark in vaccinations. Many countries, however, are under 20% and, in countries such as Haiti, Senegal, and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain at or below 10%.
In addition, with the start of vaccinations in North Korea in late September, Eritrea remains the only country in the world that has not administered vaccines.
Paul Riegler contributed reporting to this story.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)