Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 1,220th day of the pandemic as well as Bastille Day – joyeux 14 juillet à nos amis français – and National French Fries Day or, as some refer to it, Fry-Day. The overlap between the two is mere coincidence, I can assure you.
In other news we cover today, Florida Republicans moved to ban the coronavirus vaccine, calling it a “biological weapon” while a Long Covid study found an “alarming” impact of the condition in patients.
A new study coming out of Northwestern Medicine, formerly Northwestern Memorial Healthcare, a non-profit healthcare system affiliated with the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, found what it termed an “alarming” impact of Long Covid on patients.
Researchers there found that, among those tested, 85% reported decreased quality of life, 51% said they had cognitive impairment, 45% had altered lung function, 83% had abnormal CT chest scans, and 12% had elevated heart rate on rhythm monitoring.
Long Covid is considered to be the third leading neurological disorder in the United States by most researchers including the Center for Long Covid Research.
“You will have many patients come to us … to fill up our clinics … and now having finally developed post-Covid symptoms, not allowing them to fill up hospitals, ICUs and overflow but still with symptoms that are enough to be disabling to their lives…” said Dr. Marc Sala.
Stupid is as stupid does.
In Florida, the Brevard Republican Executive Committee has joined a growing list of state GOP chapters calling on Governor Ron DeSantis to ban the coronavirus vaccine. The committee called it a “biological weapon” in a resolution this week.
The non-binding resolution was passed by a supermajority vote of committee membership Thursday. It now goes to DeSantis, Brevard County’s legislative delegation, and state party leaders, joining similar motions of support from committees in more than half a dozen other counties.
A draft version of the resolution reviewed by the Morning News Brief closely mirrors a similar one passed by the Lee County Republican Party in February. That resolution drew national headlines.
A new study from scientists at the University of Rochester and Harvard University found that the antiviral Paxlovid is underutilized at nursing and care homes. The researchers analyzed data reported to Medicare by the nursing homes under special pandemic regulations. The study showed that only about 25% of residents with SARS-CoV-2 were prescribed any antiviral medication between May of 2021 and December 2022.
The study, supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Aging, was published online Friday by JAMA.
Now here are the daily statistics for Friday, July 14.
As of Friday morning, the world has recorded 691.45 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0. 01 million from the previous day, and 6.89 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 663.97 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.07 million from the prior day.
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 Friday at press time is 20,582,080, a decrease of 6,000. Out of that figure, 99.8%, or 20,544,887, are considered mild, and 0.2%, or 37,193, are listed as critical. The percentage of cases considered critical has not changed over the past eight months.
The United States no longer reports daily or weekly new Covid cases. It last reported 72,136 new cases in the period May 4 through May 10, a figure that is down 26% over the same period one week earlier, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The test positivity rate for Covid for the week ending July 1 was 9.28%, up from 8.22% the prior week, according to data from the CDC Respiratory Virus Laboratory Emergency Department Network Surveillance, or RESP-LENS. By comparison, the test positive rate for influenza was 1.98%, up from 1.77% and, for RSV, that figure was 0.46%, down from 0.51%.
The death toll from Covid was 1% in the week ending July 8, 2023, a figure that is down 9.1% over the past week.
Finally, the number of hospital admissions from Covid for seven days ending June 24 was 6,220, a figure that is down 8% over the preceding 7-day period.
As of March 25, 2023, the Morning News Brief began to update case data as well as death tolls on a weekly basis. In addition, as of May 15, 2023, the Morning News Brief has pressed pause on certain data sets as we assess the update of changes in reporting by U.S. health authorities at the CDC. Where appropriate, the Morning News Brief has reintroduced data sets are they have become available.
Since the start of the pandemic, the United States has, as of Friday, recorded 107.37 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 1.17 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, 45 million, and a reported death toll of 531,914.
The newest data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed that, at the end of July 2022, 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 40.1 million, and Germany is in the number four slot, with 38.4 million total cases.
Brazil, which has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 704,320, has recorded 37.7 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 33.8 million cases, South Korea, with just under 32.3 million cases, placing it in the number seven slot, and Italy, with 25.9 million, as number eight, as well as the United Kingdom, with 24.6 million, and Russia, with 22.9 million.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of June 15, the total number of updated bivalent doses given in the United States was just over 139.9 million.
Older – and no longer updated – data from the CDC shows that over 270.2 million people in the United States – or 81.4% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of May 11, 2023. Of that population, 69.5%, or 230.6 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now over 676.7 million. Breaking this down further, 92.23% of the population over the age of 18 – or 238.2 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 79.1% of the same group – or 204.3 million people – is fully vaccinated.
Some 70.3% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Friday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information. So far, 13.48 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 61,670 doses are now administered each day.
Meanwhile, only 32.2% 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 beginning of vaccinations in North Korea in late September, Eritrea remains the only country in the world that has not administered vaccines.
Anna Breuer contributed reporting to this story.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)