Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 1,249th day of the pandemic.
OP-ED ON SATURDAY
Good Night, Mrs. Tenpenny, Wherever You Are
The doctor who contended that vaccinated people become magnetized is now, perhaps not unsurprisingly, no longer a doctor in terms of being able to practice medicine.
The State Medical Board of Ohio indefinitely suspended the license of Sherri Tenpenny. Tenpenny had her 15 minutes of fame after testifying to state lawmakers in June 2021 that coronavirus vaccinations made people magnetic.
When I read her testimony, I had to check that I was not reading the Onion or Der Postillon. But first, don’t get your hopes up as she was suspended purely on procedural grounds at this point.
“Dr. Tenpenny, neither you nor any doctor licensed by this board is above the law, and you must comply with the investigation,” said Dr. Jonathan Feibel, an orthopedic surgeon and medical board member, at the hearing. “You have not done so, and therefore, until you do, your license will be suspended.”
Now back to the former Dr. Tenpenny’s testimony.
“I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures all over the Internet of people who have had these shots and now they’re magnetized,” Tenpenny said in the course of her testimony. “You can put a key on their forehead [and] it sticks. You can put spoons and forks all over and they can stick because now we think there is a metal piece to that.”
Tenpenny didn’t stop there, however. She said there may be an “interface – yet to be defined” between the components of the vaccines and “all of the 5G towers,” noting that the connection is “not proven yet” but that “we’re trying to figure [it] out.”
Perhaps she can now return to the undead Mr. Tenpenny, but that’s another chapter in a totally different book.
In news we cover today, patients as well as researchers are expressing disappointment in the new NIH Long Covid research program, California is facing a “swell” of new Covid cases, coirand a Canadian woman almost died from lead poisoning in a dietary supplement.
New federal data shows that the percentage of adults in the United States experiencing Long Covid has decreased. In the period June 2022 to June 2023, the percentage went from 7.5% down to 6%, a study – Long COVID and Significant Activity Limitation Among Adults, by Age – published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly on Thursday. ,
The report uses data from the Household Pulse Survey, which collects data on how people’s lives have been impacted by COVID-19.
While the National Institutes of Health finally has launched clinical trials to find ways to treat Long Covid, although the move comes over 2.5 years after it received a $1 billion mandate from Congress for this work.
Scientists who study Long Covid and Long Covid patients say that the trials are unlikely to deliver meaningful results in the form of treatments.
A look at the budget document that examines how the $1 billion has been allocated is telling: Approximately 15% of the funding , $171.5 million, went to clinical trials led by Duke University’s Clinical Research Institute. Meanwhile, the NIH allocated the vast majority of its funds to research aimed at better understanding the symptoms of Long Covid.
This work includes $537 million to set up and study patient cohorts, $149 million for studying biological samples and health records, $122 million for following patients in the future, and finally $56 million for administrative tasks outsourced to consulting firms RTI International and Deloitte.
Two Long Covid patients told the Morning News Brief that the treatments being looked at are “disappointing and underwhelming.”
California is fighting a “swell” of new cases of SARS-Cov-2. Recent figures from the pharmacy Walgreens show a 48.3% positivity rate in tests it conducted by Walgreens in the state.
In England, government ministers have been adamant about pushing A-level grades back to 2019 levels by this summer. The move comes after teacher-assessed grades replaced exams in the first two years of the pandemic. This led to a significant ramping-up of grades in 2020 and 2021.
OTHER HEALTHCARE NEWS
A Canadian woman who used supplements to treat her infertility suffered lead poisoning, according to a new case report this week. The supplements turned out to be filled with the toxic heavy metal and her symptoms were successfully treated.
The incident, however, caused local authorities to seize other such products from her so-called alternative medicine provider.
Now here are the daily statistics for Saturday, August 12.
As of Saturday morning, the world has recorded over 693.18 million Covid-19 cases, a figure up 0.2 million from the previous day, and 6.9 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 665.19 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, also a figure that is 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 Saturday at press time is 21,078,259, a decrease of 64,000. Out of that figure, 99.8%, or 21,040,913, are considered mild, and 0.2%, or 37,346, are listed as critical. The percentage of cases considered critical has not changed over the past eight months.
The test positivity rate for Covid for the week ending July 29 was 16.66%, up from 13.89% 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 1.26%, down from 1.41%, and, for RSV, that figure was 0.99%, up from 0.66%.
The percentage of deaths due to Covid was 1.1% in the week ending August 5, 2023, a figure that is up 0.1% over the week.
Finally, the number of hospital admissions from Covid for seven days ending July 29 was 9,056 , a figure that is up 12.5% over the preceding week.
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 Saturday, recorded 107.72 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 531,920.
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 40.14 million, and Germany is in the number four slot, with 38.43 million total cases.
Brazil, which has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 704,897, 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 33.6 million cases, placing it in the number seven slot, and Italy, with 25.92 million, as number eight, as well as the United Kingdom, with over 24.6 million, and Russia, with 22.98 million.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of August 5, the total number of updated bivalent doses given in the United States was 152.5 million, an increase of 8 million doses over the past month.
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 70.5% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Saturday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information. So far, 13.5 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 47,617 doses are now administered each day.
Meanwhile, only 32.53% 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.
Paul Riegler contributed reporting to this story.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)