Fauci Loses Trust With Americans as Confidence in CDC Plummets + More

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Anthony Fauci Loses Trust With Americans as Confidence in CDC Plummets — Poll

Newsweek reported:

The survey by the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center found that trust in coronavirus information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) dipped in January.

The poll of 1,656 adults between Jan. 11 and 17 is a follow-up to four previous surveys of the same respondents and had a 3.3% margin of error.

It found that confidence in whether ​​Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), gave trustworthy pandemic advice, had fallen to 65% — down from 71% in April 2021, in what the poll described as a “statistically meaningful drop.”

More than one-third (35%) said they weren’t confident in Fauci, which was up from 29% over the same time frame. Meanwhile, confidence in the CDC dropped 5 percentage points over the last two months, to 72%.

Education Chief: ‘We Must Make up for Lost Time’ in Schools

Associated Press reported:

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said Thursday that the nation’s schools must act more urgently to help millions of students who have fallen behind during the pandemic. “We must make up for lost time,” he said.

Striving to keep schools open is no longer enough, Cardona said in a speech laying out his priorities. He urged schools to use billions of dollars in federal aid to expand tutoring and mental health counseling, and to close achievement gaps that have worsened during the coronavirus pandemic.

20-Year-Old Woman With COVID to Lose Both Legs Amid Life-Threatening Infection

Newsweek reported:

A 20-year-old woman battling a severe case of COVID-19 will lose both of her legs and friends are hoping to raise money for her, as she is facing a significantly different future when she’s released from the hospital than she once pictured.

Claire Bridges, of St. Petersburg, Florida, was born with a serious heart condition, according to the GoFundMe page that has been established for her, and she was quickly admitted to the intensive care unit after contracting COVID-19. While Bridges was on life support, she developed more complications and a life-threatening infection, so her best chance at survival is to amputate both of her legs.

Heather Valdes, Bridge’s roommate who started the GoFundMe, told WFLA that the 20-year-old was vaccinated against COVID-19.

A Federal Watchdog for Coronavirus Aid Warns Congress It Is Nearly out of Money

The Washington Post reported:

A federal watchdog overseeing billions of dollars in coronavirus aid told lawmakers late Thursday that it is now facing a “terminal budget crisis,” as its fast-dwindling funds in the face of congressional inaction threaten to shutter the office as soon as this summer.

The warning arrived from the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR), an oversight body chartered by Congress in 2020 to oversee a portion of the country’s first major stimulus package.

The leader of the office, Brian D. Miller, stressed that its coffers are at risk of running dry unless Democrats and Republicans fill them swiftly as part of an upcoming debate over government funding levels.

Merck’s COVID Pill Active Against Omicron in Lab Studies

Reuters reported:

Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N) and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics said on Friday six lab studies showed their experimental oral COVID-19 drug molnupiravir was active against the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

The data evaluated the antiviral activity of molnupiravir and other COVID-19 antiviral agents against COVID-19 variants of concern. Molnupiravir is yet to be studied against Omicron in human studies, the companies said.

Merck said earlier this month its pill has a mechanism that can work against Omicron and any other variant.

Paris Hospitals Chief Sparks Debate on Whether Unvaccinated Patients Should Pay for Treatment

Reuters reported:

The head of the Paris hospitals system has set off a fierce debate by questioning whether people who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19 should continue to have their treatment covered by public health insurance.

Under France’s universal healthcare system, all COVID-19 patients who end up in intensive care are fully covered for their treatment, which costs about 3,000 euros ($3,340) per day and typically lasts a week to 10 days.

U.S. Scientists Develop Cheap Smartphone-Based Test Kit for COVID

The Guardian reported:

Scientists have developed a highly sensitive COVID test that relies only on low-tech kit and a smartphone, which could be used as a quicker, cheaper alternative to PCR testing.

The team behind the 25-minute saliva test say it provides a highly reliable platform for testing in the workplace or at home. It requires a basic lab kit that includes a cardboard box, a small hot plate and LED light that can be produced for less than £75.

The cost of running a test, including the reagents, is about a 10th of a PCR test and is also cheaper than a lateral flow test. The team’s findings are published in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Pfizer COVID Pill Gets Final Approval From European Commission

Reuters reported:

The European Commission on Friday approved Pfizer‘s (PFE.N) antiviral pill for COVID-19 a day after the region’s health regulator endorsed the tablet, a move that will ensure wide availability of the promising treatment to EU member states.

The final go-ahead by the executive body of the European Union (EU) was tweeted by EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides as the region is beefing up its defenses against the coronavirus amid the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant.

German Regulator Supports BioNTech/Pfizer’s U.S. Vaccine Trial

Reuters reported:

The head of Germany’s vaccines regulator said he supported the decision by BioNTech (22UAy.DE) Pfizer (PFE.N) to conduct pivotal tests on their adapted vaccine to target the COVID-19 Omicron variant in the United States.

“The companies have to carry out the clinical trials in a relevant setting. This is where the United States are quite suitable,” Klaus Cichutek, president of the Paul Ehrlich Institute, told Reuters TV.

The Paul Ehrlich Institute is contributing to the regulatory review to be done by the EU’s European Medicines Agency, or EMA, as part of the involvement of national bodies in EMA’s work.

cbd gummies Research Suggests It Could Fight Coronavirus, but Clinical Trials Are Needed

The Hill reported:

New studies may suggest that cannabinoids, like cannabidiol or cbd gummies, found in the cannabis plant have some properties that may help cells fight off coronavirus infection. Importantly, these studies have only tested the compounds on cells in a laboratory setting or in animals. It would take more research and clinical trials to show that this could happen in human bodies.

“These are the seeds of our knowledge related to how cannabinoids might interact with the SARS-Cov-2 virus,” says Ziva Cooper, who is the director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, to STAT. “We have a long way to go.”

Australia Suffers Deadliest Day of Pandemic, Expands Booster Eligibility

Reuters reported:

Australia suffered its deadliest day of the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday with nearly 100 deaths, but several large states said they expect hospital admissions to fall amid hopes that the latest wave of infections would begin to subside.

Australia is among the most heavily vaccinated countries against COVID-19 with more than 93% of its adult population double-dosed and around two-thirds of eligible Australians having received a booster dose, according to official data.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the country’s drug regulator, on Friday expanded the eligibility for boosters to 16- and 17-year-olds, joining the United States, Israel and Britain.

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