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Coronavirus updates: Cuomo says New York will review vaccines approved by feds; fears of a second wave in Europe

Vaccine will be reviewed in NYC

New York state officials will conduct a review of any coronavirus vaccines approved by the federal government before recommending them to New Yorkers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.

Cuomo said he feared President Donald Trump would strongarm the Food and Drug Administration into using insufficiently rigorous standards to approve vaccines.

"We are going to put together our own review committee that will advise me, so I  can look at the camera and I can say, 'It is safe to take,'" Cuomo said.

In Houston, a new study indicates the coronavirus, which has infected almost 7 million people in the U.S. alone, may have mutated to a strain that's more contagious, though not more deadly.

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Fauci Aide Unmasked as COVID Troll Will Retire

Fauci aide unmasked as COCID troll resignsBill Crews, a public affairs aide at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, plans to retire after The Daily Beast reported on extensive derogatory comments he made towards the agency and its director, Dr. Anthony Fauci, in his post as an editor of the popular conservative website RedState.

“NIAID first learned of this matter this morning, and Mr. Crews has informed us of his intention to retire,” a spokesperson for the agency said in an emailed statement. “We have no further comments on this as it is a personnel matter.” As The Daily Beast reported on Monday, Crews, the managing editor of RedState, has written for the site since 2004 under the pseudonym “Streiff.”

Since the spring, his writings have included angry denunciations of Fauci and other public health leaders over efforts to combat the coronavirus that Crews has portrayed as an anti-Trump conspiracy.

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U.S. Covid-19 death toll surpasses 200,000

US Covid-19 deaths top 200,000

In the predawn hours of March 30, Dr. Deborah Birx stepped in front of the camera on the White House lawn and made an alarming prediction about the coronavirus, which had, by then, killed fewer than 3,000 people in the United States.

"If we do things together, well, almost perfectly, we can get in the range of 100,000 to 200,000 fatalities," Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, told Savannah Guthrie of NBC News' "Today" show.

"We don't even want to see that," she added, before Guthrie cut her off.

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Pentagon rewriting pandemic playbook after study faults Covid-19 response

Pentagon rewriting Coid playbook

The Pentagon is in the early stages of rewriting its pandemic playbook after an internal review found failings in the department's initial response to Covid-19, according to defense officials and documents viewed by POLITICO.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff is revising the plans, last updated by U.S. Northern Command in 2013, and is building on “lessons learned” from the Covid-19 response, said spokesperson Cmdr. Hayley Sims.

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C.D.C. Didn’t Write Testing Guidance Published on Its Website, Officials Say

CDC headquarters in AtlantaA  heavily criticized recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month about who should be tested for the coronavirus was not written by C.D.C. scientists and was posted to the agency’s website despite their serious objections, according to several people familiar with the matter as well as internal documents obtained by The New York Times.

The guidance said it was not necessary to test people without symptoms of Covid-19 even if they had been exposed to the virus. It came at a time when public health experts were pushing for more testing rather than less, and administration officials told The Times that the document was a C.D.C. product and had been revised with input from the agency’s director, Dr. Robert Redfield.

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Maine 'superspreader' wedding linked to 170 Covid cases and seven deaths

Maine superspreader weddingA rural church wedding and reception on a beautiful day in the shadow of Mount Katahdin was no doubt a happy day. But it has spread misery ever since.

That single event on 7 August is linked to coronavirus outbreaks in at least two other locations in Maine, with more than 170 people contracting the virus and seven deaths since.

Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control, said the single event has the power to undo much of the state’s progress during the pandemic. The virus can become “the uninvited guest at every single wedding, party or event in Maine”, he warned.

The “superspreader” event started with wedding attendees in the Katahdin region and spread to the community at large and to a nursing home in Madison.

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Trump says CDC Director Robert Redfield 'confused' about coronavirus vaccine, mask efficacy. Redfield responded.

Dr. Robert RedfieldPresident Donald Trump again contradicted his own health officials' coronavirus statements -- this time on the importance of mask wearing and the timing for a vaccine.

And he demeaned Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, saying the doctor was "confused" in his congressional testimony.
Redfield said Wednesday that masks may be a more effective protection against coronavirus than any potential vaccine that the President can't stop hyping. And he laid out a timeline for when the general US public could expect to start seeing results from widespread coronavirus vaccination the second or third quarter of 2021. Those statements both seemed to contradict what Trump has been saying.

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