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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.

Top health officials warn America won’t return to normal soon

Adm. Brett GiroirThe country's recent progress against Covid-19 could be short-lived if Americans do not continue to take precautions like mask wearing and social distancing, HHS testing czar Brett Giroir said Wednesday.

The number of new infections has decreased nationwide by 48 percent following a spike beginning around Memorial Day, while the number of coronavirus patients in intensive care units has dropped by 62 percent and deaths have fallen 33 percent over the same period, Giroir said during a Senate hearing.

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CDC chief Robert Redfield: Masks could be more powerful than coronavirus vaccine

CDC: masks may be more powerful than vaccine

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday defended the scientific integrity of his agency and said that masks might be even more protective against the coronavirus than a vaccine.

Dr. Robert Redfield said face coverings are “the most important public health tool” the country has in its fight against COVID-19, even as President Trump shows tepid support for their use.

“I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine,” Dr. Redfield told members of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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Coronavirus cases are growing in 11 U.S. states as Fauci warns of ‘disturbing’ data

Covid growing in 11 states

Coronavirus cases continued to grow over the weekend in nearly a dozen U.S. states as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, warns about the nation’s worrying level of new infections.

Covid-19 cases were growing by 5% or more, based on a weekly average to smooth out daily reporting, in 11 states as of Sunday, according to a CNBC analysis of data collected by Johns Hopkins University, an increase from eight states on Friday.

The states were Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Wisconsin hit a record high in its average of daily new cases, reporting 1,353 new infections, a roughly 32% increase from a week ago, the Hopkins data shows. Kansas and Montana both hit record highs for new deaths.

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Dakotas Lead US In Virus Growth As Both Reject Mask Rules

Dakotas lead in covid cases

Infections have been spurred by schools and universities reopening and mass gatherings like the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which drew hundreds of thousands of people from across the country.

“It is not a surprise that South Dakota has one of the highest (COVID-19) reproduction rates in the country,” Brookings City Council member Nick Wendell said as he commented on the many people who forgo masks in public.

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Trump officials interfered with CDC reports on Covid-19

Michael Caputo

The health department’s politically appointed communications aides have demanded the right to review and seek changes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly scientific reports charting the progress of the coronavirus pandemic, in what officials characterized as an attempt to intimidate the reports’ authors and water down their communications to health professionals.

In some cases, emails from communications aides to CDC Director Robert Redfield and other senior officials openly complained that the agency’s reports would undermine President Donald Trump's optimistic messages about the outbreak, according to emails reviewed by POLITICO and three people familiar with the situation.

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