The New York governor was tested after announcing that all people experiencing flu-like symptoms are eligible for coronavirus testing.
Pharmaceutical company Moderna announced positive results on Monday from the early stages of its trial for a potential vaccine and said it would continue on with the next stages.
Meanwhile, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar blasted the World Health Organization Monday during its two-day assembly. The WHO and China signaled support for an investigation into the handling of the response to the coronavirus pandemic in the early days of the outbreak. Appearing by video link, Azar criticized the WHO’s failures, saying it had cost “many lives.”
The U.S. has the largest coronavirus outbreak in the world by far. There are more than 90,000 deaths and almost 1.5 million confirmed cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University data dashboard. Worldwide, the virus has killed more than 317,000 people and has infected more than 4.7 million.
Here are some highlights to know Monday:
- Stocks rebounded from losses last week on optimism that the U.S. economy might start to recover after drugmaker Moderna released promising early results for a vaccine.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren said watching her oldest brother die from a distance after was something she will never get over. “In any other state of the world, I would have been there with him. We all would have been there with him. And instead he was by himself.”
- So far, the CDC has officially listed nine symptoms of COVID-19: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell. However, there are many weird, unofficial symptoms being reported.
Azar slams WHO; China supports investigation into virus response
Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar critiqued the World Health Organization during its annual meeting Monday, saying it failed “to obtain the information that the world needed.”
“In an apparent attempt to conceal this outbreak, at least one member state made a mockery of their transparency obligations, with tremendous costs for the entire world,” he said, apparently referring to China, though he did not name the country.
China’s Xi Jinping signaled support for an independent inquiry into the origins of and response to the coronavirus.
The WHO also announced it will would evaluate the response to the outbreak “at the earliest appropriate moment” as Australia, European nations and others backed the investigation. Here’s what else has come up and is expected at the meeting:
- U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was a “false dichotomy” to assume governments would choose between saving their citizens or their economies.
- Xi Jinping also pledged $2 billion over two years to fight the coronavirus pandemic and the economic fallout from it.
- WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that there is still “a long road to travel” before the pandemic is contained and a majority of the world’s population remains susceptible to the virus.
Scientists conducting a trial for one of the leading vaccine candidates for the new coronavirus reported positive results Monday from the initial stages of their research.
Moderna, the drugmaker working on the potential vaccine alongside the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said eight participants who received either low or medium doses of the vaccine had levels of antibodies in their blood at similar or greater levels than patients who have recovered from the virus.
The results are a positive sign, however scientists have said more research is needed to determine what level of antibodies in the blood could provide immunity to the virus.
Moderna said the trial will continue, and there are plans to start a larger phase of the trial by July. U.S. stocks ticked up shortly after the trial results were announced, and shares of Moderna surged 25%.
The news comes just days after President Donald Trump formally unveiled Operation Warp Speed, a federal effort in partnership with private industry to try to develop a vaccine at an accelerated timeline – by the end of the year. Many infectious disease experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, say it would take between a year to 18 months to develop a vaccine in a best case scenario.
Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said Sunday that a vaccine is possible by the end of the year “if everything goes in the right direction,” but cautioned, “there are many ways that it might not work. … So, I don’t think we should bank on it.”
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