Covid-19 is Dr. Anthony Fauci's 'worst nightmare'
Coronavirus is "my worst nightmare," in some ways more than Ebola or HIV, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday.
"Ebola was scary, but Ebola would never be easily transmitted," Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said. Ebola outbreaks are also always highly local.
"HIV, as important as it is, was drawn out and over an extended period of time," added Fauci, who was speaking via recorded video at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization International Convention. Many never felt threatened by the disease because it was always a threat "depending upon who you are, where you are, where you live."
In the past, when people would ask Fauci to describe a potential disease that he feared most, he said he would often describe it as something that was a brand new respiratory infection that likely jumped from an animal and had a very high degree of transmissibility.
The world has seen outbreaks that have at least some of those characteristics, he said, but Covid-19 had all of those characteristics combined.
"Now we have something that turned out to be my worst nightmare," Fauci said. "In the period of four months, it has devastated the world." The pandemic has killed more than 111,700 people in the United States, and nearly 409,000 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. Around the globe there have been more than 7 million people infected. Satellite images of Wuhan may suggest coronavirus was spreading as early as August It was "unexpected how rapidly," it would spread, he said. "It just took over the planet," Fauci added, "And it isn't over yet." Fauci also said there is still a lot to learn about the long-term negative effects of Covid-19 infection on patients. "The thing that we don't yet fully appreciate is what happens when you get infected and you get serious disease and you recover? What are the long-term durable negative effects of that infection?" Fauci said. Fauci explained that because there's still not enough experience with the virus, scientists don't know what patients who have recovered will be like in six months. "We don't know the extent of full recovery or partial recovery, so there's a lot we need to learn," he said. Fauci also spoke about the fight to prevent the disease. There will be "more than one winner" in the Covid-19 vaccine field, he said. "We're going to need vaccines for the entire world -- billions and billions of doses," Fauci said. More than half of states may be undercounting coronavirus cases by not following CDC guidelines Fauci praised the "unprecedented" rapid response of pharmaceutical companies in working toward a vaccine and therapeutics for coronavirus, saying it "even outpaced the public health response in some respect, which you usually see it opposite." Fauci said he hopes the work that is being done to fight Covid-19 will bring in the future "a degree of capability and preparedness to respond even better than we've responded right now." The doctor said he doesn't think imposing price controls on vaccines before they are developed works, and instead called for the government to work in "good faith" with pharmaceutical companies to develop treatments during public health emergencies. Dr. Sanjay Gupta Answers Your Covid-19 Questions: Coronavirus podcast for June 9 Speaking about vaccine affordability, Fauci said, "I have a lot of experience over the years dealing with pharmaceutical companies in which we're trying to develop an intervention. And the one thing that is clear is that if you try to enforce things on a company that has multiple different opportunities to do different things, they'll walk away." Fauci explained profit has to be considered when developing vaccines with the private sector. "As long as it isn't such an outrageous way that it completely makes something out of the realm of the people who really need it," he said.
The coronavirus food assistance program has processed $1.4 billion since mid-May
From CNN’s Dan Shepherd
According to the latest United States Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payment report released Monday, $1.4 billion has been awarded across more than 80,000 applicants since the program was announced in mid-May. USDA Commissioner Sonny Perdue said in a May 19 release the CFAP assistance program would provide up to $16 billion “in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.” The payment report cites that 49 states and two territories had applicants for the aid; Rhode Island is the only state without any applications in the CFAP program, up to this week. Applicants from states in the upper Midwest had the largest awards with crop farming in the “specialty” and “non-specialty” categories, including Illinois ($60.6 million), Iowa ($52.5 million), Nebraska ($45.2 million), Minnesota ($28.4 million) and Kansas ($20.5 million). The livestock/cattle industries received the largest amounts of money, with more than $676.2 million, while crop farmers were awarded $392.9 million and dairy farmers collected just over $337 million. One surprise in the June report is that two states and one territory have not received any money, despite multiple applicants listed in those locations. Delaware had 73 applicants, the US Virgin Islands had seven applications, Alaska had three applications. The amount listed on the CFAP payment plan on June 8 is “$0.00” for each of these states and territory. When asked about the lack of money going to these states and territory, a USDA spokesperson told CNN: “The number of CFAP applications shown on our weekly data reports include both approved applications as well as those that have been signed by producers but not yet approved by locally elected farmers who sit on the FSA county committee.” The Farm Service Agency is the department within the USDA that handles the application process. CNN has reached out to the Delaware Farm Bureau, the Alaska Farm Bureau and the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture for comment, but has not heard back from any of these organizations at this time.
Brazil records more than 32,000 coronavirus cases in a day
From CNN's Rodrigo Pedroso and Shasta Darlington
Brazil recorded 32,091 more coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the country's total confirmed cases to 739,503, according to the Brazilian Health Ministry. This is the fourth day Brazil's Health Ministry has recorded more than 30,000 new cases in a 24-hour period since the outbreak started. The ministry also reported 1,272 new Covid-19 deaths Tuesday, bringing the country's death toll from the virus to 38,406. Brazil's new totals come after the Pan American Health Organization said Covid-19 "continues to spread aggressively" in Brazil, Peru, and Chile in a news briefing Tuesday. The Americas have reported more than 3.3 million cases of Covid-19 as of June 8 — more than any other region in the world, according to Dr. Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization.
France announces $51 billion coronavirus stimulus package proposal
From CNN's Ya Chun Wang and Benjamin Berteau
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire will present a second stimulus package of $51 billion (45 billion euros) for the French economy amid pandemic on Wednesday, he said in an interview French radio RTL on Tuesday. “Hundreds of thousands” of people will be unemployed due to the economic fallout from the pandemic, Le Maire said, adding he predicts a “wave of bankruptcies” and unemployment and that the economic fallout could last well into 2021. “We have everything we need to recover,” Le Maire said, adding that he trusts France’s resources in terms of manpower and technology to find new economic growth with help from the stimulus package. "Forty-five billion euros is the sum that we will be putting on the table tomorrow ... this second stage consists in coming to the rescue of the sectors most at risk: hotels, restaurants, the automobile and aeronautics industries,” he said. In total, France will be spending close to $521 billion (460 billion euros) in recovery measures, which represents 21% of the French national wealth, the finance minister said, adding, "To put it in perspective, it is the equivalent of Austria's GDP." The minister said the national debt would reach 121% of the French GDP in 2021 and that there will be no tax increase during French President Emmanuel Macron's current term in order to encourage spending. Le Maire and Public Account Minister Gerald Darmanin will present the recovery plan after the weekly cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
California health officer resigns amid threats over face-covering order
From CNN's Cheri Mossburg
Orange County Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick resigned from her position amid threats to her personal safety after she issued an order requiring face coverings in the county. After the order, Quick was threatened during a county board meeting and received threats on social media, according to County Executive Frank Kim. Quick was not alone. A number of personal threats were made to county staff since the beginning of the pandemic, Kim said, but he would not go so far as to say threats were the sole reason for Quick’s departure. Kim said he was caught off guard by Quick’s resignation. "It was a surprise to me," he said. “I am very disappointed that she left. There was no encouragement from myself or any other board members for her to resign." He said he understood that the title of health officer “is a very stressful position.” Everyone in the health department has been working massive overtime, upwards of 80-hour weeks since February, he said. Quick is the third high profile member to leave the department since the coronavirus pandemic began.
US awards AstraZeneca $23 million to develop coronavirus antibody treatment
From CNN’s Maggie Fox
The US federal government said Tuesday it was awarding drug giant AstraZeneca $23.6 million to help the company develop an antibody treatment for the new coronavirus. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, along with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), said they were helping AstraZeneca to get to a phase one clinical trial of its monoclonal antibody combination. The trial would test the antibody cocktail for safety in people. “Using an interagency agreement, BARDA will support AstraZeneca’s development of a monoclonal antibody combination product against SARS-CoV-2, including a Phase I clinical trial and the manufacturing of the investigational product for testing in Phase 1,” Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement. “Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory synthesized therapies that can be used to neutralize viruses. A combination of monoclonal antibodies that neutralizes the SARS-CoV-2 virus could be used as both a prophylaxis to prevent infection and as a treatment for COVID-19 infections,” it added. “Therapeutic and prophylactic antibody therapies are urgently needed to combat COVID-19, particularly in the absence of vaccines.” There’s currently no approved treatment for Covid-19, although the antiviral drug remdesivir has received an emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration.
Peru surpasses 200,000 coronavirus cases
From CNN's Kiarinna Parisi
Peru surpassed 200,000 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus Tuesday, according to numbers released by the country's Health Ministry. The country reported 4,040 new cases Tuesday, bringing its total to 203,736. Peru also recorded 167 new Covid-19 deaths, bringing the country's total to 5,738. Latin America has become the hotspot for the Covid-19 pandemic with more than 3.3 million cases in the Americas, "more than any other region around the world," Pan American Health Organization’s Director Carissa Etienne said during a virtual news conference on Tuesday.
Ebola was "scary," HIV was "insidiously" spread, but Covid-19 is Fauci's "worst nightmare"
From CNN’s Jen Christensen
Coronavirus is “my worst nightmare,” worse in ways than Ebola or HIV, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday. “Ebola was scary, but Ebola would never be easily transmitted,” Fauci said speaking at the BIO International Convention. “HIV, as important as it is, was drawn out and over an extended period of time,” added Fauci, who is also a top member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Many never felt threatened by the disease because it was always a threat “depending upon who you are, where you are, where you live.” In the past, when people would ask Fauci to describe a disease that would be his worst nightmare, he said he would often describe it as something that was a brand new respiratory infection that likely jumped from an animal, and had a very high degree of transmissibility. The world has seen outbreaks that have at least some of those characteristics, he said, but Covid-19 had all of those characteristics combined. “Now we have something that turned out to be my worst nightmare,” Fauci said. “In the period of four months, it has devastated the world.” Condensed into a short amount of time, the pandemic has killed hundreds of thousands in the US alone, and there are many millions of infections worldwide. It was “unexpected how rapidly,” it would spread," he said. “It just took over the planet,” Fauci said. “And it isn’t over yet.”
Coronavirus vaccine is going to take a global collaboration, FDA disease expert says
From CNN Health’s Shelby Lin Erdman
Developing a safe and effective vaccine for the deadly coronavirus is going to take a global collaboration, said Dr. Peter Marks, the director of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Centers for Biologics Evaluation & Research. Marks told panelists during a vaccine discussion at the BIO International Convention Tuesday that the FDA is committed to expediting the development of a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine and working with international colleagues to share information and discoveries. “It's one of these once in a lifetime events,” he said. “We've had other bad infectious diseases around to deal with but this one, in terms of the speed that I think we're all trying to work in order to stave off a second wave, and as well as abrogate this first wave that is continuing to spread around the globe, has really put renewed energy into working together.” Marks said he’s looking forward to collaborating with international partners, including other regulators. “This is one of those where everyone will need to work together because this is really a global issue where we're all connected and until this particular virus is wiped out across the globe, we're all going to have issues with it," he said.