Aug 02, 2020
Pelosi: Slowing coronavirus spread necessary before opening schools
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Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden calls on Trump, Congress to enact an emergency housing program Here are top contenders to be Biden's VP Sunday shows preview: White House, Democratic leaders struggle for deal on coronavirus bill MORE (D-Calif.) said Sunday that the U.S. needs to get better control over the coronavirus outbreak before a widespread reopening of schools can occur safely.
In an interview with ABC's "This Week," the House leader said that Trump administration officials are not being realistic about the ability of local officials to keep students safe.
"When you...reduce the spread, you can open up the schools, when you reduce the rate of infection in a community," Pelosi said. "But until you do that, you have to be very careful."
Pelosi also accused the administration of dealing in "disinformation," following days of criticism aimed at President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nomination to be held in private: report Graham defends Trump on TikTok, backs Microsoft purchase Federal appeals court rejects Stormy Daniels libel case against Trump MORE over his retweet of a video that featured a doctor known for claiming that masks do prevent the virus's spread.
"I think the president is spreading disinformation about the virus," she added, when asked about comments reported in Politico she allegedly made at a closed-door meeting of House Democrats accusing Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, of spreading false information.
"And she is his appointee," Pelosi added. "So I don't have confidence there, no."
JUST IN: “I think the president has been spreading disinformation about the virus and she is his appointee so, I don’t have confidence there, no,” Speaker Pelosi tells @MarthaRaddatz when asked is she has confidence in Dr. Deborah Birx. https://t.co/qvp1ZOU4QD pic.twitter.com/z6tb8ozO61— ABC News (@ABC) August 2, 2020
Trump has defended his retweet of the video, which was taken down by Facebook and Twitter, suggesting that he only retweeted it because of its support for hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug he has repeatedly promoted as a treatment of the virus despite a lack of studies showing its effectiveness.Tags Nancy Pelosi Donald Trump Deborah Birx Sunday shows Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic school reopening
News Source: thehill.com
Washtenaw County Health Department Identifies 2 More COVID-19 Variant Cases Linked To Earlier Case
The health department says the two women were in close contact with the first person in Michigan to be diagnosed with the COVID-19 variant. All three individuals are associated with the University of Michigan.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Washtenaw County Health Department are announcing detection at the U-M laboratory of the two additional variant cases. The cases were among individuals who were close contacts of an adult woman living in Washtenaw County who tested positive for the variant after traveling to the United Kingdom, where B.1.1.7 originated.
MDHHS announced the first case of the variant on Saturday.
A total of seven additional cases are linked to that case. It is not yet known whether five other close contacts who have tested positive for COVID-19 are infected with the variant. All eight were directed to isolate.
This COVID-19 variant is believed to be more contagious, but there has been no indication that it affects the clinical outcomes or disease severity compared to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that has been circulating across the United States for months.
“Because this variant is more contagious, we have been expecting more B.1.1.7 cases following Michigan’s first case being identified on Saturday,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “Michiganders have followed the science and worked hard to slow the spread of COVID-19, resulting in dramatic improvements in our case numbers, deaths, hospitalizations and positivity rates. Now we need to redouble our efforts by continuing to wear masks properly, socially distance, avoid crowds, washing hand frequently, and make plans to get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine once it is our turn.”
The higher rate of transmission could increase the number of people who need to be hospitalized or who lose their lives to COVID-19 should the new variant begin circulating widely in Michigan. it is possible that there are more B.1.1.7 cases in Michigan that have not been identified.
“We are watching this situation as closely as possible,” says Juan Luis Marquez, MD, MPH, medical director with Washtenaw County Health Department. “And we ask everyone to continue to do everything they can to prevent transmission – mask, distance, avoid crowds or gatherings, clean your hands frequently, and follow isolation or quarantine guidance carefully.”
The health departments are working closely with U-M on strategies to prevent spread of the virus.
“While not unexpected, this means being even more vigilant with the public health measures that are known to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Preeti Malani, MD, chief health officer at the University of Michigan. “The Community Surveillance and Tracking Program offers convenient testing to all members of the University of Michigan community.”
Based on available evidence, current tests and vaccines for COVID-19 also work against this new variant. Protective actions that prevent the spread of COVID-19 will also prevent the spread of the new variant, B.1.1.7. Michiganders should:
- Get vaccinated for COVID-19.
- Wear a mask around others.
- Stay 6 feet apart from others.
- Wash hands often.
- Ventilate indoor spaces.
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