U.S. Corona-virus Task Force, Data suggest Restrictions Are Slowing Coronavirus Infections and more

Several of the nation’s top health officials are among those sitting on an advisory panel formed by President Trump.
President Trump formed a coronavirus task force in late January, and members have been meeting regularly. But as the virus began to spread around the globe and infections were confirmed in the United States, Mr. Trump named Vice President Mike Pence as his point person at the end of February, and more administration officials were added to the panel. Among them are internationally known AIDS experts; a former drug executive; infectious disease doctors; and the former attorney general of Virginia.

  • DR. DEBORAH L. BIRX
  • ALEX M. AZAR II
  • DR. ROBERT R. REDFIELD
  • DR. ANTHONY S. FAUCI
  • KENNETH T. CUCCINELLI II
  • DR. JEROME ADAMS
  • SEEMA VERMA

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Data suggest Restrictions Are Slowing Coronavirus Infections

Harsh measures, including stay-at-home orders and restaurant closures, are contributing to rapid drops in the numbers of fevers — a signal symptom of most coronavirus infections — recorded in states across the country, according to intriguing new data produced by a medical technology firm.

At least 248 million Americans in at least 29 states have been told to stay at home. It had seemed nearly impossible for public health officials to know how effective this measure and others have been in slowing the coronavirus.

The company, Kinsa Health, which produces internet-connected thermometers, first created a national map of fever levels on March 22 and was able to spot the trend within a day. Since then, data from the health departments of New York State and Washington State have buttressed the finding, making it clear that social distancing is saving lives.

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White House task force actively discussing whether public should be wearing masks

“The idea of getting a much more broad, community-wide use of masks outside of the health care setting is under very active discussion at the task force. The CDC group is looking at that very carefully,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told CNN’s Jim Sciutto on “Newsroom.”The comments from Fauci, who said the task force will be discussing the potential recommendation on Tuesday, come a day after President Donald Trump said he could foresee a scenario where all Americans are recommended to wear masks in public to curb the spread of the virus.

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White House projects 100K to 240K coronavirus deaths

The White House coronavirus task force on Tuesday pleaded with Americans to abide by the administration’s extended social distancing guidelines to slow the spread of coronavirus as a somber President Trump told Americans to brace for “a very painful two weeks” and warned of thousands of more virus-related deaths.

“The surge is coming, and it’s coming pretty strong,” the president said in the White House briefing room in a lengthy press conference that lasted more than two hours.

The extension of the social distancing guidelines comes after Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and other public health officials on the White House coronavirus task force ominously warned that even if the U.S. were to continue to do what it was doing — keeping the economy closed and most Americans in their homes — the coronavirus could still leave 100,000 to 240,000 people in the United States dead and millions infected.

Without any measures in place to mitigate the contagion’s spread, those projections jump to between 1.5 and 2.2 million deaths from COVID-19.

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Mask-wearing recommendation under ‘very serious consideration’

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, revealed on Tuesday that the White House coronavirus task force is seriously considering guidance that Americans wear masks to help thwart the rapid spread of COVID-19.

But the country’s top infectious disease expert also acknowledged that such a directive has been complicated by the nationwide dearth of personal protective equipment.

“The idea of getting a much more broad, community-wide use of masks outside of the health care setting is under very active discussion at the task force. The CDC group is looking at that very carefully,” Fauci told CNN.

“The thing that has inhibited that a bit is to make sure that we don’t take away the supply of masks from the health care workers who need them,” he continued. “But once we get in a situation where we have enough masks, I believe there will be some very serious consideration about more broadening this recommendation of using masks.”

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