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January 1, Top Doc: Coronavirus Testing ‘Failing’ in U.S.



This Day in History | 1942

The U.S. Army begins training dogs for war, launching the successful K-9 corps which would be come a staple of the military and police.

Good morning Middle Americans,

Do you know anyone who wants to get a COVID-19 test but can’t? Right now that seems to be one of the biggest issues facing public health officials at the coronavirus pandemic takes root in the United States. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, gave a sobering assessment of the situation at a hearing on Capitol Hill yesterday.

It looks like the stock market is going to bounce back a bit today, but not after we reached a bleak milestone yesterday when recent losses reached the point of erasing all of the gains made during the presidency of Donald Trump.

Also, another concern right now is that President Trump seems to be breaking the government’s own protocols on self-quarantining. The president has been around at least one person, a Brazilian man traveling to Mar-a-lago last weekend, who tested positive for the disease.

Read all about it

-Fraser Dixon

‘It is a failing. Let’s Admit It,’ Fauci says of Coronavirus Testing Capacity

(NBC News) – America has failed to meet the capacity for coronavirus testing that it needs, a top public health official publicly acknowledged Thursday.

“The system is not really geared to what we need right now,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a House hearing about coronavirus test kits in the United States, which were initially dogged by technical glitches. “That is a failing. Let’s admit it.”

Fauci was responding to a question from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida, who asked about a claim by trade organization National Nurses United alleging that “countless” health care workers exposed to the coronavirus have been refused a test for it.

When the virus first started appearing in America, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had narrow criteria for who could be tested for it, further limiting the number of tests performed on top of the technical problems. Those guidelines have since been expanded. Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, who was also testifying in the hearing, directed Wasserman Schultz’s question to Fauci.

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The US Stock Market has Now Wiped out the Entire $11.5 Trillion of Value it Gained Since Trump’s 2016 Election Victory

(Markets Insider) – Thursday’s massive sell-off has erased any remaining stock market gains made since President Trump’s 2016 election win.

US stocks are down more than 8% Thursday afternoon as coronavirus risks build and investors fear near-term recession. The total market cap of the US equities market, as measured by the Russell 3000 index, has declined by $11.5 trillion from its February 19 peak to $23.8 trillion as of Thursday morning.

The current market cap is roughly equal to the size of the stock market when Donald Trump emerged victorious in the 2016 election. The Trump administration repeatedly downplayed the virus and its risks when outsized stock selling began in late February, with top economic adviser Larry Kudlow even saying the outbreak was contained on February 25.

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Trump is Breaking His Own Agency’s Coronavirus Guidelines by Not Self-Quarantining

(VOX) If President Donald Trump listened to his own administration’s advice, he would self-quarantine to curb the spread of Covid-19. Instead, experts say he’s putting others and himself at risk by continuing to work normally despite having been exposed to the novel coronavirus.

A self-quarantine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is “The separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but not yet symptomatic, from others who have not been so exposed, to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease.” It’s proven to be one of the most effective methods of stopping a larger outbreak.

The fact that Trump isn’t doing this — or that his staff isn’t making him do it — is a very serious concern. “He should be” self-quarantined says Tara Smith, an expert on infectious diseases at Kent State University.

That’s because the president may actually have been exposed to the virus: Last Saturday, Trump met with a top Brazilian official at Mar-a-Lago who has since tested positive for Covid-19.

An image posted by the official, Fabio Wajngarten, quickly circulated on social media. It showed Trump standing right next to Wajngarten and holding a “Make Brazil Great Again” hat that the official had presumably handed to him. “The direct contact with the group from Brazil is very concerning,” says Smith.

Find out more here

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