- Scott Gottlieb explains the problem with Texas’ response
- Epidemiologists warn about threat of ‘second wave’
- Mumbai hospitals overwhelmed
- Russia cases top 500k
- Latin America death toll tops 80k
- US projects nearly 200k COVID deaths by October
- LA County still seeing ~1,300 new cases a day as reopening continues
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Update (0720ET): Former FDA Commissioner and perennial “Squawk Box” guest Scott Gottlieb offered some commentary about the situation in Texas, explaining that characterizing this as a ‘second wave’ might be misleading since ‘they never really got over the first’.
The fact that Texas hasn’t traced the rising case numbers, which are overwhelmingly centered in the greater Houston area, to a specific source – like a meatpacking plant or something – worries Gottlieb, because that means the contact tracers in the state have failed at their basic mission: to find the source of any ‘super-spreader’ incidents quickly before they become ‘super-duper spreaders’.
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With futures pointing to a sharp drop at the open for the Dow, it appears investors are finally confronting signs of a second wave that have emerged both in the US, and around the world.
As one scientist who appeared on CNBC’s Worldwide Exchange program Thursday morning claimed, signs of a genuine second wave have emerged around the world, including in Sweden and Iran. Fortunately, we haven’t seen a sharp move higher in mortality alongside the surge in cases – but that could follow.
Across the northeast and Atlantic Coast, more states are lifting bans on outside graduation ceremonies, with Maryland Gov Larry Hogan announcing late Wednesday evening that he would allow outdoor graduation ceremonies in the state to move forward starting Friday.
Bad news for all you ‘influencers’ out there: Both Coachella and Stagecoach, two of the largest music festivals held each year in Southern California, have been canceled. Organizers moved both events to October, but have now decided to forgo them until next year (but don’t despair influencers, there will be many more protests to use as a backdrop for your selfies between now and the end of the year).
Last night, we reported that Mumbai, India’s wealthiest city and financial capital, had surpassed the total number of infections reported in Wuhan, the original epicenter of the virus. Mumbai is also India’s entertainment capital, home to ‘Bollywood’, the Indian film industry.
The city has reported more than 50k cases, nearly a fifth of India’s total, and more than the Chinese city of Wuhan, ground zero for the pandemic. The broader Maharashtra state has now confirmed more cases than the whole of China. India has recorded more than 286,000 coronavirus cases, including at least 8,100 deaths, according to the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Although Mumbai is India’s wealthiest city, and its most international, public hospitals have been totally overwhelmed by the virus, with doctors collapsing from exhaustion and dehydration.
“We expected that if infection took root, the health system would be overwhelmed,” said Rajeev Sadanandan, Kerala’s former health secretary and the chief executive of non-profit Health Systems Transformation Platform. “With the kind of population Mumbai has, there is no way that the infrastructure would have been enough.”
Russia crossed a grim milestone on Thursday when it reported another 8,779 confirmed cases of the virus on Thursday, bringing the total for the Russian Federation to 502,436, making Russia the third country to pass 500k cases after the US and Brazil. Another 174 deaths were recorded, bringing Russia’s deaths to 6,532. However, some observers fear the true total in the country – for deaths and cases – is much higher, since not every patient who tests positive for COVID-19 and then dies is counted as a ‘COVID-19 death’.
Earlier this week, Moscow’s mayor lifted self-isolation restrictions and the city is expected to reopen by the end of the month.
After the US topped 2 million confirmed cases last night, a set of COVID-19 projections maintained by the University of Washington has just been updated, and is now projecting 170k COVID-19 linked deaths in the US by Oct. 1, that would be a rise of nearly 80% by October.