A growing body of evidence suggests that COVID may have circulated in the U.S. earlier than previously thought, a new study says.
Scientists have found more evidence to suggest that the coronavirus may have been circulating in the U.S. before the first case was discovered on Jan. 21, 2020, according to a study released Tuesday by the National Institutes of Health Research Program All of Us. The researchers analyzed 24,000 blood samples between January 2 and March 18, 2020, and found antibodies in blood collected as early as Jan. 7 in states such as Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
“This study allows us to discover more information about the beginning of the American epidemic,” said Dr. Josh Denny, executive director of the NIH program and author of the study.
The report extends to a previous study published in November 2020 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found evidence of antibodies in the blood sampled as early as December 13, 2019.
Also in the news:
►AstraZeneca reported that testing in the late phase of COVID-19 antibody therapy showed that the risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 was reduced by only 33% compared to placebo, which the company said was “not statistically significant”.
►The University of California will require students, staff and colleges to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 this fall, the latest in a group of colleges that need the vaccine to go to campus.
► The United States will send 1.35 million COVID vaccines to Mexico overnight after Vice President Kamala Harris promised a surplus shipment to a southern neighbor last week.
► A new study has found about a third of Americans planning to retire now they say COVID has postponed their retirement.
►Two sisters from Iowa were fired on Monday after giving up to six times the dose of COVID-19 vaccine to prisoners at Fort Madison Prison, a maximum security prison for men, in April.
► More than 50 million people experienced food insecurity during the pandemic, compared to 35 million in 2019, according to the non-profit organization Feeding America, the largest national hunger reduction organization in the country.
📈 Today’s issues: The United States has more than 33.47 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and at least 599,900 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Globally: Over 176.2 million cases and over 3.8 million deaths. More than 144.9 million Americans have been fully vaccinated – 43.7% of the population, According to the CDC.
📘 What we read: Effective COVID-19 vaccines have been developed in less than a year. But half a century after the country declared war on cancer, and 40 years after the first recorded case of HIV / AIDS, there is still no way to prevent either the disease or many others. Read the whole story.
The Biden administration is encouraging July 4 celebrations across the country and plans to organize a blowout on the southern lawn of the White House for emergency responders, basic workers, members of the military and their families. More than 1,000 invited presidential guests will remain at the fireworks and over the National Mall, according to two White House officials who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The celebration marks a big leap from the cautious goals he announced on the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the March 11 pandemic.
“By July 4, there is a great chance that you, your family and friends will gather in your backyard or in your neighborhood, prepare cooking and barbecue, and celebrate Independence Day,” Biden said. “It doesn’t mean big events with a lot of people together, but it does mean small groups will be able to get together.”
The largest state in the state is opening up today, effectively ending a host of 15-month restrictions to stop the COVID-19 pandemic. California is ranked 41st among the countries where the coronavirus has spread the fastest per person, according to an analysis by the U.S. TODAY Network data network at Johns Hopkins University. With 11.87% of the country’s population, California had 6.19% of cases in the country last week.
Golden State is in a significantly different place than it was in December when it broke records in hospitalizations and the number of one-day cases for several days in a row. The death toll exceeded 30,000, followed by 45,000 the following month, and many funeral homes in Southern California were flooded. Last week, California recorded 792 to 1136 new infections daily, a drop from a peak in December of nearly 54,000.
“It’s a new day,” Governor Gavin told News during a news conference Monday, before the state reopened. “This state is not ready to recover, but will, as noted, return with a roar.”
Governor Laura Kelly has asked the Kansas Legislative Coordinating Council to extend the declaration of a state of emergency in the event of a disaster. The Democrat, who also lifted executive orders involving several restrictions, said some restrictions would be needed at least until Sept. 1. The GOP Council had previously expressed skepticism over the proposed extension. Kelly said the statement was needed, among other things, because of the continued use of the Kansas National Guard to distribute vaccines.
“Responding to our state’s emergencies is the foundation for shooting guns, supporting local communities and getting our state back to normal,” Kelly tweeted. “Kansans are obligated to finish the job responsibly.”
One person was killed and three others wounded Monday shooting at a supermarket in Georgia after an argument over wearing a face mask, authorities said.
The alleged gunman began arguing with a cashier at the Big Bear supermarket in Decatur, Georgia, over his face mask, Dekalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox said during a news conference Monday. The shooter was identified by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation as Victor Lee Tucker Jr., 30, of Palmett, Georgia.
The agency said preliminary information shows that Tucker then left the store without a purchase. He returned shortly afterwards, pulled out a gun and fired at the cash register. She later died of her injuries, Maddox said.
The deputy, who worked as a security guard and retired from active duty, tried to intervene in the shooting, Maddox said. The deputy and Tucker exchanged fire and both were wounded during the shooting. Both were transported to local hospitals.
Another cashier was wounded in the store, but she was given help on the spot.
The head of the World Health Organization said that the number of recorded new cases of coronavirus has now dropped in the last seven weeks, which is the longest period of decline since the beginning of the pandemic.
At a news briefing on Monday, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus welcomed the decline, but said extremely unequal access to coronavirus vaccines threatened further progress.
“The virus is moving faster than the global distribution (vaccine),” Tedros said. He called on political leaders to get immunized by at least 70% of the world’s population by next year’s G7 meeting.
Contribution: Associated Press.