Coronavirus Morning News Brief – April 9: Covid Cases Start to Trend Upward in U.S., Fauci Sees Fall Surge as Likely

At Least 53 Tested Positive After Gridiron Superspreader Dinner

By Jonathan Spira on 9 April 2022
  • Share

The U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 760th day of the pandemic.

Coronavirus cases are no longer trending downward in the United States and the country could likely follow the pattern seen in the United Kingdom and on the European continent with a surge in Covid-19 cases driven by the highly-transmissible BA.2 subvariant of the virus, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to President Biden, said.

“I think without a doubt that we are going to see a turnaround as people get out more and into the inside venues without masks,” he said, speaking on the National Public Radio program, “All Things Considered.”. “That’s going to be certainly resulting in infections, even in people who are vaccinated.”

Fauci said that it’s likely most people will need to get a second booster by fall if this happens and that he would without hesitation don a face mask if the data pointed in that direction.

“If it [the data] changes and the cases go up, I for one will go back to masking indoors if we go with a high uptick of cases,” he said.

In other news we cover today, anger mounts over the seemingly never-ending lockdown in Shanghai, the mini-superspreader dinner in D.C. has resulted in 53 new cases, and Britons are facing chaos at the country’s borders due to high absence rates of Border Force officials due to Covid.

Here’s a look at what has taken place over the past 24 hours.

UNITED STATES

In the nation’s capital, at least 53 people tested positive for the coronavirus since they attended the Gridiron Club and Foundation’s annual dinner last Saturday, the group’s president, Tom DeFrank, said on Friday.

The dinner has turned into a mini superspreader event, causing outbreak of cases among members of Congress, members of the president’s cabinet, and journalists.

Attendees had been required to provide proof of full vaccination to attend but not a recent negative Covid test.

The list of those who tested positive includes  Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo; Attorney General Merrick B. Garland; Representative Adam B. Schiff of California; and Valerie Biden Owens, the president’s sister;

President Biden did not attend this year’s festivities.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, after announcing that she had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive for the coronavirus, Vice President Kamala Harris nonetheless presided over the Senate confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson without wearing a mask, despite the fact that CDC guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise masking around other people for at least ten days after exposure to Covid.

GLOBAL

The increase in Covid cases in Britain means that Britons returning from holiday this week are facing long border delays in some cases as the number of border officials out due to Covid increases.  Delays getting back into the country, or merely just into the country for visitors, are “inevitable” said Lucy Moreton of the Immigration Services Union, which represents Border Force staff.  Moreton said that the agency had been hit by a “perfect storm” of issues, including Covid absences, general sickness, and the small boats crisis in the Channel, which is putting pressure on resources.

Anger is mounting in Shanghai over a lockdown that shows no signs of ending.  Millions of people in the city are seeking basic supplies and food and many are in need of medical care for non-Covid related ailments.

On Thursday, the country recorded close to 25,594 new cases – a pandemic high and a figure far past the peak at the onset of the outbreak in Wuhan – and, on Friday, saw 23,743 additional cases.

The U.S. State Department said Friday evening that it was allowing non-emergency government employees currently based in Shanghai and all family members of government employees to leave the city because of the coronavirus outbreak there and the strict lockdown measures currently in place.

Shanghai residents of all nationalities have struggled to get sufficient food deliveries during the lockdown as officials remove those who are infected with the virus from their homes and place them in quarantine.

Officials in Saudi Arabia said they would allow one million pilgrims to travel to Mecca this year for the annual hajj in July, albeit with Covid restrictions.  The visitors must be under the age of 65, be vaccinated against Covid-19, and produce a negative for the virus taken within 72 hours of leaving for Saudi Arabia, the country’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said on Saturday.

ENTERTAINMENT

After initially cancelling its performance on April 7, the Broadway show “Paradise Square” cancelled all performances through April 10 due to an outbreak of coronavirus cases in the company.  The production is expected to resume performances on April 12.

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily statistics for Saturday, April 9.

As of Saturday morning, the world has recorded 498 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 1.1 million new cases in the preceding 24 hour period, and 6.2 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 433.6 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 1.1 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Saturday is 58,258,941, an increase of 90,000 from the prior day. Out of that figure, 99.9%, or 58,204,840 are considered mild, and 0.1%, or 54,101 are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical is largely unchanged over the past 24 hours.

The United States reported 44,128 new coronavirus infections on Saturday for the previous day, compared to 35,123  on Friday, 49,329 on Thursday, and 30, 593 on Wednesday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.   Figures for the weekend (reported the following day) are typically 30% to 60% of those posted on weekdays due to a lower number of tests being conducted.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 30,501, a 1% increase, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 554, a decrease of 31% over the same period.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Saturday, recorded 82 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of over 1 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, just over 43 million, and a reported death toll of 521,688. Meanwhile, Brazil has recorded the second highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 661,182, and has 30.1 million cases.  France continues to occupy the number four position with 26.7 million cases, and Germany is in the number five slot with 22.6million.  The United Kingdom, with over 21.5 million cases, is now number six and is the only other country in the world with a total number of cases over the 20 million mark.

VACCINATION SPOTLIGHT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Saturday, over 256.1 million people in the United States – or 77.1% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 65.7%, or 218.2 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 564.6 million. Breaking this down further, 88.5% of the population over the age of 18 – or 228.6 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 75.6% of the same group – or 195.3 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 48.6% of that population, or 94.9 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.

Over 64.7% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Saturday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 11.37 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 13.32 million doses are now administered each day.

Meanwhile, only 14.8% of people in low-income countries have received one dose, while in countries such as Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, at least 75% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine. In countries such as Ethiopia, Haiti, Syria, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits, if not lower.

Anna Riegler contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

Read previous post:
Coronavirus Morning News Brief – April 8: Uptick in Cases Places Broadway Under Siege, Federal Appeals Court Upholds Vaccine Mandate

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the...

Close