Coronavirus Morning News Brief – July 19: Fauci to ‘Almost Certainly’ Retire by January 2025, WHO Warns Europe of Surge

In New York, It’s ‘All Aboard the P Train’

By Jonathan Spira on 19 July 2022
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A subway car on the 42nd Street Shuttle: New York’s tiniest line

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 831st day of the pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has led the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he would “almost certainly” retire by January 2025, the end of President Joseph Biden’s first term in office.

“I am not going to be on this job forever, but I can tell you that I will almost certainly step down before the next term, in other words by the end of Joe Biden’s first term, which is January 2025,” he said in an interview with Politico on Monday, adding that this was hardly news and that he had “never planned to go beyond Joe Biden’s first term – even if he gets a second term, I won’t be around for that.”

“I’m not completely crazy to think that I’m going to be doing this when I’m 92,” he said in an interview last year with the New York Times. “But right now, when you’re caught up in this incredible, intense activity, you don’t really think about retiring. You think about ending this pandemic, you know, putting it in the rearview mirror, and then maybe taking a deep breath and thinking about retiring.”

In news we cover today, the World Health Organization warned EU states to take action against the current surge, Chinese authorities apologized for breaking into 84 homes in search of close contacts, and more New York City subway cars are “soiled” due to pandemic-related WC closures.

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

UNITED STATES

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the city’s subways, said that the number of reports of “soiled car” incidents will rival 2019 pre-pandemic levels, even though ridership continues to hover around 60%.

The rise in such incidents, which caused one major local news outlet, WNBC, to run a story with the headline “All Aboard the P Train,” is due in great part to the fact that subway station WCs have been closed since the start of the pandemic in order to reduce the spread of the virus.

The MTA is in the process of hiring hundreds of new subway cleaners to combat the scourge.

GLOBAL

The World Health Organization called on European governments to reinforce rather than reduce the monitoring of new coronavirus infections and a top official said that the bloc needs to accelerate vaccine update and bring back mask mandates in order to stop the current surge driven by the omicron subvariant BA.5.

In an interview with Reuters, Hans Kluge, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, urged countries in the EU to take such action now in order to avoid overwhelming national health systems in the fall and winter.

Officials in the Liwan district in Guangzhou, a city in the south of China, apologized after breaking into 84 homes in search of close contacts.  The move came after nearly 100 households had been forced to undergo centralized quarantine after an outbreak there.

“The emergency household investigation practice is too simple and crude, and ignores residents’ feelings,” the statement from the district epidemic prevention and control headquarters read. The agency was “deeply saddened by this rude and wrong behavior.”

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily statistics for Tuesday, July 19.

As of Tuesday morning, the world has recorded 568.9 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 1 million new cases in the preceding 24 hour period, and 6.39 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 540.1 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 1.1 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Tuesday is 22,489,616, a decrease of 82,000. Out of that figure, 99.8%, or 22,367,978, are considered mild, and 0.2%, or 39,598, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical is unchanged over the pat 24 hours.

The United States reported 169,796 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday for the previous day, compared to 21,971  on Monday, 21,041 on Sunday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The 7-day incidence rate continues to be over 100,000 and is now 128,849.  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 126,454, a 20% 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 423, an increase of 9% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 41,029, a 20% increase.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Tuesday, recorded 91.4 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 1.05 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, 43.8 million, and a reported death toll of 525,785.

New data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed at the end of May that the number of Covid or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now 812,890, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, after the United States.  Rosstat reported that 11,583 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in April, down from 35,584 in March and from 43,543 in February.

Meanwhile, Brazil now has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 675,551, and has recorded over 33.3 million cases.

France continues to occupy the number four position in total cases with over 33 million cases, and Germany is in the number five slot with almost 29.9 million.  The United Kingdom, with 23.1 million cases, is now number six and was until Tuesday the only other country in the world with a total number of cases over the 20 million mark, while Italy, on Saturday, crossed that milestone and now has 20.2 million cases.

VACCINATION SPOTLIGHT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Tuesday, over 260.7 million people in the United States – or 78.5% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 67.1%, or 222.7 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 596.2 million. Breaking this down further, 89.8% of the population over the age of 18 – or 231.8 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 77% of the same group – or 198.8 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 51.3% of that population, or 102 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.

Starting on June 13, 2022, the CDC began to update vaccine data on a weekly basis and publish it on Tuesdays by 8 p.m. EDT, a statement on the agency’s website said.

Over 66.8% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Tuesday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 12.23 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 4.43 million doses are now administered each day.

Meanwhile, only 19.4% 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.

Only a handful of the world’s poorest countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal – have reached the 70% mark in vaccinations. Many countries, however, are under 20% and, in countries such as Haiti, Senegal, and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits, if not lower.

In addition, North Korea and Eritrea are now the only two countries in the world that have not administered vaccines.

Anna Breuer contributed to this story.

 

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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