Coronavirus Daily News Brief – May 14: Woman ‘Disabled’ After AstraZeneca Vaccine Trial, Nursing Home Covid-Related Negligence Suits

By Jonathan Spira on 14 May 2024
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Today is Stars and Stripes Forever Day.

Good afternoon. This is Jonathan Spira, director of research at the Center for Long Covid Research, reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on its 1,525th day as well as Stars and Stripes Day

Stars and Stripes Forever Day is a holiday that honors John Philip Sousa’s march of the same name. “The Stars and Stripes Forever” was written in 1896 and declared by an act of Congress the nation’s national march in 1987.

In news we cover today, a woman who developed post-vaccine neuropathy is suing AstraZeneca, nursing homes that are being sued for negligence that purportedly took place in the first two years of the pandemic may be covered by state and federal immunity laws, and, no, the CDC did not misreport 99% of Covid-related deaths, or any figure even close to that.


On May 14, 2020, in the United States, the lack of a baseball resulted in a possible plan for a modified season in which games would take place in empty stadiums.  The season was originally set to start on March 26. The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic could potentially cost Major League Baseball franchises 4 billion, commissioner Rob Manfred told CNN in an interview.

While the virus appeared to be waning in some parts of the world including the United States, that was not the situation across the globe. Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead for coronavirus response at the World Health Organization, issued a warning that the virus was resurging in several other countries and warned about its unpredictability.

In Spain, healthcare workers across Spain observed two minutes of silence in memory of 50 colleagues who died from Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic in the country.  Meanwhile, in France, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced an “unprecedented” €18 billion ($19.4 billion) plan to bail out the country’s decimated tourism industry.

Finally, over than 4.4 million cases of  SARS-CoV-2 had  been recorded worldwide as of this date, including at least 302,000 deaths. In the United States, there had been over 1.4 million cases recorded and the death toll stood at least 85,000.


Nursing homes have been citing immunity laws to get hundreds of wrongful death lawsuits dismissed, In New York State, legislators passed a law granting immunity to medical providers for “harm or damages” from an “act or omission” in treating or arranging care for SARS-CoV-2. Similar laws exist elsewhere on the state and federal level

Healthcare experts believe that at least 1,100 suits have been filed against nursing homes and other providers and judges have dismissed many of these,  citing state or federal immunity provisions. Meanwhile, other cases have been settled but the terms of the settlement remained confidential.

A woman in Utah is suing AstraZeneca contending that she was “permanently disabled” after taking part in the U.S. clinical trial of the drugmaker’s coronavirus vaccine. She says that the company has failed to adhere to its contract by insufficiently covering the cost of her medical bills associated with her side effects.

Brianne Dressen said that, she was diagnosed with “post-vaccine neuropathy” by neurologists at the National Institutes of Health in 2021.

Snopes, the well-known source for both validating and debunking fact and fiction, debunked an article that appeared on a fake-news website that contended  that the vast majority of people whose cause of death was given as “Covid-19” or “SARS-CoV-2” – which the “article” claimed was 99% –  actually died from other causes.



In the United States, in the week ending May 4, 2024, the test positivity rate was, based on data released on May 10 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was 3.1%, a figure is up 0.1 percentage points from the previous 7-day period, and the trend in test positivity is +0.1% in the most recent week. Meanwhile, the percentage of emergency department visits that were diagnosed as SARS-CoV-2 was 0.3%, and the trend in emergency department visits is -7.6%.

The number of people admitted to hospital in the United States due to SARS-CoV-2 is no longer being reported as of the end of May. Meanwhile, the percentage of deaths due to SARS-CoV-2 was 0.7%, a figure that is virtually unchanged from the previous period.


Some 70.6% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine at press time, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 13.58 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 3,189 doses are now administered each day.

Meanwhile, only 32.7% 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 at or below 10%.

In addition, with the beginning of vaccinations in North Korea in late September, 2023, Eritrea remains the only country in the world that has not administered vaccines in any significant number

Finally, as of April 14, 2024, only Turkmenistan in Central Asia is only state that has not reported any cases of SARS-CoV-2 infections whatsoever, although it is strongly suspected that the virus is present there. Meanwhile, the last territory in the world to have its first ever SARS-CoV-2 infection was Tokelau, a dependency of New Zealand that reported its first five cases on December 21, 2022.

Where Has All the Data Gone?

We regret to inform that, as of April 15, 2024, the Global Daily Statistics data in the Coronavirus Daily News Brief are no longer being updated. Over the past 15 months, as more politicians and governments sought to place SARS-CoV-2 in the rear-view mirror, pandemic data reporting sputtered out and we are now at the point where it is simply not feasible to provide statistically valid case data on a global scale.

We are developing potential new and authoritative sources that we will present once they have been properly vetted, so stay tuned to this space. In the meantime, our Long Covid and pandemic coverage will remain much the same.


Anna Breuer contributed reporting to this issue.

The Coronavirus Daily News Brief is a publication of the Center for Long Covid Research.

If you have Long Covid and need to talk to someone, call the Long Covid Patient Peer Counseling Phone Line, or HOPELINE.  The HOPELINE is our free, confidential support and information service.

☏ 844 LONGCOV (844 566-4268) 

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