7:06 PM - September 25, 2020
7:06 PM - September 25, 2020

An FC Cincinnati player tests positive for COVID-19 after playing against the Union

The empty stands of the University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium, FC Cincinnati's home, during Wednesday's game against the Union.
Meg Vogel / Cincinnati Enquirer
The empty stands of the University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium, FC Cincinnati's home, during Wednesday's game against the Union.

Two days after hosting the Union, FC Cincinnati announced Friday that one of its players has tested positive for COVID-19. The player hasn’t been named and likely won’t be, but a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to The Inquirer that the player played in Wednesday’s game.

Cincinnati found out about the positive test result Friday morning, after the test was administered Thursday. A second test was conducted Friday, and the result will come Saturday morning. If it’s negative, that will change things. If it’s positive, the team’s Saturday night road game against New York City FC — for which it will travel Saturday morning — could be in jeopardy.

For now, FC Cincinnati has the player and the team observing all of the necessary quarantine and contact tracing protocols. The Union were unaware of the matter until Friday’s public announcement.

— Jonathan Tannenwald

5:55 PM - September 25, 2020
5:55 PM - September 25, 2020

PHL COVID-19 Fund awards $400,000 to Philadelphia-area nonprofits

The PHL COVID-19 Fund has awarded $400,00 to 23 Philadelphia-area nonprofits in the latest round of grants.

The fund, which launched March 19 to help local nonprofits in response to the pandemic, is a collaboration led by the City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Foundation, and the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.

This was the eighth set of grants, totaling $17.9 million. A total of 575 grants have been awarded, with some nonprofits receiving more than one grant.

Among the 23 nonprofits receiving grants in this round is The Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, which works to advance health care by implementing person-centered programs that improve care for people with complex health and social needs.

— Marc Narducci

4:57 PM - September 25, 2020
4:57 PM - September 25, 2020

COVID-19 cases increase in Midwest, other areas critical of masks

The coronavirus outbreak is heating up fast in smaller cities in the heartland, often in conservative corners of America where anti-mask sentiment runs high.

Elsewhere around the country, Florida’s Republican governor lifted all restrictions on restaurants and other businesses Friday and all but set aside local mask ordinances in the political battleground state, in a move attacked by Democrats as hasty.

Meanwhile, confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. hit another milestone — 7 million — according to the count kept by Johns Hopkins University, though the real number of infections is believed to be much higher.

The spike across the Midwest as well as parts of the West has set off alarms at hospitals, schools and colleges.

Wisconsin is averaging more than 2,000 new cases a day over the last week, compared with 675 three weeks earlier. Hospitalizations in the state are at their highest level since the outbreak took hold in the U.S. in March.

— Associated Press

4:17 PM - September 25, 2020
4:17 PM - September 25, 2020

Catholic high schools in the Philly region plan to resume fall sports

La Salle’s # 27 Samuel Brown runs the ball in the 4th quarter of the La Salle College High School at Manheim Twp. H.S. football game on Sept. 18, 2020. Because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) a maximum of 250 people, including the teams and support staff, were allowed inside the stadium.
ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer
La Salle’s # 27 Samuel Brown runs the ball in the 4th quarter of the La Salle College High School at Manheim Twp. H.S. football game on Sept. 18, 2020. Because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) a maximum of 250 people, including the teams and support staff, were allowed inside the stadium.

The Office of Catholic Education and Faith in the Future Foundation announced on Friday that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s 17 high schools “may resume interscholastic athletic competition while continuing to strictly follow health and safety guidelines."

”Since the [Aug. 24] announcement [to cancel the fall season], our school administrators have worked closely with senior leadership from the Office of Catholic Education and Faith in the Future to meticulously study pandemic metrics, guidelines, and school COVID profiles as part of our continuous assessment process. After carefully reviewing all possible factors, including the successful opening of our schools, we believe the environment has changed for the better over the past month," Sister Maureen L. McDermott, superintendent of secondary schools, said in a statement.

“We understand and value the importance of athletics as part of the program of formation within our high schools. We express our gratitude to our school communities for their trust and support while we appropriately deliberated how to bring back athletic programs with a commitment to safety in these unprecedented times.”

— Gary Miles

3:39 PM - September 25, 2020
3:39 PM - September 25, 2020

Penn State sees another uptick in COVID-19 cases

Pennsylvania State University reported a total of 2,123 coronavirus cases on Friday, up from 1,665 on Tuesday.

The university said 819 of the cases are active, up from 613 on Tuesday. About the same number of students are in quarantine, while the number in isolation, meaning they have tested positive for the virus or are showing symptoms, has grown by 32 students, to 143.

At a virtual meeting for faculty and staff this week, president Eric Barron reiterated the university’s position that current numbers do not require a pivot to all-remote instruction and that the school has been able to monitor and manage the spread of the virus.

“Many have asked for a specific number that would cause us to change course,” Barron said. “It’s important to understand that it’s not one single number that will dictate our decisions and actions.”

He said the school is monitoring local hospitalizations, the spread from students to employees and the larger community, and quarantine and isolation capacity.

Even though the football season will begin next month, Barron said that should not be interpreted as a return to normal and that tailgating will not be allowed around Beaver Stadium or on any university property.

Elsewhere in the region, Temple University reports 62 active cases, according to the latest numbers on its dashboard, down from the more than 200 cases it had earlier this month when it moved to largely remote instruction. The university has had nearly 450 cases overall. Still, nearly 5% of test results are coming back positive.

Villanova reports 24 active cases, 92 overall; St. Joseph’s University 54 active and 138 overall and Rowan University 48 active and 442 since the pandemic started. The University of Pennsylvania, where most classes are online and few students live on campus though many are in the surrounding community, 167 cases have been recorded since Aug.1, with a positivity rate of a little over 1%, the school reports.

Ursinus College, which tests all students every week, has had 16 cases since the start of the semester. No new cases were reported this week, the school said.

Swarthmore College has had one case among students and this week announced it would relax testing protocols. Instead of testing all students every week, it will test a quarter of the student body weekly.

Haverford College has yet to have a case among students; Bryn Mawr College has had one.

— Susan Snyder

2:51 PM - September 25, 2020
2:51 PM - September 25, 2020

Wolf asks that Trump’s Saturday rally in Harrisburg be canceled, calls the event “dangerous” and “manipulative"

Supporters of President Donald Trump cheer as he arrives to speak during a campaign rally at Pittsburgh International Airport on Tuesday.
Evan Vucci / AP
Supporters of President Donald Trump cheer as he arrives to speak during a campaign rally at Pittsburgh International Airport on Tuesday.

A day before President Donald Trump is set to hold a rally in Harrisburg, Gov. Tom Wolf slammed him for flouting public health guidance, in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, and downplaying the severity of a virus blamed for killing more than 203,000 people in the United States.

“To hold this event is not just misguided, it is dangerous, it is manipulative and it is wrong," the governor said Friday in a statement. "I would ask Pennsylvanians to think of the health and safety of their families and their communities before attending this event or any rally put on by the Trump campaign. And I would ask the President, for once, to put the health of his constituents ahead of his own political fortunes.”

In response, the Trump campaign said attendees at Harrisburg International Airport would have their temperatures checked, be “encouraged” to wear provided masks, and be supplied with hand sanitizer on Saturday evening.

“If even the Governor himself can join crowds of people protesting arm in arm in the streets, then certainly people can gather peacefully under the First Amendment to hear from the President of the United States,” Courtney Parrella, deputy press secretary for the Trump campaign, told The Inquirer.

As Trump campaigns for reelection, he has held rallies in Pennsylvania several times in the past month, most recently at Pittsburgh International Airport on Tuesday. Like at his other rallies, thousands of his supporters gathered close to one another, with seemingly no regard for social distancing. Aside from those standing directly behind the president, few spectators wore masks, according to news reports. On stage, Trump mocked his opponent, Democrat Joe Biden, for regularly wearing a face covering.

Trump is set to hold another rally at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Harrisburg International Airport, despite Wolf’s public pleas for the president not to endanger Pennsylvanians. The governor said he sent a letter to the president earlier this month asking that he abide by public health guidance in visits to the commonwealth. Wolf called Trump’s insistence on holding Saturday’s event “gravely concerning.”

“No matter what party you support, all Americans should be very concerned that the President has put headlines and publicity above the health and safety of our families and communities," said Wolf, a Democrat. “It is dangerous and disappointing that the President continues to ignore science and his own health advisers while putting the lives of those who support him at risk."

Erin McCarthy

1:59 PM - September 25, 2020
1:59 PM - September 25, 2020

Gloucester County is seeing a case spike, and officials say it can be partly traced to Rowan students

In pre-coronavirus times, a students walks by the statue of Henry Rowan at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., last September.
JOSE F. MORENO / Staff Photographer
In pre-coronavirus times, a students walks by the statue of Henry Rowan at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., last September.

New Jersey health officials said coronavirus cases are rising in several Gloucester, Ocean, Monmouth, Middlesex, and Bergen Counties.

Ocean has reported 439 cases since Monday, said health commissioner Judith Persichilli, while Gloucester confirmed 130. Most of the cases in Ocean and Monmouth County are in residents who are between 18 and 29 years old, she said.

In Gloucester County, Persichilli said that student housing at Rowan University, both on and off-campus, is related to the increase.

“This is clear evidence that we are not out of the woods,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.

The state added another 612 cases and seven deaths Friday.

Many of Ocean’s cases are in Lakewood, home to a large Jewish community, and Murphy acknowledged that some new cases could be attributed to the recent holidays. But Persichilli said local religious leaders were cooperating with health officials and working to meet public health guidelines, and Murphy said indoor gatherings of any kind remain riskier than outdoor get-togethers.

“Every religion in the state has a right to practice and worship,” he said. “So I don’t want a speck of anybody in this state saying, ‘see, it’s because of them,’ or whatever...I want everybody to leave any prejudices or biases, check them at the door. This is about public health and we’re doing our very best.”

Murphy, who extended the state of emergency order for another 30 days, also urged Congress again to pass another coronavirus relief bill, citing rising unemployment claims. He also said small businesses need support, as do municipalities so they can keep teachers, first responders and other frontline workers employed.

“Individuals are running out of gas. The economy, therefore, is running out of gas,” he said. “This is the time to go big. This is the time to pass a big federal stimulus bill.”

- Allison Steele

1:04 PM - September 25, 2020
1:04 PM - September 25, 2020

Philadelphia reports 76 new confirmed cases

Puneet Sihag does push-ups on the front steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum, while wearing a mask, in Philadelphia, July 2, 2020.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
Puneet Sihag does push-ups on the front steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum, while wearing a mask, in Philadelphia, July 2, 2020.

Philadelphia announced 76 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus Friday. The Department of Public Health also confirmed eight additional deaths due to the coronavirus Friday, bringing the total number of deaths of Philadelphia residents to 1,799. Of those who have died, 49% lived in long-term care facilities.

The city has now had a total of 36,187 confirmed cases of COVID-19 to date.

1:04 PM - September 25, 2020
1:04 PM - September 25, 2020

Pennsylvania reports 806 new confirmed cases

Stephen Bonett, a nurse and Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps volunteer, administers a nasal swab to a driver at a city coronavirus testing site on Friday, March 20, 2020.
TIM TAI / Staff Photographer
Stephen Bonett, a nurse and Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps volunteer, administers a nasal swab to a driver at a city coronavirus testing site on Friday, March 20, 2020.

Pennsylvania on Friday reported an additional 806 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and two new deaths from virus-related complications.

Health officials said they continue to be concerned about the increasing number of cases among young people, who are generally less likely to be hospitalized or die from the virus but can easily spread it to older or immunocompromised people, sometimes without even knowing they are sick.

To date, more than 50% of the commonwealth’s cases have been in people ages 19 to 49, while most of the hospitalizations and deaths are in patients 65 or older.

In all, Pennsylvania has seen at least 154,203 residents sickened and 8,081 have died.

Erin McCarthy

12:30 PM - September 25, 2020
12:30 PM - September 25, 2020

Two from New England veterans' home charged after outbreak

This May 2018 file photo ,shows an aerial view of the Holyoke Soldiers' Home in Holyoke, Mass. Former Superintendent Bennett Walsh and medical director David Clinton were indicted Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, on charges of mishandling the coronavirus outbreak at the home for aging veterans where more than 70 died from COVID-19.
Patrick Johnson / AP
This May 2018 file photo ,shows an aerial view of the Holyoke Soldiers' Home in Holyoke, Mass. Former Superintendent Bennett Walsh and medical director David Clinton were indicted Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, on charges of mishandling the coronavirus outbreak at the home for aging veterans where more than 70 died from COVID-19.

Two former leaders of a Massachusetts home for aging veterans where nearly 80 people sickened by the coronavirus died have been criminally charged for their handling of the outbreak, the state’s attorney general said Friday.

It’s believed to be the first criminal case in the country brought against nursing home officials for actions taken during the pandemic, Attorney General Maura Healey said.

Former Holyoke Soldiers' Home Superintendent Bennett Walsh and former Medical Director David Clinton were indicted by a grand jury on charges stemming from their decision to combine two dementia units in March, packing residents who were COVID-19 positive into the same room with those who had no symptoms, Healey said.

Walsh and Clinton could each face prison time if convicted of charges of causing or permitting serious bodily injury or neglect of an elder, Healey said.

- Associated Press

12:06 PM - September 25, 2020
12:06 PM - September 25, 2020

Ohio woman Tasered, arrested after refusing to wear a mask at football game

Police forcibly removed an Ohio woman from a middle school football game after she refused to wear a face covering as required by law, the Columbus Dispatch reported. She was criminally charged for refusing to obey an officer’s orders.

In video of the incident posted to social media, the woman is seen and heard arguing with a school resource officer in the stands and physically resisting his attempts to place restraints on her. Then, it appears a Taser is used to subdue her and she is escorted from the stadium in Logan, a town 50 miles outside of Columbus.

A Logan police captain told the Dispatch she was arrested for refusing to leave the area while violating school policy.

“Once she refused to leave the premises, she was advised she was under arrest for criminal trespassing," he said. “She resisted the arrest, which led to the use of force.”

The officer involved has been placed on restricted duty, the department said, after thousands of angry calls and death threats against him. The case will be reviewed like all uses of force.

The Logan Hocking superintendent said the situation was also being reviewed by the district, and called it an inevitable result of state health guidance. Spectators have to wear masks, he said, if they want students to be able to play sports.

Erin McCarthy

10:31 AM - September 25, 2020
10:31 AM - September 25, 2020

Rio’s Carnival postponed for first time in a century due to covid

 One of the world's biggest parties could fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic, as Brazilian officials debate whether to cancel or postpone the annual Carnival celebration. Here's a view of the empty stadium on Monday.
Silvia Izquierdo / AP
One of the world's biggest parties could fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic, as Brazilian officials debate whether to cancel or postpone the annual Carnival celebration. Here's a view of the empty stadium on Monday.

A cloud of uncertainty that has hung over Rio de Janeiro throughout the coronavirus pandemic has been lifted, but gloom remains — the annual Carnival parade of flamboyant samba schools won’t be held in February.

And while the decision is being characterized as a postponement of the event, no new date has been set.

Rio’s League of Samba Schools, LIESA, announced Thursday night that the spread of the coronavirus has made it impossible to safely hold the traditional parades that are a cultural mainstay and, for many, a source of livelihood.

“Carnival is a party upon which many humble workers depend. The samba schools are community institutions, and the parades are just one detail of all that,” Luiz Antonio Simas, a historian who specializes in Rio’s Carnival, said in an interview. “An entire cultural and productive chain was disrupted by COVID.”

The last year Rio’s Carnival was suspended was 1912, following the death of the foreign relations minister

Associated Press

10:07 AM - September 25, 2020
10:07 AM - September 25, 2020

Virginia Governor, First Lady test positive for the coronavirus

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam gestures during a news conference in June as he announces his plans to remove the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond.
Steve Helber / AP
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam gestures during a news conference in June as he announces his plans to remove the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and and First Lady Pamela Northam said they have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The news comes days after Missouri Gov. Mike Parson tested positive and as Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney self-quarantines after exposure to someone who tested positive.

The Northams contracted the virus after a member of the Governor’s residence staff, who works in the couple’s home, fell ill with a confirmed case of the virus, Northam’s office said Friday in a statement.

Northam said he is asymptomatic, while his wife is experiencing mild symptoms. They said they will isolate for the next 10 days, consistent with Virginia’s health guidelines, and are working with the state to do contact tracing and “ensure that everyone is well taken care of.”

“As I’ve been reminding Virginians throughout this crisis, COVID-19 is very real and very contagious,” the governor said. “We are grateful for your thoughts and support, but the best thing you can do for us—and most importantly, for your fellow Virginians—is to take this seriously.”

Erin McCarthy

9:30 AM - September 25, 2020
9:30 AM - September 25, 2020

Pa., N.J. say their positivity rates are less than 5%. But are Pa.'s figures accurate?

Dr. Ala Stanford, center left, founder of the Black Doctors COVID19 Consortium, administers a coronavirus test to Jennah Wilson, 11, at a testing site run by the Black Doctors COVID19 Consortium, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Juneteenth Initiative Inc. at the Global Leadership Academy in West Philadelphia, in June.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
Dr. Ala Stanford, center left, founder of the Black Doctors COVID19 Consortium, administers a coronavirus test to Jennah Wilson, 11, at a testing site run by the Black Doctors COVID19 Consortium, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Juneteenth Initiative Inc. at the Global Leadership Academy in West Philadelphia, in June.

Since May, COVID-19 diagnostic testing in Pennsylvania has steadily increased, while the percentage of tests that come back positive has steadily fallen. These reassuring trends are even more striking In New Jersey, which was a national hot spot for coronavirus in the spring.

Both states now report that their proportion of positive tests, called the positivity rate, has been below 5 percent for at least 14 days. That’s the World Health Organization’s benchmark for having infection transmission under control.

But wait.

Pandemic monitors such as the respected Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University consistently say Pennsylvania’s positivity rate is almost twice as high as the state says. On Thursday, Pennsylvania reported it was 3.8 percent, while Hopkins said it was 6.3 percent. Yet Hopkins and N.J. agree on that state’s rate, now below 2 percent.

“Test positivity is extremely useful, but has also become one of the most commonly misunderstood metrics for monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic,” analysts at another well-respected monitor, the COVID Tracking Project at Atlantic magazine, wrote this week.

Marie McCullough

9:19 AM - September 25, 2020
9:19 AM - September 25, 2020

Child covid deaths remain low, surprising clinicians

Portraits made by students showing themselves with face masks at Nativity of Our Lord School in Warminster, PA in the age of COVID-19, on Wednesday.
ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / Staff Photographer
Portraits made by students showing themselves with face masks at Nativity of Our Lord School in Warminster, PA in the age of COVID-19, on Wednesday.

As the United States' covid-19 death toll moves relentlessly beyond 200,000, data shows that only about 100 children and teenagers have died of the disease, a fatality rate that is drawing wonder from clinicians and increasing interest among researchers hoping to understand why.

Covid-19 has become the nation’s third-leading cause of death this year, but 18 states had not seen a single fatality among people under 20 as of Sept. 10, according to statistics compiled by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

Children are much more likely to die from homicides (there were 1,865 in 2016, according to government data), drowning (995) or even fires and burns (340).

The numbers are all the more remarkable because respiratory diseases typically hit the young and the old hard, and children are often highly vulnerable to infectious disease. In this way, covid-19 is similar to the flu, which killed an estimated 24,000 to 62,000 people last winter, but 188 people age 17 and below. (That was a record high for that age group, however.)

Washington Post

8:20 AM - September 25, 2020
8:20 AM - September 25, 2020

Pa. overpaid some unemployed workers, then slashed their checks

Majid Ali, 57, of Port Richmond, poses for a portrait in front of his home on Wednesday.
Tyger Williams / Staff Photographer
Majid Ali, 57, of Port Richmond, poses for a portrait in front of his home on Wednesday.

Majid Ali spent months shouldering mounting bills before finally receiving unemployment benefits.

The $195 a week was a relief to the behavioral-health specialist, who was furloughed when Philadelphia schools shut down. Ali, 57, quickly spent the money to catch up on car payments, cable bills, and other expenses once he got paid in June.

Then Ali got more bad news.

In July, state officials at the Department of Labor and Industry said that due to their own error, Ali was issued “duplicate payments” of benefits, and they needed to recover the extra money. For the next eight weeks, Ali got just $98 a week to effectively pay back the state.

Ali is not alone. Pennsylvania accidentally overpaid about 30,000 claims in July for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA, a benefits program for self-employed or contract workers, said the Department of Labor and Industry, which administers the benefit. The duplicate payments totaled $280 million. There have been 28 million PUA claims in Pennsylvania totaling more than $5 billion in payments since March, according to the department.

Christian Hetrick, Juliana Feliciano Reyes

8:10 AM - September 25, 2020
8:10 AM - September 25, 2020

Herd immunity could protect us in theory, but in reality would be a ‘failing of public health,’ experts say

FILE - In this Friday June 19, 2020 file photo people picnic during the annual Midsummer celebrations in Stockholm, Sweden. Sweden's relatively low-key approach to coronavirus lockdowns captured the world's attention when the pandemic first hit Europe.
Andres Kudacki / AP
FILE - In this Friday June 19, 2020 file photo people picnic during the annual Midsummer celebrations in Stockholm, Sweden. Sweden's relatively low-key approach to coronavirus lockdowns captured the world's attention when the pandemic first hit Europe.

Politicians and public health experts have touted herd immunity as one way to stop COVID-19 without a vaccine. The scientific concept explains that a virus will die out after a high percentage of a population is infected and survives the disease, developing immunity. Vaccines speed this process much more safely, but experts think we will be well into 2021 before most Americans can get immunized.

Most epidemiologists believe that if 50% to 70% of the population becomes immune to the coronavirus either through vaccination or illness, the pandemic would end. That’s because when most people are immune to a particular disease, the vulnerable are less likely to encounter a carrier of that illness.

But could herd immunity be a realistic way to stop the spread of the virus before vaccines are available?

Henry Fraimow, an infectious-disease specialist at Cooper University Health Care in Camden, and Michael LeVasseur, a professor in epidemiology at Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health, provided some insight.

“The idea of exposing 70% of the population at the same time to get herd immunity is such a failing of public health,” LeVasseur said. “The number of people who are going to die is staggering. It’s like throwing the baby out with the bathwater, setting it on fire and running it over with a truck. ”

Bethany Ao

7:49 AM - September 25, 2020
7:49 AM - September 25, 2020

America is still in the first wave of the pandemic, Fauci says

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus crisis hearing in July on Capitol Hill.
KEVIN DIETSCH / AP
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus crisis hearing in July on Capitol Hill.

Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, said the United States remains in the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic since cases have yet to return to a baseline level.

Cases would have to almost “literally disappear” before a second wave could occur, as they did during the 1918 pandemic, Fauci told CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta in an online conversation on Thursday. With that in mind, he urged people to think of the coming months differently.

“Rather than say, ‘A second wave,’ why don’t we say, ‘Are we prepared for the challenge of the fall and the winter?’” said Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

Strict adherence to social distancing guidelines, mask wearing, and other public health measures could make the challenge less difficult, he said, as could getting a flu shot. If enough people take these actions, both the effects of the coronavirus and the flu season may be mitigated, he said.

As for the debate over whether people should trust a fast-tracked vaccine in light of political pressure by the Trump administration, Fauci said he would get the shot if it’s approved by the FDA.

“These are respected, trained people who are much better at models and statistics and all that other stuff than any of us are,” he said. “If [FDA scientists] look at it and say, ‘We really feel strongly we should go this way,’ I would back the scientists. I would have to do that, as a scientist, and I would express that. ”

Erin McCarthy

7:10 AM - September 25, 2020
7:10 AM - September 25, 2020

Friday morning roundup

  • Nearly 203,000 people in the United States have died as a result of the coronavirus as of early Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University, and more than 6.9 million have been sickened. Cases are rising in midwestn states such as Wisconsin and Iowa.
  • United is set to be the first U.S. airline to offer passengers coronavirus tests before they board their flights — and skip their destination’s 14-day quarantine if they test negative. The program will begin Oct. 15 for customers flying between San Francisco and Hawaii, and the company said it plans to expand the program to other destinations.
  • Around the world, cases are surging in several countries, some of which saw outbreaks in the spring and others that had so far been relatively unscathed by the pandemic. The EU’s health commissioner warned Europe is at a “decisive" moment in handling its second wave. Meanwhile, spikes are occurring in Russia and the Middle East, where Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the nation may be nearing “the edge of the abyss. ”