Good morning and happy April Fools’ Day. Washington is currently under a state-wide ‘stay-in-place’ order, meaning residents are only to leave their homes for “essential activity.” A Lakewood, WA man with an interesting interpretation of the word ‘essential’ was arrested on Sunday following a high-speed car chase that started with the intoxicated man trying to teach his dog how to drive.
“The first and greatest victory is to conquer self.”
The U.S. Response To COVID-19
As of Tuesday night, over 188,000 cases of coronavirus had been confirmed in the U.S. Yesterday, the country reported nearly 25,000 new cases – almost three times more than Spain, who ranked second in that category.
Testing, Testing, 1…2…3… Last week, the FDA issued emergency authorization approving a test from Chicago-based company Abbott that reportedly displays results within minutes of testing.
According to the CDC, there are 94 public health laboratories (PHLs) – at least one in each state – that have completed verification and are currently testing patients for COVID-19.
Commercial and state labs are reportedly running upwards of 100,000 tests per day across the country. President Trump on Monday said 1 million Americans have been tested thus far.
The Crusade for a Cure About 35 companies and universities are engaged in a race to create a successful vaccine for COVID-19. We’ve previously covered the vaccine development process in-depth – you can check it out here.
Moderna is the only company to have reached the human clinical trial phase after their mRNA-based approach began Phase 1 trials in Seattle on March 16.
The University of Oxford on Monday began enrolling healthy volunteers for a clinical trial later this month.
The FDA on Tuesday announced a new Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP) with the purpose of bringing coronavirus treatments to market as fast as possible.
But that’s not the only approach… More than a dozen other companies are attempting to repurpose existing treatments that have been proven safe for humans to instead fight COVID-19. Several groups are currently in the third and final phase of human clinical trials on COVID-19 patients:
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Global cases rose to nearly 857,000 yesterday with more than 42,000 deaths. The number of confirmed U.S. cases rose to more than 187,000 with 3,850 confirmed deaths.
Federal public health officials Tuesday said that between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans could die from the virus by the end of the year.
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo announced that he has been diagnosed with the virus, but will continue to host his 9 p.m. program “Cuomo Prime Time” from his home.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that 25,000 people signed up for the state’s new Health Corps site, which is seeking help from licensed health professionals.
A Louisiana pastor was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for continuing to hold regular church services in violation of the governor’s executive order.
A man exposed to coronavirus proceeded to hide his symptoms in order to visit his expectant wife in the hospital, who then tested positive after giving birth.
Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has reportedly banned the word “coronavirus” and is arresting those who wear face masks in public.
FCC Cracks Down On Robocallers
The FCC on Tuesday voted unanimously to pass a new set of rules that requires wireless carriers to implement a protocol to protect consumers against robocallers. Called STIR/SHAKEN, the rules would mandate the protocol be put in place by the summer of 2021 to solve America’s robocalling issue.
More: According to robocall-blocking company YouMail, Americans were hit by a record 58.5 billion robocalls in 2019.
The Justice Department’s internal watchdog found “apparent errors or inadequately supported facts” in more than two dozen FBI wiretap applications to a secret federal surveillance court. A DOJ Inspector General’s initial audit identified issues in all 29 of the FBI applications reviewed, largely due to a lack of required documentation for each factual assertion made in the application.
More: The findings indicate larger department issues beyond previously identified problems with the FBI’s surveillance of Trump campaign aide Carter Page during the Russia investigation.
An Apple spokesperson on Monday said the company will work with its contractors to make sure their workers are paid – a reversal of its original decision.
Amazon has fired the worker who led Monday’s strike at a Staten Island warehouse, prompting NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to open an investigation.
Sony announced its entire slate of movies scheduled for later this year have been pushed to 2021, the only exception being Kevin Hart’s Fatherhood (this fall).
Nine cruise ships carrying nearly 8,000 passengers are currently at sea, with many having difficulty finding a friendly port due to the number of COVID-19 cases onboard.
Xerox on Tuesday said it was abandoning its takeover attempt of larger rival HP in the face of the current public health crisis and corresponding market dip. The announcement ends a five-month standoff between the two boards which had seen HP reject a more than $30 billion cash-and-stock offer.
More: The two companies had privately pursued a merger, but when those talks fell through, Xerox made a hostile takeover bid last November. Xerox had been set to challenge several HP board seats at the next meeting in May.
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire
Video chat app Houseparty has offered a $1 million bounty for proof of claims by social media users that they have been locked out of third-party apps after downloading the Houseparty app. The company implied the claims were spread by a paid commercial smear campaign to discredit Houseparty.
Four-year-old Ella Pucci of New Jersey is blissfully unaware of world events, but the current pandemic caused her recent birthday party to be canceled, along with the family’s trip to Disney World.
Last Sunday, local friends and family gave Ella the surprise of her life – as she stood in her driveway, a parade of 37 vehicles drove past honking their horns and displaying signs to celebrate her birthday.
Just The Ticket
When Dr. Sarosh Janjua – a cardiologist at a coronavirus quarantine unit in Duluth, MN – was pulled over last month, she received something much more helpful than a speeding ticket.
Minnesota State Trooper Brian Schwartz noticed what appeared to be two used N95 masks in Dr. Janjua’s purse, and gave her the entire 5-mask supply he was supposed to use for protection himself, with a stern warning against speeding thrown in for good measure.
Finding Answers To Cancer
Cancer has long been an object of intense study in the field of medicine. Scientists recently made a major breakthrough in cancer detection and diagnosis, detailed in an article published yesterday in Annals of Oncology.
Researchers have developed the first blood test that can accurately detect more than 50 different types of cancer. The test has a 0.7% false positive rate and can also identify in which tissue the cancer originated.
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☄️ Meteor Milestone… in a recent study pending peer review, scientists reported the discovery of the first-ever extraterrestrial protein – named “hemolithin” – inside the meteorite Acfer 086.
💰 Check Yourself… CNBC breaks down the impending one-time stimulus payment to Americans and answers some of the more frequently asked questions surrounding your upcoming check.
🚩 False Flag… Facebook recently removed a video posted by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in which he claimed the drug hydroxychloroquine “is working in all places.”
🛂 Pathogen Passport… German researchers are preparing a mass study into how many people are already immune to COVID-19, potentially leading to “immunity passports” that would allow individuals to return to work.
Beat The Heat
What is the hottest planet in our solar system?
A) Mercury B) Venus C) Earth D) Mars
(keep scrolling for the answer)
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