Day: June 23, 2020

Is A Second Wave Of Coronavirus Coming?

As Americans continue to grapple with the novel coronavirus, one question is on a lot of people’s minds: Are we already seeing, or will we eventually see, a second wave of the virus?

On June 16, Vice President Mike Pence penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal headlined, “There Isn’t a Coronavirus ‘Second Wave,’” where he said the country was better off than media reports suggested.

Yet the same day, in an interview with the same newspaper, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top federal infectious disease expert, threw cold water on Pence’s assertion by warning of a possible resurgence. “People keep talking about a second wave,” he said. “We’re still in a first wave.”

Defining a coronavirus “wave” is somewhat more art than science, but other scientists looking at the number of new daily infections echo Fauci’s caution.

The number of new daily infections (as seen in this chart) declined

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US Nurses At For-Profit Hospital Chain To Strike Over Cuts And PPE Shortages

Nurses and support staff at HCA Healthcare, the largest for-profit hospital chain in the U.S., plan to strike Friday in protest over cuts and concessions the corporation is pushing on front-line health care workers as the coronavirus continues to spread nationwide.

The Guardian and KHN have so far identified reports of 679 front-line health care workers who have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. amid continuing reports of long hours and shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Erin McIntosh, a nurse in the code blue/rapid response department at the HCA-owned Riverside Community Hospital in Riverside, California, for six years, is one of around 1,000 nurses represented by SEIU Local 121RN planning to strike in protest of hospital understaffing during the pandemic, which they say violates California’s nurse-to-patient ratio laws.

“HCA has continuously not upheld their end of the mediation agreement of our nurses staying in ratio,” said McIntosh. The agreement

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California Lawmakers Block Health Care Cuts

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democratic state lawmakers agreed Monday on a state budget plan that would avoid the deep cuts to essential health care services that the governor had initially proposed.

Even though the state faces a massive budget deficit, legislators flatly rejected Newsom’s proposed cuts to safety-net programs intended help keep older adults and low-income residents out of long-term care homes, the epicenters of coronavirus outbreaks.

“The demand for these services is even more imperative, even more needed,” said Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), who chairs the Senate Health Committee. “The more people keep out of nursing homes, the better.”

To address the estimated $54 billion deficit in the 2020-21 state budget, the deal relies partly on drawing down state cash reserves and rainy day funds. But it still includes cuts, such as reductions to state employee pay and deferred payments to K-12 public schools. It also counts

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The Hidden Deaths Of The COVID Pandemic

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — Sara Wittner had seemingly gotten her life back under control. After a December relapse in her battle with drug addiction, the 32-year-old completed a 30-day detox program and started taking a monthly injection to block her cravings for opioids. She was engaged to be married, working for a local health association and counseling others about drug addiction.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

The virus knocked down all the supports she had carefully built around her: no more in-person Narcotics Anonymous meetings, no talks over coffee with a trusted friend or her addiction recovery sponsor. As the virus stressed hospitals and clinics, her appointment to get the next monthly shot of medication was moved back from 30 days to 45 days.

As best her family could reconstruct from the messages on her phone, Wittner started using again on April 12, Easter Sunday, more than a week after her

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