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Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated - Axios
"We're not uniformly doing [measures that work] and that's one of the reasons we're seeing surges."
NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it." Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began. What he's saying: The infectious disease expert said in September that a national mask mandate "probably would not work," citing difficulties with enforcement. He again noted to CNN on Friday that "there's going to be a difficulty enforcing it, but if everyone agrees that this is something that's important and they mandate it and everybody pulls together and says, you know, we're going to mandate it, but let's just do it, I think that would be a great idea to have everybody do it uniformly."
- Fauci added that the U.S. must "double down" on measures like mask-wearing and social distancing as the country heads into the cooler winter months.
- "They sounds very simple. But we're not uniformly doing that and that's one of the reasons we're seeing these surges," Fauci said.
- Trump, on the other hand, has rarely worn a mask in public and often downplayed the usefulness of face coverings.
California to independently review FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines - Axios
"Of course, we don’t take anyone's word for it," he said.
California will "independently review" all coronavirus vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration before allowing their distribution, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced at a news conference Monday. Why it matters: The move could raise further public concern that the federal government could release a vaccine based on political motives, rather than safety and efficacy. Newsom noted the "political polarization" around the issue. Of note: Newsom said he considered mid-2021 to be a realistic projection for when a vaccine could be publicly distributed.
- "No matter who the next president is, we're going to maintain our vigilance," he added.
- "We will do our own independently reviewed process with our world-class experts.
- "These experts will independently review and monitor any vaccine trials to guarantee safety, to guarantee equity and to guarantee the transparency of the distribution of our vaccines."
- Health officials testified on Capitol Hill in September that the vaccine approval process would be based on safety and efficacy, not politics.
- The FDA also stressed in new guidelines last month it would toughen the requirements for a coronavirus vaccine emergency authorization.
- The FDA did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.
Armenia accuses Azerbaijan of breaking ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh - Axios
The recent violence in the disputed region is the worst the region has seen in years.
Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other overnight of breaching the ceasefire in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Details: An Armenia Defense Ministry spokesperson said late Saturday Azerbaijan was "violating the humanitarian ceasefire" by firing artillery shells and rockets. Hours later, the Azeri defence ministry said Armenia had fired "mortars and artillery" at "the vicinity of the Jabrail city, as well as the villages of this region," per Reuters. The big picture: Hundreds of soldiers and dozens of civilians have been killed since the recent fighting began in late September.
- The recent violence is the worst the region has seen in years, and began with coordinated air and missile attacks late last month from Azerbaijan, which claimed Armenian forces had been preparing an attack (Armenia denies that).
- The countries have both claimed the territory since the collapse of the Soviet Union, fought a war over it from 1992-1994, and stood on the precipice of further conflict since.
- Previous skirmishes, though numerous, have left the stalemate largely unaltered. So has a peace process overseen by the U.S., France and Russia.
U.S. protesters topple statues in "Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage" - Axios
Statues were pulled down or defaced in Portland, Ore., Chicago, and Santa Fe, N.M.
Anti-colonization demonstrators in Portland, Oregon, pulled down statues of the late Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt ahead of the Columbus Day federal holiday, per the Oregonian. Driving the news: Sunday night's action was part of a movement that organizers called, "Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage." The protests continued elsewhere in the U.S. Monday, with monuments defaced or torn down in Chicago and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Of note: The Portland demonstrators sprayed the bottom of his statute the words "Dakota 38," in reference to the number of Dakota Native Americans executed in 1862 after being accused of slaying white settlers.
- The hangings, which occurred while Lincoln was president, marked the biggest mass execution in U.S. history, per the New York Times.
- Roosevelt supported eugenics, the NYT notes. He was quoted as saying, "I don't go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of 10 are, and I shouldnt like to inquire too closely into the case of the 10th."
- In Chicago, a logo statue of the Blackhawks ice hockey team depicting Native American leader Black Hawk outside the United Center was being sent for repair after it was defaced early Monday with words including "land back," per the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Trump signed an executive order in June to denounce protesters who had defaced Civil War and World War II monuments.
The GOP's great depression - Axios
The chaotic presidential debate had a calamitous effect on Republican chances in tight Senate races.
It's the storyline of a Republican nightmare: A mask-disdaining President Trump gets the coronavirus on the eve of the election, against a political backdrop that looks dire for Republicans. Driving the news: Some top GOP operatives, privy to data from swing states, tell me that this week's chaotic presidential debate had a calamitous effect on Republican chances in tight Senate races.
- "The bottom is falling out everywhere," said a longtime Republican insider.
- "Everyone knew Trump was capable of this kind of behavior," the insider said. "But these voters had never had 90 straight minutes of that behavior thrust in their faces."
- This adviser thinks Sen. Thom Tillis will win in North Carolina.
- As word spread that Trump would fly to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where the president remained overnight, the Biden campaign said it was taking down its attack ads.
- Bidensaid he will "continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family."
- The President.
- The First Lady.
- RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
- Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, experiencing "mild flu-like symptoms."
- Hope Hicks.
- Kellyanne Conway, former counselor.
- Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)
- Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.)
- Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)
CDC report on coronavirus deaths underlines why virus is so dangerous - Axios
Leading contributing conditions include influenza and pneumonia and respiratory failure.
A new Centers for Disease Control report shows 94% of people who died after contracting COVID-19 had contributing health conditions. Our thought bubble, via Axios' Sam Baker: This report doesn't mean that COVID isn't as bad as we thought. It's clear from the CDC's statistics on excess deaths that more people are dying than usual, because of COVID. The fact that common pre-existing medical conditions often coincide with deadly coronavirus infections is part of what makes it scary not a reason to write it off. The big picture: The cause of death was listed as solely the novel coronavirus in 6% of cases in the U.S. from Feb. 1 to Aug. 22, according to the CDC.
- For deaths with conditions or causes as well as the novel coronavirus, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death.
- Influenza and pneumonia.
- Respiratory failure.
- Hypertensive disease.
- Vascular and unspecified dementia.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Heart failure.
- Renal failure.
- Intentional and unintentional injury, poisoning and other adverse events.
- Other medical conditions.
- Almost 6 million have tested positive and over 2.2 million have recovered.
Breaking down Uber and Lyft's threat to suspend services in California - Axios
Many critics suggested the companies are bluffing, but don't be so sure.
Uber and Lyft are ratcheting up the fight with Californias state government over the classification of drivers with a move that would deprive Californians of their ride-hailing services (and halt driver income). Driving the news: On Wednesday, bothcompanies said that if a court doesnt overturn or further pause a new ruling forcing them to reclassify California drivers as employees, theyll suspend their services in the state until Novembers election, when voters could potentially exempt them by passing a ballot measure. Between the lines: Many critics suggested the companies are bluffing, but Im not so sure. A few reasons...
- The logistics arent trivial. Theyd have to figure out staffing needs and a schedule, hire however many drivers they need, and onboard everyone.
- Its unlikely the companies want to go through all the above, just to reverse course if they win in November.
- Depriving customers of these services could get them more support in November. The companies have, in the past, successfully turned customers into their political advocates.
- With demand for ride-hailing already being significantly deflated, the additional drop in revenue is perhaps something theyre willing to swallow.
- Even if they could make these shifts quickly, its unlikely the companies want to give drivers a taste of employee life and risk sabotaging their ballot measure.
- Lastly: Theyve done it before. In 2016, when Austin passed new rules requiring driver fingerprinting, Uber and Lyft suspended operations and didnt return until Texas overrode the rules a year later.
- What happens at the California ballot box in November will have ramifications beyond Uber and Lyfts ride-hailing businesses.
- It could also affect the future of high-demand services like food and grocery delivery, which have become critical for many Californians while the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
- (Uber also operates a food delivery business and recently agreed to acquire rival Postmates, which is widely popular in California cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles.)
CDC expert warns U.S. has "way too much virus" to contain outbreak - Axios
"We have way too much virus," Anne Schuchat told The Journal of the American Medical Association.
The novel coronavirus is spreading too widely and quickly to contain, CDC principal deputy director Anne Schuchat told The Journal of the American Medical Association Monday, warning she expects "this virus to continue to circulate." Why it matters: Per Schuchat, "This is really the beginning, and what we hope is that we can take it seriously and slow the transmission." Her comments are in contrast to those of senior members of the Trump administration notably Vice President Mike Pence, who said on Friday "we have made truly remarkable progress."
- COVID-19 cases are surging across the U.S., prompting Texas and New Jersey to pause plans to reopen their economies in recent days.
- She said there was "a lot of wishful thinking around the country" that the pandemic would be over by summer. "We are not even beginning to be over this. There are a lot of worrisome factors about the last week or so."
- "So these things make us uniquely equipped to handle the increasing cases that weve seen."
Apple rejects appeal from email app Hey - Axios
Apple defends its App Store rules while critics raise questions.
Apple on Thursday rejected an appeal from Basecamp over the availability of its new email app Hey in Apple's App Store. Driving the news: Apple said the company needs to either offer an in-app subscription option or offer an email reader for nonsubscribers in order to be in compliance with its App Store rules. Why it matters: Apple's decision not to budge comes as the company is under antitrust scrutiny over its App Store practices, with the European Union on Monday announcing it has launched an investigation. The latest: In rejecting Hey's appeal, Apple notes that the developers could work within Apple's rules by allowing the app to function as a reader for standard email, while also offering Hey subscriptions from its website. Alternatively, it says Hey can add an in-app subscription option, sharing revenue on those purchased within the app while keeping all subscription revenue earned outside of Apple's ecosystem.
- "The Hey Email app is marketed as an email app on the App Store, but when users download your app, it does not work," Apple said in a letter to Basecamp CEO Jason Fried on Thursday. "Users cannot use the app to access email or perform any useful function until after they go to the Basecamp website for Hey Email and purchase a license to use the Hey Email app."
- Apple notes that the Mac version of the Hey app was rejected on June 11 for the same reasons.
- So-called "reader" apps that display content previously paid for are allowed.
- Apple has used that policy to allow a broad range of apps to be exempt from mandatory in-app purchases, including video and music services, e-book reader apps and some enterprise software. Apple also doesn't take a cut on sales of physical goods from within its app.
- Tinder parent Match Group spoke out this week saying it disagrees with its policies, as does Fortnite creator Epic Games.
- Spotify, which filed a complaint that helped launch the European inquiry, has also been clear about its disagreement.
- They impose requirements that increasingly say there is only one way to get on to our platform and that is to go through the gate that we ourselves have created, Smith said at a Politico event, per Bloomberg. In some cases, they create a very high price per toll in some cases, 30% of your revenue has to go to the toll keeper.
WHO walks back comments on asymptomatic transmission of coronavirus - Axios
The agency said it regrets the confusion the comments caused and that asymptomatic spread does occur.
The World Health Organization clarified comments an official made on Monday that called asymptomatic transmission of the coronavirus "very rare," saying in a press conference that these carriers do take part in spreading the virus but that more information is needed to know by how much. What they're saying: WHO official Maria Van Kerkhove clarified Tuesday that patients sometimes confuse not having any symptoms with only exhibiting mild symptoms. In addition, some patients transmit the virus before developing symptoms. Contact tracers classify this group as "presymptomatic," rather than asymptomatic.
- Van Kerkhov said the WHO estimates 16% of people are asymptomatic and can transmit the virus. Some models suggest up to 40% of coronavirus transmission might be due to asymptomatic spread, she added, but much more information is needed.
- Van Kerkhove stressed that her comments on Monday were specific to particular studies and did not represent a new policy or direction. The WHO said it regrets saying that asymptomatic spread is "very rare."
- Van Kerkhove did say Monday that preliminary evidence from the earliest outbreaks showed people who don't show symptoms aren't the "main driver" of new infections.
- But the entire transcript from Monday shows she was stressing that governments should focus on detecting and isolating those with symptoms because asymptomatic people can be difficult to trace.
- Several studies have shown that asymptomatic spread exists, including one from the Annals of Internal Medicine that showed a likelihood that approximately 40% to 45% of those infected with SARS-CoV-2 will remain asymptomatic and can spread the virus unknowingly.
- Harvard's Global Health Institute wrote in a memo responding to the WHO's comments that "all of the best evidence suggests that people without symptoms can and do readily spread SARS-CoV2."
- The director of the institute Ashish Jha wrote in a Twitter thread that asymptomatic spread is the "Achille's heal of this outbreak," and called on the WHO to provide data when making statements that could affect public behavior.