Editorial: If Abbott and Trump were true leaders, they’d urge vaccinations

(J. Harris: I generally have avoided “opinion pieces” but this was is so logical that is worth annoying some of my readers — and I agree with it completely.


1. Estimating Under-recognized COVID-19 Deaths, United States, March 2020-May 2021 using an Excess Mortality Modelling Approach (Lancet Regional Health: Americas) In the United States, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) deaths are captured through the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System and death certificates reported to the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS). However, not all COVID-19 deaths are recognized and reported because of limitations in testing, exacerbation of chronic health conditions that are listed as the cause of death, or delays in reporting. We estimated that 766,611 deaths attributable to COVID-19 occurred in the United States from March 8, 2020—May 29, 2021. Of these, 184,477 (24%) deaths were not documented on death certificates.

2. Effect of Physician-Delivered COVID-19 Public Health Messages and Messages Acknowledging Racial Inequity on Black and White Adults’ Knowledge, Beliefs, and Practices Related to COVID-19: A Randomized Clinical Trial (JAMA Network Open) In this randomized clinical trial of 18 223 White and Black adults, a message delivered by a physician increased COVID-19 knowledge and shifted information-seeking and self-protective behaviors. Effects did not differ by race, and tailoring messages to specific communities did not exhibit a differential effect on knowledge or individual behavior. These findings suggest that physician messaging campaigns may be effective in persuading members of society from a broad range of backgrounds to seek information and adopt preventive behaviors to combat COVID-19.


Characterizing Long COVID In An International Cohort: 7 Months of Symptoms and Their Impact (Lancet): We conducted an online survey of people with suspected and confirmed COVID-19, and analyzed responses from 3762 participants with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, from 56 countries, with illness lasting over 28 days and onset prior to June 2020. We looked at 203 symptoms in 10 organ systems and traced 66 symptoms over seven months. Patients with Long COVID report prolonged, multisystem involvement and significant disability. By seven months, many patients have not yet recovered (mainly from systemic and neurological/cognitive symptoms), have not returned to previous levels of work, and continue to experience significant symptom burden.

4. The WHO’s Chief Says It Was Premature To Rule Out A Lab Leak As The Pandemic’s Origin (NPR) The head of the World Health Organization acknowledged it was premature to rule out a potential link between the COVID-19 pandemic and a laboratory leak, and he said Thursday he is asking China to be more transparent as scientists search for the origins of the coronavirus. In a rare departure from his usual deference to powerful member countries, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said getting access to raw data had been a challenge for the international team that traveled to China earlier this year to investigate the source of COVID-19. He said there had been a “premature push” to rule out the theory that the virus might have escaped from a Chinese government lab in Wuhan — undermining WHO’s own March report, which concluded that a laboratory leak was “extremely unlikely.”


Effect of Oral Azithromycin vs Placebo on COVID-19 Symptoms in Outpatients With SARS-CoV-2 Infection A Randomized Clinical Trial

Question  Does a single oral dose of azithromycin lead to absence of symptoms at day 14 in outpatients with COVID-19 compared with placebo?

Findings  In this randomized trial that included 263 participants with SARS-CoV-2 infection, treatment with a single oral dose of azithromycin, 1.2 g, vs placebo resulted in self-reported absence of COVID-19 symptoms at day 14 in 50% vs 50%; this was not statistically significant.

Meaning  Among outpatients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, treatment with a single dose of oral azithromycin compared with placebo did not result in a greater likelihood of being free of symptoms at day 14.

In Undervaccinated Arkansas, Covid Upends Life All Over Again

(J. Harris: Is it  possible that Arkansas is even more primitive than East Texas.)


Delta Is Driving a Wedge Through Missouri

 (J. Harris: Ed Wong for a year and a half has consistently written some of the absolute best articles about Covid. This is another one. I expect Mr. Wong to win a Pulitizer; he deserves it. This magazine has consistently been in the forefront of quality information providers:

“…Those ICUs are also filling with younger patients, in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, including many with no underlying health problems…This dramatic surge is the work of the super-contagious Delta variant, which now accounts for 95 percent of Greene County’s new cases …For many communities, this year will be worse than last…Those ICUs are also filling with [UNVACCINATED] younger patients, in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, including many with no underlying health problems… they’re…much sicker than those they saw last year…[HEALTH CARE WORKERS ARE] “putting themselves in harm’s way for people who’ve chosen not to protect themselves,..The grueling slog is harder now because it feels so needless, and because many patients don’t realize their mistake until it’s too late…Some health-care workers are starting to resent their patients…Doctors can give every recommended medication, and patients still have a high chance of dying. The goal should be to stop people from getting sick in the first place..[WHEN COMPARED TO THE FLU PANDEMIC OF 1918}… Missourians in 1918 might have had a “better overhead view of the course of the pandemic in their communities than the average citizen has now.” Back then, the state’s local papers published lists of people who were sick, so even those who didn’t know anyone with the flu could see that folks around them were dying. “It made the pandemic seem more local,…. “Now, with fewer hometown newspapers and restrictions on sharing patient information, that kind of knowledge is restricted to people working in health care.”




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