Five simple steps would tame COVID-19

first_imgJust five steps are enough to gain control of the nation’s COVID-19 outbreak and head off a return to the complete lockdowns many states declared in March and April, according to Anthony Fauci, one of the federal government’s top voices on pandemic response.Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Wednesday afternoon at a Harvard online event that wearing masks, keeping distances between people, washing hands often, pushing activities outdoors rather than indoors, and avoiding or closing bars have already proven effective in bringing down cases in Arizona, where cases surged in July before falling again in recent weeks.If those steps were fully implemented, he said, even Sun Belt states with surging case numbers would return to a manageable level within as little as six weeks. The big stumbling block is a lack of unified response across the nation, fueled in part by hostility to science shown by some and directed at public health officials, including himself, even though the evidence for the recommendations is clear, he said.“What Arizona did is … finally say, ‘We’re in trouble. We’re going to implement those fundamental principles’ and they came right down in a nice curve, which is really good,” Fauci said.Fauci responded to questions from Harvard faculty members and from CNN correspondent Sanjay Gupta during the discussion “When Public Health Means Business,” hosted by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Dean Michelle Williams and co-sponsored by the New England Journal of Medicine.Fauci was introduced by Williams and Harvard President Larry Bacow. Bacow, who was sick with COVID-19 in March, said many Americans have lost someone or know someone who lost someone to the virus. The pandemic, he said, has not only sickened the nation, it’s exposed deep inequities in the health care system and the criminal justice system, particularly in regard to communities of color, which both contract COVID-19 and die of it at higher rates.,“Our society is, in so many ways, at a tipping point. There’s so much that we need to do right now, and there’s one thing we need most of all, and that’s voices of conviction, voices of reason to help guide us through these difficult times,” Bacow said.Williams said the field of public health has had a profound and positive effect on the lives of Americans over the past century but wondered whether the evidence suggests that in this case, it somehow failed.“Our goals are enormous, and our struggles at times are heavy, yet when public health works, our impact extends far and wide and becomes deeply embedded in our culture and our history,” Williams said. “Has public health failed or have those in education, government, and policy failed public health? Believe me, there are no simple answers, but we do know this: We are in the middle of one of the worst public health crises this country has ever seen, and many factors that got us to this point must change.”In his comments, Fauci avoided responses and phrasing that blamed any single individual or small group of individuals for missteps, but he was firm in his contention that basic public health measures are enough, if universally observed and applied, to send the coronavirus into retreat.The NIAID director was asked how the U.S., the most powerful nation in the world, ended up faring so poorly in its battle with the pandemic, racking up the highest numbers of cases and deaths. Fauci said that the critical point came after the initial springtime peak. Nations in Europe kept their lockdown measures in place until infections fell to very low levels, allowing them to shift resources to detecting and tracing cases that inevitably accompanied reopening. In the U.S., he said, new daily cases were still at about 20,000 a week when states began reopening, and relatively soon thereafter the numbers began rising again, recently hitting a peak over 70,000. “If you wanted to get control over it, it would be nice if everybody was singing … the same tune.” — Anthony Fauci Panel outlines efforts to find COVID-19 cure, including phase 3 trials at BWH Fauci said his “abiding faith in the American spirit” makes him cautiously hopeful that people who have resisted complying will ultimately do what’s needed to avoid more drastic measures that would worsen the economic harm being felt nationwide.“The more we give a consistent message, the more people will realize what we should do,” Fauci said.During the hourlong event, Fauci addressed a number of other topics, including his optimism about vaccine prospects by the end of the year, the importance of ensuring equitable treatment and vaccination in communities of color, as well as his concern about the distrust of science and the anger directed at experts. Fauci said he has continued to receive harassment and death threats against himself and his family and has had to hire security guards.Looking ahead, Fauci said the one certainty is that this pandemic will be followed by another, and we should prepare for it. Since this is the third coronavirus pandemic — after SARS and MERS — it would behoove us not only to continue to invest in public health infrastructure after COVID-19 fades, but also to begin searching for a universal coronavirus vaccine.“Shame on us if we’re not prepared for the next coronavirus pandemic,” Fauci said. Time to resume COVID restrictions in some safe states? Vaccines may arrive in record time, but the virus has been faster The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. In addition, he said, state reopening plans proceeded at different paces. Some states reopened slowly, similar to the pace of European nations, while others went much faster. Another variable, he said, was the extent to which residents of different states adhered to reopening guidelines, with some following recommendations while others ignored the restrictions, sometimes in notably large groups.“If you wanted to get control over it, it would be nice if everybody was singing … the same tune,” Fauci said. “But what has happened … is we have a situation where we say, ‘Open up in a measured, prudent way,’ and you get some that do it fine, and then you see the pictures of people at bars with no masks and not social distancing.”Many of those flouting precautions, Fauci said, wrongly believe that their behavior endangers only themselves. He said they don’t understand that not only can they get sick, but they can also transmit the virus to people who are more vulnerable.And, while it is true that the virus does seem to hit the young less hard than older adults, going into bars is still a gamble, he said. Despite overall trends, many younger people have gotten sick and even died of the virus.“As long as you have any member of society, any demographic group, who is not seriously trying to get to the endgame of suppressing this, it will continue to smolder and smolder and smolder,” Fauci said. “And that will be the reason why … we’ve plateaued at an unacceptable level.” Related As school year nears, expert notes recent upticks, speed of virus’ spread last_img read more

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Broadway Grosses: Of Mice and Men Joins the Millionaire’s Club in Final Week

first_img Source: The Broadway League The star-studded revival of Of Mice and Men played its final performance on July 27, but not before joining the Millionaire’s Club. The production, which announced its recoupment last month, took in $1,038,106 last week—the first time it hit the seven-figure mark. Meanwhile, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical broke a box office record for the third consecutive week and secured a spot in the top five grossing shows. The Jessie Mueller-led tuner joined box office perennials The Lion King, Wicked, The Book of Mormon and Aladdin. FRONTRUNNERS (By Capacity) 1. The Book of Mormon (102.63%) 2. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (102.31%)* 3. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder (101.02%) 4. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (100.78%) 5. Matilda (100.73%) UNDERDOGS (By Capacity) 5. Violet (82.63%) 4. Cinderella (80.40%) 3. Rocky (76.50%) 2. Once (73.39%) 1. Bullets Over Broadway (68.90%) *Number based on 7 regular performances UNDERDOGS (By Gross) 5. Chicago ($626,904) 4. Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill ($556,537)* 3. Once ($472,176) 2. Rock of Ages ($360,045) 1. Violet ($357,776) Here’s a look at who was on top—and who was not—for the week ending July 27: View Comments FRONTRUNNERS (By Gross) 1. The Lion King ($2,304,798) 2. Wicked ($2,012,891) 3. The Book of Mormon ($1,640,549) 4. Aladdin ($1,512,464) 5. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical ($1,315,468)last_img read more

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Pension industry, EU governments warn over ‘inferior’ FTT proposals

first_imgATP, which suggested the Commission evaluate all regulation against five criteria – transparency, liquidity, externality, diversity and financial stability – said the tax would impact four of the five areas negatively, only leading to increased transparency.It said the tax would lead to reduced liquidity and see investors taking on more risks to balance out the costs associated with the FTT.The Dutch Pensions Federation shared ATP’s concerns over risk and continued to resist the introduction of the tax.The industry body argued in its submission that recent financial market regulation focused on risk management, while using instruments such as derivatives to reduce risks.“A potential FTT – i.e. a tax on derivatives – would discourage their use for risk management by pension funds,” it said. “If left unaddressed, effective risk management by end-users of financial markets will be more difficult.”Contradicting the Capital Markets UnionEumedion, the Dutch corporate governance forum, and the Spanish pension fund association (INVERCO) warned that the introduction of the FTT was at odds with the intent of the Capital Markets Union (CMU) to reduce barriers to capital flow, a point previously raised in a report commissioned for the French government. Eumedion suggested that, even with the FTT’s more limited scope, agreed by participating countries in early December, the levy could still discourage investors from holdings stakes in companies based in participating countries.INVERCO said the FTT would amount to an “indiscriminate tax on savings” and that it risked increasing the cost of fund investments, meaning capital would either be channelled through insurance contracts, deposits or funds based outside the FTT’s catchment area.The Federation of Finnish Financial Services (FKI) echoed the Czech Republic’s concern that the tax could lead to impaired financial markets, while it raised the possibility that trades would simply move to countries outside the FTT zone.It warned of the “direct” impact for Finland’s pension sector, by lowering returns across the industry.“Costs of the tax would have to be covered either by raising pension contributions or by lowering pension benefits,” the FKI predicted.Until late 2015, 11 EU member states were pursuing the FTT.Estonia eventually withdrew its support, leaving the governments of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain as supporters. The design of the financial transaction tax (FTT) is inferior, and risks leading to more risky behaviour by discouraging trades, the European Commission has been told.Pension funds, industry bodies and EU governments rallied against the FTT, which is being pursued by a minority of 10 EU member states under the enhanced cooperation procedure.The comments come as the European Commission gathers opinions on how it should improve financial regulation introduced since the 2008 financial crisis, and saw the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Finance warn that the tax poses an “existential danger” to efficient capital markets.Denmark’s largest pension fund, ATP, said the tax was of “inferior” design and that its application would have an unpredictable effect unless the number of transactions it covered were scaled back significantly.last_img read more

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Arsenal Regains Top Four Spot

first_imgArsenal punished struggling Southampton with two first-half goals to move back into the top four of the Premier League.The Gunners led when Alexandre Lacazette reacted quickest to turn in Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s shot, with the Saints’ claims for offside proving futile.And they doubled their lead shortly after when Mkhitaryan drilled a shot into the bottom corner. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (right) and Shkodran Mustafi celebrating Arsenal’s qualification for the last 16 of the Europa League following the 3-0 defeat of Bate Borisov at the Emirates Stadium in London…last night Arsenal should have scored more in a dominant first half, but ultimately it mattered little as those goals were enough to move Unai Emery’s side above Manchester United, who drew at home to Liverpool.Saints, who missed good chances through Nathan Redmond and Matt Targett before each of Arsenal’s goals, offered more resistance after the break.But they remain in the bottom three, a point adrift of fourth-bottom Cardiff, after failing to win for a fourth successive league game.Arsenal have struggled for consistency under Emery in the second half of the season, alternating between wins and defeats in each of their 10 previous matches before Southampton’s visit.In truth, anything other than a home win against the Saints looked unlikely. However, Emery may be concerned with his side’s inability to demolish their lowly opponents.The Gunners looked potent every time they burst forward, particularly in the first half, and in the closing stages, against a Southampton side which looked fragile at the back.Lacazette was allowed the space to turn in the opener, with the visitors’ defence unorganised and too concerned about appealing for offside, for his 13th goal of the season.After Mkhitaryan doubled the lead, the France striker should have added another but somehow scooped over the bar from a few yards out.Arsenal’s dominance was illustrated by the 11 shots which they attempted in the first half, nine of which came from inside the Saints areaShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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