Coronavirus Morning News Brief – Sept. 20 ‘We Are Not Where We Need to Be’ Says Fauci, Workers Remain Fearful of Covid in the Office

Mirror Lake in the Adirondacks


Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 894th day of the pandemic.


On the heels of President Joseph Biden’s pronouncement that “the pandemic is over,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, took a more realistic view of the subject.


“We are not where we need to be if we are going to quote ‘live with the virus,’” he said during a talk at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.


Fauci explained that this was because “we know we are not going to eradicate it.”


“The next question we ask: ‘Are we going to be able to eliminate it from our country or from most of the world?’ and the answer is unlikely, because it is highly transmissible and the immunity that’s induced by vaccine or infection is also transient.”


Fauci’s comments follow remarks from President Joe Biden, who declared “the pandemic is over” during a “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday evening.


In other news we cover today, many workers say that they continue to fear contracting Covid at the office and numerous countries and local governments are sitting on stockpiles of no-longer-needed ventilators ordered in the earliest days of the pandemic.


Here’s a look at what has taken place over the past 24 hours.


UNITED STATES


As workers return to their offices – albeit it not in droves – the concerns over not catching the coronavirus are not waning.  A new Gallup poll found that one in three U.S. workers is “very” or “moderately” concerned about Covid exposure at work.


Meanwhile, following President Joseph Biden’s somewhat premature declaration that the war is… that the pandemic is over, his administration downplayed his comments and said they reflect a continuation of an evolving stance towards the coronavirus, adding that Covid-19 policies remain unchanged despite the comment.


GLOBAL


In the earliest days of the pandemic, federal and local governments scrambled to acquire sufficient personal protective equipment and medical equipment such as ventilators in a hectic international competition, spending millions to get what models forecast would be needed.   Canada now has a surplus of over 25,000 ventilators, while New York State has over 8,000 in a warehouse, presumably in their original packaging, while California boasts 14,000 hardly used ones.


“This is a disease that is a respiratory disease. People are on the ventilators, and the ventilators are a matter of life and death,” then New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo told MSNBC in March 2020.


Thankfully, few coronavirus patients require ventilators thanks to a reduction in severe illness attributed largely to vaccines and large-scale testing.


TODAY’S STATISTICS


Now here are the daily statistics for Tuesday, September 20.


As of Tuesday morning, the world has recorded 617.8 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.4 million cases, and over 6.5 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 597.6 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.5 million.


Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Tuesday is 13,623,743, a decrease of 153,000. Out of that figure, 99.7%, or 13,583,561, are considered mild, and 0.3%, or 40,182, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical has not changed over the past 24 hours.


The United States reported 67,366 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday for the previous day, compared to 5,259 on Monday, 6,723 on Sunday, 58,549 on Saturday, 94,168 on Friday, and 115,402 on Thursday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The 7-day incidence rate is now 58,557.  Figures for the weekend (reported the following day) are typically 30% to 60% of those posted on weekdays due to a lower number of tests being conducted.


The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 59,602, a 27% decrease, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 427, a decrease of 13% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 31,365, a 13% decrease.


In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Tuesday, recorded 97.6 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 1.08 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, 44.5 million, and a reported death toll of 528,370.


The newest data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed that, at the end of July, the number of Covid or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now 823,623, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, behind the United States.  Rosstat reported that 3,284 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in July, down from 5,023 in June, 7,008 in May and 11,583 in April.


Meanwhile, France is the country with the third highest number of cases, with over 34.9 million, although Brazil has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 685,482, and has recorded over 34.6 million cases, placing it in the number four slot.


Germany is in the number five slot with over 32.7 million cases.


The other five countries with total case figures over the 20 million mark are South Korea, with 24.5 million cases, the United Kingdom, with 23.6 million cases, placing it in the number seven slot, and Italy, with 22.2 million, as number eight, as well as Japan, with 20.7 million, and Russia, with 20.5 million.


VACCINATION SPOTLIGHT


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of the past Thursday, over 263.4 million people in the United States – or 79.3% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 67.6%, or 224.6 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now just under 613 million. Breaking this down further, 90.3% of the population over the age of 18 – or 233.1 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 77.4% of the same group – or 199.9 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 51.7% of that population, or 103.4 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.


Starting on June 13, 2022, the CDC began to update vaccine data on a weekly basis and publish the updated information on Thursdays by 8 p.m. EDT, a statement on the agency’s website said.


Some 67.9% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Tuesday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 12.69 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 4.07 million doses are now administered each day.


Meanwhile, only 22.5% of people in low-income countries have received one dose, while in countries such as Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, at least 75% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine.


Only a handful of the world’s poorest countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal – have reached the 70% mark in vaccinations. Many countries, however, are under 20% and, in countries such as Haiti, Senegal, and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits, if not lower.


In addition, North Korea and Eritrea are now the only two countries in the world that have not administered vaccines.


Anna Breuer contributed reporting to this story.


(Photo: Accura Media Group)