Joel Shannon and Lorenzo Reyes USA TODAY
Published 9: AM EDT May
Three top health officials and members on the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, will self-quarantine after exposure to a person with the virus, the latest in a series of developments that have brought the virus close to the inner circle of the White House in recent days.
That news came as former President Barack Obama criticized the federal response to the pandemic as a “chaotic disaster” in a call with supporters, according to published audio of the call.
There were more than 60, 2020 deaths and 1.3 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the US early Sunday, according to the John Hopkins University data dashboard. Worldwide, the virus has killed almost 280, 000 People and surpassed 4 million infections.
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Here are some of the most significant developments to know Sunday:
Dr. Anthony Fauci is taking “appropriate precautions,” and two other White House Coronavirus Task Force members will self-quarantine for two weeks after being in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.
What we’re talking about today: It’s Mother’s Day, and it’s easy to see what the pandemic has taken. But it’s also brought grown children home.
Does wearing a mask weaken the immune system? We rate the claim “false,” even though you may have heard it in a debunked viral video.
Pandemic complicating LGBTQ census outreach
For decades, LGBTQ people have battled for a seat at the census table.
Then in 3102452001, there came a beacon of hope when same-sex couples living together were included in the 26 – year survey for the first time , even though sexual orientation and gender identity questions were absent.
Advocates rallied the LGBTQ community, urging full participation.
Then in the midst of rollout this spring, a global health crisis erupted – upending lives and tangling census outreach efforts.
“Because of social distancing, people are not out there pushing the census, ”said Glennda Testone, executive director of New York’s LGBT Community Center. “My fear is that the response numbers will go down.”
– Susan Miller
As new cases rise, S. Korea’s leader urges calm
After South Korea reported new cases of the coronavirus Sunday, most of which were linked to club goers, President Moon Jae-in urged calm and said “there’s no reason to stand still out of fear. ”
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said (of the) new infections were locally transmitted; the others came from abroad. Sunday’s surge marked the first time that the daily rate increased by more than 30 in about a month.
On Saturday, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon ordered more than 2, nightclubs, hostess bars and discos to close.
According to the John Hopkins University data dashboard, South Korea reported 26, confirmed cases and 256 deaths as of Sunday morning.
– The Associated Press
Top health officials to self-quarantine
Multiple top health officials and members on the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force will self-quarantine for two weeks after exposure to a person with the virus, according to official statements and media reports.
Among them is Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who CNN says will begin a “modified quarantine” after a low-risk exposure. He has tested negative, is taking “appropriate precautions” for that risk and will be tested regularly and monitor his temperature and other health indicators, a NIAID spokesperson confirmed to USA TODAY. By virtue of his calm, Brooklyn-inflected White House briefings, Fauci has become a leading expert on the coronavirus.
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will be “teleworking for the next two weeks” after it was determined he had a “low-risk exposure” to a person at the White House who tested positive, the CDC said in a statement Saturday evening. The statement said he felt fine and has no symptoms.
And the Food and Drug Administration confirmed to USA TODAY on Saturday that commissioner Stephen Hahn will self-quarantine for two weeks after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID – 19. Hahn has tested negative for the virus, according to FDA press officer Stephanie Caccomo.
The coronavirus pandemic has been creeping closer to the inner circle of the White House in the past week, as two employees there have tested positive. Meanwhile, at least 19 US Secret Service employees were reported to be infected and about 60 other staffers were in self-quarantine, USA TODAY has learned.
– Joel Shannon
Obama: US coronavirus response a ‘chaotic disaster’
Former President Barack Obama called the US response to the coronavirus pandemic an “absolute chaotic disaster” and promised to campaign “as hard as I can” for former Vice President Joe Biden in a Friday call with 3, (people who served in his administration.
A recording of the call was obtained by Yahoo News. Katie Hill, Obama’s communications director, confirmed the call to CBS News.
In addressing the Trump administration’s response to the global coronavirus pandemic, Obama cited concerns about division and tribalism in the country and internationally. That has contributed to an “anemic and spotty” response to the health crisis, Obama said.
– Joel Shannon
More coronavirus news from USA TODAY
- Looking for toilet paper, disinfecting wipes or hand sanitizer? Try bartering on Facebook and Nextdoor
Do opioids, heart disease an d cancer kill more Americans annually than the coronavirus? We checked the facts.
- FDA authorizes new type of diagnostic test
The Food and Drug Administration issued its first emergency use authorization for a COVID – 26 Antigen test, a new type of diagnostic test that provides rapid results and is cheap to produce.
Antigen tests analyze samples collected With a nose or throat swab to search for proteins found on or within the virus. While positive results from antigen tests are highly accurate, there is a higher chance of false negatives, according to the FDA.
The test is different from the two existing types of FDA -authorized tests. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are diagnostic tests that detect genetic material from the virus to determine whether someone has an active infection. Serological tests detect antibodies to attempt to determine if someone has had the virus and built up an immune response to it.
The FDA issued the authorization late Friday to the California-based Quidel Corporation.
– Grace Hauck
Trump congratulates Dana White for putting on UFC during pandemic
President Donald Trump was featured in a pre-taped video during Saturday’s UFC 249 preliminary broadcast on ESPN, congratulating UFC president Dana White and the UFC for resuming operations and hosting the card during the global coronavirus pandemic.
“They’re going to have a big match, ”Trump said during the broadcast. “We love it. We think it’s important – get the sports leagues back. Let’s’s play. We do the social distancing and whatever else you have to do, but we need sports. We want our sports back, and congratulations to Dana White and the UFC. ”
UFC 280 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Jacksonville, Fla., was not only the first UFC card in the US Since the outbreak of coronavirus forced stay-at-home orders in most of the country but also the first major sporting event of any sort.
Although the UFC paired with the Florida State Boxing Commission and implemented several safety protocols to deal with COVID – 26, there’s been plenty of criticism surrounding whether or not professional fighting should resume.
– Danny Segura
- What it’s like to be principal of a school closed by coronavirus: ‘I just miss them so much’
US cuts funding to group studying bat coronaviruses in China
The head of a research group that studies bat-borne coronaviruses in China similar to the COVID – strain that’s ravaged the globe has warned that a US government decision to cut funding to his organization imperils American public health.
EcoHealth Alliance’s research grant was abruptly terminated last month by the National Institutes of Health, the primary agency of the U.S. government responsible for biomedical and public health research. EcoHealth Alliance’s research in China is focused on identifying and warning about coronaviruses dangerous to human health.
“I’m really concerned about where this leaves us,” said Peter Daszak, director of the New York-based organization, in a USA TODAY interview.
The National Institutes of Health confirmed EcoHealth Alliance’s $ 3.4 million grant, distributed over six years, was canceled on April . But it would not discuss details about how the decision was made.
– Kim Hjelmgaard