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Trump returns to White House despite mysteries around his health

President Donald Trump left the hospital and returned to the White House on Monday evening to continue his coronavirus treatment there, despite mysteries surrounding his health and the president‘s doctor warning that he may not be “out of the woods yet.“

“I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good!” he wrote in a tweet about four hours before his departure.

“Don’t be afraid of Covid,” Trump added of the virus that has infected more than 7.4 million people in the U.S. and killed nearly 210,000. “Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”

Trump left Walter Reed Medical Center by helicopter on Monday evening, with Marine One touching down on the White House South Lawn about 15 minutes later. He walked out of Walter Reed under his own power, but did not take questions from reporters gathered outside.

Upon his return, Trump walked up the stairs to the White House wearing a white mask before taking it off on the balcony, standing for a few moments for a photo op before walking in without wearing the mask. Experts say that someone in Trump‘s progression of the virus is still likely contagious, and multiple people could be seen waiting for him on the other side of the entrance.

Trump’s discharge comes as the White House faces accusations of a lack of transparency about the severity of the president’s illness, and as the president has sought to project some semblance of normalcy despite contracting the virus.

It was a striking statement, even for a president who has repeatedly played down the threat of the virus throughout the pandemic, and worked to project normalcy and portray himself as undaunted by it throughout his stay in the hospital.

His administration, meanwhile, has been panned for its response to the pandemic more generally.

Trump was first transferred to Walter Reed on Friday evening out of what the White House said was an “abundance of caution.” His aides have since been eager to show that Trump is still carrying out the duties of the office despite his hospitalization.

But Sean Conley, the president’s physician, appeared to confirm Sunday that Trump’s condition is more serious than the White House had so far acknowledged.

And in a news briefing on Monday afternoon, Conley conceded that the president “may not be entirely out of the woods yet.”

But, he continued, “the team and I agree that all our evaluations — and most importantly his clinical status — support the president’s safe return home, where he’ll be supported by world-class medical care 24/7.“

Trump’s discharge comes at a potentially delicate time, as questions persist about his health.

Some patients see sharp declines about seven to 10 days after infection, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that Covid-positive patients continue to self-isolate for 10 days after

Study: Veterans with acupuncture before surgery have less pain

Oct. 5 (UPI) — Veterans who have acupuncture before surgery reported less need for opioids for pain, a pilot study presented Monday at the ANESTHESIOLOGY 2020 meeting shows.

“Six percent of patients given opioids after surgery become dependent on them, and veterans are twice as likely to die from accidental overdoses than civilians,” said study lead author Dr. Brinda Krish,.

“Clearly it is crucial to have multiple options for treating pain, and acupuncture is an excellent alternative. It is safe, cost effective and it works,” said Krish, an anesthesiology resident at Detroit Medical Center.

Researchers analyzed two groups of patients treated at John D. VA Medical Center in Detroit. The study’s principal investigator, physician anesthesiologist Dr. Padmavathi Patel, provided the acupuncture.

The first group included 21 patients who had traditional acupuncture, which involves the insertion of very thin needles at specific trigger points around the body to relieve pain, and 21 patients who did not.

The second group included 28 patients who received battlefield acupuncture, which a U.S. Air Force doctor developed to reduce pain without use of opioids on the front lines, and 36 patients in control group.

In both acupuncture groups, veterans reported significant reduction in post-operative pain and post-operative opioid use compared to control patients undergoing surgery without acupuncture.

“Some patients were open to trying acupuncture right away, and others became more interested when they learned more about the risk of opioid use,” Krish said.

“It’s easy, patients love it, it’s not just another medicine and it’s very safe. Because battlefield acupuncture was developed by an armed services doctor, veterans also were more willing to participate.”

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Trump needs to set better example

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Now that he’s become infected with the coronavirus, President Donald Trump needs to set a “better example” during the pandemic, and he should start by always wearing a mask in public, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday.

Faced with surging numbers of COVID-19 cases in his state, Beshear urged Kentuckians to accept any inconvenience from donning facial coverings to do their part to contain the virus.

The Democratic governor said he’s looking to the Republican president to belatedly lead by example after Trump’s positive test for the virus last week led to his hospitalization.


“There’re some areas where we need a better example from the president,” Beshear said at a news conference. “First, I’ve been begging for months to have this president wear a mask in public.”

Trump remains popular across much of Kentucky, and Beshear typically has been reluctant to criticize the president. But the governor didn’t hold back in admonishing Trump for his decision to briefly venture out in a motorcade Sunday to salute cheering supporters.

“He violated quarantine and isolation,” Beshear said. “You can’t do that.”

Trump said Monday he’s leaving the military hospital where he has been receiving treatment. Beshear said he’s concerned the president was leaving “too early for his own health.”

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Trump says he’s leaving hospital for White House, feels good

— Some Orthodox Jews bristle at NYC’s response to virus surge

— Paris on maximum virus alert, closing bars, not restaurants

— New Jersey governor: Trump fundraiser ‘put lives at risk’

— Kayleigh McEnany tests positive for COVID-19

— Americans fault US govt over foreign powers for virus crisis

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Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

BATON ROUGE, La. — Gov. John Bel Edwards said Monday that alcohol sales can resume at Louisiana sporting events this weekend in parishes that have reached low rates of new coronavirus cases and are allowed to reopen bars.

The Democratic governor said these changes to his coronavirus restrictions will be included in the latest emergency order he intends to release later this week. His current set of rules expires Friday, and Edwards hasn’t said if he’ll loosen up any other limits.

Edwards said in a statement that alcohol sales at stadiums, arenas and other sports complexes “will be limited to fans buying alcohol and returning to their seats to drink it and will require event managers to continue with their strong COVID mitigation measures.”

Shortly after Edwards made his announcement, LSU said alcohol sales will return to Tiger Stadium for Saturday’s football game.

To qualify, sports events must be in parishes that have seen 5% of their coronavirus tests or less return positive in the last two weeks, an indication that the virus isn’t spreading widely in the parish. The parish must also have agreed to reopen bars to onsite drinking. Twenty of Louisiana’s 64 parishes currently meet those criteria, according to the governor’s

Framingham Sees Highest Coronavirus Rise In Months

FRAMINGHAM, MA — Framingham reported the highest number of new coronavirus cases in months on Monday, and officials are cracking down with $500 fines will be handed out to people caught violating health rules without a warning.

Framingham reported 44 new cases on Monday. You would have to go back to May 21 to find a single report where more new cases were added. The city also reported one new COVID-19 death on Monday.

In an escalation, the $500 fines — first announced on Sept. 14 — will now be given to anyone who violates rules on gatherings on the first offense. The city was handing out warnings up until now.

“Framingham’s current spike in COVID-19 cases can be attributed to gatherings across the city and to help slow the spread, the city will no longer provide a warning and instead immediately issue a $500 fine for violation of the gathering order,” officials said in a news release Monday.

Framingham was named a red high-risk community on Aug. 26. Since then, the city has been receiving help from the state educating citizens about how to guard against the virus.

Framingham typically reports new coronavirus case numbers on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Here’s a look at the number of new cases in each of those reports dating back to the beginning of August:

  • Oct. 5 — 44 new cases

  • Oct. 2 — 25 new cases

  • Sept. 30 — 13 new cases

  • Sept. 28 — 15 new cases

  • Sept. 25 — 26 new cases

  • Sept. 23 — 17 new cases

  • Sept. 21 — 24 new cases

  • Sept. 18 — 15 new cases

  • Sept. 16 — 22 new cases

  • Sept. 14 — 33 new cases

  • Sept. 11 — 27 new cases

  • Sept. 9 — 32 new cases

  • Sept. 7 — No report due to Labor Day

  • Sept. 4 — 8 new cases

  • Sept. 2 — 17 new cases

  • Aug. 31 — 27 new cases

  • Aug. 28 — 21 new cases

  • Aug. 26 — 26 new cases

  • Aug. 24 — 20 new cases

  • Aug. 21 — 21 new cases

  • Aug. 19 — 7 new cases

  • Aug. 17 — 20 new cases

  • Aug. 14 — 12 new cases

  • Aug. 12 — 3 new cases

  • Aug. 10 — 24 new cases

  • Aug. 7 — 4 new cases

  • Aug. 5 — 8 new cases

  • Aug. 3 — 9 new cases

This article originally appeared on the Framingham Patch

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Barr Plans to Return to Justice Dept. After Negative Coronavirus Test Results

WASHINGTON — Attorney General William P. Barr did not plan to get a coronavirus test on Monday after receiving negative results from four tests and was likely to return to work at the Justice Department this week, his spokeswoman said.

Mr. Barr, who had attended an event at the White House on Sept. 26 linked to the outbreak, quarantined himself over the weekend and was at home on Monday with no symptoms, said the spokeswoman, Kerri Kupec.

She said that Mr. Barr would get tested​ on Tuesday and was likely to return to the office on Wednesday. That would be before the end of the 14-day quarantine period recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as Justice Department guidelines, but Ms. Kupec said the attorney general was considered a critical worker exempt from the C.D.C. guidelines.

Ms. Kupec said Mr. Barr, 70, “routinely wears masks and takes a variety of precautions” at the office.

Some department employees expressed anger at Mr. Barr’s decisions, saying that his leadership example indicated that he did not take the threat of the virus seriously, according to five employees who would not be named discussing Mr. Barr’s approach to the virus for fear of retribution.

Asked about the criticism, Ms. Kupec said that as the nation’s chief federal law enforcement officer, Mr. Barr was considered a critical worker under the C.D.C. guidance. It says that essential workers “may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to Covid-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community.”

Precautions include wearing a mask at all times in the workplace, social distancing, regular temperature checks and continued testing.

“​Even with this flexibility, out of an abundance of caution, he has remained home since Friday other than to get tested and attend the meeting at ​the Justice Department​ on Friday morning​,” Ms. Kupec said.

In President Trump’s own battle with the coronavirus, his oxygen levels have dropped and he has taken experimental drugs and a steroid. He left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday.

After Mr. Trump revealed early on Friday that he had tested positive for the virus, Mr. Barr took a rapid test each day and took an additional diagnostic test called a PCR test, and made their results public. Through the weekend, his tests came back negative, Ms. Kupec said.

Mr. Barr also decided to reduce his schedule to one meeting on Friday and to self-quarantine at home over the weekend, she said.

Ms. Kupec said on Monday that Mr. Barr had not had any contact with Mr. Trump for nine days, when both men attended a reception at the White House for the president’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Several Republican leaders and others who attended the reception have since learned they have the virus, including Mr. Trump; the first lady, Melania Trump; Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina; John I. Jenkins, the president of

Kaletra Again Fails for Moderate-to-Severe COVID-19

Lopinavir-ritonavir (Kaletra), a protease inhibitor mainly used for HIV, did not reduce mortality or speed recovery from COVID-19, Britain’s large RECOVERY trial affirmed.

Mortality at 28 days was 23% among the hospitalized COVID-19 patients randomized to lopinavir-ritonavir (400 and 100 mg, respectively, for 10 days or until discharge) compared with 22% in the usual care group (rate ratio [RR] 1.03, 95% CI 0.91–1.17).

The same was true for all prespecified subgroups, including sex, age, duration of illness, degree of respiratory support at baseline, and predicted mortality risk, Peter Horby, MD, PhD, of the University of Oxford, England, and colleagues reported in The Lancet.

Secondary endpoints likewise were similar with lopinavir-ritonavir and usual care:

  • Time to hospital discharge among survivors (median 11 days in both groups)
  • Proportion discharged alive within 28 days (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.91-1.05)
  • Invasive mechanical ventilation or death for those not intubated at baseline (RR 1.09, 95% CI 0.99-1.20)

RECOVERY, a U.K.-based pragmatic trial in which hospitalized patients are randomized to various open-label treatments, previously turned up the first mortality benefit in COVID-19 with dexamethasone. Other arms include tocilizumab (Actemra), convalescent plasma, REGN-CoV2 combination monoclonal antibodies, and azithromycin, while a hydroxychloroquine arm was terminated.

The 5,040-patient trial “provides a more solid evidence base regarding possible lopinavir–ritonavir treatment effects” than the prior 199-patient trial from China with similar findings and interim results from the WHO Solidarity trial, noted an accompanying editorial.

Those earlier results along with the drug’s well-documented adverse effects and drug interactions led to a National Institute of Health recommendation against lopinavir-ritonavir use for hospitalized COVID-19 patients outside of clinical trials.

The many other clinical care guidelines that have recommended lopinavir-ritonavir should now be updated, Horby’s group urged.

Still, early antiviral treatment could be worth testing for mild cases of COVID-19 or post-exposure prophylaxis in high-risk populations, noted editorialists Bin Cao, MD, of the National Clinical Research Center for Respiratory Diseases in Beijing, and Frederick Hayden, MD, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville.

“Given the efficient replication of SARS-CoV-2 shortly after infection and the association between mortality and viral RNA loads at diagnosis, it is possible that early use of sufficiently potent antiviral drugs would be an important determining factor in clinical outcomes, although few early intervention trials have been completed,” Cao and Hayden wrote.

Also, they argued, antiviral and immunomodulator combinations should be studied, since monotherapy might not be enough for moderately to severely ill patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

Limitations of the RECOVERY trial data, Horby and co-authors said, included enrollment of few intubated patients, “as there were difficulties in administering treatment to patients who could not swallow,” such as potential to block feeding tubes with crushed tablets and unreliable bioavailability.

Disclosures

The study was funded by the Medical Research Council and National Institute for Health Research.

The researchers disclosed no conflicts of interest.

Cao disclosed having worked closely with an article author on influenza and COVID-19 therapeutic studies. Hayden reported personal fees from University of Alabama Antiviral

D.C. residents to see small increase in health insurance marketplace rates

Rates for individual coverage will increase overall by 0.2 percent and rates for small-group coverage, such as small businesses, will decrease by 0.5 percent, according to the D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking, which reviews and approves rates for the online marketplace.

The 2021 rates are a “big win for D.C. residents in making health care more affordable and accessible,” said William Borden, a professor of medicine and health policy at George Washington University. He pointed to how people struggled to keep up with rising health insurance premiums even before the novel coronavirus took hold.

“Having health insurance is clearly associated with better health outcomes, and so if there was going to be a sharp increase in insurance premiums that really could be devastating, especially as individuals, small businesses are already struggling financially,” Borden said.

Insurers initially asked for rate increases as high as 30 percent, but most of the insurers decreased their initial rate filings after a virtual public hearing in September.

During that hearing, leaders of the D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority, which operates D.C. Health Link, the online health insurance marketplace, advocated premium reductions or freezing rates at 2020 levels. More than 30 people signed up to testify.

The gap between what insurers initially proposed and what the DISB approved after the hearing will save D.C. residents more than $17 million, according to the department’s news release Friday.

Open enrollment in the District runs from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31.

Other jurisdictions also have moved to limit increasing rates.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) approved an average 11.9 percent premium rate decrease for individual health insurance plans through Maryland Health Connection, the state-based health insurance marketplace, in 2021. This is the third consecutive year that individual premium rates have gone down in Maryland. Open enrollment in Maryland runs from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15.

The open enrollment period for all three jurisdictions will begin just as the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on a case to overturn the Affordable Care Act, which could leave more than 23 million people without health care, according to a report from the liberal think tank Center for American Progress.

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How Tartar Can Cause Teeth Stains and More

Plaque doesn’t just remain plaque if left on your teeth — it forms into tartar, and that’s an entirely different concern.

Plaque is soft, sticky, and colorless and can be removed with regular brushing and flossing. If left alone, plaque hardens and bonds with your teeth to become tartar and needs to be removed by a dental professional, said Maged el-Malecki, DMD, the dental director at Boston Dental.

“Tartar develops when biofilm in our mouths combine with food byproducts — this then becomes mineralized from our saliva,” el-Malecki said. “Over 60 percent of people have at least some tartar buildup, which means it is a common oral health issue.”

He even described tartar as a porous “crusty blanket” that forms between your teeth and gum line and can easily trap stains and cause discoloration.

“Because we can’t remove tartar ourselves, many people wait a long time to seek treatment. While waiting, tartar can continue to build up and cause gum inflammation, gum recession, and, in severe cases, bone loss due to the bacteria that live in tartar, which produces toxins.”

While tartar-removing instruments (like metal picks) are available at your local pharmacy, el-Malecki strongly urges against using these products. Since the tartar-removing process requires specialised techniques using sharp tools, DIY approaches can very easily damage your gums.

“Generally, we use a scaler and an ultrasonic tip to remove tartar and stains while also flushing the gums with either distilled water or an antimicrobial solution,” he explained.

Regularly removing plaque from your teeth by brushing and flossing are the most effective ways you can prevent and eliminate tartar at home, el-Malecki said.

Despite one’s best efforts, though, sometimes accumulating small amounts of tartar buildup is unavoidable. That’s why it’s essential to make checkups and cleanings with your dentist a priority.

Click here for more health and wellness stories, tips, and news.

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What We Know And Don’t Know About His Status Amid Confusion Over Privacy

KEY POINTS

  • Doctors have refused to release information about Trump’s bloodwork after treatment for COVID-19
  • Trump will receive further treatment at the White House medical unit
  • Trump is 74 and overweight, two factors that place him in a high-risk category for developing complications

President Donald Trump may have won release from Walter Reed National Military Hospital Monday, but there are numerous unanswered questions about his condition.

Trump was airlifted to the hospital Friday after developing COVID-19 symptoms, including high fever and falling blood oxygen levels. He has been treated with an experimental antibody cocktail, the still-being-evaluated antiviral Remdesivir and the powerful anti-inflammatory steroid dexamethasone, which generally is given to the most seriously ill.

The president’s doctors have been relentlessly optimistic about his condition but have refused to answer several questions, including when Trump last tested negative for the virus and whether there is evidence of lung damage.

Trump was to be given a fourth infusion of Remdesivir before heading back to the White House, which has a fully equipped medical unit where he can receive further treatment. A fifth dose of the drug was to be administered Friday. He also was to continue taking dexamethasone.

White House physician Dr. Sean Conley acknowledged Trump’s full recovery is not assured. He said doctors were in uncharted territory because Trump had received the therapies so early in the course of the disease.

“If we can get through to Monday with him remaining the same or improving better yet, then we will all take that final deep sigh of relief,” Conley told reporters. However, though he said Trump is fever-free, dexamethasone can mask elevated temperatures.

The timeline for when Trump first tested positive for the infection was unclear. The White House has refused to say when he last tested negative. Asked Monday, Conley responded he didn’t want to go “backward,” adding that contact tracing was underway.

It also was unclear exactly how ill Trump was, with contradictory statements from the medical team, Trump aides and administration officials.

Asked whether there was evidence of pneumonia, Conley said doctors had seen “some expected findings,” but were not overly concerned.

“We’ve done routine standard imaging. I’m just not at liberty to discuss,” Conley said. He also declined to discuss Trump’s bloodwork or the quarantine precautions that will be in place at the White House once the president returns.

Conley said he made less-than-accurate statements about the president’s condition on Saturday because he wanted to keep Trump’s spirits up.

About a dozen people in Trump’s inner circle have tested positive for coronavirus, including his wife, Melania.

Trump is 74 and overweight, two factors that place him in a high-risk category for developing complications.

You can watch the full news conference below:

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A US-British trio wins the Nobel Prize in medicine for discovering the liver-ravaging hepatitis C virus [Video]

SHOTLIST

STOCKHOLM, SWEDENOCTOBER 5, 2020SOURCE: AFPTV

1. SOUNDBITE 1 – Thomas Perlmann , Nobel Assembly secretary (male, English, 22 sec): “The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has today decided to award the 2020 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine jointly to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice for the discover of Hepatitis C virus. “

SOLNA, SWEDEN STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN OCTOBER 5, 2020 SOURCE: AFPTV

2. Cutaway: Secretary General of the Nobel Committee Thomas Perlmann making the announcement with photos of the laureates on the screen

BETHESDA, MARYLAND, UNITED STATESOCTOBER 5, 2020SOURCE: NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTHRESTRICTIONS: NO RESALEEDITORIAL USE ONLY

3. SOUNDBITE 2 – Dr. Harvey Alter, Nobel Laureate in Medicine (male, english, 16 sec): “A vaccine is still a goal, but it’s been very difficult to do – just like for HIV, it’s a highly mutable virus, and it’s very difficult to develop an effective immune response for a vaccine, but we’re still hopeful.”

UNDEFINEDOCTOBER 5, 2020SOURCE: HANDOUT / ROCKEFELLER UNIVERSITYRESTRICTIONS: NO RESALE

4. SOUNDBITE 3 – Charles Rice, virologist at the Rockefeller University and co-winner of the 2020 Nobel Medicine Prize (male, English, 23 sec): “The success of these drug treatments for hepatitis C and the fact that you can actually eliminate the virus, you can actually cure people, you can get rid of it, I think has renewed enthusiasm in people to see if we couldn’t achieve that for other chronic viral infections like hepatitis B and HIV.”

///———————————————————–AFP TEXT STORY:

newseriesUS-British trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for Hepatitis C discovery By Pia OHLIN

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ATTENTION – ADDS Rice reax, laureates working on Covid-19 vaccine ///Stockholm, Oct 5, 2020 (AFP) – Americans Harvey Alter and Charles Rice together with Briton Michael Houghton won the Nobel Medicine Prize on Monday for the discovery of the Hepatitis C virus, paving the way for a cure, the Nobel jury said.The three were honoured for their “decisive contribution to the fight against blood-borne hepatitis, a major global health problem that causes cirrhosis and liver cancer in people around the world,” the jury said.The World Health Organization estimates there are around 70 million Hepatitis C infections globally, causing around 400,000 deaths each year. It is characterized by poor appetite, vomiting, fatigue and jaundice.Thanks to the trio’s discoveries, highly sensitive blood tests for the virus are now available and these have “essentially eliminated post-transfusion hepatitis in many parts of the world, greatly improving global health”, the Nobel committee said.Their discoveries allowed the rapid development of antiviral drugs directed at Hepatitis C. “For the first time in history, the disease can now be cured, raising hopes of eradicating Hepatitis C virus from the world population,” the jury said.Alter, 85, told the Nobel Foundation he was “in shock” after receiving an early-morning call from the committee, saying he didn’t answer the first two times.”The third time I got up angrily to answer it… and it was Stockholm,” he said.”To see so many people get cured, and nobody getting post-transfusion hepatitis, that’s astounding