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Fauci says large Trump rallies are ‘asking for trouble’ as virus surges.

Even as President Trump returned to the campaign trail in Florida and announced plans to begin a full schedule of rallies, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, warned, “We know that that is asking for trouble when you do that” at a time when coronavirus cases are surging in many states.

Dr. Fauci told CNN on Monday, “We’ve seen that when you have situations of congregate settings where there are a lot of people without masks, the data speak for themselves. It happens. And now is even more so a worse time to do that, because when you look at what’s going on in the United States, it’s really very troublesome.”

He noted that many states were now seeing increases in positive tests — “It’s going in the wrong direction right now,” he said — and suggested that Americans should be “doubling down” on precautions rather than casting them aside.

He said that people should continue to wear masks and practice social distancing — and avoid large gatherings — to prevent new outbreaks.

“That’s just a recipe of a real problem if we don’t get things under control before we get into that seasonal challenge,” he said.

Dr. Fauci’s comments came the day after he objected to a Trump campaign television ad that portrayed him as praising the president’s response to the pandemic.

Dr. Fauci reiterated on Monday that the ad had taken his past remarks out of context, and called his inclusion in it “very disappointing.” He said he had been speaking more broadly about the collaborative efforts of the federal government and was “not a political person.” Asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper whether the ad should be taken down, something the Trump campaign says it has no intention of doing, Dr. Fauci said, “I think so.”

In an interview with The Times on Monday, Dr. Fauci said that he had been unsuccessful so far in having the ad removed.

“I wouldn’t know who to contact in the campaign to tell them to pull it down,” he said. “I spoke to someone who I know well in the White House to figure it out for me and tell me how to get it down. I haven’t heard back from them yet.”

Dr. Fauci said that he did not want to be pulled into the fray of the campaign.

“I never in my five decades ever directly or indirectly supported a political candidate and I’m not going to start now,” he said. “I do not want to be involved in it.”

Dr. Fauci made an even more pointed criticism of the Trump campaign in an interview on Monday with The Daily Beast.

“By doing this against my will they are, in effect, harassing me,” he said. But he said he had not thought about quitting — “not in my wildest freakin’ dreams.”

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Fauci cautions Trump against holding large rallies, saying it is ‘asking for trouble.’

Hours before President Trump was set to return to the campaign trail in Florida on Monday, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, warned that holding large rallies was “asking for trouble” with cases of the coronavirus surging in many states.

Dr. Fauci, in an interview with CNN, said that Americans needed to be more cautious in the fall and winter months, and warned that rising rates of infections in a number of states suggested Americans should be “doubling down” on precautions rather than casting them aside.

“We know that that is asking for trouble when you do that,” Dr. Fauci said of Mr. Trump’s decision to begin a full schedule of campaign rallies. “We’ve seen that when you have situations of congregate settings where there are a lot of people without masks, the data speak for themselves. It happens. And now is even more so a worse time to do that, because when you look at what’s going on in the United States, it’s really very troublesome.”

He noted that many states were now seeing increases in positive tests. “It’s going in the wrong direction right now,” he said.

He said that people should continue to wear masks and practice social distancing — and avoid large gatherings — to prevent new outbreaks. “That’s just a recipe of a real problem if we don’t get things under control before we get into that seasonal challenge,” he said.

Dr. Fauci’s comments came one day after he objected to a new Trump campaign television ad that portrayed him as praising the president’s response to the pandemic.

Dr. Fauci reiterated on Monday that the ad had taken his past remarks out of context, and called his inclusion in it “very disappointing.” He said he had been speaking more broadly about the collaborative efforts of the federal government and was “not a political person.” Asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper whether the ad should be taken down, something the Trump campaign says it has no intention of doing, Dr. Fauci said, “I think so.”

In an interview with The Times on Monday, Dr. Fauci said that he had been unsuccessful so far in having the ad removed.

“I wouldn’t know who to contact in the campaign to tell them to pull it down,” he said. “I spoke to someone who I know well in the White House to figure it out for me and tell me how to get it down. I haven’t heard back from them yet.”

Dr. Fauci said that he did not want to be pulled into the fray of the campaign.

“I never in my five decades ever directly or indirectly supported a political candidate and I’m not going to start now,” he said. “I do not want to be involved in it.”

Dr. Fauci made an even more pointed criticism of the Trump campaign in an interview on Monday with The Daily Beast.

“By doing this against my will they are, in effect, harassing me,”

Avoid large gatherings without masks

WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious-disease expert, is again cautioning against large-scale gatherings of people without masks.

President Donald Trump is planning to convene another large crowd outside the White House on Saturday. Trump’s Rose Garden event announcing Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee on Sept. 26 has been labeled a “super-spreader” for the coronavirus.

Fauci said of the Rose Garden event in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday: “I was not surprised to see a super-spreader event given the circumstances. Crowded, congregate setting, not wearing masks. It is not surprising to see an outbreak.”

Fauci says the CDC guideline for getting people back into society generally “is 10 days from the onset of your symptoms.”

That onset for Trump was Oct. 1, according to his doctors. The president’s White House doctor, Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley, said Trump could return to holding events on Saturday. Organizers says attendees are required to bring masks or masks will be provided for the outdoor White House event.

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

— Dr. Fauci cautions against large gatherings without masks, social distancing ahead of President Trump’s White House event

— India coronavirus cases approach 7 million; averaging more than 70,000 daily cases this month

— Czech Republic sees surge in new daily infections at nearly 9,000

— Queen Elizabeth II honored the work of doctors and nurses, delivery drivers, fundraisers and volunteers during the coronavirus pandemic.

— China’s first classical music festival since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic is featuring musicians from the former epicenter of Wuhan.

— The NFL’s Tennessee Titans and the New England Patriots had no positive coronavirus tests Saturday and both teams will be allowed to go back to their facilities.

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

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

TRENTON, N.J. — Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he’s been discharged from a New Jersey hospital where he spent a week after contracting the coronavirus.

Christie says in a Saturday post on Twitter that he’d been released from the Morristown Medical Center. He tweeted his thanks to hospital staff and says he’d “have more to say about all of this next week.”

Christie announced Oct. 3 he had tested positive and checked himself into the hospital as “an important precautionary measure,” given his history of asthma.

Christie was among several coronavirus cases connected to President Donald Trump’s inner circle. Along with Trump and first lady Melania Trump, multiple people who traveled with the president or attended his events recently contracted the virus.

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PRAGUE — The Czech Republic and neighboring Slovakia have registered big jumps in new coronavirus infections, setting a new record for the fourth straight day.

The Health Ministry says the day-to-day increase reached 8,618 confirmed cases on Friday, over 3,000 more than the previous record set a day earlier in the nation of over 10 million.

The Czech Republic

The Latest: Dr. Fauci: Avoid Large Gatherings Without Masks | World News

WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious-disease expert, is again cautioning against large-scale gatherings of people without masks.

President Donald Trump is planning to convene another large crowd outside the White House on Saturday. Trump’s Rose Garden event announcing Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee on Sept. 26 has been labeled a “super-spreader” for the coronavirus.

Fauci said of the Rose Garden event in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday: “I was not surprised to see a super-spreader event given the circumstances. Crowded, congregate setting, not wearing masks. It is not surprising to see an outbreak.”

Fauci says the CDC guideline for getting people back into society generally “is 10 days from the onset of your symptoms.”

That onset for Trump was Oct. 1, according to his doctors. The president’s White House doctor, Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley, said Trump could return to holding events on Saturday. Organizers says attendees are required to bring masks or masks will be provided for the outdoor White House event.

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

— Dr. Fauci cautions against large gatherings without masks, social distancing ahead of President Trump’s White House event

— India coronavirus cases approach 7 million; averaging more than 70,000 daily cases this month

— Czech Republic sees surge in new daily infections at nearly 9,000

— Queen Elizabeth II honored the work of doctors and nurses, delivery drivers, fundraisers and volunteers during the coronavirus pandemic.

— China’s first classical music festival since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic is featuring musicians from the former epicenter of Wuhan.

— The NFL’s Tennessee Titans and the New England Patriots had no positive coronavirus tests Saturday and both teams will be allowed to go back to their facilities.

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

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

TRENTON, N.J. — Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he’s been discharged from a New Jersey hospital where he spent a week after contracting the coronavirus.

Christie says in a Saturday post on Twitter that he’d been released from the Morristown Medical Center. He tweeted his thanks to hospital staff and says he’d “have more to say about all of this next week.”

Christie announced Oct. 3 he had tested positive and checked himself into the hospital as “an important precautionary measure,” given his history of asthma.

Christie was among several coronavirus cases connected to President Donald Trump’s inner circle. Along with Trump and first lady Melania Trump, multiple people who traveled with the president or attended his events recently contracted the virus.

PRAGUE — The Czech Republic and neighboring Slovakia have registered big jumps in new coronavirus infections, setting a new record for the fourth straight day.

The Health Ministry says the day-to-day increase reached 8,618 confirmed cases on Friday, over 3,000 more than the previous record set a day earlier in the nation of over 10 million.

The Czech Republic has had a total of 109,374

Large study shows 45,000 new daily COVID infections in England

LONDON (Reuters) – There are as many as 45,000 new COVID infections in England each day, the largest study on prevalence of the coronavirus in the population said on Friday, adding that a resurgence in the north of the country could be replicated elsewhere in weeks.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is battling to avert a second wave of COVID-19 with local lockdowns, but the study suggests that the number of daily infections could far exceed the 17,540 reported on Thursday.

The study by Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI showed that 1 in 170 people in England had the virus between Sept. 18 and Oct. 5, with 45,000 new infections each day.

It also found an eight-fold increase in infections among people aged over 65, compared to a previous report covering Aug. 20 to Sept. 8.

“Our robust findings paint a concerning picture of the growing epidemic across England,” said Paul Elliott, of Imperial’s School of Public Health.

“While certain areas are worse affected, if left unabated then infection trends will follow nation-wide and could lead to high levels of unnecessary death and illness from the disease.”

Imperial’s is the country’s largest population study on COVID infection rates, with 175,000 volunteers tested. Earlier on Friday, the Office for National Statistics found that daily cases had doubled in a week.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Stephen Addison)

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India declines proposal to test Sputnik-V COVID-19 vaccine in large study

(Reuters) – India’s drug regulator has knocked back a proposal from Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd <REDY.NS> to conduct a large study in the country to evaluate Russia’s Sputnik-V COVID-19 vaccine and has asked it to first test the vaccine in a smaller trial.

The recommendations by an expert panel of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) noted that safety and immunogenicity data from early-stage studies being conducted overseas is small, with no inputs available on Indian participants.

India’s move comes as a setback for Russia’s plan to roll-out the vaccine even before full trials show how well it works, while pushing back its efforts to win approval for the vaccine in the country that leads the world on average number of new infections.

India is expected to overtake the United States over the next several weeks as the country with the world’s largest number of cases.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which is marketing the Sputnik V, and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories last month announced their partnership to run clinical trials and distribute the vaccine in India.

Russia was the first country to grant regulatory approval for a novel coronavirus vaccine, and did so before large-scale trials were complete, stirring concerns among scientists and doctors about the safety and efficacy of the shot.

RDIF and Dr. Reddy’s did not immediately reply to Reuters’ requests for comment outside business hours.

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; editing by Ankur Banerjee and Anil D’Silva)

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Northern California evangelical school tied to ‘very large’ spike in virus cases

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Northern California county will face greater restrictions as it grapples with a surge in coronavirus cases, many of them tied to an evangelical college where more than 120 students and staff have tested positive in the last two weeks, health officials said Tuesday.

Shasta County health officials say that an outbreak of cases among students and staff at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry contributed to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases that bumped the county on Tuesday into a new level of regulations on restaurants, bars, theaters and businesses.

“We have been fortunate enough to have a relatively low number of cases throughout the course of the pandemic,” said Kerri Schuette, spokeswoman for Shasta County Health and Human Services. “But we’ve had a very large increase in cases over the past two to three weeks, with 123 being associated with the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry.”

A school spokesman declined to comment Tuesday but forwarded a statement from earlier this month saying that the school was aware its students and staff accounted for “a portion” of Shasta County’s new cases and the school was taking “swift action” to minimize further spread.

In its statement the school said it shifted to online instruction last week and canceled in-person church services for Oct. 4 and Oct. 11 that have been held outdoors on a sports field. It also asked anyone who came in contact with someone who contracted COVID-19 to quarantine at home.

“This has led to a large number of people staying home as a precaution,” the statement said, adding that staff and students have been required to wear face coverings, socially distance on campus and do daily temperature checks at the door since classes started in early September.


On its website, the school describes itself as “a ministry training center” that is not an accredited university “where our students embrace their royal identity, learn the values of the kingdom, and walk in the authority and power of the King.”

The school does not provide housing for students, saying on its website that it welcomes hundreds of international and U.S. students each year and “it is our hope that our students ‘infiltrate’ the neighborhoods of Redding.”

Shasta County recorded more than 500 new coronavirus cases in the past two weeks, pushing its total number of cases since March to 1,158.

Another cluster was traced to an assisted living facility, called the Windsor Care Facility, where 60 residents and 20 staff have tested positive for the virus since the start of the outbreak, with most of those cases occurring in the past three weeks, Schuette said.

State health officials announced Tuesday that Shasta County was getting bumped to the “red tier” of a color-coded framework for business and school reopenings. It means that restaurants, churches and other businesses can open with limits on the numbers of people allowed inside. Other nonessential businesses like bars must close.

Schuette said the county has been working closely with Bethel

Missing COVID-19 tests glitch ’caused by large Excel file’

Thousands of coronavirus cases were missed because of an IT glitch, it has emerged. (PA)
Thousands of coronavirus cases were missed because of an IT glitch, it has emerged. (PA)

Almost 16,000 cases of coronavirus in the UK went unreported because of a glitch caused by an Excel spreadsheet, it has been reported.

Public Health England (PHE) said 15,841 daily COVID-19 cases between 25 September and 2 October had been left out of UK totals.

The error has caused delays in tracking the contacts of people who tested positive.

On Monday, the Press Association (PA) news agency reported that the problem was caused by a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet reaching its maximum file size.

It has been reported that the IT glitch was caused by a Microsoft Excel file that was too large. (Getty Images)
It has been reported that the IT glitch was caused by a Microsoft Excel file that was too large. (Getty Images)

This prevented new names being added in an automated process, it said.

PA said files have now been split into smaller batches to prevent the error from happening again.

Previously, PHE said the issue was caused by some data files reporting positive test results exceeding the maximum file size.

Meanwhile, a government minister defended the error, saying: “We can’t change history”.

Watch: Minister unable to give number affected by glitch

Work and pensions secretary Thérèse Coffey told BBC1’s Breakfast programme she did not know how many potentially infectious contacts of COVID-19 patients were not traced because of the glitch.

“I’m afraid I just don’t have that information,” she said.

She also admitted that people may have been infected because the NHS Test and Trace scheme was not aware of the unreported cases.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said of the glitch: “This is shambolic and people across the country will be understandably alarmed.”

He called on health secretary Matt Hancock to go to the House of Commons on Monday and explain “what on earth has happened, what impact it has had on our ability to contain this virus and what he plans to do to fix test and trace”.

The glitch means the daily coronavirus totals published on the government’s COVID-19 dashboard in the past week have been lower than the real numbers.

The unreported numbers were included instead in Saturday and Sunday’s totals of 12,872 and 22,961 cases respectively.

People have been urged to download the NHS COVID-19 app to help track the spread of coronavirus. (PA)
People have been urged to download the NHS COVID-19 app to help track the spread of coronavirus. (PA)

A note on the government dashboard said: “The cases by publish date for 3 and 4 October include 15,841 additional cases with specimen dates between 25 September and 2 October – they are therefore artificially high for England and the UK.”

Michael Brodie, the interim chief executive at PHE, said the “technical issue” was identified overnight on Friday, 2 October, in the data load process that transfers COVID-19 positive lab results into reporting dashboards.

“NHS Test and Trace and PHE have worked to quickly resolve the issue and transferred all outstanding cases immediately into the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing system and I would like to thank contact tracing and health protection colleagues for their additional efforts over the weekend,”

N.Y.C.’s School Testing Plan May Miss Large Outbreaks, Study Finds

School reopening has become a tangled logistical process worldwide, as public officials, administrators, teachers, parents and students have had to debate measures like face shields, ventilation, shift learning and whether to go virtual partially, or altogether. Most large school districts in the country, with the exception of New York City, have gone all virtual for most or all of the fall semester, because of stubbornly high virus rates and concerns from educators, their unions, and some parents.

Reopening has become particularly fraught in New York, where Mr. de Blasio has twice delayed the start of in-person classes because of a staffing crisis and pushback from the unions representing city teachers and principals.

School systems around the world have seen widely diverging outcomes when they reopen. Some countries, like Israel, have seen explosive outbreaks, despite containment measures. Others, like Ireland and South Korea, have kept schools open without major problems.

To simplify their modeling, the N.Y.U. team chose a benchmark for New York: Germany, which they said has broadly similar background infection rates, mitigation efforts and levels of virtual teaching.

Alex Perkins, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Notre Dame who reviewed the analysis, said that using Germany as a benchmark made sense, and “what the model says about more frequent testing is moving in the right direction.” He added: “But I think there’s more room to refine the model based on the transmission rates we actually see in New York schools.”

The city is balanced on a knife’s edge, the N.Y.U. researchers said. Classes could proceed with rigorous testing and other measures, they said, but avoiding flare-ups completely will be impossible.

Positive tests will inevitably lead to temporary closures and quarantines in roughly six schools a week, they said. If the number of weekly closures is significantly higher, however, it is a sign that outbreaks are occurring in schools, the model found.

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Children 17 and under contract and spread COVID-19 like adults, large new study finds

A study of 85,000 people with COVID-19 in two southern Indian states and 575,000 people they came in contact with found that children 17 and under contract and transmit the new coronavirus at rates similar to the rest of the population. Children age 5 to 17 passed the virus on to 18 percent of close contacts their same age, a team of U.S. and Indian researchers reported Wednesday in the journal Science.

These findings are particularly important given “previous reports suggesting a minor role of children in the pandemic,” Antonio Salas, a Spanish researcher who was not involved in the Indian study, told the Los Angeles Times. “National policies on how to proceed with children in schools and other social activities could change dramatically if the scientific evidence underpins the idea that children can infect as efficiently as adults, and even more, they could also behave as super-spreaders.”

The two Indian states studied, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, have robust contract tracing and other public health programs. The other major finding from the study involved super-spreaders. While 71 percent of people infected with COVID-19 did not appear to pass the virus on to anybody else, just 8 percent of infected people accounted for 60 percent of the new infections, said lead author Ramanan Laxminarayan of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics, and Policy in New Delhi.

“Super-spreading events are the rule rather than the exception,” Laxminarayan said. “It has lots of implications for modeling COVID, for how to keep places safe.”

While children 17 and under were found to be more efficient disease transmitters than previously understood, they had the lowest death rate of any age cohort. Overall, deaths increased with age up to 65, then appeared to drop off. New York Times science reporter Apoorva Mandavilli said that might be because people who make it past India’s life expectancy of 69 years told tend to be wealthy, with good heath care.

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