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Trump sets out to get campaign back on track

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump set out to get his campaign back on track Friday, a week after he was sidelined with the coronavirus that has killed more than 210,000 Americans.

As questions linger about his health, Trump began speaking directly to voters, on the radio, less than four weeks from Election Day, and he eyed a return to travel as soon as Monday. The president has not been seen in public — other than in White House-produced videos — since his return days ago from the military hospital where he received experimental treatments for the virus.

Trump on Friday held what his campaign billed as a “radio rally” as he dialed in to the show of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh. Despite public and private surveys showing him trailing Democrat Joe Biden, Trump predicted a greater victory in 2020 than four years ago.

While Trump said he believes he’s no longer contagious, concerns about infection appeared to scuttle plans for next week’s presidential debate.


“My voice is now perfect,” he told Limbaugh.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says individuals can discontinue isolation 10 days after the onset of symptoms, which for Trump was Oct. 1, according to his doctors. His doctor, Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley, said that meant Trump, who has been surrounded by minimal staffing as he works out of the White House residence and the Oval Office, could return to holding events on Saturday.

He added that Trump was showing no evidence of his illness progressing or adverse reactions to the aggressive course of therapy prescribed by his doctors.

While reports of reinfection are rare, the CDC recommends that even people who recover from COVID-19 continue to wear masks, stay distanced and follow other precautions. It was unclear if Trump, who refused mask-wearing in most settings, would abide by that guidance.

In the interview with Limbaugh, Trump again credited the experimental antibody drug he received last week with speeding his recovery.

“I was not in the greatest of shape,” he said. “A day later I was fine.” He promised to expedite distribution of the drug to Americans in need, though that requires action by the Food and Drug Administration.

He speculated to Limbaugh that without the drug, “I might not have recovered at all.”

There is no way to know how the drug affected his progression with the virus.

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COVID-19 Complications: Registry Aims to Track Virus Impact on Heart | U.S. News Hospital Heroes

The intensive care unit remained fully operational, primarily to treat patients with the new virus, as well as those who needed emergent care. But that meant clinicians like Dr. James de Lemos, cardiologist, didn’t have much to do, since many of the non-COVID-19 procedures he performed, like echocardiograms and surgeries to put in heart stents, were postponed or canceled.

De Lemos and many of his colleagues were frustrated; they wanted to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, but felt sidelined. “We sort of felt powerless, working a lot from home during this terrible public health challenge,” de Lemos says.

Determined to take on the COVID crisis in some way, de Lemos, his colleagues and the cardiovascular fellows they work with brainstormed a way to join the battle: They launched a registry to collect comprehensive data on COVID-19 patients in the Dallas area. The registry also includes detailed information on how the virus attacks the heart of some patients.

UT Southwestern is a teaching hospital. De Lemos is a professor of medicine in the hospital’s cardiology division. He’s also a former director of the hospital’s cardiovascular fellowship program, and remains involved in the initiative.

The purpose of the registry is to help clinicians determine which therapies are most effective in treating COVID-19, based on the collected data. In November, de Lemos and his colleagues are scheduled to present some of their findings at a virtual meeting of the American Heart Association. The research is on race and ethnic differences in COVID-19 presentation and the impact of obesity in the severity of the illness. The findings of the studies are embargoed until then.

Within a few weeks of launching the local effort, de Lemos and his colleague, Dr. Sandeep Das, pitched the AHA on the idea of expanding the registry, taking it nationwide. The AHA quickly agreed. To date, de Lemos and his colleagues have collected data on about 15,000 COVID-19 patients from more than 100 hospitals in 35 states.

Texas is one of the states that’s been hit the hardest by the pandemic. As of Oct. 1, it had recorded more than 700,000 novel coronavirus cases, second only to California.

A registry is an observational study that tracks patients with a particular condition and collects detailed information about who they are – their age, gender, race and ethnic background – and how they respond to different treatments. De Lemos and his colleagues collect these data points – which have been de-identified so patients can remain anonymous – from participating hospitals. Patients do not have to opt in to participate in the research, and are not asked to.

Creating a registry is particularly important when clinicians are seeking to develop therapies to treat a new illness, like COVID-19, de Lemos says. Researchers use detailed hospital records to learn how patients responded to different treatments.

In the early days of the pandemic, it was widely believed that COVID-19 was a disease of the lungs; the vast majority of

Spam calls are hindering efforts to contact trace and track Covid-19

Nine months into a pandemic that has killed 210,000 people in the United States, health officials are imploring residents to answer their phones. The caller may be a disease tracker trying to save you from the deadly coronavirus.



a man talking on a cell phone: Joseph Ortiz, a contact tracer in New York City, gathers information as he heads to a potential patient's home.


© John Minchillo/AP
Joseph Ortiz, a contact tracer in New York City, gathers information as he heads to a potential patient’s home.

Contract tracing involves identifying sick people, isolating them and then tracing everyone with whom they’ve been in contact and putting those people into quarantine.

But many people wary of spam calls and phishing scams are not answering calls from unknown numbers, undermining efforts by contact tracers to reach people exposed to Covid-19. And some states such as Louisiana are sending letters to those people who don’t answer — not the most effective way when time is of the essence.

Without a federal contact tracing program, health departments have set up a patchwork of procedures. Some have worked with phone companies to ensure the name of the health department shows up on caller ID. For example, in Washington, DC, it shows up as DC Covid 19 Team.

Still, others appear as unknown numbers and are getting mistaken for spam calls. And even when they show up with the specific departments, some are still going unanswered.

“Hello? Yes, it’s you we’re looking for,” Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted, echoing the Lionel Richie song. “Contact tracing is a critical tool in getting our city back on its feet. Answer the call.”

The governor of Ohio is voicing the same message. State health officials say while they have 113 health jurisdictions and don’t collect the percentage of calls answered on a state level, local jurisdictions have reported less cooperation with tracers now than they did earlier in the pandemic.

“If you receive a call from a contact tracer — answer the call,” Gov. Mike DeWine said. “Contact tracing is incredibly important as we work to stop the spread of Covid 19.”

Robocalls have made things more complicated

In the age of identity theft, many Americans are rightly suspicious about sharing their personal information with strangers. And robocalls have not made things easier.

The number of robocalls received in the United States dipped in the early months of the pandemic, then ticked back up as call centers reopened.

In September alone, there were 3.8 billion robocalls recorded nationwide by tracking service YouMail. That’s about 127 million per day and an average 12 calls per person. With the desperate wait for coronavirus treatments and vaccines, scammers preying on pandemic fears are using such calls to offer bogus testing or seek personal information.



a group of people sitting at a desk in front of a television: Workers conduct coronavirus contact tracing from an office at the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County.


© Lynne Sladky/AP
Workers conduct coronavirus contact tracing from an office at the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County.

That has made people even more reluctant to share personal details by phone. For example, 45% of New Jersey residents with coronavirus reached by contact tracers refused to provide information for various reasons.

“This is about public health. No one is on a

4 Smartwatch Features That Track Your Overall Health

3. Sleep tracking. Some devices, including high-end Fitbits and Galaxy smartwatches, track the quality of your slumber time right down to various sleep stages and the number of times you wake up in the middle of the night. Apple’s watch is more about setting up the conditions so that you get a good night’s sleep, starting with a wind-down routine before bedtime.

Of course, if you’re planning to sleep with any of the smartwatches, make sure they are charged before you go to bed, and if needed, give them some extra juice when you wake up. Only the Fitbit Sense had longer than a 24-hour day’s battery life, in what PC Magazine considered normal use.

4. Blood oxygen. Fitbit, Garmin, Mobvoi, Samsung and now Apple’s Series 6 can all measure blood-oxygen levels. Series 6 obtains a measurement from a quartet of clusters of green, red and infrared LEDs on its rear and four photodiodes spaced and isolated between them to determine the color of your blood.

Measurements are automatically collected throughout the day or when you’re asleep. You also can launch an app to take a manual reading by steadying your wrist on a table, with the watch display facing upward, tapping on Start, and then waiting patiently while a timer counts down for 15 seconds.

While most healthy adults report levels between 95 percent and 100 percent, what does a lower blood-oxygen reading signify? Blood oxygen is an indicator of early signs of circulatory, heart or lung function issues, such as anemia, neurological problems or sleep disorders, says Leslie Saxon, M.D., a professor of medicine and executive director at the Center for Body Computing at the University of Southern California.

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