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AHA News: Hispanics Are Paying the Price for Being ‘Essential’ During the Pandemic | Health News

(HealthDay)

FRIDAY, Oct. 9, 2020 (American Heart Association News) — Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Maria de Lourdes Alvarado has had to pick up extra or overtime shifts whenever she can, like millions of other essential workers outside of the health care field who are helping to maintain a sense of normalcy in their communities.

And also like them, Alvarado is bearing the economic and medical brunt of the havoc COVID-19 is wreaking across the country.

The Los Angeles nonprofit where she works as an administrator, the Instituto de Educación Popular del Sur de California, provides the Hispanic community with relief from economic, personal and medical fallout from the pandemic. At a funeral home, where she is a weekend supervisor, she has witnessed firsthand the tragic toll on families like hers.

Her husband, an automobile detailer, lost his job in March and remains unemployed. Their 23-year-old son recently graduated from Northern Arizona University and is struggling to find employment as well. Her 16-year-old son is home completing his high school education online.

“The main reason I work so hard is because I’ve become the main provider for my family and I avoid getting into a lot of debt because my main goal is send my kids to college,” Alvarado said.

“But I also love my community. Working with day laborers and household workers has really opened my eyes to see how the Latino community is often left behind. It’s hard to understand how people like me have diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. We don’t know it because we don’t go as often as we should to see a doctor,” she said. “If COVID-19 is affecting the Latino community more, it’s because a lot of people in this community are not aware of their own health situation because they don’t have the money to tend to it.”

Hispanics, who currently make up about 18% of the U.S. population, are disproportionally getting sick and dying compared to non-Latino white people, as the pandemic continues to highlight societal inequities that leave historically marginalized communities more at risk to be exposed to the virus.

A recent study found that Latinos 65 years and older were two times more likely to die from the coronavirus than white non-Latinos of the same age group. The research, drawing on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, academic literature and news sources, also reported that Black adults 65 and older had about three times the death rate from the virus compared to white people in the same age group.

The Hispanic community, some of which has been hit hard by lack of access to healthy food and health care, already is at high risk for uncontrolled high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and coronary artery disease. These underlying conditions put them more at risk of developing severe cases of COVID-19. By the end of September, Hispanics made up 29% of nearly 2.7 million cases tracked by the CDC, and

Johnson & Johnson Paying Over $100 Million To Settle Baby Powder Lawsuits: Report

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) appears to be reaching deep into its coffers to settle a clutch of lawsuits. According to an article published on Monday by Bloomberg and citing “people with knowledge of the pacts,” the healthcare giant has agreed to pay over $100 million to settle more than 1,000 lawsuits over its Johnson’s Baby Powder.

The lawsuits, some of which stretch back several years, allege that repeated use of the talc-based powder caused cancer. Some claimants say that the product is tainted with asbestos, a substance notorious for causing the illness.

That $100 million would only be an initial outlay; according to regulatory filings, the total number of lawsuits pending is around 20,000. Several have already been resolved, with substantial awards. One, completed in 2018, saw a court ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.7 billion, although this was significantly reduced to $2.1 billion on appeal. Other lawsuits have been dismissed.

“In certain circumstances, we do choose to settle lawsuits, which is done without an admission of liability and in no way changes our position regarding the safety of our products,” Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Kim Montagnino wrote in an email statement quoted by Bloomberg.

The company has maintained from the start of the Johnson’s Baby Powder controversy that its product is not carcinogenic. It isn’t wavering on that stance. “Our talc is safe, does not contain asbestos, and does not cause cancer,” Montagnino added in her statement.

Johnson & Johnson Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a Missouri jury to pay over $110 million to a Virginia woman after she developed ovarian cancer from using its talc-based products, May 4, 2017. In this photo, a Johnson & Johnson logo at Safe Kids Day 2016 at Smashbox Studios in Los Angeles, California, April 24, 2016. Photo: Getty Images

This article originally appeared in the Motley Fool.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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We’re paying a lot of attention to Trump’s case, but the US just recorded the most daily COVID-19 infections in nearly 2 months

The news of President Donald Trump and members of his inner circle testing positive for COVID-19 has sent shock waves across the country, but it’s not just the White House dealing with an onslaught of cases: Friday’s nationwide case count was the highest daily total in nearly two months, while the weekly average of cases reported has seen an increase.

The world reacts after President Trump and first lady Melania test positive for COVID-19

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chart, line chart, histogram: The United States recorded its highest single-day case count since mid-August on Friday, October 2, 2020.


© USA TODAY
The United States recorded its highest single-day case count since mid-August on Friday, October 2, 2020.

There were more than 54,000 positive cases of the coronavirus reported on Friday, the highest single-day case count since Aug. 14, when the country recorded just over 64,000 cases, per Johns Hopkins University data. 

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The country’s daily cases peaked on July 16, when 77,362 positive tests were reported. 

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The seven-day rolling average for daily U.S. case counts has risen in recent weeks as well. The moving average has held above 42,000 in recent days, the highest mark since late August, according to COVID Tracking Project data.

Meanwhile, deaths have held relatively steady in recent weeks, as the weekly average is down a bit from a flare-up in late July and early August. Still, 906 Americans were announced dead from COVID-19 on Friday.

Keep up with the latest data in your state: Tracking coronavirus in the US

A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Saturday shows six states – Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, Montana, Wisconsin and Wyoming – set records for new cases in a week while two states – South Dakota and Wisconsin – had a record number of deaths in a week.

The spike in Wisconsin has been particularly sharp.

The state, which did not report a weekly average of more than 1,000 cases per day until September, has been routinely reporting more than 2,000 since Sept. 17. Deaths have started to tick up as well – the state reported its highest single-day number, 27, this week. 

New York state, once a hot spot for the virus, has experienced a jump in cases as well. After daily case counts held steady in the state for much of the summer, New York is holding its highest seven-day rolling average since early June, per COVID Tracking Project data.

Gallery: Dr. Fauci Says This One State Is ‘Asking for Trouble’ (Best Life)

The overall national COVID-19 “positivity rate” in the U.S. has hovered around 5% since the middle of September, according to John Hopkins. At the beginning of August, it was 8%. A “positivity rate” is the percentage of all coronavirus tests that are positive and it is a useful indicator of whether testing is keeping up with infections. 

If the number is too high it could mean that health authorities are disproportionately testing sicker patients or missing milder or asymptomatic cases. A low figure