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Trump’s COVID-19 Task Force Adviser Quits As Vaccine Hopes Given New Boost

FILES) In this file photograph taken on September 28, 2020, White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas speaks on Covid-19 testing within the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC. 
MANDEL NGAN / AFP

 

President Donald Trump’s controversial coronavirus adviser resigned Monday, whereas hopes for a primary wave of vaccinations earlier than the top of 2020 acquired an additional enhance with an announcement from US agency Moderna.

Scott Atlas, a well-liked coronavirus adviser of the US president, who tweeted in October “Masks work? NO,” has submitted his resignation, efficient as of December 1, Fox News reported.

Lacking related expertise or {qualifications} in public well being or infectious illness, he additionally known as in November for individuals in Michigan to “rise up” towards Covid-19 measures.

Atlas stepped down as hopes rose for a primary wave of vaccinations earlier than the top of the yr after Moderna stated it was submitting for emergency authorization of its vaccine within the United States and Europe.

After high US scientists warned Americans to brace for a “surge superimposed on the surge,” Moderna reported full outcomes had confirmed a excessive efficacy estimated at 94.1 p.c.

It was set to hitch American pharmaceutical maker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech, which utilized for related approvals final week, and have predicted their vaccine may very well be greenlit within the US shortly after December 10.

If the US Food and Drug Administration agrees Moderna’s product is secure and efficient, the primary of the drug’s two doses may very well be injected into the arms of tens of millions of Americans by the center of December.

Health Secretary Alex Azar advised CBS News: “We could be seeing both of these vaccines out and getting into people’s arms before Christmas.”

Co-developed with the US National Institutes of Health, the jabs have been usually properly tolerated, with the most typical unwanted side effects together with injection web site ache, fatigue, muscle ache, joint ache and headache.

Moderna expects to have roughly 20 million doses of the vaccine out there within the US by the top of 2020, and between 500 million to a billion doses globally in 2021.

The information got here after main US scientist Anthony Fauci voiced his fears as tens of millions of vacationers returned house after the Thanksgiving vacation.

The United States is the worst-affected nation, with greater than 267,000 Covid-19 deaths, and the Trump administration has issued conflicting messages on mask-wearing, journey and the hazard posed by the virus.

“What we expect, unfortunately, as we go for the next couple of weeks into December is that we might see a surge superimposed on the surge we are already in,” Fauci stated Sunday.

 

READ ALSO: Biden To Nominate Yellen To Lead Barrier-Breaking Economic Team

– Fourth wave –

More than 1.4 million individuals have died worldwide because the outbreak in China final December, based on a tally from official sources compiled by AFP.

The World Health Organization (WHO) insisted Monday it was doing all the pieces potential to seek out the animal origins of the virus, though it hasn’t but despatched a full workforce of skilled investigators to China.

Observers have voiced concern the company has bowed to Chinese strain and dragged its toes over the investigation, however WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus hit again and urged critics to cease “politicizing” the problem.

At a briefing, Tedros added he was alarmed over a speedy worsening of the Covid-19 conditions in Brazil and Mexico, urging them to be “very serious” about halting the unfold.

Europe in the meantime continues to be battling to decrease the each day toll of demise and an infection with quite a lot of curbs, lockdowns, and checks after fatalities topped 400,000 on the weekend.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan introduced a complete weekend lockdown and a curfew for the remainder of the week.

In Asia, Hong Kong on Monday introduced social distancing measures at a few of the strictest ranges within the metropolis because the begin of the pandemic, as authorities battle a fourth wave of infections.

“This new wave of Covid-19 has hit Hong Kong very quickly,” chief govt Carrie Lam stated.

Anger over rising an infection numbers sparked a riot in a Sri Lankan jail the place guards shot lifeless eight inmates and wounded at the least 71 others.

However, Australia’s success towards the pandemic noticed worldwide college students arrive for the primary time because it shut its borders in March, with a constitution flight touching down in Darwin on Monday.

The state of affairs in former international epicenter New York stays precarious, with Governor Andrew Cuomo warning small gatherings at the moment are accountable for 65 p.c of the unfold.

“We are now worried about overwhelming the hospital system,” Cuomo stated, warning a brand new lockdown may very well be wanted.

California Governor Gavin Newsom stated his state’s hospital intensive care models may very well be overloaded in simply a few weeks.

Covid danger throughout a lot of the US is now thought-about “critical” and greater than 93,000 persons are hospitalized, based on the Covid Tracking Project.

Scientists estimate round 70 p.c of the inhabitants will have to be vaccinated to carry an finish to the outbreak, and this will not be achievable till the second half of subsequent yr.

Amid indicators of rising international vaccine skepticism, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies president Francesco Rocca warned Monday: “To beat this pandemic, we also have to defeat the parallel pandemic of distrust.”

-AFP

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