Mondays are usually a relatively low day for the number of cases reported, as states are still noting results from testing that took place over the weekend when many facilities are closed. But this Monday, the United States still notched up 127,000 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19. A week earlier, that would have been a record high. It’s also almost 40,000 cases higher than were reported the previous Monday. At the rate cases are soaring, it seems certain the United States will pass 150,000 cases in a single day at some point this week.This latest surge of virus continues to be extremely broad based. Both Illinois and Texas exceeded 10,000 new cases on Monday. Already on Tuesday, Illinois has announced 12,623 new cases, obliterating the state’s past record. It’s actually the highest value that any state has posted since Florida and Texas soared back in July, and higher than any daily number posted by New York in the opening phase of the pandemic (though limited testing at the time meant that cases in New York were badly underreported). An astounding 17 states reported over 3,000 new cases on Monday.- Advertisement – However, Pfizer’s vaccine announcement is genuinely good news. And it’s not just good news for Pfizer’s vaccine, or even just good news for COVID-19.The Pfizer vaccine’s high efficacy is fantastic news, because the vaccine targets the spike protein that COVID-19 uses to attach to human cells. The other “big four” vaccines now in Phase 3: Oxford / AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson also target that same protein. That means the world is likely to have a variety of effective vaccines, some of which may be easier to administer and easier to use in areas without extreme refrigeration.Pfizer’s vaccine is the first phase 3 trial of a vaccine using mRNA in a human. If the safety data holds up, the technology could potentially become a new standard in how vaccines can be rapidly developed against other diseases.Moderna’s vaccine is also mRNA based. Unlike Pfizer, they’re a relatively small company that has essentially bet the farm on this trial. They should be reporting their Phase 3 results within the next two weeks.Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine has some advantages in that it’s a single dose and doesn’t need temperatures lower than those provided by normal refrigerators. Their single dose approach means they should move through Phase 3 more quickly. However, they were the last of the major trials to begin, and they’re recruiting a large pool, so don’t expect results for another month or more.And of course, the best news possible is that it won’t be Donald Trump who handles the deployment of these vaccines. This isn’t Biden’s first experience in crisis management. After all, he walked into the White House in 2009 in the midst of the Great Recession and took charge of Obama’s response to that crisis. He’s used to managing large teams in dire circumstances. – Advertisement – Just a few points out of the morass of statistics: Illinois now has 4,742 people in the hospital with COVID-19, with 911 in the ICU, and 399 on ventilators. In North Dakota, 7.4% of the total population has now tested positive for COVID-19. Tennessee had as many cases in the last two days, as it had in the entire pandemic up until mid-June.Over time, the case fatality rate for new patients has decreased. But, so far at least, it’s hard to point at any miracle drug that accounts for this change. Trump’s much promoted hydroxychloroquine was never more than a pipe dream. Remdesivir, which seemed to represent a net positive for patients in mid-disease and gained FDA approval, has turned out to show no real effect in the largest trial to date. The only real advances seem to be in the use of anti-inflammatory steroids with patients who need supplemental oxygen or ventilation. If there’s any good thing at all to come from the pandemic so far, it may be that doctors have acquired a better understanding of how to conduct long period intubation while decreasing damage and lowering the rate of death—for the awful reason that they’ve had so many patients on which to test different procedures.Synthetic monoclonal antibody treatments, such as the Regeneron treatment given to Trump during his bout with the disease, do hold out a lot of hope for effective treatment. On Tuesday, Eli Lilly gained emergency approval for it’s version of a two-antibody cocktail, bamlanivimab. However, at the moment there are very few doses available. The total output of both Eli Lilly and Regeneron to date would not be enough to treat the positive patients of a single day at this point, and since the treatments are most effective when administered early, they’re not really a significant effect on the total national picture—even if they are of powerful net benefit for those patients lucky enough to receive one of these rare treatments. – Advertisement – – Advertisement – Now we just have to survive until vaccines, and Biden, arrive.
Glenn Worrell winged his way to the June 30 Virginia Sprint Series victory at Langley Speedway. (Photo by Jim Haines)By Jim HainesHAMPTON, Va. (June 30) – The annual July 4th holiday visit to Langley Speedway was early this year and after 30 fast laps, Glenn Worrell saw the fireworks in the form of a checkered flag first.Bill Rice and Worrell paced the field to green with Rice out first as Worrell stayed close; on lap two, Worrell drove hard into turn one and to the front. Tony Harris and Mike Leraas were quickly all over Rice for second, using the high line in their bid to get by.By lap four, Harris and Leraas went by Rice and the top three were soon together and going at it hard lap after lap.Worrell kept his car smooth as Harris was going low or high every lap to get an opening while keeping Leraas in third as well. Mike Keeton battled Rice for fourth as the top three were not letting up.Traffic was coming up as the white flag waved, giving the chase cars one last shot at Worrell but he did not waver as he powered off the last corners smooth and fast to take his first win of the year.Feature results – 1. Glenn Worrell; 2. Tony Harris; 3. Mike Leraas; 4. Mike Keeton; 5. Bill Rice; 6. Josh Perreault; 7. Daren Bolac; 8. Chris Ware; 9. Neil Sandridge; 10. Matt Mullins; 11. Charlie Ware; 12. Ron Moyers.
Holt, who was the Norwich club captain, scored 78 goals in 168 appearances for the Carrow Road outfit in all competitions. He joined them from Shrewsbury in 2009 and helped them achieve back-to-back promotions in his first two seasons that took them from League One to the Premier League. He will wear the number nine shirt for Wigan, who were relegated from the top flight last season, and is the seventh signing Coyle has made since he was appointed the club’s new manager last month following Roberto Martinez’s defection to Everton. Coyle added: “There is already a great buzz about the place since the new boys have started coming through the door and this is another one that will really lift the place. “He’s been a hero to the fans at every club he’s been at and I know the Norwich fans are sad to see him go, he’s been one of the icons of their success in recent years. But now it’s the Wigan fans’ turn to enjoy him and we’re all delighted he’s coming on board.” Goalkeeper Scott Carson and striker Marc-Antoine Fortune are among the other new players to have arrived at Wigan this summer. Confirmation of the Holt deal has come on the same day that frontman Arouna Kone’s transfer from the Latics to Everton was announced. Norwich boss Chris Hughton told www.canaries.co.uk: “Grant was an important part of what we managed to achieve in the Barclays Premier League last season. Of course before I came to the club (last summer) I was very aware of the magnificent job he had already done in the three years prior to that as well. “When we look back I’m sure we will all agree that to score the amount of goals he has done for the club in that time is a remarkable achievement. Myself and all of the staff certainly wish him all the best for his time at Wigan.” Press Association Striker Grant Holt has joined Wigan from Norwich on a three-year deal. The news that Holt’s switch for an undisclosed fee had been completed was announced by the two clubs simultaneously on Monday evening on their respective official websites. Regarding the capture of the 32-year-old, Wigan boss Owen Coyle told www.wiganlatics.co.uk: “This is a fantastic piece of business for us at a really good price. Grant is a proven goalscorer at every level and he will definitely bring something new to the table that we were missing in the squad.”