COVID-19 Update 07 August, 2020

COVID-19 Update 07 August, 2020


FDA ramps up effort to persuade public that coronavirus vaccine decisions will be based on science, not politics

  • This week, federal health officials launched a public campaign in an attempt to reassure Americans that any vaccine will have to be cleared for safety and effectiveness and that the creation of a vaccine will be based on science and not politics. 
  • Following President Trump’s statement that a vaccine would be available “right around” November 3rd, top Food and Drug Administration officials said that they would only approve a vaccine after rigorous review and an outside advisory committee. 
  • Doctor Fauci told Reuters that the FDA “won’t be swayed by political considerations”.

The U.S. Postal Service, impacted by the pandemic, claims to have lost $2.2 billion in 3 months

  • This week the U.S. Postal Service revealed that it lost $2.2 billion in three months, after being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Officials warn that financial losses for the department could top $20 billion over two years. 
  • During the pandemic, package deliveries to Americans were up more than 50%, as costs increased to pay for PPE and to replace workers that got sick.
  • The Postal Service has announced that they are seeking an infusion of at least $10 billion to cover their operating losses as well as mitigate regulatory changes within the agency. 

The Trump team returns to the Capitol for last-ditch coronavirus aid talks

  • Trump Administration negotiators traveled to the capitol on Friday to talk with Democratic leaders about the latest issues on COVID-19 money and new legislation.
  • The break down of the talks:
    • Puts at risk more than $100 billion to help reopen schools;
    • New round of $1,200 direct payments to most people;
    • Hundreds of billions of dollars for state and local governments to help avoid further furloughing of workers and cutting services.
  • The two sides are very far apart, and it remains to be seen what – and when – negotiations will be made. 


COVID-19 Update: The current number of cases in PA as of today is 117,279. 

Wolf roils youth sports world by urging halt until January

  • On Thursday, Governor Wolf announced that youth sports should not resume until January.
  • The recommendation caused a backlash from parents, students, coaches, and even other legislators, though Wolf maintained that it is a necessary precaution to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. 
  • The recommendation from Wolf’s Health and Education Departments does not apply to college and pro sports, but to individual and team sports, both school-related and other recreational leagues. 

Pa. wants to expand coronavirus testing but faces a shortage of supplies and lab result delays, Wolf and Levine say

  • Governor Wolf and Health Secretary Levine have said that Pennsylvania is making an effort to significantly increase coronavirus testing, but that labs and a shortage of testing materials nationally is presenting a roadblock. 
  • Pennsylvania, according to the Health Secretary, has been averaging more than 22,000 coronavirus test results a day. 4% of the population is being tested each month.
  • The Health Department’s short-term goal is to test 5% or more of Pennsylvanians per month in the coming months. 


COVID-19 Update: Philadelphia’s total number of confirmed cases as of today is 26,411.

Philly students to receive free internet access via new PHLConnectED program

  • This coming school year, 35,000 students will receive free internet access thanks to a new program, a collaboration between the city, Comcast, and several other entities.
  • The program, called PHLConnectED will provide high-speed, broadband internet or a mobile hot spot for students who lack access in their own homes. 
  • Additionally, the program will provide Chromebooks and tablets for students and training to ensure that students and families stay connected. 

Philly mail delays are raising alarms about the 2020 election: ‘This is a huge problem’

  • During the coronavirus pandemic, mail delivery systems have been backed-up, and the upcoming election will potentially be impacted. 
  • The Philadelphia region is not the only area that is having mail delivery problems, but people are concerned that with the upcoming election, they will not receive or be able to return their ballots in time. 
  • While voting by mail is the safest option during the coronavirus pandemic, voters have reported long waits for ballots and uneven delivery during the primary election. 

Good News of the Day

Teen Abandoned at Birth Now Raises Money to Give Senior Dogs the Love She Found With a Forever Home

Via the Good News Network: 

Abandoned in a basket on a college campus in India as an infant, Meena Kumar knows what it’s like to need a little love. That’s why she’s drawn to the pups that are most often overlooked—senior dogs living out their golden years in animal shelters.

Snuggling with four-legged seniors became her passion, and that dedication is helping to support second-chances for dozens of dogs, even after being told she was too young to volunteer.

“More people should adopt senior dogs,” she told CNN. “They give you the same unconditional love as any other dog.”

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