Riddle News: Covid-19 July 2020

10 28 2020

Welcome to Riddle News which is published every Monday and Friday. This is a Special review of the Trump response to Covid-19.

In my book Trump an Outsider’s View I have a timeline showing the Trump Administration’s action right up to August 31, 2020. The Timeline begins November 17, 2019 with the first known case and provides a daily look worldwide on the cases and deaths. I am enclosing excerpts from July here:

JULY 2020

01 July

  • On July 1, the U.S. Department of the Interior released public health guidance for the Independence Day celebrations on the National Mall on July 4. The Department recommends people who are not members of the same household keep six feet apart and asks people to wear masks. The Department is providing 300,000 cloth masks at the event.
  • DOD approves award of the Armed Forces Service Medal and Humanitarian Service Medal to recognize service members for their qualifying participation in COVID-19 operations.

02 July

  • DOD replaces its “Travel Restrictions: Green Locations” releases with installation status updates. The previous format listed U.S. states, districts, and territories, and host nations which meet the conditions outlined in the Secretary of Defense’s May 22 memo on moving to a conditions-based, phased approach to personnel movement and travel. The new format lists the status of travel restrictions for DOD Installation, facilities, and locations with greater than 1,000 DOD personnel assigned. Weekly updates will be posted on the releases page of Defense.gov.

04 July

  • POTUS signs into law a bill that reauthorizes lending under the Paycheck Protection Program through August 8, 2020 and separates the authorized limits for commitments under the program from other Small Business Administration loan programs.

06 July

  • DA Authorizes EUA for Rapid Diagnostic Test: The Food and Drug Administration granted an Emergency Use Authorization for a rapid, point-of-care, SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test called a BD Veritor Plus System. Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett P. Giroir, M.D. believes it will help identify community spread of the virus by further enabling rapid diagnosis of COVID-19.
  • PA Announces First Disinfectants Proven against COVID-19: The EPA announced that it has approved the first two surface disinfectant products, Lysol Disinfectant Spray and Lysol Max Cover Disinfectant Mist as effective against COVID-19. The agency also maintains a list (List N) of over 400 products from manufacturers that submit data to the agency showing their disinfectants are effective against harder-to-kill viruses that are similar to COVID-19.

07 July

  • HHS and DOD Partner with Regeneron for COVID-19 Therapeutic Treatment Project: HHS and DOD announce their partnership with Regeneron, Inc. to demonstrate a commercial-scale manufacturing of the company’s COVID-19 investigational anti-viral antibody treatment, REGN-COV2. The partnership allows the federal government to own the doses of the anti-viral treatment expected to result from the demonstration project. The company estimates between 70,000 and 300,000 treatment doses could be available from this project, with the initial doses ready as early as end of summer and completed this fall.
  • HHS and DOD Partner with Novavax to Produce Doses of Experimental Vaccine: In a $1.6 billion agreement with Novavax, HHS and DOD set out to demonstrate commercial-scale manufacturing of the private company’s COVID-19 investigational vaccine. This agreement allows the federal government to own the 100 million doses of the investigational vaccine expected to result from the demonstration projects. As a part of Operation Warp Speed, the vaccine doses will become available for clinical trials to investigate their effectiveness. 
  • Increase in COVID-19 Testing for Hotspot Jurisdictions: HHS announced free COVID-19 testing for Jacksonville, Florida; Baton Rouge, AR; and Edinburgh, TX. The temporary funding increases federal support in places where there has been an intense rise in positive cases and hospitalizations. Testing at surge locations is available to people five years and older who have been exposed, are experiencing symptoms, at a high risk for exposure, or those worried about contracting COVID-19. 

08 July

  • The United States formally withdraws from WHO. The reason is the failure of WHO (documented in this chapter) in handling COVID-19. Withdrawal was effective July 6, 2020.

09 July

  • 21 Million to Health Centers for COVID-19 Response: HHS awards HRSA $21 million to be distributed to health centers to help their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of the funding will be used to expand health centers’ capabilities for COVID-19 testing, with $17 million to support 78 Health Center Program look-alikes. 

10 July

  • $4 Billion in Additional Relief Payments to Healthcare Providers: HHA announces an additional relief package to healthcare providers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals serving a large percentage of vulnerable populations on thin margins is set to receive $3 billion and approximately $1 billion will go to specialty rural hospitals, urban hospitals with certain rural Medicare designations, and hospitals in small metropolitan areas. HHS expects to distribute over $3 billion across 215 acute care facilities, bringing the total payments for safety net hospitals from the Provider Relief Fund to $12.8 billion to 959 facilities.
  • DOD announces details for seven Defense Production Act Title 3 COVID-19 actions: AirMap ($3.3M), ModalAI ($3M), Skydio ($4M), Graffiti Enterprises ($1.5M), Obsidian Sensors ($1.6M), Leo Labs Inc. ($15M), and ArcelorMittal Inc. ($56M). These actions will help to retain critical workforce capabilities throughout the COVID-19 disruption and to restore some jobs lost because of the pandemic.

13 July

  • President signs into law the “Emergency Aid for Returning Americans Affected by Coronavirus Act,” increasing from $1M to $10M the amount the DHHS may spend for the provision of assistance to repatriated U.S. citizens in FY 2020.

17 July

  • DOD reports two Defense Production Act Title 3 COVID-19 actions: Amfuel ($14.9M), and Rolls-Royce ($22M) helping retain critical workforce capabilities throughout COVID-19 disruption restoring some jobs lost due to the pandemic.

23 July

  • DOD announces it has awarded a $4.9M contract to Pall Corporation to increase industrial base expansion for medical ventilator components.

24 July

  • DOD announces details for three Defense Production Act Title 3 COVID-19 actions: eMagin Corporation ($33.6M), Meggitt-Rockmart, Inc. ($14.9M), and Urban Mining Company ($28.8M). These actions will help to retain critical workforce capabilities throughout the COVID-19 disruption and to restore some jobs lost because of the pandemic.

25 July

  • DOD, in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services, has signed a $2.75M contract with NPS to increase U.S. domestic production of meltblown fiber.

27 July

  • DOD and the Department of Health and Human Services have awarded a $7.6M contract with Hologic, Inc., to increase U.S. domestic production of custom sample collection and processing consumables for COVID-19 testing.

31 July

  • HHS Announces an Extension to the Application Deadline for Medicaid and Medicare Providers:HHS extended the application deadline for the Phase 2 general distribution to Medicaid, Medicaid managed care, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and dental providers. Providers now have until Aug. 28, 2020 to apply for these federal programs. By extending the deadline, certain Medicare providers get a second chance to apply for federal assistance due to COVID-19 expenses, and providers who had a change in ownership get to apply for the Provider Relief Fund payment.  
  • DOD announces it has awarded a $42M contract to Curative Inc. to provide 250,000 Curative Inc. oral fluid swab test kits to military treatment facilities, thus expanding the department’s COVID-19 testing capability.
  • DOD announces details for a Defense Production Act Title 3 COVID-19 action: a $31M agreement with North American Forgemasters to sustain and increase critical industrial base capability for domestic production of ultra-large iron and steel forging in support of the U.S. Navy and Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.
  • DOD, in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services, has awarded a $51.15M undefinitized contract action to Puritan Medical Products Company LLC to increase domestic production capacity of flock tip testing swabs.
  • DOD and the DHHS have invested $24.3M in Becton, Dickinson, and Co. to establish and expand production of SARS-CoV-2 assays for BD Veritor™ devices

[At this time, the total cases were 3,760,000 and total deaths were 140,471 for a death rate of 3.7%. This indicates that the so-called death rate delay has not shown up as the rise in cases began July 2. Despite this fact the national news media continues to talk about the virus in an urgent, discouraging manner. Why?]

Special Notice as of 10/28/20

If you watch TV and read the paper, you are aware of a resurgence in Covid-19 cases both abroad and here in the United States. They are calling it the second wave.

However, you need to take a closer look. It is not so much of a second wave as it is a continuation of the first wave. It is now hitting rural America and young people. If you insist on calling it a second wave, I won’t argue with you. But to include it into the worldwide resurgence is simply not ethical. And please take note that while the cases may be rising, the Death Rate continues to fall.

My book, Trump an Outsider’s View, covers Covid-19 and the Death Rate rather thoroughly. I still track the Death Rate and it is now down to 2.58%. That’s another 0.01% drop since yesterday. And it is still going down. To dismiss this by noting there is a lag time between cases and related deaths is just being ignorant. We now have almost 11 months of tracking that clearly shows the Death Rate in decline!

Dr. Fauci and others agree that the Trump Administration saved thousands of lives by restricting China travel in January, a fact which embarrasses Biden who opposed the restrictions. This is interesting since Dr. Fauci seems to now be in Biden’s camp (probably because he’ll have job security with Biden).

Another factor to be considered. Many liberals claim that the President said this and said that. I don’t have the time to argue each point. The truth is that actions speak louder than words. January thru May were months of action that were wise and often. The Death Rate at the end of May represented the high point.

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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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