Coronavirus News – April 6

U.S. Surgeon General warns of ‘hardest, saddest week’ ahead; Americans advised to limit grocery trips

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned that this will be “the hardest and saddest week of most Americans’ lives” as the official U.S. death toll approached 10,000. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, was more optimistic, saying Sunday that “we’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.” HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir told NBC that all Americans should limit their trips to the grocery store as much as possible. The warning means all citizens should minimize their exposure to the outside world and wear a mask if they venture out, Giroir said. Read more.

Momentum grows to reduce dependence on China for key medicines, supplies

U.S. lawmakers and administration officials say the coronavirus has exposed how vulnerable the country is as it leans on China and other countries to help provide the necessary supplies to fight it. “One of the things that this crisis has taught us is that we are dangerously overdependent on a global supply chain,” said Peter Navarro, director of trade and manufacturing policy for the Trump administration. “Never again should we rely on the rest of the world for our essential medicines and countermeasures.” Three Senate Democrats backed legislation by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) last month that pushes for the U.S. to reprioritize its productive capability. A 2019 annual report from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission warned Congress that U.S. consumers, including the military, are heavily dependent on China for drugs and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), arguing it presents economic and national security risks. Read more.

CVS Health launches drive-thru rapid testing in Rhode Island, Georgia

CVS Health is running two new drive-thru coronavirus testing locations and hopes to perform up to 1,000 tests a day. The sites are at Twin River Casino (Providence, RI) and Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA). The sites will use Abbott’s rapid COVID-19 test and make testing available to patients who meet the guidelines from the CDC and the state governments. Both sites have large parking lots that can accommodate multiple lanes of cars. In order to receive an appointment for a test, customers will be required to pre-register and pre-qualify online. Read more.

Apple to produce 1 million face shields per week

Apple is designing and producing face shields for medical workers, aiming to produce 1 million face shields per week. “We’ve launched a company-wide effort, bringing together product designers, engineering, operations and packaging teams, and our suppliers to design, produce, and ship face shields for health workers,” CEO Tim Cook said in a video on Sunday.

Plasma from recovered patients could save lives of others

Recovered patients from COVID-19 are donating their plasma to potentially save the life of another coronavirus patient. Donations will allow a current patient to receive antibodies from recovered patients to help fight the disease. Plasma treatments are used on patients in dire condition and unresponsive to other treatments. Read more.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson in hospital due to COVID-19

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in the hospital due to COVID-19 – 10 days after testing positive. “He’ll stay in the hospital as long as he needs to do that, but I’ve heard that he’s doing well and I very much look forward to him being back as soon as possible,” said U.K. Housing Minister Robert Jenrick told the BBC.

Spain’s daily death toll declines from last week’s peak

Spain reported 637 deaths on Monday, down from 674 the previous day, and continuing a downwards trend after a peak of 950 last Thursday. Spain’s cases have topped 135,000 and more than 13,000 people have died in Spain from COVID-19.

European markets rally as caseloads slow in coronavirus hot spots

European stocks rallied Monday as Spain, Italy and other continental European countries saw the rate of infections continue to slow. Spain’s Health Ministry announced 4,273 new cases Monday, an increase of 3.3%, down from 4.8% a day earlier. Italy’s daily growth dropped to approximately 3.5% as well. Austria, a smaller, hard-hit country, said it will seek to reopen some nonessential shops next Tuesday. Read more.