Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today

  • The number of new cases reported daily in the US is increasing.

  • Governor Andrew Cuomo will not allow New York City to close stores in nine hot-spot neighborhoods, but will close several hundred schools from Tuesday.

President Trump will be leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center tonight, where he has been receiving treatment for Covid-19 since Friday.

He continued to downplay the severity of a virus that has killed more than 209,000 people in the US and tweeted Monday from the hospital: “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. “

Dr. Sean P. Conley, the president’s doctor, said Mr Trump’s health had improved and that he would be taken to the White House for further treatment.

“In the past 24 hours the president has continued to improve,” said Dr. Conley. “He met or exceeded all of the standard hospital discharge criteria.” Nonetheless, he warned that the president “may not be completely out of the woods”.

According to reports from his medical team, the president had a rough weekend. Mr. Trump’s blood oxygen levels dropped twice and he was given extra oxygen, which would indicate that his lungs were not functioning properly. He was taking the steroid dexamethasone, which is reserved for patients with the most serious cases of the coronavirus.

The drug is used to fight off an immune system overreaction known as a cytokine storm, which is killing many Covid-19 patients. However, in mild cases, the drug can affect the body’s ability to fight the virus.

Medical experts have found that dexamethasone can also induce feelings of euphoria, which may explain Mr Trump’s apparent energy during a morally-boosting car ride near the hospital and during two videos released over the weekend. Mr Trump also said in a tweet that he was feeling better than he was 20 years ago.

Dr. Conley says the president will continue to take dexamethasone and receive his fifth Round of the antiviral drug remdesivir tomorrow at the White House.

“We’re looking forward to this weekend,” said Dr. Conley. “If we get through by Monday, if it stays the same or just improves, we will all take that last deep sigh of relief.”

The White House Cluster: It is not clear what steps are being taken to isolate Mr Trump in the White House. On Monday, Mr. Trump’s press secretary Kayleigh McEnany joined the list of his close contacts who, along with two of her deputies and two White House staff, tested positive. At least three White House correspondents have also tested positive for the virus in the past few days.

A new study found that nearly a third of all Covid-19 patients had some form of altered mental function, ranging from confusion to delirium to insensitivity. Patients who developed these symptoms died almost seven times as often as those without these symptoms.

The study examined the records of more than 500 patients in the Chicago area. Those with encephalopathy, the medical term for altered mental function, stayed in the hospital three times as long Patients without altered mental function. Upon discharge, only about a third of these patients were able to do everyday activities such as cooking and doing bills.

The study also found that patients with altered mental function were more likely to be older, male, and more likely to have an underlying condition such as cancer, chronic kidney disease, or smoking.

Some experts noted that President Trump had the age and gender of patients who were more likely to develop encephalopathy. He also has a history of high cholesterol which is believed to increase the risk for patients.

However, one of the study’s co-authors cautioned caution when drawing conclusions about Mr Trump’s condition from the study. “I think we should be careful when trying to attribute risk to an individual based on this retrospective study,” said Dr. Igor Koralnik, senior study author and chief neuroinfective disease and global neurology at Northwestern Medicine. “We need to know more about this person’s health records, which are not public.”

  • in the IsraelRestrictions on protest under a new lockdown have backfired, sparking hundreds of demonstrations calling for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resignation.

  • in the EnglandAlmost 16,000 positive test results were not recorded due to a technical defect.

  • Almost 180 European Commission Employees have tested positive and its president is in quarantine.

Here is a summary of the restrictions in all 50 states.

I asked our family to write down four things they wanted to do over the weekend, and all of the ideas went into one bowl. We have to select our weekend activity by Thursday evening. The first was a great movie as we were one of three families in the theater. This week we had to puzzle, much to the moans of the children. But hey, I saw “SpongeBob SquarePants” so that you could puzzle over an hour.

– Elizabeth Goncalves, Innisfil, Canada

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