COVID-19: killer of minority youth
New CDC data shows 3 out of 4 people under 21 killed by COVID-19 are from minority communities; Experts turn to pharma industry for scientific leadership now that FDA's credibility has been crippled.
While a political operative installed as the head of public affairs for the Health and Human Service Department has apologized for the anti-scientist rant reported by multiple media outlets, time will tell how much damage has been done to the credibility of the HHS science agencies, including CDC and FDA. The tone was set from the top long before Michael Caputo was given any power, and that is not changing anytime soon. A few items below expand on the impact of an impaired FDA.
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Side note: I try hard to not include stories that claim “breakthroughs” or other “major findings” unless the claim is well supported with data. Many media outlets run stories written by journalists (or non-journalists) who don’t know the difference. One story that won’t appear here today got a breathless, bold headline on one of the major media outlet websites. What the media outlet’s story failed to mention was that the “exciting” potential new drug has only been tested in mice and hamsters. Only about 1 out of every 10 experimental compounds ever progress from animal testing to human study.
Today’s top COVID-19 science and related news:
More than 3 out of every 4 COVID-19 deaths among those under 21 in the United States have been people from minority communities, according to new data from the CDC and reported by the Washington Post.
U.S. scientists remain concerned about the adverse event that prompted AstraZeneca to briefly halt its United Kingdom vaccine trial. The neurological problem — spinal cord damage — in one patient has, in rare instances, been associated with immune response to a vaccine. One expert quoted by Kaiser Health News says that a second occurrence of this neurological condition would signal potentially serious problems with the vaccine.
Physicians in the United Kingdom are seeing substantial rates of kidney disease in people who recovered from COVID-19.
And a few other stories of note:
A commentary by experts from Harvard and Drexel universities calls on state governments to adjust policies to address healthcare access and other disparities that contribute to COVID-19’s disproportional impact on marginalized populations, noting that the problem is present not just in urban areas but also in rural communities such as among farmworkers and native Americans.
People are making noise about the costs of COVID-19 tests. USA Today reports on the difference between what people expect to pay versus the bills that labs or other facilities ultimately try to collect.
Global health philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates says the credibility of both the FDA and CDC have been severely damaged and that the public must be able to rely on scientists from the private sector, such as within pharmaceutical companies. Other experts agree, saying that the fact that pharma may be more trusted than the FDA means that “Hell has frozen over.”
In another interview, Gates said the USA’s response to COVID-19 “has been a mismanaged situation every step of the way. It’s shocking. It’s unbelievable, the fact that we would be among the worst in the world,” Gates told STATNews.