Government immunologist Rick Bright is offering a dire warning that the U.S. could be facing the "darkest winter" in modern history. In a House hearing, Dr. Bright said America's “window of opportunity is closing” on curbing the coronavirus outbreak. He added, "Time is running out."
During his testimony, Bright argued that there is still no coordinated federal response to the ongoing crisis. He also predicted that development of a vaccine will likely not happen soon and warned about moving too fast. Bright was demoted after raising concerns about Trump's controversial promotion of an anti-malaria drug as a treatment for the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, lawmakers are making an effort to protect Americans' health information amid the coronavirus pandemic. Democrats in both the House and Senate have introduced the Public Health Emergency Privacy Act. It aims to keep health data safe for consumers who choose to use contact tracing technology. Then the data would be trashed at the end of the public health emergency.
As for Dr. Bright and his comments, President Trump is shrugging them off. Talking with reporters at the White House, Trump called Dr. Rick Bright a "really unhappy disgruntled person."
ONE MORE THING! CVS Pharmacy is opening up one-thousand more coronavirus testing sites over the next two weeks. The first 50 drive-thru locations start today in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida and Massachusetts. Patients must register in advance at CVS-dot-com to schedule an appointment for the “self-swab” test. The company hopes to process a million-and-a-half tests each month.
Where does the United States stand with COVID-19? At last check, there are more than one-point-four-million cases across the United States – with just over 85-thousand patients succumbing to the illness – though more than 246-thousand have recovered. Globally, the numbers are just over 4.4-million people infected by the virus – with more than 300-thousand dead. On the plus side, more than one-point-five million have recovered.