New COVID instances in US plummet, regardless of drop in vaccinations: Updates

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The hypothesis that the coronavirus leaked from a Wuhan laboratory is “plausible” and deserves further investigation, according to a report on the origins of COVID-19 from a US government laboratory.

The study, created in May 2020, was received by the State Department in October 2020 when the department was investigating the origins of the pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the classified document.

The report comes as questions grow as to whether the virus was the result of an accident in a Chinese laboratory or was otherwise spread. President Joe Biden has ordered the intelligence services to report the origins within a few months.

Meanwhile, new COVID-19 cases continue to decline in many states, even as vaccinations slow down.

The South Dakota Department of Health reported a dozen new positive coronavirus test results Monday. The new cases brought the nationwide total to 124,273, making the new total the lowest daily reports since the pandemic began.

And California reported a seven-day case rate per 100,000 population of 11 on Monday, the third lowest with Nebraska.

However, experts told the New York Times that for many summer states lagging behind on vaccinations and already lifting most of the restrictions, a summer surge could be on the horizon.

“We’re nowhere near it in the southern states,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccines expert at Baylor College of Medicine, The Times. He says he foresees a new wave in the south because “we are so below average when it comes to vaccinations”.

Also on the news:

►Two-thirds of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams were able to loosen coronavirus protocols after four more clubs qualified and increased the total to 20 franchises that hit 85% vaccinations for players and other staff on the field.

►Moderna said Monday it has applied for approval of its COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents with Health Canada – and will apply for emergency approval “for this important younger population” with the US Food and Drug Administration.

►Almost 200,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses will expire in Ohio on June 23, Governor Mike Dewine said Monday. “For Ohioans who have been waiting for their vaccine, I urge you to act now,” DeWine said in a press release.

►Carnival Cruise Line said passengers must have their COVID vaccinations completed two weeks before boarding for the company’s first US voyages after reopening, which depart from Texas in July.

►As part of its strategy to vaccinate more populations, Washington State will allow adults to get a free marijuana joint when they get a vaccination.

►Hawaii Governor David Ige on Monday extended an eviction moratorium that he put in place during the coronavirus pandemic for another two months, but he doesn’t expect to keep it going any longer.

📈 Today’s numbers: The United States has more than 33.3 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 597,900 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The world totals: over 173.5 million cases and over 3.7 million deaths. More than 139.78 million Americans have been fully vaccinated – 42.1% of the population, according to the CDC.

📘 What we read: The COVID-19 pandemic was barely registered as a rash as humankind continued to leach carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere. Read the full story.

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Novavax will apply for an emergency permit in the US shortly

A major trial for the Novavax vaccine is nearing completion in the US, and Research President Dr. Gregory Glenn told an audience at a recent webinar that “we are expected to file for approval in the UK, US and Europe in the third quarter.” NPR, that is, July to September.

Novavax is one of five companies that has received large sums of money from the federal government for the development and / or manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines.

In the UK, the company reported that its vaccine had protected against all major diseases and was better than 96% against any disease of the original form of COVID-19 and 86% effectiveness against the B.1.1.7 variant first introduced in. was observed was Great Britain The vaccine was 55% effective in a smaller study with HIV-negative participants in South Africa, where another variant called B.1.351 predominated.

Prisons were emptied in the pandemic. Should they stay like this?

In the middle of last year, the number of people in prisons nationwide was at its lowest level in more than two decades, according to a new report released Monday by the Vera Institute of Justice, whose researchers estimated populations of about half of the nation’s 3,300 prisons make national estimates.

According to the report shared with The Marshall Project and The Associated Press, the number of people detained in county jails across the country fell by about a quarter, or 185,000, as counties worked aggressively to release those held on minor charges were. drastically reduced arrest rates and suspended trials.

In most places, however, the decline did not last long: from mid-2020 to March 2021, the number of people waiting for trial or serving short sentences in prisons for minor offenses rose again by more than 70,000 to almost 650,000.

“A reduction in the incarcerated population across the country is possible,” said Jacob Kang-Brown, senior research fellow at the Vera Institute of Justice and author of the new report. “We have seen declines in major cities, towns, rural counties and suburbs, but the increase is worrying.”

Contribution: The Associated Press.