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COVID Quick Hits Vol. 2

Lots of COVID news this week – here’s the latest.

The bad.

One out of every hundred Americans has been infected with COVID19.

Almost one out of every 25 people infected have died.

People of color are far worse off than white folks.

This racial disparity is pretty much everywhere, in every state, although it is particularly bad in Kansas where Black people account for 6% of the population and 22% of deaths; Michigan – 14% of the population, 41% of deaths; and Missouri – 12% and 36%.

Testing here in the US is still waaaaay behind where it should be. Results often take so long they are all but useless.

Hydroxychloroquine is useless. Or worse.

Despite being touted by the President and others who should have known better, more and more research is proving the drug:

Fortunately the FDA revoked its emergency use authorization for the drug; unfortunately idiots with no science background continue to tout it.

I have written extensively about this over the last four months; here’s

The good

We DO know masks really make a difference.

Fast, cheap, and accurate tests are coming – and they can’t get here soon enough. The paper-strip tests will cost less than $5 and give instant results. While that’s still costly, it is a lot less expensive than the current lab-based tests.

Therapeutic medications appear to be helping treat folks who are infected.

Monoclonal antibodies (taken from the blood of those already infected and maybe from mice) appear to help prevent the disease and treat those who get infected.

A study published last week shows anti-viral drug remdesivir was associated with “improved recovery and a 62 percent reduced risk for death compared with standard care.”

Black people did even better as did those not on a ventilator.

The unknown

We do NOT know if or when a vaccine will be developed and produced in sufficient quantity to inoculate enough of us.

If you’re buying into the White House’s happy talk about a vaccine, take a lesson from the Administration’s early cheerleading for hydroxychloroquine – they were completely wrong. Wait for the science, and ignore the politicians.

What does this mean for you?

Science.  It’s all about the science. 



Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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