Friday's health stories

Donald Trump Jr. tests positive for coronavirus

Donald Trump Jr. speaking at CPAC in February 2020. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Donald Trump Jr. tested positive for the coronavirus at the beginning of this week and has been in quarantine, though he is not experiencing any symptoms, according to a spokesperson for the president's son.

Why it matters: His diagnosis adds to the list of people associated with President Trump who have been infected by the virus, including the president himself.

Nov 20, 2020 - Health

Toronto, Peel placed under lockdown as COVID cases soar across Canada

A medical worker walks outside a COVID-19 assessment center in Toronto, Canada. Photo: Zou Zheng/Xinhua via Getty Images

Ontario officials announced new coronavirus lockdown measures for Toronto and Peel Region on Friday, as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged all residents to stay home, saying COVID-19 "cases across the country are spiking massively."

Why it matters: Canadian officials predict that by end of the month, the death toll from COVID-19 could be between 11,870 and 12,120, with the country's total cases between 366,500 and 378,600, Reuters reports. Canada has recorded 315,751 cases and 11,265 deaths since the pandemic began.

Nov 20, 2020 - Health

Trump announces rules aimed at lowering prescription drug prices

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Friday announced new regulations aimed at lowering the prices Americans pay for many prescription drugs.

Between the lines: It is unclear whether the rules can overcome expected legal challenges from the pharmaceutical industry, or if the incoming Biden administration will accept the regulations.

Nov 20, 2020 - Health

Pentagon to tighten restrictions after civilian leaders test positive for COVID-19

Aerial view of the Pentagon building. Photo: Bill Clark / Getty Images

The Pentagon plans to add health restrictions for its workforce in light of a possible coronavirus outbreak among its civilian leaders, Politico reported Friday.

Why it matters: The added layers of security come on the heels of a spike in COVID-19 cases in the Washington, D.C. area, which has led to infections among top officials including temporary Pentagon Policy Chief Anthony Tata, Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Charles Ray and Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Gary Thomas.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated Nov 20, 2020 - Health

Pfizer applies for FDA emergency use authorization for coronavirus vaccine

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech said that they applied on Friday for an FDA emergency use authorization for their coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: This could set the stage for initial vaccine distribution in the U.S. by mid-to-late December. It also comes less than two weeks after Pfizer released efficacy data for its vaccine, and just days after releasing safety data — which suggests that fellow vaccine developer Moderna may apply for its emergency use authorization around Thanksgiving.

Sen. Rick Scott tests positive for COVID-19

Photo: Megan Varner/Getty Images

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) tweeted Friday that he tested positive for the coronavirus and is experiencing mild symptoms.

The state of play: Scott is the second Republican senator to test positive this week, following Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley. Scott has already been in quarantine and says he'll now continue working from home until it's safe for him to return to Washington, D.C.

Updated Nov 20, 2020 - Health

The states where face coverings are mandatory

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

New Hampshire on Friday became the latest state to implement a mask mandate to fight COVID-19, amid a steep spike in cases across the country.

The big picture: States are reintroducing mitigation efforts like closing businesses and advising people to stay home as the U.S. averages the most daily cases of any point in the pandemic.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Nov 20, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus deaths will likely soar

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The U.S. is careening toward more than 2,000 coronavirus-related deaths a day, and could soon surpass the record set in the spring, The Atlantic reports.

The big picture: Even with treatment advances, a certain portion of people who are infected with the virus will eventually die. When you multiply this percentage by today's number of cases, the results are extremely grim.

Nov 20, 2020 - Health

America's teachers are running on empty

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

School districts nationwide are facing a worsening teacher shortage because of the coronavirus, further complicating the tough decisions about whether to have in-person classes.

Why it matters: When teachers test positive, fall seriously ill or are self-isolating from potential exposure, many districts don't have enough substitutes to keep up.

Nov 20, 2020 - Health

South Korea urges public to stay home as COVID-19 cases rise

Seoul, South Korea. Photo: Simon Shin/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

South Korea is urging people to stay home and avoid crowds following a recent uptick in coronavirus infections, AP reports.

Why it matters: The country has seen its number of cases increase steadily since it relaxed several coronavirus-related restrictions October. Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Friday (local time) asked the public to limit end-of-the-year parties, and employers to allow workers work from home.

Nov 20, 2020 - Health

WHO recommends against use of remdesivir as COVID-19 treatment

One vial of the drug Remdesivir lies on a table. Photo: Ulrich Perrey/AFP via Getty Images

A World Health Organization panel of experts on Thursday recommended against the use of Gilead Sciences' remdesivir as a COVID-19 treatment.

Why it matters: The recommendation breaks with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which approved the antiviral drug as a COVID-19 treatment in October.

Nov 20, 2020 - Health

U.S. HIV death rate dropped by roughly half between 2010 and 2018

A medical assistant drawing blood from a patient for an HIV test in Miami in June 2017. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

HIV-related deaths in the United States decreased significantly between 2010 and 2018 for all genders, ages, races and regions of the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in its weekly Morbidity and Mortality report on Thursday.

The big picture: CDC researchers said in a new analysis that the decline is likely the result of improvements in diagnosing infections, treatment and medical care, but noted the data highlights higher death rates among women and people of color.