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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump's convention speech last night did not frame the coronavirus as a thing that's over, the way some of the other programming during the convention had.

What happened: He acknowledged the 180,000 Americans who have died, and the toll on their families, and used the present and future tenses to describe a response that is still ongoing, but he painted a rosier picture of the U.S. response, and made bolder predictions, than the facts fully support.

Trump promised that the U.S. "will produce a vaccine by the end of the year, or maybe even sooner."

  • There's just no way to promise that — at least not responsibly. The progress so far has been encouraging, but all of the leading candidates are still being tested to find out whether they work.

He also said convalescent plasma — the treatment the FDA controversially authorized last week — will "save thousands of lives."

  • The evidence is much thinner than that; clinical studies into its effectiveness are still ongoing.

As for the rest of his health care agenda, Trump made fairly typical exaggerations of his record on drug prices. It is certainly true that the administration has proposed some ambitious plans to rein in pharmaceutical pricing, but it has hardly enacted any of those proposals.

  • And he said that in a second term, he would "end surprise medical billing, require price transparency, and further reduce the cost of prescription drugs and health insurance premiums."
  • The administration has required price transparency for hospitals, despite the industry's staunch opposition, and it also imposed new price disclosure rules on drugs, though they have been blocked by the courts.

The bottom line: There wasn't much here that you haven't already heard, and the reality of the coronavirus remains what you know it to be: The U.S. has handled this far worse than any other rich country on Earth.

Go deeper

23 hours ago - Health

CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use"

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

The CDC is urging “universal face mask use” for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, citing recent case spikes as the U.S. has entered a phase of “high-level transmission” before winter officially begins.

Why it matters: Daily COVID-related deaths across the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday. Face coverings have been shown to increase protection of the wearer and those around them, despite some Americans' reluctance to use them.

21 hours ago - World

UN: "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"

David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme. Photo: Souleymane Ag Anara/AFP via Getty Images

Next year is "going to be catastrophic" in terms of worldwide humanitarian crises, World Food Program executive director David Beasley warned on Friday, per Reuters.

Driving the news: The stark outlook comes as many countries contend with not only the coronavirus pandemic, but also possible famine, economic instability, conflict and other humanitarian crises. A record 235 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection next year, a nearly 40% increase from 2020, the UN projected earlier this week

21 hours ago - Health

Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate

Golden Gate Park. Photo: Justin Sullivan via Getty

Counties around the San Francisco Bay Area will adopt California’s new regional stay-at-home order amid surges in cases and ICU hospitalizations, health officials said Friday.

The big picture: California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a three-week stay-at-home order on Thursday that would go into effect in regions with less than 15% ICU capacity. Despite the Bay Area’s current 25.3% ICU capacity, health officials from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco and the city of Berkeley are moving ahead with a shelter-in-place mandate in the hopes of reducing risk.