U.S. drug maker Pfizer Inc. announced Thursday, April 9 it may be onto something — a treatment for COVID-19. The company stressed early data has helped identify a drug candidate with the potential to help treat infected patients.
Pfizer also finalized a plan to develop a novel coronavirus vaccine in partnership with German drug maker BioNTech. Trials could begin this month, although U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval typically takes a considerable amount of time.
Pfizer’s Chief Scientific Officer and President of Worldwide Research, Development, and Medical Mikael Dolsten said in a Reuters interview the coronavirus treatment came from 2003 research, when SARS-CoV-2 struck.
Bellone, Cuomo Cautiously Optimistic
Wednesday, April 8, New York reported a new high in deaths related to COVID-19, but the rate has slowed, and that passed for good news.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday there was a “possible flattening of the curve” after the total number of hospitalizations, intensive care unit admissions, and daily intubations fell. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said Suffolk County hasn’t seen flattening yet, but believes the county is a couple days away.
It’s been one month since the first death was reported in Suffolk.
Long Island had more than 37,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and nearly 1,000 deaths as of April 10.
In the last 72 hours, among the fatalities were two nurses who tested positive. They died in different Suffolk County hospitals. One was a 63-year-old at Huntington Hospital and the other was an intensive care unit nurse in Brookhaven.
Bellone described the situation as “heartbreaking, intense, and unprecedented.”
Trump’s Hunting Plan Gets Mixed Review
President Donald Trump and his administration plan to open 2.3 million acres of land for hunting and fishing at more than 100 national wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries under a proposal unveiled Wednesday aimed at giving Americans more recreational access. The plan earned applause from several hunting and fishing groups, but one conservation organization called it “tone deaf” to needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, where social distancing remains a major objective to stop the spread.
There were no New York sanctuaries on the initial list of refuges being considered, but the proposal would allow fishing for the first time at several wildlife refuges.
“America’s hunters and anglers now have something significant to look forward to in the fall as we plan to open and expand hunting and fishing opportunities across more acreage nationwide than the entire state of Delaware,” Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in a statement.
Over 16.8 million American workers filed for unemployment insurance in the past three weeks, a record. This week, the 6.8 million was the highest weekly total in the country’s history. The U.S. unemployment rate in April could hit 15 percent — a number last seen at the end of the Great Depression.