Coronavirus outbreak: Top infectious disease specialist answers your questions

As concerns grow over the coronavirus outbreak, Americans have important questions about how to keep their families healthy. We sent Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University out in Nashville, Tennessee to field some of them.

  • Trump says Democrats' push for expanded voting threatens Republicans
    Yahoo News

    Trump says Democrats' push for expanded voting threatens Republicans

    President Trump on Monday criticized attempts by Democrats in Congress to expand voting access for the presidential election in the fall, saying increased voter turnout would keep Republicans from getting elected. Trump said that Democrat-proposed voting reforms to the $2.2 trillion rescue package passed last week by Congress — which were largely cut from the deal — would have led to “levels of voting, that if you ever agreed to it you'd never have a Republican elected in this country again.” Democrats have pushed to mandate that states make plans to expand early voting and mail-in balloting for the fall election, in the event that the coronavirus pandemic makes in-person voting unsafe.

  • Wuhan Residents Dismiss Official Coronavirus Death Toll: ‘The Incinerators Have Been Working Around the Clock’
    National Review

    Wuhan Residents Dismiss Official Coronavirus Death Toll: ‘The Incinerators Have Been Working Around the Clock’

    Wuhan residents are increasingly skeptical of the Chinese Communist Party's reported coronavirus death count of approximately 2,500 deaths in the city to date, with most people believing the actual number is at least 40,000. “Maybe the authorities are gradually releasing the real figures, intentionally or unintentionally, so that people will gradually come to accept the reality,” a Wuhan resident, who gave only his surname Mao, told Radio Free Asia. A city source added that, based on the aggregation of funeral and cremation numbers, authorities likely know the real number and are keeping it under wraps.

  • Phoenix officer killed, 2 others wounded; gunman killed
    Associated Press

    Phoenix officer killed, 2 others wounded; gunman killed

    Authorities say a 22-year-old man fatally shot a Phoenix police commander and wounded two other officers as they tried to remove him from a home after his roommates complained he was acting erratically. Cmdr. Greg Carnicle, a 31-year-old police veteran who was set to retire in the fall, and the two other officers were shot Sunday night as they walked up stairs in the house after Jacob Emry Mcilveen refused to leave, said Phoenix police spokeswoman Sgt. Mercedes Fortune. Mcilveen remained in the home several hours after the injured officers were removed.

  • After more than 10,000 coronavirus deaths — the worst in the world — Italy is showing signs that its 3-week lockdown is working
    Business Insider

    After more than 10,000 coronavirus deaths — the worst in the world — Italy is showing signs that its 3-week lockdown is working

    Remo Casilli/Reuters Italy is showing very early signs that it's turning a corner with the coronavirus outbreak as the numbers of new reported deaths and cases have slowed, according to multiple reports. The country's strict three-week lockdown is due to be lifted on Friday, but officials have said it's likely to be extended. It's a sign that those under lockdown "save lives" by staying home, Luca Richeldi, a government health adviser, said on Sunday.

  • Boy, 5, found dead near hiking trail after mother said they got lost
    NBC News

    Boy, 5, found dead near hiking trail after mother said they got lost

    The body of a 5-year-old boy was discovered near an Alaskan trail after his mother said they got lost during a hike. A ground search team found the child, Jaxson Brown, around 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, three days after he and his mother went for a hike along Lunch Creek Trail in Ketchikan. The boy's mother, Jennifer Treat, told Alaska State Troopers that she and Jaxson went on a hike Wednesday afternoon.

  • Open coffins are left on roads to remind people to stay inside while soldiers shoot disinfectant from water cannons. Here's what lockdown for 57 million people in the Philippines looks like.
    INSIDER

    Open coffins are left on roads to remind people to stay inside while soldiers shoot disinfectant from water cannons. Here's what lockdown for 57 million people in the Philippines looks like.

    Ezra Acayan/Getty The Philippines' main island Luzon, which has a population of more than 57 million, is on lockdown. Along with people's movements being restricted, soldiers are covering residents and the streets in disinfectant, and open coffins have been left on the roads as a warning to people to stay inside. On Sunday, the Philippines reported 343 new coronavirus cases in a day — its highest one day increase yet.

  • No scandal here: Mexico president defends meeting mother of drug lord 'El Chapo'
    Reuters

    No scandal here: Mexico president defends meeting mother of drug lord 'El Chapo'

    MEXICO CITY/BADIRAGUATO, Mexico (Reuters) - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday defended his weekend handshake with the mother of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, calling her a "respectable old lady" and seeking to cast his critics as the principal menace to the country. In a 30-second video posted on Twitter on Sunday, Lopez Obrador could be seen approaching Maria Consuelo Loera's car, parked on a dirt road on the outskirts of Badiraguato, a mountainous municipality in the northwestern state of Sinaloa. Surrounded by onlookers, Lopez Obrador told Loera she need not get out of the car, they shook hands and after a brief exchange he told her he had "received her letter."

  • Coronavirus lockdowns are working, according to data from digital thermometer app
    The Week

    Coronavirus lockdowns are working, according to data from digital thermometer app

    Three-quarters of Americans have been urged or ordered to stay at home, to the extent possible, to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, and those measures appear to be working, The New York Times reports, citing data from internet-connected thermometer company Kinsa. The thermometers and their app upload temperature readings to a centralized database, allowing Kinsa to track fevers across the country. Kinsa's million-plus thermometers have been recording up to 162,000 readings from around the U.S. each day since the coronavirus started spreading, the Times reports.

  • Fact check: will Covid-19 fade in the summer – then return later like the flu?
    The Guardian

    Fact check: will Covid-19 fade in the summer – then return later like the flu?

    Dr Marc Lipsitch: What makes seasonal viruses seasonal is a combination of opportunities for transmission – whether school is in term, which facilitates transmission – and what proportion of the population is immune, combined with weather. Humidity is lower in the winter, which is good for transmission. Low humidity makes [virus-carrying] droplets settle more slowly because they shrink to smaller sizes and then friction keeps them in the air, whereas high humidity doesn't do that.

  • Singapore gay sex ban: Court rejects appeals to overturn law
    BBC

    Singapore gay sex ban: Court rejects appeals to overturn law

    A bid to overturn a law that criminalises gay sex in Singapore has been dismissed by a court, dealing a blow to the city state's LGBT movement. The presiding judge said the law was "important in reflecting public sentiment and beliefs" in Singapore. Under Section 377A, men found guilty of homosexual acts in public or private can be jailed for up to two years.

  • U.S. House Speaker Pelosi will not take coronavirus test
    Reuters

    U.S. House Speaker Pelosi will not take coronavirus test

    U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Tuesday she does not plan to be tested for coronavirus despite her proximity to the latest lawmaker diagnosed with the illness. U.S. Representative Nydia Velazquez, a Democrat from New York, said on Monday that she had been diagnosed with a presumed case of coronavirus after developing symptoms of the ailment on Sunday, although she had not been tested. Velazquez was in the Capitol on Friday and attended a ceremony at which Pelosi signed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus response plan.

  • 29 Best Closet Organization Ideas to Maximize Space and Style
    Architectural Digest

    29 Best Closet Organization Ideas to Maximize Space and Style

    How to organize your closet like a pro Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest

  • NY convention center takes patients; US closes in on China
    Associated Press

    NY convention center takes patients; US closes in on China

    New York's mammoth convention center started taking patients to ease the burden on the city's overwhelmed health system and the tennis center where the U.S. Open is held was being turned into a hospital Tuesday as the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus closed in on China's official count. Elsewhere around the world, Italy and Spain struggled to fend off the collapse of their medical systems, with Italy opening a rapidly constructed field hospital on the Milan fairgrounds. Vladimir Putin's Russia moved to crack down on quarantine violations and “fake news” about the outbreak.

  • Wuhan's death toll could be astronomically higher than the Chinese government has reported, some residents say
    Business Insider

    Wuhan's death toll could be astronomically higher than the Chinese government has reported, some residents say

    Associated Press Officials in Wuhan, China, reported that 2,535 people in the city have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. But some residents contest the official death toll, citing an increase in the shipment of urns to the city's eight funeral homes. "The incinerators have been working round-the-clock," one resident told Radio Free Asia.

  • Dr. Birx predicts up to 200,000 coronavirus deaths 'if we do things almost perfectly'
    NBC News

    Dr. Birx predicts up to 200,000 coronavirus deaths 'if we do things almost perfectly'

    The White House coronavirus response coordinator said Monday that she is "very worried about every city in the United States" and projects 100,000 to 200,000 American deaths as a best case scenario. In an interview on "TODAY," Dr. Deborah Birx painted a grim message about the expected fatalities, echoing that they could hit more than 2 million without any measures, as coronavirus cases continue to climb throughout the country. "I think everyone understands now that you can go from five to 50 to 500 to 5,000 cases very quickly," Birx said.

  • FBI report describes China’s ‘biosecurity risk’
    Yahoo News Video

    FBI report describes China’s ‘biosecurity risk’

    In late November 2018, just over a year before the first coronavirus case was identified in Wuhan, China, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at Detroit Metro Airport stopped a Chinese biologist with three vials labeled “Antibodies” in his luggage.

  • Poll: 15% of Sanders supporters will vote for Trump if Biden is nominee; 80% would back Biden
    USA TODAY

    Poll: 15% of Sanders supporters will vote for Trump if Biden is nominee; 80% would back Biden

    If former Vice President Joe Biden secures the Democratic presidential nomination, 15% of Sen. Bernie Sanders' supporters will vote for President Donald Trump's reelection, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll. If accurate, that would represent a slightly larger defection than occurred after the bitter battle between Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016, when 12% of Sanders voters broke for Trump in the general election. The good news for Biden is that in spring 2016, an ABC News poll found 20% of Sanders supporters said they would vote for Trump over Clinton, and far fewer ended up doing so.

  • Coronavirus: Hospital worker shares video of bodies being loaded into huge trucks in New York as state death toll passes 1,000
    The Independent

    Coronavirus: Hospital worker shares video of bodies being loaded into huge trucks in New York as state death toll passes 1,000

    New York City hospitals have been overrun with an influx of Covid-19 patients with the number of cases rising to 33,768 confirmed infections and 776 people have died, as of Sunday. Footage shared online shows how some NYC hospitals are handling the people dying from the virus, as well as other ailments, including using forklifts to load bodies on refrigerated trucks to act as makeshift morgues before they are transported away. One video outside Brooklyn Hospital Centre in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, appeared to show hospital workers working to move bodies into an 18-wheel refrigerated truck over the weekend.

  • Coronavirus: Why are planes still flying?
    BBC

    Coronavirus: Why are planes still flying?

    Surprisingly, a number of global airlines are still running passenger flights, including British Airways (BA). Passenger flights are believed to have been cut by up to 95%, but that still means one in 20 are taking off. "We are working with European Union (EU) governments to try to keep some minimum flight links open for emergency reasons, even though the passenger loads on these flights will be very low," said Ryanair.

  • 'I don't know how you look at those numbers and conclude anything less than thousands of people will pass away': Cuomo discusses state fatality projections
    Yahoo News Video

    'I don't know how you look at those numbers and conclude anything less than thousands of people will pass away': Cuomo discusses state fatality projections

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke about New York state's fatality projections during a press conference on Sunday.

  • Doctor recommended no action for U.S.' Pelosi after coronavirus contact
    Reuters

    Doctor recommended no action for U.S.' Pelosi after coronavirus contact

    The U.S. Congress' attending physician recommended U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi take no particular action after she was in contact with Representative Nydia Velazquez, who has been diagnosed with coronavirus infection, Pelosi's spokesman Drew Hammill said on Monday. The physician found Pelosi's contact with Velazquez to have been of "low risk," Hammill said. Velazquez, a Democrat from New York, announced in a statement earlier on Monday that she had been diagnosed with a presumed case of coronavirus, although she had not been tested, after developing symptoms of the ailment on Sunday.

  • Associated Press

    Europe's trade system with Iran finally makes first deal

    European countries trying to keep Iran's nuclear deal with world powers alive said Tuesday that a system they set up to enable trade with Tehran has finally concluded its first transaction, facilitating the export of medical goods. Britain, France and Germany conceived the complex barter-type system dubbed INSTEX, which aims to protect companies doing business with Iran from American sanctions, in January 2019. The move came months after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal that Tehran struck with world powers in 2015 and reimposed sanctions.

  • Urns in Wuhan Prompt New Questions of Virus’s Toll
    Bloomberg

    Urns in Wuhan Prompt New Questions of Virus’s Toll

    The long lines and stacks of ash urns greeting family members of the dead at funeral homes in Wuhan are spurring questions about the true scale of coronavirus casualties at the epicenter of the outbreak, renewing pressure on a Chinese government struggling to control its containment narrative. The families of those who succumbed to the virus in the central Chinese city, where the disease first emerged in December, were allowed to pick up their cremated ashes at eight local funeral homes starting last week. As they did, photos circulated on Chinese social media of thousands of urns being ferried in.

  • The US passed a grim milestone with a single-day coronavirus death toll above 500, bringing the country's overall count past 3,000
    Business Insider

    The US passed a grim milestone with a single-day coronavirus death toll above 500, bringing the country's overall count past 3,000

    More than 3,000 people had died of the novel coronavirus in the US as of Monday night after a single-day death toll of more than 500. Previously, the highest death toll in 24 hours was 446 deaths, according to The Washington Post. The top US infectious-disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told CNN the country could see "millions of cases" as the outbreak pans out, with 100,000 to 200,000 deaths.

  • A Doctor Who Met Putin Just Tested Positive, and Russia’s COVID-19 Crackdowns Could Get Real Ugly.
    The Daily Beast

    A Doctor Who Met Putin Just Tested Positive, and Russia’s COVID-19 Crackdowns Could Get Real Ugly.

    MOSCOW—Amid a growing uproar in newly locked-down Russia, news broke on Tuesday that a doctor President Vladimir Putin met with just a week ago during a highly publicized visit to a coronavirus treatment facility has now tested positive for the infection himself. Widely disseminated photos of the visit showed Putin donning an orange hazmat suit, but he had also talked to Dr. Denis Protsenko extensively without protection and photographs show them together with very little "social distancing." Putin's spokesman says the Russian president is tested frequently for coronavirus infection and is just fine.