Atlas Resigns; Beware of COVID ‘Amnesia’; Novavax Trial Hits Snag

Covid-19, News

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President Trump’s special coronavirus advisor, Scott Atlas, MD, has resigned from his post. (Fox News)

With surging cases, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is considering new stay-at-home orders and warning of overcrowded hospitals by Christmas. (The Hill)

As of 8 a.m. ET on Tuesday, the unofficial COVID-19 toll in the U.S. reached 13,546,638 cases and 268,103 deaths, increases of 160,383 and 1,216 since this time a day ago.

WHO emergencies chief Mike Ryan, MD, warned of COVID “amnesia,” reminding nations to retain lessons learned during the pandemic or “experience the same or worse again within our lifetimes.” (Reuters)

Britain’s latest lockdown appears to have blunted the spread of COVID-19, with new infections down 30% from late October to mid-November. (BBC News)

A top French health advisory board suggested that nursing home residents be first in line for COVID shots. (Reuters)

U.S. donor blood collected in December and early January tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, suggesting an earlier arrival than previously thought. (NPR)

Washington state launched an exposure alert system that notifies people on their smartphones if they’ve been in close proximity to a COVID-positive individual. (Seattle Times)

In neighboring Oregon, an oncology nurse was placed on disciplinary leave after her social media boasts caused alarm: “I still travel, don’t wear a mask when I’m out and let my kids have play dates.” (Washington Post)

Novavax announced another delay for the U.S. phase III trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate due to manufacturing “questions” from the FDA; meanwhile, the company’s late-stage U.K. trial is fully enrolled, with results expected soon. (FiercePharma)

Suspected North Korean hackers targeted AstraZeneca in recent weeks, with COVID-19 vaccine researchers and other staff receiving bogus job offers loaded with phishing code. (Reuters)

Regeneron has called on gene therapy pioneer James Wilson, MD, PhD, in an effort to adapt its intravenous COVID-19 antibody cocktail into an AAV-based nasal spray. (Endpoints News)

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has returned to the Capitol after an asymptomatic coronavirus infection. (The Hill)

In other D.C. news, a bipartisan group of senators is trying to restart talks on a stalled coronavirus relief bill. (Politico)

A Wisconsin high school student died over Thanksgiving break after a “COVID-related illness,” the first person under age 20 in the state known to have died from the virus. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

David Prowse, a former bodybuilder who played Darth Vader in the first “Star Wars” movies, died of COVID-19 at age 85 following a 2-week hospitalization. (The Sun)

In other news:

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    Ian Ingram joined MedPage Today in 2018 as Deputy Managing Editor, and covers oncology for the site.

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