Today during the daily White House Coronavirus Task Force meeting, President Trump said he was pushing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to eliminate barriers to using the antimalarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, to treat COVID-19 infections.”It’s been around for a long time, so we know if things don’t go as planned it’s not going to kill anybody,” Trump said of the drug, which is also used to treat arthritis symptoms in some patients. An unpublished, small, non-randomized trial based on French COVID-19 patients shows the drug has promise against the virus.FDA chief more cautiousBut FDA Commissioner Steve Hahn, MD, struck a more cautious tone during the press conference. He said he did not know how effective the treatment would be, and urged caution when looking at therapeutics for the novel coronavirus.”Let me make one thing clear. The FDA’s responsibility to the American people is to ensure that products are safe and effective,” said Hahn. Of using hydroxychloroquine, Hahn said, “We want to do that in the setting of a clinical trial, a large, pragmatic clinical trial to actually gather that information.”But Trump said red tape surrounding therapies for coronavirus would be cut dramatically in the coming days.”Therapies are something we can move on much faster [than a vaccine],” said Trump, who also said the FDA would be allowing the compassionate use of remdesivir, an antiviral originally used for Ebola treatment that’s been studied in Chinese coronavirus patients. Last month, the National Institutes of Health launched a trial of remdesivir in COVID-19 patients at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha.Trump also said he was directing the FDA to look at treatments being used in Europe and Japan, and extrapolate good results in those regions to American patients.Hahn said the FDA would look into “convalescent plasma” taken from recovered COVID-19 patients as a possible treatment, based on antibody therapy.Amesh Adalja, MD, of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, said hydroxychloroquine has been well-studied, and has both antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.”It’s an important tool we have to study and make sure we get good data on good coronavirus patients and what the impact is,” he told CIDRAP News. But he cautioned that there is limited availability of the drug, and many patients with rheumatoid arthritis rely on it. He also worried the sudden interest in the drug could cause supply chain issues.New York’s case count, and testing, soarsTrump also said he spoke with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo last night about hydroxychloroquine, and said the governor was excited to try the medication. New York has been one of the hardest hit states, but also one of the states that’s effectively ramped up testing.Overnight, Cuomo tweeted that the state tested 7,500 samples for coronavirus, finding 1,769 new positive cases. The state’s total is now 4,152, including 2,469 cases in New York City alone.”Remember: We know that as more people are tested we will find more cases,” Cuomo cautioned on Twitter. Today Cuomo also signed an executive order mandating that 75% of the non-essential workforce must work from home.By early afternoon the US case count had surged past 10,000 cases to 11,274 cases, per the Johns Hopkins University tracker. White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, Deborah Birx, MD, said that about 50% of US cases are in 10 counties, primarily in Washington, California, and New York.Yesterday, health officials in King County, Washington—the first US county to be hit hard with the coronavirus—warned that rapid widespread community transmission could happen.Washington state has reported 1,026 cases and 68 deaths, according to the New York Times coronavirus tracker. Thirty-five of those deaths occured in patients or visitors to the Life Care Center, a long-term care facility in Kirkland, Washington.There have been 169 deaths total in the United States.Two Congressmen have COVID-19Yesterday two lawmakers, Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and Ben McAdams (D-Utah), said they both tested positive for COVID-19 and were in self-quarantine, becoming the first members of Congress to test positive for the coronavirus. The Washington Post reported at least three additional members of Congress would be self-quarantining because they had been in close contact with Diaz-Balart and McAdams.Meanwhile, the State Department this afternoon announced a level 4 travel advisory, urging all Americans abroad to return home immediately or be prepared to remain abroad indefinitely. Americans were also instructed to avoid all international travel.A level 4 warning is the highest given by the department.
City firm Gateley, the first legal practice to list on the stock exchange in its own right, is fighting a professional negligence claim in the High Court over advice to a British Virgin Islands-incorporated company.A skeleton argument seen by the Gazette alleges in Moda International Brands Limited v Gateley that the firm failed to properly advise Moda International Brands Ltd (Moda) on a participation agreement it had drafted related to the development of premises in Nottingham. The agreement was made between Mortar Developments Nottingham Ltd (MDNL), Moda, and another individual. Moda claims it is entitled to £378,815. Gateley, which has been invited to comment, is contesting the claim. Leicester dispute resolution firm Ashteds, acting for Moda, claims in the skeleton that, had the agreement been properly drafted, Moda would have been entitled to receive 35% of all profits from the development of the site.According to the skeleton argument, it ‘ought not to be in issue that it was the duty of the first defendant [Gateley] to exercise the standard of skill and care reasonably to be expected of solicitors with expertise in corporate law.’ The document states that Gateley denies breach of duty and causation.Moda International Brands Limited v Gateley is being heard before Mr Justice Freedman this week.Gateley, which floated shares on the alternative investment market in 2015, is regarded as a success story in the listed law firm sector. Last month it reported pre-tax profits up 18.6% to £5m on a turnover up 20.1% to £46.4m. read more
COLUMBIA – University of South Carolina secondary coach Grady Brown had heard the rumors.Whether or not he and/or any of the other Gamecock coaches have a job following the Duck Commander Independence Bowl on December 27 he refuses to stress.“I don’t ride the rollercoaster,” said Brown following USC’s Tuesday practice. “That’s just for life in general. I just do the best I can with what I have and with the opportunities I’m given. That’s my mannerism. It is part of the business. It’s never easy. Winning 11 games is not easy.”It has been a difficult time for Brown and the remainder of the USC assistant coaches as rumors of their possible demise, along with the comments of Steve Spurrier that he plans to lead the program for two to three more years has kept the staff hopping.Brown got a call from highly regarded Charlotte, North Carolina cornerback Mark Fields that he was backing out of his commitment to the school on Tuesday.After statement about coaching future, Spurrier forced to put out recruiting firesHe is the sixth performer to de-commit from the 2015 class that was once ranked second nationally.Following a few weeks on the road attempting to calm the fears of recruits, Brown was happy to be back at the Proving Grounds attempting to get his unit ready to compete against Miami.It is an exciting time for Brown, who recruits in South Florida and will have two freshmen cornerbacks from the area competing in the backfield.“At the end of the day, we’re fortunate to be in a bowl game,” said Brown. “We’re 6-6 and we’re bowl eligible, so I could care less about where we’re playing. I’m excited about having an opportunity to play one more game and have a handful of more practices.“But playing a team like Miami with such a rich tradition, I know I was excited when I saw we were playing Miami. I’d like to think the players are excited as well.”Like Brown, USC defensive line coach Deke Adams is aware of the potential changes to the staff, but has chosen to continue to recruit while preparing his position players for the bowl game.“I don’t deal with it,” Adams said of the rumors. “I come out here every day to coach football and coach these kids. What’s being said outside doesn’t bother me. We’re going to do our jobs. We’re all professionals.”As far as the recruiting drama is concerned, Adams says that doesn’t change significantly from year to year.“It doesn’t matter what is being said about anybody,” he said. “You have to recruit to the very end. You go to sleep at night and you think you have everything done, but then you find out you didn’t talk to a kid or say something to a kid and the next thing you know you get up in the morning and something has changed. We just have to keep working and keep recruiting hard and stay on the kids until the very end.” read more
With Opening Day less than a week away, we’ll take a look at a member of the 2015 Orioles every day as they try to defend their American League East title this season.March 9 – Adam Jones March 10 – Chris Tillman March 11 – J.J. Hardy March 12 – Zach Britton March 13 – Chris Davis March 14 – Wei-Yin Chen March 15 – Jonathan Schoop March 16 – Travis Snider March 17 – Kevin Gausman March 18 – Alejandro De Aza March 19 – Tommy Hunter March 20 – Manny Machado March 21 – Brad Brach March 22 – Steve Pearce March 23 – Darren O’Day March 24 – Caleb Joseph March 25 – Wesley Wright March 26 – Delmon Young March 27 – Miguel Gonzalez March 28 – Ryan Flaherty March 29 – Ubaldo JimenezINF Everth CabreraOpening Day age: 28Contract status: Under contract through the 2016 seasonMinor-league options remaining: One2014 stats (with San Diego): .232/.272/.300, 3 HR, 20 RBI, 36 R, 18 SB, 391 PAWhy to be impressed: Before the Biogenesis scandal in 2013, Cabrera was in the midst of a superb season in which he posted a .736 on-base plus slugging percentage and was named to his first All-Star Game. Cabrera has stolen 99 bases in 300 games over the last three seasons, bringing some much-needed speed to the Baltimore roster for the 2015 season.Why to be concerned: Beyond the 50-game suspension in 2013, Cabrera has dealt with a number of injuries and was limited to just 90 games a year ago. When he did play, the switch-hitting infielder posted an anemic .572 OPS and collected only 17 extra-base hits in 391 plate appearances. Manager Buck Showalter would like to see the veteran shortstop become a utility player, but he has all of 12 career games at second base and just one at third base. 2015 outlook: With J.J. Hardy expected to begin the season on the 15-day disabled list, Cabrera is now all but guaranteed to make the 25-man roster and should have an opportunity to see time at shortstop along with Ryan Flaherty. His speed and defense can be assets to the roster, but he will need to show he’s more like the player he was in 2013 than last year in order to stick on the roster once Hardy returns. If he’s healthy, a .640 OPS seems reasonable along with 15 stolen bases in a part-time role. read more