Coronavirus Morning News Brief – August 28: Theft of Covid relief funds is biggest fraud in US history, Germany expects ‘epidemic conditions’

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Nymphenburg Palace in Munich

Hello. This is the report by Jonathan Spira. Now here is the pandemic news from around the world on the 871st day of the pandemic.

In the news we cover today, the misuse of Covid relief funds could turn out to be one of the biggest fraud cases in US history, Germany expects to of “epidemic conditions” this winter, and Washington, DC will require all students 12 and older to be vaccinated against the virus.

Here’s a look at what’s happened over the past 24 hours.

UNITED STATES

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to greenlight new bivalent coronavirus booster shots this week, making the decision to do so in a manner similar to how it authorizes annual flu shots. In the absence of time to conduct human studies, the agency will assess data from other closely related data, such as the performance of earlier iterations of booster shots targeting older forms of the omicron variant, the research in mice and profiles of the original coronavirus. vaccines.

The misuse of coronavirus pandemic relief funds such as those from the Payroll Protection Program is believed to be one of the largest cases of fraud in US history and the total sum received by the fraudsters could reach hundreds of billions of dollars. The inspector general of the Small Business Administration said there have been more than 280,000 complaints to the government hotline set up for this purpose and that some 40,000 are subject to prosecution, “which means that we have 100 years of work” ahead of us.

On Friday, the US Secret Service seized $286 million in fraudulently obtained pandemic relief funds, he said.

The District of Columbia said it would not allow unvaccinated students to attend school. Schools will not offer alternative learning options, Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said. The mandate requires students aged 12 and over to be vaccinated against the coronavirus in order to attend school and allows certain religious exemptions upon request.

Meanwhile, a Superior Court judge ruled that the vaccination mandate the city of Washington, DC imposed on city workers earlier in the year was illegal. The decision comes after a lawsuit filed by the DC Police Union and other police groups in February. The city said it is reviewing the court’s decision.

OVERALL

Germany is bracing for possible ‘epidemic conditions’ this winter amid signs the number of new cases will rise dramatically as temperatures outside drop, Federal Minister Karl Lauterbach said over the weekend .

Lauterbach told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that the country is currently experiencing between 100 and 150 coronavirus-related deaths per day. “My concern is that this number could increase,” the minister said.

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily stats for Sunday, August 28.

As of Sunday morning, the world recorded 605.7 million cases of Covid-19, an increase of 0.5 million cases and nearly 6.49 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. Additionally, 580.9 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.8 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Sunday is 18,325,352, a decrease of 158,000. Of this figure, 99.8%, or 18,281,919, are considered mild and 0.2 %, or 43,433, are listed as critical. The percentage of cases considered critical is unchanged over the 24 hour pat.

The United States reported 8,821 new coronavirus infections on Sunday for the previous day, compared with 100,346 on Saturday, 111,303 on Friday and 174,362 on Thursday, according to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services. The 7-day incidence rate is now 89,886. The numbers for the weekend (reported the following day) are typically 30%-60% of those shown on weekdays due to fewer tests being performed .

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 91,485, down 13%, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources. The average number of daily deaths over the same period is 481, a decrease of 2% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the 4 period was 38,630, a decrease of 9%.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic, the United States on Sunday recorded 96 million cases, a figure higher than any other country, and a death toll of 1.09 million. India has the second highest number of officially registered cases in the world, 44.4 million, and a reported death toll of 527,754.

New data from Russia’s state statistical service Rosstat showed in late May that the number of Covid- or Covid-related deaths since the pandemic began there in April 2020 is now 820,307, giving the country the second highest number of pandemic-related deaths in the world. , behind the United States. Rosstat reported that 4,991 people died from coronavirus or related causes in June, compared to 7,008 in May and 11,583 in April.

Meanwhile, France is the country with the third highest number of cases, 34.46 million, although Brazil had the third highest number of deaths from the virus, 683,528, and recorded 34.38 million of cases, placing it in fourth place. .

Germany ranks fifth with more than 32 million cases.

The other three countries with total cases above 20 million are the United Kingdom, with 23.5 million cases, in sixth place, South Korea, with more than 22.9 million cases, placing it at the seventh, and Italy, with more than 21.8 million, as number eight.

Meanwhile, Russia, with 19.4 million recorded cases, will likely cross the 20 million mark in less than two weeks.

SPOTLIGHT ON IMMUNIZATION

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of Sunday, more than 262.3 million people in the United States – or 79.1% – had received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 67.4%, or 223.9 million people, have received two doses of the vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been distributed in the United States is now 608.9 million. Breaking it down further, 90.1% of the population over 18 – or 232.7 million people – have received at least one first vaccination and 77.3% of the same group – or 199.6 million people – are fully vaccinated. In addition, 51.6% of this population, or 102.9 million people, have already received a third dose, or booster dose, of vaccine.

Beginning June 13, 2022, the CDC began updating vaccine data on a weekly basis and releasing updated information on Thursdays at 8 p.m. EDT, according to a statement posted on the CDC’s website. agency.

Some 67.6% of the world’s population received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Sunday, according to Our World in Data, an online science publication that tracks such information. So far, 12.56 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered worldwide and 5.54 million doses are now being administered every day.

Meanwhile, only 20.9% of people in low-income countries have received a dose, while in countries like Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the UK and the United States, at least 75% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Only a few of the world’s poorest countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal – have reached the 70% vaccination mark. Many countries, however, are below 20%, and in countries like Haiti, Senegal and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits or even lower.

Additionally, North Korea and Eritrea are now the only two countries in the world that have not administered vaccines.

Paul Riegler contributed reporting for this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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