Could the U.S. really see a coronavirus vaccine before Election Day?
A letter from federal health officials instructing states to be ready to begin distributing a vaccine by Nov. 1 — two days before the election — has met, not with exhilaration, but with suspicion among public health experts, who wonder whether the Trump administration is hyping the possibility or intends to rush approval for political gain.
The skepticism comes amid growing questions about the scientific credibility of the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and their vulnerability to political pressure from President Donald Trump.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious-disease expert and a member of Trump’s coronavirus task force, told CNN on Thursday that it is unlikely but “not impossible” that a vaccine could win approval in October, instead of November or December, as many experts believe.
More recent virus updates
- Stocks fell sharply on Wall Street Thursday as high-flying technology companies took a tumble after months of spectacular gains. The benchmark S&P 500 lost 3.5%, its biggest loss since June, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 5%. Both indexes set record highs a day earlier.
- With the upcoming holiday weekend, Fauci made a "plea to the American public" not to repeat the mistakes from past holidays. "That doesn't mean you have to lock yourself in a room and not enjoy what hopefully will be a nice weekend for people. But there are certain fundamental things that you can do and still enjoy yourself."
- Coronavirus cases in Europe are "almost back" to the levels seen in March when infection rates first peaked, scientists have warned as concerns grow over a potential second wave.
- More police officers have died from COVID-19 this year than have been killed on patrol. At least 101 officers have died from COVID-19, while at least 82 have died by other means, as of Thursday, according to ODMP.
- The White House coronavirus task force gave increasingly urgent recommendations to states about masks over the summer, only to have them mostly ignored by six states, their weekly reports show.
- Sex in a pandemic can be complicated, Canada's lead medical doctor says, and it's best to skip kissing and perhaps wear a mask to prevent spreading COVID-19.
Scroll further for the latest virus numbers and at-home entertainment ideas.
Although businesses around the country are opening back up, many Americans are still opting to spend more time at home. For those struggling to keep themselves entertained, here are some ideas.