France will go into a nationwide lockdown on Friday as Covid-19 cases surge in the country, French President Emmanuel Macron announced today.
Macron announced the measures in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday evening, adding that measures already taken “are not enough.”
What the new measures do:
- Under the new lockdown, people will need a certificate to move around.
- Nonessential businesses, restaurants and bars will be closed.
- Schools will remain open, people can go to work and care homes visits will be allowed.
- Macron warned that by mid-November all intensive care unit beds would be taken by Covid-19 patients unless a “brake” is put on the virus.
The United States is “not in a good place” when it comes to a rise in Covid-19 cases nationwide, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“We’re not in a good place,” Fauci told Dr. Howard Bauchner, editor in chief of the medical journal JAMA, during a virtual Q&A session on Wednesday.
“Now we’re averaging about 70,000 a week. That’s a bad position to be in,” Fauci said. “As we continue into the cool months of the fall and soon the cold months of the winter, we’re starting seeing something going in the wrong direction.”
Fauci called this “a bad recipe for a tough time ahead.”
With the threat of Covid-19, trick-or-treating is not safe this year and kids should be kept home, professors from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine warned in written statements on Wednesday.
“I’m more hesitant to even do socially distanced activities with large group of kids and adults gathering outdoors. People are trying to come up with creative ways of passing out candy. But I’d be worried for potential spread from any contact with people outside your household,” Dr. Sadiya Khan, a physician, epidemiologist and assistant professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said in her statement.
“Being within six feet of somebody who isn’t part of your household, even if outdoors, is risky now. Door-to-door trick-or-treating is very hard to do safely, because there has to be good masking and physical distancing of at least six feet or more,” Khan said, adding that her children plan to dress up in costumes and she’ll hide candy around the house for them to find.
Dr. Craig Garfield, professor of pediatrics at the university and director of the Family and Child Health Innovation Program, said that hiding candy around the house — which he called “trick-or-treat meets hide-and-go-seek” — can be a safe alternative to traditional trick-or-treating.
“Much as I love the costumes and candy of Halloween, this year we will not go out and will not be turning on lights or giving out candy. I suggest other families do the same,” Garfield said in his statement. “Now is a time to just stay together as a family.”
Overall, the lowest risk way to celebrate Halloween is to stay indoors with your household, said Dr. Taylor Heald-Sargent, pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics at the university.
“The bottom line is that there is a risk, and it’s simpler to just cancel everything. But everyone is getting tired of skipping fun events and disappointing our children,” Heald-Sargent said in her statement. “It’s essential to follow the three W’s: wear a mask, watch your distance and wash your hands.
Heald-Sargent added that instead of handing out candy this year, she used the money she would have spent on candy to buy individually wrapped face masks to leave outside instead.
After clinching the storied franchise’s seventh World Series championship and first since 1988, the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday announced a delay in plans to celebrate the win.
In a statement addressing fans and the City of Los Angeles, the team said the celebration would “have to wait until it is safe to do so. We can’t wait to celebrate together!”
Dodgers 3rd baseman Justin Turner was pulled from Tuesday night’s deciding Game 6 in the 8th inning, after confirmation that a follow-up to an inconclusive Covid-19 test on him came back positive.
The Dodgers have not announced an update on the team’s departure from Texas back to California.
Following Tuesday’s victory, Dodgers president of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman, was asked if the team was able to fly home or has to remain in Arlington in quarantine.
He replied, “Not sure yet. We’re going back [to the team hotel] tonight and we’re going to all take tests and figure out what the results are from that and then go from there.”
As Covid-19 cases soar across the US, the country is on a path to “look a lot like Europe,” warned Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration. European countries have been reporting record numbers of Covid-19 cases as the continent prepares for the pandemic to intensify through winter.
“The reality is the density of the epidemic underway in European countries – like France, Italy and the UK right now – far exceeds what’s underway in the United States. Now, that said, we’re about maybe three weeks behind Europe, maybe months at the most,” Gottlieb told CNBC’s Joe Kernen on “Squawk Box” Wednesday morning.
“We’re on a trajectory to look a lot like Europe as we enter the month of November. So I think things are going to get worse,” Gottlieb said. “What we have is very diffuse spread. We’re sort of at the beginning of this steep part of that epidemic curve right now.”
The Big Ten football game between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Nebraska Cornhuskers scheduled for Saturday has been canceled due to several positive Covid-19 cases within the Wisconsin football program.
As of Wednesday morning, 12 people — six student-athletes and six staff members, including head coach Paul Chryst — have tested positive for the virus. Additional test results are pending.
As a result, Wisconsin will pause all team-related activities for at least seven days.
“This morning I received the news that I had tested positive via a PCR test I took yesterday,” Chryst said in a statement. “I informed my staff and the team this morning and am currently isolating at home. I had not been experiencing any symptoms and feel good as of this morning.”
The statement continued: “I am disappointed for our players and coaching staff who put so much into preparing to play each week. But the safety of everyone in our program has to be our top priority and I support the decision made to pause our team activities.”
Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez said in a statement. “We have said from the beginning that the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff members comes first. Over the past several days we have seen a rising number of student-athletes and staff contract the virus. The responsible thing for us to do is to pause football-related activities for at least seven days.”
The game will not be rescheduled.
Wisconsin’s next scheduled game is Nov. 7 at home against Purdue. Nebraska’s next scheduled game is on the road against Northwestern on Nov. 7.
White House communications director Alyssa Farah downplayed a press release from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released Tuesday that declared “ENDING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC” as a key administration accomplishment, saying Wednesday that it was “poorly worded.”
“No absolutely not, I think that was poorly worded,” Farah said during an appearance on Fox News Wednesday morning when asked whether the President believes the pandemic has ended.
“The intent was to say that it is our goal to end the virus. But what I would say is this: because of the President’s leadership, we are rounding the corner on the virus,” she added.
Farah downplayed and defended it further when pressed by CNN’s Joe Johns during a one-man gaggle.
“We’re certainly not getting ahead of it, we’re still in the midst of the pandemic. We do say we’re turning the corner and what we mean by that is, we’re rushing therapeutics, we’re in the best place to treat the virus that we’ve ever been in. And by end of year we expect that we’ll have the vaccine, at which point we will defeat the virus,” she said.
She continued: “But I think the intention of that press release was to give credit to the career medical professionals and scientists has been working since day one on this pandemic.”
And asked by Joe Johns about reports of thousands of Nebraska supporters stranded in the cold after last night’s Omaha rally, Farah directed questions to the campaign, but said, “The health and safety of those coming out to support the President is our top priority.”
On Fox, she said that rising cases and hospitalizations are “absolutely” a concern but said the administration is “working with every county and state to monitor hospital capacity,” going on to attack Joe Biden’s plans to deal with the pandemic.
“We are ready to deal with cases as they arise. We will not have hospitals overflowing, and if there is a need to surge medical capacity or even military doctors, we’ve done that, we have the muscle memory, and we’ll be prepared to do it, but as I said, we have a vaccine coming soon,” she said.
French President Emmanuel Macron will announce this evening “a new stage in our fight against the virus which was decided this morning,” government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday after a cabinet meeting.
Local media, including France’s Le Monde newspaper, report that a new lockdown will be announced by the president in an address to the nation at 8 p.m. local (3 p.m. ET) on Wednesday. CNN affiliate BFMTV are reporting that the new measures may last four weeks and come into force as early as Thursday evening.
This potential lockdown would be less strict than the first “confinement” in the spring, with the possibility of some schools and more businesses staying open.
The French Hospital Federation, a group representing 4,800 hospitals, said in a press release on Wednesday that a full lockdown was the “only solution” that would permit French hospitals to “successfully treat all French people, whether they have Covid, whether they have any other serious illness or are affected by a serious accident.”
President of the French Hospital Federation Frédéric Valletoux, speaking on French radio station France Inter, stressed that the French “hospital system will not hold without radical measures.” Reiterating the federations call for a complete lockdown Valletoux said hospitals are struggling with lower numbers of medical personnel than during the spring.
What the numbers look like: France may be seeing about 100,000 new coronavirus cases per day, Jean-François Delfraissy, who leads the scientific council that advises the French government, warned on Monday. Speaking to France’s RTL radio, Delfraissy said, “There are probably over 50,000 cases per day, we are estimating at the scientific council that we are more around 100,000 cases per day, twice as many, because beyond diagnosed cases there are many not diagnosed and asymptomatic cases.”
Delfraissy added that France is in a “very difficult, even critical, situation.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci said that even though he’s “very certain” we will have a coronavirus vaccine “in the next few months,” we are unlikely to be able to go about our normal lives until at least the end of next year – or perhaps 2022.
“If we get a vaccination campaign, and by the second or third quarter of 2021 we have vaccinated a substantial proportion of the people, I think it will be easily by the end of 2021, and perhaps even into the next year, before we start having some semblances of normality,” Fauci said during a University of Melbourne panel.
However, Fauci noted that political division and the fear of economic loss has affected how the country is currently doing.
“When we were trying to open up the economy again, or open up the country … and I was very much involved with Dr. Deborah Birx and putting together these guidelines, which were a gateway of Phase 1, Phase 2 – to tell you how you can gradually safely and prudently open up the country.” Fauci said. “If everybody had done that uniformly, I don’t think we would be in the position we’re in right now.”
He continued: “Masks in the United States have almost become a political statement, and I know that was carried in the news globally, it was really … very, very difficult. In fact, people were ridiculed for their mask, depending upon which side of a particular political spectrum you were at,” Fauci said, adding that it has been painful to witness this divisiveness centered around a public health issue.
Dr. Paul Offit discusses on Newsroom: