An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that a VOA correspondent who tested positive for COVID shook hands with President Joe Biden. Fixed.
A good handful of people who attended the White House Correspondents Association’s annual dinner on Saturday night tested positive for COVID-19.
Steve Herman, VOA’s chief national correspondent, tested positive, according to a tweet. Jonathan Karl, ABC News’ chief correspondent in Washington, has also contracted the virus, the New York Times reported. Steven Portnoy of CBS Radio, which currently runs the organization, said the number of cases associated with the gala at the moment has single digits.
Before dinner there were concerns that it would become a spread event and all attendees had to present a vaccination test and a negative test on the same day. About 2,600 people gathered for the event in the ballroom of the Washington Hilton Hotel. The dinner marked the return of a historic Washington tradition after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
COVID cases continue to rise in the U.S. after a sharp drop earlier this year, driven by the BA.2 variant of omicron and two other subvariants that appear to be even more infectious. These two, called BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1, were recently highlighted by New York State health officials.
The United States has an average of 62,428 cases a day, according to a New York Times tracker, 50 percent more than two weeks ago. The actual count is believed to be higher, as many people are now being tested and treated at home and the data is not being collected. Cases are currently rising in all but four states and territories, and many have doubled in number in the past two weeks.
The country has an average of 17,532 hospitalizations a day, 18% more than two weeks ago, but it is still close to the lowest level since the first weeks of the pandemic. The average daily death toll has dropped below 400 to 340, but it is expected to reach an official count of more than 1 million in the coming weeks.
The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that two new subvariants of the omicron variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 are behind an increase in cases in South Africa, but there is still too little data to know if they are more lethal than other variants.
The two, named BA.4 and BA.5, “have acquired some additional mutations that may affect their characteristics,” the agency said in its weekly epidemiological update.
Limited evidence so far does not indicate an increase in hospital admissions or other signs of an increase in severity.
“Preliminary data from South Africa using S gene target failure data (absent in BA.2, present in BA.4 and BA.5) do not indicate any difference in hospitalization risk for BA. 4 and BA.5, compared to BA.1, however, the brief follow-up of cases BA.4 and BA.5 does not allow conclusions to be drawn about the severity of the disease of these underlines at this stage, “he said. agency.
I’ll see: South Africa affected by new omicron subvariants that have been detected in the US in small numbers
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva that vaccines appear to remain the best protection against serious illness and death, AFP reported.
But Tedros once again lamented that many countries have stopped mass testing and sequencing and warned that it is leaving health officials blind to what the virus is doing.
“Subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 were identified because South Africa is still doing the vital genetic sequencing that many other countries have stopped doing,” Tedros said.
A Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that one in five parents of children under the age of 5 plan to vaccinate their child as soon as this age group is eligible, while a larger group plans to wait to see how it works. . . Modern MRNA,
has asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize its vaccine for young children.
About four in 10 parents with children under the age of 5 are more reluctant, and 27% of respondents said they would “definitely not” vaccinate their child, while 11% said they would only do so if they were necessary.
See also: The analysis reveals that Omicron caused an increase in deaths in vaccinated people, although unvaccinated people are still more at risk
Overall, vaccine uptake and booster doses of COVID-19 “appear to have stabilized, with three-quarters of adults reporting receiving at least one dose of a vaccine (relatively unchanged since September of 2021) and almost half have reported at least one booster dose (the same proportion as in February), ”the survey found.
“While previous Vaccine Monitor surveys indicated that black and Hispanic adults were lagging behind white adults in booster use, the latest survey finds that similar proportions of black, Hispanic, and white adults now report that they have received a reinforcement “.
The survey also found that just over a third, or 35%, of adults think that with the increase in cases in the United States, there is a new wave of infections, while half of the adults surveyed disagreed. 14% were unsure whether the country was in the middle of a new wave.
The survey was conducted from April 13 to 26 with a sample of 1,889 adults aged 18 and over. It included 510 Hispanic adults and 400 non-Hispanic black adults.
News about coronavirus: MarketWatch’s daily summary has been healing and reporting on all the latest developments every business day since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Other news about COVID-19 you should know:
• Beijing closed about 10 percent of the stations in its vast subway system on Wednesday as an additional measure against the spread of COVID, the Associated Press reported. The metro authority in a brief message only said that the closure of 40 stations, mostly in the center, was being taken as part of the epidemic control measures. No date was given for the resumption of service. Beijing has been on high alert for the spread of COVID-19, with restaurants and bars limited to take-away food only, gyms closed and classes suspended indefinitely. The city’s major tourist attractions, such as the Forbidden City and the Beijing Zoo, have closed their indoor exhibition halls and are operating at full capacity.
• A U.S. bankruptcy judge in Delaware said Tuesday it wants to have face-to-face hearings, but for now it will continue to hold them virtually, Dow Jones Newswires reported. “I had a live hearing a few weeks ago and it caused several people to be diagnosed with COVID,” Judge John Dorsey said. He made the remarks at a pre-trial hearing in which a U.S. bankruptcy agency is suing the former CEO of Cred Inc. James Alexander, who is in bankruptcy.
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday reiterated its message that people should wear masks on public transportation, such as airplanes and trains, and on transportation hubs, such as airports and stations. Many people have given up face masks since a Florida federal judge overturned the federal mandate, a measure that is being challenged.
• Moderna’s first-quarter earnings released early Wednesday showed it tripled net income to $ 3.6 billion from $ 1.2 billion a year earlier, and more than tripled revenue to $ 6 billion from $ 1,900. million dollars, surpassing consensus estimates by Wall Street analysts. Most of its revenue came from its only approved product, its COVID-19 vaccine, which amounted to $ 5.9 billion. expects to have data from a phase 2/3 clinical trial for a bivalent candidate combining a specific omicron vaccine with his original vaccine in June.
That’s what the numbers say
The overall number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 exceeded 515.2 million on Wednesday, while the number of deaths exceeded 6.24 million, according to data added by Johns Hopkins University.
The United States leads the world with 81.5 million cases and 995,754 fatalities.
Monitoring by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 219.8 million people living in the U.S. are fully vaccinated, equivalent to 66.2% of the total population. But only 100.8 million are promoted, equivalent to 45.9% of the vaccinated population.