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ASPartOfMe
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21 Jul 2022, 11:22 am

New York Times Live Updates

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President Biden tested positive on Thursday for the coronavirus, raising health concerns for the 79-year-old president and underscoring how the virus remains a persistent threat in a country trying to put the pandemic in the past.

Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said in a statement that Mr. Biden had “tested positive for Covid-19. He is fully vaccinated and twice boosted and experiencing very mild symptoms.”

Kevin O’Connor, the president’s physician, said in a letter released by the White House Thursday morning that Mr. Biden was experiencing fatigue, a runny nose and an occasional dry cough.

“I anticipate that he will respond favorably, as most maximally protected patients do,” Dr. O’Connor wrote in the letter.

The president is receiving Paxlovid, an antiviral drug used to minimize the severity of Covid-19, Ms. Jean-Pierre said. He will isolate at the White House but “continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time,” she said.

The president was scheduled to fly to Pennsylvania on Thursday for a speech about gun violence and then to travel to his home in Wilmington, Del., where he was expected to stay for the weekend. White House officials said both trips had been canceled.

Jill Biden, the first lady, who has also received two boosters, tested negative on Thursday morning, according to Michael LaRosa, her spokesman.

The first lady, who was determined to be a close contact with the president, is keeping her travel schedule, which includes stops in Michigan and Georgia on Thursday, Mr. LaRosa said. But she will follow C.D.C. guidance with masking and social distancing. Dr. Biden spoke with the president this morning.

Vice President Kamala Harris, who was last with the president on Tuesday, tested negative, according to the White House.

The president’s diagnosis was a moment his aides and advisers had spent years bracing for. As a candidate in 2020, Mr. Biden took extraordinary measures to avoid becoming sick at the beginning of the pandemic, holding “drive-in rallies” and avoiding the kind of in-person events that had been hallmarks of life on the campaign trail.

As president, Mr. Biden remained severely isolated in his first months in office as the virus surged throughout the country. The number of staff members he interacted with was limited. Members of the news media and others were tested regularly. Mr. Biden and his staff wore masks at all times.

More recently, however, as the number of vaccinated people increased and the pandemic receded, the president has largely resumed regular activity. Last week, he returned from a trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia, where he shook hands and embraced many world leaders.

At home, Mr. Biden rarely wears a mask and has returned to hosting crowded events in the East Room and elsewhere in the White House.

His positive test came amid a flurry of virus cases as the nation grapples with new subvariants that doctors say are highly contagious and can more easily evade the protections provided by coronavirus vaccinations.

Even as administration officials and lawmakers in Washington reported infections, the president has continued traveling and appearing at events, adhering to what his advisers said was guidance laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and mask guidance issued by the District of Columbia.

In her statement, Ms. Jean-Pierre said officials would inform any members of Congress, journalists or others who would be considered close contacts with the president during a trip to Massachusetts on Wednesday.

“Consistent with White House protocol for positive Covid cases, which goes above and beyond C.D.C. guidance, he will continue to work in isolation until he tests negative,” she said in the statement. “Once he tests negative, he will return to in-person work.”

Mr. Biden is regularly tested, officials said. The president’s last virus test was on Tuesday, when he had a negative result, officials said on Thursday.

It is unclear exactly how Mr. Biden got infected, and White House officials declined to offer detailed information about who he was in contact with in recent days. It is difficult to determine exactly how or when someone was exposed to and infected with the virus.

Trump while a few years younger then Biden when he was hospitalized for COVID did not have the benefit of vaccines and Trump was overweight a risk factor for severe disease. Also unlike Trump Biden is being treated with the effective Paxlovid so he should be all right. But his age and any conditions they do not tell us about is a concern as is possible Long Covid.

He probably caught it because he and most of those around him like the rest of the country have largely scrapped mitigation measures and the current variant is the most contagious yet.

A cough was a signature symptom of the original variants. Omicron until recently effected the upper respiratory systems. The variant currently running around B.A. 5 does infect the lungs.


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DW_a_mom
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21 Jul 2022, 2:24 pm

As my husband says, eventually we'll all get it. The name of the game was to defer infection long enough for the virus to weaken while effective interventions were simultaneously put in place. Vaccinated and boosted should mean milder disease, lower risk of hospitalization.


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cyberdad
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21 Jul 2022, 4:46 pm

I've had it. I am sure he will recover, he has the best medical care in the US.



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21 Jul 2022, 7:46 pm

I pray he recovers fully -- mainly because the prospect of President Kamala Harris scares the heck out of me.



ASPartOfMe
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21 Jul 2022, 9:31 pm

DW_a_mom wrote:
As my husband says, eventually we'll all get it. The name of the game was to defer infection long enough for the virus to weaken while effective interventions were simultaneously put in place. Vaccinated and boosted should mean milder disease, lower risk of hospitalization.

Fact check: Yes, viruses can mutate to become more deadly
Quote:
The claim: Viruses never mutate to become more lethal
One more time, for the folks in the back: In the history of virology, there has never, EVER, been a viral mutation that resulted in a virus that was MORE lethal," reads a tweet by Dr. Kelly Victory shared in a June 30 Facebook post.

Victory, a Colorado-based physician known for making false assertions about the pandemic, claims instead that as viruses mutate, they "become more contagious/transmissible and LESS lethal."

She repeated this assertion in a comment to USA TODAY and further claimed this common viral path toward increased transmissibility and decreased virulence, or the ability to cause disease or other harm in the host, is "exactly what we have seen with all the COVID-19 mutations thus far."

Victory's June 25 tweet has been shared widely on Twitter and across Facebook, where it's accumulated more than 3,000 interactions, according to data provided by CrowdTangle, a social media analytics tool owned by Facebook.

Viruses do walk a fine line between transmissibility and virulence. A virus needs to be able to replicate and transmit its progeny but at the same time not cause too much harm to its host, which would mean it doesn't have an opportunity to spread

This evolutionary trade-off likely can keep a virus in check, but it's not as black-and-white as Victory makes it out to be. Experts say viral mutation is a complex calculus but there are several instances where viruses have evolved into more lethal strains.

Many viruses have evolved to become deadlier
Victory claims no virus has ever become more deadly over time, but experts say that's not the case.

"The statement that 'in the history of virology, there has never, ever, been a viral mutation that resulted in a virus that was more lethal' appears to be quite untrue," Timothy Sheahan, virologist and assistant professor for the Gillings School of Global Public Health of the University of North Carolina, told USA TODAY.

Sheahan pointed to several examples such as the Ebola virus, which was discovered in 2016 to have undergone a mutation that not only made it more transmissible but likely more infective. This variant eventually died when the epidemic ended in 2016. The West Nile virus was found in 1999 to have mutated into a highly virulent strain, killing crows on multiple continents.

The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, estimated to have killed at least 50 million people worldwide, is another example, said Chua.

A May study out of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, Germany, found evidence that the virus responsible did mutate into more lethal variants. These deadlier strains, responsible for three later influenza outbreaks, likely made the virus better at spreading between humans rather than birds, its natural hosts, and better at evading the immune system.

Vaccines and boosting have made for much milder symptoms and the COVID-19 mutations have been milder but have become a lot more contagious. Problem now that we are barely mitigating and this is so contagious that COVID has more of a chance to mutate into a stronger disease and to mutate in such a way as to make current vaccines useless instead of mostly effective as they have been so far. It also gives it more of a chance to continue to weaken but that is not a guarentee.


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21 Jul 2022, 9:52 pm

I hope he doesn't die. America would be in trouble without a president.


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22 Jul 2022, 12:21 am

The US is already in trouble. And the rest of world, but the US doesn't give an eff about that.



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22 Jul 2022, 1:21 am

I hope Biden recovers well and nothing horrible happens to him.

But if it did, America would have a woman of colour as a president. I'd like to see what the racist misogynists would say to that :lol: :lol:


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22 Jul 2022, 4:19 am

Biden sincerely has my prayers.


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DW_a_mom
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22 Jul 2022, 4:42 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
DW_a_mom wrote:
As my husband says, eventually we'll all get it. The name of the game was to defer infection long enough for the virus to weaken while effective interventions were simultaneously put in place. Vaccinated and boosted should mean milder disease, lower risk of hospitalization.

Fact check: Yes, viruses can mutate to become more deadly
Quote:
The claim: Viruses never mutate to become more lethal
One more time, for the folks in the back: In the history of virology, there has never, EVER, been a viral mutation that resulted in a virus that was MORE lethal," reads a tweet by Dr. Kelly Victory shared in a June 30 Facebook post.

Victory, a Colorado-based physician known for making false assertions about the pandemic, claims instead that as viruses mutate, they "become more contagious/transmissible and LESS lethal."

She repeated this assertion in a comment to USA TODAY and further claimed this common viral path toward increased transmissibility and decreased virulence, or the ability to cause disease or other harm in the host, is "exactly what we have seen with all the COVID-19 mutations thus far."

Victory's June 25 tweet has been shared widely on Twitter and across Facebook, where it's accumulated more than 3,000 interactions, according to data provided by CrowdTangle, a social media analytics tool owned by Facebook.

Viruses do walk a fine line between transmissibility and virulence. A virus needs to be able to replicate and transmit its progeny but at the same time not cause too much harm to its host, which would mean it doesn't have an opportunity to spread

This evolutionary trade-off likely can keep a virus in check, but it's not as black-and-white as Victory makes it out to be. Experts say viral mutation is a complex calculus but there are several instances where viruses have evolved into more lethal strains.

Many viruses have evolved to become deadlier
Victory claims no virus has ever become more deadly over time, but experts say that's not the case.

"The statement that 'in the history of virology, there has never, ever, been a viral mutation that resulted in a virus that was more lethal' appears to be quite untrue," Timothy Sheahan, virologist and assistant professor for the Gillings School of Global Public Health of the University of North Carolina, told USA TODAY.

Sheahan pointed to several examples such as the Ebola virus, which was discovered in 2016 to have undergone a mutation that not only made it more transmissible but likely more infective. This variant eventually died when the epidemic ended in 2016. The West Nile virus was found in 1999 to have mutated into a highly virulent strain, killing crows on multiple continents.

The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, estimated to have killed at least 50 million people worldwide, is another example, said Chua.

A May study out of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, Germany, found evidence that the virus responsible did mutate into more lethal variants. These deadlier strains, responsible for three later influenza outbreaks, likely made the virus better at spreading between humans rather than birds, its natural hosts, and better at evading the immune system.

Vaccines and boosting have made for much milder symptoms and the COVID-19 mutations have been milder but have become a lot more contagious. Problem now that we are barely mitigating and this is so contagious that COVID has more of a chance to mutate into a stronger disease and to mutate in such a way as to make current vaccines useless instead of mostly effective as they have been so far. It also gives it more of a chance to continue to weaken but that is not a guarentee.


Fact remains that it is in the viruses own best interest to not kill its hosts and, so, they are likely to mutate in the direction of being less lethal. No one said mutation is a perfect process.

We always knew that unless we defeated COVID-19, we were going to have to learn to live it. We seem to be in that stage, of having to learn to live with it.

I'm not going to pretend I like it.

But I do like the fact that survival odds are far, far, FAR better than they were two years ago.

I am hoping Biden has a mild case and will recover quickly.


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22 Jul 2022, 5:25 am

Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!! ! :D :D :D :D :D

The Biden got Covid? That's freaking hilarious! Covid was made in a lab to undermine Trump and help him win. And now Dementia Joe himself got it. That's like a poacher getting killed by an endangered animal. And during a midterm election year at that! Looks like karma ran over the Democrat dogma.


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22 Jul 2022, 5:48 am

Aspie1 wrote:
Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!! ! :D :D :D :D :D

The Biden got Covid? That's freaking hilarious! Covid was made in a lab to undermine Trump and help him win. And now Dementia Joe himself got it. That's like a poacher getting killed by an endangered animal. And during a midterm election year at that! Looks like karma ran over the Democrat dogma.


You honestly believe someone intentionally created/unleashed a virus that killed millions for a highly uncertain and unpredictable political gain?


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22 Jul 2022, 5:57 am

I’m sure we would have heard something if he acquired serious symptoms.

I hope he recovers fully over the weekend.



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22 Jul 2022, 6:35 am

DW_a_mom wrote:
You honestly believe someone intentionally created/unleashed a virus that killed millions for a highly uncertain and unpredictable political gain?
Yes. The timing of the virus and its vaccines were too "good" to be an accident or an act of god. The civilian deaths were just "collateral damage". :evil:


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Don't tread on me!
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My rights don't end where your feeeelings begin!
Then they came for me. But by then, there was no one left to object.
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22 Jul 2022, 7:18 am

DW_a_mom wrote:
Fact remains that it is in the viruses own best interest to not kill its hosts and, so, they are likely to mutate in the direction of being less lethal. No one said mutation is a perfect process.


The ironic thing being that under natural evolution, SARS-CoV-2 was slowly gaining severity, with Delta the most virulent that took hold, along with being highly infectious in its own right. It took unnatural conditions to create Omicron, which has several years' worth of mutations, along with mice adaptation (the latter can maybe give an idea of its origins). Omicron has "slowly" gained virulence with BA.4/BA.5, but it's not much worse than the prior Omicron mutants. We'll see if Omicron decides to go the more severe route if that aids in Ab escape, as it's already one of the most infectious viruses to exist with its R0 of fifty billion, so it can give up some of the latter for the former.

SARS-CoV-2 is a strange beast, not because of its highly adaptable spike trimer for a variety of mammals, but its genome already was amazingly well adapted to humans to begin with, as if it was in circulation for over a decade already. Albeit, this adaptation wasn't and isn't uniform, which just makes it all the more stranger. :? I, confused. I usually don't get confused over things when it comes to much of anything I have a passing interest in, outside of emotions that is. I guess this is neither here nor there, though.



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22 Jul 2022, 7:31 am

DW_a_mom wrote:
Aspie1 wrote:
Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!! ! :D :D :D :D :D

The Biden got Covid? That's freaking hilarious! Covid was made in a lab to undermine Trump and help him win. And now Dementia Joe himself got it. That's like a poacher getting killed by an endangered animal. And during a midterm election year at that! Looks like karma ran over the Democrat dogma.


You honestly believe someone intentionally created/unleashed a virus that killed millions for a highly uncertain and unpredictable political gain?


The number of people who have died from covid is a drop in the bucket compared to number of all the people who have died as a result of political gain. So that factor doesn't rule out the possibility.