The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 1:00 am

Coronavirus roundup

Remdesivir study gets paused

Associated Press

Independent monitors have paused enrollment in a study testing the COVID-19 antiviral drug remdesivir plus an experimental antibody therapy being developed by Eli Lilly that's similar to a treatment President Donald Trump received.

Indianapolis-based Lilly confirmed Tuesday the study had been paused “out of an abundance of caution.” The company would not say what led to this step.

The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which sponsors the study, would not immediately comment.

McConnell to put relief bill to vote

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he's scheduling a procedural vote on a GOP COVID-19 relief bill next week, saying aid to hard-hit businesses shouldn't be held up by gridlock involving other aid proposals.

The Kentucky Republican says the first item of Senate business when the chamber returns Monday will be a procedural vote on a scaled-back aid bill. Democrats filibustered a GOP-drafted aid bill last month and recent talks on a larger deal between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., fell apart this past weekend, probably for good.

Opinion polls show additional coronavirus relief is a higher priority for most voters than quickly approving President Donald Trump's nomination of Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Poll: Caregiving duties growing

A poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds 17% of Americans say they are providing ongoing caregiving. About 1 in 10 has begun since the coronavirus outbreak, and about half of those say they are providing care specifically because of the pandemic.

Among those who already were providing care, 36% say their responsibilities have increased. Added responsibilities are more keenly felt by caregivers who've lost jobs or income in the pandemic. Forty-two percent of those under financial strain said their caregiving responsibilities increased, compared with 25% of those who are holding their own economically.

The poll finds that 1 in 20 caregivers has provided care to someone infected with COVID-19. While 11% of nonwhite caregivers say they've cared for someone who got infected, just 2% of white caregivers have.

The survey was funded by The SCAN Foundation, a nonprofit focused on quality-of-life issues for elders.

European nations boost restrictions

Governments across Europe are ratcheting up restrictions to try to beat back a resurgence of the coronavirus that has sent new confirmed infections on the continent to their highest weekly level since the start of the pandemic.

Italy and France are restricting parties and putting limits on restaurants and bars. The Netherlands went further and ordered the closing of all bars and restaurants, and in an attempt to discourage partying at home, banned alcohol sales after 8 p.m.

The Czech Republic is closing all schools until Nov. 2, while Latvia is ordering teenagers to switch to distance learning for a week. And Britain on Monday unveiled a three-tiered system for deciding what restrictions to impose, based on how severe the outbreak is in certain areas.

The World Health Organization said Tuesday there were more than 700,000 new COVID-19 cases reported in Europe last week, a jump of 34% from the previous week. The U.N. health agency noted that deaths were also up 16% last week from the week before.

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