Fauci Punches Back; Ga. Mask Rules Overruled; Climbing Drug Overdose Deaths


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NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, MD, pushes back against the “bizarre,” “nonsense,” and “completely wrong” (his words) attacks on him by the White House. (The Atlantic)

As of 8:00 a.m. EDT Thursday, an unofficial U.S. tally put the total case count at 3,499,398 with 137,419 deaths — up by about 68,000 and 1,000, respectively, in the past 24 hours.

University of Washington researchers now project 224,000 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. by Nov. 1. (Reuters)

New York state passed 25,000 total COVID deaths on Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced. (New York Daily News)

Meanwhile, the surge continues in Florida, with more than 300,000 cases now reported. At about 4,500, the death toll is still far short of New York’s, but it’s now rising by about 100 per day. (NBC News, Worldometer)

July 20 is the day that Walmart and Sam’s Club shoppers must start wearing masks in stores, according to company policy. (USA Today)

A National Academies committee said schools should reopen for young children and those with special needs, and offered guidance on how to do so “to the extent possible.” (New York Times)

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) bans local governments from ordering people to wear masks; France, on the other hand, doubles down on its mask mandate. (The Hill, Reuters)

In Oklahoma, Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) announced he tested positive for COVID, but said the timing indicated he didn’t catch it while attending President Trump’s June 20 rally in Tulsa. (CNN)

Nursing home aide candidates had training requirements reduced to 8 hours of online studying just as COVID-19 hit the U.S. (Politico)

HHS agreed to buy and distribute 750,000 SARS-CoV-2 antigen test kits from Becton, Dickinson.

Former White House physician Ronny Jackson, MD — who just won a Texas GOP primary election for a U.S. House seat — says “wearing a mask is a personal choice.” (Politico)

A California man was charged with mail fraud and false marketing of an herbal mixture as a COVID-19 treatment, which he claimed was FDA-approved.

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    Nicole Lou is a reporter for MedPage Today, where she covers cardiology news and other developments in medicine. Follow

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