Rapid, cheap, home tests for coronavirus are in the works, but accuracy is an issue
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tweeted early Thursday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus and would not be greeting President Donald Trump. Hours later, DeWine announced that two different tests had come back negative.There, in a nutshell, is the nation’s next pandemic testing dilemma.DeWine first had an “antigen” test — fast and convenient, but not very reliable. Then he had two high-accuracy, lab-based molecular tests — the kind that have been a technical, logistical, and public health nightmare in the United States. Most molecular test results now are so delayed that they are practically...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Commentary: OSHA is failing to protect workers
On April 9, a worker at Maid-Rite Specialty Foods meatpacking plant in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, filed a complaint with OSHA, the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The worker listed a number of COVID-19-related safety issues, and went on to say:“About half the plant is out sick, they hire more people and (are) not taking care of the problem,” read the complaint, included in a recently filed lawsuit against OSHA. “I’m scared to go to work everyday. I’m risking my life.”OSHA didn’t inspect the facility. It relayed the worker’s concerns to Maid-Rite, which respon...
Tribune News Service
Qualcomm wins reversal of antitrust verdict in long-running battle with the FTC
Qualcomm has won its appeal to overturn last year’s antitrust verdict in a case brought by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, potentially ending a bitter saga that threatened the San Diego company’s lucrative patent licensing business.A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday reversed U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh’s ruling last year that Qualcomm violated anti-monopoly laws in the way it licenses patents.The panel also threw out Koh’s worldwide permanent injunction prohibiting Qualcomm from certain business practices, which could have reduced the company’s incentives to...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Nation and world news briefs
1 in 3 Americans would refuse COVID-19 vaccine, new Gallup poll findsOne in 3 Americans would refuse an FDA-approved coronavirus vaccine even if it were offered at no cost, a new Gallup poll released Friday found.The results, based on survey conducted between July 20 and Aug. 2, found that 65% of respondents said they would accept the offer and get themselves vaccinated while 35% said they would not.The new poll falls in line with previous Gallup findings suggesting political party preference plays a strong role in Americans’ views on COVID-19.Eighty-one% of Democrats would be willing to get v...
Tribune News Service
Drugmaker AbbVie will pay $24 million to California, whistleblower to settle fraud lawsuit
California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara announced that the Department of Insurance reached a $24 million settlement with pharmaceutical giant AbbVie that will require it to change its marketing practices for its immunology drug Humira.Once a blockbuster sales driver for the company, Humira faced stiff competition from similar drugs on the international market. In the second quarter of 2020, foreign sales of the drug dropped by nearly 20 percent, and U.S. sales did not increase enough to cover that steep drop. Humira is used to treat symptoms of arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative col...
The Sacramento Bee
As Florida nursing home residents died, operators raked in federal handouts
MIAMI — Heather Williams knew on April 28 that her mom, 63-year-old Sarita Redmond, had tested positive for COVID-19. But the Southern Oaks Care Center, which had become a petri dish of infection, would tell Williams nothing more.Call after call to the Pensacola nursing home went unanswered, Williams said. And a state executive order intended to protect elders in long-term care barred her from visiting her mother.Williams asked local police to make a welfare check in mid-May. The Pensacola Police Department told her that COVID-19 restrictions forbid that, too.“I didn’t know what else I could d...
Fiat Chrysler planning for big recall on engine used in Jeeps
DEROIT — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is preparing for a possible recall related to an issue affecting upward of one million vehicles, likely including Jeep SUV models, equipped with its 2.4-liter Tigershark engine.The expected recall is related to emissions testing conducted on the gasoline engine and, according to the company, is not connected to claims summed up in various lawsuits that the engines burn excessive amounts of oil, which could cause stalling. It’s not known how soon the recall could happen.“In connection with internal testing, we determined that approximately 1 million vehicles e...
Detroit Free Press
Sick ICE detainees are scared to die of COVID-19. Some beg federal judge to release them
MIAMI — The list of immigration detainees personally asking a Miami federal judge to release them from coronavirus-riddled detention centers in South Florida continues to grow.The new requests for release — each about 200 pages long — began to trickle in about two weeks ago after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement revealed that a detainee had died of the virus at a Palm Beach County hospital. It was, and remains, the state’s first reported COVID death of an immigration detainee.In their statements to U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke, 13 detainees urged her to let them continue their d...
In search for COVID-19 treatments, consumer group pushes drugmaker Gilead to test alternative to remdesivir
The pharmaceutical company that makes remdesivir — the only medication that has emergency authorization to fight COVID-19 — should also be conducting human trials on a related drug with strong potential, according to a citizen advocacy group that believes the alternative could be more effective, less expensive and easier to produce.Washington, D.C.-based Public Citizen sent a letter dated Tuesday to the CEO of Gilead Sciences and top federal regulators, urging the company and the government to work together to move forward with clinical trials of the drug “or publicly provide evidence why it i...
FAA finalizes and opens for comment its plan for the return of Boeing's 737 Max
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Monday published its final list of required design changes to the Boeing 737 Max, as well as changes to operation and maintenance procedures and to proposed pilot training, that must be completed for the jet to return to passenger service.The design changes include new software to limit the flight-control system that caused two Max crashes that killed 346 people, a new cockpit alert to tell pilots if a sensor that initiated those crashes is faulty, as well as the rerouting of some wiring on the planes to forestall a potential similar failure being t...
The Seattle Times