deaths

Drug could be ready by summer’s end; Florida orders ‘brick and mortar’ schools to open; 130,000 US deaths

The U.S. coronavirus death toll has surpassed 130,000 but a U.S. pharmaceutical company says it could have initial doses of a drug ready by the end of summer that could treat or even prevent COVID-19.

A $450 million federal awarded Regeneron Pharmaceuticals could help get the drug to “many people quickly, hopefully helping to change the course of this deadly and still-raging pandemic,” the company said in a statement.

The news comes as confirmed cases surge across most of the U.S. – Dr. Anthony Fauci said the country is “still knee-deep in the first wave of this.” Arizona is one hot spot: The state reported over 100,000 cases Monday, and more than 62,000 of the 101,441 reported cases involve people younger than 44, state officials said.

In Florida, another hot spot, the fall semester begins next month for public schools. The state’s education chief ordered school boards to “open brick

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Los Angeles, Florida counties to close beaches for July 4th weekend; WHO warns ‘worst is yet to come’; 126K US deaths

As coronavirus cases climbed in the U.S. and across the globe, the World Health Organization director general warned “the worst is yet to come” and European Union leaders were ready to extend the ban on American travelers for at least two more weeks.

Adjustments were being made to help slow spreading of the disease. Jacksonville, Florida, which is scheduled to host the GOP convention, is mandating masks, though it’s not clear for how long. Broadway stages will remain dark through 2020. And beaches in Los Angeles and several Florida counties will be closed for Fourth of July weekend as cases surge.

Also, a drug company’s steep price for remdesivir, a drug that has shortened recovery times for severe COVID-19 patients by about 31%, is drawing criticism.

Some good news? The nation’s leading infectious diseases expert remains “cautiously optimistic” that a vaccine could be widely available by year’s end.

Here are

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