Trudeau challenges Trump’s claim that vaccine will be available ‘in weeks’, announces $214M for Canadian vaccine development

For more on today’s top stories and the spread of the novel coronavirus across the country, please refer to our live updates below throughout the day, as well as our COVID-19 news hub.

Trudeau says COVID-19 vaccine won’t come before the new year

At a press conference on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to U.S. President’s Donald Trump’s claim that a viable COVID-19 vaccine could be available in a matter of “weeks,” if not by the end of the year.

“We are hopeful that the vaccines will arrive yesterday, but they won’t,” Trudeau said. “There’s still a number more months of work to do.”

“Reasonable expectation is that vaccines could start to arrive sometime in the new year but even then, there will be smaller amounts of doses that will have to be distributed to priority populations, I think of most vulnerable or our frontline workers.”

The prime minister also said Canada has “an excellent portfolio of vaccine potentials” but stressed that “nobody’s got a vaccine yet.”

“There are still trials going on, there are still a number of companies, some closer than others, but we are waiting to ensure that those vaccines are effective and further, that they will be safe for Canadians,’ Trudeau said. “Nothing will be distributed in Canada until Health Canada is absolutely certain that the safety of Canadians is being properly covered and taken care of.” 

PM looking at Alberta travel pilot project to guide loosening border restriction

The prime minister also commented on yesterday’s announcement that Alberta will begin a pilot project in November, allowing travellers to be tested for COVID-19 upon returning to the province to reduce the required self-isolation time

“We’re interested in seeing the result of this pilot project, but it is only a pilot project,” Trudeau said. “As we move forward into the coming months and perhaps look at loosening some of the border restrictions internationally, we will be able to have data to rely on to make sure that we are first and foremost, keeping Canadian’s safe and controlling the spread of the virus.”

‘This is serious’

When speaking more generally about the COVID-19 situation in Canada, the prime minister stressed to Canadians that the daily case numbers in the country need to be reduced, as Canada saw its highest single-day increase on Thursday, totalling 2,786 cases.

“We have to get these numbers down, this is serious and everybody must do their part,” Trudeau said. “People’s lives are at stake, we can’t afford to be careless or think that this virus will just go away on its own.”

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, spoke specifically about the increases in outbreaks in long-term care facilities in Canada, including Ontario and Quebec.

“The size of the outbreaks are smaller than in the initial wave,” Dr. Tam identified. “I’m not sure exactly what that means, that could be people are identifying things more rapidly and putting in control measures, and the prevention is better, but

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Parents claim son suffers irreparable damage after trip to the dentist

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) – The parents of a two-year-old said their child was left in crippling agony after a trip to the dentist office earlier this week.

a woman sitting on a bench: Chance Roberson with his mom and dad after coming home from the hospital.

© Provided by Huntsville-Decatur WAFF
Chance Roberson with his mom and dad after coming home from the hospital.

What was expected to be a routine cleaning ended with a child hospitalized and the parents taking legal action.

Two-year-old Chance had his first cleaning when the hygienist told his parents he had decay on his front teeth. They were told four silver crowns were needed to prevent future problems.

The parents agreed but said what happened in the exam room was something they never expected.

“His mouth had completely swollen up,” said Monica Roberson. “There was so much bruising, I took him to the emergency room directly after leaving there.”

Chance Roberson is on the mend, but his parents are still looking for an explanation. “They got mid-way through the process and said they can’t do any more and left them as they were because they filed them down too far.”

Monica and Donavyn took their two-year-old son to see a dentist at Children’s Dentistry of Huntsville. They were told Chance needed four caps for his four front teeth.

“The nurse kept saying, I don’t understand we don’t normally do procedures on children this small,” said Donavyn Larry. “It is not our specialty. I kept thinking why are you doing it then?”

Unaware to the parents, Chance also needed a root canal due to tooth decay.  “The whole process was just uncomfortable for everybody. You could tell it was kind of a panic situation when they realize they couldn’t do anything,” said Roberson.

A family member posted photos following the procedure on social media where they were shared more than one-thousand times.  The family also hired attorney Will League to represent them.

He told us, “This case falls under the Alabama Medical Liability Act.  The applicable standard of care requires proof, through expert testimony, that no reasonable dentist would have done what this dentist did.  The standard of care also requires the physician or dentist to fully explain the procedure along with its risks and benefits to the patient and obtain consent to proceed.”

We reached out to Children’s Dentistry of Huntsville. The office manager told me no one in the office would be available to comment due to the ongoing legal action.

I also reached out to the UAB Dentistry School and other pediatric dentists in the area, but no one felt comfortable commenting on the situation without first reviewing patient records.

A dentist who did not want to go on camera said root canals are one of the most common treatments performed on baby teeth. The procedure is typically performed on a tooth that has been infected, usually a result of tooth decay.

“I know you need to have some of the teeth grind down when you put a cap in but nothing to that severity. No, I wasn’t aware of

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Debunking the False Claim That COVID Death Counts Are Inflated

A persistent falsehood has been circulating on social media: the number of COVID deaths is much lower than the official statistic of more than 218,000, and therefore the danger of the disease has been overblown. In August President Trump retweeted a post claiming that only 6 percent of these reported deaths were actually from COVID-19. (The tweet originated from a follower of the debunked conspiracy fantasy QAnon.) Twitter removed the post for containing false information, but fabrications such as these continue to spread. U.S. Representative Roger Marshall of Kansas complained in September that Facebook had removed a post in which he claimed that 94 percent of COVID-19 deaths reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “were the result of 2-3 additional serious illnesses and were of advanced age.”

Now some facts: Researchers know beyond a doubt that the number of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have surpassed 200,000. These numbers are supported by three lines of evidence, including death certificates. The inaccurate idea that only 6 percent of the deaths were really caused by the coronavirus is “a gross misinterpretation” of how death certificates work, says Robert Anderson, lead mortality statistician at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

The scope of the coronavirus’s deadly toll is clear, even if final numbers will not be known until the pandemic is over. “We’re pretty confident about the scale and order of magnitude of deaths, but we’re not clear on the exact number yet,” says Justin Lessler, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. To understand why the figures contain some uncertainty, it is important to know how they are collected and calculated.

The first source of death data is called case surveillance. Health care providers are required to report cases and deaths from certain diseases, including measles, mumps and now COVID-19, to their state’s health department, which, in turn, passes this information along to the CDC, Anderson says. The surveillance data are a kind of “quick and dirty” accounting, says Shawna Webster, executive director of the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems. The states gather all the information they can on these diseases, but this is the first pass of the accounting—no one has time to double-check the information or look for missing lab tests, she says. For that, you have to look for the next source of information: vital records.

US deaths per week broken down by cause of death

Credit: Youyou Zhou; Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics

This second line of evidence comes from the National Vital Statistics System, which records birth and death certificates. Every time somebody dies, a death certificate is filed in the state where the death occurred. And after the records are registered at a state level, they are sent to the National Center for Health Statistics, which tracks deaths at a national level. Death certificates are not filed in the system until outstanding test results are in and the information is as complete as

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Trump had to speak about rape claim to show fitness

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump was addressing matters relating to his fitness for office when he claimed that a woman who said he raped her in a department store was lying and was politically motivated, Justice Department lawyers said Monday.

The lawyers argued in papers in Manhattan federal court that the president should be replaced as the defendant in E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit by the Justice Department because he was acting in an official capacity when he made his statements.

They said he was entitled to refute Carroll’s claims because she was trying to call “into question the president’s fitness for office and a response was necessary for the president to effectively govern.”

The lawyers had made similar arguments before and were replying to written arguments submitted to a judge by lawyers for Carroll, a media figure who hosted an advice show in the mid-1990s when she says she was attacked.

On Monday, they wrote that every court that has considered the issue has found that the United States can substitute itself as the defendant when a defamation lawsuit against a federal elected official results from a statement made on a matter of concern or interest to the official’s constituents.

“This is even clearer with respect to the defendant here — the President of the United States — and under the circumstances here, where the President addressed matters relating to his fitness for office as part of an official White House response to press inquiries,” they wrote.

Earlier this month, Carroll’s attorneys argued the opposite, saying Trump can’t insult their client and then cite his job as reason to remove himself as a defendant.

“Only in a world gone mad could it somehow be presidential, not personal, for Trump to slander a woman who he sexually assaulted,” they said.

Carroll has said Trump raped her in a department store dressing room a quarter century ago after they randomly crossed paths and engaged in conversation as each recognized the other’s measure of fame.

Her lawyers argued that defamatory attacks by the president included assertions that Carroll had falsely accused other men of rape, that she lied about him to advance a secret political conspiracy and sell books and that he had never met her even though they’d been photographed together. The lawyers noted that Trump also had said: “She’s not my type.”

They said the Justice Department tried to step in as defendant in part to delay progression of the case, including Carroll’s effort to get a DNA sample from Trump to see if it matches male genetic material on a dress she says she wore the day of the alleged attack.

Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan.

The Associated Press does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly.

Source Article

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Trump’s allies claim he’s incapable of gutting Obamacare. He’s already doing it.

These assurances conveniently ignore the basic facts of California v. Texas — in which the plaintiffs argue the entire ACA should be struck down as a result of its individual mandate penalty being brought to zero in 2017 legislation. That lawsuit has the full support of the Trump administration and 18 Republican-led states, and has already received favorable rulings from conservative, lower-court judges — whom these same senators helped install. These assurances also paper over the Senate Republicans’ recent vote rejecting a measure to halt federal support for the lawsuit. All of this fits into a larger pattern: Since he took office, Trump’s budgets have called for not only repealing the Affordable Care Act, but even deeper cuts to the Medicaid program. But when it comes to Trump’s plans for health care, the best thing he and his Republican allies have going for them is skepticism that they can pull them off.

Proposals to do away with the ACA’s protections are deeply unpopular — in the years since its passage in 2010, both the ACA as a whole and its individual components have gained public support. Trump has nonetheless benefited from a common narrative that his attacks on the Affordable Care Act are mere posturing. His bombastic tweets, his confusing insistence that Obamacare is already gone, and his empty promises to protect preexisting conditions have created a misleading impression that Trump has done little to change health-care policy beyond rebranding existing law. But the truth is that Trump’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act is not simply rhetorical — in fact, his policy record reflects a maximally aggressive approach to undoing the law through every legislative, administrative, and judicial channel available.

That started with the administration and its congressional allies using their precious year-one political capital to try to repeal the law through Congress. But for an unexpected, last-minute thumbs-down from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the Trump White House, the Republican House and 49 Republican senators were ready to proceed with undoing the ACA even though they never agreed on the “replace” part of their “repeal-and-replace” promise. In the wake of that legislative failure, the Trump administration pushed on by taking aggressive actions on its own to limit access to health care. One of the cruelest was urging states to put in place work requirements for Medicaid — measures that have been shown to significantly reduce health coverage without actually increasing employment. (Before a judge stayed work requirements in Arkansas — the first state to put them in effect — 18,000 adults had lost coverage in the first year.)

The Trump administration’s concerted effort to undermine participation in the ACA marketplaces — by rolling back outreach efforts, shortening open enrollment periods, and removing the individual mandate — has, by design, reduced the number of people enrolled. And the administration has taken steps to expand short-term coverage and “association health plans” that are not required to abide by ACA rules protecting people with preexisting conditions or limiting insurance company profits —

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