Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, wrote in an internal report shared with White House officials on Monday that the Trump administration must take “much more aggressive action” in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Birx warned that “cases are rapidly rising in nearly 30 percent of all USA counties, the highest number of county hotspots we have seen with this pandemic,” The Washington Post reports. In many areas, testing is “flat or declining” but the number of cases is increasing, Birx wrote, and the country is “entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic … leading to increasing mortality. This is not about lockdowns — it hasn’t been about lockdowns since March or April. It’s about an aggressive balanced approach that is not being implemented.”
President Trump has been claiming the U.S. is “rounding the turn” on the virus, and in the report, Birx expressly contradicts Trump, warning against huge gatherings like his campaign rallies. One administration official told the Post that Birx has been sending “urgent” messages like this for weeks, and has been pleading with Trump staffers to “ask the American people to use masks, avoid gatherings, and socially distance, basically since it became apparent that we were heading into a third surge.”
Another administration official told the Post that Birx feels “like she’s being ignored,” especially since Trump has been persuaded by his new medical adviser, radiologist Scott Atlas, that herd immunity is the way to go. Birx has been challenging Atlas in meetings, the Post reports, and has spent the last few weeks traveling to virus hot spots and asking health officials to shutter restaurants and bars and make masks mandatory. Read more at The Washington Post.
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Top Trump adviser pleads for ‘more aggressive action’ against covid-19, even as president downplays threat
A top White House coronavirus adviser sounded alarms Monday about a new and deadly phase in the health crisis, pleading with top administration officials for “much more aggressive action,” even as President Trump continues to assure rallygoers the nation is “rounding the turn” on the pandemic.
“We are entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic … leading to increasing mortality,” said the Nov. 2 report from Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force. “This is not about lockdowns — It hasn’t been about lockdowns since March or April. It’s about an aggressive balanced approach that is not being implemented.”
Birx’s internal report, shared with top White House and agency officials, contradicts Trump on numerous points: While the president holds large campaign events with hundreds of attendees, most without masks, she explicitly warns against them. While the president blames rising cases on more testing, she says testing is “flat or declining” in many areas where cases are rising. And while Trump says the country is “rounding the turn,” Birx notes the country is entering its most dangerous period yet and will see more than 100,000 new cases a day this week.
Through a spokesperson, Birx did not respond to a request for comment.
Other experts, including Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have warned of record surges in cases and hospitalizations as the United States records more than 9 million cases and 230,000 deaths. “We’re in for a whole lot of hurt,” Fauci told The Washington Post late Friday, predicting a long and potentially deadly winter unless there’s an “abrupt change” — prompting Trump to suggest he planned to fire the scientist after the election.
But Birx’s daily missives go much further, revealing how much the administration’s internal reports are in direct conflict with Trump’s public pronouncements that downplay the seriousness of the threat and erroneously suggest few people are dying. They also speak to the increasing desperation of health officials to spotlight the risks of a pandemic that is forecast to take thousands more lives as the weather worsens unless people change their behaviors.
The increasingly dire tone of her reports has gotten little traction, according to an administration official who works with Birx and spoke on the condition of anonymity to share sensitive information. “She feels like she’s being ignored,” the official said.
Birx’s message “has been urgent for weeks,” said another administration official, “as has the plea for the administration to ask the American people to use masks, avoid gatherings and socially distance, basically since it became apparent that we were heading into a third surge.”
The report hits hard on the worsening situation: “Cases are rapidly rising in nearly 30 percent of all USA counties, the highest number of county hotspots we have seen with this pandemic,” it said. “Half of the United States is in
HELENA, Mont. — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock says the state health department is pursuing legal action against several businesses in northwestern Montana for not following a mask mandate and other restrictions meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The announcement came Thursday as the state reported 932 newly confirmed coronavirus cases. That was far above the previous one-day high of 734.… Read More
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho is seeing its largest coronavirus spike since the pandemic began, with new cases increasing by 46.5% percent over the past two weeks. That trend has some health care experts urging Gov. Brad Little to take additional action to slow the spread.
“As a health system, we’re all very concerned,” said Dr. Bart Hill, the vice president and chief quality officer of St. Luke’s Health System, the largest health system in the state. “It’s indicative of anticipating we’re going to see more hospitalizations affecting an older population in the next two, three, four weeks.”… Read More
Phosplatin Therapeutics Announces Presentation of Research into PT-112 Mechanism of Action at the 32nd EORTC-NCI-AACR Virtual Symposium
NEW YORK, Oct. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Phosplatin Therapeutics LLC, a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on oncology therapeutics, today announced that data revealing novel mechanistic attributes of its lead candidate PT-112, an immunogenic cell death (ICD) inducer under Phase 2 development, will be presented at the 32nd Symposium of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) taking place virtually from October 24-25.
PT-112, A First-In-Class Pyrophosphate-Platinum Conjugate, Selectively Targets Highly Glycolytic Tumor Cells (catalog number 188)
Saturday, October 24, 2020 on EORTC-NCI-AACR symposium site and on the Phosplatin Therapeutics web site
New Drugs Poster Session (code 380)
A. Anel, University of Zaragoza /Aragón Health Research Institute, Biochemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology, Zaragoza, Spain
Building upon prior publication of the ICD effects of PT-112, the body of work to be presented is part of an effort to understand the metabolic pathways and cellular targets affected by PT-112 upstream of ICD initiation. “The data to be reported at the 32nd EORTC-NCI-AACR Virtual Symposium advance the body of knowledge around PT-112’s pleiotropic mechanism of action and provide valuable information on further potential clinical applications of PT-112. As we continue our clinical study of this unique compound in patients with challenging cancers, such insights are important,” said Robert Fallon, co-founder and chief executive officer, Phosplatin Therapeutics. “We are pleased to co-present this body of work under our fruitful collaboration with the Anel lab at the University of Zaragoza, Spain.”
PT-112 is a novel small molecule conjugate of pyrophosphate that possesses a unique pleiotropic mechanism of action that promotes immunogenic cell death (ICD), through the release of damage associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) that bind to dendritic cells and lead to downstream immune effector cell recruitment in the tumor microenvironment. PT-112 represents the best-in-class small molecule inducer of this immunological form of cancer cell death and is currently under Phase II development. The ﬁrst in-human study of PT-112 demonstrated an attractive safety proﬁle and evidence of long-lasting responses among heavily pre-treated patients and won “Best Poster” within the Developmental Therapeutics category at the ESMO 2018 Annual Congress. The novelty of PT-112’s pyrophosphate moiety also results in osteotropism, or the propensity of the drug to reach the mineralized bone. This property is of interest in cancer types that originate in or metastasize to the bone. The combination Phase Ib study of PT-112 with PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor avelumab in solid tumors was reported in an oral presentation at the ESMO 2020 Virtual Congress.
About Phosplatin Therapeutics
Phosplatin Therapeutics is a privately held, clinical stage pharmaceutical company that holds exclusive global license to phosphaplatins, a family of small molecules rationally designed to circumvent the mechanisms of drug resistance and toxicity commonly associated with chemotherapeutic regimens. The company’s lead candidate, PT-112, is a novel chemical entity under clinical development that exhibits a unique