Morning Rounds Shraddha Chakradhar

Trump discharged from Walter Reed but may not be 'entirely out of the woods'

President Trump was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center yesterday evening, even though his lead physician said he "might not be entirely out of the woods yet." Trump is now back in the White House, where he will continue to take the steroid dexamethasone and receive the final dose of the Covid-19 antiviral remdesivir. But it's unclear whether Trump's doctors were discharging him on medical grounds or if the president demanded to be allowed to leave. Sean Conley, the chief doctor on Trump's medical team, said yesterday that the president was displaying few of the symptoms from over the weekend and that he seemed to meet the criteria for a discharge. Yet outside experts, who haven't had a clear picture of Trump's condition, caution there are major risks to discharging any Covid-19 patient too early.

10% of the world may have been infected with the coronavirus, WHO emergencies chief warns

Around 1 in 10 people globally may have been infected with the coronavirus, the WHO's head of emergencies Mike Ryan said during a meeting yesterday. That figure is more than 20 times the number of officially recorded cases — which stands at more than 35 million cases as of this morning. Ryan also warned of a difficult period ahead, saying that although the numbers are likely to vary from place to place, “the vast majority of the world remains at risk.” Ryan shared that parts of Southeast Asia, Europe and the Mediterranean were all seeing increases in cases. Meanwhile, the U.S. has continued to record more than 40,000 cases daily for the past two weeks. The total U.S. case count now stands at more than 7.4 million, and 210,000 people have died. 

Global trust in science has increased during the pandemic, new report finds

People's trust in science is at an all-time high, possibly as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest 3M State of Science report. The report, which has been released for the past three years, surveyed 1,000 people across 14 countries before the pandemic (in August-October 2019) and another 1,000 people in 11 countries between July-August 2020. Nearly 90% of people now trust science and scientists and 77% support increased funding for the field. More than half now say science is important to their everyday lives, compared to 44% who said the same last year. Nearly 55% of individuals now say that the pandemic has made them more likely to advocate for science, compared to 20% last year. Responses to the prompt "I am skeptical of science" has also dropped from 35% to 28% this year. 

Inside STAT: Trump’s treatment underscores vast inequalities in access to care

Marine One, with President Trump onboard, leaves the White House for Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday. (DREW ANGERER/GETTY IMAGES)

In the five days since President Trump's shared his Covid-19 diagnosis, he has been taken by helicopter to Walter Reed, a world-class medical facility. He has been given Regeneron's experimental antibody cocktail that fewer than 10 people have had access to through a compassionate use program. He's finishing up a five-day course of remdesivir and has also been taking dexamethasone, which is usually reserved for those with severe disease. The president's experience stands in stark contrast to what the average Covid-19 patient has to deal with. They're asked to stay home and monitor symptoms, access to health care is often a barrier, and treatment with Regeneron's drug is hard to get. “Covid is all about privilege,” ICU physician Lakshman Swamy tells STAT's Casey Ross. “Where one person would need to be in the hospital, another person can have the hospital come to them.” Read more here

Increase in unemployment rates linked to rise in hospitalizations among children

Economic recessions — and specifically unemployment — may be linked to an increase in hospitalizations among kids, according to a new study. The authors hypothesized that poorer housing conditions or a drop in regular care due to unemployment may explain an increase in hospitalizations and the need for care. Researchers linked unemployment and pediatric hospitalization data across 14 states every third year between 2002-2014, and found that a 1% increase in unemployment also corresponded to a 2% increase in pediatric hospitalizations for any of the eight conditions examined. Further analysis revealed that 1% spike in unemployment was specifically linked, among children, to a 5% increase in inpatient visits for substance use disorder, a 4% increase for cases related to diabetes (the study didn't specify which type), and a 2% increase in visits for poisoning and burns.

Changes in Muslim students' mental health after the 2016 U.S. election

The 2016 U.S. presidential election may have led to an increase in mental health symptoms among Muslim students, according to new research. That election saw a rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric, and President Trump issued executive orders banning immigrants from several Muslim-majority nations soon after he took office. More than 75,000 students were surveyed — around 2.2% of whom were Muslim. Scientists found a seven percentage point increase among Muslim students in clinically significant mental health symptoms — including depression and anxiety — in the 14 months after the 2016 election compared to the 14 months before the election. Those Muslim students who said they were religious experienced the biggest change after the election — a nearly 11 percentage point jump. 

Correction: Yesterday morning's Nobel Prize item misstated the number of people living with chronic hepatitis C infection. More than 71 million people globally have the infection. 

What to read around the web today

  • The people Trump came home to. The Atlantic
  • 210K in US have died from virus. Now Trump says he ‘gets it’. Associated Press
  • Opinion: Cutting off H-1B visas will hurt the biopharma industry. STAT
  • Aging and ailing lab chimps are still at center of fight for sanctuary. The New York Times
  • Texas colleges offer free coronavirus tests. Why aren't more students getting tested? The Texas Tribune

Thanks for reading! More tomorrow,


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Tuesday, October 6, 2020


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