Overnight Health Care: COVID-19 cases rising in every state | Wisconsin health official warns state nearing 'tipping point' | Fauci predicts data from Moderna vaccine within a week

Overnight Health Care: COVID-19 cases rising in every state | Wisconsin health official warns state nearing 'tipping point' | Fauci predicts data from Moderna vaccine within a week
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Overnight Health Care. As COVID-19 rages on across the U.S., the country is seeing record-high cases and hospitalizations and a Wisconsin official says they are near a "tipping point." On a possible brighter side, Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: Biden unveils COVID-19 relief plan | Post-holiday surge hits new deadly records | Senate report faults 'broken' system for insulin price hikes Should there be a 'Secretary of Thought'? Post-holiday COVID-19 surge hits new deadly records MORE said he thinks Moderna will announce initial results from its COVID-19 vaccine trial in the next week. 

We'll start with numbers:

COVID-19 cases rising in every state


Every state is now seeing increases in COVID-19 cases, and many are also seeing spikes in hospitalizations, a marker that the third wave of the pandemic has arrived.

The U.S. reported 136,000 new cases of coronavirus Tuesday, the largest single-day increase on record, according to a tracker by Johns Hopkins University.

Nearly 62,000 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 nationwide as of Tuesday, according to the COVID Tracking Project, also a record high and a sobering indicator that increases in deaths are likely soon to come. 

Experts had long warned of increases in cases and deaths in the fall and winter, as the cold weather forces people indoors, where the virus spreads more easily. Experts also worry that pandemic fatigue has set in, leading people to let their guard down about wearing masks and social distancing. 

Every state has seen increases in cases over the past seven days, according to the COVID Tracking Project, but states in the Midwest and Great Plains continue to have the highest numbers of cases per 100,000 people.

North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wyoming, Wisconsin and Nebraska have the worst outbreaks in the country, with more than 100 cases per 100,000 people, according to New York Times data. 

Those states and dozens more have seen double-digit percentage increases in the past seven days.


Read more here. 

Wisconsin health official warns state nearing 'tipping point' on COVID hospitalizations

Strain is increasing on the nation’s hospitals. The latest warning comes in Wisconsin. 

A top health department official there says the state is nearing a point at which some patients who need lifesaving care will be unable to receive it due to overcrowding in hospitals resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ryan Westergaard, chief medical officer for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, said during a discussion hosted by Wisconsin Health News that the state was nearing a "tipping point" in terms of the number of hospitalizations caused by the virus that could result in facilities being overwhelmed.

"In terms of the number of cases we're finding, this is as bad as that early, severe wave in New York City," Westergaard said.

"We're very close to a tipping point, and I think right now all the hospitals are strained, and it's causing a lot of stress on health care workers and leaders, but the case fatality rate has remained kind of low," he continued.

Read more here

Fauci predicts data from Moderna COVID-19 vaccine within a week

Anthony Fauci expressed confidence Wednesday that positive data from Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine will be announced in the next few days.

According to the Financial Times, which hosted the top infectious disease expert at a conference, Moderna will begin assessing data from its phase three vaccine trials “within a week."

“We were told that literally in the next few days to a week they’ll be doing the same thing of looking at the data as the Pfizer people did a week ago,” Fauci said.

Tea leaves: Moderna on Wednesday said it had submitted trial data to the independent board monitoring its trial, a sign that results could be announced shortly.

The rapid spread of COVID-19 means Moderna has been able to collect data quickly. The company said it expects this first interim analysis to include "substantially more than 53 cases," which was the targeted trigger point for the analysis.


Read more here.

Pfizer CEO sold $5.6M in stock on day of vaccine news

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla sold $5.6 million worth of his company’s stock Monday in a preplanned sale on the same day it released promising results from a COVID-19 vaccine trial.

The sale was part of a plan authorized by Bourla in August to sell the shares once they hit a predetermined price. 

It is standard for executives to sell their stock at predetermined prices to diversify their portfolios.

“The sale of these shares is part of Dr. Bourla’s personal financial planning and a pre-established (10b5-1) plan, which allows, under SEC rules, major shareholders and insiders of exchange-listed corporations to trade a predetermined number of shares at a predetermined time,” a Pfizer spokesperson said in a statement.

Pfizer’s shares hit $41.94 a piece Monday after the company announced its experimental COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90 percent effective at protecting people from the virus. 


Read more here.

Fauci reacts to Bannon: 'That's not the kind of thing you think about' at medical school

It’s not every day you have to respond to someone calling for your beheading, but Dr. Anthony Fauci found himself in that situation in an Australian TV interview. 

Former Trump adviser Steve BannonStephen (Steve) Kevin BannonTrump has sought Bannon's consultation to overturn election results: Bloomberg Facebook's 'stop the steal' ban misses 90 groups promoting election misinformation: analysis YouTube temporarily bars uploading of new content on Trump's channel MORE caused outrage last week when he said that he wanted to put Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray’s “heads on pikes.” 

Fauci was asked on the Australian news program "The 7:30 Report" what it was like “managing a pandemic and dealing with Donald Trump at the same time.” 

“Well it's obviously been very stressful,” Fauci responded in an interview published Wednesday. “I mean to deny that would be to deny reality, when you have public figures like Bannon calling for your beheading, that's really kind of unusual I think. That's not the kind of thing you think about when you're going through medical school to become a physician, but I've gotten through it by really focusing like a laser beam on exactly what my goal is.”

Read more here.


Biden seeks to use the bully pulpit he has on COVID-19

President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenConfirmation hearing for Biden's DNI pick postponed Biden's Sunday inauguration rehearsal postponed due to security concerns: report Murkowski says it would be 'appropriate' to bar Trump from holding office again MORE is wasting no time in using his bully pulpit to push public health measures, such as mask wearing and physical distancing, that public health experts say will work best to combat the rapid spread of COVID-19. 

Biden has promised a much more forceful federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic than President TrumpDonald TrumpEx-Trump lawyer Cohen to pen forward for impeachment book Murkowski says it would be 'appropriate' to bar Trump from holding office again Man known as 'QAnon Shaman' asks Trump for pardon after storming Capitol MORE and has announced his own COVID-19 advisory board of health experts in the days since he was projected to win the 2020 election. 

As president, Biden said he will rapidly scale up the nation's testing capacity, invest in contact tracing and use the Defense Production Act to ramp up production of protective equipment for front-line workers.

Biden has also promised to direct the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide specific guidance for communities on how they should navigate COVID-19 restrictions, relative to the level of risk and degree of viral spread in a community.

As president-elect, Biden's power is limited, but it is also not insignificant.

In recent his speeches, Biden has called for unity but has also offered a realistic view of the future of the pandemic.

“We are still facing a dark winter,” he said Monday, adding that “there's a need for bold action to fight this pandemic.”

For his rhetoric to change behavior, Biden will need to win over GOP governors who support Trump and a divided public that is weary of COVID-19 restrictions.

Read more here.

Virtual Event Announcement: Wednesday 11/18

The Future of Diabetes Care

1 in 10 Americans live with diabetes. Join The Hill Virtually Live for two events on Wednesday, November 18 to explore the future of diabetes care. At noon eastern, Diabetes Caucus Co-Chairs Diana DeGetteDiana Louise DeGette'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack Pelosi names 9 impeachment managers Bipartisan lawmakers call for expedited diabetes research MORE (D-Colo.) and Tom ReedTom ReedThe Hill's 12:30 Report: House moves toward second impeachment LIVE COVERAGE: House votes to impeach Trump after Capitol insurrection GOP lawmakers introduce resolution to censure Trump over Capitol riot MORE (R-N.Y.) join us to discuss the future of healthcare reform for patients with diabetes. How can we align incentives and restructure our nation’s healthcare system so that it works for everyone, including those with chronic conditions?

And at 2:00 PM ET, we'll explore the innovative digital technologies that are revolutionizing diabetes management and monitoring. What barriers stand in the way of access to technological advances in diabetes care and how can policymakers reform systems to create more equitable access to medical technologies? Rep. Michael BurgessMichael Clifton BurgessREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Westerman tapped as top Republican on House Natural Resources Committee | McMorris Rodgers wins race for top GOP spot on Energy and Commerce | EPA joins conservative social network Parler McMorris Rodgers wins race for top GOP spot on Energy and Commerce MORE, M.D. (R-Texas), Rep. Robin KellyRobin Lynne KellyDemocrats press to bar lawmakers from carrying guns in the Capitol House Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress Lawmakers push for improved diabetes care through tech advancements MORE (D-Ill.) and a stand-out line of experts sit down with The Hill's Steve Clemons.

What we’re reading 

The surging coronavirus finds a federal leadership vacuum (New York Times)

Novavax posts coronavirus vaccine contract that government didn't disclose (NPR)

Fever, symptom screening misses many coronavirus cases (Associated Press

State by state

Utah National Guard increasing its presence in the ongoing COVID-19 battle (Deseret News)

Texas becomes 1st state to surpass 1 million COVID-19 cases (Associated Press

Wastewater tests send another troubling signal as Mass. coronavirus cases spike (Boston Globe

The Hill op-eds

On Veterans Day, we must talk about suicide prevention