Coronavirus updates: People buying up heartburn medicine

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People are buying up a heartburn medicine that’s being tested as a coronavirus treatment, leading to shortages.

Walgreens medication shelf coronavirus heartburn

Shelves of medication for sale at Walgreens Pharmacy.

Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images


Famotidine, the active ingredient in Pepcid AC and other heartburn medicines, is being studied as a possible coronavirus treatment.

There’s no word yet that it could be useful at all, but that isn’t stopping people from stocking up.

At Walgreens, CVS, and on Amazon, most famotidine medicines were in perilously low stock around the country.

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Hospitals hit hard by the coronavirus are looking to restart surgeries and procedures as soon as this week. We spoke with 3 health systems about how they plan to do that.

uvc light sterilize disinfect hospital thailand coronavirus

A worker in protective suit shows a UVC sterilizer unit for medical staff, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at a factory in Samutprakarn, Thailand, April 15, 2020.


Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters



As states start to reopen, hospitals are among the first services that plan to come back to provide care for non-coronavirus patients.

Hospitals canceled elective surgeries and postponed procedures during the coronavirus pandemic to make way for a surge in COVID-19 patients who needed hospital resources.

While hard-hit areas like New York still have thousands hospitalized as part of the pandemic’s first wave, health systems across the US are planning for how they might recover and safely resume procedures that have been deferred, looking into testing and prioritizing care that can’t be delayed any longer.

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The Dow climbed 359 points, posting the 4th straight day of gains as major economies move toward reopening.

A currency trader stretches at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, April 27, 2020. Asian stock markets have gained after Japan's central bank promised to buy more government bonds to support financial markets as investors look to central bankers to shore up the struggling global economy. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

A currency trader stretches at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, April 27, 2020. Asian stock markets have gained after Japan’s central bank promised to buy more government bonds to support financial markets as investors look to central bankers to shore up the struggling global economy. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Associated Press


US equities climbed on Monday, extending gains from Friday’s session as investors cheered economic-reopening plans.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday revealed the state’s plan for a gradual recovery, a positive signal for the US’s coronavirus hotspot.

Oil missed out on the market upswing, sliding as much as 30% amid continued stress on global storage and accelerated production cuts.

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Cuomo may ‘un-pause’ certain parts of New York on May 15, but harder-hit areas will stay closed.

Getty Cuomo

Some PR pros praised New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily briefings as a playbook for internal comms.

Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says certain parts of the state where the outbreak of the coronavirus is under control may be able to reopen on May 15.

Harder-hit areas, including New York City, Westchester, and Long Island, will reopen later.
The state also released its updated antibody test results. Nearly one-in-four New Yorkers may have been infected, an increase from the previous results released last week.

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New York cancels its June 23 presidential primary.

FILE - In this March 10, 2020, file photo wearing gloves, a King County Election worker collect ballots from a drop box in the Washington State primary, in Seattle. But the 2020 presidential election is creeping ever closer, and there are no signs yet of pandemic abating, nor any word on when Americans on orders to stay home can resume normal life, and so lawmakers are trying to figure how to allow for voting in a world where face-to-face contact causes anxiety at the least, and sickness and death at the most. (AP Photo/John Froschauer, File)

Election ballots.

Associated Press


In an unprecedented move, New York has canceled its Democratic presidential primary originally scheduled for June 23 amid the coronavirus epidemic.

The Democratic members of the State’s Board of Elections voted Monday to nix the primary.

New York will still hold its congressional and state-level primary elections on June 23.

New York Democratic Party chair Jay Jacobs has said that the cancellation of the state’s presidential primary would mean a lower expected turnout and a reduced need for polling places.

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Chuck Schumer proposes ‘No PR Act’ to prevent Trump and Pence’s names from appearing on stimulus checks.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) makes a statement after meetings to wrap up work on coronavirus economic aid legislation, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Washington, U.S., March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

Schumer makes a statement after meetings to wrap up work on coronavirus economic aid legislation

Reuters


Sen. Chuck Schumer announced the “No PR Act,” a proposed provision to upcoming stimulus legislation that would prohibit President Donald Trump’s name from appearing on future aid checks.

In March, the Treasury Department announced it would add the president’s name in the corner of the stimulus checks distributed to Americans by the $2.2 trillion CARES Act.

The Senate is scheduled to return from its extended recess on May 4, when Congress is expected to negotiate future coronavirus aid legislation.

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White House aides want Trump to only talk about the economy in public, as disastrous coronavirus briefings are hurting his chances of reelection.

Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump answers questions in the press briefing room with members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force April 3, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Win McNamee/Getty Images


President Donald Trump is going to shift away from briefing the media directly on the coronavirus pandemic, and will switch to talking about the economy, the Associated press reported.

His aides are said to fear that a string of disastrous TV appearances by Trump are harming him politically in swing states.

On Thursday Trump attracted near-universal condemnation after floating the idea that consuming disinfectant could be effective as a coronavirus cure. 

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The world’s largest vaccine maker is producing 40 million units of a coronavirus vaccine on trial in Oxford, without yet knowing if it works.

Serum Bio-Pharma Park

Serum Bio-Pharma Park in Pune, India.

Serum Institute


The Serum Institute of India said it is going to start making a still-experimental coronavirus vaccine while it is still on trial.

The Oxford Vaccine Group is currently running human trials on the hAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine, but won’t be done until September. 

Human trials started in Oxford on Thursday. The group is targeting September for an effective product — but there is no guarantee it will work.

Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla said on Monday: “The decision — at our own risk and cost — has been solely taken to get a jump-start on manufacturing.”

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Germany’s coronavirus lead said the country’s restrictions worked so well that people are now angry because they think the government overreacted.

christian drosten

Christian Drosten, Director of the Institute for Virology at Charite Berlin hospital, speaks to the media during a press conference on the spread of the coronavirus on March 09, 2020 in Berlin, Germany.


Janine Schmitz/Photothek via Getty



Germany’s top coronavirus expert told The Guardian on Sunday that he worries about the country beginning to lift its lockdown. 

Christian Drosten said the country is now experiencing the “prevention paradox” — meaning it has been so successful at combating the virus that the public now thinks the government overreacted. 

“In Germany, people see that the hospitals are not overwhelmed, and they don’t understand why their shops have to shut,” Drosten said. 

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