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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Department of Homeland Security has been briefed that New York City's morgues are nearing capacity, according to a department official and a second person familiar with the situation. read more

A vital modeling program was sidelined amid a bureaucratic battle, former officials say, leaving U.S. less prepared to face the virus. The Department of Homeland Security stopped updating its annual models of the havoc that pandemics would wreak on America's critical infrastructure in 2017, according to current and former DHS officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Hoping to stem the toll of the state's surging coronavirus outbreak, New York health officials plan to begin collecting plasma from people who have recovered and injecting the antibody-rich fluid into patients still fighting the virus. read more

Largest scale experiment ever' shows what is possible as satellite images reveal marked fall in global nitrogen dioxide levels. read more

Monday, March 23, 2020

The coronavirus can survive on surfaces for up to 17 days, a study published Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. The study examines two public health responses to COVID-19 outbreaks on the Carnival-owned Diamond Princess ship in Japan and the Grand Princess ship in California. The virus "was identified on a variety of surfaces in cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected passengers up to 17 days after cabins were vacated..." the researchers wrote.


"So what do you think the US looks like six months from now if nobody is working?"

People who test positive for the coronavirus antibodies will be able to go back to work:

3.5m coronavirus test kits on way to NHS
Patients to be priority for tests that would reveal if healthcare staff are safe to go back to work

Why a Tiny Colorado County Can Offer COVID-19 Tests to Every Resident

United Biomedical's COVID-19 test is different from those typically being run on nasal swabs collected around the country. Those tests use a technique called RT-PCR to look for the virus's genetic material in a patient's nose and throat, but United Biomedical's test requires a blood draw. It uses a different technique, called ELISA, to look for antibodies, the proteins the immune system makes to neutralize the virus. Antibody tests, also known as serological tests, don't always pick up early viral infections, but they can tell if someone has ever had a particular virus--maybe even if they were asymptomatic.

For this reason, scientists all over the world have been pushing antibody tests as a way to study the true scope of the coronavirus pandemic. If serological testing can find asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19, it can also clarify the disease's transmission and fatality rate. Testing a whole population--say, a whole county--would give epidemiologists a snapshot of everything going on in one place. "Any sort of population-based study is really interesting," says Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University. And while it's unclear how long immunity to COVID-19 lasts, she says, it could allow people who are immune to go back to their normal lives.

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