PARTIER IN 'IF I GET CORONA, I GET CORONA' VIDEO APOLOGIZES
CINCINNATI (AP) - A Florida spring breaker seen in a viral video last week saying “if I get corona, I get corona” is apologizing for his reaction to the coronavirus. Brady Sluder says in an Instagram post that he owns up to his mistake and he didn't realize the impact of his words. The 22-year-old from the Cincinnati area told a TV news crew in Miami last week that he wasn't going to let concerns over the coronavirus stop him from partying. The video was shared widely across social media and shown as an example of young people ignoring warnings about the pandemic.
CAN BLOOD FROM CORONAVIRUS SURVIVORS TREAT THE NEWLY ILL?
WASHINGTON (AP) - Hospitals are gearing up to test if a century-old treatment used to fight off pre-vaccine epidemics of flu, measles and other infections might work for COVID-19, too — using blood donated from patients who've recovered. Doctors in China attempted the first treatments using infusions of donated plasma. Now U.S. hospitals are seeking government permission for formal studies to test antibody-rich plasma in the sick. They also want to test if the infusions could offer temporary, vaccine-like protection to people at high risk, such as hospital workers. History suggests it could work but there's no guarantee.
POTENTIAL CORONAVIRUS TREATMENT GRANTED RARE DISEASE STATUS
WASHINGTON (AP) - The pharmaceutical giant that makes a promising coronavirus drug has registered it as a rare disease treatment with U.S. regulators. The status can be worth millions of dollars in tax breaks and competition-free sales. Experts who have studied the so-called “orphan drug” program say the Gilead Science's request — and the Food and Drug Administration's decision to grant it Monday— seem inappropriate given the rapidly expanding threat of the outbreak. But an analyst called the filing “pretty standard.” Gilead did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday. The FDA said the disease fits the criteria for a rare disease at this point.
8 EUROPEAN SPACECRAFT PUT IN HIBERNATION AMID VIRUS LOCKDOWN
BERLIN (AP) - The European Space Agency says it is putting eight of its spacecraft into hibernation as it scales down operations during the coronavirus pandemic. The agency said Tuesday that it is further reducing the number of staff working on site at its mission control in Darmstadt, Germany. As a result, the instruments and data collection on some space probes are being temporarily stopped. They include Mars Express, launched in 2003, and the Solar Orbiter mission launched last month to observe the sun. The eight spacecraft are among 21 currently flown from Darmstadt. The agency said one staff member there has tested positive for COVID-19.
KEY MEDICAL GLOVE FACTORIES CUTTING STAFF 50% AMID VIRUS
Malaysian medical glove factories, responsible for most of the worldwide supply, are operating at half capacity to comply with new national rules aimed at slowing the spread of the new coronavirus. As a result, shortages already reported in some parts of the U.S. are expected to worsen, even as global demand grows. Malaysia is by far the world’s largest medical glove supplier, producing as many as three out of four gloves on market. Other countries making gloves including Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Turkey and especially China are also seeing their manufacturing disrupted due to the virus.
LAWSUIT CHALLENGES TENNESSEE FALSE CAMPAIGN LITERATURE LAW
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A political action committee is challenging a Tennessee law that criminalizes publishing false campaign literature, arguing that such bans violate the U.S. Constitution. The nonpartisan group Tennesseans for Sensible Election Laws filed the complaint earlier this month against Attorney General Herbert Slatery and the Davidson County district attorney general's office. A spokeswoman for Slatery said the attorney general's office was aware of the complaint but declined to comment because the lawsuit was pending. According to the lawsuit, the group seeks to publish “literally false campaign literature in opposition to candidates campaigning for state office” that uses satire, parody and hyperbole.
MALFUNCTIONING EPIPENS COULD HARM PATIENTS, COMPANIES SAY
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning the public about dangerous malfunctions involving a limited number of EpiPens, the emergency injectors for severe allergic reactions. The FDA issued the warning Tuesday after drugmakers Pfizer and Mylan notified medical providers in a letter, which said the problems could cause death or serious injuries. Pfizer manufactures the potentially life-saving auto-injectors for Mylan, which sells them. When held against the thigh, they're supposed to automatically inject the hormone epinephrine to stop runaway allergic reactions. The malfunctions can prevent or delay the devices from injecting epinephrine, or cause them to eject it prematurely.