Global Vaccine Competition; More Than 100,000 Dead

According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 100,000 people have died in the United States from COVID-19, and experts at the World Health Organization warn a second peak of COVID-19 infections could occur during this first wave of the virus. Meanwhile, the global race for a vaccine is generating competition between nations, mainly the U.S. and China.

New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal more than 60,000 health care workers have been infected with COVID-19, and almost 300 have died. This is a dramatic increase since the CDC first released numbers six weeks ago.

Bangladesh has extended its coronavirus lockdown — except for the garment factories. But with big brands canceling orders, workers face pay cuts, hunger and little to no social distancing.

Plus, an obituary writer reflects on COVID-19 deaths.

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99,000 People Dead And A Dire Summer Prediction

As the United States nears 100,000 coronavirus deaths and states begin to re-open, what’s next for the country? Dr. Ashish Jha of Harvard’s Global Health Institute cautions it’s still early in the crisis.

Researchers have found the coronavirus was introduced to the U.S. in part by affluent travelers — but those weren’t the people hit the hardest.

Cathy Cody owns a janitorial company in a Georgia community with a high rate of COVID-19. Her company offers a new service boxing up the belongings of residents who have died. Read or listen to the full story from NPR’s Morning Edition.

Plus, rollerblading is having a moment.

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The Cost Of Being “Essential”

From NPR’s Embedded: The workers who produce pork, chicken, and beef in plants around the country have been deemed “essential” by the government and their employers. Now, the factories where they work have become some of the largest clusters for the coronavirus in the country. The workers, many of whom are immigrants, say their bosses have not done enough to protect them.

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Q & A: Vaccine Development And Kids’ Questions

NPR Science Correspondent Joe Palca answers listener questions about vaccine development, and medical experts tackle questions sent in by kids.

These excerpts come from NPR’s nightly radio show about the coronavirus crisis, The National Conversation. In this episode:

NPR Science Correspondent Joe Palca explains how vaccines are made and the unique challenges associated with COVID-19.

-Kids’ questions are answered by pediatric nurse practitioner Suzannah Stivison from the Capitol Medical Group in Washington, D.C., and Dr. Wanjiku Njoroge, medical director for the Young Child Clinic at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

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Fauci Optimistic On Vaccine; What’s Different About Military Homecomings

Earlier this week, an experimental coronavirus vaccine showed promise. But, for the moment, the full data from that research hasn’t been released.

Friday morning, Dr. Anthony Fauci told NPR he’s seen the data and it looks “quite promising.” According to Fauci, barring any setbacks, the US is on track to have a vaccine by early next year.

Millions of Americans are turning to food banks to help feed their families during the pandemic. A new federal program pays farmers who’ve lost restaurant and school business to donate the excess to community organizations. But even the people in charge of these organizations say direct cash assistance is a better way to feed Americans in need.

A few months ago, before the lock downs, nearly 3,000 paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division left on a short-notice deployment to the Middle East. The 82nd is coming back is being welcomed back to a changed nation and a changed military.

Plus, about 180 people are hunkered down together in a Jerusalem hotel, recovering from COVID-19. Patients from all walks of life — Israelis, Palestinians, religious, secular groups that don’t usually mix — are all getting along. Listen to the full Rough Translation podcast “Hotel Corona.”

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Optimism For A Vaccine; Strapped Unemployment Offices Leave Many Waiting

A new analysis from Columbia University says that roughly 36,000 people could’ve been saved if the United States had started social distancing just one week earlier. But that all hinges on whether people would have been willing to stay home.

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Research with mice, guinea pigs and monkeys is making scientists increasingly optimistic about the chances for developing a COVID-19 vaccine. Three studies released Wednesday show promising results after the animals received experimental vaccines. But public health success will require global cooperation.

Meanwhile, state unemployment agencies are feeling the pinch as they try to keep up with unparalleled demand for their services.

And as bordering towns begin to ease stay-at-home restrictions, the logistics around reopening neighboring areas is leading to quite a bit of confusion.

Plus, sometimes you just need a hug. And if you’re isolating alone, TikTok star Tabitha Brown has got you covered with comfort content to help you feel loved.

What Contact Tracing Tells Us About High-Risk Activities

Three-quarters of Americans are concerned that a second wave of coronavirus cases will emerge, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds. Despite that, groups around the country, including in Michigan, are protesting state lockdowns.

President Trump’s stance on hydroxychloroquine has made the drug harder to study, according to some scientists.

Researchers have been digging into contact tracing data from countries that had early outbreaks. Data suggest high risk activities include large indoor gatherings. Lower risk is going to the grocery store.

Plus, what is happening with classroom pets when school is out of session due to the coronavirus. Reporter Sara Stacke’s story with photos.

You can hear more about the NPR poll on the NPR Politics Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and NPR One.

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Indoor Spread, Workers’ Anxieties, And Our Warped Sense Of Time

There are still a lot of questions about how the coronavirus is transmitted through air. Researchers are looking at how the virus is spread indoors and how to safely have people under one roof.

As states around the country lift restrictions and businesses reopen, many workers in close-contact jobs are scared for their health and would rather stay on unemployment. NPR’s Chris Arnold reports on what options workers have.

Listen to Short Wave’s episode about why it’s so hard to remember what day it is and some tips for giving time more meaning on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and NPR One.

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Encouraging Vaccine News; Pandemic Grows More Political

A new coronavirus vaccine candidate shows encouraging results. It’s early, but preliminary data shows it appears to be eliciting the kind of immune response capable of preventing disease.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has been signaling that more government spending might be necessary to prevent long-term economic damage.

As the pandemic becomes more political, researchers are concerned debates over masks, social distancing and reopening the economy are inflaming an already divided nation. Incidents of violence are rare, but concerning to experts.

Plus, a 102-year-old woman who survived the influenza of 1918, the Great Depression, World War II and now, COVID-19.

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Q & A: Sleep Problems And Summer Childcare

Sleep experts answer listener questions about insomnia, and a nurse practitioner offers advice to parents about summer childcare.

These excerpts come from NPR’s nightly radio show about the coronavirus crisis, ‘The National Conversation with All Things Considered.’ In this episode:

Dr. Sonia Ancoli-Israel of the Center for Circadian Biology, and Dr. Christina McCrae of the Mizzou Sleep Research Lab offer advice to listeners who are having trouble falling asleep.
– Pediatric nurse practitioner Suzannah Stivison answers parents’ questions about childcare this summer.

If you have a question, you can share it at, or tweet with the hashtag, #NPRConversation.

We’ll return with a regular episode of Coronavirus Daily on Monday.