THE GOOD: Duke COVID-19 treatment
Scientists at Duke got approval to start trials for a promising antibody treatment for COVID-19 that could serve as an early defense while a full vaccine is developed. The treatment involves isolating antibodies from the blood of recovered patients and transferring them to patients who are at high risk for the disease. It’s not quite a vaccine, as it involves multiple treatments over time rather than a single treatment, but it could provide a vital stopgap for patients over the next few months. A statement from the Duke Human Vaccine Institute says that trials will likely begin in January, and researchers are also working on a “pan-coronavirus vaccine” that can help medical professionals get the jump on any future coronaviruses.
THE BAD: Hurricane Isaias
Hurricane Isaias made landfall in Ocean Isle Beach as a Category 1 storm around 11:00 p.m. Monday night. Flooding and heavy winds knocked out power for over 370,000 homes statewide, and Gov. Cooper reported that one person was killed by a tornado that formed during the storm. Isaias could certainly have been worse, but that’s not much consolation for families who’ve had their homes flooded, cars overturned, and businesses hammered during an already-fraught economic moment. As Cooper told Good Morning America, “It’s double trouble, really, when you’re dealing with a hurricane and COVID-19 at the same time.”
THE AWFUL: Election rhetoric
When Fox News’ Chris Wallace directly asked Donald Trump if he would commit to accepting an electoral loss in November, he ominously said that he would “have to see.” On Thursday, he tweeted that mail-in voting necessitated by the pandemic would create “the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history” and suggested delaying the election “until people can properly, securely and safely vote.” Putting aside the president’s ongoing war against the very Postal Service that facilitates fair and accurate mail-in voting and the fact that a president does not have the power to delay an election, it’s worrying to see Trump already throwing the results of the election into doubt. We’re just 90 days out from the presidential election, and Trump’s message to his base is clear: If he loses at the ballot box, it’s because the system was rigged against him, not because of his handling of the pandemic, or the allegations of sexual abuse, or the Ukraine scandal, or—well, you can fill in the blank.
Support independent local journalism. Join the INDY Press Club to help us keep fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle.