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Coronavirus update: Airlines seek a return to normal

A study finds that aspirin reduces the risk of COVID-19 death

COVID-19 mask and airplane concept
Photo (c) Irina Tiumentseva - Getty Images
COVID-19 ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 79,891,315 (79,845,459)

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 976,028 (974,888)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 477,685,378 (476,108,320)

Total ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 6,111,597 (6,106,106)‌

Airlines seek a return to normal

The COVID-19 pandemic has complicated air travel over the last two years, in many cases making it even more unpleasant. Now that cases of the coronavirus are declining in the U.S., the airlines are asking for a return to normal.

In a letter to President Biden, heads of major U.S. airlines this week suggested a first step – removal of the mask mandate and the requirement of testing for international travelers. They say the mandates are no longer needed.

"During the global health crisis, U.S. airlines have supported and cooperated with the federal government's measures to slow the spread of COVID-19,” the CEOs wrote. “We are encouraged by the current data and the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions from coast to coast, which indicate it is past time to eliminate COVID-era transportation policies." 

Aspirin protects against COVID-19 death, researchers say

Aspirin has been promoted for a variety of health benefits over the years, some of them questionable. Now, researchers say their findings show that the headache remedy can reduce the risk of death from COVID-19.

Researchers at George Washington University say patients in the hospital with moderate COVID-19 who were given aspirin early on in their treatment had a lower risk of dying compared to patients who were not given aspirin.

“We continue to find that aspirin use is associated with improved outcomes and lower rates of death in hospitalized patients,” said lead researcher Jonathon Chow. “What's more, it’s low cost and readily available, which is important in parts of the world where more expensive therapeutics might not be as accessible."

Study finds COVID-19 researchers faced harassment

The COVID-19 pandemic may be the most politically-charged disease in modern times, with raging controversy over vaccinations, treatments, and mitigation tactics. A new study has found that many COVID-19 researchers have come under personal attack over the last two years.

The study, published in the journal Science, included responses from 510 researchers who have published data about the virus. Nearly 40% reported that their work had drawn harassment.

Scientists increased their chances of drawing attacks if their work resulted in arguments against the use of the drug ivermectin and other unapproved treatments. Eighteen of the scientists said they had received death threats.

Around the nation

  • Minnesota: Restaurants and hotels across the state are full once again, but economists are just now totaling up the damage over the last two years of the pandemic. A report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis found that the state’s hospitality industry lost as much as $15 billion.

  • Arizona: Health officials are cautiously optimistic that the pandemic has loosened its grip on Arizona, with COVID-19 numbers dropping significantly. The latest numbers from the state health department show that Arizona has been averaging about 650 COVID-19 cases per day recently, the lowest average since last July. 

  • Virginia: A federal judge has ruled that 12 Virginia families have a right to ask their children’s schools to enforce mask mandates, but an order from the governor that makes masks optional remains intact for now. The families’ children have disabilities or compromised immune systems.

  • New Jersey: Gov. Phil Murphy said his office is "closely watching" a spike in COVID-19 cases in Europe and Asia and says he expects cases to increase in New Jersey at some point. "Given both previous trends with regard to spread and our location as an international nexus for travel and trade, we do anticipate that we will eventually see an increase in the number of cases in New Jersey," Murphy said. 

  • Nevada: State officials have announced they will remove a requirement that unvaccinated employees undergo weekly COVID-19 tests. The state will also eliminate a planned monthly surcharge for state workers who have not been vaccinated.

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