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What you need to know about coronavirus on Thursday, October 8

Posted October 8, 2020 7:27 a.m. EDT

— "They knew what was happening, and they didn't tell you."

Joe Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, did not mince words when prosecuting the Trump administration's handling of the pandemic during the vice presidential debate last night.

"The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country," Harris said, arguing that frontline workers had been treated like "sacrificial workers" and that President Donald Trump had repeatedly minimized the seriousness of the virus.

Vice President Mike Pence attempted to put a positive spin on the administration's record on the pandemic. He accused Harris of "playing politics with people's lives," seemingly ignoring the repeated efforts by Trump to explicitly insert politics into the pandemic, including efforts to develop a vaccine. But the facts don't lie: more than 210,000 Americans have died from Covid-19 and more than 7.5 million — roughly one in 44 — have been infected.

The coronavirus was omnipresent during the debate. Safety precautions were upped after President Trump tested positive for the virus last week. Pence and Harris were seated more than 12 feet apart and separated by plexiglass. Both were tested for Covid-19 ahead of their faceoff. On top of that, the CDC director gave a personal guarantee to Harris and her team that Pence was not at high risk of infection based on any recent exposure to Trump or his inner circle.

Meanwhile, the influential New England Journal of Medicine yesterday published an unprecedented editorial, written by its editors, condemning the Trump administration for its Covid-19 response and calling for US leaders to be voted out of office.

Trump himself returned to the Oval Office yesterday, despite the high likelihood that he is still contagious with the virus. To protect those around him, an "isolation cart" stocked with medical gowns, respirator masks and goggles was installed just outside the office doors near where Trump's assistants sit.

YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED

Q. How long are people contagious with Covid-19?

A: For symptomatic carriers: If it's been at least 10 days since your symptoms started and at least 24 hours since you've had a fever (without the help of fever-reducing medication) and your other symptoms have improved, you can go ahead and stop isolating, the CDC says. Patients with severe illness may have to keep isolating for up to 20 days after symptoms started.

For asymptomatic carriers: People who tested positive but don't have any symptoms can stop isolating 10 days after the first positive test -- as long as they have not subsequently developed symptoms, the CDC says.

Send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you're facing: +1 347-322-0415.

WHAT'S IMPORTANT TODAY

Even Europe's gold standard nations are struggling with Covid surges

Several countries across Europe are witnessing historic spikes in Covid-19 cases, imposing new restrictions as a result. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Controls (ECDC), as of Wednesday, none of the 31 EU, EEA and UK countries it reports data on are reporting fewer than 20 cases per 100,000 people over the past 14 days, a threshold many experts recognize as cause for alarm.

Two of the three worst-affected nations are the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, which were regularly reporting fewer than 100 infections a day as recently as June, compared to thousands of daily cases now.

Billionaires are getting richer while millions are left behind

The pandemic is upending more than two decades of progress on reducing extreme poverty around the globe — and estimates of how many people will be affected continue to escalate. An additional 88 to 115 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty, defined as living on less than $1.90 a day, in 2020 because of the pandemic and resulting economic recession, according to a new World Bank report.

Meanwhile, the wealth of the world's billionaires reached a new record high in the middle of the pandemic as a rebound in tech stocks boosted the fortunes of the global elite.

Companies rush to get antibody cocktail treatments authorized

Regeneron has applied to the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for its dual monoclonal antibody treatment, the experimental coronavirus therapy given to Trump.

The treatment is a combination of two monoclonal antibodies that is designed specifically to block infectivity of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. It includes a monoclonal antibody that targets the spike protein the virus uses to drill into healthy cells, and another antibody that targets a different part of the virus.

Regeneron's rival, Eli Lilly and Company, said yesterday it wants to ask the FDA for emergency use authorization for its own monoclonal antibody combination therapy in November. There are at least 70 different antibody treatments for Covid-19 under investigation.

ON OUR RADAR

Brazil's health ministry recorded 31,553 new Covid-19 infections on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases to 5,000,694. Members of the Orthodox Jewish community staged a protest in Brooklyn after new Covid-19 restrictions were put in place. Nearly 2 million infants are stillborn every year around the world and the pandemic is likely to worsen the problem, a new report from the United Nations and the World Bank Group has warned.Hundreds of soccer players have flown thousands of miles around the world to play international matches, despite a global surge of Covid-19 cases.All that time in the kitchen during this pandemic has led to a shortage of Mason jars. Cruise ships are being torn apart and sold for scrap after the coronavirus sell-off.In another worrying sign for the movie industry, the next 'Jurassic World' film has been delayed until 2022.The Green Bay Packers have put an indefinite hold on fans at Lambeau Field after Covid cases spiked in Wisconsin. General Gary L. Thomas, the assistant commandant of the US Marine Corps, has tested positive for Covid-19.

TODAY'S TOP TIP

It's a vital time to offer support to teenagers in your life. Here's how to start, how to teach resilience and warning signs that might signal your teen needs extra help.

Teens are struggling right now, with mental health issues and risky behaviors on the rise.Listening can help. Work on listening with an open mind, instead of offering solutions.Resilience is key to mental health in a time of crisis. Try starting conversations about the things teens can control even when life feels unpredictable.Watch for signs of a more serious issue, including bad moods your child can't seem to bounce back from.Model good self-care by taking care of yourself and making time for good sleep, healthy food and relaxation.

TODAY'S PODCAST

"We are asking schools and teachers and kids to do something that we've never done before." -- Hedy Chang, Executive Director and President of Attendance Works

With the school year underway and so many kids learning remotely, how are schools getting students to show up for class? CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro talks with school attendance experts about the biggest challenges with online school this year. Listen Now.

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