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Coronavirus Update: Bill Gates Criticizes FDA

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Good morning, it’s Tuesday, Sept. 15. Here’s your daily coronavirus update.

According to Johns Hopkins, There are over 29.3 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 928,000 deaths.

The U.S. has surpassed 6.5 million cases with 194,000 deaths.

Per the COVID-19 Tracking Project, there were 29.853 new cases reported Monday, which is lower than the 34,453 cases reported the day earlier. 742,504 new tests were reported. And 382 deaths were reported yesterday, which is lower than the 389 deaths reported on Sunday.

According to the Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan, Hong Kong, for the first time since July 7, reported no new locally transmitted cases of the coronavirus.

Hong Kong announced that it’s easing restrictions starting Friday. This allows venues such as bars, swimming pools, theme parks, and clubs to reopen, and dine-in services at restaurants will extend until midnight.

Mask wearing in public will still be mandatory, and group gatherings are still limited to no more than four people.

Hong Kong has 3,976 confirmed cases of the virus, with 101 deaths.

And Bill Gates, in an interview with Bloomberg, said that the FDA has lost credibility, and called out the CDC.

He said, “The FDA lost a lot of credibility” following the exaggeration of the benefit of convalescent blood plasma as a treatment for COVID-19. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the FDA promoted the benefits of the treatment and then backtracked his comments the next day.

Gates said, “Historically, just like the CDC was viewed as the best in the world, the FDA had that same reputation as a top-notch regulator...But there’s been some cracks with some of the things they’ve said at the commissioner level.”

And Gates talked to CNBC about the vaccines, and said that he doesn’t think it’s likely that vaccine makers seek approval in the U.S., though Pfizer is the one that could seek an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA and that he believes that it’s more likely that vaccine makers will seek approval in December and January.

You can follow Katherine Ross on Twitter at @byKatherineRoss.

Read more from Katherine Ross here.

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