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Is COVID losing its fangs and becoming more like the flu?

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Today’s hyper-transmissible strain of the COVID-19 virus has sent cases soaring across the country. But rising deaths — the grim marker of earlier dangerous surges — haven’t kept pace, and the average risk of dying from an infection is dropping to levels almost as low as seasonal influenza, leading epidemiologists say.

Is the COVID virus — that has killed more than 1 million Americans — losing its fangs?

George Lemp, an infectious disease epidemiologist who has analyzed California public health data through the pandemic, thinks so. He said death rates have fallen consistently over the last two and a half years.

“COVID-19 case fatality rates are substantially lower and are rapidly approaching that of the annual flu,” said Lemp, former Director of the California HIV/AIDS Research Program at the University of California, Office of the President.

—The Mercury News


Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s troubles continue, this time for what he didn’t do

WASHINGTON — If Rep. Madison Cawthorn doesn’t turn in his campaign finance report by Sunday, federal election regulators will deem it so late that there’s no hope of receiving it.

And the regulatory agency has already put Cawthorn on notice that he’s racking up a hefty fine for taking his time.

Debbie Chacona, assistant staff director with the Federal Election Commission, addressed the matter with Cawthorn in a letter dated Aug. 1. Normally, such a letter would go to a candidate’s treasurer, but Cawthorn, a one-term congressman, gave himself that position not long after he lost his reelection in the May primary.


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