Latest COVID-19 News from Science Magazine

Scientists analyze COVID-19 samples. Image via Shutterstock.

Scientists analyze COVID-19 samples. Image via Shutterstock.

The Science team is producing multiple stories a day exploring the nature of the virus, the course of the disease, potential treatments and vaccines, the patterns of spread around the world, and impacts on society. They are also focusing on the interplay of science and politics that is shaping each country's control efforts.

This Pulitzer Center-supported project enables Science to sustain its core effort and expand it with reporting from Africa, India, Latin America, and other regions where the pandemic is now taking hold, some of which have weak or vulnerable health systems.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Top U.S. Scientists Left out of White House Selection of COVID-19 Vaccine Short List 

Jon Cohen

Operation Warp Speed has selected five experimental COVID-19 vaccines to fast-track through testing, but there was little transparency behind the selection process according to scientists on the vaccine committee overseeing clinical trials. Read story

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Scientists Rush to Defend Venezuelan Colleagues Threatened Over Coronavirus Study

Rodrigo Pérez Ortega 

A high-level Venezuelan official suggested the Venezuelan Academy of Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences (ACFIMAN) should be subject to raids following the academy's publication of a report disproving the government had "flattened the curve." Ready story

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Why Coronavirus Hits Men Harder: Sex Hormones Offer Clues

Meredith Wadman

Male hormones appear to boost the coronavirus's ability to get inside cells, creating a greater risk of severe illness and death. Read story

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

A Mysterious Company’s Coronavirus Papers in Top Medical Journals May Be Unraveling

Kelly Servick, Martin Enserink

A little-known data analytics company showed that antimalarial drugs touted by the White House as possible COVID-19 treatments looked to be not just ineffective, but downright deadly. Read story

Blood Vessel Attack Could Trigger Coronavirus’ Fatal ‘Second Phase’

Catherine Matacic

Autopsy results showed pathologists that their patients were suffering because the coronavirus had targeted their blood vessels. Read story

NIH-Halted Study Unveils Its Massive Analysis of Bat Coronaviruses

Jon Cohen, Kai Kupferschmidt

An international team of scientists has published what it calls the most comprehensive analysis ever done on bat coronaviruses. Read story

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Shuttered Natural History Museums Fight for Survival Amid COVID-19 ‘Heartbreak’

Elizabeth Pennisi

Museums’ reliance on revenue from ticket sales and events makes them among the first scientific institutions to feel the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read Story

Yemen Was Facing the World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis. Then the Coronavirus Hit

Richard Stone

Perhaps no country is more vulnerable to COVID-19’s depredations than Yemen. Even before the virus’ arrival, the country was grappling with “the largest humanitarian crisis in the world,” as a result of a civil war now grinding into its sixth year, says Jens Laerke, a spokesperson at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Read Story

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Can Plasma From COVID-19 Survivors Help Save Others?

Kai Kupferschmidt

Infectious disease specialists are arguing that one effective treatment might already be at hand: the blood plasma of people who have recovered from the disease, rich in antibodies against the virus. Read Story

As India’s Lockdown Ends, Exodus From Cities Risks Spreading COVID-19 Far and Wide

Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar

A shortage of hospital beds and poor coordination has overwhelmed public hospitals and left authorities scrambling to ramp up capacity in Mumbai and other cities. Similarly dramatic scenes may play out in other parts of India. Read Story

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Japan Ends Its COVID-19 State of Emergency

Dennis Normille

Japan yesterday declared at least a temporary victory in its battle with COVID-19, and it triumphed by following its own playbook. It drove down the number of daily new cases to near target levels of 0.5 per 100,000 people with voluntary and not very restrictive social distancing and without large-scale testing. Read Story

Merck, one of Big Pharma’s Biggest Players, Reveals its COVID-19 Vaccine and Therapy Plans

Jon Cohen

Merck, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, has been conspicuously absent from the race to develop COVID-19 vaccines and drugs. No longer. The company this morning announced it has cut deals to develop and manufacture two different COVID-19 vaccines and a much-discussed experimental antiviral compound that is already in early clinical trials. Read Story

Monday, May 25, 2020

Study Tells ‘Remarkable Story’ About COVID-19’s Deadly Rampage Through a South African Hospital

Linda Nordling

On 9 March, a patient who had recently traveled to Europe and had symptoms of COVID-19 visited the emergency department of St Augustine’s, a private hospital in Durban, South Africa. Eight weeks later, 39 patients and 80 staff linked to the hospital had been infected, and 15 patients had died—fully half the death toll in KwaZulu-Natal province at that time. Read Story

Friday, May 22, 2020

Doubts Greet $1.2 Billion Bet by United States on a Coronavirus Vaccine by October

Jon Cohen

Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s bid to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine faster than any previous vaccine, is both turning heads and raising eyebrows with a major new investment that promises to shave weeks off its already ambitious timeline. Read Story

Coronavirus Antigen Tests: Quick and Cheap, but Too Often Wrong?

Robert F. Service

After a painfully slow rollout of diagnostic testing for active coronavirus infections across the country, some 400,000 people a day in the United States may now receive such a test, estimates suggest. Public health experts have raised questions about the vitality of these tests, however. Read Story

How Sweden Wasted a ‘Rare Opportunity’ to Study Coronavirus in Schools

Gretchen Vogel

Bucking a global trend, Sweden has kept day care centers and schools through ninth grade open since COVID-19 emerged, without any major adjustments to class size, lunch policies, or recess rules. That made the country a perfect natural experiment about schools’ role in the viral spread that many others could have learned from as they reopen schools or ponder when to do so. Read Story

‘The House Was on Fire.’ Top Chinese Virologist on How China and U.S. Have Met the Pandemic

Jon Cohen

Virologist Shao Yiming, chief expert on AIDS at China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), sees the COVID-19 pandemic through the lens of HIV. That background has given Shao a broad perspective when it comes to seeing the similarities—and differences—in how nations, including China and the United States, have responded to the current pandemic. Read Story