Trump addresses addiction, depression due to COVID-19 lockdowns

President Trump on Friday warned of depression and addiction, which health professionals says is on the rise amid coronavirus lockdowns, during the final 2020 presidential debate. 

Trump and 2020 Democratic nominee Joe Biden took opposing stances toward the country’s future in the middle of a pandemic, with Biden telling the audience that the U.S. is “about to go into a dark winter” and the president disagreeing with that statement.

“I don’t think we’re going to have a dark winter at all,” the president, who has been criticized for initially downplaying the severity of COVID-19 in the early months of the pandemic, said.

Democratic candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to reporters before boarding his campaign plane at Nashville International Airport Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Democratic candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to reporters before boarding his campaign plane at Nashville International Airport Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

He went on to say that furthering lockdowns, however, could steer Americans down a darker emotional path.

“We can’t keep this country closed,” Trump said. “This is a massive country with a massive economy. There’s depression, alcohol, drugs at a level nobody’s ever seen before. The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself.”

PERCENTAGE OF AMERICANS REPORTING DEPRESSION SYMPTOMS TRIPLES DURING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, STUDY SHOWS

Biden responded by saying he was “going to shut down the virus, not the country,” adding that Trump’s “ineptitude” is what caused the country to shut down.

“Why businesses have gone under, why schools have closed, why people have lost their living, and they are concerned,” Biden said. “He should have been — instead of in a sand trap at his golf course — he should have been negotiating with Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats and Republicans…”

ESTIMATES SUGGEST DRUG OVERDOSES ON THE RISE SINCE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

The number of Americans reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression since the outset of the virus reached an all-time high in September, particularly among young people, according to an October report from mental health nonprofit Mental Health America.

Firefighters and paramedics with Anne Arundel County Fire Department wear enhanced PPE, during the coronavirus pandemic, as they treat a patient in cardiac arrest as a result of a drug overdose on May 6, 2020. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Firefighters and paramedics with Anne Arundel County Fire Department wear enhanced PPE, during the coronavirus pandemic, as they treat a patient in cardiac arrest as a result of a drug overdose on May 6, 2020. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The report found that 9.7% of U.S. youth are experiencing severe depression compared to 9.2% from the same time last year. Among U.S. adults, more than 8 in 10 people who took anxiety screenings in September had moderate to severe symptoms. The same rate was consistently true for those who took depression screenings between March and September.

CORONAVIRUS CREATES ‘PERFECT STORM’ FOR ADDICTION IN UNITED STATES

Alcohol and drug abuse has gone through the roof. At least 40 states have reported increases in opioid-related fatalities since COVID-19 lockdowns began, and several have reported increases in alcohol-related deaths, as well, according to an October issue brief from the American Medical Association (AMA), citing a number of national reports.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reported a 10% increase in overdose deaths during the first few

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WHO Addresses Gilead’s Pushback on Remdesivir Trial | Health News

The World Health Organization on Friday addressed criticism from drugmaker Gilead over the group’s interim finding that the antiviral remdesivir has “little or no effect in preventing death from COVID-19 or reducing time in hospital.”

WHO’s interim trial results, which it said would be published soon in a peer-reviewed journal, sparked pushback from Gilead, which said in a statement that the data appears inconsistent with evidence from other studies of the drug.

“We are concerned that the data from this open-label global trial have not undergone the rigorous review required to allow for constructive scientific discussion, particularly given the limitations of the trial design,” the company said in a statement.

Remdesivir, which was given to President Donald Trump when he contracted COVID-19, has been administered to thousands of patients in the U.S. following its emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

Photos: Daily Life, Disrupted

TOPSHOT - A passenger in an outfit (R) poses for a picture as a security guard wearing a facemask as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus stands nearby on a last century-style boat, featuring a theatrical drama set between the 1920s and 1930s in Wuhan, in Chinas central Hubei province on September 27, 2020. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP) (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

Gilead contends that because the trial prioritized broad access, which resulted in “significant heterogeneity in trial adoption, implementation, controls and patient populations,” it is unclear if the study’s findings are conclusive.

But WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus defended the so-called Solidarity Trial, which was launched to study the effectiveness of remdesivir and three other drugs in treating COVID-19, as the largest trial in the world. It included more than 11,000 coronavirus patients across 30 countries, with more than 2,700 participants given remdesivir.

“For the moment, the corticosteroid dexamethasone is still the only therapeutic shown to be effective against COVID-19, for patients with severe disease,” Tedros said at a press conference.

The organization reported “factually on what we found,” WHO’s Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said, adding that “we believe that the results are very robust.”

WHO’s guideline development group will examine the data and possibly update their policy on the use of remdesivir in a couple weeks.

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Leader of evangelical school in Redding addresses outbreak in video

The co-founder of the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding, Calif., shared a video on Facebook addressing the evangelical college’s COVID-19 outbreak, which has attracted national media attention.

Kris Vallotton said “there’s so much swirling news” and he created the video to clarify “what’s going on.”

“They’re quoting us pretty well but adding a bunch of their own commentary,” Vallotton said.

The school has experienced an outbreak in cases that have contributed to a spike in Shasta County in recent weeks.

Shasta County officials said Wednedsay 274 recent cases in the county were tied to the School of Supernatural Ministry. That number includes 137 cases reported last week. Overall, the county has reported more than 700 cases in the past two weeks, bringing the total since March to 1,623, officials said Wednesday.

Vallotton said the school required its 1,600 students to be tested and quarantine for 14 days before returning to class, and contact tracing revealed that the students who later became infection contracted the virus in the community in their homes.

“I wanted to kind of dispel the idea that students came from all over the world … and they brought the virus and infected our city,” he said.

The school’s outbreak gained national attention when a high-ranking official at Bethel Church, which is affiliated with the school, posted a now-deleted video on social media mocking face masks as “worthless.” In the footage, Beni Johnson said she was visiting “a cute little town over on the coast” and standing in line to buy some food without wearing a mask.

“There is way too much security in a freaking mask that doesn’t even work,” Johnson says in the video.

She said people in the line moved away from her and when she got to the counter to order, she was told she had to wear a mask, even though she had pulled her sweatshirt over her mouth.

“If you’ll do scientific research these masks are worthless,” she said, adding that she had planned to shop in the town. “But now we won’t be shopping and giving them any money because you have to wear a stupid freaking mask that doesn’t work.”

Vallotton addressed the video in his Facebook post, saying, “We instituted masks. They had to wear masks. They do have to wear masks every day. So despite what maybe some of our leaders have been putting on Facebook, Beni Johnson and some leaders, masks are the law, and also we personally believe it’s about more than the law. It’s about love.”

Vallotton emphasized that students at the school are required to wear masks and sit 6 feet apart in class.

Shasta County officials have also denounced the video. “I would really encourage people not to pay attention to that misinformation,” county health officer Karen Ramstrom said during an online briefing Wednesday. “There is only growing evidence around the benefits of face coverings and mask use to mitigate the spread of this virus.”

Bethel Church also made national news

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