Daily Archives: July 3, 2020

Cyberpunk 2077 has plenty of sick style and an RGB katana in its Nomad, Street Kid and Corpo life paths – Critical Hit

Posted: July 3, 2020 at 5:47 am

The future is here, and buddy I sure do hope that youre dressed for it. Fashion is tricky to nail in video games, with an eye for detail needing to not only be contemporary but also grounded in enough forward-thinking so that your creations dont look instantly dated within a year. After all, remember when Mohawk haircuts were fashionable? Look at the box art for Mercenaries 2 and try not to cringe in horror at how awful personal style was in 2008.

One game that does have its eye on some bleeding edge haute couture is Cyberpunk 2077, which will allow you to craft a protagonist who doesnt just have a custom vagina but also some impressive threads depending on which life path you choose. Youll have three to choose from: Nomad, Street Kid and Corpo. Pick a life path, determine how Cyberpunk 2077 begins, how the story unfolds and some neat fashion as well! CD Projekt RED recently hit Twitter to provide a look at how your characters appearance will change according to the life path chosen. So lets hit the future fashion runway and take a look.

Nomad is pretty much the Mad Max of fashion: Rugged leather, plenty of graffiti on their kit and vests that can barely contain the pectoral power of your edgerunner. If a cosplayer raided a goodwill shop an hour before they were meant to hit the stage and show off their Thunderdome ensemble, theyd pretty much nail the Nomad vibe.

Roaming the Badlands, looting scrapyards, raiding fuel depots life on the road wasn't easy. But growing up in a Nomad clan has its perks. Honesty, integrity, and a love of freedom; qualities that few in Night City possess and no amount of money can buy. pic.twitter.com/pgPG8rnuwc

On the flipside of Nomad, is Street Kid. Millenial to the max and with enough pink to be confused for the 2019 year in video games, these street-smart fashion choices emphasise personal power as you lord it over the less-enhanced citizens of Night City. Plus that RGB katana looks pretty cool.

They say if you wanna understand the streets, you gotta live 'em. Gangs, fixers, dolls, small-time pushers you were raised by them all. Down here the law of the jungle dictates the weak serve the strong the only law in Night City you have yet to break. pic.twitter.com/0UbYbL72HM

CD Projekt Red gave us a look at V in their Street Kid form. No vests, just graphic tops, and Vs feminine look is even rocking some fly-as-hell gold pants. They also get to show off a sci-fi katana with a glowing blade. Masculine Vs pants arent quite as cool, and they only get a dinky little handgun, but I would wear those high-top trainers in a heartbeat.

In the life path that makes so much dang sense and the one Ill probably choose, Corpo is all about wealth, power and making damn certain that you flaunt your white collar success. Business jackets, not a tie in sight and the only thing that can make this outfit better would be an RGB turtleneck sweater. As Glenn would say, Turtleneck squad unite!

Few leave the corporate world with their lives fewer still with their souls intact. You've been there you've bent the rules, exploited secrets and weaponized information. There's no such thing as a fair game, only winners and losers. pic.twitter.com/WRr9OySZZJ

Which path will you choose, and why isnt it the best one, Corpo? Cyberpunk 2077 will finally be out in November, provided that it doesnt get delayed againagain.

Last Updated: July 2, 2020

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Cyberpunk 2077 gets another ray tracing glow up with new screens – Rock Paper Shotgun

Posted: at 5:47 am

If last weeks dose of Cyberpunk 2077 RTX goodness wasnt quite enough for you, Nvidia have released some more ray traced screenshots of the games fancy lighting effects in action. The images dont give much away in terms of the specific ray tracing effects being used in each shot, or what each scene looks like without ray tracing switched on, but if you like shiny floors and glowing strips of neon, youre definitely in for a treat.

This time, Nvidia posted the images over on their official Twitter page rather than their GeForce news blog, simply stating that they were more GeForce exclusive Cyberpunk 2077 screenshots with #RTXOn.

Ive embedded all of them below so you too can feast your eyes on this latest batch of ray tracing screens from CD Projekt Reds upcoming mega RPG, but I have to say Im surprised that Nvidia havent done any of their classic RTX On / RTX Off comparisons to really drive it all home yet. Indeed, none of the Cyberpunk 2077 videos theyve put up on their GeForce YouTube channel have any RTX On / Off comparisons in them either, and instead just show straightforward gameplay demos that had ray tracing enabled as standard.

With previous ray tracing games like Control and Metro Exodus, Nvidia have been only too keen to show us exactly what the game looks like with and without ray tracing switched on, and in the case of Controls RTX On / Off comparison, the difference was often quite substantial.

Alas, weve yet to see any official RTX On / Off comparisons for Cyberpunk 2077, which is a shame, as Im really quite intrigued to see how much of a difference ray tracing will end up making to the game. More importantly, I also want to know whether I should be budgeting for one of their upcoming next-gen Nvidia Ampere GPUs (or, indeed, one of the ray tracing-enabled AMD Navi cards that are also meant to be due before the end of the year) to stand a chance at running the game properly.

I mean, if German tech site PC Games Hardware are to be believed, the recent preview build of the game that select members of the press got to play was only running at 19201080 on an RTX 2080 Ti-powered PC with both Nvidias RTX and DLSS 2.0 performance-boosting tech enabled. That doesnt exact bode well for the rest of us with RTX 2060s inside our PCs right now hoping to get a bit of ray tracing action in at 1080p, but I should point that RTX 2080 Ti-powered PCs are also pretty standard for Nvidia demos and I wouldnt read too much into the builds resolution versus the grands worth of GPU power theyre throwing at it as a result.

Indeed, Nvidia used an RTX 2080 Ti-powered PC when I saw an early preview of Minecraft RTX last year, and that was only running at 1080p as well. Theyve done exactly the same thing for all their other RTX demos ever since they announced that initial batch of RTX cards back in August 2018. As a result, I wouldnt get too worried about the games supposed ray tracing performance right now, especially when weve still got at least another four months to go before its official launch on November 19th.

Thats plenty of time for tweaking and optimising Cyberpunk 2077s ray tracing performance, and even if it does end up being an absolute monster of a game, theres always Nvidias DLSS 2.0 upscaling tech at hand to help keep those frame rates up.

Besides, it would be a pretty big kick in the teeth if the special Cyberpunk 2077 RTX 2080 Ti cards Nvidia and CD Projekt Red are giving away at the moment couldnt run the game at a decent frame rate at 1080p, so Im reasonably confident that current-gen RTX card owners should be perfectly fine. Probably. And if Im wrong, well, Ill eat my cybernetic arm as an apology.

Heck, even if Cyberpunk 2077 does end up requiring one of Nvidias RTX 3000 cards to run it smoothly at high resolutions with all its ray tracing effects turned up to 11, the game still looks pretty darn spectacular either way. As I said at the end of last week, Im pretty sure the new trailer (embedded below) doesnt have any ray traced footage in there (and our friends at Digital Foundry agree), and holy moly thats still a damn fine looking game if I do say so myself.

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Now if only CD Projekt Red would release Cyberpunk 2077s official PC requirements so we know if we need to upgrade our PC or not, that would be swell

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Ubisoft’s Hyper Scape is a cyberpunk battle royale with parkour, hacking, and major Twitch integration – GamesRadar+

Posted: at 5:47 am

Hyper Scape is a new, free-to-play battle royale game from Ubisoft Montreal, launching for free this year first on PC, before eventually making its way to PS4 and Xbox One.

Ubisoft announced the news today with a first look trailer which also confirms that a closed tech test is taking place across PC this week, in advance of a full release later down the line. We've already played it and you can check out our thoughts above.

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(Image credit: EA/Respawn)

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Hyper Scape is set in the future, where humanity spends most of its time in a virtual reality universe, which is basically like an all immersive internet ecosystem not too dissimilar from Ready Player One's OASIS.

One of the activities in the Hyper Scape is a battle royale arena, Crown Rush, which allows up to 100 players to duke it out across a large urban landscape, best described as a cyberpunk take on renaissance Paris.

Here, players can find and equip upgrade-able weapons, discover ability-imbuing "Hacks" such as a healing aura or invisibility, and attempt to become the last team (or person) standing as various regions become inaccessible, forcing combatants into more claustrophobic encounters. If you've played any battle royale game, you know to expect.

Hyper Scape will be free, but Ubisoft Montreal have plans to monetise the game with rolling seasons, battle passes, and cosmetic microtransactions via an in-game store, in addition to telling a live service story via a number of playable characters, each with their own history and motivations.

You'll be able to play the full game later this year but, if you want to sign up for an early taste, you can register interest for the closed tech test soon.

For more, check out the biggestnew games of 2020on the way, or watch the video below for the latest episode of Trending Topic.

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Cyberpunk to be heavily censured in Japan – Daily Gaming Report

Posted: at 5:47 am

Cyberpunk will get heavy editing in Japan

For anyone that is into games, you will probably know that Japan does not have a habit of censoring or banning a lot of games. Cyberpunk however will be one of them. As far as we can tell they will be editing features such as nudity, genital type shapes, graffiti, and even some wounds within the game. What I find bizarre is that some horror movies that come out of Japan are bat shizzle crazy, so why censure it all? But thats a blog for another time! I mean, dont get me wrong I think that age ratings are important and I also think that parents should really try and stop their five-year-olds playing COD. But censuring completely just causes stuff to underground, and we all know what happens in the sewers (Apart from teenage mutant turtles).

But moving on. Because of this fun news, I have picked out a few interesting games that have been changed across the generations. Starting with the UK. Punch out released in 1983 and had a character called Vodka Drunkenski, this was changed to Soda Popinski. The Witcher 3 was banned in Saudi Arabia because of the sex and nudity, it was also heavily edited for the Japan release. In Singapore Half-Life 3 was banned, however, this caused huge outrage from the local gaming community and the ban was lifted after a week of successful petitions to the government. And the country with the most banned games seems to be Germany. The list is massive!! Interestingly one of the games Godfather: the black edition was banned because of game controls imitating brutality and extortion.

The list of countries and games is a few days worth of reading, and worth a look if you are ever complaining about how liberal we are here in the UK. It looks like we have it pretty good compared to some of our gaming brethren and sisteren (is that even a word? if not it should be)!

It will be fun to see how many countries Cyberpunk actually gets banned in, or what the edits are like. Maybe we should try and grab a Japanese copy and do a comparison test. Are games to violent? Should the rating be changed? Drop us a line and have your say.

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Cyberpunk 2077 presents The Ballad of Buck Ravers, a new issue of SAMURAI – Code List

Posted: at 5:47 am

Those who are following closely the development of Cyberpunk 2077 you know that in this universe created by Mike Pondsmith with Cyberpunk 2020 there is a metal band called SAMURAI, whose leader and singer, is Johnny Silverhand, the character played by Keanu Reeves in the adaptation of CD Projekt.

Well, is really a Swedish band of punk rock, known as the Rejected, who plays the themes of the SAMURAI Cyberpunk 2077 and not Keanu (even though he wanted to). If last year we were able to learn first-hand about the topic Chippin In, hes played in the trailer of the E3 2019, which debuted Reeves, we were able to have a preview of the style in the face which will take for the game.


Now comes the turn of The Ballad of Buck Raversanother argument of the court is similar to and interpreted by Refused, composed by David Sandstrm and Dennis Lyxzn (also vocalist of the Rejected). In it it speaks of power and how they want to stay out and would rather be dead than be a further link in the chain of tyranny.

From then on, it would reflect very well the personalities of the Silverhand, that it is worth remembering that youll end up merging with our brain and act as a sort of conscience. The Pepito Grillo more punk (and computer science).

After a delay announced a few days ago, Cyberpunk 2077 will be on sale 19 November 2020 on PS4, Xbox One and PC. Later arrive to Google Stay and will be a free upgrade for PS5 and Xbox Series X. If you want to know what are the first 4 hours of the game, do not miss our impressions after having tried it for the first time.

You can make the wait shorter for the fact that GOG.com prize package with images, poster, wallpaper, and much more. So, youll be able to change the decoration almost every day until the game is put on sale.

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Everything You Need To Know About Cyberpunk 2077’s Customisation – Kotaku UK

Posted: at 5:47 am

Fans have wanted to know just how farCyberpunk 2077s character creator goes ever since the game was announced. After a lengthy hands-on session with the game, I can tell you: its pretty damn deep and, yes, you can customise your junk.

Journalists and content creators around the world have been getting lengthy hands on previews withCyberpunk 2077over the last week. Its the first time CD Projekt Red has allowed hands on access to the game, and it covers the prologue for each of the games three character classes, and the next couple of hours after that.

In total, around four hours of the game was playable although circumstances meant I ended up spending closer to five hours in Night City. But theres a hell of a lot to cover. If youre after a recap of the entire experience,you can find that here.Instead, Ill be covering just what the character creator is like especially since people are going to spend a whole lot of time in it.

Above is an old version of theCyberpunk 2077character creator. It was first shown off in CDRsdeep dive video last August, and Ive brought it up here because it provides a neat useful reference.

The version ofCyberpunk 2077I played is functionally very similar to the picture above. The game starts by asking you to pick one of three general classes: Nomad, Street Kid and Corpo. Other options like Netrunner or Solo, roles from the originalCyberpunk 2020class book and referenced in theCyberpunk 2077deep dive, did not appear.

Cyberpunk 2077doesnt feature fixed classes as such, but your first choice will undeniably affect your playthrough. Each of the classes has a distinct prologue that youll playthrough. On top of that, each class will have access to different dialogue options throughout the course of the game, although youll only get to see choices that your current character can (or could have) made.

After grappling with that choice, its down to the body and appearance. The visual look doesnt have the brown tinge of the screenshot above, and theres no colours for the skin tone or eye colours any more. On the right is a set of numbered options for each of the various customisations, your character in the middle that can be fully rotated, a set of three presets on the left, as well as a random character generator.

For those who want to see every option, theres a lot. 6 skin types, 35 hairstyles, 17 eyes, 8 eyebrows, 17 eyes, 17 mouths, 17 jaws, 17 ears, 8 bits of cyberware (as well as no cyberware), 9 types of scars plus off, 6 types of tatts plus off, 11 piercings plus off, 5 types of teeth, 8 bits of eye makeup, 5 bits of lip makeup plus off, 3 blemishes, 3 types of nipples, 5 types of body tatts, 2 types of body scars, 2 dick types, 1 vagina option, dick size options, and 5 types of pubic hairs.

Youre not immediately presented with the nudity, either. If you want to just have that stuff disabled, it stays disabled. If you want it hanging out there, then have at it. But whats nice is that the game will at least honour your choice, if you then want to have a randomised preset. I cycled through the randomised character generator for about two minutes straight, and it never actively changed the genitalia preferences (mine were disabled).

And thats about how long it took the character generators randomisation would spit out similar models. Everything else until that point was genuinely distinct. Even just flipping between the random models looks nice. The whole character changes, but theres this extra little transition as the lips contract or tighten, the eye-sockets expand or recede. Its slick.

Theres plenty of mirrors and ray-traced reflections in the full game, although the latter was disabled. (The preview build actually launched from a batch file that specifically disabled ray-traced reflections and shadows. A PDF supplied to press afterwards mentioned that DLSS 2.0, ray-traced diffuse illumination, ray-traced ambient occlusion and ray-traced shadows were all enabled, although you could see from the batch file commands that ray-traced shadows were disabled. It will be available in the full version of the game.)

Either way, youll have plenty of opportunity to see your avatar in the flesh. And whats neat is that the game recognises your characters choices. If you choose to play V as a male, one of the perks in the game appears as Demolition Man. If your character identifies as a female and this doesnt lock out how you want to customise your characters appearance either the perk changes to Demolition Femme instead.

Other bits of language change too. Some of these arent gender related, but more specific to the character class you chose. In a later scene from the opening hours, V finds themselves in a chair going through a braindance. Its basically aGhost in the Shell-esque sequence where you relive an external memory, but likeRemember MeorLife is Strange, the player has the ability to pause, rewind, and analyse the surroundings from where the memory was taken.

In the braindance sequence, a thug attempts to rob a store before being shot in the head. In the playthrough from footage supplied to press by CD Projekt Red, V talks about how reliving the experience:

That was too much. Felt could feel the guys pain, his stress, his hope? Hope wrapped up in somethin else

In my playthrough, V who had a corporate background with Arasaka was accompanied by a second character. Judy didnt approach the braindance chair where V is sitting, and instead, V complains about not getting enough warning:

Coulda warned me how much it hurts to die.

Attributes are your main other choice during the character creator screen, but this is less of an important choice than you might initially think. You start with five skills all at 3 points: Body, Intelligence, Reflexes, Technical Ability and Cool, some of which are shortened to TECH, REF, and so on. Youre given 7 points in the creator to alter your stats, although you can only max out a certain skill to 6.

After youve picked your preferred skills and locked in your avatar, its time for the games opening.

If you want to know more about what the games actually like to play,you can find Alex's full impressions withCyberpunk 2077on Kotaku Australia, and Ian Walker's impressions of the game here.

This article originally appeared on Kotaku Australia.

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Cyberpunk 2077 Features a Witcher 3 Easter Egg Early in the Game – ComicBook.com

Posted: at 5:47 am

Cyberpunk 2077 unsurprisingly has an Easter egg related to The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, and you can find it pretty early on. Its a throwback from the games futuristic setting that refers to The Witcher III as retro in a gaming magazine highlighting the title and features Ciri, one of the most popular characters from CD Projekt Reds acclaimed game. Considering how well-known and beloved CD Projekt Reds Witcher series is, this probably wont be the only Easter egg that well see during playthroughs of Cyberpunk 2077.

GameSpot shared news of the Easter egg from The Witcher III found in Cyberpunk 2077 and explained how players could find it early on if they went looking. During a hands-on experience with the game, GameSpots Edmond Tran took the Corporate life path where you start out as V in the role of a counter-intelligence operative at the Arasaka company.

After youre given your assignment, you can poke around through Vs office to get a feel for the area. Part of that may involve looking through the desk in the office, and if you do so, youll find a retro gaming magazine in one of the drawers. Found on the cover of that magazine is some artwork from The Witcher III that depicts the version of Ciri we see in the game.

Whether or not Ciri would be featured in any way at all in the game is something thats been speculated about for a while. The character has the power to travel to dimensions and has dropped hints in the past of some acknowledgment of a world that sounded a bit like Cyberpunk 2077s.

Easter eggs like this one may be the extent of Ciris involvement in Cyberpunk 2077, however. Cyberpunk 2077 game director Adam Badowski said in the past hes totally against the idea of Ciri being in the game and that he hates being asked about it.

We are not Kingdom Hearts, Badowski told Polygon in 2018. We are not joining universes, and I know that there are a lot of fans on the team and they would like to have Ciri in the game. But I am totally against it, still.

Marcin Iwiski, co-founder of the studio and joint CEO, said at the time that perhaps Badowski would change his mind, so hopes for Ciri werent totally dashed. Perhaps the compromise is an Easter egg like the one mentioned above, or perhaps well actually run into Ciri at some point.

Cyberpunk 2077 is scheduled to release on November 19th.

Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.

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COVID-19 Daily Update 7-2-2020 – 5 PM – West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

Posted: at 5:45 am

TheWest Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR)reports as of 5:00 p.m., on July 2, 2020, there have been 178,238 total confirmatory laboratory results receivedfor COVID-19, with 3,053 total cases and 93 deaths.

In alignment with updated definitions fromthe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the dashboard includes probablecases which are individuals that have symptoms and either serologic (antibody)or epidemiologic (e.g., a link to a confirmed case) evidence of disease, but noconfirmatory test.

CASES PER COUNTY (Case confirmed by lab test/Probable case):Barbour(15/0), Berkeley (443/18), Boone (20/0), Braxton (3/0), Brooke (8/1), Cabell(136/6), Calhoun (2/0), Clay (10/0), Fayette (67/0), Gilmer (13/0), Grant(15/1), Greenbrier (60/0), Hampshire (42/0), Hancock (20/3), Hardy (44/1),Harrison (66/0), Jackson (143/0), Jefferson (229/5), Kanawha (324/9), Lewis (19/1),Lincoln (8/0), Logan (25/0), Marion (60/3), Marshall (40/1), Mason (19/0),McDowell (6/0), Mercer (45/0), Mineral (55/2), Mingo (19/3), Monongalia(179/14), Monroe (13/1), Morgan (19/1), Nicholas (11/1), Ohio (99/1), Pendleton(12/1), Pleasants (4/1), Pocahontas (27/1), Preston (67/15), Putnam (59/1),Raleigh (53/1), Randolph (161/1), Ritchie (2/0), Roane (11/0), Summers (2/0),Taylor (15/1), Tucker (6/0), Tyler (4/0), Upshur (20/1), Wayne (114/1), Wetzel(10/0), Wirt (4/0), Wood (94/8), Wyoming (7/0).

As case surveillance continues at thelocal health department level, it may reveal that those tested in a certaincounty may not be a resident of that county, or even the state as an individualin question may have crossed the state border to be tested.Such is the case of Boone, Greenbrier, and Mingo counties in this report.

Please visit thedashboard at http://www.coronavirus.wv.gov for more information.

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One U.K. trial is transforming COVID-19 treatment. Why haven’t others delivered more results? – Science Magazine

Posted: at 5:45 am

A World Health Organizationled global trial of treatments for COVID-19 was slow to enroll coronavirus-infected people, like this one in a Spanish intensive care unit,whereas a large trial in the United Kingdom quickly produced results for threetreatments.

By Kai KupferschmidtJul. 2, 2020 , 5:30 PM

Sciences COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center.

On 29 June, University of Oxford clinical scientists Martin Landray and Peter Horby changed how physicians around the world consider treating COVID-19for the third time in little more than 3 weeks. The principal investigators of a U.K. megatrial called Recovery, which has been testing existing drugs as therapies for the new infection, the pair had just finished reviewing data from 1596 patients who had received a combination of lopinavir and ritonavir, two antivirals known to curb HIV, and 3376 patients who had received only standard care. In a press release, they and their Recovery colleagues announced there had been no significant difference in the death rate between the two groups. This could have worked. And it was a bust, says Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute. It was really important to clarify that.

Earlier the same month, and again through press releases, Recovery (Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 therapy) delivered widely accepted verdicts on two other treatments. It revealed that dexamethasone, a cheap steroid, reduced deaths by one-third in patients on a ventilator and showed that hydroxychloroquine, the antimalarial drug controversially touted for COVID-19, did not benefit hospitalized patients. A run on dexamethasone ensued as physicians in the United Kingdom and elsewhere quickly made it part of their standard of care for the sickest patients, whereas many other studies of hydroxychloroquine now looked futile and were halted.

Its very, very rare that you announce results at lunchtime, and it becomes policy and practice by tea time, and probably starts to save lives by the weekend, Landray told Science at the time of the steroid result.

Large, randomized trials are the gold standard to test a drugs efficacy. But they have been scarce so far in the COVID-19 pandemic. Everybody has the first part about randomized, but they omitted the large part, says Ana-Maria Henao Restrepo, a medical officer at the World Health Organizations (WHOs) Emergencies Programme. Every clinician, every researcher wants to help and then they end up having a trial with 300 or 400 patients that cannot come up with conclusive evidence. In a sea of small, single institution studies, Recovery, with 12,000 patients and hundreds of participating hospitals, stands outand offers lessons for the few other megatrials, organized by WHO and other bodies, which have been slow off the mark. I think the three Recovery trials are the best trials that have been performed to date, Topol says.

One reason Recovery has done so well is that it was backed by the United Kingdoms centralized National Health Service (NHS), involving 176 of its hospitals. In the United States, where the health care system is fragmented, the National Institutes of Health has only begun a few large trials so far and completed just one, a trial of Gilead Sciencess antiviral compound remdesivir that showed those given the drug recovered from COVID-19 faster. The dearth of results from a country that has seen more cases of COVID-19 than any other is surprising and a bit disappointing, says John-Arne Rttingen, who heads the steering committee of Solidarity, WHOs attempt to evaluate repurposed drugs as possible COVID-19 therapies.

In contrast, the United Kingdoms own bungled public health response to the new virus, which has led to Europes largest outbreak, has been taken advantage of by Recovery. They have been able to recruit well, because they have had a lot of hospitalized patients, Rttingen says. (The United Kingdom has had more than 43,000 deaths, surpassed only by the United States and Brazil, far more populous countries.)

In a letter to all NHS hospitals, the United Kingdoms five most senior doctors urged health care workers to enroll patients in Recovery and two other important trials. Use of treatments outside of a trial, where participation was possible, is a wasted opportunity to create information that will benefit others, the doctors, including Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England, wrote. Because of that coordination, One in every six COVID-19 patients that come into the U.K. hospitals go into the trial, Landray says.

Organizers also kept Recovery simple, allowing any NHS hospital to participate. Inspired by trials that his Oxford colleague Richard Peto and others did in the 1980s on treating heart attacks, Landray says they radically cut down on the data health care workers need to collect, with only a few questions asked at enrolment and at only one more data collection point: when the patient dies, is discharged, or 28 days after enrollment. Clinical trials have become excessively cumbersome in recent years, he argues. Its actually quite hard to make them really simple.

WHOs Solidarity trial has a similarly straightforward design, but its more international nature has proved a challenge. The trial, designed to test four treatmentshydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir, interferon beta plus lopinvir/ritonavir, and remdesivirwas announced on 20 March and enrolled its first patient in Norway 1 week later. But rolling out the trial in dozens of countries has meant getting approval from dozens of regulatory agencies and ethics boards as well. That has taken a surprisingly long time in many jurisdictions, including in Europe, Rttingen says, and recruitment in Europe slowed over time as the epidemic subsided. When countries were ready to sort of start, the epidemic was under control in many ways, he notes.

A European trial called Discovery, coordinated by the French research institute INSERM and partnered with Solidarity in testing the same drugs, also fell short. The goal was to enroll 3200 patients across the continent, but although the study almost met its goal of 800 participants in France, it barely managed to recruit patients elsewhere. Though France funded its part of the trial, it expected partner countries to pick up the tab for their own trials. One of the issues was that not all the countries had funding, says Yazdan Yazdanpanah, head of infectious diseases at INSERM.

Meanwhile dozens of small trials competed for patients in many countries, most of them focusing on the same drugs, such as hydroxychloroquine. I dont understand why everyone was looking at the same thing, Yazdanapanah says. I think we can do better. Susanne Herold, an expert on pulmonary infections at the University of Giessen, agrees. There needs to be more coordination both within countries and across borders, she says.

Another problem has been the widespread use of treatments outside of randomized trials. Landray notes that tens of thousands of COVID-19 patients in the United States have been given convalescent plasma, for instance, but not alongside a control population receiving a placebo. We'll know what happened to those patients, but we won't know whether they would have been better off actually, if they hadnt got the convalescent plasma. Partly it is about convincing clinicians that there is still an open question, Henao Restrepo says. I have talked to about 2000 clinicians all over the world in the process of establishing Solidarity, and some of them are convinced they know which drugs work.

Henao Restrepo still has high expectations for the Solidarity trial. The preparatory work is paying off, she says. Its recruitment pace has picked up as more countries have joined, many with surging cases, including Iran and countries in Latin America. So far, 31 countries have joined and 60 more are in the process. One of the advantages of such a global trial is that you can follow the pandemic as it evolves, Rttingen says.

With recruitment running at about 500 patients per week now, Solidaritys three remaining treatment armsit stopped the hydroxychloroquine oneare likely to yield answers soon, raising the question of what drugs to test afterward. Some repurposed drugs such as camostat mesylate or favipiravir are still being discussed, but increasingly the attention is turning to monoclonal antibodies, designed to target the virus.

Henao Restrepo thinks the international nature of the effort makes its results more generalizable. The feeling that all kinds of patients and hospitals participated is an important part of accepting the findings, she says. And the global effort gives the people all over the world, clinicians all over the world the possibility to contribute.

Herold adds that the Discovery trial will also contribute, because it is designed to gather more detailed data than Recovery and Solidarity. Started in an effort to supplement Solidarity, it collects not only basic data on mortality, but also information on viral levels and certain blood parameters. Those data can indicate not just which drugs are effective, but also how they work and at what stage of the disease, Herold says, crucial to informing follow-up research or trials.

Work on the Recovery trial continues, with Landray, Horby, and the rest of their team scrambling to publish full results. Some researchers have criticized its practice of releasing important results as press releases; so far, it has given details for only one of the three headline findings, on dexamethasone, in a preprint posted 6 days after the release. The researchers are also continuing to collect data on the antibiotic azithromycin, an antibody called tocilizumab, and the antibody-rich plasma collected from recovered patients.

Results on those therapies are likely months away, Landray says. But he cautions he has been wrong before. On the morning of 4 June, he had predicted the first results from Recovery would likely come in early July. A few hours later, the chairperson of the trials data monitoring committee called him to say there was enough patient data to declare a verdict on hydroxychloroquine.

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One U.K. trial is transforming COVID-19 treatment. Why haven't others delivered more results? - Science Magazine

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COVID-19 is on the rise again in Ohio, and an expert blames young people who aren’t wearing masks – NBC News

Posted: at 5:45 am

So much for Ohio flattening the coronavirus curve.

Gov. Mike DeWine moved aggressively to slow the spread of the virus by shutting down the economy and issuing stay-at-home orders, but COVID-19 numbers have been climbing again after DeWine started reopening the state.

There have been 9,779 new cases just in the last two weeks, a 73 percent jump over the number for the two weeks before, according to the latest NBC News tally. And on Tuesday, there were 13 more deaths reported and 1,076 new cases.

In total, 2,876 people have died from the coronavirus in Ohio out of 52,865 reported cases since the start of the pandemic, the NBC News figures show.

"People are letting their guard down," DeWine said Thursday. "The progress the state has made is in danger of being reversed."

"We're in a crisis stage in Ohio and this can go one way or the other," the governor added.

Dr. Stephen Blatt, medical director for Infectious Disease at TriHealth Hospitals in Cincinnati, agreed and noted that young people are increasingly the ones getting infected.

I dont think we reopened too soon, our numbers were very good, Blatt told NBC News. The problem is that people are not wearing masks. You go out and everywhere you look theyre not wearing masks.

Ohio is hardly the only state that has seen a big jump in numbers. Arizona, Florida and Texas in particular have reported an explosion of new cases. And nationally, there have been more than 2.7 million reported cases and nearly 130,000 deaths, the latest NBC News figures show.

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DeWine received bipartisan praise for moving decisively to secure his state well before President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on March 13. Both he and Dr. Amy Acton, the states former health director, were lionized for leading the state through the crisis.

While Gov. Tom Wolf in neighboring Pennsylvania has issued a mandate which requires people to don a mask whenever they leave their homes, DeWine said "that's not our intent."

But during a news conference to announce guidelines for reopening Ohio's schools in the fall, DeWine said "Im not ruling out additional orders."

"Remember, we wear masks to protect each other, often because people are sick, but show no symptoms," the governor said. "Masks can be especially useful and are strongly recommended at any grade level during periods of increased risk and when physical distancing is difficult."

While DeWine is a Republican, its not clear a mask-wearing directive would fly in a state where the GOP holds a majority in the legislature and in which conservative lawmakers resisted the governors moves to curb coronavirus by closing down the state.

Ohio State Rep. Tavia Galonski, a Democrat, said she wishes DeWine would try.

Sure, there would be people who would complain, but those same people had an Ohio that we all could be proud of before DeWine turned tail and ran, Galonski told NBC News. I believe Ohioans would have responded quite well to an authoritative figure they could trust telling them to put on a mask.

Blatt said he knows masks will be a hard sell with some in Ohio.

Im sure the governor is wrestling with that, he said. If there was some way to mandating mask use, that would be helpful.

Acton stepped down in June after Ohio Republicans tried to curb her powers and protesters besieged her home demanding an end to the states stay-at-home measures. The governor said Acton would continue serving as his chief health adviser.

Not long after, the number of coronavirus cases began rising again in Ohio.

Asked whether there could be a connection between Actons departure and the increased cases, Blatt said no. She was a calming influence, the doctor said of Acton.

Ohio appeared to be on a different trajectory on May 1 when DeWine began lifting the states stay-at-home rules and a month later the numbers continued to be flat.

"We're not seeing any significant increase or reestablishment of a wave or a peak in Ohio and thats great," Mark Cameron, an infectious disease researcher and professor in the school of medicine at Case Western Reserve University, told the Cincinnati Enquirer in a story published June 16. "What that could mean is that people are still generally following the guidelines."

Thats clearly no longer the case, said Blatt.

Most of the new cases are young people and I think they just got sick of not going out and seeing their friends, Blatt said. I think they saw that things were getting better and just said, OK, lets go out. We have to get the message out that this is not over and its not going to be over for a while.

The drive to get people to wear masks has, of late, been driven by Republicans like the Texas governor who had previously been following the lead of Trump, who has rarely worn one in public.

Trump, in an interview Wednesday, said hes all for masks but does not think they should be mandatory for people in public places. Pence echoed that Thursday, saying "I don't think there's a need for a national mandate."

Florida Sen. Rick Scott, a Republican and a Trump ally, used similar language Thursday in a Fox News interview.

Look, you should wear a mask, you should social distance, Scott said. But should governments mandate these things? No.

But Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis has been criticized for responding too slowly to the crisis and for reopening too soon, reported 6,563 new coronavirus cases Wednesday and 145 deaths, according to the NBC News tally.

There have been 76,278 new cases reported in Florida in the last two weeks alone, according to NBC News figures, forcing DeSantis to shut down the bars to slow the spread of the virus.

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COVID-19 is on the rise again in Ohio, and an expert blames young people who aren't wearing masks - NBC News

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