On today's episode of 5 Things: Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden email leaks showed homophobic, transphobic and misogynistic remarks. Gruden resigned yesterday. The antiviral pill molnupiravir showed promising trial results. The drug is used to treat mild to moderate adult cases of COVID-19 that are at risk of worsening to severe COVID-19 or hospitalization. Plus, a plane crashed in a San Diego suburb, killing at least two people, Tropical Storm Pamela will become a serious hurricane in Mexico, and the NHL regular season begins.
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Good morning, I'm Taylor Wilson. And this is 5 Things you need to know Tuesday, the 12th of October 2021. Today, emergency use authorization requests have been filed for antiviral COVID 19 pills. Plus the latest after a deadly plane crash near San Diego and more. Here are some of the top headlines.
Moderna has no plans to share the recipe for its COVID 19 vaccine. Its executives controversially say that scaling up the company's own production is the best way to increase the global supply.
North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson is doubling down after calling transgenderism and homosexuality filth. Advocacy groups and politicians have called on him to resign. But Robinson is standing by the comments saying he was specifically talking about the teaching of LGBTQ issues in public schools.
And a spoiler alert if you need to catch up on Jeopardy. But Matt Amodio has finally lost. His 38 game winning streak came to an end yesterday. The second longest in the quiz show's history.
Pharmaceutical companies, Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics announced yesterday that they've requested emergency use authorization to the food and drug administration for the antiviral drug molnupiravir. The drug offers the possibility that COVID 19 could soon be treated by a pill. The companies say the medication is used to treat moderate to mild cases of adult COVID 19 that are at risk of becoming severe. And an analysis of a clinical trial showed that the antiviral medicine reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by about 50%. Patient safety reporter, Karen Weintraub, explains the science behind the treatment.
It's called molnupiravir. It's an antiviral, it's a pill. You pop it four times, twice a day, for five days. And like other antivirals, the point is to stop the virus in its tracks. You take right after you've been diagnosed and hopefully it will stop the virus from replicating and will therefore mean you don't have a bad infection. In the study that the companies put out we found that they'd cut hospitalization by 50%. And there were no deaths in the group that got the drug and ate, unfortunately in the group that got the placebo. The trial looked at people who were at somewhat higher risk for severe disease. So people over 60 or somebody who had obesity or diabetes or heart disease. So the data here is pretty solid. In fact, the trial was stopped early because the drug was seen to be so effective.
So the point of antivirals is to stop the virus from reproducing. When you get a virus in your body, the virus takes over your cells, reproduces inside of you, and that's what makes you sick. So the antiviral disrupts that process so the virus can't reproduce inside your body. Right now, the only way to prevent getting seriously ill obviously is not to get COVID in the first place. But if you get COVID, there are monoclonal antibodies. These are drugs that are given early in the course of the disease that can stop the infection. And the problem is they have to be given by infusion. It's like 45 minutes long. You're sitting in a room getting this dripped into you, and you're highly contagious at that point. So most infusion centers also have dialysis patients or cancer patients.
Public health officials have hoped for effective antivirals since early in the pandemic to help prevent severe infection and these pills could mark a major breakthrough. Earlier this summer, the Biden administration allocated more than 3 billion toward developing an antiviral. Dr. Anthony Fauci said after the June announcement that antivirals can especially help people with breakthrough infections who are immunocompromised.
Dr. Anthony Fauci:
Antivirals can and are an important compliment to existing vaccines, especially for individuals with certain conditions that might put them at a greater risk, for those whom vaccines may not be as protective. We know that there are many people who are immunosuppressed in which vaccines at least initially may not give an optimal response. And it also adds a line of defense against other unexpected emerging things like variants of concern.
Health officials stress that getting vaccinated is still the best first step toward preventing severe illness from the virus. But more treatment options could be major for older and immunosuppressed people who can still sometimes get very sick and even die from breakthrough infections even after full vaccination though at my much lower rates than the unvaccinated. U.S. vaccine rates have, again, slowed down dramatically. 56.4% of the population is fully vaccinated compared with much of the developed world now at about 75%, and Portugal and the United Arab Emirates at 85%. More than 714,000 Americans have died from COVID 19 though case and death numbers are dropping slightly over the past few weeks.
There were just over 650,000 new cases in the country for the week ending October 10th, compared with more than a million in the week ending September 19th. That's also much lower than the 1.7 million weekly cases in early January, but considerably higher than the less than 100,000 weekly cases in parts of June and July. Around the world, more than 4.8 million people have died of COVID 19. A plane crashed in a suburban Southern California neighborhood yesterday killing two people and injuring two others. The plane struck several homes and vehicles in the city of Santee outside San Diego. One of them was a UPS truck. And the company confirmed that one of its employees was killed though authorities have not released the names of those who died. Deputy Santee fire chief, Justin Matsushita.
We had a portion of the aircraft confirmed crash in the back of one of the homes. We also had multiple vehicles on fire, including a large box truck that is right across the street.
The plane was a twin engine, Cessna 340 and hit a densely populated area in the suburb. The plane is believed to be a private aircraft that was flying from Yuma Arizona to San Diego. Witnesses said that a retired couple was rescued from one of two homes that were destroyed while no one was at home at the other house which was sold just a month ago. A dog also appears to have died in the tragedy. It's unclear how many people were on board the plane, but officials said that no one would've survived. The crash also happened near a local high school who students temporarily went into hiding before they knew what happened. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.
Tropical storm Pamela is expected to hit the west coast of Mexico this week as a category three hurricane. The National Hurricane Center said the storm will bring life threatening storm surge, flash flooding, and dangerous winds. As of yesterday afternoon, Pamela had 70 mile an hour winds and was about 500 miles from Mazatlan, Mexico. It's expected to take a turn toward the North and Northeast passing close to the southern tip of the Baja, California Peninsula by early Wednesday at hurricane strength. The latest track shows it will hit near Mazatlan later Wednesday with winds estimated at or near 120 miles an hour. Pamela is the 16th name storm of the 2021 Eastern Pacific hurricane season. It'll likely weaken as it moves across Mexico later in the week, but what's left of it could cause flooding problems in parts of Texas.
Las Vegas Raiders head coach, Jon Gruden, has resigned after reports that he repeatedly used homophobic and misogynistic language in a series of emails. The New York Times reported that he belittled a team's decision to draft a gay player, mocked transgender woman, Caitlin Jenner, and suggested that a player who kneeled during the national anthem should be fired. The report came after the Wall Street Journal found that Gruden used a racist trope when describing NFL Players Association executive director, DeMaurice Smith. The emails were sent between 2011 and 2018 when he was a broadcaster for ESPN and were obtained as part of an unrelated investigation into the culture of the Washington football team. Emails were exchanged with longtime NFL executive, Bruce Allen, and one showed photos of topless Washington cheerleaders. Gruden was in the fourth year of a 10 year, $100 million contract.
The National Hockey League returns to action tonight after two seasons of COVID 19 disruptions. It'll get back to a full 82 game season. And there will be the traditional Stanley Cup playoffs format after a temporary realignment last year. Plus the league welcomes its 32nd team, the Seattle Kraken, and fans are back in every building across the United States and Canada. Also, new this year, how to watch the games after a long run on NBC sports in the U.S. hockey is moving to ESPN and Turner Sports. A return to ESPN for the first time since 2004. As for tonight's action, the two time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning will raise their Stanley Cup banner before a 7:30 PM Eastern time puck drop against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Then the Kraken will take on the Vegas Golden Knights in Nevada at 10:00 PM, Eastern. You can watch both games on ESPN.
And you can find 5 Things every morning, seven days a week, right here, wherever you're listening right now. If you're on Apple podcast, we ask for a five star rating and review if you have a chance, and be sure to tell your family and friends about the show. Thanks as always to Shannon Green and Claire Thornton for the great work on the show. I'll be back tomorrow with more of five thing from the USA TODAY Network.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jon Gruden, Tropical Storm Pamela, antiviral pill: 5 Things podcast