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Genes May Leave Some People More Vulnerable to Severe Covid-19

Why do some people infected with the coronavirus suffer only mild symptoms, while others become deathly ill?

Geneticists have been scouring our DNA for clues. Now, a study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

Variations at two spots in the human genome are associated with an increased risk of respiratory failure in patients with Covid-19, the researchers found. One of these spots includes the gene that determines blood types.

Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.

The study was equally striking for the genes that failed to turn up. The coronavirus attaches to a protein called ACE2 on the surface of human cells in order to

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Blaming China for Pandemic, Trump Says U.S. Will Leave the W.H.O.

After spending weeks accusing the World Health Organization of helping the Chinese government cover up the early days of the coronavirus epidemic in China, President Trump said on Friday that the United States would terminate its relationship with the agency.

“The world is now suffering as a result of the malfeasance of the Chinese government,” Mr. Trump said in a speech in the Rose Garden. “Countless lives have been taken, and profound economic hardship has been inflicted all around the globe.”

In his 10-minute address, Mr. Trump took no responsibility for the deaths of 100,000 Americans from the virus, instead saying China had “instigated a global pandemic.”

There is no evidence that the W.H.O. or the government in Beijing hid the extent of the epidemic in China, and public health experts generally view Mr. Trump’s charges as a way to deflect attention from his administration’s own bungled attempts to respond

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Closed Hospitals Leave Rural Patients ‘Stranded’ as Coronavirus Spreads

Michael Nuzum had spent weeks fighting coronavirus-like symptoms — a wracking cough, terrible chills, an exhausting fever — before collapsing at his home in rural West Virginia.

Mr. Nuzum, a 54-year-old animal control worker, was already in cardiac arrest when the emergency workers arrived on April 3. That left them with a difficult decision: Should they transport their patient to the nearest hospital, 30 minutes away?

“There’s only so much one paramedic can do in the back of an ambulance,” said Michael Angelucci, who leads the Marion County rescue squad that cared for Mr. Nuzum. The two-person team that responded decided it couldn’t risk the long ride and instead tried to revive the patient at the scene. But the workers couldn’t save him.

Two weeks earlier, the options would have been different. Fairmont Regional Medical Center, just five minutes from Mr. Nuzum’s home, would still have been open. Mr. Angelucci,

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Despite Promises, Testing Delays Leave Americans ‘Flying Blind’

Wendy Bost, a spokeswoman for Quest, which introduced its coronavirus tests on March 9, said the company had ramped up its testing and could now process more than 35,000 tests per day — over 200,000 each week — at its 12 labs around the country. Last week, Quest asked hospitals to identify health care workers and symptomatic patients for priority processing and she said the company was providing results now on an average of a day for that population.

To date, Quest has processed nearly 550,000 coronavirus tests, Ms. Bost said. The current turnaround time for other patients, she said, is now two to three days although she acknowledged there was a longer wait in the areas most affected, like Chicago, New York, New Jersey and Miami.

LabCorp has four labs running, also averaging about 35,000 to 40,000 coronavirus tests each day, the company said. Mike Geller, a LabCorp spokesman,

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