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U.S. States Build Stockpiles Of Malaria Drug Touted By Trump

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first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Photo: BFMTV / YouTubeSALT LAKE CITY — State and local governments across the United States have obtained about 30 million doses of a malaria drug touted by President Trump to treat patients with the coronavirus, despite warnings from doctors that more research is needed.At least 22 states and Washington, D.C., secured shipments of the drug, hydroxychloroquine, according to information compiled from state and federal officials by The Associated Press. Sixteen of those states were won by Trump in 2016, although five of them, including North Carolina and Louisiana, are now led by Democratic governors.Supporters say having a supply on hand makes sense in case the drug is shown to be effective against the pandemic that has devastated the global economy and killed nearly 200,000 people worldwide, and to ensure a steady supply for people who need it for other conditions like lupus.But health experts worry that having the drug easily available at a time of heightened public fear could make it easier to misuse it. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday warned doctors against prescribing the drug, hydroxychloroquine, for treating the coronavirus outside of hospitals or research settings because of reports of serious side effects, including dangerous irregular heart rhythms and death among patients. It’s the latest admonition against the drug that Trump mentioned 17 times in various public appearances, touting its potential despite his own health advisors telling him it is unproven.Oklahoma spent $2 million to buy the drugs, and Utah and Ohio have spent hundreds of thousands on purchases. The rest of the cities and states received free shipments from drug companies or the U.S. government over the last month. Ohio received a large donation from a local company.Several states including New York, Connecticut, Oregon, Louisiana, North Carolina and Texas received donations of the medication from a private company based in New Jersey called Amneal Pharmaceutical. Florida was given 1 million doses from Israeli company Teva Pharmaceutical.The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Friday it has sent out 14.4 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to 14 cities, including Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Baltimore, from the federal government’s national stockpile, a source that also provided South Dakota and California with supplies. The agency said earlier this month it had sent 19 million tablets and didn’t explain the discrepancy between the two figures. The U.S. government received a donation of 30 million doses from Swiss drugmaker Novartis on March 29 to build up the stockpile, which does not normally stock the drug.“If he (Trump) hadn’t amplified the early and inappropriate enthusiasm for the drug, I doubt if the states would have even been aware of it,” said Dr. Kenneth B. Klein, a consultant from outside of Seattle who has spent the last three decades working for drug companies to design and evaluate their clinical trials.Klein said it’s understandable that government and health officials looked into hydroxychloroquine — which is approved for treating malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus — as a possible remedy during a frightening pandemic, but the time and energy has been misspent. The potential side effects are worrisome, especially because many coronavirus patients already have underlying health conditions, he said.“The states and the federal government are reacting in light of that fear. But it’s not a rational response,” Klein said.Doctors can already prescribe the malaria drug to patients with COVID-19, a practice known as off-label prescribing, and many do. Medical and pharmacy groups have warned against prescribing it for preventive purposes. The FDA has allowed it into the national stockpile, but only for narrowly defined purposes as studies continue.Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, has previously acknowledged that the drug is “not without controversy,” but defended the state’s efforts to build up a supply. As questions mounted Friday, though, he distanced himself from an $800,000 purchase the state made from a local company and said it would be investigated.Herbert also halted a plan to spend $8 million more to buy 200,000 additional treatments. “The bottom line is, we’re not purchasing any more of this drug,” he said.Other states have received it from the federal government. South Dakota, with a population of 885,000 people, received 1.2 million doses and is using the drug for a trial as well as doctor-approved prescriptions for COVID-19 positive patients.South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican and Trump ally, said earlier this month she pushed the White House to provide enough hydroxychloroquine to give it to every hospitalized person, others who are vulnerable to the coronavirus and “front line” health care workers. As of Tuesday, Sanford Health said there were 200 patients who have recovered from COVID-19 in a registry, and that some of them may have taken hydroxychloroquine, but it was not a requirement.It is one of several states that say they are using some of the doses for clinical trials going on to assess whether the drugs has benefits for COVID-19 patients.Many states, however, have opted to steer clear over concerns about side effects and lingering questions about the drug’s effectiveness. At least one of those states is led by a Republican governor, Tennessee, where the state’s Department of Health sent a letter warning against using the drug or hoarding it.“We were seeing a flood of inappropriate prescribing and hoarding, quite frankly,” Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey told reporters.Kansas health director Dr. Lee Norman said the state has no plans to buy the drug because evidence is lacking that it helps treat COVID-19.Most states aren’t paying for the drug, and it’s not clear why Utah didn’t get it from the federal reserve or a donation from a business like Amneal Pharmaceutical.News releases from state governments show the New Jersey-based company has sent millions of doses of the drug free of cost to states, including 2 million to New York and 1 million to Texas. A company spokesperson declined to provide a list of donations or answer other questions from The Associated PressPharmaceutical companies can often manufacture pills they already make fairly cheaply. The donations may have been done to earn good publicity while setting it up to make future sales if hydroxychloroquine ends up being a reliable treatment for the virus, Klein said.Controversy has swirled around the drug since Trump started promoting it in the White House briefing room on March 19.He mentioned the drug in briefings through April 14, and the White House distributed press releases praising Trump’s efforts to stockpile it for use in areas of the country hard-hit by the virus. But for the past week, as studies have shown mixed or even harmful results, Trump has gone silent on the drug.Asked about it Thursday, Trump said he hadn’t heard of the a study done at U.S. veterans hospitals with preliminary results that showed no benefit, and rejected the notion he had stopped promoting hydroxychloroquine as a cure.“I haven’t at all. I haven’t at all,” Trump said. “We’ll see what happens.”last_img read more

Chautauqua County Health Department Investigating New COVID-19 Cluster

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first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Image by Justin Gould / WNY News Now.MAYVILLE – The Chautauqua County Health Department says they are looking into a new cluster of COVID-19 cases.Leaders report at least 11 people over the past week were infected after attending a private event in northern Chautauqua County.No other information was released about the investigation. WNY News Now will continue to follow this story and bring updates online at WNYNewsNow.com and on our mobile app.On Thursday a dozen new cases of the virus were reported in the county, with 128 people now actively sickened with the virus. Of the new cases, five are in Dunkirk, with two in Clymer and one in Jamestown, Lakewood, Fredonia, Brocton and Silver Creek.Out of the active cases, ten are employees and 44 are residents of Tanglewood Manor’s outbreak. A total of 8 employees and 42 residents of the facility have since recovered.There are now 16 people in the hospital locally because of COVID-19, that number down two from Wednesday’s update.To date 783 people have recovered from the virus with 13 related deaths and 924 cases total.last_img read more

Randy Newman’s Faust to Play Encores!

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first_imgEncores! Off-Center has made our jaws drop, in the best possible way, yet again. Randy Newman’s Faust is to appear for one-night-only as part of its 2014 season on July 1. Grammy, Oscar and Emmy award winner Newman will play the Devil in the concert at the New York City Center’s Mainstage. A darkly comic modern-day take on the Faust story, Randy Newman’s Faust was first seen in 1993. In Newman’s retelling, God and the Devil fight for the soul of Henry Faust, a student at the University of Notre Dame. The musical played at both San Diego’s La Jolia Playhouse and Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, as well as being released as an album. No word yet on who will be joining Newman onstage, but along with the singer-songwriter as the Devil, the record featured James Taylor as Lord, Don Henley as Henry Faust, Elton John as Angel Rick, Linda Ronstadt as Margaret and Bonnie Raitt as Martha. What sort of pact would we have to make to see them all at the concert, because we’d consider it!?! View Commentslast_img read more

50 Fun Facts About The Sound of Music on the Film’s 50th Anniversary

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first_img View Comments Can you believe that the hills have been alive with The Sound of Music for 50 years? It’s been five decades since the beloved film version of the musical, starring Julie Andrews as an Austrian novice nun-turned-nanny was released in America on March 2, 1965. To celebrate, we’ve rounded up 50 fun Sound of Music facts about the last musical written by legendary theatrical pair Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. So put those arms out and twirl your way through this trip down The Sound of Music memory lane, with help from The Sound of Music FAQ by Barry Monush, Maria Von Trapp: Beyond the Sound of Music by Candice F. Ransom, The Making of The Sound of Music by Max Wilk and more.1. It’s no secret that The Sound of Music was based on a true story, but there were plenty of differences between Maria Kutschera’s 1949 memoir The Story of the Trapp Family Singers and the film. For one thing, Maria was brought to the von Trapp home to care for one child who had scarlet fever and was too ill to walk to school, not all seven children.2. The von Trapps did escape Austria as the Nazis came to power, but they didn’t flee over the Alps, they got on a train to Italy and then traveled to America, where they had a concert tour scheduled. The day after they left, Hitler ordered the Austrian borders shut.3. When they left Austria, Baron von Trapp and Maria had already been married for years and had two children of their own, with another on the way.4. The real Maria was kind of a Mama Rose! She kept the Trapp Family singers together with an iron will.5. When the von Trapps came to America they settled in Stowe, Vermont. They opened the Trapp Family Lodge, which is operational to this day.6. Maria sold the rights to her memoir to German producers who made two films. The Trapp Family and its sequel, The Trapp Family in America, were incredibly popular in post-War West Germany.7. Broadway producer Richard Halliday thought the role of Maria would be great for his wife, Mary Martin, but he originally conceived of it as a play with Austrian folk songs rather than a full musical, written by playwrights Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse.8. Halliday approached musical super-duo Rodgers and Hammerstein about writing one song for the show; they countered with making it a proper musical.9. Because she’d sold the rights to the German producers, Maria and the von Trapps didn’t see any money from The Sound of Music’s success.10. The musical’s original title? The Singing Heart.11. The Sound of Music was the eighth and final musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein, but Hammerstein never saw the movie. He died of stomach cancer nine months after the Broadway premiere.12. “Edelweiss” was the last song Oscar Hammerstein ever wrote, at the last minute during the show’s tryout in Boston.13. Hammerstein wrote “Edelweiss” for the character of the Captain because he thought original star Theodore Bikel’s talent as a folk musician was being underutilized. The same year Sound of Music opened on Broadway, Bikel co-founded the Newport Folk Festival with Pete Seeger, Oscar Brand and George Wein.14. Audience members were totally convinced that “Edelweiss” was an actual Austrian folk song.15. The Sound of Music opened on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on November 16, 1959. Both major New York critics hated it, finding it way too saccharine, but producers already had $2 million in advance ticket sales so it didn’t really matter.16. During her two years in the Broadway show, Mary Martin only missed one show.17. Due to the design of the two-story set, Martin had to run three miles during every show to make her entrances and exits.18. The play won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical and a third Best Actress for Martin (she already had trophies for South Pacific and Peter Pan).19. Even though two of the von Trapp children were boys, the entire children’s cast was nominated in the Best Featured Actress category as a single nominee. They lost out to Mother Abbess, Patricia Neway.20. The original cast recording of The Sound of Music was nearly as popular as the show itself. Recorded just a week after the show’s Broadway premiere and released by Columbia Records, the album was number one on the Billboard charts for 16 weeks.21. When it came to the movie, Julie Andrews wasn’t the first choice for Maria! Producers wanted Grace Kelly or Doris Day to replace her. Mary Poppins (for which Andrews would win an Oscar) hadn’t hit screens yet and they didn’t know if she had the star power to carry the feature film. (Day ruled herself out as “too American.”)22. Sean Connery, Richard Burton and Bing Crosby were in the running to play Captain von Trapp, before the role went to relative newcomer Christopher Plummer.23. Patti Duke, Mia Farrow, Sharon Tate and Geraldine Chaplin all auditioned for the role of Leisl, which eventually went to Charmian Carr.24. Kurt Russell and Richard Dreyfuss also auditioned to be von Trapp children.25. Kym Karath, who played little Gretl, was already a film vet when she auditioned for The Sound of Music. She was feeling so adult that for her audition she sang “Sixteen Going on Seventeen.” She was five.26. After Oscar Hammerstein’s death, Richard Rodgers wrote two new songs for the film (“I Have Confidence” and “Something Good”) by himself.27. Christopher Plummer never cared for the movie. He thought it would compromise his reputation as a serious Shakespearean actor.28. Plummer admitted he developed a crush on co-star Andrews when he saw her in My Fair Lady on Broadway, but called working with her like “being hit over the head with a big Valentine’s Day card, every day.”29. William Wyler, the film’s original director, quit to work on another movie and that’s probably a good thing. Wyler was apparently a little deaf and planned to make the piece a somber film that focused more on the war.30. While filming the iconic opening scene, twirling in the hills of Austria, Andrews kept getting knocked down in the mud by the gusts from the helicopter carrying the camera.31. Charmian Carr slipped and fell through a window in the gazebo while filming “Sixteen Going on Seventeen.” Her bandaged ankle had to be airbrushed out in later versions of the film.32. When the boat carrying the von Trapp brood tipped over, Kym Karath, who played Gretl, nearly drowned because she couldn’t swim. She swallowed a lot of water, which she then threw up all over co-star Heather Menzies, who played Louisa.33. “Edelweiss” was so good that film director Robert Wise also thought it was a real Austrian folk song. When they were shooting the scene at the Salzburg music festival, filming was delayed for hours while hundreds of Austrian extras were taught the words.34. Also during that scene, Plummer was drunk.35. If you look closely at the film, you’ll spot the real Maria von Trapp in a cameo, walking past a stone archway while Julie Andrews sings “I Have Confidence.”36. In one of Maria von Trapp’s memoirs, she wrote that she wasn’t invited to the premiere of the film, and producers couldn’t find her a seat when she asked.37. One of Maria’s biggest beefs with the film was with the geography. Not only does Salzburg not border on Switzerland, but taking that route out of Austria would have sent them straight towards Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s summer retreat.38. She also thought both Martin and Andrews made her seem to sweet, calling them “too gentle-like girls out of Bryn Mawr.”39. Maria von Trapp taught Julie Andrews how to yodel for real on The Julie Andrews Hour.40. The Sound of Music won five Oscars in 1965, including Best Picture. It’s one of only four films ever to win a Tony Award for Best Play or Musical, and later win Best Picture.41. Adjusted for inflation, it’s one of the highest grossing films ever made, right behind Gone With the Wind and Star Wars.42. It had the longest first run in U.S. cinemas ever at four and a half years.43. Charmian Carr, who played Liesl, went on to become an interior designer for celebrities, including Ernest Lehman and Michael Jackson.44. Heather Menzies, who played Louisa, worked in TV for years and went on to pose for Playboy.45. A 1981 West End revival starred Petula Clark as Maria.46. There’s only been one Broadway revival of The Sound of Music, in 1998 starring Rebecca Luker as Maria. A young Laura Benanti made her Broadway debut as a postulant and Luker’s understudy.47. Andrew Lloyd Webber almost got Scarlett Johansson to star in a 2006 London revival. When the plan fell through, Webber cast the role of Maria via his reality show How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?48. ScarJo is in good celeb company when it comes to loving The Sound of Music—Elton John once held a private sing-along for his birthday.49. The 2013 live TV version, starring Carrie Underwood as Maria, helped reinvigorate a new era of musicals on screen. It didn’t hurt that the cast also had legit Broadway cred, including Laura Benanti as Elsa Schrader, Audra McDonald as Mother Abbess and Christian Borle as Max Detweiler.50. Even before Lady Gaga’s killer Sound of Music tribute at the Oscars, Andrews says she was a fan of the pop star. Now they’ve bonded and become new friends.last_img read more

Sutton Foster-Led Younger Picked Up for Second Season

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first_img View Comments Broadway darling Sutton Foster’s latest small screen star turn is a hit! TV Land has renewed her series Younger for a second season, Variety reports. Created and executive produced by Sex and the City creator Darren Star, the show also stars Hilary Duff, Debi Mazar, Miriam Shor and Nico Tortorella.The comedy, which the two-time Tony winner previously described to Broadway.com as “Tootsie but with age,” follows Foster as a New Jersey divorced single mother in her early 40s who kickstarts her career by passing herself off as a 20-something, landing a hot job at a New York City publishing company. Younger is based on the novel of the same name by Pamela Redmond Satran.Foster, who won Tonys for work in the musical comedies Thoroughly Modern Millie and Anything Goes, last appeared on Broadway in 2014 in Violet. She was previously seen on the ABC Family drama Bunheads, which was canceled following a one-season run.Check out Broadway.com for our Younger recap every Tuesday and Foster’s recent Show People with Paul Wontorek interview below! Star Filescenter_img Sutton Fosterlast_img read more

Darren Criss Discusses Penning Lea Michele’s Glee Swan Song

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first_imgDarren Criss may play a singer/song stylist/rock goddess in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, but did you know he’s also that in real life? Well, two of those, at least. Earlier this year, the Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner penned Lea Michele’s swan song for the Glee series finale. Take a look at this video from Deadline as Criss discusses the genesis of the track, titled “This Time,” from sheepishly asking Ryan Murphy about writing original material for the show to hearing Michele bring the song to life. While Glee may be over, you can catch Criss in all his glittery glory as Hedwig at the Belasco Theatre through July 19. View Comments Related Shows Star Files Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 13, 2015 Hedwig and the Angry Inch Darren Crisslast_img read more

Clive Owen & More Begin Performances in Old Times on B’way

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first_img View Comments Related Shows Oscar nominee Clive Owen, Olivier winner and two-time Tony nominee Eve Best and Kelly Reilly will begin performances in Harold Pinter’s Old Times on September 17. Directed by Douglas Hodge, the Broadway revival will play a limited engagement through November 29, with opening night set for October 6 at the American Airlines Theatre.Old Times is the unsettling drama of desire and blurred realities. Deeley (Owen) is a man quite looking forward to meeting Anna (Best), his wife Kate’s (Reilly) friend from long ago. But as the night goes on, Anna’s visit quickly shifts from an ordinary sharing of memories to a quiet battle for power.The production will kick off Roundabout’s 50th anniversary season and will feature an original score by Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke. Old Times Show Closed This production ended its run on Nov. 29, 2015last_img read more

Squigs Celebrates the Cast of King Charles III’s Reign Over B’way

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first_imgAbout the Artist: With a desire to celebrate the magic of live theater and those who create it, and with a deep reverence for such touchstones as the work of Al Hirschfeld and the wall at Sardi’s, Squigs is happy and grateful to be among those carrying on the traditions where theater and caricature meet. He was born and raised in Oregon, lived in Los Angeles for quite a long time and now calls New York City his home. Related Shows View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 31, 2016 Star Filescenter_img God Save the King! Tim Pigott-Smith and more will officially begin their reign over Broadway in King Charles III on November 1, when the production opens at the Music Box Theatre. The Olivier-winning play is directed by Rupert Goold.To celebrate the Great White Way premiere of the future history play by Mike Bartlett, Broadway.com resident artist Justin “Squigs” Robertson penned this majestic sketch. In addition to Pigott-Smith as Charles, the portrait features Lydia Wilson as Kate, Oliver Chris as William, Margot Leicester as Camilla, Richard Goulding as Harry, Tafline Steen as Jess, Adam James as Mr. Evans and Anthony Calf as Mr. Stevens.Broadway.com wishes the cast a happy opening—may you have a celebration fit for a king! King Charles III Tim Pigott-Smithlast_img read more

Max von Essen Enlisted for Yours Unfaithfully Off-Broadway

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first_imgMax Von Essen(Photo: Emilio Madrid-Kuser) View Comments Max von Essen, who recently finished up a Tony-nominated run in An American in Paris, has been tapped for Miles Malleson’s Yours Unfaithfully, an “un-Romantic Comedy” about the price of free love. Directed by Jonathan Bank, the production will play a limited engagement December 27 through February 18, 2017. Opening night is scheduled for January 26 at the Beckett Theater at Theatre Row.Along with Essen as Stephen Meredith, the cast of the world premiere will also include Todd Cerveris (South Pacific) as Dr. Alan Kirby, Mikaela Izquierdo (Cyrano de Bergerac) as Diana Streatfield, Elisabeth Gray (Breakfast at Tiffany) as Anne Meredith and John Hutton (Lincoln) as Gordon Meredith.Yours Unfaithfully was published in 1933 but never produced, making this Mint Theater production a very belated world premiere. The play is an intimate peek behind the closed doors of an open marriage. Stephen and Anne, blissfully happy for eight years, are committed to living up to their ideals. When Stephen, a writer who isn’t writing, begins to sink into a funk of unproductive moodiness, Anne encourages him to seek out a fresh spark. Can their marriage survive uncompromising generosity, sacrifice and love? Related Showscenter_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Feb. 18, 2017 Yours Unfaithfullylast_img read more

August Wilson’s Jitney Opens Officially on Broadway

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first_img Related Shows © Justin “Squigs” Robertson About the Artist: With a desire to celebrate the magic of live theater and those who create it, and with a deep reverence for such touchstones as the work of Al Hirschfeld and the wall at Sardi’s, Squigs is happy and grateful to be among those carrying on the traditions where theater and caricature meet. He was born and raised in Oregon, lived in Los Angeles for quite a long time and now calls New York City his home. Show Closed This production ended its run on March 12, 2017 After premiering in 1982, August Wilson’s Jitney is finally on Broadway. The new production, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, opens officially on January 19 at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. To commemorate the big night, Broadway.com resident artist Justin “Squigs” Robertson penned this sketch of the cast in action.The whole crew’s here: featured in the portrait are John Douglas Thompson as Becker, André Holland as Youngblood, Harvy Blanks as Shealy, Anthony Chisholm as Fielding, Brandon J. Dirden as Booster, Carra Patterson as Rena, Michael Potts as Turnbo, Keith Randolph Smith as Doub and Ray Anthony Thomas as Philmore.Congratulations to the cast of Jitney! We hope you don’t have to drive yourself to your fancy opening night party. Jitney View Commentslast_img read more