This is an email from Your Coronavirus Update, a newsletter by Medium Coronavirus Blog.

The Latest: Everything we’ve learned in 6 months

Dear Reader,

Here’s what’s new:

  • Case count: There are over 6.6 million confirmed cases in the U.S. and over 29.6 million confirmed cases worldwide. So far over 195,900 Americans have died from Covid-19.
  • Trump downplays the virus, again: President Donald Trump said during a town hall on Tuesday that the virus will disappear on its own, and that the U.S. is “rounding the corner.” He also said a vaccine could be available soon. Read more.
  • Bill Gates is pushing Congress to spend $4 billion on vaccinations for low- and middle-income countries. He says the U.S. response to the pandemic is abysmal. “It’s shocking. It’s unbelievable — the fact that we would be among the worst in the world,” he told STAT News.
  • U.K. trials of the Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine resume: The trials were halted due to a potential adverse event from the vaccine. Some are calling on the drug company to provide more information on the case.

A quick Q&A: Can masks function as a crude vaccine?

There’s the obvious reason why masks work to prevent Covid-19 infection — they create a barrier that prevents the spread or inhalation of infectious droplets. There’s also evidence that by reducing the amount of virus a person inhales, wearing a mask could lead to a less severe infection if a person does get the disease. Now scientists are suggesting in a recent opinion paper that widespread mask wearing could also act like a crude vaccine. How?

New on the blog:

College and Coronavirus Are Not a Great Mix

Six months in:

The Most Likely Way You’ll Get Infected With Covid-19

A few smart reads:

The Racist Cost of a Pandemic Vacation in the Bahamas

Health and science journalist. Former editor of Medium’s Covid-19 Blog and deputy editor at Elemental. TIME Magazine writer before that