By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
This is a developing blog post of links to interesting content about the crises
An app replicating a global pandemic is released: Plague Inc. is a real-time strategy simulation video game, developed and published by UK-based independent games studio Ndemic Creations. The player creates and evolves a pathogen in an effort to annihilate the human population with a deadly pandemic
“Experiments to make lethal viruses more deadly will receive federal funding after a ban was lifted” -NYT
Between 2016 and 2020
China takes out major adds in airports around the world. Examples here and here. “China continues to expand its footprint and sphere of influence in Central and Eastern Europe. 3 out of 5 ads at the Budapest airport are from Chinese companies with Chinese text.” Bank of China buys up adds in Europe. Huawei competition grows with Apple and other western companies and countries. Adds in Manchester celebrate Chinese New Year and in Athens, Paris, Gatwick, Helsinki and later will appear during Year of the Ox with readings from Xi in Sydney and Bali and Dublin in 2020 for Year of the Rat. “Gathering Chinese Charms Here” launched by Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA)…in Malaysia in 2020…a “wishing tree” in Heathrow….and Dubai “DDF welcomes Chinese New Year of the Rat with DXB Terminal 3 celebration: Dubai Duty Free has officially welcomed the 2020 Chinese New Year (Year of the Rat) with an exclusive Chinese-themed celebration at Dubai International Airport Terminal 3.” Manchester adds were massive and in Southampton. Heathrow had special speeches for the event. Also in Nigeria. Even special twitter pages for “new year” events in different cities…Athens….Rome.
Global Times in China reports that Police in Central China’s Wuhan have “ arrested 8 people spreading rumors about local outbreak of unidentifiable #pneumonia. Previous online posts said it was SARS.”
WHO: January 14, 2020 that “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in Wuhan.”
My first tweet on Covid is here looking back at January 11.
Chinese tourists in Thailand for Chinese New Year.
I wrote about the spread of Covid in Iran.
I inquired about sending PPE to the Kurdistan region and Erbil. I learned at the time that Israel was preparing for the possible worst case scenario here with regards to the virus.
I flew to attend AIPAC, later the conference would be a center of concern after attendees tested positive, back in Israel attendees were asked to self-quarantine on March 7. People were already wearing masks on the flight and it was impossible to find masks in DC area.
CNN: Masks may actually increase your Coronavirus risk. (January 2021 CNN would report that double masking was necessary).
CNN warns of mask shortages due to “coronavirus hysteria”; Panic over the novel coronavirus is hitting a fever pitch in the US. And despite repeated pleas from health officials not to purchase them, Americans can’t stop snatching up masks and respirators. “To be clear once again, Americans don’t need masks. The CDC says that healthy people in the US shouldn’t wear them because they won’t protect them from the novel coronavirus.
In fact, warns US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, face masks might actually increase your risk of infection if they aren’t worn properly.”
Malaysia attempts to “flatten the curve” in two weeks.
WHO declares pandemic.
US announced “two weeks to slow the spread”; details.
SIX MONTHS of social distancing; After England’s deputy chief medical officer warned on Sunday that the UK’s coronavirus lockdown could last for “six months or more”, experts say that prolonged social distancing measures – if not full-blown confinements – may well be necessary and that some permanent changes to behaviour are likely.
Lockdown could last six months, UK chief medical officer says
The poor have no place to socially distance.
UK coronavirus response criticized as people are filmed by drones and stopped while shopping; Widespread debate about police coronavirus tactics first emerged last week, when Derbyshire’s force posted a video of drone footage showing unwitting people walking through the area’s Peak District National Park.
Old people meet at border despite restrictions
Sweden has some of the fewest limits on social movement in any European country. Its containment of the novel coronavirus is largely based on voluntary action. CNN’s Bianca Nobilo report
Neil Ferguson and his models of death rates
British Airways suspends flights from Gatwick.
– Paris Orly airport to shut amid coronavirus.
CNBC urges people to follow Singapore
The “Second Curve” in Israel of unemployment
Police attack people inSouth Africa during lockdown
Drop in China cell users may mean death toll higher
China didn’t count coronavirus positives if they didn’t have symptoms.
“Any place but China is safe,” they said. China after the lockdown.
Why Iceland has chosen no to implement a lockdown.
Bolsonaro continues to prevent lockdown.
What happens to food supply if farmers can’t farm
Panama mandates which day men and women can leave home: “Panama has 1075 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 27 deaths, according to health officials, and has already taken some of the toughest measures in the region to stop the spread of the illness. The country has banned all domestic and international travel. It has shut down airports and — after a March 22 deadline — prevented even Panamanian citizens from traveling to the country. A nightly curfew already keeps Panamanians from leaving their homes from 9pm to 5am each day.”
CNN: France, like many other countries around the world, has entered a stringent lockdown and ordered residents to stay indoors. Any non-essential outing can draw a fine of up to €200 ($210)…I plotted the one-kilometer radius around our apartment to see how far I could possibly go, painstakingly wrote out my permission slip indicating my reason for going outdoors to exercise, and set off to explore my new ‘hood.
Security forces uses violence to enforce lockdowns across Africa.
April 4: Antibody testing may be the new way out of the crises.
April 5: A tiger has the virus.
Boris Johnson taken to hospital.
April 6: Israel failed against coronavirus, relating to testing and also quarantining areas.
US wasted months preparing to get masks.
Japan, which avoided lockdowns, may have state of emergency.
George W. Bush urged for plans for pandemic in 2005.
Austria plans to start reopening areas in mid-April.
Sweden considers u-turn on its more free view on the pandemic, considers closures.
US scrambles for ventilators, blocks some on way to Barbados, gets from Russians, tries to prevent exports to Canada. Everyone relies onChina. But quality control an issue. A $3.4 million check to a middleman in a Mcdonalds parking lot as states strive to get material.
UAE puts in place harsh new restrictions.
Wuhan ends lockdown, people say “please learn from our mistakes.”
BBC: But although there’s evidence that there may be other ways to contain the spread of infection other than harsh lockdowns, both men believe China is on the right path.
Wuhan has endured one of the most extensive and toughest set of quarantine restrictions on the planet. To begin with, people were allowed out to shop for food but by mid-February, nobody was allowed to leave their residential compounds. Delivery drivers became a vital lifeline. It’s a testament to the effectiveness of the lockdown which, despite doubts over the accuracy of the official figures, has undoubtedly slowed the infection rate dramatically. Over the past few weeks, some of the restrictions inside Wuhan have been slowly relaxed with some people being allowed out of their residential compounds and businesses beginning to reopen.
Guardian: Uncertainty of origin
In the public mind, the origin story of coronavirus seems well fixed: in late 2019 someone at the now world-famous Huanan seafood market in Wuhan was infected with a virus from an animal. The rest is part of an awful history still in the making, with Covid-19 spreading from that first cluster in the capital of China’s Hubei province to a pandemic that has killed about 80,000 people so far. Stock footage of pangolins – a scaly mammal that looks like an anteater – have made it on to news bulletins, suggesting this animal was the staging post for the virus before it jumped to humans. But there is uncertainty about several aspects of the Covid-19 origin story that scientists are trying hard to unravel, including which species passed it to a human. They’re trying hard because knowing how a pandemic starts is a key to stopping the next one.
CNN uncertainty of origin:
It’s “the most simple,obvious and likely explanation,” said Dr. Simon Anthony, a professor at the public health grad school of Columbia University and a key member of PREDICT, a federally funded global program investigating viruses in animal hosts with pandemic potential. PREDICT has discovered 180 coronaviruses over a decade. Though the scientists discount conspiracy theories about bioweapons, on other questions they are divided.
60% of ship tests positive: The ship set out on 15 March from the Argentinian port of Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. It was to have undertaken a 16-day cruise to Antarctica and South Georgia, christened “In Shackleton’s Footsteps” after the Irish polar explorer, Ernest Shackleton…On Tuesday (April 7), the ship’s operator, Aurora Expeditions, said that of 132 passengers and 85 crew, 128 people had tested positive for Covid-19. Most on board are understood to be Australian, although there are also citizens of New Zealand, the US and the UK.
Japan to give economic support to those in sex industry “Those working legally in Japan’s sex industry will be able to access assistance in the government’s economic relief package, Health and Labor Minister Kazunobu Kato said in a news conference Tuesday.” Also “The government will provide a subsidy of 8,330 yen ($76) per day to businesses that allow employees to take leave to care for children out of school.” Bangladesh also supports sex workers with food.
Massive map of Israel police checkpoints.
New model shows less deaths in US.
CNN: Coronavirus may have been with us for years.Leading scientists tell CNN that it’s possible the virus didn’t just come from bats in the past months, but that it may have existed in humans many months or even years before it grew into a deadly pandemic. CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh reports.
Intelligence sources warned of outbreak in November.
Sweden “refuses” to lockdown.
Germany: Region eases Baltic coastal beach ban after court order.
Macron visitsdoctor who pioneered new drug to fight virus.
Japan pushes $1 trillion stimulus, EU has $500 billion, Singapore $48 billion,
Italy says more than 100 doctors have died of virus.
France considers digital tracking, raising privacy concerns.
Lockdown can’t end until vaccinne found, study clams.
India extends lockdown, Iran eases lockdown and Sweden concerned as deaths mount to 887 total.
NYT: Study shows virus outbreak in NY began in Europe.
Spain to ease lockdown. Israel increases lockdown for holiday. Adds military and police checkpoints in Jerusalem.
Iceland has tested ten percent of country, found half of cases asymptomatic.
Israel struggles to increase tests, one testing machine breaks on way from Switzerland, airport confusion and people sent to hotels, nursing home find numerous cases but can’t get them tested.
China imposes restrictions on academic papers about origins of virus.
Many older people may have died in nursing homes or at home and not been recorded.
How coronavirus spread in ultra-Orthodox communities via denial and stigma.
New Passover lockdown for Israel.
Handicapped children suffer under lockdowns, Amazon told to stop delivering “non-essential goods” in France, isolating children further. The lockdowns are a war on the poor and young.
McDonalds banned black people in China.
World facing depression worse than 1930s.
Austria and Italy reopen some shops.
Billionaires on yachts, Israel’s president apologizes for violating guidelines.
Social distancing may go on until 2022
Denmark children return to school.
People shamed for not social distancing when jogging.
France $110 billion for stimulus.
China concealed pandemic, M16 expert.
Bahrain sentences people for violating quarantine.
How come international community is so slow to work together on coordinated concerted effort toward vaccine? WHO only has a signed document now, most firms are private that are working on it, funds are short, disparate 115 efforts.
Amazon may stop shipping France due to court order of only bringing essential goods.
Antibody tests may not be the promise they seemed.
China didn’t warn of pandemic for six key days.
Condolezza Rice notes that China needs pushback about how it handled virus.
Paris police check people for signed forms that they were only out for two hours a day, Israel police breakup synagogue service in Beit Shemesh, fine group that had mass gathering. “5000ILS for leader of the Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok sect after the mass gathering over the holiday.” Israel police breakup testing facility in Silwan.
Israeli leaders under fire for not obeying guidelines: Netanyahu, Gallant, Liberman, Litzman, Rivlin.
Report that virus spreads through air conditioners.
Newsweek: “Less well understoodin this debacle is the role that the United States, and its allies in the developed world, played in allowing Beijing to become so influential in the WHO, with consequences that now appear to be ruinous. The coronavirus catastrophe is the second massive ‘China shock’ to hit the United States and the rest of developed world in the last 20 years. The first unfolded in slow motion, in the years after Beijing, with the U.S’s enthusiastic support, joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. What followed over the next decade and a half was, in the words of a landmark 2016 study by three U.S. economists for the National Bureau of Economic Research, “an epochal shift in patterns of world trade.” In industry after industry—including, we now learn, the pharmaceutical and medical equipment industry— large companies shifted their supply chains out of the United States and into China, lured by the extraordinarily plentiful and cheap labor available there. Entire industries were hollowed out, and in the Rust Belt in particular, entire towns were devastated.”
Poor communities with multigenerational families in cities suffer most in US.
Virus lockdowns empower “little tyrants,” also a concern about rising domestic abuse.
US funds 15% of WHO on eve of Trump’s cuts, while China funds around 1% but has more influence than US on WHO.
Liberal globalization has been harmed by pandemic.
The Diplomat: Did china deliberately sicken the world?
Kushners ignore guidelines.
How Taiwan got it right.
60% of those on US carrier were symptom-free.
While small businesses get denied for stimulus large corporations that laid off staff get paid.
Police in UK enforce new “reasonable guidelines” for leaving the house.
Five NY zip codes with largest death toll are poor and minority areas.
China revises death toll. Read the original February WHO report that showed China’s cases rise and fall on a curve. China’s history of revisions go back to February when they revised the number of cases upwards by thousands, and then in April when it turned out they hadn’t included asymptomatic cases.
How the FT creates its charts.
Australia may keep lockdowns for a year.
Barcelona calls for children to be freed from lockdown. They are forbidden to leave home.
Germany says virus under control, will end lockdowns.
Saudi Arabia predicts air travel won’t resume for a year.
More than 20 million newly unemployed in the US.
UK paid $20 million for antibody tests that didn’t work.
CNN: China may emerge stronger
Denmark returns to school.
Turkey’s mixed lockdown policy as its cases are about to exceed Iran.
Remember when Turkey revealed Iran had 750 cases but only admitted 18?
Dart championship held at home wi-fi.
In Israel people go surfing and out in Florentine while in America armed men hold a rally against lockdown.
Did virus appear in context of US-China trade war?
Trump calls for liberation of several US states, “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!”
US and Canada funded lab in Wuhan.
Police threatened to arrest a teen for posting that she had virus, claiming it caused panic.
Navy reviewing crozier case.
France denies lab it funded is linked to pandemic.
France considers phone tracking app.
Belgium biotech firm rolls out antibody tests
Clashes in Paris over “heavy handed enforcement” of lockdowns.
Italy promises lockdown plan.
Oil below zero. The black swan event, second curve rattles markets for oil futures.
Virgin Australia to go bankrupt.
Harvard got $9 million stimulus despite massive endowment…Shake Shake gave back $10 million it received as “small business”
China says it has found 30 mutated strains of the virus.
Spain to extend lockdown to mid-May
Germany to make masks mandatory, Austria has made them mandatory in shops while Switzerland has not.
US warns “Second wave” could be worse.
US says it has identified deaths due to virus earlier in year; “Autopsies on two people who died on 6 February and 17 February show they died with Covid-19.”
Antibody tests in California reveal more people had it than previously thought. This “is very consistent with the fact that the virus is very common but not killing at the rate we thought,” Dr. Ioannidis said. It may not be as lethal as we believe.
UN warns of “biblical famines.”
Half of France private sector unemployed.
Harvard profits from Us stimulus, while Bath Spa university charges students for unused dorms.
US failed to block virus vaccine resolution at UN.
China says virus can survive in human eye.
China shows off virus lab after claims the virus escaped from lab.
Syria’s Kurdish region angry at lack of support over pandemic.
Missouri sues China. US South wants to re-open. Protests increase in US.
In France riots in Paris suburbs over harsh police enforcement.
People starve in Nigeria amid lockdown.
The UAE’s National Disinfection Program has been so effective that international experts are now calling upon the US Homeland Security Dept to sit down and learn from them.
Comparing annual deaths this year and last.
Antibody tests: A total of 3,000 customers at supermarkets across the state of New York were randomly tested for coronavirus antibodies this week, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday. Almost 14 percent of them registered positive, he told reporters. In New York City, 21 percent of tests came back positive.
China installs surveillance cameras to quarantine people.
New Zealand says it is virus free
As WHO says world should have listened, a remind that on Feb. 25 it misled people and waited until March 11, when outside China, 32,778 cases across at least 109 countries had been confirmed, to declare a pandemic.
Germany to give fines of up to $5,000 for improper wearing of masks.
Mystery as to low death toll in India.
Australians download virus tracking software.
Some children are returning to school.
Mystery of low death toll in India continues.
De Blasio slamsJews over coronavirus.
Argentina stopped al flights untilSeptember.
California closes beaches
Michigan – armed militia comes to capitol building.
WHO praisesSweden’s non-lockdown because people obey guidelines.
Human rights abuses in Central Asia during lockdown.
False positives continue to be a problem.
Coronavirus pushes people into poverty.
Half the world’s workers could lose their jobs.
Cyber spying by governments increases during coronavirus. Increased removals of context by social media giants. YouTube removes media interviews also: “We quickly remove flagged content that violate our Community Guidelines, including content that explicitly disputes the efficacy of local healthy authority recommended guidance on social distancing that may lead others to act against that guidance,” said the statement. “However, content that provides sufficient educational, documentary, scientific or artistic (EDSA) context is allowed — for example, news coverage of this interview with additional context…23ABC’s Bayan Wang asked Russomanno that with over 1 billion users and a haven for expression is YouTube considered a public forum that should uphold freedom of speech?”; In other cases anonymous “fact checkers” are able to flag and have content removed on Facebook that disputes scientific consensus. “Inaccurate: Genomic analyses of the coronavirus shows it was not engineered. So-called “HIV insertions” are actually found in many organisms. Genomic analyses of the novel coronavirus shows that it has a natural origin and was not engineered. The claim that the virus has genetic material from HIV is based on a preprint with significant flaws in study design and execution that was later withdrawn by the authors. As it turned out, the so-ca…”
China’s “mask diplomacy“
Arlines say it will be years until things are open.
“Before publicly acknowledging COVID-19 was capable of human transmission, China secretly launched a global plan to buy up personal protection equipment, contributing to world-wide shortages of the desperately needed pandemic supplies.”
ABC reported two days ago “Trump admin pulls NIH grant for coronavirus research over ties to Wuhan lab at heart of conspiracy theories”…and National Interest noted on April 29 “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended U.S. funding for the Wuhan Institute of Virology as a program “to protect American people from labs that aren’t up to standard” in a Fox and Friends interview on Wednesday.”
Canada also funded the lab: “The Canadian government did not explain why the Wuhan lab was chosen, in particular, as a research partner,” the Globe and Mail says.
Throwback to March 31 “WHO stands by recommendation to not wear masks if you are not sick or not caring for someone who is sick.” Same WHO wrote on February 24-25 that China “strategy that underpinned this containment effort was initially a national approach that promoted universal temperature monitoring, masking, and hand washing,” and affirmed wearing masks in general public.” Yet the WHO and western governments urged against masks for the next month. Now $1,000 fines for not wearing masks in some parts of US, includingTexas and Calfornia. On May 1 both San Diego and Denver made masks mandatory.
US government report assesses China intentionally concealed severity of coronavirus.
France confirms a virus case from December, upending previous data.
Thousands of cruise ship crew still stuck at sea.
400,000 gowns from Turkey useless in UK
Virus began last year.
A new way to look at the ‘curve.’
Timeline of China’s response to the coronavirus.
“The European Union has acknowledged it allowed the Chinese government to censor an opinion piece published in the country, removing a reference to the origin of the coronavirus outbreak and its subsequent spread worldwide.”
Sex workers in Spain struggle amid pandemic.
Were lockdowns based on crude guesswork.
Minorities and people who stayed home make up new cases in NY.
BBC: Why we should all be wearing face masks.
Europe eases lockdowns, France let’s people out without permits.
China postponed and pressured WHO during early crisis.
China says it will test 11 million people in Wuhan due to new cases.
Emirates to restart flights
Virus may never go away-WHO
Boris Johnson promises virus alert level
Greta Thunberg on CNN “expert” panel about coronavirus.
Russia didn’t count 60% of virus deaths.
Controversy at French drug maker after claims US would get first vaccine shipments.
US sacked health expert warns of “darkest winter” as worldwide deaths cross 300,000
Baltic states coronavirus corridor.
US Senator investigated for insider trading “Mr Burr and his wife sold as much as $1.7m (£1.4m) of equities in February, just before markets plunged on fears of an economic crisis.”
Israel airport to try virus free areas, corridor proposed with Czech and other states as schools reopen.
Global inquiry into Covid-19 response.
Leaked database claims 640,000 may have been infected in China.
NY Mayor slams Jews a second time in tweet about “Yeshiva” after bashing funeral, adid rise in antisemitic attacks.
CNN notes that China could exploit time before review of WHO behavior. “Waiting until, in Xi’s words, the pandemic is “brought under control to sum up experience and address deficiencies,” could be a long wait indeed. By that time, China’s position globally could be vastly changed. The country’s economy has begun to reopen, and as it does it will become even more important to many of its trading allies, who have fewer partners to choose from right now. Beijing is also not blind to the potential opportunity to emerge from the crisis not weakened but stronger, taking advantage of how the crisis is affecting the US and the attractive sheen it is putting on China’s own brand of authoritarian control for some governments.”
America puts white circles in park to show how to social distance.
UN accused of failed response.
Covid-19 destroyed a generationin northern Italy.
Oxfam ends work in many countries.
Sweden’s approach questioned as numbersdon’t reach ‘herd immunity.’
China’s New Outbreak Shows Signs the Virus Could Be Changing
UK Prime Minister advisor accused of breaking lock down, “Dominic Cummings drove more than 260 miles (420 km) from London to Durham, where he stayed with family members just days after Johnson put the UK into lockdown and banned family visits, an investigation by The Guardian and Daily Mirror found.” He joins a growing list of officials who appear to have broke regulations, including Israel’s health minister, Presidentand PM, and Trump and Kushner and New Zealand’s Health Minister who took a trip to the beach; and Prof. Ferguson, Cabinet Minister Jenrick; in addition “Scotland’s chief medical officer resigned in April after twice breaking lockdown restrictions in order to visit her second home, which was located more than an hour away from her main residence in Edinburgh.”
Executives dump stock of company after vaccine results.
US billionaires got $434 billion wealthier during pandemic.
By sending Covid-19 patients to nursing homes, New York may have helped increase deaths by 5,000. “The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, known as AMDA, had warned from the beginning that Cuomo’s order admitting infected patients posed a ‘clear and present danger’ to nursing home residents. Now, Jeffrey N. Nichols, who serves on the executive committee of the group, said ‘the effect of that order was to contribute to 5,000 deaths.'”
Beaches besieged by people going despite lockdown.
“The Lancet on Thursday retracted a study that raised safety fears over the use of a drug favored by President Donald Trump to treat COVID-19, after the paper’s authors said they could no longer vouch for its underlying data.”…Chris Chambers, a professor of psychology at Cardiff University, added the affair “raises serious questions about the standard of editing at the Lancet and NEJM — ostensibly two of the world’s most prestigious medical journals.”
No second wave in China: Central China’s Hubei Province cleared all its confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the provincial health commission said Friday
US protests continue across the country for a week now, with hundreds of protests, more than 11,000 arrests. Unclear Covid-19 impact.
Spike in Israel leads to more than 50 school closures and fear of “second wave.”
Australia bans“black lives matter” protest due to Covid-19
GAP loses $1 billion due to virus.
Doctors support protests in the US, claim it outweighs virus threat.
WHO: Coronavirus fight not over“until there is no virus anywhere in the world,” WHO says.
Philippines, India with huge jumps in cases,Mexico now has world’s largest death tolk.
Germans protest Covid restrictions.
Vaccine trial paused after unexplained illness.
UK puts restrictions back in place not meeting more than 6 people due to virus surge in numbers.
Israel reaches record daily cases over 3,000
France sees new record cases
Trump promised vaccine by election day.
Guardian: Masks could give immunity by protecting against viral load.
UAE: Significant moment in fight against COVID-19: UAE Government approved vaccine for emergency use following successful phase III trials, jointly operated by UAE’s G42 & Chinese company Sinopharm. Frontline workers will grt 1st access. 31,000 volunteers took the vaccine in the UAE.
Israel moves toward second lockdown.
New Zealand moves into recession amid major GDP decline due to Covid.
New fear in Europe for second wave
Trump says vaccines for everyone by April, unclear on costs (some say around $200 a piece).
New science on how people may get infected, learning about masks and surfaces.
Australia cases decline after recent lockdown as UK considers harsher measures.
Trump moved to hospital after getting Covid-19
Israel doctor warns of ravages of Covid-19
China millions travel but do two-weeks quarantine before returning to classrooms.
Cuba lockdown is toughest in world for six months, driving many out of business.
Spain puts part of Madrid under lockdown.
Worldwide: 34 million cases, 1,033,746 deaths.
Trump timeline emerges of when he was diagnosed and events he attended as many others get Covid in his circle.
President Trump would not have been discharged before he was ready. But what sort of treatment did he received as an in-patient?
According to his doctors, he has been treated with a number of different drugs:
- Dexamethasone, a steroid that saves lives by calming the immune system
- Remdesivir, an antiviral drug was first developed as a treatment for Ebola
- Monoclonal antibody therapy, made by the company Regeneron
UK: Covid-19 killed three times more people than flu and pneumonia in England and Wales in 2020, the Office for National Statistics says.
Italy has recorded 4,458 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the biggest daily rise since mid-April when the country was under a national lockdown, enforces masks outside.
Dr Fauci, a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, said the president’s unveiling of his judicial nominee was a “superspreader event”.
Thousands of Mink dead of Covid-19.
UK could have new lockdown. On Saturday, 15,166 people in the UK were reported to have tested positive for coronavirus and there were a further 81 deaths. MP Ferrier, who was positive, also used public transit.
Israel tests vaccine, and thirty seconds test. Israel staff infected by air released from ventilator.
Covid-19 survives on some surfaces for up to 28 days.
New lockdown rules for the UK.
The Chinese city of Qingdao is testing its entire population of nine million people for Covid-19 over a period of five days. The mass testing comes after a dozen cases were found linked back to a hospital treating coronavirus patients arriving from overseas.
Covid reinfection could be worst than first time.
Johnson and Johnson says person got sick during vaccine trial and suspends trials.
Claims that children very unlikely to get COVID-19
Masks made Czech envy of Europe now the country has the most cases (11,100) per day.
Wales goes into 17-day sharp deep lockdown.
All bars in Belgium closed due to “second war tsunami” of cases.
Italy puts in place new restrictions.
Australia eases lockdown in Victoria.
China “bounce back” from pandemic with 4.9% GDP growth.
Macron warns crisis may remain until summer of 2021
Polish leader gets Covid-19.
Czech health minister caught out dining despite lockdown.
According to a study, depression has increased five-fold; three out of four people have sleep problems and one in two have had to stop their daily activities to preserve their health
WHO concerned about Europe; The five countries with the highest rate of infection worldwide are all in Europe, according to Johns Hopkins University’s latest moving averages, as analyzed by CNN…On the same day France reported 42,032 new cases in 24 hours, a new record, according to the French Health Agency. Around 46 million people in the country are subject to a night-time coronavirus curfew in France.
US elections see massive lines.
Fear of “rushed” vaccines.
New lockdowns in UK, Portugal
Slovakia tries to do national test.
Mutant Covid-19 on mink farms in Denmark and elsewhere raises concerns.
Pfizer BioNTech announces vaccine that is 90% protective, promising to submit to regulators by end of November and hope to have 50 million doses by end of the year and 1.3 billion by end of 2021. People will need two doses but it isn’t clear how long it lasts or if it stops transmission.
Will day-to-day life ever be the same?
“Pfizer is one of various vaccine manufacturers participating in Operation Warp Speed as a supplier of a potential COVID-19 vaccine.”
Brazil suspends trial of Sinovac vaccine from China.
Virus was in Italy in September 2019.
Moderna says vaccine is 94.5% effective.
Plant manager in US bet on which workers would get Covid.
BBC Was the scientific advice for lockdowns flawed.
Japan has more suicides in one month than all its Covid deaths.
In Scotland, Sturgeon says she won’t spend Christmas with parents
Hungary offers entrance to people who had Covid.
Experts call these types of policies a kind of “immunity passport.” But does beating the virus actually give you immunity? The evidence so far suggests that for most people, it does.”It’s certainly theoretically possible that some people even who have antibodies may not be protected,” Dr. Ania Wajnberg tells CNN outside her lab at Mount Sinai Hospital’s Icahn School of Medicine in New York.”But I think the majority of people that test positive for antibodies will be protected for some time.”
Guliani has Covid.
First round of vaccinations to begin Monday, December 21. The US public will start receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine from Monday after it was authorised for emergency use, officials say. The first three million doses of the vaccine would be shipped “across all states” this weekend, said Gen Gustave Perna, who is overseeing distribution.
Lockdown looms in Bethlehem for Christmas
Russian airline designates seats for people who don’t wear masks.
Macron has Covid-19.
Swedish King says country’s approach was a mistake.
WHO to investigate origins of Covid-19 in China. “It’s really not about finding a guilty country,” Fabian Leendertz of Germany’s Robert Koch Institute said. “It’s about trying to understand what happened and then see if, based on those data, we can try to reduce the risk in the future.”
Israel to quarantine arrivals from UK due to new virus strain, some refuse to go.
Questions over what UK told other countries.
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said he had known about the mutation since Saturday due to “a kind of leak from friendly sources.” He said that he had been asked to keep the matter secret but that the National Security Council had been updated the same day. “What do you mean secret?” Netanyahu hit back. “Such a thing cannot be kept secret.” visitors from UK, Denmark and South Africa banned from Israel.
WHO says it is in close contact with UK over new strain.
A number of European countries have banned, or are planning to ban, travel from the UK to prevent the spread of a more infectious coronavirus variant. The Netherlands and Belgium have halted flights, with Italy to follow suit. Trains to Belgium are also suspended.
“An infectious mutation of the Covid-19 virus is circulating in the United Kingdom. It is said to spread more easily and faster and is more difficult to detect,” the Dutch health ministry said in a statement. The Dutch public health body, the RIVM, therefore “recommends that any introduction of this virus strain from the United Kingdom be limited as much as possible by limiting and/or controlling passenger movements”.
US has debated martial law due to Trump denying election loss.
Hackers release details of China censorship over Covid.
CNN highlights Finland, Denmark and Norway as success stories for no lockdowns. CNN publishes unique Covid map.
Health reporter, BBC News
Just as we’ve got used to the idea of one worrying variant of this coronavirus, another one comes along.
The newest one, which has been brought from South Africa in recent weeks and infected two people in the UK, is “highly concerning”, says Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
It comes hot on the heels of the discovery of another variant in Kent causing sharply rising cases in the south and east of England, which will mean strict tier four restrictions being introduced in more areas of England on Boxing Day.
These are two different variants, but they have some similarities and share a mutation.
Crucially they are both concerning, leading to large increases in cases in South African and the UK.
UK scientists are skilled at genomic sequencing – the technique used to track mutations of the virus. That’s the main reason these variants have been found quickly and acted upon, but just because other countries haven’t detected them yet doesn’t mean they aren’t present.
The faster they can be found, the more quickly they can be squashed. With hospital admissions rising to near levels of the spring peak and deaths increasing daily, ministers have no choice but to act quickly.
Cutting social contact between people, tighter rules on travel and rapid testing – which is being rolled out to workers in care homes and is planned in schools and many local authorities – are the tools they are using to fight the virus on all fronts.
Ehud Barak skips mandatory quarantine coming back from UK
To travel next year people may need vaccination passports.
Israel has vaccinated 260,000, aiming for 150,000 a day.
EU begins mass vaccination
Japan closes borders to foreigners after first new variant of Covid found.
Unprecedented infection rate in UK, More than 200 British skiers fled a coronavirus quarantine in the popular Swiss resort of Verbier on Saturday night, reports say.
- India becomes the latest country to detect the new, more transmissible coronavirus variant
- The variant – first indentified in the UK – has also been detected in South Korea, Canada, and across Europe
- Spain says it will set up a register of people who refuse to have the Covid vaccination
- The head of England’s health service says workers are “back in the eye of the storm” as cases rise
- The military is to support mass testing in England’s secondary schools next month
- But school leaders warn the return of pupils may have to be delayed
- Globally there have been 81m confirmed cases since the outbreak began, and almost 1.8m deaths
UK approves Astra Zeneca vaccine
Slow rate of vaccination in France “But in the first three days of the campaign less than 100 people have been given the jab, — compared to 42,000 so far in Germany.” In Israel over 650,000 people have been vaccinated with the first shot of the Pfizer.
41 year old US Congressman dies of Covid.
January 1, 2021
Israel has vaccinated one million people, Netanyahu poses with man in Umm al-Fahm.
Crowds fill streets of Wuhan, where pandemic began, as most other western cities cancel New Years.
Taiwan New Years held as normal. “Taiwan hosted its usual fireworks display by its capital city’s iconic tower, Taipei 101. For its annual flag-raising ceremony in front of the Presidential Office Building on New Year’s morning, attendance was limited to government officials and invited guests. The island has been a success story in the pandemic, registering only seven deaths and 700 confirmed cases of COVID-19.”
January 3, 2021
Hadassah to close vaccination point.
France introduces 6pm curfew in some areas due to Covid.
Vaccine shortages: Scientists weight what one dose will do instead of two. “Some scientists have called for governments to give out single Covid-19 doses after preliminary research suggested they appear to provide a degree of protection, despite manufacturers recommending the full two. But other scientists warn that one inoculation is not enough to confer durable immunity.”…”The efficacy of one Moderna vaccine dose was around 80 to 90 percent, researchers found in stage 3 trials ahead of its approval by the US regulator in January. Scientists found that the Pfizer-BioNTech jab is 70 percent effective after one dose compared to 95 percent effective after two. And after approving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, British regulators said it was around 70 percent effective in the 12 weeks after the first dose.”
Uk warns of further restrictions amid new virus “surge.”
US hospitals on breaking point with 100,000 Covid patients a day.
British couple detained in Barbados after trying to flee “positive” test.
Canada politician critiqued for faking posts and going to St. Barts while locals told to quarantine. Conservative MP goes on vacation despite lockdowns. Reports in Sweden that “Dan Eliasson be Director-General of the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency go for vacation to Las Palmas.”
Larry King has Covid.
Canada police raid houses that have several people gathering despite “guidelines.”
Student jailed for months for violating Covid rules. “Skylar Mack, a pre-med student at Mercer University, left for the Islands November 27 after testing negative for Covid-19 at home, her grandmother, Jeanne Mack, told CNN. When Mack landed, she was given another COVID-19 test, which came back negative and she was told to remain in isolation for two weeks. Instead, she decided to attend her boyfriend’s jet ski competition two days later.”
Process of quarantine on arrival in South Korea.
NY detects UK variant of Covid.
Japan may enter a state of emergency this week as the country grapples with soaring coronavirus cases, a number of which have been linked to a new, potentially more infectious variant….”lf necessary, we won’t hesitate to dispatch the medical staff from Self Defense Force,” Suga added, saying the government will support medical facilities to ensure they are not overwhelmed.
“UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson reimposed a lockdown in England on Monday as a more transmissible variant of Covid-19 fuels a surge in infections and hospitalizations in the country.”…All schools and colleges will close to most pupils and switch to remote learning until the middle of February…”hardest yet”…and “last phase of struggle.”
Germany extends lockdown by three weeks.
France slow start saw only 516 people vaccinated, “But the real deadline is to reach 5-10 million (vaccinations) by the end of March, because that’s the point at which you have a real impact on the spread of the virus.” Pupils back in school.
Britain began inoculating its citizens with the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine against Covid-19 on Monday, giving the shot to Brian Pinker, an 82-year-old dialysis patient, at a hospital a few hundred metres away from where the vaccine was developed.
85 million cases, 1.8 million deaths.
Mayor de Blasio said the state has approved new groups of New Yorkers who can receive the coronavirus vaccine, starting Monday. The groups include testing site workers, contact tracers, outpatient and ambulatory care providers, dentists, physical therapists, workers at specialized health clinics and NYPD medical staff.
People arriving by plane, train or boat, including UK nationals, will have to take a test up to 72 hours before leaving the country they are in.
The Louvre, the world’s biggest museum, suffered a drop in visitor numbers of over 70 percent last year as Covid restrictions kept art lovers away, it said on Friday.
Biden favors single doses and faster rollout
Coumo fines New Rochelle for giving vaccine to first responders. Others denied vaccine.
German company BioNTech said Friday a preliminary study shows that its vaccine works against a key mutation in coronavirus variants uncovered in Britain and South Africa which experts have said is more contagious than normal coronavirus strains.
Wuhan patients had symptoms six months after Covid, such as fatigue.
Canadians who have endured a travel ban, 14-day quarantines and weeks-long lockdowns are angry with politicians and government workers who are flouting the very health guidelines they helped put in place.
Second, the vaccine has not yet been shown to reduce transmission of the virus.
China-Africa vaccines. China has the resources to honor Xi’s pledge. Its Sinopharm vaccine has been approved for domestic use, and four other Chinese candidates are in Phase 3 clinical trials — the last step of testing before regulatory approval is sought. Unlike some other vaccines, it doesn’t require storage at an ultra-low temperature, making shipment easier in developing countries.
US to require tests for passengers arriving.
Malaysia declares state of emergency over Covid.
Iraq: Update the Cabinet Decision No. (Britain, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Spain, Brazil, America, India, Australia, Japan, South Africa, Zambia), as well as preventing entry to arrivals from them (except Iraqis and compulsory quarantine for a period of 14 days, and they are not allowed to mix with others until it is proven that they are not infected with the disease through the examination of the PCR) for a period of two weeks, and until the global and regional situation is clear for the spread of this strain. In embassies, international organizations and experts working in service projects), provided that they are brought for a PCR examination within (72) hours before their entry into Iraq.
One year anniversary of WHO: “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #ChinaFlag of China.“
Tennis players have Covid and travel. Lisa Neville, Australia’s Minister for Police and Emergency Services, confirmed on Twitter that Sandgren’s positive result had been reviewed by health experts and “determined to be viral shedding from a previous infection, so was given the all clear to fly.”
Covid can provide months of immunity.
How worrying are new Covid variants.
Australia like to keep borders closed throughout 2021.
US State Department: “The virus could have emerged naturally from human contact with infected animals, spreading in a pattern consistent with a natural epidemic. Alternatively, a laboratory accident could resemble a natural outbreak if the initial exposure included only a few individuals and was compounded by asymptomatic infection. Scientists in China have researched animal-derived coronaviruses under conditions that increased the risk for accidental and potentially unwitting exposure.”
I receive my second Pfizer vaccine
Biden tackles Covid on first day in office with executive orders, hoping for 100 million vaccines in 100 days through March.
Haredim riot in Israel over lockdown extensions, send kids back to school.
WHO warns of catastrophic failure as wealthy nations don’t share vaccines.
UAE and Hungary begin to approve Russia’s Sputnik vaccine.
Wuhan entered lockdown a year ago “The Chinese city where the pandemic is believed to have started...At the time, the wider world was shocked by the harsh restrictions and rigid enforcement. From late January until June, the city was effectively sealed off from the rest of the country. But even though it came at a significant cost, it proved to be a highly successful method of tackling the virus….On January 23, two days before the country celebrated Chinese New Year, the streets of Wuhan fell silent: some 11 million people were put under tight quarantine, and face masks and social distancing became mandatory.”
Israel to close international airport for two weeks to prevent new “variants” entering the country
Wuhan marks one year anniversary of pandemic and lockdowns.
What ‘vaccine passports’ mean for vacations.
Under Lebanon’s harsh new lockdown. “People in Lebanon are living under one of the world’s strictest lockdowns. Under the round-the-clock curfew, citizens who are not “essential workers” have been barred from leaving their homes since 14 January.“
BBC: Australia suspends travel bubble. “The South African variant of the virus is believed to be more contagious, but there is currently no evidence that it causes more serious illness.” The travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand had opened in October 2020, though it was a one-way arrangement. Australia currently has a travel ban in place preventing residents from overseas travel. The infected patient had served 14-days in quarantine and tested negative twice before developing symptoms later.
“It is recommended all passengers from New Zealand with a flight scheduled in the next 72 hours reconsider their need to travel,” he told reporters, adding that the decision was made following advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).
ANTI-LOCKDOWN AND anti-mask demonstrators clash with police in Canada and Holland.
Details on which countries have given out how many vaccines.
Israel closes airport to travel for a month.
Israel police made secret deal with haredim not to enforce lockdown in Bnei Brak. Haredim return to schools while others in lockdown. Haredim attack light rail. Police forced to fire warning shots after bus attacked. Burn a bus. Journalists attacked. Video and video and video. Most infections in haredi and Arab areas, stats show. Video of the bus.
Barbados: Prime Minister Mia Mottley on Tuesday night announced new measures to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Barbados. Restricted movement will go into effect from February 3 to 17 over a 15-day period during which she says the island needs to pause. A national curfew will be in effect from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. during that time, tightening up on the current 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. directive.
Holland riots continue: In Den Bosch in the south, rioters set off fireworks, broke windows, looted a supermarket and overturned cars. A local woman told Dutch radio that masked youths had left a trail of destruction in the city centre. “I saw windows smashed and fireworks going off. Really crazy, just like a war zone,” she said. Dutch leaders condemn them.
EU demands vaccines first. Last week, AstraZeneca told the EU it was falling behind on its supply target because of production problems and Pfizer-BioNTech has also said supplies of its vaccine will be lower.
IMF concerned about new variants, while Moderna appears to work against them. “Although new restrictions following the surge in infections (particularly in Europe) suggest growth could be weaker than projected in early 2021, other factors pull the distribution of risks in the opposite direction,” the IMF said.If the vaccine distribution and efficacy go smoothly, for example, output could exceed expectations by as much as 1% globally, with companies hiring and expanding capacity in anticipation of rising demand.
One of Israel’s leading infectious disease experts warned Tuesday that the country’s coronavirus morbidity levels mean it cannot end the current lockdown on Jan. 31 as planned, and that it must be extended by an extra week.
Israel closes land borders due to Covid.
In May, 348 people were buried here, the worst month until now. Through just the first three weeks of January, that number stood at 1,333. Four epidemiologists told CNN that a new coronavirus variant, called P.1, is likely driving the new round of devastation that’s befallen Manaus.
France closes borders to non-EU citizens. “From Saturday, Germany will ban most travellers from countries hit hard by new variants. The countries are the UK, Ireland, Portugal, Brazil, South Africa, Lesotho and Eswatini. The move is expected to last until 17 February. Also from Saturday, the Czech Republic has banned non-essential entry into the country, again to try to curb the new variants. Portugal on Thursday banned non-essential overseas travel by air, land or sea for its citizens for a fortnight. Belgium on Wednesday banned non-essential trips out of the country until 1 March. In contrast, Italy said on Friday it would move more areas into less-restrictive rules from Monday, despite health officials warning it was risky. No areas would be classified as “red”, which brings tough travel and business restrictions.”
France resists imposing third national lockdown but imposes curfews.
EU imposes vaccine export controls.
Up to three million now vaccinated in UAE. US, UK, Bahrain, UAE and Israel lead world in vaccinations.
Canada bans flights to Caribbean and Mexico.
WHO team investigating Covid is now free to travel in Wuhan after two-week quarantine.
Johnson and Johnson one-shot vaccine has 66% efficacy, most other vaccines shown to work against new variants.
Countries praised for Covid response include Taiwan, Cyprus, New Zealand, UAE, Thailand, Rwanda, Iceland, Australia, Latvia, Sri Lanka.
43 year old died mother of eight of massive heart attack in Israel after having Covid, children possibly have rare disorder after Covid.
Wealthy donors at hospitals get vaccines before average people in US, and wealthy people go to Latino area to get them.
World powers are competing over Covid-19 vaccines, with national interests taking precedence over the World Health Organisation’s call for multilateralism. But as Western countries turn inward, China is exporting inoculations and extending its soft power.
France24: As a possible third lockdown hovers in the air in France, several thousand French people have fled to Madrid to enjoy restaurants, museums, cinemas and theatres, finding refuge in one of the last European cities to be spared severe Covid-19 restrictions. FRANCE 24’s Jean-Emile Jammine, Laura Cambaud, Maxime Rousseau and Kilian Le Bouquin report from the Spanish capital.
(CNN)A new forecast from the University of Washington’s pandemic forecasting team is frightening. Even in a best-case scenario, close to another 200,000 Americans are likely to die between now and May 1.
Canada: Health officials back reopening schools in ‘green’ and ‘yellow’ cities;
Canada: That still leaves Canada with a significant shortage of vaccines in the short term. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are the only vaccines so far approved for use in Canada.
“Of particular concern … is the emergence of the E484K mutation (found in the South African variant), which so far has only been seen in a relatively small number of individuals,” said Ravi Gupta, a professor at Cambridge University’s Institute of Therapeutic Immunology & Infectious Disease, who co-led the study.
Scientists working with Public Health England found a small number of cases of the UK ‘Kent’ variant with the E484K mutation – it was seen in 11 out of 214,159 samples that they tested, and predominantly from the South West of England. People in areas that have been singled out for enhanced testing for the South African variant should further limit the time they spend away from home, a minister has said.
Israel says reopening could take months. “While infection rates, serious cases are dropping among over-60s, experts say reopening country will still take months, complicated by coronavirus mutations, refusal among some sectors to adhere to safety rules and wobbles in pace of inoculations“
Canada takes COVAX despite having secured side deals.
Israel sees worrying transmission among children: In November 2020, some 400 toddlers had been diagnosed with COVID-19, by February that number had jumped to more than 5,800; health experts attribute massive increase to recently discovered mutations of pathogen.
Nearly four in ten people in France, more than 25% of those in the US and 23% in Germany say they definitely or probably will not get vaccinated against Covid-19, according to a survey that underlines the challenge facing governments.
Israeli hospital says it may have found cure for Covid.
“Life is fleeting,” says CBS, noting that for the first time the number vaccined daily is more than the number of new cases, but many dying in Portugal, twice as deadly as last year. New Zealand and Australia not vaccinating. CBS says 1.4 million are being vaccinated a day, concerns of staying ahead of variants. These include Brazil, South Africa, UK and also a new one in Southern California. Expert says vaccined 50-60% effective against variants. AstraZeneca is very concerned about South Africa. New version could be available in fall. Expert on CBS says that WHO team won’t find original strain in Wuhan or put to rest concerned it was from a lab. CBS says it is now an “endemic” disease, not a pandemic, it is “here to stay.”
Vaccines offer China inroads in MidEast.
Russia’s Vaccine more respected today.
In interview with Biden he is asked about 20 million children returning to school, he says “safely.” Read Biden’s recent speech.
South Africa concerned that Oxford vaccine doesn’t work against variant.
Israel airport closed until February 21, but lockdown begins to end. Israel at 2 million with two doses and 3.2 million with three.
China’s drug authorities have given “conditional” approval for a second Covid-19 vaccine, Sinovac’s CoronaVac jab, the pharmaceutical company said Saturday.
“Dubai pays price” for opening during Covid pandemic.
WHO says it is extremely unlikely Covid originally leaked from a lab.
Tel Aviv provides vaccines for asylum seekers, undocumented workers.
Patient in France in critical condition after reinfection with Covid South Africa variant
Germany re-instates border controls over virus variants, border with Czech and Tyrol in Austria closed. “Travelers coming from certain areas of Austria or the Czech Republic will have to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test in order to enter Germany, a requirement that will present a hurdle for thousands of cross-border workers.”
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The UK had carried out more than 14m vaccinations by Friday morning and was fast approaching the target of inoculating the 14.6m most at risk from Covid-19 by the start of next week. Only Israel and the United Arab Emirates, among larger countries, have inoculated more per head of the population.
New York cover-up of nursing home deaths finally revealed. “Today, as the virus continues to ravage New York, slightly more than 15,000 residents of nursing homes and other adult care facilities have died of COVID-19, more than in any other state. Roughly 13,000 of those were nursing home residents, close to 13% of the state’s nursing home population.”
WHO mission returns from China, unable to access some data. “
Embarek declined to draw conclusions about what the 13 strains could have meant for the disease’s history before December.But the discovery of so many different possible variants of the virus could suggest it had been circulating for longer than just that month, as some virologists have previously suggested. This genetic material is likely the first physical evidence to emerge internationally to bolster such a theory.”
Moshe Bar Siman Tov “Opinion: The government must stop lifting restrictions while the pandemic is surging and the numbers of daily new infections are so high that any other country would be tightening health regulations and not reducing them.”
Denmark plans Covid passports.
New Zealand starts new lockdown over three cases in capital city.
US says up to 600,000 could die of Covid.
Fetus dies of Covid in Israel. “Health officials issue warning as evidence showing children being more vulnerable to British variant mounts, accounting for 80 percent of all Israel’s cases; extreme scenarios predict thousands of daily cases among children.”
Where can you travel if vaccinated.
Israel mutations concern
Schools reopen in Israel even though more infections among young.
Gym owners complain.
1/1000th chance of getting Covid if vaccinated.
Israel offers beer for vaccines and other incentives.
NPR article on Covid mutations.
Children increasingly suffer Covid.
Regional air travel has dismal outlook.
Germany and other wealthy countries may need to give some of their own stock of vaccines to developing countries in addition to money, since only vaccinating the whole world will end the coronavirus pandemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday.
Brazil to experiment with vaccinating 30,000 people in one city.
Woman dies of Covid after lung transplant.
Humans are spreading Covid to animals.
France new restrictions
Pregnant woman and baby die of Covid in Israel.
No consensus in EU on vaccine passports.
WHO urges listening to people with long term affects after Covid.
Europe’s vaccination effort stalls.
Children in the pandemic.
US approves third vaccine hopes to be done vaccinating by June.
WHO finds earlier outbreak evidence.
Politico: US warned about risky lab in Wuhan in 2018.
People who at first experience no symptoms when they have Covid-19 may still go on to become “long-haulers” – meaning they may develop and experience long-term symptoms later, according to early research, which has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
Mossad number 2 slams Israel’s handling of Covid.
Israel launched rapid Covid testing at airport as United cancels flights due to travel chaos.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that fully vaccinated Americans can return to some sense of normalcy. No masks.
Churches in Scotland to reopen for Easter.
Brazil surge in deaths surpasses 2,000 a day.
More than 5 million now had at least one jab in Israel.
Biden says he hopes people can gather in small groups for July 4.
Several US states stop requiring masks.
Fears US could enter lockdowns like Italy.
Police claim “Covid health” regulations to crack down on women’s protest in UK.
Astra Zeneca production problems.
Italy in new major lockdown.
US local governments ignore public records requests, claiming pandemic excuses.
Netherlands leads EU countries to suspend Astra Zeneca vaccine, then Germany and Spain and others follow.
“NY Mag: “That experts sometimes misled the public on key points out of fear that advising them honestly would lead them to take more risk; that hard rules (six feet apart, for no more than 15 minutes) were offered in place of broad principles (“like Japan’s, which emphasize avoiding the three C’s — closed spaces, crowded places, and close contact”); and a preference for false certainty (“There is no evidence of human-to-human transmission”) rather than honest nuance (“There is increasing likelihood that human-to-human transmission is taking place, but we haven’t yet proven this”)….much of the problematic guidance came from the WHO. But in East Asia, countries didn’t wait for the WHO’s guidance to change on aerosols or asymptomatic transmission before masking up, social-distancing, and quarantining. “They acted fast.”
US warns of spread of concerning variant.
Autopsy of a Pandemic, CNN speaks to Dr. Deborah Birx, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Brett Giroir, Dr. Stephen Hahn, Dr. Robert Kadlec and Dr. Robert Redfield: Redfield was the most vocal about it. He believes the current pandemic began in Wuhan as a localized outbreak in September or October of 2019 — much earlier than the official timeline — and then spread to every province in China over the next couple of months. The United States wasn’t formally notified of the “mysterious cluster of pneumonia patients” until December 31, 2019. Those were critical weeks and months that countries around the world could’ve been preparing…”Without assigning intentionality, Redfield told me he believes the origin of the pandemic is a lab in China that was already studying the virus, exposing it to human cell cultures.”Most of us in a lab, when trying to grow a virus, we try to help make it grow better, and better, and better, and better, and better, and better so we can do experiments and figure out about it. That’s the way I put it together.”
WHO says Covid likely came from an animal, not a lab. However they still can’t trace its full origins. WHO is scheduled to release the final report on its investigation into the origins of coronavirus on Tuesday, but a draft version of the report obtained by CNN shows there’s still no smoking gun and no evidence suggesting the virus was spreading any earlier than the very end of 2019.
Former US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield told CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta that his personal opinion was the virus was released from a lab.
The director of the US public health agency, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was speaking at a White House briefing when she said she was going to go “off script”….”I’m going to reflect on the reoccurring feeling I have of impending doom,” Dr Rochelle Walensky said, adding “we have so much reason for hope, but right now I’m scared”. New Covid cases have reached around 60,000 a day in the past week, a rise of around 7%.
Should vaccine stamps be laminated, the US has more states expressing controversy over currently non-existence “vaccine passports.” While doctors ponder how long vaccines protect people, CNN wonders if Covid will become like the flu with annual vaccines. Surge of cases in Michagin. Fauci says it won’t last forever.
Kurdish region in Iraq reinstates travel ban.
Australians stranded abroad for a year complain to UN.
EU concerned over “vaccine passports.” Travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand.
60% of adults received vaccine in UK. Astra Zeneca blot clot issues continues to ba an issue.
A third of people who had Covid report neurological and mental issues after.
Undercover parties in Paris.
In US returning kids to schools is a controversy, private school kids were allowed to go back to school, not public schools.
Another lockdown in Germany
Israel finally lets in families of Jewish olim.
Astra Zeneca concerns continue but “Scientist on #Newsnight saying that having the #AstraZeneca vaccine on any given day would be safer than having a bath, walking down the stairs, even eating your breakfast.”
NYT: Virus origins still obscure: “The suspicion of a lab leak is built on the notion that labs in China do collect and study these viruses and that the Chinese scientists are lying about the research they do or are unaware of what goes on in their institutions.”
A look at the long haul affects of Covid.
Paris police find secret restaurant.
More than halfof the people who tested positive for Covid-19 in the UK did not have symptoms, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said Thursday in its latest Infection Survey.
Uruguay death rate grows
Denmark bans AstraZeneca vaccine
Merkel takes AstraZeneca vaccine
New Zealand and Australia behind in vaccine rollout.
Fears over blood clots cast shadow over J and J and AstraZeneca vaccines.
“Now Maldives is striving to be ahead of the game when it comes to vaccine tourism.Officials for the Indian Ocean destination have announced plans to offer vaccinations to tourists on arrival in a bid to lure more visitors over.”
India cases massively rise
Istanbul allows prayers but not May Day
EU says benefits of J and J outweigh risks.
Dead body in. Vanuatu prompts Covid quarantine.
NZ airport worker who was vaccinated gets Covid.
US deaths acclerating.
India variant worries world, authorities said hospitals in the Indian capital of Delhi would start running out of medical oxygen by Wednesday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country faced a coronavirus “storm” overwhelming its health system. The health ministry said 1,761 people had died in the past day, raising India’s toll to 180,530 – still well below the 567,538 reported in the United States, though experts believe India’s actual toll far exceeds the official count.
Canada sends army to Ontario as Covid increases. Canada has strict lockdowns and people compl ion that rules are onerous, for instance if you leave and come back you get put in a special hotel for up to $2,000 for three days. Parks were recently closed. Education is remote learning.
Israel has first day with no Covid deaths.
Trump admin gave firm $1.7 billion for vaccine applicator it never made.
52 passengers. on India flight to Hong Kong test positive despite “negative” tests before flying.
UK Prime Minister Johnson said the bodies will pile high rather than a third lockdown.
Turkey announces new lockdowns.
Greece tries to revive tourism.
Biden encourages vaccination as evidence of why outdoor non-masking works.
US CDC: Fully vaccinated people can now unmask at small outdoor gatherings, or when dining outside with friends from multiple households. The CDC is telling unvaccinated people that they still need to wear a mask at such gatherings. “There’s increasing data that suggests that most of transmission is happening indoors rather than outdoors — less than 10% of documented transmission in many studies have occurred outdoors,” Walensky said. “We also know that there’s an almost 20-fold increased risk of transmission in the indoor setting than in the outdoor setting. That, coupled with the fact that we now have 37% of people over the age of 18 fully vaccinated and the fact that our case rates are now starting to come down, motivated our change in guidance…The CDC is able to make this announcement because our scientists are convinced by the data that the odds of getting or giving the virus to others is very, very low if you’ve both been fully vaccinated and out in the open air,” he said.
Nicholas Wade: Origin of Covid.
Donald McNeil: Lab leek needs another look.
Science Magazine publishes letter seeking investigation into origins of Covid.
“Three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick enough in November 2019 that they sought hospital care, according to a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report that could add weight to growing calls for a fuller probe of whether the Covid-19 virus may have escaped from the laboratory…“
New look at “gain of function” and virus.
“Confronting Dr. Anthony Fauci at a Senate committee hearing on the COVID-19 pandemic, Sen. Rand Paul argued that the United States collaborated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China to make a more deadly coronavirus….Second, the first outbreak occurred close to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where researchers studied bat coronaviruses, including the world’s closest relative to SARS-CoV-2. The laboratory searched for horseshoe bat colonies in caves in Yunnan province, and then brought those viruses back to Wuhan, where they were mass-produced, genetically manipulated and studied. Third, Ebright says, some of the bat-SARS-related coronavirus projects at the Wuhan Institute were conducted at biosafety standards that would pose a potentially high risk of infection if laboratory staff were to come in contact with the virus.”
Leading scientists, once skeptical of the hypothesis that Covid-19 leaked from a Wuhan lab, are asking for a fuller probe: “The goal of all of this is to follow the science”; others push back and say it might harm relations with China.
Covid origin story has massive political consequences.
Biden orders investigation into origins of Covid.
Facebook will no longer remove claims that Covid was man-made.
Melbourne and Bahrain enter lockdowns.
China puts pressure on Lithuania.
I have a question. When the pandemic first began two serious questions stood out that deserved more scrutiny from media in democracies. The media that “speaks truth to power” and does investigative journalism. The one that says “democracy dies in darkness” and “the truth matters more than ever.” The two issues that needed scrutiny were how it just happened the the leading institute researching these precise viruses just happened to be in the same city as the outbreak. What a coincidence. If this happened in a democracy, say France, and there was a leading institute researching coronaviruses and it was in Rennes in Brittany…and then suddenly a new mysterious virus began in Rennes…we’d ask serious questions. We’d ask ALSO how it’s possible they have the leading lab in Rennes and yet the researchers aren’t the first on the scene of the outbreak to advise government how to stop it…since it is such a miracle to have the leading researchers a few miles away. It’s not like it began in the Congo.
Second, when the pandemic began the WHO was told by China to say that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission through January 14, when in fact there likely was evidence for a month. China closed. off Wuhan on January 23. This played a key role in luring people into a false sense of calm. But it gets worse. The WHO and China had a joint team come to China to praise China’s efforts at containing the outbreak and that team put out a report on February 24. That report praised China for having mask wearing (the same WHO that praised this didn’t advise mask wearing in other countries until June)…and that report made it appear that the “curve” had gone down in two weeks and all was well.
All was not well. I know because when I was trying to help get PPE to Iraq on February 25 officials told me that they were expecting a worst case scenario. Meanwhile the WHO didn’t declare a pandemic until March 11, by which time the virus was raging in Iran, Italy and dozens of countries. How did the WHO take from mid-January to March 11 to not do more? Investigative journalists and democracies would normal question this much more.
But not only were we told not to question. We were in fact censored on social media if we even asked about the lab leak and shouted down as conspiracy theorist far-right “Trump supporting racists.” But it was a perfectly good question to ask. How is it possible a huge outbreak takes place in the same city as one of the world’s labs doing research on these viruses.
If Chernobyl had been reported and dealt with the way this pandemic was the Soviets would have denied anything happened and simply let the thing meltdown and then blamed the meltdown on the West and said there was no evidence that anything went wrong at Chernobyl. Then international organizations wouldn’t be allowed in and instead would write glowing reports about Russia’s efficiency. Our media would have told us it was a “right wing conspiracy theory” to say that Soviet incompetence led. to Chernobyl melting down and media would say “a meltdown is actually a very unlikely cause of the radiation sickness now killing millions.” We would be told that nothing happened for a year until the US president finally ordered intel agencies to look into what happened.
The very fact we had a global pandemic and millions died and there has been no unfettered, transparent and independent access to Wuhan…that basic details, records and early cases are not available for independent researchers to examine…that we are in the dark still more than a year later, and there isn’t some huge media outcry, illustrates what was done to us. We were told basically that any questioning of the official, mostly Chinese version of what happened, was some kind of conspiracy, as if we already live in a world where Beijing controls our media. Asking basic journalistic questions was seen as “against science.”
Even if the lab leak did not happen…the questions about the handling of the outbreak from January 13 to March 11 should raise red flags. How did this happen, how did it leave Wuhan, why were we told the curve was declining so quickly in China and why did the WHO wait so long to declare a pandemic? How come China, along among the world’s countries almost, had this magic two-week curve to “stop the spread”…the one we were told about but which in our countries we had several waves of the virus, while China had none, supposedly.
Basic questions. No answers.
CNN: We need to know how Covid-19 emerged so we can stop it happening again.
Rudd: Countries should unite against China’s growing economic and geopolitical coercion or risk being singled out and punished by Beijing. “
BBC: It was really Australia’s call for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic that set off a new storm between the two sides. China retaliated by placing sanctions on Australian imports – including wine, beef, lobster and barley – and has hinted more may come.”
FoxNews: Explosive study on gain of function claims China created Covid. British Professor Angus Dalgleish and Norwegian scientist Dr. Birger Sørensen wrote they’ve had primary evidence “of retro-engineering in China” since last year, but were ignored by academics and major medical journals, The Daily Mail reported Saturday, citing the soon-to-be-published study…
NYPost: Scientists at the Chinese lab eyed as a possible source of the coronavirus pandemic were previously filmed getting bitten and spattered with blood while handling bats without protection, according to reports…China has tested more than 50,000 animals, including thousands of bats, to find evidence of COVID-19’s origins — amid a renewed international focus on whether the virus actually leaked from a laboratory.
Nate Silver: I swear I’m sick of posting about the lab-leak stuff, but it seems very warped that a bunch of prominent scientists are saying we shouldn’t investigate the claims for reasons that have little to do with science and lots to do with politics.
“One company that also made a presentation at the Harvard meeting was Twist Bioscience. Twist, interestingly, is one of the few cos. that provides made-to-order DNA which is essential for viral cloning, like that done by Ralph Baric’s lab.”
Why the Lab leak theory matters by Douthat. “The Chait-Yglesias argument is that this was a case study in media groupthink, and especially the way that putatively neutral institutions increasingly cover controversial questions, as Chait puts it, “based entirely on how they believe political actors will use the answer.” In this case, because the lab leak theory was associated early on with Republican China hawks like Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, given prominence by conservative publications (Jim Geraghty of National Review has been an essential and evenhanded voice on the subject) and eventually picked up by the Trump administration, there was self-reinforcing pressure — among journalists who covered the story and Twitter experts who opined on it — to put the possibility in the QAnon box and leave it there….But if we could find out the truth, and it turned out that the Wuhan Institute of Virology really was the epicenter of a once-in-a-century pandemic, the revelation would itself be a major political and scientific event. First, to the extent that the United States is engaged in a conflict of propaganda and soft power with the regime in Beijing, there’s a pretty big difference between a world where the Chinese regime can say, We weren’t responsible for Covid but we crushed the virus and the West did not, because we’re strong and they’re decadent, and a world where this was basically their Chernobyl except their incompetence and cover-up sickened not just one of their own cities but also the entire globe….This is especially true if there’s any chance that the Covid-19 virus was engineered, in so-called gain of function research, to be more transmissible and lethal — a possibility raised by, among others, a former science writer for this newspaper, Nicholas Wade.”
CBS: “Gottlieb said the theory that the source of the coronavirus was a wet market in Wuhan has been “fully disproven,” and he stressed that China could provide evidence that would help identify its origins, including blood samples from employees of the lab in Wuhan, the original source strains and early samples of the virus that could be sequenced. “The challenge is that the side of the ledger that suggests that this could have come out of a lab has continued to expand. And a side of the ledger that suggests that this could have come from a zoonotic source, come out of nature, really hasn’t budged,” Gottlieb said in an interview with “Face the Nation.” “And if anything, you can argue that that side of the ledger has contracted because we’ve done an exhaustive search for the so-called intermediate host, the animal that could have been exposed to this virus before it spread to humans. We have not found such an animal.” “If we assess that there is a probability or a possibility that this came out of a lab, it’s going to affect how we respond to this,” he said. “We’re going to need to focus on trying to get better controls in this sort of high-risk research going forward and get better controls over these BSL-4, these high security labs that conduct this research.” Gottlieb said lab leaks aren’t rare and “mishaps” have occurred even in the U.S. But he said it’s important to understand the possibility the coronavirus came out of a lab so there can be heightened international attention on such facilities, including from intelligence services. “We need to also look at public health through the lens of national security,” he said. “This was an asymmetric harm to the United States. COVID hurt the U.S. a lot more than it hurt many other countries.”
Washington Post stealth edits of old headlines claiming lab leak was “debunked”, now it “disputed.”
Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan says Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will continue coordination after Kuwaiti leader visit to Kingdom, discussed Iran also.
Protests in Brazil due to Bolsonaro handling of Covid.
Copa America moves to Brazil after Argentina cases worsen.
Dr. Fauci emails under scrutiny for being against masks and discussing lab leak.
“Delta” variant is 40% more transmissible.
New variant shows rising cases in UK.
Tigers in India have Covid.
A monthslong Vanity Fair investigation details how efforts to probe the Wuhan lab leak theory were suppressed within parts of the U.S. government. Contributing editor Katherine Eban joined CBSN to discuss more of what her investigation uncovered. Interview shows how US government funded Wuhan lab research, how State Dept urged media not to discuss it after, and how because of Trump’s comments, major media and social media labelled the “lab leak” a conspiracy even though there were reasonable questions to be asked.
US gets new support from EU on new study into Covid origins.
Details on how China bought up world’s masks in early 2020.
Sen. Lindsey Graham on coronavirus origins on Fox News: “This is lab-gate, China-gate, call it whatever you want to call it.”
A Nobel prize-winning US biologist, who has been widely quoted describing a “smoking gun” to support the thesis that Covid-19 was genetically modified and escaped from a Wuhan lab, has said he overstated the case. David Baltimore, a distinguished biology professor, had become one of the most prominent figures cited by proponents of the so-called lab leak theory.
China calls ‘lab leak‘ absurd.
G-7 set out global pandemic action plan, promise vaccines to poorer countries, plan to help identify future pandemics and develop vaccines faster.
IMPORTANT youtube video on the lab leak.
Palestinians cancel deal with Israel for 1 million vaccines.
Afghanistan lacks oxygen as it battles third wave.
Delta variant spreads widely in UK.
Israel cancels indoor mask mandate.
China claims its has almost vaccinated 1 billion people. US delivers vaccines to Taiwan.
South America now a Covid hot spot.
China sends vaccines to Bolivia.
D Variant spreads in Israeli schools and Israel considers returning indoor mask mandate.
Moscow says new wave of pandemic due to new strain.
Sydney lockdown extended due to Delta variant.
Israel returns indoor mask mandate as cases rise due to Delta variant.
Spain ends outdoor mask mandate, many continue with masks anyway.
FAA seeks large fines for unruly passengers, many due to mask regulations. Since the beginning of the year, the FAA has received about 3,100 reports of unruly behavior by passengers, including about 2,350 reports of passengers refusing to comply with the federal transportation mask mandate.
WSJ: What we know and don’t know about the origins of Covid.
Matt Hancock resigns in UK after affair that violated Covid guidelines.
NYT opinion article on COvid lab leak. “Nearly every SARS case since the original epidemic has been due to lab leaks — six incidents in three countries, including twice in a single month from a lab in Beijing.”
Australia Covid restrictions grow, in one case just one person with Covid caused a lockdown.
Delta variant a threat to “unvaccinated south.”
Crowds flee Dhaka ahead of new lockdowns.
Brazil children deaths increase.
Australia spike in cases increases.
Israel sees more than 300 cases a day.
Singapore wants to stop counting cases, move on.
UK to scrap most Covid restrictions.
Israel vaccinates teens due to Delta variant rise, as cases climb to some 500 a day.
Israel says third dose. not needed for low risk Israelis.
Australia in panic over Delta variant as lockdowns don’t slow spread. “You should not have visitors to your home, other than for essential caring reasons, if you’re in Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour areas). Socialising isn’t a reasonable excuse to have visitors or leave home.” Australia’s biggest city, home to five million people, is under a stay-at-home order until 17 July. The neighbouring Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong, and Shoalhaven regions are also affected…The New South Wales state government reported 38 cases in its capital on Thursday, pushing the case number of this Delta outbreak over 370.
Israel surpasses 500 cases a day, but says lockdowns not likely. France postpones reopening, South Africa has new lockdowns.
Lead Sinovac scientist dies of Covid in Indonesia.
Twenty-four states have seen an uptick of at least 10% in Covid-19 cases over the past week as health experts and the federal government keep pressing for more people to get vaccinated.The rapid spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus has only ratcheted up the pressure.
South Africa thought it was over Covid, then Delta happened.
Heart inflammation linked tp Pfizer and Moderna.
UK reopening: Sajid Javid, the new lockdown-skeptic health secretary, said he is prepared to let cases hit 100,000 a day because the U.K.’s vaccination rollout has weakened the link between cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
Spectators restricted Japan Olympics. Coronavirus infections are rising in Tokyo as the 23 July opening ceremony edges closer.
CNN: Twenty-four states have seen an uptick of at least 10% in Covid-19 cases over the past week, Johns Hopkins University data shows, as health experts and the federal government keep pressing for more people to get vaccinated.The rapid spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus has only ratcheted up the pressure.That variant, first identified in India, accounted for 51.7% of all new Covid-19 infections.
With Israel surpassing 700 cases a day government vows to crackdown on indoor masks. Tourists barred until August.
Nearly half of Jakarta’s residents may have contracted Covid-19, according to a health survey — more than 12 times the number of cases officially recorded in the Indonesian capital at the time when the research was carried out.
Making the situation worse, Australia’s limit on international arrivals has been cut from a little over 6,000 to about 3,000 passengers a week as of July 14, crushing the hopes of roughly 34,000 Australians who have registered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as being stuck overseas and wanting to come home.
In France the unvaccinated are barred from trains, hotels, cafes and malls, rush for vaccines takes place, France mandates vaccines for health workers.
Covax to take 550 million Chinese vaccines despite concerns they are not effective.
Covid vaccine fear tactic add shows person gasping for air.
In US Fauci advises masks for three-year-olds.
New COVID protocols in Olympics due to increasing spread
California returns mask mandate
Cases of respiratory illness in children.
The head of the World Health Organization acknowledged it was premature to rule out a potential link between the COVID-19 pandemic and a laboratory leak, and he said Thursday he is asking China to be more transparent as scientists search for the origins of the coronavirus.
In a rare departure from his usual deference to powerful member countries, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said getting access to raw data had been a challenge for the international team that traveled to China earlier this year to investigate the source of Covid-19. The first human cases were identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
BBC: Younger adults admitted to hospital with Covid are almost as likely to suffer from complications as those over 50 years old, a study has found.
Singapore and UK contrasted; in June, Singaporean lawmakers unveiled the country’s roadmap to a “new normal” in a letter published in the Straits Times, outlining a radical departure from Singapore’s previous “zero transmission” model.So-called “zero-Covid” approaches have been adopted by several countries and territories across the Asia-Pacific region.But the letter revealed that Singapore’s authorities were looking to change tack, moving away from daily monitoring of cases to a focus on medical outcomes such as “how many fall very sick, how many in the intensive care unit, how many need to be intubated for oxygen, and so on,” they wrote.
US believes Covid misinformation is killing people, travel firms angry over constantly changing rules, UK forces vaccinated from France into quarantine. US says pandemic is now a pandemic of the unvaccinated.
WSJ: The Reassuring Data on the Delta Variant: There’s no sign of a surge in hospitalization/severe illness,and vaccines remain extremely effective.
Abu Dhabi reintroduces measures for Covid.
While US cases rise, reports say most serious hospitalizations are for unvaccinated.
Jpost: “Israel is about to become the first country in the world to test the oral COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oramed Pharmaceuticals, the company’s CEO Nadav Kidron told The Jerusalem Post.
Oramed’s subsidiary, Oravax Medical, is gearing up to commence clinical trials of its vaccine at Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv”
The Israel Health Ministry reported Thursday the efficacy of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine in preventing infection has dropped to 39% but the effectiveness in preventing severe illness still remains relatively high.
CNN: The Chinese government will not participate in a second phase of the World Health Organization’s investigation into the origins of Covid-19, a top health official announced Thursday, after the possibility of the virus leaking from a Wuhan lab was included on the proposal.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the government’s top public health experts, got into a heated exchange at a Senate hearing Tuesday after Paul accused Fauci of lying to Congress about the role the National Institutes of Health played in funding research in Wuhan, China.
Controversy at Olympics as athletes test positive.
CNN: If Joe Biden’s July Fourth fireworks marked a moment to declare the darkest days of the pandemic over, Monday was the day when reality dawned that the nation’s fight against Covid-19 is quickly sliding back in the wrong direction.A hybrid version of American life that will pass for normality for the foreseeable future is coming into view, in which most of the vaccinated live and many of those who refuse their shots get sick or die…The prospect of millions of youngsters over 2-years-old in face coverings in class epitomized how the nation is still under siege from the virus.
Spain’s top court has ruled that last year’s strict coronavirus lockdown was unconstitutional.
AP: “COVID-19 cases nearly tripled in the U.S. over two weeks amid an onslaught of vaccine misinformation that is straining hospitals, exhausting doctors and pushing clergy into the fray.”
Large protests in France against vaccine passports
Protests in Australia against lockdowns, which continue to be extended as several hundred cases were found. By Friday, 15.4% of the nation’s population aged 16 and above have received both jabs for COVID-19.
“Just two months ago, less than 5% of Canadians were fully vaccinated against Covid-19. At the same time, about 40% of Americans were. Today, a little less than 50% of Americans are fully vaccinated, while a little more than 50% of Canadians are.” Progressives more likely to get vaccinated.
Wuhan lab funding controversy in US.
One of the US scientists who collaborated on the 2015 research on bat viruses with the Wuhan institute, Dr Ralph Baric from the University of North Carolina, gave a detailed statement to the Washington Post. He said the work they did was reviewed by both the NIH and the university’s own biosafety committee “for potential of gain-of-function research and were deemed not to be gain-of-function”.
Family tensions in France. “On Wednesday, July 21, French Prime Minister Jean Castex detailed the government’s roadmap for countering the progression of the Delta variant. “We know what the key is … We need to vaccinate,” Castex emphasised, as he defended the tighter health measures announced on July 12 by President Emmanuel Macron.“
CNN: Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday called out “the unvaccinated folks” for the rise in Covid-19 cases in her state, a remarkable plea at a time when many GOP leaders are refusing to urge people to get vaccinated even as Covid-19 cases surge in many parts of the country.
LA Times “Rare, breakthrough cases cause confusion and alarm in US.” This refers to those who are vaccinated and get Covid.
WSJ: The Delta variant accounts for 83% of analyzed Covid-19 cases in the U.S, according to genetic sequences from positive tests submitted
While some Americans were quoting a claim that there were only 5,000 “breakthrough” cases of vaccinated people getting Covid, Bloomberg says real number is more than 100,000 by end of July.
CNN: Army deployed in Australia during lockdowns. Enforcement in mostly poorer areas. “From Monday, some 300 Australian army personnel will help police door-knock people who have tested positive to the virus to ensure they are isolating, New South Wales police commissioner Mick Fuller said at a televised news conference.”
CDC leak: “The Delta coronavirus variant surging across the United States appears to cause more severe illness and spread as easily as chickenpox, according to an internal document from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
CNN: Beijing recorded its first Covid-19 case in nearly six months on Wednesday, as Chinese authorities scramble to prevent the spread of the Delta variant amid an outbreaklinked to an airportin the populous eastern city of Nanjing.
Canada vaccines: Just two months ago, less than 5% of Canadians were fully vaccinated against Covid-19. At the same time, about 40% of Americans were. Today, a little less than 50% of Americans are fully vaccinated, while a little more than 50% of Canadians are.
CDC reveals Covid infecting vaccinated: “A new study shows the Delta Covid-19 variant produced similar amounts of virus in vaccinated and unvaccinated people if they get infected — illustrating a key motivation behind the federal guidance that now recommends most fully vaccinated Americans wear masks indoors.”
UK cases begin to decline, deaths very low after reopening.
Italian parliament members protest “green passport” for vaccinated.
Holland Green Passport QR code lets people who test positive but are vaccinated enter venues. In Israel they get quarantined for ten days.
“if everyone gets vaccinated we don’t need anymore masks…
Robert Reich: “Every company in America should require all workers to be vaccinated, period….Earlier this spring, it seemed as if Trump and COVID were gone, and Biden seemed surprisingly able to get the nation back on track. But it’s clear now that Trump’s legacy continues — and much is sliding backwards.”
“In 2015, French intelligence officials warned the U.S. State Department that China was cutting back on agreed collaboration at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a former State Department official told the Daily Caller News Foundation.”
Saudi Arabia to allow vaccinated tourists to visit after 17-month Covid closure
French protest Covid vaccine passes.
Chet Hanks, son of Tom Hanks, in online claims against Covid hysteria.
US Community transmission now severe across country.
Macron warns of Covid crisis in overseas territories.
Woman in Germany accused of replacing vaccines with saline solution.
Unvaccinated 1.5 times more likely to get “Delta” variant.
With Israeli cases surpassing 6,000 a day, and hospitalizations rising, the country quarantines arrivals from the US and considers new lockdowns.
18% of US migrants released by Border Patrol have Covid.
Israel: Israel is seriously considering starting to administer a third coronavirus vaccine to people over 40, Health Ministry’s Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash said Thursday, a day after the coronavirus cabinet approved a set of new restriction amid a spike in cases…Starting from August 18, the green pass system will be expanded to all activities and venues except for malls and stores, for which the Purple Ribbon outline will be brought back, allowing a maximum of one person per seven square meters (stores less than 100 sq. m. will be exempt).
China continues zero Covid policy: “For more than a year, China had largely kept the virus at bay by tightly sealing its borders and swiftly taming local flare-ups with zero tolerance for infections. But despite stringent measures, a dozen cases of the Delta variant were detected among cleaning staff at one of the country’s busiest airports. The variant soon spread to more than half of China’s 31 provinces, resulting in excess of 1,000 infections in less than three weeks.”
New Zealand enters lockdown.
US not collecting data on Delta, NBC: “In the U.S. we have no firm idea how many kids have already been infected with COVID,” Gottlieb wrote. “We have no idea if hospitalizations in south are tip of a huge iceberg of dire infection — or a sign that COVID has become more pathogenic in children. The CDC should gather this data. It isn’t.”…“The fact is that 18 months into the pandemic, we are still not in the position we should be, in terms of our ability to move quickly to collect and analyze data that is needed for public health decisions,” Oster wrote Monday in her online newsletter.
With more than 100,000 people in hospital with Covid, US in worse situation than last August despite vaccines.
Pfizer vaccine receives full approval in US.
China says its “Zero Covid” strategy is correct, but anyone who critiques it can get in trouble.
Sajid Javid to make vaccination mandated for health NHS employees.
Blog post by Kendrik on questions.
“Israel Health Ministry reports 5,810 people tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday, with infection rate dropping to 5.31% – the lowest it has been since August 19; IDF’s virus taskforce says 49.9% of newly diagnosed are 19 and younger.”
EU drops US from safe list due to rise in Covid, some countries make travel from US, Israel difficult.
World Cup qualifier leads to players in trouble over violating Covid protocols; “The Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (Anvisa) had requested support from the country’s Federal Police to prevent four Argentinian players from participating in the qualifier, saying that the players in question made false statements upon arriving in Brazil, omitting that they had been in the UK in the past 14 days.”
Israel may re-open to small groups of tourists.
New “Mu Variant” found in people in LA.
US concerned over people using Ivermectin as treatment after Joe Rogan mentions it and people push it online. Media and others call it “horse de-wormer”. Claims that “horse dewormer” overdoses crowd hospitals. A corrects. story saying 70% of calls were related to overdoses, it was actually 2%. NYTimes says it doesn’t treat Covid but prescriptions grow.
New Zealand reduces lockdowns, but records first fatality in six months.
Washington Post asks if unvaccinated deserve ICU beds amid push to deny them treatment “Compassion fatigue is a rising condition, as public sympathy for unvaccinated covid-19 patients sinks beneath the weight of news reports.” Comes after LA Times said doctors were “low on compassion” for the “unvaccinated.” Vaccine skeptics blamed for the spread in US (even though highly vaccinated countries like Israel have high cases). Commentatrs demand the US come down hard on “unvaccinated.”
Alex Berenson banned from Twitter for allegedly spreading false information on vaccines.
Staffers quit NY hospital over vaccine mandate.
Delta variant threatens Singapore ‘living with Covid’ strategy.
French Health Minister under investigation for Covid response in 2020.
Former Australian PM Abbott fined for not wearing mask, while current leader took trip as “essential worker” to see family, despite restrictions. “Australia on Saturday posted 2,077 infections, surpassing the previous day’s record of 1,903. New South Wales, which has been under strict stay-at-home orders for nearly three months, said it detected 1,599 new infections.”
England scraps vaccine passport plans.
Israel health minister admits Green pass is mostly incentive for people getting vaccines but isn’t scientifically necessary at outdoor events or places like pools. Horowitz pointed out that the Green Pass currently applies to most public attractions, except malls, and he doesn’t want to make exceptions, “because then they will say — if not pools, then why water parks? “Still, we don’t want to do things that don’t have medical justification.”
Supply chain woes grow, gas shortages in UK, property developers face bankruptcy in China.
China pushes new Xi curriculum amid crackdown on newly wealthy and video games.
China builds 5,000 room quarantine center.
The View in the US pulls two commentators as VP attends amid false-positive Covid tests: “
Brian Teta, executive producer of “The View,” addressed the false alarm on Monday’s episode of the show. He said when he pulled Hostin and Navarro off the set that he was only thinking about keeping everyone – including Harris — safe.”
YouTube cracks down on anti-vaccine posts.
Swedish Public Health Agency report ignored by @nytimes last year: “…it is evident children are much less likely to develop serious disease if they become infected, meaning that keeping schools open might be less harmful for children than closing them.”
SkyNews: COVID will end up resembling a common cold by spring next year, leading experts have said.
Controversy in the US over Covid threat to kids.
Dispute in US over whether Covid will mutate faster as vaccination rates increase.
Singapore to allow quarantine-free travel
Israel, which was requiring tests for childrent o enter the gym, now may not require. them.
BBC looks at “false science” behind ivermectin hype.
As US employers step up firing workers who refuse to get vaccinated, BBC looks at why some believe it is their right to refuse.
Studies confirm waning immunity from Pfizer and other vaccines, as people move toward booster shots. Fauci says not to panic.
China tests old Wuhan blood samples.
Merck asks for authorization for Covid pill that it says can cut hospitalizations by half.
US seeks to get businesses to fire people who refuse vaccinations.
Large survey in US shows some parents would hesitate to vaccinate children.
Court in Israel orders Covid vaccine for child.
BBC asks what we can learn from Israel vaccinating children over 12.
Israel begins to allow children back to places like gyms without requiring daily tests and also stops requiring vaccinated parents of children to isolate. Begins green pass classroom program.
Thailand opens up tourism to several countries, including China.
The number of people testing positive for Covid in the UK has been rising in recent days to more than 40,000 daily cases…Thanks to the vaccine, a case of Covid is much less likely to land you in hospital. But soaring infections – which are outstripping some European nations – are still proving a cause for concern. -BBC
On the eve of Singapore dropping quarantine restrictions for vaccinated travelers from the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State Department warned Americans not to visit the country. Both the CDC and State Department cited a “very high level of COVID-19” in Singapore.According to Johns Hopkins University data, the Southeast Asia country has had a record high 70,374 COVID cases in the last 28 days. CNN notes this is an ultra-https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/cdc-very-high-risk-travel-destinations-october-18/index.htmlmodern city state being singled out by CDC.
McFaul: “Even when I disagree, I will respect your point of view regarding guns, abortion, or taxes. I do not respect your point of view when you argue that the earth is flat, 2+2=5, or taking vaccines is a personal choice. These are not “opinions.” They are false statements. #FactsMatter“
Ghitis: How did Colin Powell get Covid? Someone gave it to him. That’s the only way. Please get vaccinated. Please wear a mask when you’re near other people…CNN explains why even the vaccinated may get Covid…
Football coach fired for not taking vaccine. Half of Chicago’s rank-and-file cops could be off the street. Their union doesn’t want to be required to disclose their vaccine status. Also, 120 cops in San Francisco refused to comply with that city’s vaccine mandate.
US wonders why it takes up to five days for Covid test results. The White House said this month that it plans to buy $1 billion worth of rapid antigen tests to help improve access to the hard-to-find over-the-counter kits. But people are also facing problems getting molecular testing, including the gold-standard PCR tests.
Singapore extends Covid restrictions after 18 deaths.
Commuters tell NY police to put on masks on subway.
Djokovic given ultimatum in tennis to take vaccine.
One billion people have been vaccinated in India.
Covid cases rise in UK.
New Delta strain AY4.2 has grown in UK and arrived in Israel, reports say.
Russia to close down from October 30 for a week due to rising cases.
Australia “Victoria’s pandemic timeline means unvaccinated patrons will be allowed to shop at non-essential retail stores from Friday, but will be locked out from those stores once vaccination hits 90 per cent….Victoria has reported 1534 new cases of COVID-19, and 13 deaths. More than 90% of Victorians aged 16 and over have had one vaccine dose, almost 76% have had two”…Australia’s vaccination target was 80%…but it surpassed it but still has more scary headlines.
“Mila writes about her first full day in a mask and what it’s like being back at school”
Australia will launch quarantine-free corridor with Singapore….did Australia rely on wrong pandemic modeling. “People found guilty of “intentionally and recklessly” breaching public health orders would face two years in jail or a $90,000 fine, the premier will get sweeping powers to declare pandemics and the public’s right to privacy will be enshrined in law under pandemic legislation introduced by the Andrews government.”
Tennis shows model of new society: “The tournament hosted full capacity, vaccinated crowds for the entirety of the two-week tournament, but implemented two sets of rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated players. All players were tested upon arrival in the United States and tested every four days thereafter…If a vaccinated player was deemed a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case, they could play in the days following provided they returned a negative test.If an unvaccinated player was deemed a close contact, however, they were forced to withdraw from the tournament”
Beijing pushes lockdown after a few cases found.
“The global body established by the World Bank and the World Health Organisation in 2018 to prepare for pandemics says that the world does not have the capacity to end the current pandemic or prevent the next one.”
UK: Parent tweets about grounding daughter for weeks after she wasn’t socially distanced with a friend.
FDA advisors backs Pfizer plan for vaccines for kids 5-11 years old.
Author: “During my research I have become convinced that only a few institutions have the resources – and lack of oversight – to imperil the world.”
US: The White House has outlined new rules for foreign travellers to the US, as flight restrictions lift on November 8 for the first time since the pandemic began in 2020. The plan to reopen the US border next month to foreign flights includes a requirement that almost all foreign visitors be vaccinated against Covid. The US travel ban has grown to include dozens of countries, including the UK, much of Europe, China and India…”It is in the interests of the United States to move away from the country-by-country restrictions previously applied during the Covid-19 pandemic and to adopt an air travel policy that relies primarily on vaccination to advance the safe resumption of international air travel to the United States,” Mr Biden’s proclamation says…. Unvaccinated travellers, including Americans, will have to show a negative Covid test taken within one day of departure. Children under the age of 18 will be exempt from the vaccination requirement but must still provide a negative test taken within three days of travel.
Washington Examiner: ” a top official at the National Institutes of Health has conceded that contrary to the repeated assertions of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the NIH did indeed fund highly dangerous gain-of-function research on bat-borne coronaviruses in the Wuhan Institute of Virology…used by EcoHealth Alliance, the New York City-based nonprofit organization headed by frequent WIV collaborator Peter Daszak”
Officials are keeping a close watch on a new descendant of the Delta variant (Ay.4.2) of Covid that is causing a growing number of infections in UK.
BBC: How effective is a third vaccine dose?
Turkmenistan claims it has no Covid cases still.
Is immunity waning, doctors say not to worry.
Why aren’t some doctors aware of this treatment?
If patients do manage to learn about antibodies, they can then face another challenge. As Covid-19 numbers surged this summer and early fall, some hospitals, and even community groups, rose to the occasion and started helping large numbers of patients gain access to the drugs. But some major, well-resourced medical centers say staffing and space shortages have prevented them from offering more than just a handful of treatments per day.”Some [hospitals] simply are not in a position to reallocate resources for providing monoclonal antibody treatments,” said Akin Demehin, the American Hospital Association’s director of policy.
Ynet: Vaccinating children is a civic duty.
Cruise lines still ban unvaccinated children.
Although US has falling Covid cases, masks are recommended basically everywhere.
Did NIH work on “gain of function” research.
New Zealand may ease travel restrictions.
Israel to ban unvaccinated tourists.
US mandates vaccines for businesses over 100 employees. “Vaccination is the single best pathway out of this pandemic. And while I would have much preferred that requirements not become necessary, too many people remain unvaccinated for us to get out of this pandemic for good. So I instituted requirements — and they are working,” Biden said in a statement…The OSHA rule does allow for employees to remain unvaccinated if they so choose, but the employee must provide a verified negative test to their employer on at least a weekly basis and must wear face masks in the workplace.
The Israel Coronavirus Pandemic Response Team that has been advising the Health Ministry on its health policies throughout the crisis will hold a public session on vaccination for children ages 5-11 on Thursday, a day after the cohort began to be inoculated in the US.
Covid causes vascular damage: Jpost
CBS: Families line up for children Covid vaccines in US.
University of Oxford scientists have uncovered a gene that doubles the risk of lung failure and death from Covid. They say 60% of people from South Asian backgrounds and 15% of people of European ancestry carry the high-risk version of the gene.
Germany has recorded almost 34,000 daily Covid cases in the past 24 hours, its highest number so far, in what the health minister is calling a “massive pandemic of the unvaccinated”. Sixteen million Germans have not had a jab. However hospital intensive care cases are still lower than in spring.
The World Health Organization has warned of a possible half a million more deaths in Europe by February. Europe head Hans Kluge blamed insufficient vaccine take-up.
As Israel deliberates on authorizing COVID-19 vaccines for children, Dr. Alroy-Preis says there is no intention to coerce anyone to go through an unwanted medical procedure but educate about risks of disease as opposed to those of vaccine.
NZ fears that opening up could lead to rise in Covid among indigenous Maori.
CNN: 10,000 people got Covid in US hospitals, some died.
Latino vaccination rate in California very low at 21% and concerns that community won’t vaccinate children.
Pfizer completes clinical trial of pill for Covid: “The antiviral pill, which is combined with a low dose of an HIV drug called ritonavir, can reduce hospitalizations or deaths from Covid-19 by up to 89 percent among high-risk patients, Pfizer said in a news release.”
World leaders discuss climate and Covid.
Why is the world still arguing about masks.
US Congress member Marjorie Taylor Green shows that DC prisons enable distribution of Nation of Islam material that is against vaccinations.
Merck’s Covid pill is now approved in UK.
Once healthy kids struggle with Covid months later.
US court puts a hold on Biden’s vaccine mandate for businesses.
Austria considers lockdown for unvaccinated.
New Dutch partial lockdown.
Scientists challenge US football quarterback over Covid comments.
Pandemic teacher shortages cause schools to shut in some US states.
Concerns over Covid messaging on boosters.
Austria lockdown on unvaccinated begins.
Covid is surging in Europe.
Israel set to approve vaccines for children.
New Zealand has record new Covid cases.
NY Governor Hochul: “I want every child to get vaccinated so they’re safe, they don’t get their neighbors sick, and they don’t get their parents or grandparents sick. That’s how we end this pandemic.”
Chomsky says unvaccinated should remove themselves. Philosopher Noam Chomsky argued that those who remain unvaccinated should be segregated, saying that obtaining food after they had “the decency to remove themselves from the community” was “their problem.”
Kevin Baron, Defense One “I tested positive for Covid on Monday. It sucks. I’m double vaxxed. Home with all the flu-like symptoms, exhausted and can’t smell or taste. Not serious, but not fun. Get the shots. Stay masked. Consider limiting close-quarter events. I let my guard down and am paying the price.” Alexis Madrigal also says he got Covid and published about his “mistakes.”
8 dead during Covid outbreak at nursing home, almost all were vaccinated. “However, those at Geer are not eligible for booster shots until the center has gone more than two weeks without any new Covid cases.”
New England states like Vermont now have the largest rate of cases, media claims its “Delta” among the “unvaccinated.”
CNN concerned that China is being too tough in its Covid policies and still “closed” to the world. “Beijing has adopted a zero-tolerance playbook to quell resurgences of the virus. Harnessing the reach and force of the authoritarian state and its surveillance power, it has imposed snap lockdowns, tracked close contacts, placed thousands into quarantine and tested millions.Before anywhere else in the world, China’s economy roared back to growth and life returned to something approaching normal…But as the pandemic drags on, local outbreaks have continued to flare up, frustrating the government’s mission to eliminate the virus within China’s borders.And now, as much of the world starts to reopen and learn to live with Covid, China is looking increasingly isolated by comparison.” BBC: “Around the world people are getting used to post-lockdown life with vaccines doing the heavy lifting against Covid-19 as restrictions are eased. In China however, a hard elimination policy remains where the pandemic first began. A person walks into a five-star hotel to ask briefly for directions and ends up in two weeks quarantine because a guest had some coronavirus contact. One crew member on a high-speed train has close contact with an infected person, and a trainload of passengers is sent to quarantine for mass testing. In Shanghai Disneyland, 33,863 visitors suddenly have to undergo mass testing because a visitor the day before got infected.”
Jpost: No matter your age “two shots of Pfizer don’t last.” Pfizer asks for authorization of pill. Israel vaccine could be gamechanger, Jpost reports, “NeuroRx, the US pharmaceutical company that was given exclusive worldwide development, manufacturing and marketing rights to Israel’s BriLife vaccine over the summer.”
ANNIVERSARY of what is believed to be Covid “patient zero.”
Israel concerned over “fifth wave” as “R” number of transmission reaches 1 again.
Merkel says that the “4th wave” is now hitting Europe.
US says there have been 100,000 deaths from overdoses during the past year. By contrast some 500,000 died of Covid at the same time.
CNN says Europe has gotten a painful lesson as Covid cases rise. “EU leaders touted speed vaccination as way out of the pandemic, but they’ve not been enough to stop Covid.” Dutch police use live fire at anti-lockdown demonstration. Austria locks everyone down. US labels Czech, Hungary and Iceland as “level 4” risk. Now the definition of “fully vaccinated” will change as Boosters are approved. “The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration have okayed boosters for every adult who got Moderna’s or Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine six months ago or longer.”
Austria makes vaccines mandatory. “Austria is going back into a national lockdown and plans to become the first country in Europe to make Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory for all eligible people as the nation’s coronavirus crisis deepens, Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced Friday.”
CNN looks at Israel booster roll out as “future.”…”If you look strictly at the data from Israel, it’s very clear that the differences in immunity waning is much more profound in the elderly, but it goes across the board,” Fauci told NBC last week…Among those hospitalized with Covid-19 it is even clearer: Israeli officials say in October the rate of people over the age of 60 in serious condition who had only had two doses of the vaccine was 5 times that of those with three shots…Now, a person is not considered fully vaccinated in Israel until they have received a third dose of the vaccine, once they are eligible for it.
Germany warning on rise in Covid numbers as WHO warns 700,000 could die in Europe. “By the end of this winter everyone in Germany will either be vaccinated, recovered or dead,” Jens Spahn told a news conference in Berlin on Monday.
2 million children have been vaccinated in the US, see a map of where they have been.
US puts Germany and Denmark on no travel list.
Four people shot during protests in Rotterdam last week against new Covid restrictions.
Disney lifts vaccine mandate for employees.
BBC: New Covid variant, how worried should we be? “
The latest is the most heavily mutated version discovered so far – and it has such a long list of mutations that it was described by one scientist as “horrific”, while another told me it was the worst variant they’d seen. It is early days and the confirmed cases are still mostly concentrated in one province in South Africa, but there are hints it may have spread further.”
Heavily mutated COVID variant raises concern. “In a media briefing Prof de Oliveira said there were 50 mutations overall and more than 30 on the spike protein, which is the target of most vaccines and the key the virus uses to unlock the doorway into our body’s cells.”
Reasons to be worried and thankful on Thanksgiving amid pandemic. “Covid economy’s contraction.”
Russia’s Putin tests experimental intranasel Covid-19 vaccine.
Countries restrict travel to several African countries over new “Omicron” variant. “
One expert described the variant, known as B.1.1.529, as “the worst one we’ve seen so far”, and there is concern it has the potential to evade immunity. No cases have been confirmed in the UK. Only 59 confirmed cases have been identified in South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana so far.”
WHO designates new variant “variant of concern” as world travel doors slam shut.
Stocks and oil plunge on Covid variant fears.
Israel concerned over new Covid variant, advises against travel.
US company Moderna will work on vaccine against Omicron while Russia says it Sputnik V could be tailored to deal with the new variant.
CNN calls Omicron a gut check to the fact the pandemic isn’t over year. “Scientists have long known that the world would see emerging coronavirus variants. Viruses mutate constantly.”….”We understand the concern of experts and have immediately initiated investigations on variant B.1.1.529,” BioNTech said in a statement Friday. “We expect more data from the laboratory tests in two weeks at the latest.”…The company’s antibody treatment, AZD7442, is also being tested against the variant, and AstraZeneca says it is “hopeful AZD7442 will retain efficacy since it comprises two potent antibodies with different and complementary activities against the virus.”
Blame focused on “vaccine hesitancy” and “inequity”…”
What scientists do know is that the virus is much more likely to mutate in places where vaccination is low and transmission high.”
Meanwhile passengers are once again stranded without warning, in Amsterdam where flights landed from South Africa they were kept on the tarmac for hours and then kept in rooms with bad ventilation. Dozens tested positive, some for the new variant. “Passengers travelling from Cape Town to Manchester via Amsterdam told the BBC that they were held on the tarmac at Schiphol airport for four hours, before eventually disembarking.” In addition Switzerland voted on whether to keep Covid restrictions. Bryan Adams’ plans were once again disrupted by Covid-19, as the musician tested positive for the virus a second time in a month.
Israel closes airport for two weeks to foreign arrivals.
The latest uptick in cases is “not unexpected,” as people spend more time inside during the cold-weather season and as immunity wanes, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases…With Michigan’s Covid-19 case and hospitalization numbers hovering near all-time highs, the federal government will send doctors, nurses and others to support certain hospitals, the state health department said Wednesday. Story now is “waning immunity.” And not just “breakthrough cases” and whether people with boosters are the “fully vaccinated” category.
France24: France has postponed implementing a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health workers in Martinique and Guadeloupe after the measure spurred widespread protests on the French territories in which police officers were injured and journalists attacked.
Chinese ships disappear from AIS as supply chain woes worry globe.
Ynet: Head of Public Health Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis tells Knesset panel new Omicron variant has abundance of mutations strategically placed to cause extensive contagion.
Pfizer and BioNTech said they expect more data from lab tests in two weeks at the latest. World wonders if new measures will work as dozens of countries restrict arrivals from parts of Africa. Israel and Japan close borders to foreigners. With cases doubling every several days in South Africa and Moderna concerned about its vaccine, UK pushes boosters and Israel says initial evidence shows boosters and vaccine can be effective against the new variant.
The Israeli Public Emergency Council for the COVID-19 Crisis (PECC), an organization of doctors and researchers in relevant fields that has generated some controversy, released a position paper advising against the Health Ministry’s decision to recommend the vaccine for young children. Prof Granot in Israel; “The professor further adds that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, upon whose endorsement the Israeli government relies, gave the vaccination of children its stamp of approval, but did not recommend its use. “We don’t know if it is harmful or not,” Granot said of the vaccine. “This is a matter of managing the risks. The vaccine is a new vaccine, it’s been around for approximately a year and no one knows what its long-term effects are,” he also said.”
BBC: What will tomorrow’s vaccines look like? But Zion still felt that the race was far from finished. “Those vaccines helped tremendously, but if you’re an innovator, you know that the products which come first tend to have lots of issues which aren’t sustainable,” he says. “So for that reason I remained motivated. But it was a bit of a challenge as a small company to keep developing our vaccine while most of the world was thinking that the problem was solved.”
New regulations in US: From next week, international travellers to the US, including Americans, must take a Covid test no more than one day before travel, regardless of vaccination status.
Countries around world count some of first Omicron cases, from US to Israel and North Africa.
China’s fertility rate stood at just 1.3 last year — among the lowest in the world and even lower than 1.34 in Japan. But China’s GDP per capita is only one fourth of Japan’s. The few other countries with a lower fertility rate include Singapore (1.1) and South Korea (0.84).
Russia: The resistance of the new Omicron coronavirus strain to the immune response elicited by vaccines will become clear in at least two weeks when it will be possible to determine how many vaccinated and unvaccinated people contracted it, Head of the Novosibirsk State University’s Laboratory of Bionanotechnology, Microbiology and Virology Sergey Netesov told TASS.
The world should not panic about the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 but it should prepare, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. Speaking at a conference on Friday, top WHO scientist Soumya Swaminathan said the situation now was very different to a year ago.
Seth Frantzman looks at questions Omicron raises and Covid origins and mutations.
“Omicron fueling Covid surge in South Africa”; in Norway half the attendees of a party got the “variant”; CNN : “The first person in Oslo confirmed as infected had attended the party, where at least one employee had just returned from South Africa. All the attendees were fully vaccinated and had tested negative before the event. The outbreak led the Norwegian government to reintroduce some nationwide restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19.Across Europe, companies are canceling Christmas party plans due to the emergence of the Omicron variant.” Evidence shows people easily reinfected with Omicron.
“This question is at the core of what might be one of the greatest journalistic scandals of our generation. That there appears to be no accountability, self-reflection, or Iraq-WMD-style reckoning on the horizon only compounds the problem. If and when it does, we are likely to conclude that the false narrative around the pandemic’s origins represented a tipping point—a comprehensive failure in journalistic quality and mores in a time of national emergency, caused in large part by an overconcentration of corporate power in media, decades of economic and technological turbulence, and a disturbingly supine approach to an authoritarian hegemon.” – Tablet
Nigeria angered by UK putting it on red list, claims travel apartheid.
Only 6 percent of Israelis see Covid as pressing concern.
YNET: Children contract Omicron at higher rate.
CNN: “Our grandchildren’s grandchildren will still be catching (the virus),” he said. But “Covid, the disease, will become part of our history as the infection morphs into just another cause of the common cold.”…It is easy to see how crucial shots are to the concept of a Covid-19 endgame. “As more people get infected, vaccinated and reinfected, the severity of illness will gradually decline because of accumulating immunity — that is the theory,” Hunter said…”Vaccination of children could have a huge impact on the future,” Burioni said…The emergence of the Omicron variant in sub-Saharan Africa, where vaccination rates are low, has underlined once more the importance of a strategy to vaccinate poorer nations.
Concern over quarantine “camps” in Australia.
Omicron was in Europe before restrictions put on Africa, in Netherlands earlier than though, sharp increase of Omicron among children in S. Africa, “vaccine inequity and hesitancy made Omicron more likely”, Omicron found in more US states.
CNN: “Our grandchildren’s grandchildren will still be catching (the virus),” he said. But “Covid, the disease, will become part of our history as the infection morphs into just another cause of the common cold.”…Pandemics fade out of view as a result of human efforts like vaccine development, contact tracing, genomic analysis, containment measures and international cooperation…It is easy to see how crucial shots are to the concept of a Covid-19 endgame. “As more people get infected, vaccinated and reinfected, the severity of illness will gradually decline because of accumulating immunity — that is the theory,” Hunter said.
BBC: First cases. of Omicron in hospitals: “There were 48,854 new positive Covid cases reported across the UK on Sunday – there have been 360,480 cases in the last seven days. Scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) have warned that the UK will face a substantial wave of Omicron infections without further restrictions beyond the Plan B measures announced last week. These include recommending people work from home if they can, expanding mask-wearing rules and introducing Covid passes for entry to some venues – parliament will vote on the changes on Tuesday.”
Israel, Ynet: A senior health expert said on Monday that a fourth coronavirus booster shot will more than likely become a necessity soon and those who believe otherwise are “simply wrong”. Deputy chief of Israel’s largest hospital tells Ynet that as long as populations in places like Africa remain largely unvaccinated, new variants will develop and spread, requiring fresh vaccine doses to protect from illness.”
BBC: “Almost 70 medics who attended a large Christmas party in southern Spain have since tested positive for Covid-19, authorities say…Health authorities said they were all at a party attended by about 170 people last Wednesday..All guests returned negative antigen tests before the event but more than half are now isolating..The infected staff were all fully vaccinated and are showing no symptoms, health authorities said.”
CBS: Doctor fired for trying to treat Covid patients with ivermectin, NY mandates masks indoor public places for places that do not require vaccination; ER overwhelmed with unvaccinated Covid patients, one year after FDA authorized Pfizer’s Covid vaccine cases are on the rise; according to the CDC “The surge in new cases almost all are related to the Delta Variant which still accounts for more than 99% of all new cases.”…”Hospital staff at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center said they are operating at about 120% capacity with nearly a quarter of patients in the COVID unit.” The article includes a personal story of an “unvaccinated” patient.
Look at the past, what were the biggest killers of people in 2013 in UK.
BBC: “The UK is facing a substantial wave of Omicron infections in January without further restrictions, scientists say. The number of deaths from the variant by the end of April could range from 25,000 to 75,000 depending on how well vaccines perform, they said.”
Covid discussions back on Twitter, a few examples; “Slavit: COVID Update: At a time when most scientists are concluding an additional mRNA vaccines is needed, a Republican senator wants to go the other direction. His idea? Prior infection should count as immunity”; Miers; “Hospitals have seen a nearly 134% increase in COVID-19 admissions over the past month and about a 50% rise in just the past two weeks….At Beth Israel Lahey Health, ‘a recent daily count found 43% of COVID patients were vaccinated, 57% were not.” A daily survey at UMass Memorial Health found “40% of COVID patients had been vaccinated, so had 25% in the ICU.'”; Nuseibeh: “I am very pro vaccine (I took 3 doses) but we need to question: What is the fatality rate of Omicron for the double or even unvaccinated? Do we need vaccines? Yes they reduce infection, but is that important? Media needs to address this openly. It’s not anti vax.”; “Although the majority of new Omicron cases in Israel are people who were fully vaccinated, there have been no severe cases among the vaccinated so far.”; Pagel “Latest UKHSA report confirms that Omicron is doubling every 2-3 days in UK & does have a large growth advantage vs delta.”; Blum: “I would like one of the “masks are good and no big deal” people to explain to me why my mom has to wear a mask on a 12 hour flight (not counting the 5 additional hours of being at airports) if she needs to be boostered and get tested twice before she can even board the plane.”; Brewer: “This recent study compares infections over time for vaccinated, previously infected, and those that are both. Result: previous infection is many times more protective than vax, lasts longer, and minimal to no additional benefit from vaccination for those previously infected.”; Johnson “Too much of my mental energy is spent trying to square the circle of how half of us live like COVID is a thing and the other half seems to be doing everything as normal.”; Dean “A sketch to explain how a new variant may appear milder even with no change in underlying virulence. This can occur because, when calculating the fraction of cases that are severe, the denominator now includes many re-infections that had previously been averted.”; Grey: “The reality: Donald Trump’s base has a sense of occupying the dominant caste, they want to think of COVID-19 as a lower caste issue, and the dominant caste being forced to go out of its way to protect people perceived as lower in caste is a supreme violation of caste rules….You’ve no doubt mused at some point why the logic of “If we all just got vaccinated, the pandemic would be over. We wouldn’t have to wear masks anymore!” didn’t work with Trump’s base. For starters, you’re projecting your rational desire to see the pandemic end onto them.”
Colorado provides more rapid testing; “Every individual in Colorado can request up to eight tests per week.” Free rapid self tests sent to you by mail.
France toughens travel restrictions to UK over Omicron “surge”; over 65s in France who don’t have “booster” will lose health pass. New UK cases at at record high at 78,000 with million or more tests a day, new lateral flow tests. Omicron spreading faster than any other variant.
Study: omicron spreads 70 times faster in the body than delta, but (b) stays in the bronchi and doesn’t spread in lungs, meaning it is less likely to cause severe illness.
France: Omicron spread rapidly, UK report record 93,000 cases, of which some 15,000 “Omicron”…BBC “Europe has already seen more than 89 million cases and 1.5 million Covid-related deaths, according to the latest EU figures…Germany’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach told reporters on Friday the country “must prepare for a challenge that we have not yet had in this form”, while its public health agency designated France, Norway and Denmark as “high risk” due to rising infections in those countries. Germany itself reported more than 42,000 cases on Saturday, down from 50,000 new infections recorded on Friday. In UK reports at some businesses say “everyone is coming down with Covid.”
Pfizer says pandemic could extend until 2024.
In Maryland a study on Covid era affects on young shows many depressed.
CNN concerned that China economy could slow in 2022 due to Omicron.
CNN: Pfizer says study shows its vaccine doesn’t produce “expected immunity in young children” postponing rollout…”
CNN: The company decided to add the third dose for all children and babies ages 6 months to 5 years after its independent outside advisers took a look at the data so far.It showed that two child-sized doses of the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine were not producing the expected immunity in the 2- to 5-year-olds, although they were doing so for the babies up to age 2.” It says it is 90% effective at preventing symptomatic Covid.
“While China still hasn’t announced solid plans to reopen its border to international leisure travelers, there’s no harm in starting to dream about your next visit now.There are hundreds of worthy destinations in the country catering to all tastes. Appearing arguably at the top of that list is Chengdu.”
Cuba begins to reopen: “Throughout much of the Covid-19 pandemic, Cuba’s borders were closed, making international travel nearly impossible.”-CNN
Sydney and Melbourne relax quarantine for vaccinated travelers, now they have to test up to three days before their flight and one day upon arrival. No quarantine.
NY and DC see greatest number of Covid cases since beginning of Pandemic. With many vaccinated people testing positive articles claim that boosted people now have same level of protection against Omicron and “fully vaccinated” people did against Delta. “Two shots barely put a dent in Omicron, get your booster,” US president Biden urges the same. One woman adds “And get those at home fast acting Covid tests, and always keep a mask with you,” another adds “MAGA country is going to be on fire with covid.”
Boeing suspends vaccine mandate.
Dr. Frieden: “We’re still learning more about Omicron, but it may turn out to be one of the most contagious viruses we’ve seen.” See a chart. Meanwhile in South Africa, which identified Omicron, the rate of hospitalization falls 91%. Meanwhile in US “breakthrough” case deaths grow. “A small study of seven Covid-19 cases in SA shows the Omicron variant can break through booster vaccine shots, one of the scientists involved said on Thursday.”
In UK the “Sage” group of scientists say: “SAGE minutes suggest tougher restrictions needed before New Year if we’re to avoid 3k people going to hospital every day”
Biden’s demand that businesses mandate vaccines or tests faces three judge panel.
Ben Shapiro: “Pretty much everyone will get Omicron, vaxxed or unvaxxed. Omicron will result in mild or no symptoms for nearly everyone by percentage.”
Experts urge people to avoid holiday parties again this year.
Chart shows “The COVID fatality rate in Republican counties FAR exceeds that in Democratic counties,”
Covid cases on Blinken’s trip; “”Every member of the traveling party was required to take at least 8 COVID-19 tests over the span of the 7-day trip,”
Cases “surge” in UK: “Hospitalisation of children up 39% vs last week. Worst ever. 20% more infections in children than previously.” Israel puts US on ‘red list.’ People rush for tests in US, some turned away. Concerns over hospital capacity as Biden warns unvaccinated will face winter of illness and death.
UK has 182 vaccinations per person, among highest in the world.
Concerns Omicron could “team up” with Delta for super mutant strain.
Holland in lockdown.
Latest US CDC data: Unvaccinated: 451 cases per 100k Vaccinated: 134 cases per 100k Boosted: 48 cases per 100k Unvaccinated: 6.1 deaths per 100k Vaccinated: 0.5 deaths per 100k Boosted: 0.1 deaths per 100k.
BBC: Omicron up to 70% less likely to need hospital care. UK hospitals have overall declining numbers, while some say more children were admitted. Same in US.
NBC “New cases of Covid-19 climbed above 242,000 in the U.S. on Wednesday, according to data compiled by NBC News, pushing the seven-day average to 167,683 — higher than the peak of the delta variant in early September.” France24: “U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday the opening of more federal vaccination and testing sites to tackle a surge in COVID-19 cases sparked by the Omicron variant, and said some 500 million at-home rapid tests will be available to Americans for free starting in January.”…United Airlines is canceling more than 100 Christmas Eve flights citing the Omicron variant’s impact on flight crews and workers.
US mayors crack down on “unvaccinated.” NYC Mayor De Blasio said “Vaccination equals freedom.” He has not learned from history. Freedom should never be conditioned on a medical procedure. We rejected that practice long ago. Work doesn’t equal freedom. Vaccination doesn’t equal freedom. Freedom equals freedom.” DC mayor mandates that establishments request proof of vaccination. Chicago (where hospitalizations are down) “announces that starting next month all people 5 years and older must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to enter bars, gyms, and restaurants.” Occupy Democrats says every city should do the same.
One person writes about France: “Even if vaccine are fairly effective against hospitalizations and deaths, if 80% of the population gets infected, even with a reduced hospitalisation rate, our health system will drown”
Israeli Immunology Prof Zvika Granot: “the government want to give the 4th jab in a year? Which vaccine works like that? Vaccine should provide immunisation. If this vaccine doesn’t provide immunisation, you need to find another one”
Oped explores issues with J and J vaccine: “I understand that science evolves, but as someone who is neither a physician nor a scientist, I found all these plot twists regarding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over the past nine months not the least bit comforting.”
Iran ambassador to Houthis dies of Covid, but some say he was injured in Saudi airstrike.
Dubai Expo Sushi restaurant closes due to Covid.
Israelis prevented from leaving riot at Ben-Gurion airport, they are then allowed to leave but told not to return for three months due to Covid.
South Africa data shows new cases but few new deaths in 25% vaccinated country.
Omicron symptoms include runny nose and fatigue.
Canada news: “With COVID-19 testing capacity at its limit in Ottawa, the guidance from Ottawa Public Health is to assume you have the Omicron variant and self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status, if you develop symptoms or test positive”
UK and Israel consider fourth booster.
Johns Hopkins releases video comparing variants to Home Alone movie.
Concerns in US over Covid virtue signaling.
Pfizer anti-Covid pill could reduce risk of hospitalization by 90%. Risk of transmission and death is also less with boosters. But Omicron is three times more transmissible than Delta, which was twice as contagious as other variants.
University requires Covid 19 boosters for students.
Many US politicians and celebrities announce Covid positive tests “President Biden on December 21 says the omicron variant will result in more “breakthrough” Covid cases among vaccinated Americans, but that they’re unlikely to become severely ill”; , Elizabeth Warren‘s tweet was similar to many “I regularly test for COVID & while I tested negative earlier this week, today I tested positive with a breakthrough case. Thankfully, I am only experiencing mild symptoms & am grateful for the protection provided against serious illness that comes from being vaccinated & boosted.” Representative Barbara Lee; “This week, I received a breakthrough positive COVID-19 test result. Fortunately, I have only mild cold-like symptoms. I know it could have been much worse had I not been vaccinated. I’m so grateful for the miraculous work of vaccines & urge everyone to get vaccinated & boosted!” Rep. Jason Crow “I just returned from an official congressional delegation visit to Ukraine and tested positive for a breakthrough COVID infection. I’m thankful to be fully vaccinated and boosted and experiencing only mild symptoms (the vaccine is safe and effective).”; Cory Booker (Dec 20) “I learned today that I tested positive for COVID-19 after first feeling symptoms on Saturday. My symptoms are relatively mild. I’m beyond grateful to have received two doses of vaccine and, more recently, a booster – I’m certain that without them I would be doing much worse.” James Clyburn “Tonight, I received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. This is a breakthrough case, and I am asymptomatic. America is in a new phase of this pandemic. No one is immune. I urge anyone who has not done so to protect themselves by getting vaccinated and boosted.” Congressman Delgado “I tested positive for COVID-19 and am currently experiencing mild symptoms.”
Prof. Gushree “After 2 yrs of evading COVID, & having gotten all 3 shots, incl. the booster on 12/6, I tested positive on 12/18. My symptoms are real but mild so far. This is a new day. Omicron breakthrough infections are taking off.” Will DuPree “Two friends have now told me they got their boosters after hearing about my breakthrough COVID-19 case. My booster has helped keep my case mild so far. I had a runny nose this morning, but otherwise I feel good.”
Concerns about “long Covid” among breakthrough cases.
US emphasizes need for KN95 masks over cloth.
Israel Ynet calls for restrictions and vaccine mandates.
CNN: Omicron is game changer for vaccines. Thousands of flights cancelled in US over holidays.
Jpost: In its presentation, which The Jerusalem Post reviewed, the center showed that the protection afforded people ages 60 and older who received a third dose is expected to decline from 75% to only 25% within a month as the Omicron variant becomes the dominant strain in Israel. “Within a month or two, the protection in Israel could be almost back to where it was before vaccines,” a report by the knowledge center warned. “The transition from Delta to Omicron will make Israel go from being reasonably protected to being almost not protected at all.”
Low cost traditional Texas vaccine by Dr. Peter Hotez is protein based vaccine as used in Hepatitis B, now has 150 million doses ready and offers 90% protection. See Maria Elena Botazi tweets.
Finland announces new Covid restrictions for arrivals.
Us sees rise in child hospitalizations, 2,000 in hospital, CNN says. One source said that “most health children will do fine with Covid, and have a mild cold,” the article says, noting some don’t have any symptoms at all.
Dr. at CNN says it’s difficult to determine if one has a winter cold or Covid, notes loss of sense of smell is one Covid aspect. Also headaches.
CDC lowers estimates of Omicron prevalance to 60% last week. It had said it was 73%.
For immunocompromised a Bloomberg study said that compared with partial vaccination, full vaccination was associated with a 28%.
Biden issues proclamation revoking Southern Africa travel restrictions, a day after Israel lifted restirctions on 69 countries.
CDC revises length of isolation guidelines, saying five days is the guideline, whether or not one has symptoms.
US adds Sweden, Malta and Moldova to the high risk travel risk, basing it on 500 cases per 100,000.
Covid hospitalizations rise 25% in England in one week.
January 1, 2022
Austria’s Innsbruck sends back 100 British tourists over Covid.
Delta flight turned around due to new China restrictions.
China’s Xian under lockdown. Government delivers food to people kept home.
WHO says Covid pandemic could end in 2022 if global vaccination grows and it becomes less acute.
“We’re seeing a surge in patients again, unprecedented in this pandemic,” Dr. James Phillips, chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University Hospital, warned on Saturday. “What’s coming for the rest of the country could be very serious and they need to be prepared.”…”We’re running out of tests, we’re running out of room, we’re inundated in the ER,” she added. “Unvaccinated still more at risk.
Australia sees record cases, and record flight cancellations in US. Lionel Messi gets Covid. US media says previous mitigation efforts are out the window. People debating masks against on social media as UK adds masks for schools. Israel adds mask mandates for over 50s outside as it reaches 4,000 daily cases. “Heads of medical centers say hospitals already at 130-140% capacity, and if Omicron wave brings onrush of patients, health system will collapse; demand funding for beds, staff from Health Ministry, which blames Treasury for lack of progress.”
Europe eyes tighter vaccine passport controls.
CDC warns against cruise ship travel, even for vaccinated.
***My family tests positive, including dad and wife and one son***
CNN says Xian outbreak leads to critique inside China.
FDA authorizes boosters for those age 12 and over.
LA schools require Covid tests for children returning.
US CDC reduces isolation time to five days for those who test positive, companies require people to return to work.
While Israel moves forward with fourth booster, UK is hesitant, “Fourth Covid jabs should not be offered until there is more evidence, the head of Britain’s vaccine body has said – as he warned that giving boosters to people every six months was ‘not sustainable’
New “variant” reported in France.
Despite huge surge in cases, ICU admissions reduced, although some hospitals in US claim to be running out of tests or complain of people “clogging” emergency rooms for tests.
Huge surge of cases in Puerto Rico, but only 300 people in hospital out of population of 3 million.
13 passengers who tested positive on flight from Milan to Amritsar, escape quarantine.
Australia detains tennis star Djokovic, cancels visa, over his lack of vaccination.
Moderna CEO predicts fourth dose in fall 2022.
CNN: Xian lockdown brings heartbreak and dysfunction; residents pushed to limit in Chinese city amid lockdown. “As the locked down Chinese city of Xi’an claimed victory this week in its fight to contain the community spread of Covid-19, harrowing tales of loss and despair have emerged on social media — highlighting the immense human cost of China’s zero-Covid policy.”
Amsterdam: Protesters clash with police over restrictions.
Macron vows to “piss off” unvaccinated…”The draft bill will make it mandatory for people to show proof of vaccination to enter a restaurant, cinema or take the train.”
Israel moves toward herd immunity: “According to the latest figures we have, 2-4 million people in the next three weeks are expected to test positive,” the Meretz lawmaker said. “This is the direction. Why should we bury our heads in the ground like an ostrich? The pandemic is reaching everyone.”
Djokovic wins court case in Australia but border force still investigating if he broke Covid rules.
Israel will cut the compulsory quarantine period for individuals diagnosed with coronavirus who no longer display symptoms from ten to just seven days despite the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, the country’s top health official said on Tuesday.
US says Covid cases in children skyrocketing, 1.4 million total new daily cases is record this week and hospitalizations overall reach “record high” as Omicron accounts for 98% of US cases; WHO says half of Europe will get Covid in next months, while CNN says people shouldn’t deliberately get Omicron to ‘get over it.’
US head of CDC Rochelle Walensky, hasbeen consulting with Democratic media consultant Mandy Grunwald to try to improve as a messenger, CNN said; she revealed a “study was a cohort of 1.2 million people who were vaccinated and 36 people passed, demonstrating their remarkable effectiveness of our vaccines, but no less tragic is the 36 people who passed because of Covid-19 and that many of them had comorbidities,” she said. CDC Director Walensky on Covid vaccines: “What they can’t do anymore is prevent transmission.” Nevertheless countries still stop people flying who have Covid, and call these “breakthrough” cases in the US.
People who “followed rules” are unhappy they are getting Covid. Israel’s Foreign Minster gets Covid, thanks vaccines for mild case.
Common cold may help prevent Covid; Telegraph: “researchers at Imperial College have found that half of people living with an infected person in the second wave – before vaccines were available – were carrying high levels of memory T-cells from colds that may have stopped them picking up the virus.”
World Bank says world economy faces grim future.
Headlines report about flu-Covid combination and Omicron-Delta combination.
Noam Blum: Unmasked “important people” next to masked “unimportant people” is the enduring image of how covid has stratified society. One of the creepiest totems of our soft dystopia.
New documents reveal early belief Covid was ‘engineered.’
Pfizer says Omicron vaccine by March. Pope says people have moral obligation to vaccinate.
Washington DC mayor says city now requires proof of vaccination, photo ID and a mask.
Djokovic detained again ahead of hearing.
BBC wonders whether Covid fading and becoming endemic.
US Supreme Court blocks Biden admin “vaccine or test” for businesses with more than 100 employees; GE suspends demand for vaccine or test in wake of ruling.
Quebec to impose special tax on unvaccinated.
Israel’s Beit Holim Ichilov appears to say few of their cases are Omicron and cast doubt on hysteria about children and other Israeli policies. Israel treasury Min Liberman tests positive.
Boris Johnson still in spotlight over holiday parties during Covid crisis last year.
Tough China guidelines could stop all US flights before Olympics due to its policy of stopping flights on which several people test positive.
Biden admin divided on N95 masks
Israel’s Liberman opposes Green pass; “There is no medical or epidemiological logic behind the Green Pass, and many experts agree,” he tweeted.
Beijing locks down office building over one Omicron case, Hong Kong culls 2,000 hamsters over Covid.
China birthrate drops for fifth strait year.
Kirbati goes into lockdown after allowing first flight in 10 months and finding 36 cases of Covid on the flight.
CNN: Boosters provide best protection for Omicron, CDC says, raising questions about what “fully vaccinated” means.
Beijing Olympics bubble most ambitious in history
CNN: Got a negative Covid test but still sent to quarantine camp..”Back in October, I was prepared to undergo a mandatory 21-day quarantine in a hotel room when I returned to Hong Kong, one of the few places around the world still adopting a zero-Covid approach…, I only stayed there for four days, unlike close contacts of Covid cases who have to spend 14 days (previously 21) at the camp.”
Woman threatens to bring gun if masks enforced.
NZ leader cancels wedding.
Could Omicron end Covid
Neil Young and Joni Mitchell to leave Spotify due to Joe Rogan show’s “misinformation” about Covid.
In UK the scandal about Boris Johnson’s parties amid Covid continues.
US Embassy in China asks State Department to let diplomats leave due to Covid restrictions.
Canada truckers protest vaccine mandate
CNN discusses the Omicron-specific booster
Jacinda Adern in isolation in NZ, south Australia records thousands of cases and China says 36 cases linked to upcoming games.
Israel may end Green Pass restrictions it put back in place
In US more people wearing N95 masks outside.
Questions about why companies didn’t do “warp speed” for therepeutics for Covid.
Israel shifts rules for schools again, demanding tests on Sunday and Wednesday, while reducing need for quarantining of kids or sending them home for more tests in which one kid tested positive in their class.
Concern rises as Omicron sub-variant B.A2 spreads.
How to think about boosters today.
Israel on Sunday extended the Green Pass mandate by one week despite strong opposition from some hospital chiefs, who called to scrap the rule over its inefficacy.
Quebec moves to stop vax tax; other countries reconsider mandates ; israel and Denmark move to end restrictions and green pass
Britain’s Health Secretary Sajid Javid on Monday scrapped an order forcing all frontline medical workers in England to get vaccinated,
Political consensus around the Austrian plan had shown signs of unraveling in recent weeks as experts waited for data to see whether available vaccines would be as effective against the new, highly transmissible Omicron variant.
Athletes complain of Covid harsh policies in China, test results.
Australia to reopen to travelers who are vaccinated.
Israel kids must test twice a week, but Israel relaxes green pass system for most events.
“The science has changed.” says Dr. Leana Wen explains why she supports lifting some pandemic restrictions and thinks the decision to wear a mask should shift from a government mandate to an individual choice. She says that we shouldn’t look at case counts at all with this mild variant and vaccine protection…we should look at hospitalizations she says, and set a number such as 70-80% ICUs full…one way masking works she says, even if others don’t have a mask, that a high quality mask protects the wearer…she says that the first restriction lifted should be on children…that there has been a cost for children wearing masks. Masking has had a cost for youngest learners.
AP: Covid can harm placenta and pregnancy.
Jane Qiu’s article at Technology Review: “Meet China’s bat woman: She’s spent 18 years studying coronaviruses. She’s traced both SARS and covid to bats. Did she cause the pandemic? Is she the victim of a witch hunt?” Article looks at Wuhan lab, spike proteins, ACE2, RaTG13, Tongguan in Mojiang county, Alina Chan, Monali Rahalkar,, Shi Zhengli, Peter Daszak, Richard Ebright, David Relman and others. Key issues involve;
-“Spillover from animals to humans “was how almost every major epidemic got started in the past decades,” says Shi’s longtime collaborator Linfa Wang.”
-“one year after the WHO’s visit to Wuhan [and two years after the pandemic began], the disease detectives have yet to find the guilty animal or other indisputable evidence of natural origins. “
-“core of Shi’s research over the past 18 years, she explained, has been to look for bat viruses that are closely related to SARS-CoV-1”
-“isolating live bat coronaviruses, “Until January 2021, the Wuhan lab was the only one that had managed the feat, according to Stephen Goldstein”…Yang Xinglou…It was here, on January 5, 2020, that Yang first successfully isolated SARS-CoV-2 from a patient sample.”
-“Perhaps there was even a link between the disease that affected the Mojiang miners and covid-19.”
-“December 31, 2019 the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission issued its first public statement about the outbreak, saying it was probing the cause of 27 pneumonia cases. Shi’s lab was one of the four teams designated by China’s National Health Commission to work in parallel to pin down the cause of the new disease. “
-By 8:30 a.m.,January 2, 2020 the genomic makeup had emerged. One sequence, now known as WIV04, was almost complete and of high quality: it was a coronavirus. “Shi entered the sequence into the institutional and international databases to see if it was new. The closest match was the sequence from sample 4991, which the team had taken from Mojiang in 2013.”
-“Could one of those chimeric viruses have been the source of the pandemic?”
-“One was to synthesize the virus from its genomic sequence; the other was to see whether SARS-CoV-1 could still cause disease if its spike was replaced with that of SHC014. Shi didn’t have the necessary tools to do this type of genetic work, so in July 2013 she emailed Ralph Baric… It turned out that both the synthesized SHC014 and the SARS-CoV-1-SHC014 chimera were able to infect human cells and make mice sick. Both were less lethal than SARS-CoV-1, but—worryingly—existing drugs and vaccines that worked against SARS were unable to counter their effects.”
-“the researchers tested the ability of three such chimeras to infect mice expressing human ACE2. Compared with their parental strain, WIV1, the three chimeric viruses grew a lot more quickly in the mouse lungs in the early stage of the infection,”
-“The results from genetic studies in both Baric’s and Shi’s labs—both collaborating with the New York–based EcoHealth Alliance—have provided compelling evidence that the spike protein is not the only factor in whether a virus can make an animal sick”
-“China’s high-level laboratories face other challenges besides the difficulty of making biosafety judgment calls. Money is one major issue….Shi’s team was attempting similar tinkering in her own lab in a project funded by the US National Institutes of Health, which aimed to probe the genetic ingredients that could allow bat viruses to cause SARS-like diseases in humans.”
-“Shi is a victim of the Western mistrust of China and Chinese science,” she says; “It’s now over two years since the first efforts to willfully politicize the pandemic origins, and to undermine science and the work that scientists do in often difficult circumstances,” says Daszak… they are willing to put up with the messy reality of science and China’s lack of transparency….“They’ve lost the moral high ground as far as I’m concerned,” she said. And if politics overpowers science…
-“Western culture that prized “critical thinking, independent-mindedness, and not following the crowd,” she told me. “You can’t do great science without any of these. This is what China really needs to get better at.”
Data shows Covid rate falling to around two times as deadly as the flu in UK.
UK PM is the first leader of a major country to totally end all Covid restrictions. Sweden, Denmark and Norway heading the same way.
Nevada ends masks in schools.
“Study from Switzerland finds that the only factor that has a statistically significant association with reduced risk of getting COVID-19 is active smoking.”
“About one half of Senate Democrats in Virginia voted to lift the school mask mandates today by giving parents opt-out powers for their children. A week ago, the entire Virginia Democratic Party was fighting Youngkin on this. That’s a very quick turnaround”
Bloomberg: mask mandates didn’t make much of a difference anyway.
Pfizer postpones application for vaccine for kids under five.
Pressure builds for Biden to move past Covid. Jen Psaki: “We understand where the emotions of the country are, right? People are tired of masks.”
Ned Ryun: “This hasty surrender on masks by most Democratic politicians, from federal to state level, tells you the polling numbers on mask mandates must be absolutely devastating in an election year.”
Washington Examiner: “Mayor Muriel Bowser recently put a vaccine mandate in place for everyone older than 11 on top of an existing indoor mask mandate. In New York City, those mandates apply to everyone older than 4. California has maintained its statewide mask mandate, while Los Angeles made its school mask mandate even more stringent…But now, something awfully funny is happening. Democrats representing the bluest parts of the country and their allies in the media have done one of the most stunning about-faces in recent memory. All the sudden, coronavirus mandates and restrictions that only heretics opposed 24 hours ago can be lifted, just like that.”
Freedom Convoy in Canada comes under spotlight. Some urge martial law, state of emergency and even “slashing tires…cancel their insurance; suspend their drivers licenses; prohibit any future regulatory certification for truckers, etc. Have we learned nothing? These things fester when there are no consequences…arrest the drivers”; Biden admin urges Canada to use federal powers.
US dropped ball on communicating from officials during the pandemic, Atlantic article argues; “A former local public-health official told me last year that aides to the elected official for whom they worked had advised them that the key to pandemic communications was to “keep it simple; never say ‘on the other hand.’” This may (or may not) be good practice in an election campaign, but it has proved both common and exceedingly bad counsel in a pandemic, when officials frequently need to offer guidance from a position of uncertainty….In retrospect, the United States might have been wise to impose fewer restrictions on elementary and secondary schools over the past two academic years—not because school closures didn’t help stop the spread of the virus, but because the educational and economic losses from widespread remote schooling might have outweighed the gains in reduced cases. The question is clearly more than scientific.”
Macron refuses Russian Covid test.
“The answer, it seems, is fairly clear: the Left did this because the Public Good has become, along with The Science, largely a costume worn by the professional classes who, quite rightly, suspect that they have more in common with a Moderna executive than an anti-vaccine mandate truck driver.” – How the Covid regime fooled us all.
Germany plans to ease restrictions
Canada arrests Freedom protest convoy leaders and has enacted an emergency act.
California plans to declare Covid endemic, a first in US.
US Surgeon general tests positive along with family.
BBC: “The BA.2 virus — a subvariant of the Omicron coronavirus variant — isn’t just spreading faster than its distant cousin, it may also cause more severe disease and appears capable of thwarting some of the key weapons we have against Covid-19, new research suggests.”
Jennifer Sey resigns as Levi’s CEO over stance against school closures during Covid.
Boris Johnson announces end of Covid restrictions in UK.
NBC calls parents who oppose masks in schools and try to complain via various bureaucratic means; “paper terrorism”.
Australia has reopened its international border for the first time in nearly two years, bringing joyful family reunions and a boost to tourism.
Wired: The ‘End Game’ of China’s Zero Covid “nightmare.”
Coachella will no longer require vaccinations or Covid tests.
Vaccines postponed for youngest children in US.
Stacy Abrams critiqued for maskless photo with kids in Georgia.
China’s Hong Kong to test entire population. Three tests will be done in March for the population of 7 million. Estimates say each test will take several days due to population size. “Hong Kong has reported about 5,000 new daily infections since Feb. 15, with the number threatening to overwhelm its healthcare system. Since the current surge began at the beginning of the year, the city has recorded nearly 54,000 cases and 145 deaths.”
NY moves to end mask mandates.
New COVID guidance for Capitol Hill: Attending Physician says; masks are optional (including for State of the Union on Tues); Capitol testing site positive rate over last 2wks is 2.7%; at-home testing regimen will “pause” on March 7, resume if cases rise.
SNL mocks masks, vaccines.
The agency’s new recommendations come as a growing number of places have already moved to lift mask requirements, as cases plummeted in the wake of the Omicron variant wave last month. The changes represent one of the largest shifts in the agency’s COVID-19 guidance in months, since the CDC said last year that even vaccinated Americans should wear masks indoors in areas deemed by the agency to be at “substantial” or “high” levels of transmission. Now, Americans in parts of the country deemed to have “low” levels of the disease — currently about 29.5% of the population — no longer need to wear masks indoors, according to the CDC’s new framework.”
UK ends all Covid travel restrictions, after two years in which they changed often from quarantines on arrival to testing requirements.
Nature: Struggle to determine Covid origins over sparse data from China.
First death from Covid reported in China since first outbreak as country faces new Covid outbreak amid “zero-Covid” strategy. 37 million in lockdown, concerns over economic impact amid Russia war and supply chain problems that already exist for things like chips for cars.
US Senate votes to overturn mask mandate for airplanes.
What comes next after “vaccine passports” and the way the pandemic altered big tech’s role.
White House Press Secretary tests positive for Covid, for a second time. Hillary Clinton also tests positive.
Concerns as Omicron “sub variant” will soon dominate in US.
“Recently published figures from the same CDC database now suggest that COVID-19 deaths among Johnson & Johnson recipients may have peaked at more than double the rate of other vaccinated Americans during the Omicron variant wave.”
“Covid cases have climbed by a million in a week in the UK, data from the Office for National Statistics reveals. Swab tests suggest about one in every 16 people is infected, as the contagious Omicron variant BA.2 continues to spread.”
Asia sees major rise in Covid cases.
Shanghai in lockdown as residents stockpile food; WSJ says China has undereported cases, hospitals affected, 6,000 cases a day. Biggest Covid lockdown in two years. Most of China’s cases are asymptomatic which leads to questions.
New England Journal of Medicine looks at efficacy of 4th vaccine dose.
Hong Kong Covid death rate higher than most of world now, described as “nightmare.”
Israel’s Naftali Bennet tests positive as does Jen Psaki, White House Spokeswoman, Biden gets fourth dose.
NBC: Many people eligible for second booster can wait:
“This is one of those where I don’t think anyone needs to race,” Dr. Richard Besser, former acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told NBC’s “TODAY” show on Wednesday. “This is one of those things where people should think thoughtfully.” The FDA’s authorization, announced Tuesday and promptly followed by new CDC guidance, allows anyone 50 and older to seek a fourth dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna vaccine at least four months after their initial booster.
Compared to vaccination, Covid-19 itself is far more likely to lead to heart problems in teenage boys and young men, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday…Myocarditis has long been linked to a variety of viruses, including influenza and coxsackieviruses. The condition was identified as a potential side effect of mRNA Covid vaccines in young people last summer At that time, the CDC found that myocarditis cases were more than double what would normally be expected among males in their teens and early 20s who had been vaccinated. While both the Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines have been linked to the problem, Pfizer’s shot is the only one authorized for people under age 18.
Ynet: Israel “close to normalization with Covid”, will remain vigilant while considering removing final curbs.
Shanghai mobilizes army support for zero-Covid approach. “
The photos, the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, later clarified in a statement, were not of the Covid-19 pediatric isolation ward, but were taken as the hospital was transferring the regular pediatric ward to the outpatient and emergency building, where “more pediatric medical personnel have been deployed.” But the policy itself, which requires all patients who test positive to be isolated in facilities, including young children and babies, has caused significant levels distress of among parents.”
Court rules against US transportation mask mandate that had been extended through May. “The CDC’s failure to explain its reasoning is particularly problematic here. At the time when the CDC issued the Mandate, the COVID-19 pandemic had been ongoing for almost a year and COVID-19 case numbers were decreasing,” Mizelle wrote. “This timing undercuts the CDC’s suggestion that its action was so urgent that a thirty-day comment period was contrary to the public interest.”
Travel chaos in US and other countries due to staff shortages and cancellations linked to pandemic.
FDA authorizes first Covid breath test.
Hong Kong restrictions forcing airlines in which a few test positive to cancel flights is causing chaos.
Airlines in US drop mask mandate after court ruling. United leads the way. Multiple airlines follow. Mask mandate discussion in the US follows here and here and here. Amtrak also. Cheers on airlines. Cheering on flights. More cheering footage. Anger at the judge who overturned the mandate as White House and CDC weigh appeal.
Israel to drop indoor mask mandate on April 23.
Hunger and anger in Shanghai as lockdown drags on.
Pfizer’s Paxlovid, anti-Covid pill treatment lags behind expectations due to complexity of administering it and “Demand could increase if Paxlovid is proven to work in studies underway testing it in broader groups, including those at lower risk and the vaccinated.”
Bill Gates warns about “next pandemic.”
Eli David: “Future historians will look at the years 2020–2022 with bewilderment. Countless PhDs in history will be earned by analyzing the covid paradox. They will read in historical records that there was a terrible pandemic for two years, but they won’t find any evidence of it in data.”
Why do some never get Covid?
April 25, 2022
Beijing begins mass testing after cases found.
Three new people with new variant found on flight that came to Israel. “It comes amid fears that Beijing could face a similar situation to Shanghai, which has seen some 25 million people shut in their homes for weeks.”
Hong Kong and Shanghai lose international luster as Covid restrictions increase.
Kamala Harris tests positive for Covid. Fauci to skip White House correspondents dinner.
CNN: China’s authoritarian surveillance state crushed Covid-19 when it first appeared in Wuhan in early 2020 and trumpeted that success to the world. Now, more than two years later, the Omicron variant is running rings around Beijing’s zero-Covid strategy — and apparently nobody in power dare say so.
Fauci says US moving out of pandemic; “If you add up the people who’ve been infected plus the people who’ve been vaccinated and hopefully boosted, you have a rather substantial proportion of the United States population that has some degree of immunity that’s residual,” he told PBS.
More than half of all Americans and around three in four children have now survived a case of COVID-19, suggest new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, following the record surge in cases driven by the Omicron variant over the winter.
Popular social media user pretended to be “frontline” Covid health worker and talked about kids with long Covid, but she was apparently not involved in treating them.
China’s increasingly strict controls. “
Now, to enter China, I had to provide three negative PCR tests from government-approved clinics, taken seven days before departure, then two more within 48 hours of the flight. On the plane, all the flight attendants wore hazmat suits, as did the staff at Kunming Airport. Upon landing, all the passengers on my flight were immediately directed to take another Covid test, an eye-watering nasal and throat swab…” Quarantine facilities where you can’t go outside, and no AC because of fears of spring. “China’s authorities have doubled down on the zero-Covid policy, reasoning that it has allowed the country to avoid the explosion of deaths in other parts of the world and will buy time to vaccinate vulnerable groups like the elderly and children…In year three of the pandemic, China still refuses to live with Covid. No case is tolerated, no matter the cost.”
CNN: Lockdowns in China turn millions into virtual prisoners.
FDA could approve vaccine for young children in June.
CNN: China is obsessed with disinfection against Covid, but does it do more harm than good?
Xi Jinping warns against critiquing China’s “zero Covid” strategy.
The US Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday that it is limiting the emergency use authorization of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Covid-19 vaccine to people 18 and older for whom other vaccines aren’t appropriate or accessible and those who opt for J&J because they wouldn’t otherwise get vaccinated. The FDA said in a statement that the change is being made because of the risk of a rare and dangerous clotting condition called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) after receiving the vaccine.
On May 20 Israel will end PCR testing at the airport. This goes along with the end of mask mandates indoors in Israel and end of masks in school. The push for vaccinations on media has now ended, along with the mass testing and masks. This is a global trend except in China.
China tightens overseas travel.
North Korea announces Covid outbreak emergency.
Biden top advisors are still wearing masks.
WHO censored in China over critique of Zero Covid strategy.
Some Native-American reservations in the US continue to require masks, even outdoors and alone. (according to a photo posted from Lower Antelope Canyon, Navajo Tribal Park).
CNN: China’s “harsh lockdowns” impact birthrate, which was already declining.
Global summit discussed next step on Covid, one oped argues for better masks and less exposure.
Bill Gates, who continues to warn about next pandemic and says vaccines are a miracle, tests positive.
Covid testing on entering Israel to end on May 20.
Staffing shortages continue to rile airports and passport processing globally, gas reaches new highs in cost in US and inflation grows, bond market suffers, home prices continue to rise, supply chain chaos continues with chips for computers, items for shoes and baby formula.
China eases Shanghai lockdown after months.
US Justice department asks court to reverse order ending mask mandates.
US airlines ask to end pre-travel testing.
Barbados: Effective May 25th, fully vaccinated travellers are no longer required to take a COVID-19 test to enter the island! To speed up processing at the airport, visitors should still download the BIMSAFE app and upload vaccine documentation within 24 hours prior to arrival. Effective June 1st, there will no longer be a quarantine requirement for unvaccinated travellers to Barbados.
US is in “fifth wave” of Covid and questions arise about second booster shots and “waning” immunity.
Canada may end random mandatory Covid tests at Pearson airport.
As COVID-19 cases began to accelerate again this spring, federal data suggests the rate of breakthrough COVID infections in April was worse in boosted Americans compared to unboosted Americans — though rates of deaths and hospitalizations remained the lowest among the boosted. For the week of April 23, it said the rate of COVID-19 infections among boosted Americans was 119 cases per 100,000 people. That was more than double the rate of infections in those who were vaccinated but unboosted, but a fraction of the levels among unvaccinated Americans. Experts say it is because boosted people increase their risks.
Experts now compare Covid to a cold. “During this Omicron wave, we’re seeing an increased number of mild infections — at-home type of infections, the inconvenient, having a cold, being off work, not great but not the end of the world. And that’s because these Omicron variants are able to break through antibody protection and cause these mild infections,” John Moore, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College, told CBS News.-CNN.
China neighborhoods return to lockdowns a day after leaving them. China bans use of the term “lockdown”, in Hong Kong Tiananmen protests are forbidden and Human Rights chief visit to China was curtailed due to Covid into “close loop” visit.
US to drop requirement for international travelers to test negative in Covid tests.
WHO report on origins of Covid is inconclusive.
A team of international scientists tasked with understanding how the coronavirus pandemic began released their first report on Thursday, saying that all hypothesis remain on the table, including a possible laboratory incident. The 27-member scientific advisory group convened by the World Health Organization said available data suggests the virus jumped from animals to humans but gaps in “key pieces of data” meant a complete understanding of the pandemic’s origins could not be established. The team, called the Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO), was formed last year to recommend further areas of study to better understand the pandemic’s origins and as well as the emergence of future pathogens. Evidence remains lacking, notes Alina Chan.
Brownstone Institute: How we exacted a heavy toll on young generation during Covid.
Germany removes all Covid entry restrictions.
Why did the WHO take two years to say Covid is airborne?
Controversy over continued boosters.
VOA: “A Covid-19 vaccine that could soon win federal approval may offer a boost for the U.S. military: an opportunity to get shots into some of the thousands of service members who have refused other coronavirus vaccines for religious reasons. At least 175 active duty and reserve service members have already received the Novavax vaccine, some even traveling overseas at their own expense to get it.”
Shanghai to test half the city, as people panic buy in case of new lockdowns.
US toddlers could soon be vaccinated against Covid-CNN.
In China people who protested a bank find out that they suddenly are marked “red” in health apps and have to quarantine for Covid.
CBS: Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra has tested positive for COVID-19, less than 30 days since he previously contracted the coronavirus, according to a news release from the department. He also tested positive on May 18. “This morning in Sacramento, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra tested positive for COVID-19 after taking an antigen test,” an HHS spokesperson said in a statement Monday. “He is fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19, and is experiencing mild symptoms.”
Biden Covid advisor Fauci tests positive for Covid. Some online point out mixed messaging from US admin last year about these issues. “The 81-year-old, who is fully vaccinated and twice boosted, is currently experiencing mild symptoms, will isolate and work from home, the NIH said.”
A look back at the pandemic so far.
The world’s ten richest men doubled their wealth during pandemic.
Shanghai’s long lockdown saw many US forms cut investment plans.
Biden’s trip to Israel will not include handshakes at airport due to Covid fears.
CBS: The Los Angeles Department of Public Health said Thursday that the county could move into the “high” risk COVID-19 threshold by next Thursday, prompting the return of an indoor mask mandate….”The CDC does estimate that across the county for the week that ended July 2, BA.4 and BA.5 combined, accounted for just over 70% of specimens,” Ferrer added. “That’s a considerable increase from 39% just two weeks ago.” Also CBS notes, “boosters designed to target Omicron could be ready by the fall. But in L.A., if transmission levels remain high for the next couple of weeks, mask mandates could return by the end of the month.”
Girl Scout camps still requiring masks, father says.
More than seven million Australians now eligible for fourth shot.
Novak Djokovic wins his seventh Wimbledon title. He had been deported from Australia due to vaccine issues last year.
The Hill opinion: States made pandemic affect worse.
Term “fully vaccinated” no longer used in Canada, says commentator, in favor of demanding boosters.
Xian in China is locked down, as Shanghai and other areas fear more lock downs. “Close to 30 million people are under some form of movement restrictions as more cities and counties across China seek to quell resurgent Covid.” China fears BA.5 variant.
Travel chaos continues in the US, UK and other western countries. UK cancels numerous flights as price hikes continue.
CNN: “Millions of Shanghai residents braved sweltering heat Tuesday to wait in line for compulsory Covid tests, as growing case numbers and the emergence of a highly infectious Omicron subvariant spurred new fears of a return to mass lockdown. Shanghai authorities have ordered the majority of the city’s 16 districts to undergo two rounds of testing from Tuesday to Thursday, after a case of the new BA.5.2.1 subvariant was detected in the community on July 8…The stifling heat has made mass testing all the more excruciating for residents — some of whom have to queue for hours — and for Covid workers, who are covered head to toe in airtight PPE equipment.”
“The worst variant”…In Europe, the Omicron subvariants are powering a spike in cases of about 25%, though Dr. Michael Ryan, the executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, has said that number may actually be higher, given the “almost collapse in testing.”…As for how to manage the new wave, Jha urged Americans aged 50 and older to get second booster shots….Eric Topol, a cardiologist and professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research, has called BA.5 “the worst version of the virus we’ve seen.” He explained in a recent newsletter: “It takes immune escape, already extensive, to the next level, and, as a function of that, enhanced transmissibility,” well beyond earlier versions of Omicron.
Travel chaos in UK as Heathrow tells airlines to stop selling summer tickets. Chaos in Israel as travelers told not to take luggage. Amsterdam’s Schipol limits number of summer travelers as travelers sue over chaos. US travel chaos continues.
Washington Post: Meet the Covid super dodgers.
WHO declares Monkeypox global health emergency. CBS looks at how it is mostly transmitted among men.
Was Covid data falsified to justify lockdowns.
New York declares Monkeypox a public health emergency after San Francisco. “We know that this virus impacts everyone equally — but we also know that those in our LGBTQ community are at greater risk right now,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “Many people in our LGBTQ community are scared and frustrated. This local emergency will allow us to continue to support our most at-risk, while also better preparing for what’s to come.” Discussions over it being spread through sexual contact. WHO urges men who have sex with men to limit partners.
Report shows property managers abused tenants during Covid.
China tests fish amid new Covid outbreak.
Quebec to offer fifth dose of vaccine.
At Wallmart in New Hampshire signs said to get Flu and Covid “shots”.
United Airlines announcement during my recent trip said that it encourages mask wearing. Entering the US still requires proof of vaccination for non-citizens.
Americans have “forgotten” about Covid, says Guardian.
Nature: Which Covid boosters to take, a guide for the perplexed. “
The next generation of COVID-19 vaccines is on its way, but those shots will be looking to take a seat at an already crowded table.
On the menu in some countries this autumn will be the familiar standards — mRNA and protein vaccines based on the spike protein from the ancestral version of SARS-CoV-2, which ushered in the pandemic. Alongside them will be a smattering of new specials, including mRNA vaccines with spike sequences both from ancestral virus and from Omicron variants.”
“Brain fog” still a concern.
Lockdown affects reportedly harmed people more than Covid, Telegraph reports.
CNN: One man’s journey to flee Zero-Covid China.
Djokovic out of US Open. Djokovic has remained unvaccinated against Covid-19 throughout the pandemic, and current US rules stipulate that any non-US citizen must be fully vaccinated against the virus in order to receive a visa and enter the country.
The Chinese metropolis of Chongqing has rolled out mass Covid testing in its central area amid a record heat wave, leaving millions of residents standing under the sun for hours as they struggle with extreme temperatures and power shortages.
Moderna sues Pfizer over use of MRNA technology, having said it wouldn’t bring cases during pandemic, until March 2022.
China sends men in white Covid health suits on horses to test herders.
Inside Hainan travel chaos and how bureaucrats in China make up local rules to enforce for Covid. For almost a month, we were forced to become nomads – first stranded on the tropical island province, then trapped thousands of kilometres away in Tianjin for a week as we waited to be cleared for our return to the Chinese capital.
California claims Covid cases among kids on rise.
Washington DC still trying to force all kids to be vaccinated “Just days before the start of school, the city abruptly announced Aug. 26 that it was delaying the vaccination requirement until Jan. 3, 2023. Heritage Foundation: “Bowser refused to provide a straight answer to the question, but that didn’t deter Blair. His persistence paid off, especially for the estimated 47% of the black children in the city ages 12-15 who haven’t completed their primary vaccination series necessary to go back to school in person.”
“Since August 20, at least 74 cities with a combined population of 313 million have imposed lockdowns that cover entire cities, districts or multiple neighborhoods, according to CNN’s calculations. They include 15 provincial capitals and Tianjin, a provincial-level municipality. Many of the restrictions are still in place. According to Chinese financial magazine Caixin, 33 cities are currently under partial or full lockdowns. Experts say more cities are likely to be added in the coming weeks…The sweeping restrictions that upend lives and businesses stand in stark contrast with the return to normal life in much of the world, where societies have mostly pivoted to living with the virus….But China insists that zero-Covid is saving lives. Health officials have cited the relatively low elderly vaccination rate and inadequate rural healthcare as hurdles to relaxing restrictions, but Chinese public health experts say political factors have played an outsized role, too.”
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending updated COVID boosters, for people ages 12 and older…The boosters target both the original strain of the coronavirus and the two omicron subvariants which are causing most of the current infections. Vaccine makers have scrambled to rejigger the vaccines as they’ve become less effective against new variants.”
As Flu season begins, media hypes Covid-flu mix.
New York chancellor and his peers are concerned that kids are falling behind. Nearly 9 in 10 parents are worried about their children losing ground academically “due to coronavirus-related school closures, ranking higher than any other financial or socioemotional concern,” according to The Education Trust, with nonwhite students more severely affected.
Japan may lift cap on foreign visitors for first time since pandemic began.
Food shortages in China due to lockdowns. BBC: “In Xinjiang a weeks-long lockdown in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture near the border with Kazakhstan has seen desperate residents appeal for help on social media.”
UK rolls back vaccines for children under 11 and others continue to express concern. “The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said children who had not turned five by the end of last month would not be offered a vaccination, in line with advice published by the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) in February 2022. UKHSA said the offer of Covid jabs to healthy five to 11-year-olds was always meant to be temporary.”
India and China claim to move toward first inhaled vaccine, even as China claims its elderly population is still not vaccinated.
US FDA says people can “re-charge” with another booster, a tweet widely mocked.
In China some ask “Zero Covid but at what price” as economy grinds to halt.
New Zealand will no longer require people to wear masks in indoor public spaces or to be vaccinated to work in certain roles, as the country winds down its pandemic battle and learns to live with Covid-19.
Some US colleges still require masks, and students are asking why.
Guardian: The end of the Covid-19 pandemic is “in sight”, the World Health Organization has declared, after revealing that weekly deaths from the virus around the world were at the lowest level since March 2020.
At least 17 million people experienced “long Covid” in Europe in the last two years.
Scientists find Covid antibodies can make boosters unnecessary.
In China a bus crash carrying Quarantine passengers to a Covid camp crashes, killing 27.
Joe Biden says Covid pandemic is over. “The pandemic is over,” he said. “We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape, and so I think it’s changing, and I think [the Detroit Auto show resuming after three years] is a perfect example of it.”
Canada to end all Covid restrictions.
Pfizer CEO gets Covid again.
CDC acknowledges that vaccine status has little to do with transmission.
Covid will be leading cause of death no matter what in US.
CBS: The BA.5 variant that dominated the summer wave of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations has now fallen to 83.1% of new cases, according to estimates released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three rival strains – the BF.7, BA.2.75, and BA.4.6 variants – have now climbed to make up nearly 1 in 5 new infections nationwide, according to the federal estimates.
CDC says some nursing homes no longer need masks.
Barbados discontinues all Covid restrictions. “Effective midnight September 22nd, 2022, Barbados discontinued all COVID-19-related travel protocols. Therefore, there are no testing requirements for entering Barbados whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated. Additionally, the wearing of masks generally is now optional.”
UAE lifts mask mandates for schools, malls. “Face masks are no longer mandatory for private schools, early childhood centers, universities and training institutes in Dubai. Smiles remain compulsory,” tweeted the emirate’s private education regulator, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).