C.D.C. Now Says People Without Covid-19 Symptoms Do Not Need Testing – The New York Times (CDC has totally caved to political pressure to make Trump look good)

At a moment when experts have almost universally come forward to encourage more frequent and widespread testing, especially to reach vulnerable and marginalized sectors of the population, the C.D.C.’s update appears counterintuitive and “very strange,” said Susan Butler-Wu, a clinical microbiologist at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.

Just weeks ago, the National Institutes of Health announced the first round of grant recipients for its Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics program, or RADx, to scale up coronavirus testing in the coming weeks and months. On the agency’s RADx website, officials underscore the importance of prioritizing tests that can “detect people who are asymptomatic.”

A more lax approach to testing, experts said, could delay crucial treatments, as well as obscure, or even hasten, the coronavirus’s spread in the community.

“I think it’s bizarre,” said Daniel Larremore, a mathematician and infectious diseases modeler at the University of Colorado Boulder. “Any move right now to reduce levels of testing by changing guidelines is a step in the wrong direction.”

Prior iterations of the C.D.C.’s testing guidelines struck a markedly different tone, explicitly stating that “testing is recommended for all close contacts” of people infected with the coronavirus, regardless of symptoms. The agency also specifically emphasized “the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission” as an important factor in the spread of the virus.

Approval of a Coronavirus Vaccine Would Be Just the Beginning – Huge Production Challenges Could Cause Long Delays | Inter Press Service

People’s lives, and life as we know it, are on the line. All of the complexities of producing a vaccine need to be addressed through open worldwide discussions and extensive mapping and modeling of these scenarios. Without proper planning and preparation, society may be left in a situation where production cannot meet demand or vaccines are shoddily produced.

And even when enough vaccines are manufactured, there’s still the challenge of actually getting them into hundreds of millions of people in the U.S. and billions around the world. There are worries that there won’t be enough glass vials to store the vaccines or syringes to administer them, as well as concerns about the temperature controlled supply chain.

These challenges of production and distribution, though large, are not insurmountable. The more planning governments and businesses do now, the better they will be able to deliver the vaccines the world so desperately needs.The Conversation

 

Source: Approval of a Coronavirus Vaccine Would Be Just the Beginning – Huge Production Challenges Could Cause Long Delays | Inter Press Service

Covid-19 vaccine triggers immune response ‘better than expected’ in pre-clinical trials | RNZ News

Magdalena Plebanski, a professor of Immunology at RMIT University, said the development was exciting and showed the UQ team was a potential contender in the race to find an effective and safe vaccine.

“But it’s early days and we still don’t know whether it will induce an immune response in humans,” she said.

What impressed her about the UQ study was that the team were looking to accelerate the process of getting a viable vaccine into the community.

“They are thinking about the next step, about scale-up and production and they have shown scale-up is possible,” Plebanski said.

She also said demonstrating hamsters could be used as animal models was an exciting new development.

Plebanski said the researchers had shown the pathology in the hamster lungs was similar to that in human patients, and the animals could be used to test new interventions and vaccines.

“It looks promising. Thus far, all the signs are good,” she said.

“As to which is going to offer the best protection, it’s still too early to know.”

 

Source: Covid-19 vaccine triggers immune response ‘better than expected’ in pre-clinical trials | RNZ News

Kids represent 9.3% of US COVID cases but few serious ones | CIDRAP – (a “few” word diminishes the very real pain for the families of the children who become very ill and/or die…)

Children were 0.4% to 4.6% of total reported hospitalizations, and between 0.2% and 8.6% of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in hospitalization, the report said. And in states reporting mortality information, children represented 0% to 0.7% of fatalities.

Wyoming, Tennessee, New Mexico, Arkansas, and North Dakota reported the most pediatric infections, with 29 states total reporting that 10% or more cases in the past 2 weeks were in kids. New Jersey and New York City had the lowest rate of pediatric infections: 3.2% or less.

“At this time, it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is rare among children. However, states should continue to provide detailed reports on COVID-19 cases, testing, hospitalizations, and mortality by age so that the effects of COVID-19 on children’s health can be documented and monitored,” the AAP said.

 

Source: Kids represent 9.3% of US COVID cases but few serious ones | CIDRAP

Santa Clara University Professor Unpacks the Surrealness of Being Racially Profiled on Campus

The interaction eventually drew more campus police—four cars in total, she said—who followed Fuentes back to Morgan’s doorstep. There, officers questioned Morgan and asked her to show her campus ID to prove that she was, in fact, a Santa Clara professor—despite her answering the door in a designated faculty housing building. “I wasn’t surprised that it was happening to me,” Morgan told The Root over the phone earlier this week. (Full disclosure: Morgan and I have been acquainted for several years.) “It all just felt very surreal because you never wake up thinking, Today’s the day it’s going to happen.” She described the officer being very aggressive to her, demanding proof that she belonged on campus and in her own home. It wasn’t until her husband, who is white, got involved that the officer’s demeanor toward her changed, she says. Morgan thinks what defused the situation, ultimately, was the presence of five neighbors—all of whom were white—standing by, observing her interaction with the campus officers and vouching for her. Morgan’s husband did most of the talking with the officers, she noted, because he was aware his race and gender made him safer and more credible in the eye

Source: Santa Clara University Professor Unpacks the Surrealness of Being Racially Profiled on Campus

Nashville Police Officers Decommissioned After Botched Raid

Besides the fact that the officers broke their way into a home where their suspect no longer lived and ended up pointing guns at an innocent family, there’s also the issue that they were doing all of this to catch a teenager suspected of a nonviolent crime.

“There’s just no reason for a property crime,” Drake said at a press conference Wednesday evening. “If we’re not looking for a violent felon, someone that’s dangerous to our community, we can pull back. One thing that I’ve talked about, at least for the last month, is: de-escalate, de-escalate, de-escalate. And, in this particular situation, we didn’t de-escalate. We actually escalated, in my opinion. We could have prevented this.”

Source: Nashville Police Officers Decommissioned After Botched Raid

QAnon explained: the antisemitic conspiracy theory gaining traction around the world | US news | The Guardian

There are many, many threads of the QAnon narrative, all as far-fetched and evidence-free as the rest, including subplots that focus on John F Kennedy Jr being alive (he isn’t), the Rothschild family controlling all the banks (they don’t) and children being sold through the website of the furniture retailer Wayfair (they aren’t). Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, George Soros, Bill Gates, Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey, Chrissy Teigen and Pope Francis are just some of the people whom QAnon followers have cast as villains in their alternative reality.

QAnon also has its roots in much older antisemitic conspiracy theories. The idea of the all-powerful, world-ruling cabal comes straight out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a fake document purporting to expose a Jewish plot to control the world that was used throughout the 20th century to justify antisemitism. Another QAnon canard – the idea that members of the cabal extract the chemical adrenochrome from the blood of their child victims and ingest it to extend their lives – is a modern remix of the age-old antisemitic blood libel.

In general, QAnon appears to be most popular among older Republicans and evangelical Christians. There are subcultures within QAnon for people who approach studying Q drops in a manner similar to Bible study.

Source: QAnon explained: the antisemitic conspiracy theory gaining traction around the world | US news | The Guardian

Billy Graham’s granddaughter: Evangelical leaders are failing us by supporting Trump | TheHill

“Jesus said repeatedly to defend the poor and show kindness and compassion to those in need. Our president continues to perpetuate an us-versus-them narrative, yet almost all of our church leaders say nothing,” she wrote.

Duford also wrote that the silence from church leaders shows that marginalized communities are “no longer valued by individuals claiming to uphold the values my grandfather taught.”

She specifically noted Trump walking through Lafayette Square to St. John’s Church in Washington, D.C., after tear gas was used on peaceful protesters in front of the White House.

“He held a Bible, something so sacred to all of us, yet he treated that Bible with a callousness that would offend anyone intimately familiar with the words inside it,” Duford wrote. “He believed that action would honor him and only him. However, the church, designed to honor God, said nothing.”

Source: Billy Graham’s granddaughter: Evangelical leaders are failing us by supporting Trump | TheHill

Officials connect Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to coronavirus cases in eight states | TheHill

Reports emerged last week confirming several cases in connection with the 10-day motorcycle gathering — 103 in total so far.

In addition to North and South Dakota, states seeing COVID-19 cases linked to the Sturgis event include Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming and Washington.

Kris Ehresmann, the Minnesota Department of Health’s infectious disease division director, said during a call with news outlets that the department expects more cases associated with Sturgis.

“Thousands of people attended that event, and so it’s very likely that we will see more transmission,” she added.

 

Source: Officials connect Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to coronavirus cases in eight states | TheHill