Friday, May 07, 2021

The Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientists DESTROYS Any Further Doubt About Covid's Origin

This is School For You!!!

Accept No MuthaPhukkin Substitutes...,

thebulletin |  Why would anyone want to create a novel virus capable of causing a pandemic? Ever since virologists gained the tools for manipulating a virus’s genes, they have argued they could get ahead of a potential pandemic by exploring how close a given animal virus might be to making the jump to humans. And that justified lab experiments in enhancing the ability of dangerous animal viruses to infect people, virologists asserted.

With this rationale, they have recreated the 1918 flu virus, shown how the almost extinct polio virus can be synthesized from its published DNA sequence, and introduced a smallpox gene into a related virus.

These enhancements of viral capabilities are known blandly as gain-of-function experiments. With coronaviruses, there was particular interest in the spike proteins, which jut out all around the spherical surface of the virus and pretty much determine which species of animal it will target. In 2000 Dutch researchers, for instance, earned the gratitude of rodents everywhere by genetically engineering the spike protein of a mouse coronavirus so that it would attack only cats.

Virologists started studying bat coronaviruses in earnest after these turned out to be the source of both the SARS1 and MERS epidemics. In particular, researchers wanted to understand what changes needed to occur in a bat virus’s spike proteins before it could infect people.

Researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, led by China’s leading expert on bat viruses, Shi Zheng-li or “Bat Lady,” mounted frequent expeditions to the bat-infested caves of Yunnan in southern China and collected around a hundred different bat coronaviruses.

Shi then teamed up with Ralph S. Baric, an eminent coronavirus researcher at the University of North Carolina. Their work focused on enhancing the ability of bat viruses to attack humans so as to “examine the emergence potential (that is, the potential to infect humans) of circulating bat CoVs [coronaviruses].” In pursuit of this aim, in November 2015 they created a novel virus by taking the backbone of the SARS1 virus and replacing its spike protein with one from a bat virus (known as SHC014-CoV). This manufactured virus was able to infect the cells of the human airway, at least when tested against a lab culture of such cells.

The SHC014-CoV/SARS1 virus is known as a chimera because its genome contains genetic material from two strains of virus. If the SARS2 virus were to have been cooked up in Shi’s lab, then its direct prototype would have been the SHC014-CoV/SARS1 chimera, the potential danger of which concerned many observers and prompted intense discussion.

“If the virus escaped, nobody could predict the trajectory,” said Simon Wain-Hobson, a virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris.

Baric and Shi referred to the obvious risks in their paper but argued they should be weighed against the benefit of foreshadowing future spillovers. Scientific review panels, they wrote, “may deem similar studies building chimeric viruses based on circulating strains too risky to pursue.” Given various restrictions being placed on gain-of function (GOF) research, matters had arrived in their view at “a crossroads of GOF research concerns; the potential to prepare for and mitigate future outbreaks must be weighed against the risk of creating more dangerous pathogens. In developing policies moving forward, it is important to consider the value of the data generated by these studies and whether these types of chimeric virus studies warrant further investigation versus the inherent risks involved.”

That statement was made in 2015. From the hindsight of 2021, one can say that the value of gain-of-function studies in preventing the SARS2 epidemic was zero. The risk was catastrophic, if indeed the SARS2 virus was generated in a gain-of-function experiment.

Prescient Huxley-ian Projections About A Contentedly Enslaved Karenwaffen...,

americanthinker |   In 1949, sometime after the publication of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, Aldous Huxley, the author of Brave New World (1931), who was then living in California, wrote to Orwell.  Huxley had briefly taught French to Orwell as a student in high school at Eton.

Huxley generally praises Orwell's novel, which to many seemed very similar to Brave New World in its dystopian view of a possible future.  Huxley politely voices his opinion that his own version of what might come to pass would be truer than Orwell's.  Huxley observed that the philosophy of the ruling minority in Nineteen Eighty-Four is sadism, whereas his own version is more likely, that controlling an ignorant and unsuspecting public would be less arduous, less wasteful by other means.  Huxley's masses are seduced by a mind-numbing drug, Orwell's with sadism and fear. 

The most powerful quote In Huxley's letter to Orwell is this: 

Within the next generation I believe that the world's rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.

Could Huxley have more prescient?  What do we see around us?  Masses of people dependent upon drugs, legal and illegal.  The majority of advertisements that air on television seem to be for prescription drugs, some of them miraculous but most of them unnecessary.  Then comes COVID, a quite possibly weaponized virus from the Fauci-funded-with-taxpayer-dollars lab in Wuhan, China.  The powers that be tragically deferred to the malevolent Fauci who had long been hoping for just such an opportunity.  Suddenly, there was an opportunity to test the mRNA vaccines that had been in the works for nearly twenty years.  They could be authorized as an emergency measure but were still highly experimental.  These jabs are not really vaccines at all, but a form of gene therapy.  There are potential disastrous consequences down the road.  Government experiments on the public are nothing new.

BeeDee Drops Some Prescient Globalist French Banker Pandemic Bon Mots...,

LewRockwell |   History teaches us that humanity evolves significantly only when it is  really afraid: it   then first sets up defense mechanisms; sometimes intolerable (scapegoats and totalitarianisms); sometimes futile (distraction); sometimes effective (therapeutics, setting aside if necessary all the previous moral principles). Then, once the crisis is over, it transforms these mechanisms to make them compatible with individual freedom, and to include them in a democratic health policy.               

The beginning of the pandemic could trigger one of these structuring fears.    

If it is not more serious than the two previous  fears linked to a risk of pandemic (the  mad cow crisis of 2001 in Great Britain and  that of  avian flu of 2003 in China),  it   will first   have consequences. significant economic (fall in  air transport , fall   in tourism and the price of  oil   ); it   will cost about $ 2 million per infected person and will lower the stock markets by about  15%; its impact will be very brief ( China's growth rate only declined during   the second  quarter of 2003, to explode higher in the third); it will also have consequences in terms of organization (In 2003, very rigorous police measures were taken throughout Asia; the World Health Organization has set up global alert procedures; and certain countries, in particular France and Japan, have built up considerable reserves of drugs and masks).      

If it is a little more serious, which is   possible, since it is transmissible by  humans, it will have truly global consequences: economic  (the models suggest  to think  that this  could   lead to a loss  of 3 trillion dollars,  a 5% drop in global GDP) and  political  (  because of the risk of contagion, the   countries of the North will have an interest in ensuring that those in the South are not sick and   they will  have to ensure that the poorest have access to medicines today 'hui stored for only  the richest); a major pandemic will  then  arise,  better than any humanitarian or ecological discourse, the awareness of the need for altruism, at least self-interested.       

And,  even if, as  we can  obviously hope, this crisis is not  very  serious, we must not forget, as with the economic crisis, to learn the lessons, so that before the next inevitable one, we must not forget. set up prevention and control mechanisms and logistical processes for the equitable distribution of drugs and vaccines. For that, we will have to set up a global police force, a global storage and therefore a global tax system. We will then come, much faster than the sole economic reason would have allowed , to set up the bases of a real world government. It is also by the hospital that began in France in the 17th century the establishment of a real state.

In the meantime,    we  could at least hope for the implementation of a real   European policy on the subject.   But here again,  as on so many other subjects, Brussels is silent. Fist tap BeeDee

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Only A Special Pinhead Could Consider IdPol Ideology Net Of Panicdemic State Ideology

unherd |  The extraordinary spread in recent months of what has become known, in the writer Wesley Yang’s phrase, as “the successor ideology” has encouraged all manner of analysis attempting to delineate its essential features. Is it a religion, with its own litany of sin and redemption, its own repertoire of fervent rituals and iconography? Is this Marxism, ask American conservatives, still fighting yesterday’s ideological war?

What does this all do to speed along policing reform, ask bewildered African-Americans, as they observe global corporations and white celebrities compete to beat their chests in ever-more elaborate and meaningless gestures of atonement? What kind of meaningful anti-systemic revolution can provoke such immediate and fulsome support from the Hollywood entertainment complex, from the richest oligarchs and plutocrats on earth, and from the media organs of the liberal state?

If we are to understand the successor ideology as an ideology, it may be useful here, counterintuitively, to return to the great but increasingly overlooked 1970 essay on the “Ideological State Apparatuses,” or ISAs, by the French Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser. Once influential on the Western left, Althusser’s reputation has suffered somewhat since he killed his wife in a fit of madness 40 years ago. Of Alsatian Catholic origin, and a lifelong sufferer from mental illness, Althusser wrote his seminal essay in a manic period following the évènements of 1968, for whose duration he was committed to hospital. 

Composed with a feverish, hallucinatory clarity, Althusser’s essay aimed to elucidate the manner in which ideology functions as a means to prop up the political order, observing that “no class can hold state power over a long period without at the same time exercising its hegemony over and in the Ideological State Apparatuses”. 

What are these ISAs? Contrasted with the Repressive State Apparatuses — the police, the army, and so on — the ISAs are the means by which the system reproduces itself through ideology: Althusser lists the church, the media and the education system along with the family, and the legal and political system and the culture industry as the means through which the ideology of the governing system is enforced. Althusser here develops Gramsci’s thesis that the cultural sphere is the most productive arena of political struggle, and inverts it: instead of being the site of revolutionary victory, it is where the system reasserts itself, neutering the possibility of political change through its wielding of the most powerful weapon, ideology. 

It is through ideology, Althusser asserts, that the ruling system maintains itself in power: “the ideology of the ruling class does not become the ruling ideology by the grace of God, nor even by virtue of the seizure of state power alone,” he states, “it is by the installation of the ISAs in which this ideology is realised and real­ises itself that it becomes the ruling ideology.”

I Wish I'd Never Gotten A SARS-COV2 Gain of Function mRNA Jab...,

wikipedia |  Gain of function research (GoFR) is a field of medical research focused on the serial passaging of microorganisms in vitro and in vivo. This places positive selective pressure on the microorganisms to effect mutations that would increase their pathogenicity, transmissibility, and antigenicity. These studies can also expand the host tropism of a pathogen to new host species or organ tissue. This research reveals targets to better predict emerging infectious diseases and to develop vaccines and therapeutics.

In virology, gain-of-function research is employed to better understand current and future pandemics.[1] In vaccine development, gain-of-function research is conducted to gain a head start on a virus and to develop a vaccine or therapeutic before it emerges.[1]

In February 2000, a group at the Utrecht University led by Peter Rottier published a paper on their gain-of-function studies titled "Retargeting of Coronavirus by Substitution of the Spike Glycoprotein Ectodomain: Crossing the Host Cell Species Barrier" detailing how they constructed a mutant of the coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus, replacing the ectodomain of the spike glycoprotein (S) with the highly divergent ectodomain of the S protein of feline infectious peritonitis virus. According to the paper, "the resulting chimeric virus, designated fMHV, acquired the ability to infect feline cells and simultaneously lost the ability to infect murine cells in tissue culture".[2]

The World Health Organization in 2010 developed a "guidance document" for Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC) in the life sciences because "research that is intended [to] benefit, but which might easily be misapplied to do harm".[3]

In May 2012, a Japanese group of scientists operating out of the University of Wisconsin with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ERATO, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and support gifts from the National Institutes of Health and the Vietnamese National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology published a paper in the journal Nature about airborne transmission of the H5N1 bird flu introduced via respiratory droplet transmission from one ferret to another. The group "had altered the virus’s amino acid profile, allowing it to reproduce in mammal lungs, which are a bit colder than bird lungs. That small change allowed the virus to be transmitted via coughing and sneezing, and it solved the riddle of how H5N1 could become airborne in humans... (Some) members of Congress, among other critics around the world, responded to the publication of the research with alarm and condemnation." A New York Times editorial described the event as "An Engineered Doomsday."[4][5]

In May 2013, Hualan Chen, who was then director of the China's National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory, and colleagues successfully created a new strain of influenza virus through a gain-of-function experiment at the BSL3 approved Harbin Veterinary Research Institute.[6] The Chinese scientists "deliberately mixed the H5N1 bird-flu virus, which is highly lethal [to birds] but not easily transmitted between [humans], with a 2009 strain of H1N1 flu virus, which is very infectious to humans."[7] This event caused consternation in European biotech circles, as Professor Simon Wain-Hobson of the Pasteur Institute the Chinese scientists "haven’t been thinking clearly about what they are doing. It’s very worrying... The virological basis of this work is not strong. It is of no use for vaccine development and the benefit in terms of surveillance for new flu viruses is oversold," while Lord May of Oxford said: "The record of containment in labs like this is not reassuring. They are taking it upon themselves to create human-to-human transmission of very dangerous viruses. It’s appallingly irresponsible."[7]

In May 2014, the Bundestag was presented a report written by the National Ethics Council on proposed guidance for governance of GoFR.[8] At the time, some in Germany were concerned over "GoFR pathogenic pandemic microbes raging out of control".[8] Epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch used "data of past biosafety breaches to calculate that" they occur with a probability "of 0.01 to 0.1 percent per lab per year."[8]

In October 2014, The White House under the Obama administration instituted a moratorium on gain-of-function research into influenza, MERS, and SARS, launched inquiries from the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP); the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB); and the symposia by National Research Council (NRC),[9] and paused funding for all projects for three years.[10][11][12][13] At least 18 GoFR projects were affected, "including work that had been continued ... in the labs of Fouchier and Kawaoka."[8]

In December 2014, Veronique Kiermer (at the time on the editorial board of Nature) discussed the considerations at her place of employment, that go into the publication of DURC. She came to the conclusion that "the journal's editorial and review boards should not (and could not) be the only gatekeepers who decide which research results should be published, either fully or redacted, 'because it is way too late in the process of GoFR.'"[8]

In December 2014, the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine organized a two-day symposium to discuss the potential risks and benefits of Gain-of-Function Research. The event was attended by scientists from around the world, including George Gao, Gabriel Leung and Michael Selgelid, Baruch Fischhoff, Alta Charo, Harvey Fineberg, Jonathan Moreno, Ralph Cicerone, Margaret Hamburg, Jo Handelsman, Samuel Stanley, Kenneth Berns, Ralph Baric, Robert Lamb, Silja Vöneky, Keiji Fukuda, David Relman, and Marc Lipsitch.[14] One day later, the US government granted exceptions to the GoFR moratorium to seven out of 18 research projects that had been affected.[8]

In 2016, synthetic virology scientists and bioethics experts again raised concerns with the dual-use of gain-of-function research.[1][13]

By March 2016 the second symposium launched by the Obama administration reported that funding for gain-of-function research was provided by government agencies, pharmaceutical research companies, venture capital funds, colleges and universities, non-profit research institutions, foundations, and charities.[15]

In May 2016,[16] the NSABB published "Recommendations for the Evaluation and Oversight of Proposed Gain-of-Function Research".[17]

On 9 January 2017, the HHS published the "Recommended Policy Guidance for Departmental Development of Review Mechanisms for Potential Pandemic Pathogen Care and Oversight" (P3CO).[16]

On 19 December 2017 under the Trump administration, the NIH lifted the Obama moratorium into GoFR because it was deemed to be "important in helping us identify, understand, and develop strategies and effective countermeasures against rapidly evolving pathogens that pose a threat to public health,"[18] because on the same day the HHS P3CO Framework restored it.[19][18]

Data Show The Hysterical Karenwaffen Greatly Amplified Covid Gain Of Function

theatlantic |  Lurking among the jubilant Americans venturing back out to bars and planning their summer-wedding travel is a different group: liberals who aren’t quite ready to let go of pandemic restrictions. For this subset, diligence against COVID-19 remains an expression of political identity—even when that means overestimating the disease’s risks or setting limits far more strict than what public-health guidelines permit. In surveys, Democrats express more worry about the pandemic than Republicans do. People who describe themselves as “very liberal” are distinctly anxious. This spring, after the vaccine rollout had started, a third of very liberal people were “very concerned” about becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, compared with a quarter of both liberals and moderates, according to a study conducted by the University of North Carolina political scientist Marc Hetherington. And 43 percent of very liberal respondents believed that getting the coronavirus would have a “very bad” effect on their life, compared with a third of liberals and moderates.

Last year, when the pandemic was raging and scientists and public-health officials were still trying to understand how the virus spread, extreme care was warranted. People all over the country made enormous sacrifices—rescheduling weddings, missing funerals, canceling graduations, avoiding the family members they love—to protect others. Some conservatives refused to wear masks or stay home, because of skepticism about the severity of the disease or a refusal to give up their freedoms. But this is a different story, about progressives who stressed the scientific evidence, and then veered away from it.

For many progressives, extreme vigilance was in part about opposing Donald Trump. Some of this reaction was born of deeply felt frustration with how he handled the pandemic. It could also be knee-jerk. “If he said, ‘Keep schools open,’ then, well, we’re going to do everything in our power to keep schools closed,” Monica Gandhi, a professor of medicine at UC San Francisco, told me. Gandhi describes herself as “left of left,” but has alienated some of her ideological peers because she has advocated for policies such as reopening schools and establishing a clear timeline for the end of mask mandates. “We went the other way, in an extreme way, against Trump’s politicization,” Gandhi said. Geography and personality may have also contributed to progressives’ caution: Some of the most liberal parts of the country are places where the pandemic hit especially hard, and Hetherington found that the very liberal participants in his survey tended to be the most neurotic.

The spring of 2021 is different from the spring of 2020, though. Scientists know a lot more about how COVID-19 spreads—and how it doesn’t. Public-health advice is shifting. But some progressives have not updated their behavior based on the new information. And in their eagerness to protect themselves and others, they may be underestimating other costs. Being extra careful about COVID-19 is (mostly) harmless when it’s limited to wiping down your groceries with Lysol wipes and wearing a mask in places where you’re unlikely to spread the coronavirus, such as on a hiking trail. But vigilance can have unintended consequences when it imposes on other people’s lives. Even as scientific knowledge of COVID-19 has increased, some progressives have continued to embrace policies and behaviors that aren’t supported by evidence, such as banning access to playgrounds, closing beaches, and refusing to reopen schools for in-person learning.

 

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

If The Spike Protein Alone Causes Extensive Vascular Damage - Why The mRNA Jabs Code For Spike-ulation?

salk |  Scientists have known for a while that SARS-CoV-2’s distinctive “spike” proteins help the virus infect its host by latching on to healthy cells. Now, a major new study shows that they also play a key role in the disease itself.

The paper, published on April 30, 2021, in Circulation Research, also shows conclusively that COVID-19 is a vascular disease, demonstrating exactly how the SARS-CoV-2 virus damages and attacks the vascular system on a cellular level. The findings help explain COVID-19’s wide variety of seemingly unconnected complications, and could open the door for new research into more effective therapies.

“A lot of people think of it as a respiratory disease, but it’s really a vascular disease,” says Assistant Research Professor Uri Manor, who is co-senior author of the study. “That could explain why some people have strokes, and why some people have issues in other parts of the body. The commonality between them is that they all have vascular underpinnings.”

Salk researchers collaborated with scientists at the University of California San Diego on the paper, including co-first author Jiao Zhang and co-senior author John Shyy, among others.

While the findings themselves aren’t entirely a surprise, the paper provides clear confirmation and a detailed explanation of the mechanism through which the protein damages vascular cells for the first time. There’s been a growing consensus that SARS-CoV-2 affects the vascular system, but exactly how it did so was not understood. Similarly, scientists studying other coronaviruses have long suspected that the spike protein contributed to damaging vascular endothelial cells, but this is the first time the process has been documented.

In the new study, the researchers created a “pseudovirus” that was surrounded by SARS-CoV-2 classic crown of spike proteins, but did not contain any actual virus. Exposure to this pseudovirus resulted in damage to the lungs and arteries of an animal model—proving that the spike protein alone was enough to cause disease. Tissue samples showed inflammation in endothelial cells lining the pulmonary artery walls.

The team then replicated this process in the lab, exposing healthy endothelial cells (which line arteries) to the spike protein. They showed that the spike protein damaged the cells by binding ACE2. This binding disrupted ACE2’s molecular signaling to mitochondria (organelles that generate energy for cells), causing the mitochondria to become damaged and fragmented.

Previous studies have shown a similar effect when cells were exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but this is the first study to show that the damage occurs when cells are exposed to the spike protein on its own.

 

Sum'n Not Right With The Continuing Emphasis On Hygiene Theater....,

The evidence for aerosol transmission is now so solid that you have to wonder why just about everyone in authority refuses to sign on. For my part, I start by excluding the possibility that they’re uninformed or misinformed. Something else must be at work. 
 
My conclusions:
1) The administration, governors, and others - are responding to their real constituencies who care little about public health and are clamoring to get the economy back on track without any consequential additional costs;
 
2) These political authorities know very well that doing so requires A) ignoring or slighting the fact of aerosol transmission and B) focusing instead on low-cost distractions such as masks, disinfectants and plexiglass barriers;
 
3) They also know that this means Covid will continue to be a public emergency, and here's the key;
 
4) They have gamed a way to avoid any culpability for the resulting wave of additional deaths, lung transplants and prolonged and perhaps permanent disabilities due to impairment of long-Covid sufferers’ major organs;
 
5) The authorities calculate they personally will be fine by the time they leave office for quiet but plush and safe Covid-free obscurity (like Newsom at the French Laundry, or in bunkers or off to New Zealand).
 
6) They want to prevent and delay aerosol mitigation long enough to turn the rona into a permanent endemic disease, on purpose and with malice of forethought.
 
Why?

6A) Investors need a new "big win". The synthetic biology complex wants to sell high-priced high-margin boosters every year for the next several years. That requires a steady reservoir of permarona in the population to keep breeding up new variants that will be used to scare up new supplicants for additional mRNA boosters. 
 
6B) The fact that mRNA therapeutics are themselves dangerous and will worsen the potency of variants may work to profitably kill off a few billion surplus laborers whose services are no longer needed - all the while making it look like an accident.


Wolves Out'Chere Shearing Sheeple...,

khn |  Last summer, Global Plasma Solutions wanted to test whether the company’s air-purifying devices could kill covid-19 virus particles but could find only a lab using a chamber the size of a shoebox for its trials. In the company-funded study, the virus was blasted with 27,000 ions per cubic centimeter.

In September, the company’s founder incidentally mentioned that the devices being offered for sale actually deliver a lot less ion power — 13 times less — into a full-sized room.

The company nonetheless used the shoebox results — over 99% viral reduction — in marketing its device heavily to schools as something that could combat covid in classrooms far, far larger than a shoebox.

School officials desperate to calm worried parents bought these devices and others with a flood of federal funds, installing them in more than 2,000 schools across 44 states, a KHN investigation found. They use the same technology — ionization, plasma and dry hydrogen peroxide — that the Lancet COVID-19 Commission recently deemed “often unproven” and potential sources of pollution themselves.

In the frenzy, schools are buying technology that academic air-quality experts warn can lull them into a false sense of security or even potentially harm kids. And schools often overlook the fact that their trusted contractors — typically engineering, HVAC or consulting firms — stand to earn big money from the deals, KHN found.

Academic experts are encouraging schools to pump in more fresh air and use tried-and-true filters, like HEPA, to capture the virus. Yet every ion- or hydroxyl-blasting air purifier sale strengthens a firm’s next pitch: The device is doing a great job in the neighboring town.

“It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more people buy these technologies, the more they get legitimacy,” said Jeffrey Siegel, a civil engineering professor at the University of Toronto. “It’s really the complete wild west out there.”

Marwa Zaatari, a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) Epidemic Task Force, first compiled a list of schools and districts using such devices.

Schools have been “bombarded with persistent salespersons peddling the latest air and cleaning technologies, including those with minimal evidence to-date supporting safety and efficacy” according to a report released Thursday by the Center for Green Schools and ASHRAE.

Zaatari said she was particularly concerned that officials in New Jersey are buying thousands of devices made by another company that says they emit ozone, which can exacerbate asthma and harm developing lungs, according to decades of research.

“We’re going to live in a world where the air quality in schools is worse after the pandemic, after all of this money,” Zaatari said. “It’s really sickening.”

The sales race is fueled by roughly $193 billion in federal funds allocated to schools for teacher pay and safety upgrades — a giant fund that can be used to buy air cleaners. And Democrats are pushing for $100 billion more that could also be spent on air cleaners.

In April, Global Plasma Solutions said further tests show its devices inactivate covid in the air and on surfaces in larger chambers. The company studies still use about twice the level of ions than its leaders have publicly said the devices can deliver, KHN found.

There is virtually no federal oversight or enforcement of safe air-cleaning technology. Only California bans air cleaners that emit a certain amount of ozone.

U.S. Rep. Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.), chair of the education and labor committee, said the federal government typically is not involved in local decisions of what products to buy, although he hopes for more federal guidance.

In the meantime, “these school systems are dealing with contractors providing all kinds of services,” he said, “so you just have to trust them to get the best expert advice on what to do.”

 

 

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Plexiglas And Poor Ventilation Show Why Biden Won't Force School Reopening In The Fall..,

Even With Nothing To Lose Cornpop Dares Not Piss Off These Teachers Unions..,

CNN  |  President Joe Biden hasn't committed to K-12 schools reopening full-time and in-person in the fall, one of his senior advisers said Sunday, because the coronavirus remains unpredictable.

"He said 'probably.' He did not say 'absolutely,' " Senior Adviser to the President Anita Dunn told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union." "Because we've all seen this since unfortunately January of 2020. It's an unpredictable virus. And it is a virus that has -- you know it mutates. So we can't look in a crystal ball and say what September looks like."
 
Dunn's comments come after Biden said Friday that K-12 schools "should probably all be open" in the fall for in-person learning after more than a year of challenges with remote learning and as more Americans get vaccinated.
 
"Based on the science and the (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), they should probably all be open. There's not overwhelming evidence that there's much of a transmission among these people, young people," the President had said during an interview with NBC's "TODAY." 
 
The CDC in February released highly anticipated guidelines for reopening schools that focus on mask wearing, physical distancing, washing hands, cleaning facilities and improving ventilation, and contact tracing, isolation and quarantine. Last month, the agency also made another recommendation that experts said would allow more schools to open. The CDC relaxed its physical distancing guidelines for children in schools to recommend most students maintain at least three feet of distance, down from six feet.
 
Dunn told Tapper if Americans get vaccinated against Covid-19 and if schools follow CDC guidelines then "we probably should be able to have them open," encouraging people to seek medical advice before getting a vaccine.
 
"If they have doubts about it they should ask their doctor. They should ask people who have already gotten it. They should certainly do their own research," she said.
 

"Trust The Science" But Obey The Teachers Unions On School Reopenings

pjmedia  |  In the Biden administration, “follow the science” takes second place to “follow the campaign donations from teachers unions.”

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was heavily lobbied by the nation’s second-largest teachers union on when to reopen America’s schools, emails obtained by the New York Post show. There was extensive communication between the American Federation of Teachers, the CDC, and the White House in the lead up to the release of school reopening guidelines in February.

The documents were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the group Americans for Public Trust and provided to The Post.

Anyone in the United States, any group, has a perfect right to lobby any federal agency they wish. But don’t you think it would have been nice to know that the CDC was being influenced by teachers in coming to the conclusion that schools should remain closed to in-person learning?

The documents show a flurry of activity between CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, her top advisors and union officials — with Biden brass being looped in at the White House — in the days before the highly-anticipated Feb. 12 announcement on school-reopening guidelines.

“Thank you again for Friday’s rich discussion about forthcoming CDC guidance and for your openness to the suggestions made by our president, Randi Weingarten, and the AFT,” wrote AFT senior director for health issues Kelly Trautner in a Feb 1 email — which described the union as the CDC’s “thought partner.”

You can’t really say the teachers union was driving the discussion on when to open schools. Or can you?

“We were able to review a copy of the draft guidance document over the weekend and were able to provide some initial feedback to several staff this morning about possible ways to strengthen the document,” Trautner continued. “… We believe our experiences on the ground can inform and enrich thinking around what is practicable and prudent in future guidance documents.”

 

PoPo Say No No To The Mark Of The Beaat

WaPo  |  Police officers were among the first front-line workers to gain priority access to coronavirus vaccines. But their vaccination rates are lower than or about the same as those of the general public, according to data made available by some of the nation’s largest law enforcement agencies.

The reluctance of police to get the shots threatens not just their own health, but also the safety of people they’re responsible for guarding, monitoring and patrolling, experts say.

At the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, just 39 percent of employees have gotten at least one dose, officials said, compared to more than 50 percent of eligible adults nationwide. In Atlanta, 36 percent of sworn officers have been vaccinated. And a mere 28 percent of those employed by the Columbus Division of Police — Ohio’s largest police department — report having received a shot.

“I think it’s unacceptable,” Joe Lombardo, the head of Las Vegas police and sheriff of Clark County, said of the meager demand for the shots within his force.

The numbers paint a troubling picture of policing and public health. Because officers have high rates of diabetes, heart disease and other conditions, their hesitancy puts them at greater risk of serious illness from the coronavirus while also undermining force readiness, experts said. Police officers were more likely to die of covid-19 last year than of all other causes combined, according to data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Police hesitancy also means officers may be vectors of spread to vulnerable people with whom they interact during traffic stops, calls for service and other high-contact encounters. That could thwart efforts to restore community trust in a moment of heightened scrutiny after last month’s conviction of ex-officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd.

“Police touch people,” said Sharona Hoffman, a professor of law and bioethics at Case Western Reserve University. “Imagine having a child in the car who’s not vaccinated. People would want to know if a police officer coming to their window is protected.”

Police ambivalence about immunization finds a parallel among other front-line workers. Just 52 percent of health-care workers surveyed by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation between Feb. 11 and March 7 said they had received at least one dose.

One solution is for departments to make vaccination compulsory, according to experts in bioethics and public health, just as some health-care settings and institutions of higher education have begun doing.

Monday, May 03, 2021

It Would Wear On Any Ordinary Woman To Be Thought Of As The Devil's Wife...,


Nurse Fuentes Should've Claimed The Religious Exemption And Kept It Moving...,

 fox26houston  |  Fuentes says a supervisor encouraged her to file for a religious exemption.

"And I said, 'Well, I don't have a religious exemption. I'm not doing this for religious reasons,' and she said, 'I know, but we'll help you fill it out, and at least this will save your job,'" Fuentes claims. "So, because I don't have a religious reason and it's a personal reason, my beliefs and my feelings aren't as worthy as someone who has a religious reason?"

Fuentes says when she did not agree to stay quiet about the reason for her departure, she was not allowed to complete her final two weeks and escorted out of the hospital. 

In response, Houston Methodist stated they do not advise those who decline the vaccine for personal reasons to file for a religious exemption. Adding:

"We have a process in place for the employees who want to request a religious/medical exemption--- like we have had for the flu shot for more than a decade. Not all exemptions are granted."

In the meantime, Fuentes says she was prepared to wear masks at work and show lab results of COVID-19 antibodies since she'd recovered from the disease.

She adds, she regularly worked in a surgical unit, but volunteered to work in the COVID-19 unit.

"I want to be known that I was a safe nurse when I worked at the height of the pandemic and volunteered to work and did work in the COVID unit. So, I was a safe nurse then, not vaccinated, and I was able to turn back around and work in my unit without being tested and without being vaccinated," Fuentes said.

Houston Methodist adds:

"Our employees have the choice to stay or leave—we are not forcing anyone to get a vaccine. But over everything, we must put patients first. It is our obligation as health care workers to do no harm to our patients, who are among the most vulnerable in our community."

Generally, employers are able to require employees to get vaccinated. Clayton Craighead, an employment attorney in Houston, says there are the two exemption that both deal with accomodations. 

"One of them is an accomodation under the American with Disabilities Act and the second exception is an accomodation on a religious basis. In order to establish an entitlement under the ADA, the employee would have to provide some sort of documentation from a doctor explaining why he or she, could not or should not receive the vaccination due to some medical condition or disability," Craighead explained.

No One Is Safe Until Everyone Is Safe...,

commondreams |  The U.S. is facing sustained calls to end its opposition of a proposal to temporarily lift intellectual property rules for Covid-19 vaccines and related technology as soaring coronavirus cases ravage India and new reporting spotlights a debate within the Biden administration over whether to support the patent suspension effort to help tackle the global pandemic or prioritize Big Pharma's interests.

At issue, as the Washington Post reported Friday, is a proposal India and South Africa submitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) last October to suspend Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) rules on Covid-19 vaccines and treatments to boost manufacturing capacity. It's now cosponsored by 60 nations and backed by over 100 countries as well as hundreds of U.S. and international civil society organizations, former world world leaders and Nobel laureates, and some U.S. lawmakers.

In addition to the U.S., other wealthy nations including the U.K. and Canada are blocking the proposal—which needs consensus to pass.

The WTO's TRIPS panel met Friday to discuss the proposal, and it's now being revised by its cosponsors. 

Asked Friday whether the U.S. would continue its opposition, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration has not yet confirmed its stance and said the White House's "overall objective is to provide as much supply to the global community and do that in a cost-effective manner."

A Novel IS Being Written - What's India's Role In The Unfolding Narrative?

consortiumnews  |   The unfolding pandemic horror in India has many causes. These include the complacency, inaction and irresponsibility of government leaders, even when it was evident for several months that a fresh wave of infections of new mutant variants threatened the population. Continued massive election rallies, many addressed by the prime minister, Narendra Modi, brought large numbers to congested gatherings and lulled many into underplaying the threat of infection.

The incomprehensible decision to allow a major Hindu religious festival — the Mahakumbh Mela, held every 12 years — to be brought forward by a full year, on the advice of some astrologers, brought millions from across India to one small area along the Ganges River and contributed to ‘super-spreading’ the disease.  

The exponential explosion of Covid-19 cases — and it is likely much worse than officially reported, because of inadequate testing and undercounting of cases and deaths — has revealed not just official hubris and incompetence but lack of planning and major deficiencies in the public health system. The shortage of medical oxygen, for instance, has effectively become a proximate cause of death for many patients.

Failing Vaccination Program

But one significant — and entirely avoidable — reason for the catastrophe is the failing vaccination programme. Even given the global constraints posed by rich-country vaccine-grabbing and the limits on domestic production set by the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) agreement, this is unnecessary and unexpected.

India is home to the largest vaccine producer in the world and has several other companies capable of producing vaccines. Before the pandemic, 60 per cent of the vaccines used in the developing world for child immunisation were manufactured in India.

The country has a long tradition of successful vaccination campaigns, against polio and tuberculosis for infants and a range of other diseases. The available infrastructure for inoculation, urban and rural, could have been quickly mobilised.

In January, the government approved two candidates for domestic use: the Covishield (Oxford-AstraZeneca) vaccine, produced in India by the Serum Institute of India, and Covaxin, produced by Bharat Biotech under a manufacturing licence from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) — other producers could have been similarly licenced to enhance supply.

The vaccination program officially started on Jan. 16 , with the initial target of covering 30 million healthcare and frontline workers by the end of March and 250 million people by July. By April 17 , however, only 37 percent of frontline workers had received both doses (of either vaccine); an additional 30 percent had received only the first.

Low uptake even among this vulnerable group could have resulted from concerns about the rapid regulatory approval granted to Covaxin, which had not completed Phase III trials. The Indian government also encouraged exports, partly to fulfil commitments by the Serum Institute of India to AstraZeneca and the global COVAX facility — partly to enhance its own standing among developing countries.

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Paradise Within Reach - But Billions Of Y'all Gotta Go, Gotta Go, Gotta Go!!!

NYTimes |  As medical and social advances mitigate diseases of old age and prolong life, the number of exceptionally long-lived people is increasing sharply. The United Nations estimates that there were about 95,000 centenarians in 1990 and more than 450,000 in 2015. By 2100, there will be 25 million. Although the proportion of people who live beyond their 110th birthday is far smaller, this once-fabled milestone is also increasingly common in many wealthy nations. The first validated cases of such “supercentenarians” emerged in the 1960s. Since then, their global numbers have multiplied by a factor of at least 10, though no one knows precisely how many there are. In Japan alone, the population of supercentenarians grew to 146 from 22 between 2005 and 2015, a nearly sevenfold increase. 

Given these statistics, you might expect that the record for longest life span would be increasing, too. Yet nearly a quarter-century after Calment’s death, no one is known to have matched, let alone surpassed, her 122 years. The closest was an American named Sarah Knauss, who died at age 119, two years after Calment. The oldest living person is Kane Tanaka, 118, who resides in Fukuoka, Japan. Very few people make it past 115. (A few researchers have even questioned whether Calment really lived as long as she claimed, though most accept her record as legitimate based on the weight of biographical evidence.)

As the global population approaches eight billion, and science discovers increasingly promising ways to slow or reverse aging in the lab, the question of human longevity’s potential limits is more urgent than ever. When their work is examined closely, it’s clear that longevity scientists hold a wide range of nuanced perspectives on the future of humanity. Historically, however — and somewhat flippantly, according to many researchers — their outlooks have been divided into two broad camps, which some journalists and researchers call the pessimists and the optimists. Those in the first group view life span as a candle wick that can burn for only so long. They generally think that we are rapidly approaching, or have already reached, a ceiling on life span, and that we will not witness anyone older than Calment anytime soon.

In contrast, the optimists see life span as a supremely, maybe even infinitely elastic band. They anticipate considerable gains in life expectancy around the world, increasing numbers of extraordinarily long-lived people — and eventually, supercentenarians who outlive Calment, pushing the record to 125, 150, 200 and beyond. Though unresolved, the long-running debate has already inspired a much deeper understanding of what defines and constrains life span — and of the interventions that may one day significantly extend it.

The theoretical limits on the length of a human life have vexed scientists and philosophers for thousands of years, but for most of history their discussions were largely based on musings and personal observations. In 1825, however, the British actuary Benjamin Gompertz published a new mathematical model of mortality, which demonstrated that the risk of death increased exponentially with age. Were that risk to continue accelerating throughout life, people would eventually reach a point at which they had essentially no chance of surviving to the next year. In other words, they would hit an effective limit on life span.

Instead, Gompertz observed that as people entered old age, the risk of death plateaued. “The limit to the possible duration of life is a subject not likely ever to be determined,” he wrote, “even should it exist.” Since then, using new data and more sophisticated mathematics, other scientists around the world have uncovered further evidence of accelerating death rates followed by mortality plateaus not only in humans but also in numerous other species, including rats, mice, shrimp, nematodes, fruit flies and beetles.

In 2016, an especially provocative study in the prestigious research journal Nature strongly implied that the authors had found the limit to the human life span. Jan Vijg, a geneticist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and two colleagues analyzed decades’ worth of mortality data from several countries and concluded that although the highest reported age at death in these countries increased rapidly between the 1970s and 1990s, it had failed to rise since then, stagnating at an average of 114.9 years. Human life span, it seemed, had arrived at its limit. Although some individuals, like Jeanne Calment, might reach staggering ages, they were outliers, not indicators of a continual lengthening of life.

The Hardest Choices Require The Strongest Wills

scitechdaily |  In a paper published today (January 13, 2021) in the journal Frontiers in Conservation Science, the researchers cite more than 150 scientific studies and conclude, “That we are already on the path of a sixth major extinction is now scientifically undeniable.”

Among the paper’s co-authors is Daniel Blumstein, a UCLA professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and member of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.

Because too many people have underestimated the severity of the crisis and have ignored experts’ warnings, scientists must continue speaking out, said Blumstein, author of the 2020 book “The Nature of Fear: Survival Lessons from the Wild” — but they also must avoid either sugarcoating the overwhelming challenges or inducing feelings of despair.

“Without fully appreciating and broadcasting the scale of the problems and the enormity of the solutions required, society will fail to achieve even modest sustainability goals, and catastrophe will surely follow,” he said. “What we are saying is frightening, but we must be both candid and vocal if humanity is to understand the enormity of the challenges we face in creating a sustainable future.”

The Earth has experienced five mass extinctions, each accounting for a loss of more than 70% of all species on the planet. The most recent was 66 million years ago. Now, the paper reports, projected temperature increases and other human assaults on the environment mean that approximately 1 million of the planet’s 7 million to 10 million species are threatened with extinction in the coming decades.

Blumstein said that level of damage could occur within the next several decades; an extinction affecting as many as 70% of all species — like the earlier mass extinctions cited in the paper — could potentially occur within the next few centuries.

One of the major trends discussed in the paper is the explosive growth of the planet’s human population. There are now 7.8 billion people, more than double the Earth’s population just 50 years ago. And by 2050, the figure is likely to reach 10 billion, the scientists write, which would cause or exacerbate numerous serious problems. For example, more than 700 million people are starving and more than 1 billion are malnourished already; both figures are likely to increase as the population grows.

Population growth also greatly increases the risk for pandemics, the authors write, because most new infectious diseases result from human–animal interactions, humans live closer to wild animals than ever before and wildlife trade is continuing to increase significantly. Population growth also contributes to rising unemployment and, when combined with a hotter Earth, leads to more frequent and intense flooding and fires, poorer water and air quality, and worsening human health.

 

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Far Older Than Their Calibrated Dating

 

 

Indigenous Land Stewardship And Forest Gardening Across Two Continents

nationalgeographic |  For hundreds of years, Indigenous communities in what is now British Columbia cleared small patches amid dense conifer forest. They planted and tended food and medicine-bearing trees and plants—sometimes including species from hundreds of miles away—to yield a bounty of nuts, fruits, and berries. A wave of European disease devastated Indigenous communities in the late 1700s, and in the 1800s, colonizers displaced the Indigenous people and seized the land. The lush, diverse forest gardens were abandoned and forgotten.

A few years ago, Chelsey Geralda Armstrong, an ethnobotanist at Simon Fraser University, was invited by First Nation elders to investigate why hazelnut trees were growing at abandoned village sites near the coast. The plants were far from their native habitat in the dry interior and seemingly lost among towering cedars and hemlocks. Armstrong began to suspect she was studying human-created ecosystems—and they were thriving, even with no one caring for them. She brought her suspicions to community elders, who confirmed them by sharing memories of ancestors cultivating edible and medicinal plants.

Armstrong gathered colleagues to study these ancient gardens’ ecology. In a new paper published this week in the journal Ecology and Society, the team reports a striking finding: After more than a century on their own, Indigenous-created forest gardens of the Pacific Northwest support more pollinators, more seed-eating animals and more plant species than the supposedly “natural” conifer forests surrounding them.

“When we look at forest gardens, they’re actually enhancing what nature does, making it much more resilient, much more biodiverse—and, oh yeah, they feed people too,” says Armstrong.

The paper may be the first to quantify how Indigenous land stewardship can enhance what ecologists call functional diversity—a measure of how many goods an ecosystem provides. It joins a growing scientific literature revealing that Indigenous people—both historically and today—often outperform government agencies and conservation organizations at supporting biodiversity, sequestering carbon, and generating other ecological benefits on their land. Leaving nature alone is not always the right course, scientists are finding—and the original land stewards often do it best.

This is, of course, a claim that Indigenous groups have long made. Western scientists, by contrast, have often written Native people out of forests and other ecosystems they helped create. An increasing number of scientists are now questioning this practice—and in the process, forcing ecology and conservation to undergo what some would say is a long-overdue reckoning.

“Western science for too long has embraced the idea of primordial wilderness,” says Jesse Miller, an ecologist at Stanford and Armstrong’s coauthor. “We’re seeing this paradigm shift to recognizing how much of what was thought of as primordial wilderness were actually landscapes shaped by humans.”