Health News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on health
Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson are leading candidates for the completion of a Covid-19 vaccine likely to be released in the coming months. These companies have published their vaccine trial protocols. Close inspection of the protocols raises surprising concerns. These trials seem designed to prove their vaccines work, even if the measured effects are minimal. Prevention of infection is not a criterion for success for any of these vaccines. In fact, their endpoints all require confirmed infections and all those they will include in the analysis for success, the only difference being the severity of symptoms between the vaccinated and unvaccinated. Measuring differences amongst only those infected by SARS-CoV-2 underscores the implicit conclusion that the vaccines are not expected to prevent infection, only modify symptoms of those infected. We all expect an effective vaccine to prevent serious illness if infected. Three of the vaccine protocols - Moderna, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca - do not require that their vaccine prevent serious disease only that they prevent moderate symptoms which may be as mild as cough, or headache. A vaccine must significantly or entirely reduce deaths from Covid-19. None list mortality as a critical endpoint.
Note: Read also this article in BMJ (British Medical Journal) titled "Will covid-19 vaccines save lives? Current trials aren't designed to tell us." And this CNBC article is titled "Dr. Fauci says masks, social distancing will still be needed after a Covid-19 vaccine." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccine issues from reliable major media sources.
Sweden’s decision to keep schools open during the pandemic resulted in no higher rate of infection among its schoolchildren than in neighboring Finland, where schools did temporarily close, their public health agencies said in a joint report. Sweden decided to forego a hard lockdown and keep most schools and businesses open throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, a divisive strategy that set it apart from most of Europe. Its Public Health Agency has maintained that the negative consequences of a shutdown on the economy and society outweigh the benefits, and says this also applies to schools. During the period of February 24 to June 14, there were 1,124 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among children in Sweden, around 0.05% of the total number of children aged 1-19. Finland recorded 584 cases in the same period, also equivalent to around 0.05%. “In conclusion, (the) closure or not of schools had no measurable direct impact on the number of laboratory confirmed cases in school-aged children in Finland or Sweden,” the agencies said in the report. Sweden’s death toll of 5,572, when compared relative to population size, far outstripped those of its Nordic neighbors, although it remains lower than in some European countries that locked down, such as Britain and Spain. State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell of the health agency, who has devised Sweden’s response to the epidemic, has said there is little evidence linking the death toll to the absence of a lockdown.
Note: Explore an excellent article on Sweden's underreported success in dealing with COVID-19. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The nursing home industry has been devastated by the coronavirus, with outbreaks killing thousands of elderly residents. But the health crisis presents operators with a potential financial upside. Patients with COVID-19 could be worth more than four times what homes are able to charge for long-term residents with relatively mild health issues. Some patient advocates and industry experts fear the premium pay available for coronavirus patients – and a simultaneous easing of regulations around transfers – could tempt some home operators to move out low-paying residents to bring in more lucrative COVID-19 patients, despite the obvious health risks to residents and staff. "There are probably some unscrupulous operators who would jump at this," said David Grabowski, a professor of healthcare policy at Harvard Medical School. A new Medicare reimbursement system that went into effect last fall pays nursing homes substantially more for new patients – including those released from a hospital – particularly for the first few weeks. Under those guidelines, COVID-19 patients can bring in upward of $800 per day. By contrast, facilities collect as little as $200 per day for long-term patients with dementia. Nursing homes have always had a financial incentive to attract the short-term patients ... Grabowski said. But the health risks for existing residents and staff are so high with COVID-19, Grabowski said, "I'd be a little suspicious of a low-quality nursing home that's jumping to the head of the line for this."
Note: Another excellent article presents more important questions on how this might skew death statistics for the coronavirus. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Sweden's strategy to keep large parts of society open is widely backed by the public. It has been devised by scientists and backed by government. There is no lockdown here. On the face of it little has shut down. But data suggests the vast majority of the population have taken to voluntary social distancing, which is the crux of Sweden's strategy to slow the spread of the virus. Usage of public transport has dropped significantly [and] large numbers are working from home. The government has also banned gatherings of more than 50 people and visits to elderly care homes. Around 9 in 10 Swedes say they keep at least a metre away from people at least some of the time. In Stockholm, the epicentre of the virus so far, cases have largely plateaued, although there was a spike at the end of this week, put down partly to increased testing. There is still space in intensive care units and a new field hospital at a former conference venue is yet to be used. The Swedish Public Health Agency has maintained high approval ratings throughout the pandemic. Sweden's decision to leave larger parts of society open than most of Europe came after [chief epidemiologist] Dr Tegnell's team used simulations which anticipated a more limited impact of the virus in relation to population size than those made by other scientists. A core aim was to introduce less stringent social distancing measures that could be maintained over a long period of time. Schools for under-16s have remained open to enable parents to keep working. Unlike in some countries, Sweden's statistics do include elderly care home residents, who account for around 50% of all deaths. Dr Tegnell admits that is a major concern. History will judge which countries got it right.
Note: This excellent graph of deaths per million for coronavirus among 12 major countries shows that Sweden is in the middle of the pack, where if lockdown made a big difference, we would expect it to be at or near the top of the group. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
It has long been assumed by medical experts that the United States is drastically underreporting the actual number of COVID-19 infections across the country due to limited testing and a high number of asymptomatic cases. Large-scale antibody tests are expected to give researchers an idea of just how widespread the outbreak is, and preliminary results from the first such test in Santa Clara County suggest we are underreporting cases by at least a factor of 50. In early April, Stanford University researchers conducted an antibody test of 3,300 residents in the county. Researchers hoped to put together a sample that was representative of the county's population by selecting individuals based on their age, race, gender and zip code to extrapolate study results to the larger community. The results of the study are preliminary and not peer-reviewed, but the general takeaways would seem to strongly contribute to the notion that there have been a large number of COVID-19 cases that went undetected. Researchers estimate that... the true number of total cases in early April — both active and recovered — ranges between 48,000 and 81,000. The county had reported just under 1,000 cases at the time the study was conducted, which would mean cases are being underreported by a factor of 50 to 85. If the study's numbers are accurate, the true mortality and hospitalization rates of COVID-19 are both substantially lower than current estimates, and due to lag between infection and death, researchers project a true mortality rate between .12 and .20.
Note: See a BMJ article titled "Covid-19: four fifths of cases are asymptomatic." The World Health Organizations in March was claiming a mortality rate of 2 to 4%, which is about 20 times the amount found in this study. Could this be an example of fear mongering? For our best articles filled with reliable, verifiable information on the coronavirus, see this article and this one. And for the critical future implications of all this, explore this penetrating essay. Several more excellent essays can be found here. Key major media news articles on the pandemic are available here.
Fear of Covid-19 is based on its high estimated case fatality rate—2% to 4% ... according to the World Health Organization and others. We believe that estimate is deeply flawed. There’s little evidence to confirm that premise—and projections of the death toll could plausibly be orders of magnitude too high. The true fatality rate is the portion of those infected who die, not the deaths from identified positive cases. The latter rate is misleading because of selection bias in testing. The degree of bias ... could make the difference between an epidemic that kills 20,000 and one that kills two million [in the U.S.]. First, the test used to identify cases doesn’t catch people who were infected and recovered. Second, testing rates were woefully low for a long time and typically reserved for the severely ill. Together, these facts imply that the confirmed cases are likely orders of magnitude less than the true number of infections. Epidemiological modelers haven’t adequately adapted their estimates to account for these factors. This does not make Covid-19 a nonissue. The daily reports from Italy and across the U.S. show real struggles and overwhelmed health systems. But a 20,000- or 40,000-death epidemic is a far less severe problem than one that kills two million. Given the enormous consequences of decisions around Covid-19 response, getting clear data to guide decisions now is critical. We don’t know the true infection rate in the U.S. If we’re right about the limited scale of the epidemic, then measures focused on older populations and hospitals are sensible. A universal quarantine may not be worth the costs it imposes on the economy, community and individual mental and physical health.
Note: Authors Dr. Bendavid and Dr. Bhattacharya are professors of medicine at Stanford. The Wall Street Journal charges non-subscribers to read more than the first two paragraphs of this article. You may find it well worth your time to read the entire article free on this webpage. Explore also this excellent article the covers key, vitally important aspects of this pandemic that few have considered. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.
Cell phones are currently used by 95% of American adults. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nominated radio frequency radiation (RFR) used by cell phones for an NTP [National Toxicology Program] study because of widespread public use of cell phones and limited knowledge about potential health effects from long-term exposure. NTP conducted two-year toxicology studies in rats and mice to help clarify potential health hazards, including cancer risk, from exposure to RFR like that used in 2G and 3G cell phones. The NTP studies found that high exposure to RFR (900 MHz) used by cell phones was associated with: Clear evidence of an association with tumors in the hearts of male rats (malignant schwannomas); some evidence of an association with tumors in the brains of male rats (malignant gliomas); some evidence of an association with tumors in the adrenal glands of male rats (benign, malignant, or complex combined pheochromocytoma). As a follow-up, NTP published an article in October 2019 that evaluated DNA damage in three regions of the brain, the liver, and in blood cells in rats and mice that were removed at an earlier timepoint from the ongoing 2-year toxicology study. NTP scientists found that RFR exposure was associated with an increase in DNA damage ... in the frontal cortex of the brain in male mice, the blood cells of female mice, and the hippocampus of male rats.
Note: For the full, revealing study, see this webpage. For an excellent appeal to stop the 5G rollout already signed by over 300,000 people, see this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the risks and dangers of wireless technologies from reliable major media sources.
The World Health Organization says Zambia has reported its first local case of polio since 1995, in a 2-year-old boy paralyzed by a virus derived from the vaccine. In a report this week, WHO said the case was detected on the border with Congo, which has reported 37 cases of polio traced to the vaccine this year. The U.N. health agency said there is no established link between the Zambia case and the ongoing Congo outbreak but said increased surveillance and vaccination efforts are needed, warning that “there is a potential for international spread.” In rare cases, the live virus in oral polio vaccine can mutate into a form capable of sparking new outbreaks. Nine African countries are currently battling polio epidemics linked to the vaccine as WHO and partners struggle to keep their efforts to eradicate polio on track. Elsewhere, cases have been reported in China, Myanmar and the Philippines. On Thursday, WHO and partners are expected to announce they have rid the world of type 3 polio virus. There are three types of polio viruses. Type 2 was eliminated years ago. That now leaves only type 1. But that refers only to polio viruses in the wild. Type 2 viruses continue to cause problems since they are still contained in the oral polio vaccine and occasionally evolve into new strains responsible for some vaccine-derived outbreaks. The global effort to eradicate polio was launched in 1988 and originally aimed to wipe out the potentially fatal disease by 2000.
Note: See an NPR article titled "Mutant Strains Of Polio Vaccine Now Cause More Paralysis Than Wild Polio." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.
A leading cancer expert, who was described as a "pioneer" in his field by Prince William, has died suddenly after receiving a routine yellow fever vaccination. Martin Gore, 67, died Thursday morning after receiving the vaccine. Professor Mel Greaves from the Institute of Cancer Research, described Gore as "a force of nature, very energetic, clear-thinking and compassionate." Gore's death casts light on the heightened risk associated with the yellow fever vaccine and the over-60 demographic. Typical side effects of the vaccine include headaches, muscle pain, mild fever and soreness at the injection site, according to the NHS. However, the vaccinations can, in rare circumstances, cause more severe side effects, including allergic reactions and problems affecting the brain or organs. The NHS estimates that these reactions occur less than 10 times for every million doses. The WHO reported that all cases of viscerotropic disease -- a rare but dangerous side effect of yellow fever vaccinations where an illness similar to wild-type yellow fever proliferates in multiple organs -- have occurred in primary vaccines, starting two to five days after vaccination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- the US government's health protection agency -- warns that viscerotropic disease can lead to multiple organ dysfunction syndrome or multi-organ failure and death in close to 60% of cases.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccine safety from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
Pregnant women have long been assured that acetaminophen can treat their aches, pains and fevers without bringing harm to the babies they carry. Now researchers say they have found a strong link between prenatal use of the medication and cases of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. The results, published ... in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, add to growing evidence that the active ingredient in Tylenol may influence brain development in utero. But they do not provide clear answers for mothers-to-be or their doctors about whether acetaminophen is safe during pregnancy. In analyzing data on more than 64,000 Danish women and their children, researchers found that kids whose mothers took the painkiller at any point during pregnancy were 29% more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than were kids whose mothers took none. The risk increased the most – by 63% – when acetaminophen was taken during the second and third trimesters, and by 28% when used in the third trimester alone. But when taken only in the first trimester, the added risk was 9%. Members of the research team had long suspected that acetaminophen may behave as an endocrine-disrupting chemical capable of influencing fetal brain development. The drug is known to cross the placental barrier between mother and fetus, and some studies have found higher rates of male babies with undescended testicles born to women who took it during pregnancy.
Note: Another study on Tylenol found a two-fold increase in risk of children being born with both ADHD and autism. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
Like many paediatricians, Dani Dumitriu braced herself for the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus when it first surged in her wards. She was relieved when most newborn babies at her hospital who had been exposed to COVID-19 seemed to do just fine. But hints of a more subtle and insidious trend followed close behind. Dumitriu and her team ... had more than two years of data on infant development – since late 2017, they had been analysing the communication and motor skills of babies up to six months old. Dumitriu thought it would be interesting to compare the results from babies born before and during the pandemic. The infants born during the pandemic scored lower, on average, on tests of gross motor, fine motor and communication skills compared with those born before it. It didn't matter whether their birth parent had been infected with the virus or not; there seemed to be something about the environment of the pandemic itself. Lockdowns ... have isolated many young families, robbing them of playtime and social interactions. Stressed out and stretched thin, many carers also haven't been able to provide the one-to-one time that babies and toddlers need. Worryingly, [biophysicist Sean] Deoni has found that the longer the pandemic has continued, the more deficits children have accumulated. "The magnitude is massive – it's just astonishing," Deoni says of the findings, which are now under revision in JAMA Pediatrics.
Laurie Valeriano first heard about DINP decades ago. "I started to worry about the chemicals that come out of all these plastics," she said. DINP, one of a group of chemicals called phthalates that makes plastic more pliable, was one of them. It was already clear that DINP could cause cancer and interfere with hormonal functioning. In February 2000, Valeriano and her employer, the Washington Toxics Coalition, asked the Environmental Protection Agency to add DINP to the list of chemicals it monitors through a nationwide program called the Toxics Release Inventory. Seven months later ... the EPA announced that it planned to grant the group's request and issued a proposed rule that would add DINP to the toxics inventory. Yet more than 20 years later, the EPA has yet to make good on its promise to add DINP to the list of chemicals. It never finalized the rule. Companies have continued to churn out DINP ... in astounding amounts without disclosing how much individual plants make and emit. In addition to the cancer and hormone disruption that sparked Valeriano's claim 21 years ago, we now know more about how DINP affects the sexual development of children. It decreases sperm motility, increases malformations of the testes and other organs, and makes boys ... more likely to be infertile later in life. In fact, the entire group of phthalates – an estimated half-billion pounds of which are made and used in the U.S. each year – seem to cause a similar constellation of health problems.
Some 85 percent of Portugal's population is fully vaccinated. Portugal's feat has turned the country into a cutting-edge pandemic laboratory – a place where otherwise-hypothetical questions about the coronavirus endgame can begin to play out. Chief among them is how fully a nation can bring the virus under control when vaccination rates are about as high as they can go. Portugal's experience is ... providing a note of caution: a reminder that 1˝ years into this pandemic, the current tools of science still might not be enough. Herd immunity remains elusive. "We have achieved a good result, but it's not the solution or miracle one would think," Portugal's health minister, Marta Temido, said in an interview. In Portugal, seniors are vaccinated at a level verging on the statistically impossible: Official data puts the rate at 100 percent. But many were also vaccinated more than half a year ago – and studies from around the world, from the United States to Israel, have warned of a drop in protection by that point. One of the biggest warnings of all has come from a science institute in Lisbon, where researchers have been measuring antibody levels in several thousand people – including about 500 in Portuguese nursing homes. Shortly after those nursing home residents were vaccinated, all with the vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech, 95 percent developed antibodies, the researchers found. But this summer ... more than one-third of the residents had lost antibodies entirely.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Israel has among the world's highest levels of vaccination for COVID-19, with 78% of those 12 and older fully vaccinated. Yet the country is now logging one of the world's highest infection rates, with nearly 650 new cases daily per million people. More than half are in fully vaccinated people. The effects of waning immunity may be beginning to show. A preprint published last month by physician Tal Patalon and colleagues ... found that protection from COVID-19 infection during June and July dropped in proportion to the length of time since an individual was vaccinated. People vaccinated in January had a 2.26 times greater risk for a breakthrough infection than those vaccinated in April. At the same time, cases in the country, which were scarcely registering at the start of summer, have been doubling every week to 10 days since then, with the Delta variant responsible for most of them. What is clear is that "breakthrough" cases are not the rare events the term implies. As of 15 August, 514 Israelis were hospitalized with severe or critical COVID-19, a 31% increase from just 4 days earlier. Of the 514, 59% were fully vaccinated. To try to tame the surge, Israel has turned to booster shots. As of Monday, nearly 1 million Israelis had received a third dose. Yet boosters are unlikely to tame a Delta surge on their own, says Dvir Aran, a biomedical data scientist at Technion. Aran's message for the United States and other wealthier nations considering boosters is stark: "Do not think that the boosters are the solution."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
As other countries face renewed outbreaks, Sweden’s latest Covid-19 figures suggest it’s rapidly bringing the virus under control. “That Sweden has come down to these levels is very promising,” state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told reporters in Stockholm on Tuesday. The Health Agency of Sweden says that since hitting a peak in late June, the infection rate has fallen sharply. That’s amid an increase in testing over the period. “The curves are going down and the curves for the seriously ill are beginning to approach zero,” Tegnell said. The development follows months of controversy over Sweden’s decision to avoid a full lockdown. The unusual strategy coincided with a much higher Covid-19 mortality rate than elsewhere in the Nordic region. On Tuesday, Sweden reported two new deaths, bringing the total to 5,702. Tegnell also broached the subject of face masks. “With numbers diminishing very quickly in Sweden, we see no point in wearing a face mask in Sweden, not even on public transport,” he said. Tegnell has consistently argued that Sweden’s approach is more sustainable than the sudden lockdowns imposed elsewhere. With the risk that Covid-19 might be around for years, he says completely shutting down society isn’t a long-term option. Meanwhile, many countries that thought they’d brought the virus under control are now seeing second waves. Tegnell called those developments “worrying.” “The positive trend is reversing, with an increase in the number of cases in Spain, Romania and Belgium, among others,” he said.
Note: In the 7 days ending Aug. 14th, Sweden had a total of 14 deaths from COVID-19 and the numbers continue to decline. By comparison, California with four times the population had 949 deaths. Why isn't the media talking more about Sweden's success without any lockdown? The Dutch government is also not advising the public to wear masks, claiming their effectiveness has not been proven. Why is the media overall so biased against Sweden? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The world economy is expected to contract by 5.2 percent this year - the worst recession in 80 years - but the sheer number of countries suffering economic losses means the scale of the downturn is worse than any recession in 150 years, the World Bank said in its latest Global Economic Prospects report. The depth of the crisis will drive 70 to 100 [million] people into extreme poverty - worse than the prior estimate of 60 million. Economists have been struggling to measure the impact of the crisis they have likened to a global natural disaster, but the sheer size of the impact across so many sectors and countries has made it hard to calculate, and made predictions about any recovery highly uncertain. Under the worst-case scenario, the global recession could mean a contraction of eight percent, according to the report. There remain some "exceptionally high" risks to the outlook, particularly if the current outbreaks linger or rebound, causing authorities to re-impose restrictions that could make the downturn as bad as eight percent. "Disruptions to activity would weaken businesses' ability to remain in operation and service their debt," the report cautioned. That, in turn, could raise interest rates for higher-risk borrowers and, "With debt levels already at historic highs, this could lead to cascading defaults and financial crises across many economies." But even if the 4.2 percent global recovery projected for 2021 materializes, "In many countries, deep recessions triggered by COVID-19 will likely weigh on potential output for years to come."
Note: What this article fails to mention is that it is not the pandemic that is driving all this, but rather the questionable lockdown policies developed to address the pandemic. Sweden, which has never instituted a lockdown, did not spiral out of control and has been less impacted economically. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and income inequality from reliable major media sources.
As the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues to explode, hospital systems are scrambling to intensify their measures for protecting patients and health care workers. Providers are wondering whether this effort should include universal use of masks by all health care workers. Wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic. The calculus may be different, however, in health care settings. There are two scenarios in which there may be possible benefits. The first is during the care of a patient with unrecognized Covid-19. More compelling is the possibility that wearing a mask may reduce the likelihood of transmission from asymptomatic and minimally symptomatic health care workers with Covid-19 to other providers and patients. A mask will not protect providers caring for a patient with active Covid-19 if it’s not accompanied by meticulous hand hygiene, eye protection, gloves, and a gown. Focusing on universal masking alone may, paradoxically, lead to more transmission of Covid-19 if it diverts attention from ... more fundamental infection-control measures.
Note: For more information on this article, see this educational commentary. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Your diet may have more impact on your cancer risk than you might think, a new study has found. An estimated 80,110 new cancer cases among adults 20 and older in the United States in 2015 were attributable simply to eating a poor diet, according to the study, published in the JNCI Cancer Spectrum. "This is equivalent to about 5.2% of all invasive cancer cases newly diagnosed among US adults in 2015," said Dr. Fang Zhang ... who was first author of the study. "This proportion is comparable to the proportion of cancer burden attributable to alcohol," she said. The researchers evaluated seven dietary factors: a low intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and dairy products and a high intake of processed meats, red meats and sugary beverages, such as soda. "Low whole-grain consumption was associated with the largest cancer burden in the US, followed by low dairy intake, high processed-meat intake, low vegetable and fruit intake, high red-meat intake and high intake of sugar-sweetened beverages," Zhang said. You may protect yourself from cancer by avoiding ultraprocessed foods and instead choosing organic foods, research has shown. People who frequently eat organic foods lowered their overall risk of developing cancer, according to a study published last year in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Specifically, those who primarily ate organic foods were more likely to ward off non-Hodgkin lymphoma and postmenopausal breast cancer than those who rarely or never ate organic foods.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
In 2014, U.S. officials imposed a moratorium on experiments to enhance some of the world’s most lethal viruses by making them transmissible by air, responding to widespread concerns that a lab accident could spark a global pandemic. Apparently, the government has decided the research should now move ahead. In the past year, the U.S. government quietly greenlighted funding for two groups of researchers ... to conduct transmission-enhancing experiments on the bird flu virus. Neither the approval nor the deliberations or judgments that supported it were announced publicly. This lack of transparency is unacceptable. Making decisions to approve potentially dangerous research in secret betrays the government’s responsibility to inform and involve the public when approving endeavors ... that could put health and lives at risk. Hundreds of researchers ... publicly opposed these experiments when they were first announced. In response to these concerns, the government issued a framework in 2017 for special review of “enhanced” pathogens that could become capable of causing a pandemic. The framework ... requires that experts in public-health preparedness and response, biosafety, ethics and law, among others, evaluate the work, but it is unclear from the public record if that happened. This secrecy means we don’t know how these requirements were applied, if at all, to the experiments now funded by the government.
Note: Read more on strangeness from governments surrounding the avian and swine flus here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the scientific community.
Parents of severely autistic children are turning to medical marijuana for relief. There are very few studies linking cannabinoids as a treatment for autism, but that isn't holding these parents back. Most figure they don't have anything to lose. Some [autistic] children are able to function well with various treatments, while others suffer with the inability to speak and self-harming behaviors. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.5% of the children in the U.S. are diagnosed with autism as of 2014. They are using CBD or cannabidiol, which can be derived from marijuana and hemp plants. The stories of autistic children that are helped with CBD oil sound very familiar to the stories of the epileptic children that have responded to CBD. Recently, Kalel Santiago, a child with autism so severe he wasn't able to speak, started speaking his first words after simply spraying hemp oil in his mouth twice daily according to Dr. Giovanni Martinez, a clinical psychologist in Puerto Rico. Dr. Martinez said, “He started using the product three weeks ago. He was a full non-verbal patient. He only made sounds. The only change in his treatments was the use of CBD.” The parents pursued the treatment on their own. Dr. Martinez has also been doing his own research on CBD and shared it with the parents. “I'm very impressed with the language he has acquired,” said Dr. Martinez.
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