Health News StoriesExcerpts of Key Health News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of health news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
When the coronavirus first emerged last year, health officials feared the pandemic would sweep across Africa, killing millions. Although it's still unclear what COVID-19's ultimate toll will be, that catastrophic scenario has yet to materialize in Zimbabwe or much of the continent. Scientists emphasize that obtaining accurate COVID-19 data, particularly in African countries with patchy surveillance, is extremely difficult. But there is something "mysterious" going on in Africa that is puzzling scientists, said Wafaa El-Sadr, chair of global health at Columbia University. "Africa doesn't have the vaccines and the resources to fight COVID-19 that they have in Europe and the U.S., but somehow they seem to be doing better," she said. Fewer than 6% of people in Africa are vaccinated. For months, the WHO has described Africa as "one of the least affected regions in the world" in its weekly pandemic reports. Some researchers say the continent's younger population - the average age is 20 versus about 43 in Western Europe - in addition to their lower rates of urbanization and tendency to spend time outdoors, may have spared it the more lethal effects of the virus so far. Several studies are probing whether there might be other explanations. WHO data show that deaths in Africa make up just 3% of the global total.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The Environmental Protection Agency has withheld information from the public since January 2019 about the dangers posed by more than 1,200 chemicals. By law, companies must give the EPA any evidence they possess that a chemical presents "a substantial risk of injury to health or the environment." Until recently, the agency had been making these reports – known as 8(e) reports, for the section of the Toxic Substances Control Act that requires them – available to the public. But since 2019, the EPA has only posted one of the reports to its public website. During this time, chemical companies have continued to submit the critical studies to the agency, according to two EPA staff members with knowledge of the matter. Since January 2019, the EPA has received at least 1,240 reports documenting the risk of chemicals' serious harms, including eye corrosion, damage to the brain and nervous system, chronic toxicity to honeybees, and cancer in both people and animals. PFAS compounds are among the chemical subjects of these notifications. Not only has the agency kept all but one of these reports from the public, but it has also made them difficult for EPA staff to access, according to the two agency scientists, who are choosing to remain anonymous. The substantial risk reports have not been uploaded to the databases used most often by risk assessors searching for information about chemicals. They have been entered only into an internal database that is difficult to access and search.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Synthetic chemicals called phthalates, found in hundreds of consumer products such as food storage containers, shampoo, makeup, perfume and children's toys, may contribute to some 91,000 to 107,000 premature deaths a year among people ages 55 to 64 in the United States, a new study found. People with the highest levels of phthalates had a greater risk of death from any cause, especially cardiovascular mortality, according to the study published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Pollution. Phthalates are known to interfere with the body's mechanism for hormone production, known as the endocrine system, and they are "linked with developmental, reproductive, brain, immune, and other problems," according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Even small hormonal disruptions can cause "significant developmental and biological effects," the NIEHS states. Prior research has connected phthalates with reproductive problems, such as genital malformations and undescended testes in baby boys and lower sperm counts and testosterone levels in adult males. Often called "everywhere chemicals" because they are so common, phthalates are added to consumer products such as PVC plumbing, vinyl flooring, rain- and stain-resistant products, medical tubing, garden hoses, and some children's toys. Other common exposures come from the use of phthalates in food packaging, detergents, clothing, furniture and automotive plastics.
The sooner most cancers are discovered, the better the odds they can be successfully treated. Mayo Clinic participated in research on a test that can detect more than 50 cancers. "My dad, he was a healthy guy. He didn't have any known risk factors for cancer," Dr. Julia Feygin said. Feygin lost her 40-year-old father to pancreatic cancer when she was 13. Diagnosed at stage three, he lived for nine more months. "I strongly believe that purpose can be found in everything that happens," Feygin said. She's now part of a team at a Menlo Park, California-based company called GRAIL that's introducing the blood test, called Galleri. She says can it catch hard-to-detect, aggressive and often deadly cancers like pancreatic, ovarian and esophageal. "If cancers can be detected early, we can dramatically improve patient outcomes," Feygin said. Feygin explains that our blood contains a DNA signature. The blood test tracks the DNA a cancer cell sheds. Two tubes of blood are drawn and sent to GRAIL's lab for analysis. "We can find and sequence these tiny bits of tumor-derived DNA in the blood and, based on the patterns we see, we can reveal if there is a signal for cancer present. We can predict with very high accuracy where in the body this cancer signal is coming from," Feygin said. An interventional study that included Mayo Clinic with 6,600 participants returned 29 signals that were followed by a cancer diagnosis. Another study found a less than 1% false positive rate.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Sweden now has the lowest Covid infection rate in western Europe. The Scandinavian nation – which was subject to international scrutiny last year when it refused to lockdown – is currently recording 85.4 cases per million people. By comparison, the rate is nearly 1,400 per million in Europe's current Covid capital Austria, which today announced it is going back into a full lockdown from Monday. Sweden's infection rate is far lower than other Western European countries like the Netherlands (1,048.7), Britain (581), Germany (536), and France (201). And for the first time in the pandemic, Sweden is recording fewer cases per population size than its Scandinavian neighbours Denmark (655), Norway (351) and Finland (150). The Scandinavian nation became an international outlier last year when it defied scientific advice and refused to follow the rest of the world in shutting down society to curb the virus' spread. The country ... also has next to no Covid restrictions in place. And advice for people to wear face masks on public transport was abandoned on July. Unlike other European countries it has never made face masks compulsory or enforced compulsory lockdowns. Sweden is middle of the road when it comes to vaccine uptake in western Europe. Some 68.7 per cent of the entire population have had both doses of the virus. Sweden has cut a different path to other European countries through out the pandemic, choosing to rely on citizens to make the right choices during the first wave instead of locking down.
Note: In the list of countries with the highest deaths rates per million since the start of the pandemic, Sweden is currently #42, while the U.S. is #17 and the UK is #24. Shouldn't a country that never locked down and never required masks be at or near the top of the list? Could it be that both the lockdowns and the masks are not as effective as claimed? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on COVID from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Coronavirus Information Center.
Paul Marik, MD, one of the most highly published critical care physicians in the world and the Director of the ICU at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, was recently told by Sentara Healthcare that he could no longer administer a range of highly effective COVID-19 treatments to critically ill patients - the same treatments he has successfully used to reduce COVID deaths in the ICU by as much as 50%. The result of the prohibition has been a sharp increase in patient mortality. Because Dr. Marik can no longer stand by while patients needlessly die without proper treatment, he has filed a lawsuit to allow him and his colleagues to administer the combination of FDA-approved drugs and other therapies that has saved thousands of critically ill COVID-19 patients in the last 18 months. The Complaint filed today in the Circuit Court for the City of Norfolk, Virginia states that Sentara Healthcare is "preventing terminally ill COVID patients from exercising their right to choose and to receive safe, potentially life-saving treatment determined to be appropriate for them by their attending physician." Under Virginia law, every patient has the right to receive treatment deemed appropriate for them by their attending physician, and terminally ill patients have the right to try investigational medicines that their treating physician recommends. Through its arbitrary prohibition of the COVID-19 treatment protocol ... Sentara is violating the law and unjustly depriving critically ill patients of lifesaving treatment.
Note: Watch a video detailing successes with these treatments and obstruction by authorities of these life-saving treatments. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus 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.
Singapore is looking into an "unusual surge" of 5,324 new infections of COVID-19, the city-state's health ministry said, its highest such figure since the beginning of the pandemic, as beds in intensive care units fill up. Ten new deaths on Wednesday carried the toll to 349, after 3,277 infections the previous day, while the ICU utilisation rate is nearing 80%, despite a population that is 84% fully vaccinated, with 14% receiving booster doses. While nearly 98.7% of the past month's 90,203 cases had no symptoms, or only mild ones, about 0.2% of those had died, and 0.1% each were being monitored closely in intensive care units (ICU) or were critically ill and intubated there.
Note: If the vaccines are effective and Singapore is 84% vaccinated, why are they experiencing the highest surge ever of cases and why are their ICU's 80% full? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
When the pandemic hit, America needed someone to turn to for advice. The media and public naturally looked to Dr. Anthony Fauci - the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Unfortunately, Dr. Fauci got major epidemiology and public health questions wrong. Reality and scientific studies have now caught up with him. By pushing vaccine mandates, Dr. Fauci ignores naturally acquired immunity among the COVID-recovered, of which there are more than 45 million in the United States. Mounting evidence indicates that natural immunity is stronger and longer lasting than vaccine-induced immunity. Under Fauci's mandates, hospitals are firing heroic nurses who recovered from COVID they contracted while caring for patients. While anyone can get infected, there is more than a thousand-fold difference in mortality risk between the old and the young. When confronted with the idea of focused protection of the vulnerable, Dr. Fauci admitted he had no idea how to accomplish it, arguing that it would be impossible. Instead, Dr. Fauci has pushed vaccine mandates for children, students and working-age adults who are already immune - all low-risk populations - causing tremendous disruption to labor markets and hampering the operation of many hospitals. Schools are major transmission points for influenza, but not for COVID. Considering the devastating effects of school closures on children, Dr. Fauci's advocacy for school closures may be the single biggest mistake of his career.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
At what point does a country achieve herd immunity? What portion of the population must acquire resistance to the coronavirus, either through infection or vaccination, in order for the disease to fade away and life to return to normal? Since the start of the pandemic, the figure that many epidemiologists have offered has been 60 to 70 percent. That range is still cited by the World Health Organization and is often repeated during discussions of the future course of the disease. Recently, a figure to whom millions of Americans look for guidance – Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, an adviser to both the Trump administration and the incoming Biden administration – has begun incrementally raising his herd-immunity estimate. In the pandemic's early days, Dr. Fauci tended to cite the same 60 to 70 percent estimate that most experts did. About a month ago, he began saying "70, 75 percent" in television interviews. And last week, in an interview with CNBC News, he said "75, 80, 85 percent" and "75 to 80-plus percent." In a telephone interview the next day, Dr. Fauci acknowledged that he had slowly but deliberately been moving the goal posts. He is doing so, he said, partly based on new science, and partly on his gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks. Hard as it may be to hear, he said, he believes that it may take close to 90 percent immunity to bring the virus to a halt – almost as much as is needed to stop a measles outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers no herd immunity estimate, saying on its website that "experts do not know."
Note: Dr. Fauci here is admitting he deceived the public by stating lower numbers in order to manipulate the public into taking the vaccines. So how much can we trust him? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Except for initial hot spots like New York City, many ERs across the U.S. were often eerily empty in the spring of 2020. Terrified of contracting COVID-19, people who were sick with other things did their best to stay away from hospitals. Visits to emergency departments dropped to half their normal levels, according to the Epic Health Research Network, and didn't fully rebound until the summer of 2021. But now, they're too full. Even in parts of the country where COVID-19 isn't overwhelming the health system, patients are showing up to the ER sicker than they were before the pandemic, their diseases more advanced and in need of more complicated care. Months of treatment delays have exacerbated chronic conditions and worsened symptoms. Doctors and nurses say the severity of illness ranges widely and includes abdominal pain, respiratory problems, blood clots, heart conditions and suicide attempts, among others. But there's nowhere to put them all. Although the number of ER visits returned to pre-coronavirus levels this past summer, admission rates, from the ER to the hospital's inpatient floors, are still almost 20% higher. Less acute cases, such as people suffering from health issues like rashes or conjunctivitis, still aren't going to the ER as much as they used to. Instead, they may be opting for an urgent care center or their primary care doctor. Meanwhile, there has been an increase in people coming to the ER with more serious conditions, like strokes and heart attacks.
Note: Could it be that part of the reason for this flood of ER patients is side effects of the COVID injections? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
The vaccination drive is lagging far behind in many Amish communities. In Ohio's Holmes County, home to the nation's largest concentration of Amish, just 14% of the county's overall population is fully vaccinated. While their religious beliefs don't forbid them to get vaccines, the Amish are generally less likely to be vaccinated for preventable diseases such as measles and whooping cough. Though vaccine acceptance varies by church district, the Amish often rely on family tradition and advice from church leaders, and a core part of their Christian faith is accepting God's will in times of illness or death. Many think they don't need the COVID-19 vaccine now because they've already gotten sick and believe their communities have reached herd immunity, according to health care providers in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana, home to nearly two-thirds of the estimated 345,000 Amish in the U.S.. "That's the No. 1 reason we hear," said Alice Yoder, executive director of community health at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, a network of hospitals and clinics. Experts say the low vaccination rates are a reflection of both the nature of the Amish and the general vaccine hesitancy found in many rural parts of the country. Some health clinics that serve the Amish are hesitant to push the issue for fear of driving them away from getting blood pressure checks and routine exams.
Note: This NPR affiliate article states, "Holmes County in northeastern Ohio has the worst vaccination rate in the state – just 17% – and yet, the county has the state's lowest rate of COVID spread." As of Oct. 1, Holmes County had the second lowest COVID case rate in Ohio. Despite having one of the lowest vaccination rates in the US and not observing the lockdown, the number of total per capita deaths in Holmes county is only about 27% more than that of the U.S.. This five-minute video explains why the Amish don't want vaccines.
Many ordinary medications don't just affect our bodies – they affect our brains. Over the years, [researcher Beatrice] Golomb has collected reports from patients across the United States – tales of broken marriages, destroyed careers, and a surprising number of men who have come unnervingly close to murdering their wives. In almost every case, the symptoms began when they started taking statins, then promptly returned to normal when they stopped; one man repeated this cycle five times. From paracetamol (known as acetaminophen in the US) to antihistamines, statins, asthma medications and antidepressants, there's emerging evidence that they can make us impulsive, angry, or restless, diminish our empathy for strangers, and even manipulate fundamental aspects of our personalities, such as how neurotic we are. But Golomb's most unsettling discovery isn't so much the impact that ordinary drugs can have on who we are – it's the lack of interest in uncovering it. "There's much more of an emphasis on things that doctors can easily measure," she says, explaining that, for a long time, research into the side-effects of statins was all focused on the muscles and liver, because any problems in these organs can be detected using standard blood tests. This is something that Dominik Mischkowski, a pain researcher from Ohio University, has also noticed. "There is a remarkable gap in the research actually, when it comes to the effects of medication on personality and behaviour," he says.
Researchers taught male mice to fear the smell of cherry blossoms by associating the scent with mild foot shocks. Two weeks later, they bred with females. The resulting pups were raised to adulthood having never been exposed to the smell. Yet when the critters caught a whiff of it for the first time, they suddenly became anxious and fearful. They were even born with more cherry-blossom-detecting neurons in their noses and more brain space devoted to cherry-blossom-smelling. The memory transmission extended out another generation when these male mice bred. Neuroscientists at Emory University found that genetic markers, thought to be wiped clean before birth, were used to transmit a single traumatic experience across generations, leaving behind traces in the behavior and anatomy of future pups. The study, published ... in the journal Nature Neuroscience, adds to a growing pile of evidence suggesting that characteristics outside of the strict genetic code may also be acquired from our parents through epigenetic inheritance. Epigenetics studies how molecules act as DNA markers that influence how the genome is read. We pick up these epigenetic markers during our lives and in various locations on our body as we develop and interact with our environment. The researchers also artificially inseminated females using the sperm from the original fear-conditioned mice. The results were the same, suggesting epigenetic inheritance rather than environment.
Note: The emerging field of epigenetics implies that lifestyle and environment influence the expression of DNA. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
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.
[During] the "swine flu affair of 1976" ... a US president decided to rush a vaccine to the entire American population based on ill-founded science and political imprudence. The mistakes that followed hold lessons for today. Lawsuits, side-effects and negative media coverage followed, and the events dented confidence in public health for years to come. It began at a US Army training base. In February 1976, several soldiers at Fort Dix fell ill with a previously unrecognised swine flu. In March, President Ford announced a $137m (Ĺ67.5m in 1976) effort to produce a vaccine by the autumn. Its goal was to immunise every man, woman and child in the US. The president himself was vaccinated on television on 14 October, further heightening perceptions that this was a politicised event. As has happened throughout the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, the scientists could only give the best advice they could based on incomplete knowledge. As the months continued – still with no outbreak – new problems arose. Millions of vaccinations meant dozens of cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare problem where the body's immune system attacks the nerves. The swine flu strain spotted at Fort Dix was not dangerous, and there would be no pandemic. When politicians in the present day talk of "the science" as if it is a complete body of knowledge, a manual for what to do, it neglects the uncertainty of evidence and ignores that science is a human endeavour. The swine flu affair, the New York Times concluded, had been a "sorry debacle" and "fiasco" marked by political expediency and unwarranted confidence.
Note: Watch an incrediby revealing "60 Minutes" video clip on this tragic story of greed and corruption at the highest levels. Read also a Los Angeles Times article on this 1976 "debacle" where only one died from the flu while at least 25 died from the vaccine. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and vaccines from reliable major media sources.
We used COVID-19 data provided by the Our World in Data for cross-country analysis, available as of September 3, 2021. We included 68 countries that met the following criteria: had second dose vaccine data available; had COVID-19 case data available; had population data available; and the last update of data was within 3 days prior to or on September 3, 2021. For the 7 days preceding September 3, 2021 we computed the COVID-19 cases per 1 million people for each country as well as the percentage of population that is fully vaccinated. At the country-level, there appears to be no discernable relationship between percentage of population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases in the last 7 days. In fact, the trend line suggests a marginally positive association such that countries with higher percentage of population fully vaccinated have higher COVID-19 cases per 1 million people. Notably, Israel with over 60% of their population fully vaccinated had the highest COVID-19 cases per 1 million people in the last 7 days. The lack of a meaningful association between percentage population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases is further exemplified, for instance, by comparison of Iceland and Portugal. Both countries have over 75% of their population fully vaccinated and have more COVID-19 cases per 1 million people than countries such as Vietnam and South Africa that have around 10% of their population fully vaccinated.
Note: Learn more about these eye-opening findings on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
COVID-19 is once again in retreat. The reasons remain somewhat unclear. "This is as good as the world has looked in many months," Dr. Eric Topol of Scripps Research wrote. The most encouraging news is that the most serious forms of COVID are also declining. The number of Americans hospitalized with COVID has fallen about 25% since Sept. 1. Daily deaths ... have fallen 10% since Sept. 20. It is the first sustained decline in deaths since early summer. These declines are consistent with a pattern that readers will recognize: COVID's mysterious two-month cycle. Since the COVID virus began spreading in late 2019, cases have often surged for about two months – sometimes because of a variant, such as delta – and then declined for about two months. Public health researchers do not understand why. Many popular explanations – such as seasonality or the ebbs and flows of mask wearing and social distancing – are clearly insufficient, if not wrong. The two-month cycle has occurred during different seasons of the year and occurred even when human behavior was not changing in obvious ways. The most-plausible explanations involve some combination of virus biology and social networks. Human behavior does play a role, with people often becoming more careful once caseloads begin to rise. But social distancing is not as important as public discussion of the virus often imagines. "We've ascribed far too much human authority over the virus," as Michael Osterholm, an infectious-disease expert ... has said.
Note: Isn't it interesting that both masks and vaccines have had no clear impact on these cycles? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
This week, San Francisco is expected to once again ease certain indoor mask mandates for portions of the adult population. Noticeably lacking in the new guidance is any update for school and child care mask mandates or even any acknowledgment that kids might also need more normal routines and interactions. Considering they are in peak development years, children need these things even more than adults. There also hasn't been a single COVID-19-related death under the age of 20 in San Francisco. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 risk assessments by age estimate that simply being a child aged five to 17 is 99.9994% protective against the risk of death and 98% protective against hospitalization. Even with this established good news, San Francisco remains an outlier on child mask mandates compared to the vast majority of Europe. The CDC's European counterpart the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control only recommends masking for children ages 12 and up. England ... has never masked children in school. Similarly, Sweden has continued to run school as normal, even during their peak COVID-19 wave. Norway has also never recommended face masks for any age of schooling, while Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands and Switzerland have either never recommended masks on elementary age students or have shifted to no masks for the current school year.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Massachusetts on Tuesday reported 4,378 more COVID-19 cases among fully vaccinated people since last week, bringing the total since the beginning of the vaccination campaign to 36,723 cases, or 0.8 percent of all fully vaccinated people. The Department of Public Health also reported 37 more COVID-19 deaths among fully vaccinated people, bringing the total to 254 deaths among those fully vaccinated. The department also reported 154 more hospitalizations among fully vaccinated people, for a total of 1,155 hospitalizations. State officials and public health experts have repeatedly stressed that vaccination greatly reduces hospitalization, severe illness, and death as a result of COVID-19. As of Tuesday, 4,619,950 people in Massachusetts have been fully vaccinated, according to the department.
Note: Massachusetts has a population of nearly 7 million, or 1/50th of the U.S. So if it is representative of the entire country, 254 X 50 = 12,200 deaths among fully vaccinated people in the U.S. Indiana, also with a population of about 7 million, reports 229 fully vaccinated citizens have died, again suggesting well over 10,000 fully vaccinated COVID deaths in the U.S. Why isn't this being reported? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
More than 30,000 residents in Indiana have contracted COVID-19 and over 200 have died of the novel coronavirus despite being fully vaccinated against the disease. Indiana health officials have recorded 33,851 breakthrough COVID-19 cases among the state's fully vaccinated individuals since the beginning of the pandemic. The health department's data also showed that 229 fully vaccinated residents have died of COVID-19. Of the 229 deaths, 92% or 210 occurred in patients aged 65 or older. As of Thursday, health officials have also reported 735 breakthrough COVID-19 hospitalizations. Overall, the state has recorded 959,409 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. Indiana also reported 65 new deaths that occurred between Aug. 25 and Sept. 28, bringing Indiana's total number of COVID-19 deaths to 15,132. Indiana health officials have fully vaccinated 56% of eligible residents, including more than 70% of people aged 60 and older. However, only 3.7% of children between the ages of 12 to 15 have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and only 4.3% of people from the same age group have received their first doses.
Note: Is it just a coincidence that shortly after this became news, the Indiana Department of Health suspended daily COVID-19 case reports? Massachusetts has a population of 6.7 million, or about 1/50th of the U.S. So if it is representative of the entire country, 229 X 50 = 11,450 deaths among fully vaccinated people in the U.S. Massachusetts, also with about 7 million, reports 254 fully vaccinated citizens have died, again suggesting over 10,000 vaccinated COVID deaths. Why isn't this being reported? For more, see summaries of revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines.
The Ontario government is now recommending males aged 18 to 24 take Pfizer over Moderna as their COVID-19 vaccination due to the number of young men who have experienced myocarditis after getting the vaccine. This comes after public health officials determined there is a 1 in 5,000 risk of myocarditis – a form of heart inflammation – following a second dose of the Moderna vaccine. For any young men in that age bracket who received Moderna as their first dose and have not yet received a second dose, the government recommends they go with Pfizer. The risk of myocarditis for this demographic in Pfizer is 1 in 28,000, according to government officials. "The majority of reported cases have been mild with individuals recovering quickly, normally with anti-inflammatory medication," explains a guidance document released by the government. "Symptoms have typically been reported to start within one week after vaccination, more commonly after the second dose." While there are reports of myocarditis in Ontario among both males and females in all age brackets, the incidence rate among young males receiving their second Moderna shot was substantially higher than other categories. This development comes after a Public Health Ontario report released last month showed over half of the province's approximately 200 cases of hospitalizations for myocarditis following mRNA vaccination were in people under the age of 25.
Note: Sweden, Norway, and Finland are also restricting use of the Moderna vaccine for safety reasons. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared China malaria-free, after a 70-year effort to wipe it out. China used to report 30 million cases a year during the 1940s. Since then, eradication efforts have driven down case numbers. The country used various methods to break the cycle of transmission of the parasite via mosquitos. The WHO said the country had now gone four years without registering a case, giving it malaria-free certification. China's success was hard-earned, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and came only after decades of targeted and sustained action. Although preventable and mostly curable if diagnosed and treated promptly, the World Health Organization estimates there were 229 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2019 and 409,000 deaths. Around 94% of all infections were reported in Africa. China's government has brought malaria cases down by using anti-malarial drugs, spraying mosquito breeding grounds, and distributing insecticide-treated nets. Countries can apply to the WHO for certification as malaria-free after they report four consecutive years of no indigenous cases. They must then present evidence of this, and demonstration their ability to prevent any future outbreak. According to the WHO, China has become the 40th country to be declared malaria-free.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
An Upstate New York hospital announced that it will stop delivering babies this month after several staffers in the maternity department resigned over the hospital system's coronavirus vaccine mandate. At least six unvaccinated maternity staffers at Lewis County General Hospital have resigned in recent days, and seven others remain undecided on whether to get vaccinated, Gerald Cayer, chief executive officer of the Lewis County Health System, said. The staff shortage will result in the hospital being "unable to safely staff" the maternity department beginning Sept. 25, he said. Cayer said 165 hospital staffers, about 27 percent of the workforce, remain unvaccinated. Seventy-three percent of those unvaccinated staffers provide clinical services at the hospital. As hospitals have implemented vaccination mandates, some staffers have chosen to resign or be fired instead of getting the shots. More than 150 health-care workers who did not comply with the vaccine mandate at Houston Methodist – one of the first health systems to require the coronavirus shots – resigned or were fired in June. A lawsuit brought by one of those employees – which alleged that the policy was forcing staffers to be "guinea pigs" for vaccines that had not gone through the full Food and Drug Administration approval process – was dismissed by a federal judge. Other instances of pushback have popped up in recent months. In Winchester, Va., some unvaccinated nurses are choosing to be fired in protest of their hospital system's mandate.
Note: One year ago these health workers were heroes for risking their lives on the front line with COVID patients. Now they are being ridiculed for not wanting to be vaccinated. Listen to their own moving words in this important video. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Many adults report that the pandemic has been hard on their mental health. For kids, some experts say, it has become a crisis. Children's hospitals around the country say they have seen a meteoric rise in the number of children who need mental health help. Access to care, which was a problem before the pandemic, particularly for kids of color, has gotten much worse. Several children's hospitals said the supply of inpatient psychiatric beds has been so short, they've had to board kids in their emergency departments - sometimes for weeks. "We really have never seen anything like this rapid growth in kids presenting with mental health problems," said Jenna Glover ... at Children's Hospital Colorado. It got so bad, Children's Hospital Colorado declared a "state of emergency" in May. The number of kids they treated for anxiety doubled - and depression numbers tripled - compared to pre-pandemic levels. In January through April of this year, behavioral health emergency department visits were up 72% over the same time period two years ago, the hospital said. Other hospitals saw even bigger increases. In January, Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, for example, said it saw a 300% increase in the number of behavioral health emergency admissions since April 2020. Nationally, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts during February and March of 2021 were more than 50% higher for teen girls, compared to 2019.
Note: See more in this Washington Post article and this even deeper article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
What Washington musician Yoko Sen describes as the "soundtrack of her life" is not one of the songs she wrote for the band Dust Galaxy, but the alarm of the heart monitor at her hospital bedside. When the U.S.-based Japanese artist fell ill in 2012 and had to spend weeks in hospitals, she found the jarring sounds there detrimental to her healing. "I thought it was torture, the cacophony of alarms, beeps, doors slamming, the squeaking of carts, people screaming." At the time, it wasn't clear if Sen would make a full recovery. She was connected to four different machines, and each emitted a different sound. Her sensitive ears were especially bothered by the constant beeping of her heart monitor. "Sound is largely ignored in healthcare even though the aesthetics of it could have a great impact on our sense of wellbeing and dignity," Sen realized. When Sen recovered, she was determined to follow her new mission: to "humanize" hospital sounds. How does healing sound? Or love? Are there tunes that foster recovery? She founded SenSound in 2015, a social enterprise to reimagine the acoustic environment in hospitals. [The] 41-year-old Sen is addressing a massive, often overlooked problem. On average, a patient endures 135 different alarms each day, hospitals are often louder than a highway during rush hour and sleep deprivation is a common complaint. Many wish for the sounds of nature, the laughter of children, or the voice of a loved one.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Last spring, Israel's remarkably swift vaccination campaign was seen as a global model. Coronavirus infections plummeted, an electronic pass allowed the vaccinated to attend indoor concerts and sporting events, and distancing rules and mask mandates were eventually scrapped. Israel offered the world a hopeful glimpse of the way out of the pandemic. No longer. A fourth wave of infections is rapidly approaching the levels of Israel's worst days of the pandemic last winter. The daily rate of confirmed new virus cases has more than doubled in the last two weeks, making Israel a rising hot spot. Restrictions on gatherings and commercial and entertainment venues were reinstated this week, and the government is considering a new lockdown. Some experts fear that Israel's high rate of infections among early vaccine recipients may indicate a waning of the vaccine's protections over time. The vaccine may be less effective at preventing infection with the highly contagious Delta variant. The vast majority of Israel's older population had received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by the end of February, and by now about 78 percent of the population 12 and older are fully vaccinated. Data published by Israel's Ministry of Health in late July suggested that the Pfizer shot was just 39 percent effective against preventing infection in the country in late June and early July, compared with 95 percent from January to early April.
Note: Whatever happened to the 95% efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
In India – where the Delta variant was first identified and caused a huge outbreak – cases have plunged over the past two months. A similar drop may now be underway in Britain. There is no clear explanation for these declines. In the U.S., cases started falling rapidly in early January. The decline began before vaccination was widespread and did not follow any evident changes in Americans' Covid attitudes. This spring, caseloads were not consistently higher in parts of the U.S. that had relaxed masking and social distancing measures (like Florida and Texas) than in regions that remained vigilant. Large parts of Africa and Asia still have not experienced outbreaks as big as those in Europe, North America and South America. How do we solve these mysteries? Michael Osterholm, who runs an infectious disease research center at the University of Minnesota, suggests that ... Americans should not assume that Delta is destined to cause months of rising caseloads. Nor should they assume that a sudden decline, if one starts this summer, fits a tidy narrative that attributes the turnaround to rising vaccination and mask wearing. We are certainly not powerless in the face of Covid. We can reduce its risks, just as we can reduce the risks from driving, biking, swimming and many other everyday activities. But we cannot eliminate them. "We're not in nearly as much control as we think are," Osterholm said.
Note: For strong evidence that Ivermectin use is one significant cause of the major drop in India, see this webpage. And Sweden, which was hit hard in the beginning of the pandemic yet has never instituted a lockdown or mandated masks, is doing better than the U.S. and most European countries. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Sweden's decision to eschew lockdown and leave pubs, restaurants, shopping centres and primary schools open throughout the pandemic generated furious discussion internationally. Millions of people across the world have been confined to their homes, watched businesses go under, and struggled to stay on top of their studies amid wave after wave of restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. But for some 10 million Swedes, the eighteen months since the first local Covid-19 case was registered last February have been largely unremarkable. That is not to say the virus has not taken its toll - nearly 15,000 people have died in total, around 1,450 per million. But that death rate is lower than the average for the European Union as a whole (1,684), and well below those of France, Spain, Italy and the UK. Some now concede Sweden has not become the cautionary tale many predicted. "Many times I would have thought that the situation would have gone a different way, but it worked for Sweden," said Samir Bhatt, professor of Public Health at the University of Copenhagen, and one of the team at Imperial College who pushed the UK's lockdown strategy. "They achieved infection control; they managed to keep infections relatively low and they didn't have any health care collapse." The real benefits of Sweden's radical policy, however, can be seen in the economy, the psychological impact, and in schools. In the end, GDP shrank by just 2.8 per cent, significantly lower than the EU average of 6 per cent.
Children born during the coronavirus pandemic have significantly reduced verbal, motor and overall cognitive performance compared with children born before, a US study suggests. The first few years of a child's life are critical to their cognitive development. But with Covid-19 triggering the closure of businesses, nurseries, schools and playgrounds, life for infants changed considerably, with parents stressed and stretched as they tried to balance work and childcare. With limited stimulation at home and less interaction with the world outside, pandemic-era children appear to have scored shockingly low on tests designed to assess cognitive development, said lead study author Sean Deoni. In the decade preceding the pandemic, the mean IQ score on standardised tests for children aged between three months and three years of age hovered around 100, but for children born during the pandemic that number tumbled to 78, according to the analysis, which is yet to be peer-reviewed. "It's not subtle by any stretch," said Deoni. "You don't typically see things like that, outside of major cognitive disorders." The study included 672 children from the state of Rhode Island. Of these, 188 were born after July 2020 and 308 were born prior to January 2019, while 176 were born between January 2019 and March 2020. The children included in the study were born full-term, had no developmental disabilities and were mostly white. Those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds fared worse in the tests.
Psychedelic drugs are substances that alter perception and mood and affect a number of cognitive processes. The classic psychedelics include MDMA aka "ecstasy" or "molly," LSD, psilocybin or "mushrooms," ayahuasca and ibogaine. Used in conjunction with therapists, research has shown that psychedelics can help treat historically difficult-to-treat conditions by essentially "reshaping" the way "parts of the brain talk to each other," says Jennifer Mitchell, a neuroscientist. "Psychedelics allow for processing in a way that enables subjects to let go of things that had previously plagued them," she says. As Mitchell explains it, when people are young, their brains go through critical periods of learning and development that then become closed off as they age. Researchers believe that psychedelics "open those closed critical periods for just a tiny window of time," she says. "When that critical period is open again, you want to make the most of it, and make that potential change as positive as possible," she says. With psilocybin, for instance, it is believed the drug boosts connectivity in the brain and increases "neuroplastic states," which are the brain's ability to reorganize and adapt, says Dr. Stephen Ross ... who has been conducting clinical trials on psilocybin-assisted therapy for the past 16 years. MDMA-assisted therapy could be approved by the FDA for medical use as early as 2023, while other psychedelics, notably psilocybin, are waiting in the wings for their turn to be evaluated for medical purposes.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.
Eating colorful fruits and vegetables may be good for your brain. A new study, one of the largest such analyses to date, has found that flavonoids, the chemicals that give plant foods their bright colors, may help curb the frustrating forgetfulness and mild confusion that older people often complain about with advancing age, and that sometimes can precede a diagnosis of dementia. The study was observational so cannot prove cause and effect, though its large size and long duration add to growing evidence that what we eat can affect brain health. The scientists used data from two large continuing health studies that began in the late 1970s and early 1980s, in which participants periodically completed diet and health questionnaires over more than 20 years. The analysis included 49,693 women whose average age was 76, and 51,529 men whose average age was 73. The scientists calculated their intake of about two dozen commonly consumed kinds of flavonoids – which include beta carotene in carrots, flavone in strawberries, anthocyanin in apples, and other types in many other fruits and vegetables. The study appears in the journal Neurology. According to the senior author, Dr. Deborah Blacker ... these long-term findings suggest that starting early in life with a flavonoid-rich diet may be important for brain health. For young people and those in midlife, she said, "the message is that these things are good for you in general, and not just for cognition. Finding ways that you enjoy incorporating these things into your life is important."
One hundred and six people who had been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus died from the disease in Massachusetts by the end of July, according to the state Department of Public Health. Six new deaths among breakthrough cases were reported Tuesday, along with more than 2,000 new cases. The department also reported 445 breakthrough hospitalizations in the state.
Note: Much of the full article at the link above greatly downplays this information. Yet Massachusetts has 7 million people or about 1/50th of the population of the US. So it is likely that somewhere around 5,000 fully vaccinated people in the US have died. Are these shots as effective as they are touted to be? And why is this getting virtually no attention in the media? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Moderna's vaccine may be best against Delta. The mRNA vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech may be less effective than Moderna's against the Delta variant of the coronavirus, according to two reports posted on medRxiv on Sunday ahead of peer review. In a study of more than 50,000 patients in the Mayo Clinic Health System, researchers found the effectiveness of Moderna's vaccine against infection had dropped to 76% in July - when the Delta variant was predominant - from 86% in early 2021. Over the same period, the effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had fallen to 42% from 76%. While both vaccines remain effective at preventing COVID hospitalization, a Moderna booster shot may be necessary soon for anyone who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines earlier this year, said Dr. Venky Soundararajan ... who led the Mayo study. In a separate study, elderly nursing home residents in Ontario produced stronger immune responses - especially to worrisome variants - after the Moderna vaccine than after the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The elderly may need higher vaccine doses, boosters, and other preventative measures, said Anne-Claude Gingras ... who led the Canadian study. When asked to comment on both research reports, a Pfizer spokesperson said, "We continue to believe... a third dose booster may be needed within 6 to 12 months after full vaccination to maintain the highest levels of protection."
Note: The Pfizer injection effectiveness has dropped to 42%, yet virtually no media are reporting on this. Is it surprising that those who got the jab will likely need another dose to protect them against the Delta variant? And of course there will be other variants. Big Pharma is jumping with joy at the prospect of all of these extra profits. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
The infection prospers in crowds, spreading to people in close reach. Containing an outbreak requires contact tracing, as well as isolation and treatment. Tuberculosis, the biggest infectious-disease killer worldwide, claim[s] 1.5 million lives each year. Until this year, TB and its deadly allies, H.I.V. and malaria, were on the run. The toll from each disease over the previous decade was at its nadir in 2018, the last year for which data are available. Yet now, as the coronavirus pandemic spreads around the world, consuming global health resources, these perennially neglected adversaries are making a comeback. "Covid-19 risks derailing all our efforts and taking us back to where we were 20 years ago," said Dr. Pedro L. Alonso, the director of the World Health Organization's global malaria program. It's not just that the coronavirus has diverted scientific attention from TB, H.I.V. and malaria. The lockdowns, particularly across parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America, have raised insurmountable barriers to patients who must travel to obtain diagnoses or drugs, according to interviews with more than two dozen public health officials, doctors and patients worldwide. About 80 percent of tuberculosis, H.I.V. and malaria programs worldwide have reported disruptions in services, and one in four people living with H.I.V. have reported problems with gaining access to medications, according to U.N. AIDS. Interruptions or delays in treatment may lead to drug resistance.
The American Medical Association's new training on pain management arrived in the midst of a burgeoning crisis. It was September 2007, and doctors were prescribing enough opioid painkillers each year for every American adult to have a bottle of the addictive pills. Overdoses were at a historic high and showed no signs of slowing down. Just four months earlier, executives at Purdue Pharma had pleaded guilty to felony charges for misleading regulators and physicians about the dangers of OxyContin. In light of this news, one might have expected the AMA ... to bring attention to the crisis in its newly updated continuing education course on how to treat pain. Instead, the 12-module training suggested that doctors were still too tentative about prescribing narcotics. "The effectiveness of opioid therapy may be undermined by misconceptions about their risks, particularly risks associated with abuse and addiction," read materials from one session. Down in the fine print, the AMA-branded course materials reveal that the training's development and distribution was made possible by an educational grant from Purdue Pharma. By now, the story of how Purdue Pharma sowed the seeds for the overdose crisis is the stuff of history books. But the years of Purdue's involvement with the AMA have been strangely absent from that narrative. Between 2002 and 2018, the AMA and the organization's philanthropic arm, the AMA Foundation, received more than $3 million from Purdue Pharma.
Scientists who studied a big COVID-19 outbreak in Massachusetts concluded that vaccinated people who got so-called breakthrough infections carried about the same amount of the coronavirus as those who did not get the shots. Health officials on Friday released details of that research, which was key in this week's decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recommend that vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors. The authors said the findings suggest the CDC's mask guidance should be expanded to include the entire country, even outside of hot spots. The findings have the potential to upend past thinking about how the disease is spread. Previously, vaccinated people who got infected were thought to have low levels of virus and to be unlikely to pass it to others. But the new data shows that is not the case with the delta variant. The outbreak in Provincetown – a seaside tourist spot on Cape Cod in the county with Massachusetts' highest vaccination rate – has so far included more than 900 cases. About three-quarters of them were people who were fully vaccinated. Leaked internal documents ... suggest the CDC may be considering other changes in advice on how the nation fights the coronavirus, such as recommending masks for everyone and requiring vaccines for doctors and other health workers. People with breakthrough infections make up an increasing portion of hospitalizations and in-hospital deaths among COVID-19 patients.
Note: Read also about a surge in reports of serious injuries after receiving COVID injections. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
About three-fourths of people infected in a Massachusetts Covid-19 outbreak were fully vaccinated against the coronavirus with four of them ending up in the hospital, according to new data published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new data, published in the U.S. agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, also found that fully vaccinated people who get infected carry as much of the virus in their nose as unvaccinated people, and could spread it to other individuals. "This finding is concerning and was a pivotal discovery leading to CDC's updated mask recommendation," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. "The masking recommendation was updated to ensure the vaccinated public would not unknowingly transmit virus to others, including their unvaccinated or immunocompromised loved ones." On Tuesday, the CDC reversed course on its prior guidance and recommended fully vaccinated Americans who live in areas with high Covid infection rates resume wearing face masks indoors. The guidelines cover about two-thirds of the U.S. population. While the delta variant continues to hit unvaccinated people the hardest, some vaccinated people could be carrying higher levels of the virus than previously understood and are potentially transmitting it to others, Walensky told reporters. The data published Friday was based on 469 cases of Covid associated with multiple summer events. Approximately three-quarters, or 74%, of the cases occurred in fully vaccinated people.
Note: Will we now need a new vaccine for any new variant? That would certainly be most profitable for big Pharma. The CDC now says those vaccinated are as likely to spread COVID as those who are not vaccinated. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
The actual number of U.S. children hospitalized due to COVID-19 may be lower than current figures suggest, a new study indicates. That's because counts of hospitalized children who test positive for COVID-19 may include those who were admitted for other reasons and have no COVID symptoms, Stanford University School of Medicine researchers explained. Throughout the pandemic, children have been admitted to hospitals for problems ranging from broken bones and appendicitis to cancer. When they arrive at the hospital and are tested for SARS-CoV-2 - the virus that causes COVID-19 - some turn out to be infected. But many who test positive never develop symptoms, according to the study. "It's really important that we distinguish between children who are hospitalized with asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections and those hospitalized for COVID-19 disease," said study co-author Dr. Alan Schroeder. "Our goal is to make sure we have accurate data on how sick children are getting," he said. "If we rely on hospitals' positive SARS-CoV-2 test results, we are inflating by about twofold the actual risk of hospitalization from the disease in kids." The researchers analyzed COVID-19 data from Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford between May 10, 2020 and Feb. 10, 2021. They found that 117 children ... tested positive for the virus or were hospitalized for MIS-C, a potentially serious inflammatory syndrome. Close to half (53) were admitted to the hospital for reasons unrelated to the virus.
Facing billions of dollars in potential liability to cancer victims, Monsanto's parent company said Thursday it would stop selling the current version of Roundup, the world's most widely used herbicide, for U.S. home and garden use in 2023. The forthcoming version of the weed-killer will replace its current active ingredient, glyphosate, with "new formulations that rely on alternative active ingredients," subject to approval by the Environmental Protection Agency and state regulators, said Bayer AG, the German pharmaceutical giant that purchased Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018. The company ... will continue to market the current version of the product for farm use in the United States and for general use in other nations that permit its sale. But while the EPA has found the current version of Roundup to be safe, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, concluded in 2015 that glyphosate was a probable cause of cancer in humans. Tens of thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto and Bayer in state and federal courts. In the first case to go to trial, a San Francisco jury awarded nearly $290 million in damages in 2019 to Dewayne "Lee" Johnson of Vallejo, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer after spraying the herbicide as a groundskeeper for the Benicia Unified School District. State courts reduced the damages to $21.5 million and rejected the companies' appeal.
Johnson & Johnson is exploring a plan to offload liabilities from widespread Baby Powder litigation into a newly created business that would then seek bankruptcy protection. During settlement discussions, one of the health-care conglomerate's attorneys has told plaintiffs' lawyers that J&J could pursue the bankruptcy plan, which could result in lower payouts for cases that do not settle beforehand. Plaintiffs' lawyers would initially be unable to stop J&J from taking such a step. J&J faces legal actions from tens of thousands of plaintiffs alleging its Baby Powder and other talc products contained asbestos and caused cancer. The plaintiffs include women suffering from ovarian cancer and others battling mesothelioma. Should J&J proceed, plaintiffs who have not settled could find themselves in protracted bankruptcy proceedings with a likely much smaller company. Future payouts to plaintiffs would be dependent on how J&J decides to fund the entity housing its talc liabilities. J&J is now considering using Texas's "divisive merger" law, which allows a company to split into at least two entities. For J&J, that could create a new entity housing talc liabilities that would then file for bankruptcy to halt litigation. The maneuver is known among legal experts as a Texas two-step bankruptcy. A 2018 Reuters investigation found J&J knew for decades that asbestos, a known carcinogen, lurked in its Baby Powder and other cosmetic talc products.
Note: Can we trust this company with vaccines? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
Last week the hospital bill finally came. The cost of an uncomplicated vaginal birth? $37,617.69. The bulk of the charge was for three nights' "room and board" in a semi-private room (containing two beds separated by a curtain) which was $10,350 a night. Our health insurance covers about $31,000 – leaving us with a balance of around $6,000. Although, of course, that doesn't make the ridiculously high prices OK. We're still covering the costs indirectly via our enormous insurance premiums which, we were recently informed by Oxford Health, part of UnitedHealth Group, are going to go up by 16% next year. The UnitedHealth Group's chief executive made over $50m in salary, bonus and stock option compensation in 2019. It's not just the extortionate prices in America's health system that are problematic. It's the lack of transparency. My partner called our insurance company multiple times before the birth to try to find out how much we would expect to pay. We were told on each occasion that we wouldn't have to pay anything. Which was obviously baloney. America's healthcare system isn't just a nightmare to navigate – it's inefficient and inequitable. The US may spend more on healthcare as a share of the economy than any other developed country, but it also has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world and maternal deaths have been increasing since 2000. And Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
In the past two years, a new drug policy reform movement called Decriminalize Nature has persuaded local governments in a half dozen municipalities, including Washington, D.C., to decriminalize "plant medicines" such as psilocybin, ayahuasca, iboga and the cactuses that produce mescaline. Last month, the California State Senate passed a bill that would make legal the personal possession, use and "social sharing" of psychedelics, including LSD and MDMA, a.k.a. Ecstasy or Molly. Political opposition to all these measures has been notably thin. Neither party, it seems, has the stomach for persisting in a war that has achieved so little while doing so much damage, especially to communities of color and our civil liberties. But while we can now begin to glimpse an end to the drug war, it is much harder to envision what the drug peace will look like. How will we fold these powerful substances into our society and our lives so as to minimize their risks and use them most constructively? In the case of psychedelics, decriminalizing these powerful compounds is only the first step in a process of figuring out how best to safely weave their use into our society. The main model we have for resocializing a formerly illicit drug is the legalization of cannabis, now the new normal in 18 states. The use of psychedelics by Indigenous peoples ... suggests a model we would do well to keep in mind as we figure out how best to handle these substances.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind altering drugs from reliable major media sources.
Santa Clara County health leaders announced a drop in its COVID-19 death toll by nearly a quarter after it refined its approach in reporting the data. The county reported that it had reviewed each COVID-19 fatality and was only counting those whose cause of death was from the virus and not those who tested positive for COVID-19 at the time of death but did not necessarily die from the virus. The new approach meant that the death toll dropped by 22%, specifically from 2,201 to 1,696 deaths. "It is important to go back and do this accounting to see if COVID was actually the cause of death," said ... Infectious Disease expert Dr. Monica Gandhi. "I think that transparent communication is an upside, I mean, in the sense that it's true that if we did this across the nation, it would bring our death rate lower. A downside of that, could be that people will say, 'Well, it wasn't as serious as you said.'" The refined approach in Santa Clara County comes as county officials try to figure out the true impact of the virus on the community. Last month, Alameda County health leaders refined their approach to reporting COVID-19 deaths as well and also registered a drop in that county's death toll by about a quarter. "In the midst of everything COVID people were sort of putting down that cause of death as COVID," Gandhi said. "It is important to go back and do this accounting to see if COVID was actually the cause of death." Gandhi believes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may soon ask all counties to do the same.
Note: Read an informative article showing how COVID numbers have been inflated in many ways. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The new coronavirus variants have raised concerns about whether vaccines will remain effective against this disease. But the vaccines themselves could drive the evolution of more mutants. The virus is always mutating. And if one happens to produce a mutation that makes it less vulnerable to the vaccine, that virus could simply multiply in a vaccinated individual. But even if that happens, that's only one step in the process. If the vaccine keeps virus levels low, even mutated viruses, the infected person won't produce enough to spread to other people. Unfortunately, at the moment, scientists can't answer the most basic questions about this process. How much does the virus actually replicate inside a person who has been vaccinated with either one dose or two? And how effective is that vaccine at limiting infection enough so that the virus levels stay low and prevent the spread to other people? Andrew Read at Penn State University says, whatever the answers may be, vaccine resistance or escape, as it's called, isn't nearly as scary as bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics. And this evolutionary pressure is present for any vaccine that doesn't completely block infection. Many vaccines, apparently, including the COVID vaccines, do not completely prevent a virus from multiplying inside someone even though these vaccines do prevent serious illness.
Note: This informative article presents further data that vaccines lead to increased mutation in viruses. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
As Covid raged, so did the country's other epidemic. Drug overdose deaths rose nearly 30 percent in 2020 to a record 93,000, according to preliminary statistics released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's the largest single-year increase recorded. The deaths rose in every state but two, South Dakota and New Hampshire, with pronounced increases in the South and West. Several grim records were set: the most drug overdose deaths in a year; the most deaths from opioid overdoses; the most overdose deaths from stimulants like methamphetamine; the most deaths from the deadly class of synthetic opioids known as fentanyls. In recent years, annual drug overdose deaths had already eclipsed the peak yearly deaths from car crashes, gun violence or the AIDS epidemic. The death toll from Covid-19 surpassed 375,000 last year, the largest American mortality event in a century, but drug deaths were experienced disproportionately among the young. In total, the 93,000 deaths cost Americans about 3.5 million years of life, according to a New York Times analysis. By comparison, coronavirus deaths in 2020 were responsible for about 5.5 million years of life. The pandemic itself undoubtedly contributed to the surge in overdose deaths, with disruption to outreach and treatment facilities and increased social isolation. Overdose deaths reached a peak nationally in the spring of 2020, in the midst of the pandemic's most severe period of shutdowns and economic contraction.
Note: This is one of the many, sad but predictable consequences of the lockdown. Note also that the NY Times blames it on the pandemic never once mentioning it was the consequences of the lockdown much more than the pandemic itself that caused these many deaths. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and health from reliable major media sources.
Managers and career staff in the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention tampered with the assessments of dozens of chemicals to make them appear safer, according to four scientists who work at the agency. The whistleblowers, whose jobs involve identifying the potential harms posed by new chemicals, provided ... detailed evidence of pressure within the agency to minimize or remove evidence of potential adverse effects of the chemicals, including neurological effects, birth defects, and cancer. Information about hazards was deleted from agency assessments without informing or seeking the consent of the scientists who authored them. Some of these cases led the EPA to withhold critical information from the public about potentially dangerous chemical exposures. In other cases, the removal of the hazard information or the altering of the scientists' conclusions in reports paved the way for the use of chemicals, which otherwise would not have been allowed on the market. William Irwin, [one] of the four whistleblowers, who has worked at the EPA for over 11 years as a toxicologist, was ... moved out of the office after repeatedly resisting pressure to change his assessments to favor industry. Irwin said that while it had seemed obvious that the pressure stemmed from chemical companies, the science adviser in the office made the point irrefutably clear during an argument over one particular chemical assessment.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Interviews with more than two dozen experts on pesticide regulation – including 14 who worked at the EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs, or OPP – described a federal environmental agency that is often unable to stand up to the intense pressures from powerful agrochemical companies, which spend tens of millions of dollars on lobbying each year and employ many former EPA scientists once they leave the agency. The enormous corporate influence has weakened and, in some cases, shut down the meaningful regulation of pesticides in the U.S. and left the country's residents exposed to levels of dangerous chemicals not tolerated in many other nations. This reporting has brought to light several instances in which the overlooking, burying, or scuttling of science has had direct consequences for human health. The alarming discoveries include an EPA report warning about the link between the pesticide glyphosate and cancer that never saw the light of day; the failure to consider evidence that a neonicotinoid pesticide causes brain damage; the refusal to investigate evidence that another pesticide that is an ingredient in Roundup may cause cancer ... and the agency's waiving of the vast majority of toxicity tests at the request of industry. The scientists who have identified these hazards described immense pressure from within the agency to overlook the risks they found. And several said they faced retribution for calling attention to the dangers of pesticides.
A colonoscopy might cost you or your insurer a few hundred dollars – or several thousand, depending on which hospital or insurer you use. Long hidden, such price variations are supposed to be available in stark black and white under a Trump administration price transparency rule that took effect at the start of this year. It requires hospitals to post a range of actual prices – everything from the rates they offer cash-paying customers to costs negotiated with insurers. While imperfect and potentially of limited use right now to the average consumer, the disclosures that are available illustrate the huge differences in prices – nationally, regionally and within the same hospital. Prices are all over the map. In Virginia, for example, the average price of a diagnostic colonoscopy is $2,763, but the range across the state is from $208 to $10,563. Patients can try to find the price information themselves by searching hospital websites, but even locating the correct tab on a hospital's website is tricky. But if you do want to try, here's one tip: "You can Google the hospital name and the words 'price transparency' and see where that takes you," says Caitlin Sheetz, director and head of analytics at the consulting firm ADVI Health. When it comes to compliance, "we're seeing the range of the spectrum," says Jeffrey Leibach, a partner at the consulting firm Guidehouse, which found earlier this year that about 60% of 1,000 hospitals surveyed had posted at least some data, but 30% had reported nothing at all.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
Sweden broke with most of the rest of the world and never mandated that people wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic. Now its even dropping its loose recommendation to use them. Sweden's Public Health Agency said that its recommendation people wear face masks on rush hour on public transport ends on Thursday. It had advised masking between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., and 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., but only when people could not easily distance themselves from others. There were no circumstances in which the government said people had to wear masks in other public places. The agency says on its website that "advice on mouth protection in public transport during rush hour is removed" from July 1. The announcement comes as part of a wider easing on the same day, including the axing of restrictions on restaurant opening hours and more people being allowed at events. Jan Albert, an infectious diseases expert at Sweden's Karolinska Institute, [said] that he thought Sweden's new change made sense. He cited the falling number of new coronavirus cases in Sweden ... and the fact that many of the most vulnerable people in Sweden have now been vaccinated. Most of the world's governments have required people to wear face masks in certain situations, and some European countries have made people wear them outside. While other nations implemented lockdowns, Sweden had few rules. But its deaths did stay lower than many other European countries.
Note: How is it that Sweden, which was hit hard by the virus in the beginning, has had fewer hospitalizations and deaths per million than the US and 2/3 of the other European countries without a lockdown or requiring masks? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
At least 10 out of 26 Indonesian doctors who have died from Covid-19 this month had been fully vaccinated with Sinovac, prompting health experts to consider whether medics should receive alternative doses to boost immunity. Indonesia, which has relied on the Chinese-made vaccine for its health workers, is struggling with a new surge in coronavirus cases. On Monday the country announced 20,694 new infections. In Kudus, a town in central Java, more than 500 medical workers have tested positive for Covid-19 over the last two weeks, including one doctor who died. All were fully vaccinated. The data, released by the risk mitigation team of the Indonesian Medical Association (IMA), adds to questions about the level of protection that Sinovac provides against new, more infectious variants. The vaccine was approved for emergency use this month by the World Health Organization, which said efficacy results showed it prevented symptomatic disease in 51% of those vaccinated, and prevented severe Covid-19 and hospitalisation in 100% of the studied population. However, several countries that have vaccinated a large proportion of their population and used the Chinese-made Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccines as part of their inoculation campaigns have reported recent outbreaks. These include Mongolia, Seychelles, Bahrain and Chile.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
New fear-based headlines are popping up every day about the SARS-COV-2 delta variant, now the dominant strain in the U.S., with the focus on evidence of its increased transmissibility, questions about its particular ability to "break through" vaccine protection and the impact that the variant may have on a return to school. The public health emergency of the pandemic as we knew it in California has entered a new stage. We are now in a "control" phase in our state. Vaccines provide a force field of immunity in our communities that leave mainly unvaccinated, high-risk individuals (and those without prior COVID-19 infection) vulnerable to serious disease. That number is getting smaller every day ... and the epidemiology is clear that children are not at high-risk for severe disease. There is no evidence that children have served as vectors for transmission of the virus, have worse long-term outcomes or that the delta variant has led to higher rates of hospitalization in children. In fact, we are seeing exactly what we would expect to see with a successful vaccination campaign: As more adults gain immunity, children are protected, too. This is particularly important as plans for school reopening in the fall reach high gear. The negative health and educational impacts of school closures on children are now abundantly clear. The WHO Europe's guidance should be taken to heart by state and local officials here in California: In-person restrictions and school-closure should be a measure of last resort.
Note: California remains on the only U.S. state which requires children to wear masks in school. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
A monkey virus that contaminated polio vaccine given to tens of millions of Americans in the 1950s and '60s may be causing rare human cancers. For four decades, government officials have insisted that there is no evidence the simian virus called SV40 is harmful to humans. But in recent years, dozens of scientific studies have found the virus in a steadily increasing number of rare brain, bone and lung-related tumors - the same malignant cancer SV40 causes in lab animals. Even more troubling, the virus has been detected in tumors removed from people never inoculated with the contaminated vaccine, leading some to worry that those infected by the vaccine might be spreading SV40. By the end of 1996, dozens of scientists reported finding SV40 in a variety of bone cancers and a wide range of brain cancers, which had risen 30 percent over the previous 20 years. Then, Italian researchers reported finding SV40 in 45 percent of the seminal fluid samples and 23 percent of the blood samples they had taken from healthy donors. That meant SV40 could have been spreading through sexual activity, from mother to child, or by other means, which could explain how those never inoculated with the contaminated vaccine ... were being infected. Dr. James Goedert, the chief of the NCI's Viral Epidemiology Branch ... acknowledged that research is needed to resolve the question of whether SV40 is prevalent in the human population and, if so, how it might be spreading. But Goedert said he has no plans for such studies.
Note: A follow-up article one week later is titled "New documents show the monkey virus is present in more recent polio vaccine." This BBC article further confirms these claims. And this video suggests that early vaccine creators knew they could cause cancer and that HIV may have been brought into the US through vaccines. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Since 9/11, four times as many U.S. service members and veterans have died by suicide than have been killed in combat, according to a new report. The research, compiled by the Costs of War Project at Brown University, found an estimated 30,177 active duty personnel and veterans who have served in the military since 9/11 have died by suicide, compared with 7,057 killed in post 9/11 military operations. The figures include all service members, not just those who served in combat during that time. The majority of the deaths are among veterans who account for an estimated 22,261 of the suicides during that period. "The trend is deeply alarming," the report says. "The increasing rates of suicide for both veterans and active duty personnel are outpacing those of the general population, marking a significant shift." The Department of Veterans Affairs releases information on deaths by suicide, but it does not distinguish by conflict. The report's author, Thomas "Ben" Suitt III, took the VA data and estimated the total number of veteran suicides based on their ages and other factors. A total of 5,116 active duty service members have died by suicide since Sept. 11, 2001, the report says. Figures for the National Guard and Reserves are not available for the first 10 years, but from 2011 to 2020 an estimated 1,193 National Guard and 1,607 Reservists have died by suicide. In an interview, Suitt said the number 30,177 is likely well below the actual number of suicides for active duty and veterans.
At the bedside of a single Covid-19 patient who's already received the full official treatment protocol and is failing anyway, the decision to administer a drug like ivermectin, or fluvoxamine, or hydroxychloroquine, or any of a dozen other experimental treatments, seems like a no-brainer. Nothing else has worked, the patient is dying, why not? Telescope out a little further, however, and the ivermectin debate becomes more complicated, reaching into a series of thorny controversies, some ridiculous, some quite serious. The ridiculous side involves ... the censorship of ivermectin news. Anyone running a basic internet search on the topic will get a jumble of confusing results. YouTube's policies are beyond uneven. It's been aggressive in taking down videos ... and doling out strikes to independent media figures. Ivermectin has suffered the same fate as thousands of other news topics since Donald Trump first announced his run for the presidency nearly six years ago, cleaved in two to inhabit separate factual universes for left and right audiences. The drug has become a test case for a controversy that's long been building in health care, about how much input patients should have in their own treatment. Should people on their deathbeds be allowed to try anything to save themselves? That seems like an easy question to answer. Should the entire world be allowed to practice self-care on a grand scale? That's a different issue.
Note: Don't miss the entire article to see just how crazy the medical establishment has become in treating COVID. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
One remarkable aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic has been how often unpopular scientific ideas, from the lab-leak theory to the efficacy of masks, were initially dismissed, even ridiculed, only to resurface later. Another reversal in thinking may be imminent. Some scientists have raised concerns that the safety risks of Covid-19 vaccines have been underestimated. But the politics of vaccination has relegated their concerns to the outskirts of scientific thinking. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or Vaers ... is a database that allows Americans to document adverse events that occur after receiving a vaccine. Vaers data for Covid-19 vaccines shows an interesting pattern. Among the 310 million Covid-19 vaccines administered, several adverse events are reported at high rates in the days immediately following vaccination, then drop sharply thereafter. The silence around these potential signals of harm reflects the policy surrounding Covid-19 vaccines. The stigma of such concerns is bad for scientific integrity and could harm patients. Four serious adverse events follow this arc, according to data directly from Vaers: low platelet count (thrombocytopenia); non-infectious myocarditis or inflammation of the heart, especially in those under 30; deep vein thrombosis. The implication is that the risks of a Covid-19 vaccine may outweigh the benefits for some low-risk populations, such as children, young adults, and people who have recovered from Covid-19.
Note: This article is also available here. Read a revealing article on how the WHO is flip flopping on the safety of vaccines for children. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
A CDC safety group said there's a "likely association" between a rare heart inflammatory condition in adolescents and young adults mostly after they've received their second Covid-19 vaccine shot, citing the most recent data available. There have been more than 1,200 cases of a myocarditis or pericarditis mostly in people 30 and under who received Pfizer's or Moderna's Covid vaccine, according to a series of slide presentations published Wednesday for a meeting of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Myocarditis is the inflammation of the heart muscle, while pericarditis is the inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart. The agency said there have been 267 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis reported after receiving one dose of the mRNA vaccines and 827 reported cases after two doses through June 11. Roughly 300 million of the shots had been administered as of June 11. Men under 30 make up the bulk of the cases, the CDC said. Of the 295 people who have developed the condition and have been discharged, 79% of them have fully recovered. Nine people were hospitalized, with two in intensive care as of June 11. The CDC is coordinating its investigation with the Food and Drug Administration, which last month authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for adolescents ages 12 to 15. Symptoms, which include chest pain and shortness of breath, typically develop within a week of receiving the shot with most developing within four days, the agency said.
The COVID-19 vaccines' second dose can pack a heavy punch. But while most people experience flu-like symptoms and complain of a sore arm, musician and anti-lockdown activist Eric Clapton says his side effects included frozen limbs. Clapton wrote a note recently to Italian architect Robin Monotti Graziadei, who has shared numerous anti-lockdown posts on social media, where he called his experience receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine "disastrous." The former Cream guitarist said he got the vaccine in February. "I took the first jab of AZ and straight away had severe reactions which lasted ten days, I recovered eventually and was told it would be twelve weeks before the second one," Clapton wrote. "About six weeks later I was offered and took the second AZ shot," he continued. "Needless to say the reactions were disastrous, my hands and feet were either frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks, I feared I would never play again, (I suffer with peripheral neuropathy and should never have gone near the needle.) But the propaganda said the vaccine was safe for everyone." The side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine – which has not been approved yet for use in the U.S. – are described by the U.K. government as "mild to moderate in nature" and are expected to go away after a few days.
US data on influenza deaths are a mess. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges a difference between flu death and flu associated death yet uses the terms interchangeably. There are significant statistical incompatibilities between official estimates and national vital statistics data. Compounding these problems is a marketing of fear - a CDC communications strategy in which medical experts "predict dire outcomes" during flu seasons. The CDC website states what has become commonly accepted and widely reported in the lay and scientific press: annually "about 36,000 [Americans] die from flu" and "influenza/pneumonia" is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. But why are flu and pneumonia bundled together? David Rosenthal, director of Harvard University Health Services, said, "People don't necessarily die, per se, of the [flu] virus. What they die of is a secondary pneumonia. So many of these pneumonias are not viral pneumonias but secondary [pneumonias]." In a written statement, CDC media relations responded to the diverse statistics: "Typically, influenza causes death when the infection leads to severe medical complications." Most such cases "are never tested for virus infection. The CDC uses indirect modelling methods to estimate the number of deaths associated with influenza." Thus the much publicized figure of 36,000 is ... an estimate generated by a model.
MDMA - most commonly known as a party drug - could be more effective than therapy alone at treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The results of a keenly-awaited trial suggest two-thirds of people no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis after treatment. The study represents a significant step towards approval of the drug in the US. PTSD can be the result of a very distressing or frightening event, or longer-term series of experiences. That might include accidents, abuse, rape, combat or illness. And it can be very difficult to treat. This trial, run by US charity the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (Maps), found 88% of people had a "meaningful reduction in symptoms" and 67% no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis at all after 18 weeks and three sessions of MDMA-assisted therapy. Talking therapy alone led to a significant improvement in 60%, and remission in 32% of people. The participants in the study, which was published in the journal Nature, had suffered from PTSD for an average of 14 years. MDMA appears to work in part by calming the amygdala. In people with PTSD and anxiety disorders, this part of the brain can overreact, sounding the alarm over seemingly small events. When we are babies, and again during adolescence, we experience periods where our brains are very pliable. The scientists involved in the study speculate that psychedelics and similar-acting drugs like MDMA might allow a "reopening" of this critical window of brain development.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.
Johnson & Johnson must pay a $2.1 billion award to women who claimed its baby powder was contaminated with cancer-causing asbestos, after the U.S. Supreme Court left intact the largest verdict in the almost decadelong litigation over the iconic product. The top U.S. court without comment on Tuesday refused to consider J&J's objections to a St. Louis jury's 2018 finding that its talc-based powder helped cause ovarian cancer in 20 women. J&J prepared for the appeal's denial by announcing in February it was setting aside almost $4 billion to cover the St. Louis verdict. The company still faces more than 25,000 lawsuits blaming baby powder for causing cancers. J&J pulled the product off U.S. and Canadian shelves last year. Jurors in the St. Louis case awarded each woman $25 million in compensatory damages. The panel then added more than $4 billion in punitive damages, making the award the sixth-largest in U.S. legal history. The original verdict sparked a significant drop in J&J's shares. J&J has lost other cases at trial, with juries across the U.S. ordering it to pay hundreds of millions of dollars. Judges slashed some of those awards while others have been thrown out or are on appeal. J&J has won cases as well. Asbestos, which is often found where talc is mined, is a recognized carcinogen. The women also contended that J&J showed years of deceit about its product and disregard for the health of its customers and argued that warranted the punitive damage award.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
A new study that checked American women's breast milk for PFAS contamination detected the toxic chemical in all 50 samples tested, and at levels nearly 2,000 times higher than the level some public health advocates advise is safe for drinking water. "These harmful chemicals are contaminating what should be nature's perfect food," said Erika Schreder, a co-author. PFAS, or per and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of about 9,000 compounds that are used to make products like food packaging, clothing and carpeting water and stain resistant. They are called "forever chemicals" because they do not naturally break down and have been found to accumulate in humans. They are linked to cancer, birth defects, liver disease, thyroid disease, plummeting sperm counts and a range of other serious health problems. The peer-reviewed study ... found PFAS at levels in milk ranging from 50 parts per trillion (ppt) to more than 1,850ppt. The federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry ... recommends as little as 14ppt in children's drinking water. Studies of older children and adults have linked the chemicals to hormonal disruptions and suggests PFAS harm the immune system. Among steps that the authors recommend pregnant women and mothers take to protect themselves are avoiding greaseproof carryout food packaging, stain guards like ScotchGard, waterproof clothing that uses PFAS, and cooking products with Teflon or similar non-stick properties.
Note: PFAS may be partially responsible for sharply declining human fertility. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
All covid-19 vaccines currently in use in the US are available under emergency access only. None of the covid-19 vaccines in use are actually "approved." Through an emergency access mechanism known as Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA), the products being rolled out still technically remain "investigational." Factsheets distributed to vaccinees are clear: "There is no FDA approved vaccine to prevent covid-19." One key difference between EUA and approval (also called "licensure," and which for vaccines is known as a BLA (Biologics License Application)) was the expected length of follow-up of trial participants. Unlike its clear articulation of two months for an EUA, the FDA has not committed to a clear minimum for approval. Among the six "first in disease" vaccines approved by the FDA since 2006, pre-licensure pivotal trials were a median of 23 months in duration. Duration of protection is not the only question that longer, placebo controlled trials can address. They also address vaccine safety. The BMJ asked Moderna, Pfizer, and Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) what proportion of trial participants were now formally unblinded, and how many originally allocated to placebo have now received a vaccine. Pfizer declined to say, but Moderna announced that "as of April 13, all placebo participants have been offered the Moderna covid-19 vaccine and 98% of those have received the vaccine." In other words, the trial is unblinded, and the placebo group no longer exists.
I am a 13-year-old in seventh grade, and this is what the pandemic has felt like for me. I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I still got to go to school. Still, it felt like nobody was really there. Usually we sat in a dark room with the lights off and the blinds closed, all of us facing some sort of electronic device, procrastinating and not getting our work done. There are no sports teams. No music rehearsals. No drama club. When I'd get home, the first thing I wanted to do is lay down on my bed and just look up at the ceiling. Every single day. I keep saying to myself, "It's OK because next week will be better." But the next week was always the same. Occasionally, I would break down in tears and have to go to the school counsellor. Some of my classmates have done the same. We don't really need to talk to the counsellor, anyway. What we need is to hang out with our friends. The adults don't really understand. Whenever we'd talk, a teacher would tell us we were spreading spit particles across the room, and that could get someone sick. If we stood up, because we've been sitting for five hours straight, a teacher would tell us to sit back down because we weren't socially distancing. We have been told countless times that if we don't socially distance ... and stop doing the things that make us kids, that make us human beings, we will cause harm to others. Now, kids are scared. If they break these rules they feel like murderers, ungrateful people. But while following these rules we are killing ourselves.
Note: Children's hospitals have reported a sharp uptick in mental illness since the pandemic began. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The reported number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, one of the primary metrics for tracking the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, was grossly inflated for children in California hospitals. Two research papers ... both published in the journal Hospital Pediatrics, found that pediatric hospitalizations for COVID-19 were overcounted by at least 40 percent, carrying potential implications for nationwide figures. Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious-diseases specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, and Amy Beck, an associate professor of pediatrics, also at UCSF, wrote a commentary for Hospital Pediatrics that accompanied the two studies. They wrote, "Taken together, these studies underscore the importance of clearly distinguishing between children hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 found on universal testing versus those hospitalized for COVID-19 disease." The studies demonstrate, they said, that reported hospitalization rates "greatly overestimate the true burden of COVID-19 disease in children." The hospitalization numbers for children were already extremely low relative to adults – at the pandemic's peak this winter, it was roughly ten times lower than for 18-to-49-year-olds and 77 times lower than those age 65 and up. The findings arrive as parents have begun vaccinating children under the expedited "emergency-use authorization" against a virus that, these findings suggest, poses a dramatically lower incidence of pediatric hospitalizations than the data have shown thus far.
Over the past two weeks, Seychelles – which has been dubbed "the most vaccinated country in the world" – has seen a spike in coronavirus cases, causing alarm. The archipelago in the Indian Ocean, with a population of about 98,000, has fully vaccinated more than 60% of its population, but it's also seen its number of active COVID-19 cases nearly double over the past month. The country has closed schools and canceled activities to attempt to curb the spread. Though Seychelles has been called the world's "most vaccinated country," not all vaccines are created equal. The country used two vaccines to inoculate its population – Sinopharm, a Chinese state-owned vaccine, and Covishield, a version of the AstraZeneca vaccine, both of which have not been proven to be as effective as the Pfizer-BioNTec and Moderna vaccines. Just last week, the WHO expressed "very low confidence" in data provided by Sinopharm around its risk of severe side effects. Recent clinical trial data found the vaccine was about 78.1% effective after two doses, but the Seychelles outbreak could suggest that the efficacy is less than that. Places like Seychelles also didn't see huge COVID surges earlier in the pandemic, and have lower levels of natural immunity in their communities. Chile is another example of a country with a high vaccination rate that now is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases. Its number of new daily cases nearly doubled in April from the prior month, even though the country has vaccinated more than 45% of its population.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus vaccine from reliable major media sources.
No vaccine provides perfect protection, and so-called breakthrough infections after coronavirus vaccination are rare. Federal health officials have told fully vaccinated people they no longer need to wear masks or maintain social distance because they are protected, nor do they need to be tested or quarantine after an exposure, unless they develop symptoms. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stopped investigating breakthrough infections among fully vaccinated people unless they become so sick that they are hospitalized or die. Earlier this year, the agency was monitoring all cases. Through the end of April, when some 101 million Americans had been vaccinated, the C.D.C. had received 10,262 reports of breakthrough infections from 46 states and territories, a number that was very likely "a substantial undercount," according to a C.D.C. report. On May 1, the agency decided to investigate only the most severe breakthrough infection cases, while still collecting voluntary reports on breakthrough cases from state and local health departments. The agency will carry out vaccine effectiveness studies that include data on breakthrough cases, but only in limited populations, such as health care workers and essential workers, older adults, and residents at long-term care facilities. But even relatively mild cases of Covid-19 can lead to persistent long-term health problems, and it will be difficult to know the full scope without tracking mild infections as well.
Note: This is a convenient way to make it look like case numbers are dropping more than they actually are, which makes the vaccines look more effective than they really are. Learn more on how the CDC is manipulating case figures in this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus vaccine from reliable major media sources.
In an important step toward medical approval, MDMA, the illegal drug popularly known as Ecstasy or Molly, was shown to bring relief to those suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder when paired with talk therapy. Of the 90 people who took part in the new study, which is expected to be published later this month in Nature Medicine, those who received MDMA during therapy experienced a significantly greater reduction in the severity of their symptoms compared with those who received therapy and an inactive placebo. Two months after treatment, 67 percent of participants in the MDMA group no longer qualified for a diagnosis of PTSD, compared with 32 percent in the placebo group. MDMA produced no serious adverse side effects. Some participants temporarily experienced mild symptoms like nausea and loss of appetite. Unlike traditional pharmaceuticals, MDMA does not act as a band-aid that tries to blunt symptoms of PTSD. Instead, in people with PTSD, MDMA combined with therapy seems to allow the brain to process painful memories and heal itself. Scott Ostrom, who participated in the study, had suffered from PTSD since returning home from his second deployment in Iraq in 2007. For more than a decade, he experienced debilitating nightmares. Mr. Ostrom's days were punctuated by panic attacks, and he dropped out of college. Therapy and medication did not help. But after participating in the trial, he no longer has nightmares. "Literally, I'm a different person," he said.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.
It's been a long, strange trip in the four decades since Rick Doblin, a pioneering psychedelics researcher, dropped his first hit of acid in college and decided to dedicate his life to the healing powers of mind-altering compounds. Dr. Doblin's quest to win mainstream acceptance of psychedelics took a significant leap forward ... when the journal Nature Medicine published the results of his lab's study on MDMA, the club drug popularly known as Ecstasy and Molly. The study, the first Phase 3 clinical trial conducted with psychedelic-assisted therapy, found that MDMA paired with counseling brought marked relief to patients with severe post-traumatic stress disorder. The results, coming weeks after a New England Journal of Medicine study that highlighted the benefits of treating depression with psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, have excited scientists, psychotherapists and entrepreneurs. They say it is only a matter of time before the Food and Drug Administration grants approval for psychoactive compounds to be used therapeutically – for MDMA as soon as 2023, followed by psilocybin a year or two later. Last year, Oregon became the first state to legalize the therapeutic use of psilocybin. Denver, Oakland, Calif., and Washington, D.C., have decriminalized the drug, and several states, including California, are mulling similar legislation. Though the drugs remain illegal under federal law, the Justice Department has so far taken a hands-off approach to enforcement.
There is clearly a psychedelic renaissance underway. These agents are now debated at medical conferences smirk-free, and my investment-obsessed friends predict a financial "'shroom-boom". During the 2020 US election ... Measure 109 asked voters in Oregon whether magic mushrooms should be allowed for medical purposes, and Initiative 81 asked Washingtonians about decriminalizing psychedelic plants and fungi. Research is also underway in institutions from Johns Hopkins to Imperial College London. Recently, Health Canada quietly ... allowed four terminally ill patients to take psilocybin under medical supervision. I have also been asked by several patients, at end-of-life, to prescribe a gram of mushrooms or a tablet of lysergic acid diethylamine (which my pharmacy cannot furnish), rather than a "bucket of fentanyl" (which the pharmacy readily can). The Default Mode Network (DMN) ... refers to interconnected brain regions that help us believe we are a distinct self, separate from others and the natural world. This drives self-reliance, but can make us feel isolated. Moreover, as it "matures," we respond in more habitual, predictable, rigid ways. The theory is that DMN overactivity leads to excessive introspection, hypercriticism, obsession, depression, and anxiety. Psychedelics might decrease the tyranny of the DMN, thereby allowing unfamiliar parts of the brain to go on a play-date. We should not throw out the scientific method, but psychedelics could increase the colors in our crayon set.
The chemical additive aspartame is very potentially a cancer and brain tumor-causing substance that has no place in our food. The reasons and means by which [Donald] Rumsfeld helped get it approved are nefarious at best, criminal at worst. Dr. John Olney, who founded the field of neuroscience called excitotoxicity, attempted to stop the approval of aspartame with Attorney James Turner back in 1996. The FDA's own toxicologist, Dr. Adrian Gross told Congress that without a shadow of a doubt, aspartame can cause brain tumors and brain cancer. According to the top doctors and researchers on this issue, aspartame causes headache, memory loss, seizures, vision loss, coma and cancer. It worsens or mimics the symptoms of such diseases and conditions as fibromyalgia, MS, lupus, ADD, diabetes, Alzheimer's, chronic fatigue and depression. In 1985, Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle, the chemical company that held the patent to aspartame, the active ingredient in NutraSweet. Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president January 21, 1981. Rumsfeld, while still CEO at Searle, was part of Reagan's transition team. This team hand-picked Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., to be the new FDA commissioner. One of Hayes' first official acts as FDA chief was to approve the use of aspartame as an artificial sweetener in dry goods on July 18, 1981. When Searle was absorbed by Monsanto in 1985, Donald Rumsfeld reportedly received a $12 million bonus, pretty big money in those days.
Note: Donald Rumsfeld also made millions on bird flu drugs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the food system from reliable major media sources.
Birth and fertility rates in the United States dropped to record lows again last year, according to provisional data in a new report published Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of U.S. births in 2020 fell 4% from 2019. The figure is double the average annual rate of decline of 2% since 2014 and marks the sixth consecutive year that the number of births have dropped. Both the general and total fertility rates in 2020 also declined 4% from 2019, reaching record lows for the nation. Last year's total fertility rate "was again below replacement - the level at which a given generation can exactly replace itself," meaning there are more people dying every day than are being born, the report said. Birth rates dropped for women in nearly all age groups and of every major race and ethnicity: 8% for Asian Americans, 6% for Native Americans and Alaska Natives, 4% for whites and Blacks, and 4% for Hispanics. General fertility rates fell 9% for Asian Americans, 7% for American Indians or Alaska Natives, 4% for Blacks, whites and Hispanics, and 3% for Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. The findings are based on all birth records for the calendar year 2020 received and processed by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics as of Feb. 11.
Note: The above article fails to mention that chemicals in consumer products and the environment may contribute heavily to declining fertility. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
Nearly 40% of US Marines are declining Covid-19 vaccinations, according to data provided to CNN on Friday by the service, the first branch to disclose service-wide numbers on acceptance and declination. As of Thursday, approximately 75,500 Marines have received vaccines, including fully vaccinated and partially vaccinated service men and women. About 48,000 Marines have chosen not to receive vaccines, for a declination rate of 38.9%. The declination rate at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, one of the prominent Marine Corps bases, was far higher, at 57%, according to another set of data. Of 26,400 Marines who have been offered vaccinations, 15,100 have chosen not to receive them. The military cannot make the vaccines mandatory now because they have only emergency use authorizations from the Food and Drug Administration, meaning service members who are required to receive a series of other vaccinations have the option of declining shots to protect against Covid-19. Officials say most of the vaccine hesitancy stems from concerns about the speed at which the vaccines were developed and fears over long-term effects. The Defense Department has approximately 2.2 million service members operating around the globe.
Hospitals are charging up to $650 for a simple, molecular covid test that costs $50 or less to run, according to Medicare claims analyzed for KHN by Hospital Pricing Specialists (HPS). Charges by large health systems range from $20 to $1,419 per test, a new national survey by KFF shows. And some free-standing emergency rooms are charging more than $1,000 per test. The insurance company passes on its higher costs to consumers in higher premiums. Gargantuan volume – 400 million tests and counting, for one type – combined with loose rules on prices have made the service a bonanza for hospitals and clinics. Lab companies have been booking record profits by charging $100 per test. Even in-network prices negotiated and paid by insurance companies often run much more than that. In some cases, hospitals and clinics have supplemented revenue from covid tests with extra charges that go far beyond those for a simple swab. Warren Goldstein was surprised when Austin Emergency Center, in Texas, charged him and his wife $494 upfront for two covid tests. He was shocked when the center billed insurance $1,978 for his test, which he expected would cost $100. His insurer paid $325 for "emergency services" for him, even though there was no emergency. "It seemed like highway robbery," said Goldstein. A World Health Organization cost assessment of running 5,000 covid tests on Roche and Abbott analyzers ... came to $17 and $21 per test, respectively.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on Tuesday to emphasize that "outdoor visits and activities are safer than indoor activities." After a year in which many of us have learned to dutifully wear masks and look askance at anyone who does not, it's understandable that people remain fearful when they cross paths with the unmasked. So how do you make the right decision about when to wear a mask outside? Whether a mask is needed outdoors depends on the circumstances, including local public health rules and whether you and the people you're with are vaccinated. Brief encounters with an unmasked person passing you on the sidewalk or a hiking trail are very low risk, said Linsey Marr, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech and one of the world's leading experts on viral transmission. Viral particles quickly disperse in outdoor air, and the risk of inhaling aerosolized virus from a jogger or passers-by is negligible, she said. Even if a person coughs or sneezes outside as you walk by, the odds of you getting a large enough dose of virus to become infected remain low, she said. To understand just how low the risk of outdoor transmission is, researchers in Italy used mathematical models to calculate the amount of time it would take for a person to become infected outdoors in Milan. If a person avoided crowds, it would take, on average, 31.5 days of continuous outdoor exposure to inhale a dose of virus sufficient to transmit infection.
We're giving more and more psychiatric drugs to children. What medicine and psychiatry have done is to take essentially behavioral problems - problems of conflict between adults and children - and redefine them as medical problems. I believe that there is no scientific reason or justification for giving psychoactive agents to children. Take a healthy animal, like a chimpanzee, who wants to groom its neighbor, wants to play, socialize, wants to explore, and particularly would like to escape - that's a normal animal. If you give the animal a stimulant drug, it loses all its spontaneous behavior. And instead, obsessive narrow behavior is enforced. These drugs make good caged animals. Now, if you get all that same behavior in a child, if you crush a child's desire to socialize, to play, to escape, to be full of stuff like kids are, and instead you enforce a narrow obsessive focus, teachers will see this universally as improved behavior. Parents have also been lied to: flat-out lied to. They've been told that children have a neurobiological disorder. On what basis? Physicians and the public grabbed on to what is essentially a PR campaign ... that if you have a mental disturbance, it's biochemical. Now they run into problems. Because the next drug that comes along affects a different neurotransmitter, and then the next one affects a different neurotransmitter. And they're all working, because they all cause certain disabilities of the brain that some people experience as an improvement.
Note: Learn about Dr. Breggin's key role in stopping lobotomies and much more in this informative interview. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.
The first release of genetically modified mosquitoes in the United States began this week in the Florida Keys - the culmination of a decade-long effort by local mosquito control authorities to see if a genetically modified organism is a viable alternative to spraying insecticides in the region. For the first 12-week phase, blue-and-white boxes containing about 12,000 GMO eggs developed by a US-owned, British-based company called Oxitec have been placed in six small areas of Ramrod Key, Cudjoe Key and Vaca Key. When water is added, the mosquitoes hatch, mature and enter the environment over the next week or so. A small, vocal group of Florida Key residents have fought the release of what they call "mutant mosquitoes" since the project was announced - and they are incensed. "Our opposition has been long and strong," said Barry Wray, the executive director of the Florida Keys Environmental Coalition. "We live here, this our home, and they're forcing this down people's throats." The Florida Keys project, greenlit by the US Environment Protection Agency in May 2020, was approved to release up to 750 million genetically altered mosquitoes in 2021 and 2022. The program's target: Aedes aegypti, an invasive species of mosquito. Oxitec's solution to the problem is OX5034 - a 2.0 version of its original Aedes aegypti modification. Unlike version 1.0, designed to kill all offspring, the newer model has been genetically altered to pass along a lethal gene that only kills females.
Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon announced the members of the state's newly formed Psilocybin Advisory Board this week. Oregon is about to become the first state in the country to try to build a support infrastructure through which psychedelic mushrooms can be woven into everyday life. This framework is different from what we've seen before: not legalization, not medicalization, but therapeutic use, in licensed facilities, under the guidance of professionals trained to guide psychedelic experiences. The ... pressing case for psilocybin comes from research out of Johns Hopkins, U.C.L.A., N.Y.U. and elsewhere that has shown it to be a potentially effective treatment for major depression, end-of-life anxiety and drug addiction. "One of the things I've come to is that addiction medicine in 2021 is in desperate need of transformative technologies," Todd Korthuis, a ... member of Oregon's Psilocybin Advisory Board, told me. Studies ... are "showing dramatic change in people's lives – that's what we need for cocaine use disorder, methamphetamine use disorder, even alcohol and tobacco." A recent study on major depressive disorder, published in JAMA Psychiatry, found more than half of the subjects in remission four weeks later, after just two treatments alongside psychotherapy. A study on tobacco addiction, out of Johns Hopkins, found two-thirds of the subjects who received psilocybin in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy abstinent a year later.
Something happened in Baltimore last year. The coronavirus pandemic hit, and State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced that the city would no longer prosecute drug possession, prostitution, trespassing and other minor charges, to keep people out of jail and limit the spread of the deadly virus. And then crime went down in Baltimore. A lot. While violent crime and homicides skyrocketed in most other big American cities last year, violent crime in Baltimore dropped 20 percent from last March to this month, property crime decreased 36 percent, and there were 13 fewer homicides compared with the previous year. This happened while 39 percent fewer people entered the city's criminal justice system in the one-year period, and 20 percent fewer people landed in jail after Mosby's office dismissed more than 1,400 pending cases and tossed out more than 1,400 warrants for nonviolent crimes. So on Friday, Mosby made her temporary steps permanent. She announced Baltimore City will continue to decline prosecution of all drug possession, prostitution, minor traffic and misdemeanor cases, and will partner with a local behavioral health service to aggressively reach out to drug users, sex workers and people in psychiatric crisis to direct them into treatment rather than the back of a patrol car. A number of big-city prosecutors have moved to decriminalize drugs, and Oregon voters decriminalized small amounts of drugs statewide.
Note: The fact that the rest of the US last year experienced a "Massive 1-Year Rise In Homicide Rates" makes this all the more impressive. A 2016 report by the Johns Hopkins-Lancet Commission on Public Health and International Drug Policy found that the the war on drugs harmed public health. When Portugal decriminalized drugs, its addiction rates were cut in half.
A government study commissioned by Senator Bernie Sanders has revealed that Americans pay two to four times more on prescription medicine compared to other wealthy countries. Analysis released by the Government Acountability Office (GAO) found that US consumers and insurers paid 2.82 times more than in Canada, 4.25 times more than in Australia, and 4.36 times more than in France for 20 brand-named prescription drugs in 2020. France and Australia both operate on a universal, publicly funded healthcare system, which can explain some of the discrepancy in prescription drug prices. Canada, similar to the United States, does not provide prescription drug coverage to all of its residents. But the analysis found that US residents typically paid two to eight times more than Canadians when paying for the same prescription drug. For example, 30 tablets of Xarelto, which treats blood clots, costs $558.33 in the US but just $85.44 in Canada. When purchasing 28 tablets of Epclusa to treat Hepatitis C, an infection that attacks the liver, it costs $36,743 in the US compared to $17,023.63 in Canada, according to the analysis. But Mr Biden's $1.8tn infrastructure plan ultimately left out popular progressive initiatives that would alter the healthcare system in America, including lowering the Medicare eligibility age and allowing the federal government to directly negotiate prescription drug prices. These policy ideas were both left out despite receiving overwhelming approval from the US public.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.
Whether you took up gardening during the pandemic or have been a lifelong cultivator, we have good news for you – a recent study found that the outdoor hobby may do wonders for your wellbeing, mental health, and overall life satisfaction. According to the study, conducted by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), people who garden daily have wellbeing scores 6.6 percent higher and stress levels 4.2 percent lower than those who do not garden at all. It takes only two to three gardening sessions per week to reap these healthy benefits. "This is the first time the 'dose response' to gardening has been tested and the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the more frequently you garden – the greater the health benefits," said study lead author Dr. Lauriane Chalmin-Pui. "In fact gardening every day has the same positive impact on wellbeing than undertaking regular, vigorous exercise like cycling or running." As part of the study, the scientists researched why residents engaged in gardening. They monitored 5,766 gardeners and 259 non-gardeners through an electronic survey distributed within the UK. The results revealed that six in ten people garden because of the pleasure and enjoyment they get from it. Just under a third of the participants claimed they garden for the health benefits. The findings also indicated that gardening may boost mental health, with those with health issues stating that the outdoor hobby reduced feelings of depression, boosted energy levels, and reduced stress.
Asked about the future of Parkinson's disease in the US, Dr Ray Dorsey says, "We're on the tip of a very, very large iceberg." Dorsey, a neurologist ... believes a Parkinson's epidemic is on the horizon. Parkinson's is already the fastest-growing neurological disorder in the world; in the US, the number of people with Parkinson's has increased 35% the last 10 years, says Dorsey, and "We think over the next 25 years it will double again." Researchers increasingly believe that one factor is environmental exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE), a chemical compound used in industrial degreasing, dry-cleaning and household products such as some shoe polishes and carpet cleaners. To date, the clearest evidence around the risk of TCE to human health is derived from workers who are exposed to the chemical in the work-place. A 2008 peer-reviewed study in the Annals of Neurology, for example, found that TCE is "a risk factor for parkinsonism." And a 2011 study echoed those results, finding "a six-fold increase in the risk of developing Parkinson's in individuals exposed in the workplace to trichloroethylene (TCE)." While some countries heavily regulate TCE (its use is banned in the EU without special authorization) the EPA estimates that 250m lb of the chemical are still used annually in the US. TCE is currently estimated to be present in about 30% of US groundwater. Using activated carbon filtration devices (like Brita filters) can help reduce TCE in drinking water.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
Thousands of scientists and health experts have joined a global movement warning of "grave concerns" about Covid-19 lockdown policies. Nearly 6,000 experts, including dozens from the UK, say the approach is having a devastating impact on physical and mental health as well as society. They are calling for protection to be focused on the vulnerable, while healthy people get on with their lives. The movement - known as the Great Barrington Declaration - mirrors some of the warnings in a letter signed by a group of GPs in the UK. Sixty-six GPs, including ... a number of medics who have held senior roles at the British Medical Association, have written to the health secretary, saying there is insufficient emphasis on "non-Covid harms" in the decision-making. They say keeping the lockdown policies in place until a vaccine is available would cause "irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed". The health harms cited include ... worsening care for heart disease and cancer patients. And they point out the risk from coronavirus is 1,000 times greater for the old and infirm, with children more at risk from flu than Covid-19. The declaration recommends a number of measures to protect the vulnerable. But: young low-risk individuals should be allowed to work normally, schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching, [and] sports and cultural activities could resume and restaurants reopen.
Filing for bankruptcy is often considered a worst-case scenario. And for many Americans who do pursue that last-ditch effort to rescue their finances, it is because of one reason: health-care costs. A new study from academic researchers found that 66.5 percent of all bankruptcies were tied to medical issues – either because of high costs for care or time out of work. An estimated 530,000 families turn to bankruptcy each year because of medical issues and bills, the research found. Other reasons include unaffordable mortgages or foreclosure, at 45 percent; followed by spending or living beyond one's means, 44.4 percent; providing help to friends or relatives, 28.4 percent; student loans, 25.4 percent; or divorce or separation, 24.4 percent. The culprit ... was inadequate health-care insurance, according to a co-author of the research, Dr. David U. Himmelstein, a distinguished professor at Hunter College. Most families do not have enough saved for a simple emergency, let alone thousands of dollars in unexpected medical costs. A recent study ... found that only 40 percent of Americans have enough saved to cover a $1,000 emergency expense. To help combat this problem, Physicians for a National Health Program is advocating for a national Medicare for All program that would broaden insurance coverage for Americans.
Sweden, which has shunned the strict lockdowns that have choked much of the global economy, emerged from 2020 with a smaller increase in its overall mortality rate than most European countries, an analysis of official data sources showed. Infectious disease experts ... acknowledged [that the results] may indicate Sweden's overall stance on fighting the pandemic had merits worth studying. In the past week, Germany and France have extended lockdowns amid rising coronavirus cases and high death tolls, moves that economists say will further delay economic recovery. While many Europeans have accepted lockdowns as a last resort given the failure to get the pandemic under control with other methods, the moves have in recent months prompted street protests in London, Amsterdam and elsewhere. Sweden, meanwhile, has mostly relied on voluntary measures focused on social distancing, good hygiene and targeted rules that have kept schools, restaurants and shops largely open - an approach that has sharply polarised Swedes but spared the economy from much of the hit suffered elsewhere in Europe. Data from EU statistics agency Eurostat compiled by Reuters showed Sweden had 7.7% more deaths in 2020 than its average for the preceding four years. Countries that opted for several periods of strict lockdowns, such as Spain and Belgium, had so-called excess mortality of 18.1% and 16.2% respectively. Twenty-one of the 30 countries with available statistics had higher excess mortality than Sweden.
Note: Read a balanced, detailed description of Sweden's response to COVID in this New Yorker article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
When West Virginia declared a state of emergency to arrest the coronavirus, the social network that aids the homeless froze along with everything else. Ordered to shelter in place, people without shelter died at an alarming rate. In a bad year here ... two to four of the unhoused die. Over the past year, they have tallied 22 deaths, a sevenfold increase. Only two of the deaths are suspected to be from COVID-19. But all occurred during the collapse of the safety net that in normal times addresses the complex mix of afflictions–trauma, medical conditions, addiction–that accompany homelessness, and worsened during the profound isolation of the pandemic. What happened in [West Virginia] is happening across the country. Even before the pandemic lockdowns that fell hardest on low-income Americans –– and stand to push more people out of their homes –– the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported U.S. homelessness at 580,466 people, up 7% from a year earlier. Deaths are rising even faster. In San Francisco, the department of public health says deaths tripled over the past year in an unhoused population of 8,035. In Los Angeles, home to a vast homeless population tallied at 41,290, deaths increased by 32%. Homeless deaths in Washington, D.C., soared by 54%. In New York City, the Coalition for the Homeless reported a death rate up 75%. And over the past year, they died ... at a rate many times higher than the rate of deaths from the virus.
The end of humankind? It may be coming sooner than we think, thanks to hormone-disrupting chemicals that are decimating fertility at an alarming rate around the globe. A new book called Countdown, by Shanna Swan, an environmental and reproductive epidemiologist ... finds that sperm counts have dropped almost 60% since 1973. Following the trajectory we are on, Swan's research suggests sperm counts could reach zero by 2045. Zero. Let that sink in. That would mean no babies. No reproduction. No more humans. Forgive me for asking: why isn't the UN calling an emergency meeting on this right now? The chemicals to blame for this crisis are found in everything from plastic containers and food wrapping, to waterproof clothes and fragrances in cleaning products, to soaps and shampoos, to electronics and carpeting. Some of them, called PFAS, are known as "forever chemicals", because they don't breakdown in the environment or the human body. They just accumulate and accumulate – doing more and more damage. Swan's book is staggering in its findings. "In some parts of the world, the average twentysomething woman today is less fertile than her grandmother was at 35," Swan writes. In addition to that, Swan finds that, on average, a man today will have half of the sperm his grandfather had. Given everything we know about these chemicals, why isn't more being done? Right now, there is a paltry patchwork of inadequate legislation responding to this threat.
AstraZeneca may have included "outdated information" in touting the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine in a U.S. study, federal health officials said Tuesday in an unusual public rift that could further erode confidence in the shot. In an extraordinary rebuke, just hours after AstraZeneca on Monday announced its vaccine worked well in the U.S. study, an independent panel that oversees the study scolded the company for cherry-picking data, according to a senior administration official. The panel wrote to AstraZeneca and U.S. health leaders that it was concerned the company chose to use data that was outdated and potentially misleading instead of the most recent and complete findings. The NIH's Dr. Anthony Fauci told ABC's "Good Morning America" that the incident "really is what you call an unforced error" and that he expects the discrepancy to be straightened out. But that nitty-gritty seldom is seen by the public, something now exposed by the extraordinary microscope being applied to development of the world's COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccine is used widely in Britain, across the European continent and in other countries, but its rollout was troubled by inconsistent study reports about its effectiveness, and then last week a scare about blood clots that had some countries temporarily pausing inoculations. Company executives refused repeated requests from reporters to provide a breakdown of the 141 COVID-19 cases it was using to make the case for the shot's effectiveness.
In the summer of 1981, when he was 13, Grant crashed a trail motorbike. Grant hadn't given this childhood memory much thought in the intervening years, but one hot August day ... he suddenly understood it as a clue to his dangerously unhealthy relationship with alcohol. The day before, a team of specialists at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital had given him an intravenous infusion of ketamine, a dissociative hallucinogen, in common use as an anaesthetic since the 1970s, and more recently one of a group of psychedelic drugs being hailed as a silver bullet in the fight to save our ailing mental health. To date, more than 100 patients with conditions as diverse as depression, PTSD and addiction have been treated in research settings across the UK, using a radical new intervention that combines psychedelic drugs with talking therapy. What was once a fringe research interest has become the foundation of a new kind of healthcare, one that, for the first time in modern psychiatric history, purports to not only treat but actually cure mental ill health. Under its influence, Grant had an out-of-body experience he struggles to put into words. "It was like I was sinking deeper and deeper into myself," he says. "Then I became whiteâ€¦ and I left my body. I was up on the ceiling, looking at myself, but I was just this white entity. I felt very serene and humbled; I finally understood my place in the universe, just a white speck of light, I wasn't the centre of everything and that was fine."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the healing potentials of mind altering drugs from reliable major media sources.
Now that the 2020 figures have been properly tallied, there is still no convincing evidence that strict lockdowns reduced the death toll from COVID-19. But one effect is clear: more deaths from other causes, especially among the young and middle-aged, minorities and the less affluent. The best gauge of the pandemic's impact is what statisticians call excess mortality, which compares the overall number of deaths with the total in previous years. That measure rose among older Americans because of COVID-19, but it rose at an even sharper rate among people aged 15 to 54, and most of those excess deaths weren't attributed to the virus. Preliminary reports point to some obvious lockdown-related factors. There was a sharp decline in visits to emergency rooms and an increase in fatal heart attacks because patients didn't receive prompt treatment. Many fewer people were screened for cancer. Social isolation contributed to excess deaths from dementia and Alzheimer's. Researchers predicted that the social and economic upheaval would lead to tens of thousands of "deaths of despair" from drug overdoses, alcoholism and suicide. As unemployment surged and mental-health and substance-abuse treatment programs were interrupted, the reported levels of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts increased dramatically, as did alcohol sales and fatal drug overdoses. The number of excess deaths not involving COVID-19 has been especially high in US counties with more low-income households and minority residents.
Sweden's novel approach to tackling the coronavirus pandemic has drawn both praise and fierce criticism, not just inside the Scandinavian country, but across the Western world. The country has so far resisted going into lockdown, unlike the rest of Europe, even during the peak of its second wave over Christmas. Sweden may be faring comparably better in terms of excess deaths - those greater than the usual number of deaths expected in a certain time period. Experts say excess deaths can indicate whether policies intended to combat the pandemic have unintended consequences, such as delaying treatment for other ailments and is an important measure of the overall efficacy of policy. While still performing worse than other Nordic countries on data from Eurostat, the official European Union statistics agency, and the University of Oxford, shows that Sweden recorded 7.9% excess deaths last year compared to the years 2016-19, according to the independent health news site Dagens Medicin. That means that the country had the 23rd lowest annual excess deaths out of 30 European countries - lower than the U.K. (15.1%), France (10.4%) and Spain (18.9%). Sweden also has a lower number of coronavirus deaths per million than those countries, all of which have gone under strict lockdowns during the pandemic.
Note: The media has consistently compared Sweden to its immediate neighbors Finland and Norway, which have done much better than Sweden, but were not hit hard in the beginning as Sweden was. With the exception of this a a very few other articles, they almost always fail to compare Sweden to other European countries, as they don't won't people to know how well they have done with no lockdown. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Nearly a year after California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the nation's first statewide shutdown because of the coronavirus, masks remain mandated, indoor dining and other activities are significantly limited, and Disneyland remains closed. By contrast, Florida has no statewide restrictions. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has prohibited municipalities from fining people who refuse to wear masks. And Disney World has been open since July. Despite their differing approaches, California and Florida have experienced almost identical outcomes in COVID-19 case rates. How have two states that took such divergent tacks arrived at similar points? "This is going to be an important question that we have to ask ourselves: What public health measures actually were the most impactful, and which ones had negligible effect or backfired by driving behavior underground?" said Amesh Adalja ... at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Though research has found that mask mandates and limits on group activities such as indoor dining can help slow the spread of the coronavirus, states with greater government-imposed restrictions have not always fared better than those without them. California and Florida both have a COVID-19 case rate of around 8,900 per 100,000 residents since the pandemic began, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A great deal of conflicting information has emerged about the immune response that develops in patients who have recovered from Covid-19. The good news is that we are unlikely to be reinfected with Sars-Cov-2 repeatedly until it eventually wipes us all out. Most of the evidence ... shows that the immune response to this is quite typical for an acute viral infection. Initially, the body ramps up high levels of IgG antibodies, but after the infection is cleared, those antibodies drop to a baseline level, which may be below the limit of detection of some serological tests. Most people who recover from Covid-19 have detectable neutralising antibodies months after infection. This suggests that Sars-Cov-2 infection does produce an immune response that is protective, at least for several months. Furthermore, antibodies are not the only important part of the immune system. T-cells are also a key component to the immune response. They come in two flavours: helper T-cells, which coordinate immune responses and facilitate immunological memory, and killer T-cells, which kill infected cells. Previous studies have shown that Sars-Cov-2 infection induces robust T-cell responses. Interestingly, some people who have never had Covid-19 have memory T-cells from prior common-cold coronavirus infections that cross-react with Sars-Cov-2, suggesting that there may be some existing protection in the population. T-cells alone are unlikely to provide complete immune protection, but they are a key contributor to immune memory.
Note: The author of this article, Angela Rasmussen, is a virologist and affiliate of the Georgetown Center for Global Health Science and Security. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands have joined the growing list of countries that have suspended the use of the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford over blood clot concerns. The Dutch government said Sunday that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine would not be used until at least March 29, while Ireland said earlier in the day that it had temporarily suspended the shot as a precautionary step. On Monday, the German government also said it was suspending its use, with the vaccine regulator, the Paul Ehrlich Institute, calling for further investigations. The Italian medicines authority made a similar announcement on Monday afternoon and French President Emmanuel Macron also said the vaccine's use would be paused pending a verdict from the EU's regulator. Spain Health Minister Carolina Darias said Monday that the country will halt use of the shot for at least two weeks. Portugal and Slovenia also suspended the vaccine. Thailand has also halted its planned deployment of the vaccine. The move to pause its use by Dutch and Irish officials came shortly after Norway's medicines agency said it had been notified of three health workers being treated in hospital for bleeding, blood clots and a low count of blood platelets after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Norway has put its Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine program on hold.
Note: Many countries have resumed using this vaccine after Europe's medicines regulator concluded it was "safe and effective". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
The latest study to look at the long-term effects of Roundup, a popular weed killer developed by Monsanto in the 1970s, raises questions about the herbicide's possible contributions to poor health in certain communities. The study, published Tuesday in JAMA, tracked people over the age of 50 in southern California from 1993-1996 to 2014-2016, with researchers periodically collecting urine samples during that time. The percentage of people who tested positive for a chemical called glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, shot up by 500% in that time period. The levels of glyphosate also spiked by 1208% during that time. One trial from the UK, in which rats were fed low levels of glyphosate throughout their lives, found that the chemical contributed to a higher risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition in which fat accumulates in the liver and contributes to inflammation and scarring of the tissue. [Researcher Paul] Mills says that the levels of glyphosate documented in the people in his study were 100-fold greater than those in the rats. While Roundup was developed to eliminate most weeds from genetically modified crops – and thus reduce the amount of pesticides sprayed on them – recent studies have found that many weeds are now resistant to Roundup. That means growers are using more Roundup, which could only exacerbate potential negative health effects on people who consume those products.
Note: Bayer recently agreed to a $10 billion settlement over claims that its glyphosate-containing product RoundUp causes cancer. Meanwhile, Mexico is banning glyphosate and GMO corn. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and GMOs from reliable major media sources.
Sperm counts have been dropping; infant boys are developing more genital abnormalities; more girls are experiencing early puberty; and adult women appear to be suffering declining egg quality and more miscarriages. It's not just humans. Scientists report genital anomalies in a range of species, including unusually small penises in alligators, otters and minks. In some areas, significant numbers of fish, frogs and turtles have exhibited both male and female organs. Experts say the problem is a class of chemicals called endocrine disruptors, which mimic the body's hormones and thus fool our cells. This is a particular problem for fetuses as they sexually differentiate early in pregnancy. Endocrine disruptors can wreak reproductive havoc. These endocrine disruptors are everywhere: plastics, shampoos, cosmetics, cushions, pesticides, canned foods and A.T.M. receipts. They often aren't on labels and can be difficult to avoid. Chemical companies ... lobby against even safety testing of endocrine disruptors, so that we have little idea if products we use each day are damaging our bodies or our children. Still, the Endocrine Society, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, the President's Cancer Panel and the World Health Organization have all warned about endocrine disruptors, and Europe and Canada have moved to regulate them. But in the United States, Congress and the Trump administration seemed to listen more to industry lobbyists than to independent scientists.
"My daughter, who had been completely normal until getting nine vaccinations in one day, was suddenly no longer there," said Terry Poling, mother of 9-year-old Hannah. Hannah Poling appeared to be like many children. At 19 months, her pediatrician noted she was "alert and active" and "spoke well." At that same visit, she got five shots - nine doses of vaccines. She almost immediately developed fever, seizures and severe health problems. Eight years later, the government has quietly conceded that vaccines aggravated a cell disorder nobody knew Hannah had, leaving her with permanent brain damage and autistic-like symptoms. Rep. Dave Weldon, R-Fla., is also a doctor. Weldon has long been pushing the government to aggressively work to develop ways to screen for children who might be the most susceptible to ill effects from vaccines. The government has been telling the public for more than a decade that there's absolutely no reason to be concerned about any link. "I wouldn't recommend they say something like that in light of the Poling case and the admission on the part of the government," Weldon said. A CBS News investigation uncovered at least nine other cases as far back as 1990, where records show the court ordered the government compensated families whose children developed autism or autistic-like symptoms in children including toddlers who had been called "very smart" and "impressed" doctors with their "intelligence and curiosity" ... until their vaccinations.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.
The pandemic has punished people of all ages. But the emotional fallout for teenagers has been uniquely brutal. At just the age when they are biologically predisposed to seek independence from their families, teens have been trapped at home. Friends – who take on paramount importance during adolescence – are largely out of reach, accessible mostly by social media, which brings its own mix of satisfying and toxic elements. A June survey by the Centers for Disease Control found that a staggering 26 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds reported having serious suicidal thoughts in the past 30 days, compared with 16 percent of 25- to 44-year-olds and less than 4 percent of people ages 45 and older. And mental health visits to emergency rooms by 12- to 17-year-olds increased 31 percent in 2020 compared with the previous year. Other research shows teens have been getting more sleep and feeling less taxed by their formerly frenetic schedules. But the academic pressure cooker hasn't disappeared; it's moved online, where students are forced to manage much of their own time and learning, with less access to teacher assistance. Milestone moments like graduation and homecoming have been erased. "So much of their social lives and social development revolves around being at school, interacting with people," says Michelle Carlson, executive director of Teen Line, a Los Angeles based non-profit. "So they're having a hard time."
The reminders of pandemic-driven suffering among students in Clark County, Nev., have come in droves. Since schools shut their doors in March, an early-warning system that monitors students' mental health episodes has sent more than 3,100 alerts to district officials, raising alarms about suicidal thoughts, possible self-harm or cries for care. By December, 18 students had taken their own lives. The spate of student suicides in and around Las Vegas has pushed the Clark County district, the nation's fifth largest, toward bringing students back as quickly as possible. This month, the school board gave the green light to phase in the return of some elementary school grades and groups of struggling students. Over the summer ... Dr. Robert R. Redfield, then the C.D.C. director, warned that a rise in adolescent suicides would be one of the "substantial public health negative consequences" of school closings. Mental health advocacy groups warned that the student demographics at the most risk for mental health declines before the pandemic – such as Black children and L.G.B.T.Q. students – were among those most marginalized by the school closures. But given the politically charged atmosphere this summer, many of those warnings were dismissed as scare tactics. Parents of students who have taken their lives say connecting suicide to school closings became almost taboo.
A congressional report found many of the products made by the country's largest commercial baby food manufacturers contain significant levels of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, which can endanger infant neurological development. The report ... from the House Oversight Committee's subcommittee on economic and consumer policy found heavy metals in rice cereals, sweet potato puree, juices and sweet snack puffs made by some of the most trusted names in baby food. Gerber, Beech-Nut, HappyBABY (made by Nurture) and Earth's Best Organic baby foods (made by Hain Celestial Group) complied with the committee's request to submit internal testing documents. Campbell Soup, which sells Plum Organics baby foods, Walmart (its private brand is Parent's Choice) and Sprout Foods declined to cooperate. Although there are no maximum arsenic levels established for baby food ... the FDA has set the maximum allowable levels in bottled water at 10 ppb of inorganic arsenic. Hain ... used many ingredients in its baby foods with as much as 309 ppb of arsenic. Lead levels in baby foods should not exceed 1 ppb. Beech-Nut used ingredients containing as much as 886.9 parts per billion of lead. In addition, Gerber used carrots containing as much as 87 ppb of cadmium and Nurture sold baby foods with as much as 10 ppb of mercury. And even when baby foods tested over companies' internal limits for these heavy metals, they were sold anyway.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Harvey Pass, the chief of thoracic surgery at the National Cancer Institute, in Bethesda, Maryland, was sitting in his laboratory one spring afternoon in 1993 when Michele Carbone ... strode in with an unusual request. Carbone was asking Pass for his help in proving a controversial theory he had developed about the origins of mesothelioma, a deadly cancer. Mesothelioma was virtually unheard of prior to 1950. Pass, one of the world's leading mesothelioma surgeons, knew, like other scientists, that the disease was caused by asbestos exposure. But Carbone ... told Pass that he wondered if the cancer might also be caused by a virus - a monkey virus, known as simian virus 40, or SV40, that had widely contaminated early doses of the polio vaccine, but that had long been presumed to be harmless. In 1961 federal health officials ordered vaccine manufacturers to screen for the virus and eliminate it from the vaccine. Worried about creating a panic, they kept the discovery of SV40 under wraps and never recalled existing stocks. For two more years millions of additional people were needlessly exposed - bringing the total to 98 million Americans from 1955 to 1963. Since 1994 Carbone has written more than twenty studies and reviews investigating SV40's link to human cancer. "There is no doubt that SV40 is a human carcinogen," he says. Carbone suggests that the virus works in tandem with asbestos or by itself to transform healthy mesothelial cells into cancerous ones.
Government figures show the proportion of children who arrived in emergency departments with mental health issues increased 24% from mid-March through mid-October, compared with the same period in 2019. Among preteens and adolescents, it rose by 31%. Anecdotally, some hospitals said they are seeing more cases of severe depression and suicidal thoughts among children, particularly attempts to overdose. The increased demand for intensive mental health care that has accompanied the pandemic has worsened issues that have long plagued the system. In some hospitals, the number of children unable to immediately get a bed in the psychiatric unit rose. Others reduced the number of beds or closed psychiatric units altogether to reduce the spread of COVID-19. "It's only a matter of time before a tsunami sort of reaches the shore of our service system, and it's going to be overwhelmed," said Jason Williams ... at Children's Hospital Colorado. Children's hospitals in New York, Colorado and Missouri all reported an uptick in the number of patients who thought about or attempted suicide. Clinicians also mentioned spikes in children with severe depression and those with autism who are acting out.
Back in November, Ajeet Jain felt like he was living a nightmare. The large public hospital where he works in India's capital was full of covid-19 patients, hundreds of them so ill they required intensive care. Three months later, the situation is unrecognizable. The number of coronavirus patients at the hospital can be counted on one hand. Out of 200 ventilators, only two are in use. Hospitals treating covid-19 patients around the country report similar experiences. "It's a big, big relief," Jain said. The apparent retreat of the coronavirus in India, the world's second-most populous nation, is a mystery that is crucial to the future course of the pandemic. Epidemiologists in India say that there is only one likely explanation for the decrease in new cases: The virus is finding it harder to spread because a significant proportion of the population, at least in cities, already has been infected. The results of a nationwide antibody survey ... indicated that more than 1 in 5 Indians – about 270 million people – had been exposed to the virus as of early January. In major cities, infection rates are even higher. A recent study of 28,000 people in India's capital found 56 percent had coronavirus antibodies. By comparison, a study published last month estimated that more than 14 percent of the population in the United States had coronavirus antibodies as of mid-November. India has recorded 155,000 deaths, or about 112 per 1 million of population, compared with 1,362 per million in the United States.
Note: Could it be that India's usage of Hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin are also playing a role? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
On Jan 13, Dr Yvonne Doyle, the medical director at Public Health England (PHE) issued an alarming statement claiming that Britain had reported the highest number of coronavirus deaths on a single day since the pandemic began. She also alleged that there have now been more deaths in the second wave than the first. Dig a little deeper and the narrative that the second wave is more deadly than the first begins to unravel. According to the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) ... there were 72,900 excess deaths from the start of the pandemic in March to the end of December. Some 60,800 of those occurred in the first wave, but just 12,100 in the second. In a bad winter flu season, around 22,000 excess deaths would be expected. It means that, unlike the first wave, many people included in the coronavirus death figures would have been expected to die of other causes in the past few months. The mortality rate in December 2020 was 1,339.8 deaths per 100,000 males, compared with 1,674.7 in December 2003, and 950.4 deaths per 100,000 females, compared with 1,217.4 in December 2003. The ONS estimates that there were 50,882 more deaths in England in 2020, and 71,110 were due to coronavirus. This means that at least 20,000 people who died from coronavirus last year would have been likely to have died from something else. The figure is likely to be higher because many more people have died from the impact of lockdown.
Rep. Katie Porter on Friday published a damning report revealing the devastating effects of Big Pharma mergers and acquisitions on U.S. healthcare, and recommending steps Congress should take to enact "comprehensive, urgent reform" of an integral part of a broken healthcare system. The report, entitled Killer Profits: How Big Pharma Takeovers Destroy Innovation and Harm Patients, begins by noting that "in just 10 years, the number of large, international pharmaceutical companies decreased six-fold, from 60 to only 10." While pharmaceutical executives often attempt to portray such consolidation as a means to increase operational efficiency, the report states that "digging a level deeper 'exposes a troubling industry-wide trend of billions of dollars of corporate resources going toward acquiring other pharmaceutical corporations with patent-protected blockbuster drugs instead of putting those resources toward' discovery of new drugs." Big pharmaceutical companies are not responsible for most major breakthroughs. Rather, innovation is driven in small firms, which are often spun off of taxpayer-funded academic research. These small labs are then purchased by giant firms. Instead of producing lifesaving drugs for diseases with few or no cures, large pharmaceutical companies often focus on small, incremental changes to existing drugs in order to kill off generic threats to their government-granted monopoly patents. Mergers in the pharmaceutical industry have had an overall negative effect on innovation.
Note: The major media, sponsored largely by Big Pharma, completely failed to report on this important study. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption 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.
A little more than a third of nursing home workers have been getting COVID-19 vaccines when the shots are first offered, U.S. health officials said Monday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave a national accounting of a problem that's been reported anecdotally – many nursing home workers are not getting the shots. The CDC looked at more than 11,000 nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities that had at least one vaccination clinic between the middle of December and the middle of January. The researchers found that while 78% of residents got at least one shot, only 37.5% of staff members did. Data previously showed that people who work in nursing homes and long-term care facilities get flu vaccines at lower rates than other health-care workers. Surveys suggest that long-term care workers are skeptical the shots work and don't think viruses spread easily from them to the people they care for. The CDC released a second report Monday that offered a larger national look at who has been getting the vaccine. The CDC study found that of the people who got at least one shot between mid-December and mid-January, 63% were women, and 55% were age 50 or older.
The need for touch exists below the horizon of consciousness. Before birth, when the amniotic fluid in the womb swirls around us and the foetal nervous system can distinguish our own body from our mother's, our entire concept of self is rooted in touch. As adults, we may not comprehend the importance of touch even when it disappears. "We might begin to realise that something is missing, but we won't always know that it's touch," says Prof Francis McGlone, a neuroscientist. "But when we talk about the problem of loneliness, we often ignore the obvious: what lonely people aren't getting is touch." As the pandemic continues, many of us will be trying to cope with profound stress without the comfort of touch. The total absence of touch ... contravenes the hardwiring that regulates us from our preverbal years. In these times of touch deprivation there is no real substitute for what we get from other humans, but there are ways to soothe ourselves. We may be able to experience touch vicariously. Researchers have found that seeing touch (on TV or in films, for example) – particularly social, affective or pet touch – can give us some of the benefits of feeling touch. This is not a permanent or complete substitute, but a partial one. A hunger for touch is a signal that a primitive need is not being met. But evolution is on our side. Every scientist I spoke to was hopeful that, once we can come together again, we will adjust quickly.
A study evaluating COVID-19 responses around the world found that mandatory lockdown orders early in the pandemic may not provide significantly more benefits to slowing the spread of the disease than other voluntary measures, such as social distancing or travel reduction. The peer reviewed study was published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation on January 5, and analyzed coronavirus case growth in 10 countries in early 2020. The study compared cases in England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the U.S. – all countries that implemented mandatory lockdown orders and business closures – to South Korea and Sweden, which instituted less severe, voluntary responses. The researchers used a mathematical model to compare countries that did and did not enact more restrictive lockdown orders, and determined that there was "no clear, significant beneficial effect of [more restrictive measures] on case growth in any country." "We do not question the role of all public health interventions, or of coordinated communications about the epidemic, but we fail to find an additional benefit of stay-at-home orders and business closures," the research said. Mandatory lockdown orders have also been a highly politicized issue across the U.S. Some Republican leaders ... have vehemently opposed state or nationwide closures. In Democratic states, including New York and California, lockdown orders have been a consistent part of the coronavirus response.
There are a few reasons why I supported lockdowns at first. Initial data falsely suggested that the infection fatality rate was up to 2-3%, that over 80% of the population would be infected, and modelling suggested repeated lockdowns would be necessary. But emerging data showed that the median infection fatality rate is 0.23%, that the median infection fatality rate in people under 70 years old is 0.05%. In addition, it is likely that in most situations only 20-40% of the population would be infected before ongoing transmission is limited (i.e., herd-immunity). Emerging data has shown a staggering amount of so-called Ă˘â‚Źcollateral damage' due to the lockdowns. This can be predicted to adversely affect many millions of people globally with food insecurity [82-132 million more people], severe poverty [70 million more people], school closures for children [affecting children's future earning potential and lifespan], and intimate partner violence for millions of women. In high-income countries adverse effects also occur from delayed and interrupted healthcare, unemployment, loneliness, deteriorating mental health ... and more. A formal cost-benefit analysis of different responses to the pandemic was not done by government. Once I became more informed, I realized that lockdowns cause far more harm than they prevent. The costs of lockdowns are at least 10 times higher than the benefits. Lockdowns cause far more harm to population wellbeing than COVID-19 can.
Note: The above was written by Dr. Ari Joffe, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at the Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Millions of Americans have lost their jobs. They've watched helplessly as their meager savings dwindled away, as they were confined to their homes–prohibited from interacting with friends, attending church, temple or music and sporting events due to restrictions enacted in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This resulted in a profound impact on the mental health and emotional well-being of people–leading to a significant increase in cases of anxiety, depression and deaths by suicide. The CDC conducted a survey of 5,412 people between June 24 and 30 and the collected data on suicides is alarming. Roughly 25% percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 say they've considered suicide because of the pandemic. About 30.9% of the respondents said that they "had symptoms of anxiety or depression" and about 26.3% reported trauma and stress-related disorders caused by the outbreak. Over 13% said that they have used alcohol, prescription and/or illegal drugs to deal with their pandemic-induced stress and anxiety. The amount of Americans reporting anxiety symptoms is triple the number of this time last year. The CDC reported that 11% of adults surveyed had seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days. The study showed "19% of Hispanics reported suicidal ideation" and "15% of Blacks reported suicidal thoughts." As it relates to young adults, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, said, "We're seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from [Covid-19]."
Note: What this article glaringly failed to mention is that the large majority of these tragic problems are not caused by the virus, but rather by the lockdown policies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Health authorities in Norway sought to allay safety concerns raised by the death of some elderly patients after they were vaccinated against Covid-19, saying there's no evidence of a direct link. The initial reports from Norway raised alarm as the world looks for early signs of potential side effects from the vaccines. Although doctors say it's possible that vaccine side-effects could aggravate underlying illnesses, they were expecting nursing-home residents to die shortly after being vaccinated because deaths are more common among the frailest and sickest elderly patients. In Norway, 33 people aged 75 and over died following immunization, according to the [Norwegian Medicines Agency]'s latest figures. All were already seriously ill, it said. The Scandinavian country has already inoculated almost all of its nursing home population, with more than 48,000 people vaccinated. The reported fatalities are well under 1 out of 1,000 nursing-home patients to be vaccinated, [Steinar Madsen, medical director at the Norwegian Medicines Agency] said. The side effects of immunization can, in some cases, "tip the patients into a more serious course of the underlying disease," Madsen said. "We can't rule that out." Other countries, including Germany and Israel, have also reported deaths in people who recently were vaccinated. Until Friday, Norway had only used the vaccine provided by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE. The companies are now working with the Nordic country to look into the deaths.
Note: For more details on these and other deaths from the vaccines, see this webpage. Are all these deaths shortly after vaccination simply coincidence? Read about many problems with these vaccines based on reports from reliable sources. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Coronavirus Information Center.
Health authorities are investigating the case of a Florida doctor who died from an unusually severe blood disorder 16 days after receiving the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. Dr. Gregory Michael, a 56-year-old obstetrician and gynecologist in Miami Beach, received the vaccine at Mount Sinai Medical Center on Dec. 18 and died 16 days later from a brain hemorrhage, his wife, Heidi Neckelmann, wrote. Shortly after receiving the vaccine, Dr. Michael developed an extremely serious form of a condition known as acute immune thrombocytopenia, which prevented his blood from clotting properly. About nine million people in the United States have received at least one shot of either the Pfizer or Moderna coronavirus vaccine, the two authorized in the United States. So far, serious problems reported were 29 cases of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction. Dr. Jerry L. Spivak, an expert on blood disorders at Johns Hopkins University, who was not involved in Dr. Michael's care, said that based on Ms. Neckelmann's description, "I think it is a medical certainty that the vaccine was related." "This is going to be very rare," said Dr. Spivak, an emeritus professor of medicine. But he added, "It happened and it could happen again." Dr. Paul Offit, an expert in vaccines and infectious diseases ... said that the measles vaccine and measles itself have been known to cause this same clotting problem, but it is usually transient and not serious. It occurs in about one of every 25,000 measles shots
Note: The supposed experts are claiming the numerous deaths of people within hours to weeks after the vaccine are just coincidental. This article examines these deaths and raises many questions. And why are so few of these being reported? Read about many problems with these vaccines based on reports from reliable sources. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Coronavirus Information Center.
Americans are taking more medications than ever before. Nearly 60 to 70 percent of us take at least one prescribed drug. Meanwhile, new drug approvals have reached a 19-year high. There's no formal process for quantifying injuries, hospitalizations or even deaths caused by therapeutic drug use – which excludes overdose or misuse. "Risk management begins with measuring things accurately, so you know what the threats are and the ones where you should be paying attention," says Thomas J. Moore ... at the Institute for Safe Medication Practices. But he notes that there's no system in place or accepted methodology for developing these tallies for prescription drugs, unlike with overdoses. Health providers and consumers are encouraged to report adverse drug reactions to the Food and Drug Administration. But the FDA says it's unable to use the incomplete adverse event reporting data to quantify overall deaths that result from therapeutic drug use. A ... recent analysis estimates 128,000 Americans die each year as a result of taking medications as prescribed. "By far the greatest number of [prescription drug-related] hospitalizations and deaths occur from drugs that are prescribed properly by physicians and taken as directed," says Donald Light ... lead author of a 2013 paper that detailed the estimate, entitled "Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs." "About 2,460 people per week are estimated to die from drugs that were properly prescribed," says Light.
Note: According to some studies, medical errors including adverse drug reactions may be the third leading cause of death in the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.
Throughout my career as a psychiatrist, I have found, on a clinical and scientific basis, psychiatric drugs do much more harm than good. My professional website (www.breggin.com) began as an attempt to present my scientific research. At the time that I started my reform efforts in the early 1970s, I was nearly alone among psychiatrists or any other professionals in standing up to the pharmaceutical industry, the electroshock industry, the American Psychiatric Association, the AMA, and other members of what I defined as the "psychopharmaceutical complex." When taken for months or years, all psychiatric drugs can seriously damage the brain, prevent recovery, and ruin the individual's quality of life. The psychiatric model of human suffering has caused untold damage to hundreds of millions of victims of involuntary treatment, psychiatric hospitals, drugs and electroshock. It has also set back civilization by undermining Western traditions of individuality, personal responsibility, and love. It has convinced modern society that emotional suffering is based in so-called biochemical imbalances when in reality it is rooted in a complex combination of human nature, individual experience and choice-making, and societal influences. This flawed biological model ignores all the important realities in human life from the dreadful effects of childhood trauma and adult disappointment and loss to the importance of living by worthwhile principles and ideals.
Note: Learn about Dr. Breggin's key role in stopping lobotomies and much more in this informative interview. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.
Pfizer chairman Albert Bourla told NBC's Dateline host Lester Holt that the pharmaceutical company was "not certain" if the vaccine prevented the coronavirus from being transmitted, saying: "This is something that needs to be examined." In a prime-time special titled "Race for a Vaccine" ... Holt questioned Bourla and other individuals involved in the development and distribution of the vaccine. In November, Pfizer announced that its vaccine candidate had been shown to be more than 90% effective at preventing COVID-19 and has applied for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The U.K. became the first country to approve Pfizer's vaccine this week with the first round of immunizations expected to roll out next week. In August, Canada signed a deal with Pfizer for 20 million doses of the vaccine. In a list of interview highlights released before the special, Holt asked Bourla: "Even though I've had the protection, am I still able to transmit it to other people?" "I think this is something that needs to be examined. We are not certain about that right now with what we know," Bourla responded.
Note: An MSN article reported that a 41-year-old Portuguese health worker died two days after getting the Pfizer vaccine, but then removed the article. Learn more about this death in this article. A Florida doctor also died after receiving the vaccine. This CDC report states "December 14–23, 2020, monitoring â€¦ detected 21 cases of anaphylaxis after administration of a reported 1,893,360 first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine." For more, explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Coronavirus Information Center.
Vaccines are ... under investigation for the possible side effects they can cause. In order to supply new information, an electron-microscopy investigation method was applied to the study of vaccines, aimed at verifying the presence of solid contaminants by means of an Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope equipped with an X-ray microprobe. The results of this new investigation show the presence of micro- and nanosized particulate matter composed of inorganic elements in vaccines' samples which is not declared among the components and whose ... presence is, for the time being, inexplicable. A considerable part of those particulate contaminants have already been verified in other matrices and reported in literature as non biodegradable and non biocompatible. The evidence collected is suggestive of some hypotheses correlated to diseases that are mentioned and briefly discussed. Recently, with the worldwide-adopted vaccines against Human Papillomavirus (HPV), the debate was reawaken[ed] due to some adverse effects reported by some young subjects. Specific studies communicated the existence of symptoms related to never-described-before syndromes developed after the vaccine was administered. For instance, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) ... side-effects that can arise within a relatively short time can be local or systemic.
When Elon Musk gave the world a demo in August of his latest endeavor, the brain-computer interface (BCI) Neuralink, he reminded us that the lines between brain and machine are blurring quickly. It bears remembering, however, that Neuralink is, at its core, a computer – and as with all computing advancements in human history, the more complex and smart computers become, the more attractive targets they become for hackers. Our brains hold information computers don't have. A brain linked to a computer/AI such as a BCI removes that barrier to the brain, potentially allowing hackers to rush in and cause problems we can't even fathom today. Might hacking humans via BCI be the next major evolution in hacking, carried out through a dangerous combination of past hacking methods? Previous eras were defined by obstacles between hackers and their targets. However, what happens when that disconnect between humans and tech is blurred? When they're essentially one and the same? Should a computing device literally connected to the brain, as Neuralink is, become hacked, the consequences could be catastrophic, giving hackers ultimate control over someone. If Neuralink penetrates deep into the human brain with high fidelity, what might hacking a human look like? Following traditional patterns, hackers would likely target individuals with high net worths and perhaps attempt to manipulate them into wiring millions of dollars to a hacker's offshore bank account.
Note: For more on this, see an article in the UK's Independent titled "Groundbreaking new material 'could allow artificial intelligence to merge with the human brain'." Meanwhile, the military is talking about "human-machine symbiosis." And Yale professor Charles Morgan describes in a military presentation how hypodermic needles can be used to alter a person's memory and much more in this two-minute video. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on microchip implants from reliable major media sources.
If you were to approve a coronavirus vaccine, would you approve one that you only knew protected people only from the most mild form of Covid-19, or one that would prevent its serious complications? The answer is obvious. You would want to protect against the worst cases. But that's not how the companies testing three of the leading coronavirus vaccine candidates, Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca ... are approaching the problem. According to the protocols for their studies ... a vaccine could meet the companies' benchmark for success if it lowered the risk of mild Covid-19, but was never shown to reduce moderate or severe forms of the disease, or the risk of hospitalization, admissions to the intensive care unit or death. To say a vaccine works should mean that most people no longer run the risk of getting seriously sick. That's not what these trials will determine. Influenza vaccines ... reduce the risk of mild disease in healthy adults. But there is no solid evidence they reduce the number of deaths. In fact, significant increases in vaccination rates over the past decades have not been associated with reductions in deaths. Moderna and Pfizer acknowledge their vaccines appear to induce side effects that are similar to the symptoms of mild Covid-19. In Pfizer's early phase trial, more than half of the vaccinated participants experienced headache, muscle pain and chills. If the vaccines ultimately provide no benefit beyond a reduced risk of mild Covid-19, they could end up causing more discomfort than they prevent.
Note: Did you know that the FDA allows cancer cells to be used in vaccines? And the Vatican has stated "It is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Coronavirus Information Center.
Keeping track of vaccinations remains a major challenge in the developing world. Now a group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers has developed a novel way to address this problem: embedding the record directly into the skin. Along with the vaccine, a child would be injected with a bit of dye that is invisible to the naked eye but easily seen with a special cell-phone filter, combined with an app that shines near-infrared light onto the skin. The dye would be expected to last up to five years, according to tests on pig and rat skin and human skin in a dish. The system - which has not yet been tested in children - would provide quick and easy access to vaccination history ... according to the study. Delivering the dye required the researchers to find something that was safe and would last long enough to be useful. The team ended up using a technology called quantum dots, tiny semiconducting crystals that reflect light and were originally developed to label cells during research. The work was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and came about because of a direct request from Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates himself. The researchers hope to add more detailed information to the dots, such as the date of vaccination. Along with them, the team eventually wants to inject sensors that could also potentially be used to track aspects of health such as insulin levels in diabetics.
Note: Bill Gates insists he never said we'd need digital vaccine passports. Yet researchers have found that his TED Talk which included this statement was edited to remove it. You can prove this with the evidence provided on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines and microchip implants from reliable major media sources.
Though most people who protect themselves with a coronavirus vaccine will never develop serious side effects, such rare cases are barred from federal court and instead steered to an obscure program with a record of seldom paying claims. The Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program, which was set up specifically to deal with vaccines under emergency authorization, has just four employees and few hallmarks of an ordinary court. Decisions are made in secret by government officials, claimants can't appeal to a judge and payments in most death cases are capped at $370,376. That stands in contrast to the much more established federal vaccine court, which decides cases of injury from most childhood vaccines and other common inoculations. George Washington University law professor Peter Meyers has followed the countermeasures program for years and bluntly calls it a "black hole," obtaining federal documents this summer showing it has paid fewer than 1 in 10 claims in its 15-year history. Experts are concerned that with the sheer volume of people expected to get coronavirus vaccines in the U.S. – more than 200 million – even a successful rollout with relatively few ill effects could be enough to swamp the program. What's more, such cases are complex and it's often hard to prove a direct link between claims of illness and a vaccine. The countermeasures program was created by a 2005 law. Under the program, drug makers can only be sued for "willful misconduct."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Coronavirus Information Center.
In total 2,487 people have died of the coronavirus in Japan, just over half the number in China and fewer people than on a single day in America several times over the past week. Japan has suffered just 18 deaths per million people, a higher rate than in China, but by far the lowest in the G7. As early as March, Japanese officials began warning citizens to avoid the san-mitsu or "3Cs": closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings. The phrase was blasted across traditional and social media. Authorities [made] granular distinctions about risks, opting for targeted restrictions rather than swinging between the extremes of strict lockdowns and free-for-all openings. Nishimura Yasutoshi, the minister overseeing the government's response to covid-19, carries a device that monitors carbon dioxide to measure the quality of ventilation during his meetings. Crowded subways pose little risk, if windows are open and passengers wear masks, Mr Nishimura insists. Sitting diagonally, rather than directly across from each other can reduce the risk of infection by 75%. Movie theatres are safe ... Mr Nishimura says. While most cinemas in the West are closed, "Demon Slayer", a new animeflick, has been playing to full houses in Japan. In addition to the 3Cs, the Japanese government warns of five more specific dangers: dinner parties with booze; drinking and eating in groups of more than four; talking without masks at close quarters; living in dormitories and other small shared spaces; and using changing or break rooms.
H3N2 (or the "Hong Kong flu," as it was more popularly known) was an influenza strain that the New York Times described as "one of the worst in the nation's history." The first case of H3N2 ... was reported in mid-July 1968 in Hong Kong. By September, it had infected Marines returning to the States from the Vietnam War. By mid-December, the Hong Kong flu had arrived in all 50 states. But schools were not shut down nationwide, other than a few dozen because of too many sick teachers. Face masks weren't required or even common. Between 1968 and 1970, the Hong Kong flu killed between an estimated 1 and 4 million, according to the CDC and Encyclopaedia Britannica, with US deaths exceeding 100,000. But by all projections, the coronavirus will surpass H3N2's body count even with a global shutdown. The global fight to stop (or at least slow down) COVID-19 has brought heavy restrictions on all aspects of public life. The idea that a pandemic could be controlled with social distancing and public lockdowns is a relatively new one, said [Jeffrey Tucker with the American Institute for Economic Research]. It was first suggested in a 2006 study by New Mexico scientist Robert J. Glass. "Two government doctors, not even epidemiologists" – Richard Hatchett and Carter Mecher, who worked for the George W. Bush administration – "hatched the idea [of using government-enforced social distancing] and hoped to try it out on the next virus." We are, in effect, Tucker said, part of a grand social experiment.
Note: Woodstock (1969) was held in the middle of this pandemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The coronavirus pandemic caused nearly 300,000 deaths in the United States through early October, federal researchers said on Tuesday. The new tally includes not only deaths known to have been directly caused by the coronavirus, but also roughly 100,000 fatalities that are indirectly related and would not have occurred if not for the virus. The study, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is an attempt to measure "excess deaths" – deaths from all causes that statistically exceed those normally occurring in a certain time period. The analysis highlights two disturbing trends. The researchers discovered a high percentage of excess deaths in an unexpected group: young adults in the prime of life. And the coronavirus has greatly raised deaths over all among people of color. Although the pandemic has mostly killed older Americans, the greatest percentage increase in excess deaths has occurred among adults ages 25 to 44, the analysis found. While the number of deaths among adults ages 45 to 64 increased by 15 percent, and by 24 percent among those ages 65 to 74, deaths increased 26.5 percent among those in their mid-20s to mid-40s, a group that includes millennials. People of color also had large percentage increases in excess deaths. Hispanics experienced a 54 percent increase, while Black people saw a 33 percent rise. Deaths were 29 percent above average for American Indians or Alaska Native people, and 37 percent above average for those of Asian descent.
Note: Former U.S. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb voiced his concern that "a good portion of the deaths in that younger cohort were deaths due to despair. We've seen a spike in overdoses." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
At least four candidates are near the finish line in the U.S. coronavirus vaccine race. A key point to note, however, is that the vaccine isn't an end-all solution to the pandemic. That's in large part because any inoculations developed now are focused on simply preventing symptoms from arising, rather than blocking out the virus altogether. The latter goal is a secondary endpoint, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "The primary thing you want to do is that if people get infected, prevent them from getting sick, and if you prevent them from getting sick, you will ultimately prevent them from getting seriously ill," Fauci said. "What I would settle for, and all of my colleagues would settle for, is the primary endpoint to prevent clinically recognizable disease," he said. That level of protection would be the ultimate goal to diffusing the crisis, but is hard to do with companies facing an immediate demand for some sort of solution. While no vaccine is 100% effective, having a majority of the population inoculated and higher percentages of efficacy is the best to hope for. The U.K. is looking at challenge trials, which intentionally infect a smaller group of participants with the virus in an effort to test a vaccine's or treatment's efficacy. Fauci said the U.S. is not anticipating such a move because the rate of spread is so high in the country that it's sufficient enough of an environment to test the vaccine.
Note: This Bloomberg article further shows the vaccines are not designed to stop the virus. Why is the media not doing a better job of informing the public about this. Read also this CNBC article 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.
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.
When nurse Meleney Gallagher was told to line up with her colleagues on the renal ward at Sunderland Royal Hospital, for her swine flu vaccination, she had no idea the injection she was about to have had not gone through the usual testing process. It had been rushed into circulation after the swine flu virus had swept across the globe in 2009. Gallagher was one of thousands of NHS staff vaccinated with Pandemrix, a vaccine made by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Eight years later, her career in the NHS is a memory and she's living with incurable, debilitating narcolepsy and suffers from cataplexy, a sudden, uncontrollable loss of muscle tone that can cause her to collapse without warning. Because of her condition, she can no longer work or drive. People with narcolepsy experience chronic fatigue and difficulty sleeping at night. They can have night terrors, hallucinations, and a range of mental health problems. Gallagher is not alone. More than a dozen frontline NHS staff are among around 1,000 adults and children across Europe who are believed to have developed narcolepsy after being given Pandemrix. Gallagher and four other NHS professionals – two nurses, a community midwife, and a junior doctor – have told how they felt pressured into receiving the vaccine, were given misleading information, and ultimately lost their careers. They are all suing GlaxoSmithKline seeking compensation for what they believe was a faulty drug that has left them with lifelong consequences.
Note: Yet the media and big Pharma continually tout the safety of their vaccines. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Two health care workers at the same hospital in Alaska developed concerning reactions just minutes after receiving Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine this week, including one staff member who was to remain hospitalized until Thursday. The first worker, a middle-aged woman who had no history of allergies, had an anaphylactic reaction that began 10 minutes after receiving the vaccine. [After treatment] her symptoms subsided but then re-emerged, and she was treated with steroids and an epinephrine drip. When doctors tried to stop the drip, her symptoms re-emerged yet again, so the woman was moved to the intensive care unit. The second worker received his shot on Wednesday and developed eye puffiness, lightheadedness and a scratchy throat 10 minutes after the injection. He was taken to the emergency room and treated. The worker was back to normal within an hour and released. The hospital ... administered 144 total doses. The Alaska woman's reaction was believed to be similar to the anaphylactic reactions two health workers in Britain experienced after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine last week. Like her, both recovered. Pfizer's trial did not find any serious adverse events caused by the vaccine, although many participants did experience aches, fevers and other side effects. [The CDC] has recommended that the vaccine be administered in settings that have supplies, including oxygen and epinephrine, to manage anaphylactic reactions.
Note: Does this sound like a safe vaccine? Remember that billions of dollars are involved here and Pfizer in the past was fined $2.3 billion dollars for illegal processes. How much can we trust them? More in this great article. And watch a video of a nurse fainting while being interviewed on TV minutes after getting the vaccine. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on problems with the coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Coronavirus Information Center.
David Beasley, the executive director of the World Food Programme, knows the existence of his organization is both a blessing and a curse: it helps so many, but that means many are suffering. On Friday, that World Food Programme's fight against hunger ... was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize. "[COVID-19] comes on top of what you already thought was a worst-case scenario. It is literally horrific," Beasley told ABC News. At the beginning of this year, 135 million people already faced starvation from manmade conflict and climate extremes, Beasley said. Now, 270 million people are on the brink of starvation. "We've got a vaccine against starvation. It's called food," said Beasley. The award comes with the equivalent of a $1.1 million U.S. cash prize and a gold medal to be handed out at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway, on Dec. 10. "The economies of the world's strongest nations on Earth are struggling. We are not going to have the money we need next year. And not only are the resources going to go down, but the needs are going to be going up," said Beasley. Established in 1962, the United Nations World Food Programme is the world's largest humanitarian organization that delivers food assistance in emergencies and works with communities to improve nutrition and resilience, according to the website. The World Food Programme assisted 97 million people in 88 counties in 2019 alone.
Note: As of early October 2020, 1.5 million people had reportedly died from the virus, yet 135 million had been pushed to "the brink of starvation" not by the virus, but by the lockdown measures. Are the consequences of the lockdown policies worse than the consequences of the virus itself? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Current COVID-19 lockdowns protect low-risk college students and young professional bankers, attorneys, journalists, scientists and others who can work from home, while older high-risk working-class people are risking their lives building the population immunity that will eventually protect us all. While mortality is inevitable during a pandemic, the COVID-19 lockdown strategy has led to more than 220,000 deaths, with the urban working class carrying the heaviest burden. Many older workers have been forced to accept high mortality risk or increased poverty, or both. While the current lockdowns are less strict than in March, the lockdown and contact tracing strategy is the worst assault on the working class since segregation and the Vietnam War. Lockdown policies have closed schools, businesses and churches, while not enforcing strict protocols to protect high-risk nursing home residents. Denying in-person teaching to students is harmful to their education and physical and mental health, with working-class children hardest hit. Online schooling puts a disproportional burden on our children, despite their own minimal risk. For ages 1 to 15, Sweden kept day care and schools open throughout the height of the pandemic, and among the 1.8 million children of that age, there were zero COVID-19 deaths without masks used or physical distancing. Neither was there any excess risk for in-person teachers compared with the average of other professions.
Note: The above article was written by three doctors, one from Stanford, one from Harvard, and one from the UK's Oxford. Explore an abundance of good information questioning the official story of COVID. Explore a summary of alternative views on the coronavirus. Explore a revealing article questioning the origin and causes of the coronavirus. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The coronavirus was present in the U.S. weeks earlier than scientists and public health officials previously thought, and before cases in China were publicly identified, according to a new government study published Monday. The virus and the illness that it causes, COVID-19, were first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, but it wasn't until about Jan. 20 that the first confirmed COVID-19 case, from a traveler returning from China, was found in the U.S. However, new findings published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases suggest that the coronavirus, known officially as SARS-CoV-2, had infected people in the U.S. even earlier. "SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been present in the U.S. in December 2019, earlier than previously recognized," the authors said. This discovery adds to evidence that the virus was quietly spreading around the world before health officials and the public were aware. It also shows the virus's presence in U.S. communities likely didn't start with the first case identified case in January. Researchers came to this conclusion after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed blood donations collected by the American Red Cross. They found evidence of coronavirus antibodies in 106 out of 7,389 blood donations. The CDC analyzed the blood collected between Dec. 13 and Jan. 17. The presence of antibodies in a person's blood means they were exposed to a virus, in this case the coronavirus.
Note: Explore a revealing article questioning the origin and causes of the coronavirus. Explore serious research suggesting that the influenza pandemic of 1918-19 was not what you think. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The actual number of coronavirus infections in the U.S. reached nearly 53 million at the end of September and could be approaching 100 million now, according to a model developed by government researchers. The model, created by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calculated that the true number of infections is about eight times the reported number, which includes only the cases confirmed by a laboratory test. Preliminary estimates using the model found that by the end of September, 52.9 million people had been infected, while the number of laboratory-confirmed infections was just 6.9 million, the team reported in the Nov. 25 issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. "This indicates that approximately 84% of the U.S. population has not yet been infected and thus most of the country remains at risk," the authors wrote. Since then, the CDC's tally of confirmed infections has increased to 12.5 million. So if the model's ratio still holds, the estimated total would now be greater than 95 million, leaving about 71% of the population uninfected. The model attempts to account for the fact that most cases of COVID-19 are mild or asymptomatic and go unreported. Scientists used studies looking for people who have antibodies to the coronavirus in their blood – an indication that they were infected at some time – to estimate how many infections went undetected. Some of these antibody studies have suggested that only about one in 10 coronavirus infections is reported.
Note: If this is true, it means the number of deaths compared to number of cases is much lower than has been estimated. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Companies are launching unprecedented numbers of rockets to put global Wi-Fi and 5G satellites into the sky. 100,000+ satellites, plus drones and balloons, are planned. Industry and government have done little research, claiming the "big sky" can absorb any problems. And the FCC exempts these satellite networks from environmental review. The sun turns oxygen into ozone in the stratosphere, creating the ozone shield which protects the Earth. But rocket exhaust, alumina, water vapor, and black carbon accumulate in the stratosphere and block the sun's rays, reducing ozone creation. In 2018, Martin Ross, senior project engineer at The Aerospace Corporation, estimated rockets' black carbon and alumina was 11,000 tons per year. These new mega-constellations require 1000s of additional rocket launches. Severe ozone loss is possible. 253 scientists signed the 2015 International EMF Scientist Appeal, warning the UN and member states of the damage already occurring. Extensive research shows many impacts from this radiation including: increased tumor, cancer, and stroke risk, oxidative stress, increase in free radicals, DNA, neurological, immune, and dermatological damage, heart rhythm disorders ... cognitive problems, headaches, nausea, and links to Alzheimer's and ADHD. Wildlife, bees, birds, trees, and plants are also harmed. 5G millimeter RF is highly absorbed by the skin's sweat ducts and the cornea of the eye, and could additionally impact cardiac function.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the risks of wireless technologies from reliable major media sources.
Eriko Kobayashi has tried to kill herself four times. The first time, she was just 22 years old with a full-time job in publishing that didn't pay enough to cover her rent and grocery bills in Tokyo. "I was really poor," said Kobayashi, who spent three days unconscious in hospital after the incident. Now 43, Kobayashi has written books on her mental health struggles and has a steady job at an NGO. But the coronavirus is bringing back the stress she used to feel. "My salary was cut, and I cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel," she said. "I constantly feel a sense of crisis that I might fall back into poverty." Experts have warned that the pandemic could lead to a mental health crisis. Mass unemployment, social isolation, and anxiety are taking their toll on people globally. In Japan, government statistics show suicide claimed more lives in October than Covid-19 has over the entire year to date. The monthly number of Japanese suicides rose to 2,153 in October. As of Friday, Japan's total Covid-19 toll was 2,087, the health ministry said. Japan is one of the few major economies to disclose timely suicide data -- the most recent national data for the US, for example, is from 2018. The Japanese data could give other countries insights into the impact of pandemic measures on mental health. For the 10 years leading up to 2019, the number of suicides had been decreasing in Japan. The pandemic appears to have reversed that trend.
Note: A CDC survey in the U.S. found that one in four teenagers had "seriously considered" suicide in the past 30 days. So which is more damaging, the virus itself or the results of the lockdown policies instituted because of it? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and health from reliable major media sources.
Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, pleaded guilty Tuesday to three federal criminal charges related to the company's role in creating the nation's opioid crisis. Purdue Pharma board chairman Steve Miller pleaded guilty on behalf of the company during a virtual federal court hearing in front of US District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo. The counts include one of dual-object conspiracy to defraud the United States and to violate the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and two counts of conspiracy to violate the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute. The plea deal announced in October includes the largest penalties ever levied against a pharmaceutical manufacturer, including a criminal fine of $3.544 billion and an additional $2 billion in criminal forfeiture, according to a Department of Justice press release. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 70,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2018, just one year of the opioid crisis, and about 70% of those deaths were caused by prescription or illicit opioids like OxyContin. Several civil lawsuits against Purdue Pharma related to the opioid crisis are still ongoing as the company undergoes bankruptcy proceedings. The Plaintiffs' Executive Committee in the National Prescription Opiate Litigation Multi-District Litigation called Purdue Pharma's guilty plea "long overdue." "Their illegal and profit-seeking actions were egregious. It is important to note, however, that they are just one company in one part of the larger opioid supply chain," [the plaintiffs'] attorneys ... said.
Note: The company pays huge fines for the deaths of countless thousands, yet the CEO and others responsible face no legal charges. Where is the deterrent for this egregious behavior? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.
For the first time, the number of children paralyzed by mutant strains of the polio vaccine are greater than the number of children paralyzed by polio itself. So far in 2017, there have been only six cases of "wild" polio reported anywhere in the world. By "wild," public health officials mean the disease caused by polio virus found naturally in the environment. By contrast, there have been 21 cases of vaccine-derived polio this year. These cases look remarkably similar to regular polio. But laboratory tests show they're caused by remnants of the oral polio vaccine that have gotten loose in the environment, mutated and regained their ability to paralyze unvaccinated children. The oral polio vaccine used throughout most of the developing world contains a form of the virus that has been weakened in the laboratory. But it's still a live virus. (This is a different vaccine than the injectable one used in the U.S. and most developed countries. The injectable vaccine is far more expensive and does not contain live forms of the virus.) WHO is attempting to phase out the use of live oral polio vaccine to eliminate the risk that the active virus in the vaccine could mutate into a form that can harm unvaccinated children. But for now, the live vaccine continues to be the workhorse of the global polio eradication campaign. The killed vaccine doesn't fully block the virus from spreading because a person who is immunized can still carry and spread the polio virus.
Note: Explore an excellent article showing how the media and government are complicit in suppressing vital information on the dangers of excessive vaccines to babies and young children. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Teen and youth anxiety and depression are getting worse since COVID lockdowns began in March, early studies suggest, and many experts say they fear a corresponding increase in youth suicide. At the end of June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed Americans on their mental health. They found symptoms of anxiety and depression were up sharply across the board between March and June, compared with the same time the previous year. And young people seemed to be the hardest-hit of any group. Almost 11 percent of all respondents to that survey said they had "seriously considered" suicide in the past 30 days. For those ages 18 to 24, the number was 1 in 4 – more than twice as high. Data collection for several studies on teen mental health during the pandemic is currently underway. And experts worry those studies will show a spike in suicide, because young people are increasingly cut off from peers and caring adults, because their futures are uncertain and because they are spending more time at home, where they are most likely to have access to lethal weapons. "Teenagers are in a developmental space where it is critically important that they have regular contact with their peers and are able to develop close and ongoing relationships with adults outside the home, such as their teachers, their coaches, their advisers," says Lisa Damour, an adolescent psychologist. "And I worry very much about what it means for that to be disrupted by the pandemic."
Note: Lots more in this Psychology Today article titled "America Is Facing a Teen Suicide Pandemic." A Nov. 28, 2020 CNN article is titled, "In Japan, more people died from suicide last month than from Covid in all of 2020. And women have been impacted most." And according to this USA Today article, millions went hungry on Thanksgiving as a result of lockdown policies. Are these policies causing more long-term damage than the virus itself? For more, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on the coronavirus and health from reliable major media sources.
Youtube recently banned a video. In the video, Dr. Michael Yeadon said half or even almost all of the tests for COVID are false positives. Youtube banned the video within hours. Perhaps what irked the Big Tech was Yeadon's assertion that the panic over the second or third wave of coronavirus may be unfounded. Yeadon, who had worked as Chief Science Officer for pharmaceutical giant Pfizer for 16 years, went on to say that "this pandemic is fundamentally over." Yeadon argues, citing principles of epidemiology, that a "second wave" of COVID is entirely manufactured. Citing the experience with other recent virus outbreaks - the SARS virus in 2003, and MERS in 2012 - he says that the idea of subsequent waves itself is wrong. Instead, what appears like subsequent waves is actually a single wave occurring in different geographical regions at different points in time. "It is actually multiple single waves affecting geographically distinct populations at different times as the disease spreads. Analyzed individually, each area followed a typical single event," he says about MERS. He gave another blow to the establishment, saying that lockdown did not actually help curb the virus spread. Yeadon cites the now-famous example of Sweden. Covid-19 doomsday preacher Neil Fergusson had said Sweden would see 40,000 deaths by May and 100,000 in later months as it did not lock up people in grids. Yet, Sweden's coronavirus toll is 6,000 as of now.
The Food and Drug Administration is under pressure from the Trump administration to approve drugs faster, but researchers at the Yale School of Medicine found that nearly a third of those approved from 2001 through 2010 had major safety issues years after the medications were made widely available to patients. Seventy-one of the 222 drugs approved in the first decade of the millennium were withdrawn, required a "black box" warning on side effects or warranted a safety announcement about new risks, Dr. Joseph Ross ... and colleagues reported in JAMA. The Yale researchers' previous studies concluded that the FDA approves drugs faster than its counterpart agency in Europe does and that the majority of pivotal trials in drug approvals involved fewer than 1,000 patients and lasted six months or less. It took a median of 4.2 years after the drugs were approved for these safety concerns to come to light, the study found, and issues were more common among psychiatric drugs, biologic drugs, drugs that were granted "accelerated approval" and drugs that were approved near the regulatory deadline for approval. "All too often, patients and clinicians mistakenly view FDA approval as [an] indication that a product is fully safe and effective," [Dr. Caleb Alexander] says. "Nothing could be further from the truth. We learn tremendous amounts about a product only once it's on the market and only after use among a broad population."
When pharmaceutical company Moderna issued a press release about the promising results of its Phase I clinical trial for a coronavirus vaccine, the media and the markets went wild. Upon examining Moderna's non-peer reviewed press release, the actual data on the vaccine's success is ... flimsy. Of the 45 patients who received the vaccine, the data on "neutralising antibody data are available only for the first four participants in each of the 25-microgram and 100-microgram dose level cohorts." In other words, that means that when it comes to finding out whether the vaccine elicits an antibody response that could potentially fight the coronavirus, they only had data on eight patients. That's not enough to do any type of statistical analysis and it also brings into question the status of the other 37 patients who also received the vaccine. Moderna's messenger RNA vaccine ... uses a sequence of genetic RNA material produced in a lab that, when injected into your body, must invade your cells and hijack your cells' protein-making machinery called ribosomes to produce the viral components that subsequently train your immune system to fight the virus. There are unique and unknown risks to messenger RNA vaccines, including the possibility that they generate strong type I interferon responses that could lead to inflammation and autoimmune conditions. Messenger RNA vaccines have never before been brought to market for human patients.
Note: To learn about the serious risks and dangers of these mRNA vaccines, don't miss the vitally important information given by Christiane Northrup, MD, in the first five minutes of this highly revealing video. Reader's Digest named Dr. Northrup one of "The 100 Most Trusted People in America." Dr. Northrup's work has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the Today Show, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, 20/20, and The Dr. Oz Show. For more, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on the coronavirus and vaccines from major media sources.
Pfizer is expected to seek federal permission to release its Covid-19 vaccine by the end of November. The vaccine, and likely most others, will require two doses to work, injections that must be given weeks apart. The shots will cause enervating flu-like side effects – including sore arms, muscle aches and fever – that could last days and temporarily sideline some people from work or school. And even if a vaccine proves 90 percent effective ... 1 in 10 recipients would still be vulnerable. That means, at least in the short term, as population-level immunity grows, people can't stop social distancing and throw away their masks. Left out so far ... has been a large-scale plan to communicate effectively about those issues in advance, said Saad Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health. Such broad-based outreach will be necessary in a country where, as of mid-October, only half of Americans said they'd be willing to get a Covid-19 vaccine. "We are asking people to take a vaccine that is going to hurt," said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and health policy at Vanderbilt. "There are lots of sore arms and substantial numbers of people who feel crummy, with headaches and muscle pain, for a day or two." Persuading people who experience those symptoms to return in three to four weeks for a second dose – and a second round of flu-like symptoms – could be a tough sell, Schaffner said. A professor of internal medicine and epidemiology at University of Iowa [suggested] that essential workers should be granted three days of paid leave after they're vaccinated.
Important Note: Learn about the serious dangers of these mRNA vaccines through the vitally important information given by Christiane Northrup, MD, in the first five minutes of this revealing video. Dr. Northrup's work has been featured on NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, Oprah, Dr. Oz, and more. And an informative article in the UK's Independent by another medical doctor states, "There are unique and unknown risks to messenger RNA vaccines, including the possibility that they ... could lead to inflammation and autoimmune conditions."
Oregon on Wednesday became the first state to legalize the active ingredient in so-called magic mushrooms on an election night that saw more states ease restrictions on recreational drugs across the country. Oregon's Measure 109 will give legal access to psilocybin, the main active ingredient in "magic mushrooms," for mental health treatment in supervised settings. While some cities have moved to legalize and regulate access to the drug, Oregon will become the first state in the country to legalize it on a statewide basis. Supporters of the measure point to the medical benefits of the drug, which has been shown in some studies to benefit trauma survivors. Through Measure 110, which has captured more than 58% of the vote so far, Oregon would also decriminalize the possession of small amounts of some hard drugs, including heroin and LSD. Instead of criminal prosecution, people in possession would face a $100 fine, which can be waived if the person agrees to pursue treatment, according to the measure. Ronan Levy, the cofounder of Field Trip Health, a Toronto-based company that provides psychedelic-enhanced psychotherapy, said the ballot wins are "fantastic news" for what he called the psychedelic renaissance. Research is mounting that indicates the benefits of using psychedelic drugs to enhance therapy, Levy said, adding that ... the drug alone isn't necessarily helpful; it needs to be taken under supervision of trained personnel.
Note: Recent studies suggest psilocybin can be used to treat addiction and anxiety. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the healing potential of mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.
As of Sunday, a total [of] 1,231 people in South Korea reported side effects after getting the flu shot this year, according to health authorities. Last week, the Korean Medical Association "recommended to withhold vaccination for one week," but clarified it was not suggesting vaccinations be stopped. Of the 59 people who died after receiving the flu vaccine this year (up from 48 on Saturday), 46 of those deaths were believed to have no connection to the flu shot. An investigation into the 13 remaining fatalities has been launched, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) revealed. More than 9.4 million people in South Korea have received the flu shot so far since this year's vaccination program began in September. The KDCA noted the latest number of deaths following the flu vaccination is not greater than previous years. Last year, 1,531 people aged 65 years and older died within seven days after receiving a flu shot, according to the KDCA. President Moon noted Monday: "This year, it is necessary to expand flu vaccinations not only to prevent the flu, but also to prevent simultaneous infection and spread of the flu and coronavirus."
Note: How much can we trust authorities who are clearly biased towards promoting vaccines? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.
With all the talk of remote learning for secondary schools and colleges, one important population is missing from the nationwide conversation about learning during the pandemic: babies and toddlers. Many parents are keeping their little ones away from playgrounds, playgroups and preschool preparatory programs. As a result, the social and learning opportunities for the youngest children have been curtailed, just like everyone else's Without group settings, "we are missing a lot of observations, so there is going to be a whole raft of problems," said Patricia K. Kuhl ... at the University of Washington. That's partly because group settings like day care, classrooms and even playgrounds are often where adults notice, sometimes by comparing children with their peers, that little ones have sensory, motor, cognitive and learning problems that can benefit from early interventions. To encourage the sense of discovery and the "problem solving, turn-taking and perspective-taking" that comes from situations like "navigating that playground moment of when you are going up a slide, and another kid wants to come down the slide," [psychologist Aliza W. Pressman] advises letting children play in an undirected manner. That may mean allowing children "to use garages, backyards, basements or attics to find opportunities for exploring," Dr. Pressman said. If children encounter obstacles, allow them to work things out. That includes conflicts with siblings, though "if you do need to jump in, help them communicate with each other," she said.
Note: Children around the world have been told to keep at least six feet away from their friends and they have to wear a mask if they leave home. They can no longer play and explore freely with their friends or even see their smiles. How does this affect their mental, emotional, and spiritual health? How do you think those who are only children with no playmates are faring? How will this impact this entire generation of children growing up now? For more along these lines, see revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Previous vaccines have taken a decade or more to develop, and more than half of the past 20 years have failed in clinical trials. However, four [COVID-19] vaccine candidates have entered the final phase of clinical trials prior to approval by the Food and Drug Administration. Operation Warp Speed ... organized government agencies and private companies with the goal of developing, manufacturing and distributing hundreds of millions of vaccine doses, with starting doses to be available by early 2021. At the head of the operation is Moncef Slaoui, a Moroccan-born Belgian-American scientist. Operation Warp Speed â€¦ has invested in six vaccine candidates (Moderna, Pfizer / BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Novavax, and Sanofi / GSK) with the hope that at least one ... will prove safe and effective in clinical trials. Four of the six vaccine candidates have already been shown to be safe and effective in the first two test phases, which test whether the vaccinations produce so-called neutralizing antibodies. Serious health problems regularly arise during vaccination attempts. "We know how to distribute vaccines to any location in the US," says Slaoui. "It happens every year for flu and shingles." Tracking systems need to be "incredibly precise" to ensure that patients are each given two doses of the same vaccine and to monitor them for adverse health effects. Operation Warp Speed â€¦ has selected medical distributor McKesson and cloud operators Google and Oracle to collect and track vaccine data.
Note: The above article is also available here. Don't miss this excellent article which raises many important questions about this operation. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Almost alone in the Western world, the Swedes refused to impose a coronavirus lockdown last spring, as the country’s leading health officials argued that limited restrictions were sufficient and would better protect against economic collapse. For their part, the Swedes admit to making some mistakes, particularly in nursing homes, where the death toll was staggering. Indeed, comparative analyses show that Sweden’s death rate at the height of the pandemic in the spring far surpassed the rates in neighboring countries and was more protracted. (Others point out that Sweden’s overall death rate is comparable to that of the United States.) Now, though, the question is whether the country’s current low caseload, compared with sharp increases elsewhere, shows that it has found a sustainable balance, something that all Western countries are seeking eight months into the pandemic. With a population of 10.1 million, Sweden averaged just over 200 new cases a day for several weeks. The per capita rate is far lower than nearby Denmark or the Netherlands. Sweden is also doing far better ... than Spain, with 10,000 cases a day, and France, with 12,000. Some experts believe Sweden is now almost fully in control of the virus. “There are indications that the Swedes have gained an element of immunity to the disease, which, together with everything else they are doing to prevent the infection from spreading, is enough to keep the disease down,” Kim Sneppen, professor of biocomplexity at the Niels Bohr Institute ... said.
Note: For the 60 days from Aug. 15 to Oct. 14, Sweden (population 10 million) had a total of 124 coronavirus deaths according to official Johns Hopkins statistics. That's an average of just over two deaths a day with no lockdown or masks required. Compare that to California (population 33 million), which had 5,581 deaths in the same period. That's an average of over 90 deaths a day with lockdown and masks required. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was created to stop deadly pathogens. But 2020 has been a disaster for the CDC. The agency's response to the worst public health crisis in a century - the coronavirus pandemic - has been marked by technical blunders and botched messaging. The agency has endured false accusations and interference by Trump administration political appointees. Worst of all, the CDC has experienced a loss of institutional credibility at a time when the nation desperately needs to know whom to trust. The stumbles started early in the pandemic, with the botched rollout of test kits suspected of being contaminated at a CDC lab in late January. But the agency's most chronic problem has been the inability to speak directly and persuasively to the American public. That's because it has been muzzled ... by political operatives. White House officials have pressured the CDC to change guidance over the last several months to align the guidelines more closely with the administration's message that the pandemic is under control, federal health officials have said. Those actions include revised CDC guidance on mask-wearing and the reopening of religious institutions and schools. "Every big public health response has two components: the public health emergency and the political emergency," said a CDC epidemiologist who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation. "I never would have expected the level of political interference we're seeing now. It's so sad."
AstraZeneca revealed details of its large coronavirus vaccine trials on Saturday, the third in a wave of rare disclosures by drug companies under pressure to be more transparent about how they are testing products that are the world's best hope for ending the pandemic. Polls are finding Americans increasingly wary of accepting a coronavirus vaccine. Experts have been particularly concerned about AstraZeneca's vaccine trials, which began in April in Britain, because of the company's refusal to provide details about serious neurological illnesses in two participants, both women, who received its experimental vaccine in Britain. Those cases spurred the company to halt its trials twice, the second time earlier this month. The studies have resumed in Britain, Brazil, India and South Africa, but are still on pause in the U.S. About 18,000 people worldwide have received AstraZeneca's vaccine so far. The company has released few details about the two cases of serious illness in its trial. The first participant received one dose of the vaccine before developing inflammation of the spinal cord, known as transverse myelitis. The condition can cause weakness in the arms and legs, paralysis, pain and bowel and bladder problems. The company said it had not confirmed a diagnosis in the second case, a participant who got sick after the second dose of the vaccine. A person familiar with the situation who spoke with The Times on the condition of anonymity said the participant's illness had been pinpointed as transverse myelitis.
Note: Why won't the company let the two who became seriously ill speak to the media? And why initially did they hide the fact that the illnesses were serious? And why are top vaccine executives now dumping their shares of stocks? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.
Nashville officials reportedly concealed the low number of COVID-19 cases deriving from bars and restaurants in the city, according to emails between the Metro Health Department and Mayor John Cooper's office. On June 30, contact tracing found that construction and nursing homes were the cause of most Nashville coronavirus cases with thousands traced back to those specific categories. Only 22 cases were traced back to bars and restaurants. In the series of emails obtained by FOX 17 News, a discussion between the two offices about how to conceal the number associated with restaurants and bars from the public was shown. "This isn't going to be publicly released, right? Just info for Mayor's Office?" wrote Leslie Waller from the health department. Senior Advisor Benjamin Eagles responded: "Correct, not for public consumption." A month later ... reporter Nate Rau asked the health department about rumors circulating that only 80 cases resulted from the city's bars and restaurants. Rau asked: "The figure you gave of 'more than 80' does lead to a natural question: If there have been over 20,000 positive cases of COVID-19 in Davidson and only 80 or so are traced to restaurants and bars, doesn't that mean restaurants and bars aren't a very big problem?" "We raised taxes 34 percent and put ... literally thousands of people out of work that are now worried about losing their homes, their apartments ... and we did it on bogus data. That should be illegal," [Nashville Councilman Steve] Glover told FOX 17 News.
More states and countries are coming to the conclusion that COVID-19 lockdowns like those in China and New Zealand are overly restrictive and too costly. People in democracies will simply not tolerate them. Sweden has "flattened the curve" of COVID-19 without ordering its citizens to stay inside. It has kept open its shops, schools for those under 16, and restaurants and bars. Its health authorities trusted its citizens to wash their hands and social distance without imposing laws. Anders Tegnell, the Swedish epidemiologist [said,] "We see no point in wearing a face mask." Swedish health authorities ... pride themselves on "following the science" and are highly respected. Sweden made a mistake ... when it, like the state of New York, sent recovering patients back to their nursing homes too soon (in the U.S., nursing home residents [and staff] account for ... 45% of COVID-19 fatalities). [Yet Swedish] schools stayed open with little risk to students. Studies from Sweden and the Netherlands ... have found teachers at no greater risk than the overall population. Sweden is approaching record lows while its European neighbors are seeing increasing rates. Sweden had about 30,000 new cases in June ... and was down to 7,000 new cases in August. During this time, cases took off in Spain, France and Germany. Sweden's current rate of positive tests is lower than those in Norway and Denmark. [Its] economy will contract by about 4.6%. In contrast, the European Union economy is expected to contract 11.9%. The U.S. economy contracted at a 32.9% annual rate between April and June. New Zealand's GDP contracted by 13.8% in the April-June period and has entered a recession, which Sweden has not.
Note: Explore a revealing article in the BMJ (formerly British Medical Journal) for more on Sweden's unusual success. Read a balanced, informative New York Times article written by a Swede about her experience there. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus 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.
Some of the nation's leading public health experts are raising a new concern in the endless debate over coronavirus testing in the United States: The standard tests are diagnosing huge numbers of people who may be carrying relatively insignificant amounts of the virus. Most of these people are not likely to be contagious. The most widely used diagnostic test for the new coronavirus, called a PCR test, provides a simple yes-no answer to the question of whether a patient is infected. "We've been using one type of data for everything, and that is just plus or minus – that's all," [epidemiologist Dr. Michael] Mina said. "We're using that for clinical diagnostics, for public health, for policy decision-making." But yes-no isn't good enough, he added. It's the amount of virus that should dictate the infected patient's next steps. The PCR test amplifies genetic matter from the virus in cycles; the fewer cycles required, the greater the amount of virus, or viral load, in the sample. The greater the viral load, the more likely the patient is to be contagious. This number of amplification cycles needed to find the virus, called the cycle threshold, is never included in the results sent to doctors and coronavirus patients, although it could tell them how infectious the patients are. In three sets of testing data that include cycle thresholds, compiled by officials in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada, up to 90 percent of people testing positive carried barely any virus, a review by The Times found.
Note: Learn lots more about inflated COVID numbers in this revealing article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
While many European countries are seeing new cases surge to levels not seen since the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Sweden – whose light-touch approach has made it an international outlier – has one of the continent’s lowest infection rates. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), [its] 14-day cumulative total of new cases was 22.2 per 100,000 inhabitants on Tuesday, against 279 in Spain, 158.5 in France, 118 in the Czech Republic, 77 in Belgium and 59 in the UK, all of which imposed lockdowns this spring. Sweden also has fewer new daily infections than Norway and Denmark. Thirteen Covid-19 patients are in intensive care in Swedish hospitals, and its seven-day average of coronavirus-related deaths is zero. “We don’t have the resurgence of the disease that many countries have,” Anders Tegnell, the country’s chief epidemiologist [said] in an interview, adding that the country was broadly happy with its overall strategy. Unlike many countries, Sweden closed schools for the over-16s but kept those for younger pupils open. Schools and universities are now open again. It also banned gatherings of more than 50 people and told people over 70 and in at-risk groups to self-isolate. Otherwise, the population of 10 million was asked, rather than ordered, to respect physical distancing and work from home if possible. Shops, bars, restaurants and gyms stayed open and the wearing of masks has not so far been recommended. Tegnell has insisted the aim was not to achieve rapid herd immunity but to slow the spread of coronavirus enough for health services to be able to cope.
Note: A Swedish MD on the front lines shares thoughts on why Sweden's COVID death rate has been in the single digits for weeks. Read a balanced, informative New York Times article written by a Swede about her experience there. This graph shows that Sweden is doing well compared to other countries considering that they have not instituted a lockdown. For more, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on the coronavirus from major media sources.
What are the essentials of President Bush's plan for bird flu pandemic preparedness? The plan calls for a $7.1 billion total expenditure. The president proposes that $2 billion of this would be devoted to stockpiling antiviral medications and 20 million doses of an experimental vaccine against the bird flu strain H5N1. $2.7 billion would go toward vaccine research and upgrading our methods of vaccine manufacture. Federal dollars would be invested in an international flu-surveillance network, and federal funding to state and local public health agencies would be boosted by $100 million. Critics of the plan say that far too little is designated for the state and local agencies or for fighting bird flu in Asia, where it is currently (only $251 million would be spent overseas). Critics also have complained that the plan doesn't provide for improving the hospital infrastructure for disaster response. According to Dr. Irwin Redlener ... at Columbia University: "Less than seven percent of that budget could be construed as going towards anything that would help bolster a very ailing hospital system in the United States. Which in fact would be the only recourse that we would have if, in fact, we're dealing with a race against time. And if it becomes real that we get a pandemic prior to the development of sufficient capacity to contain, to vaccinate and to treat with specific antivirals, then all we have left is a health and hospital system ... we'll find that we don't have sufficient isolation beds, intensive care beds, ventilators, et cetera, et cetera."
Note: Over $4 billion was gifted to big Pharma for drugs and vaccines based largely on fear mongering. And after the big scare around the avian flu, less than 200 people died from it. So all of that money was pure profit for the pharmaceuticals. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on bird and swine flu from reliable major media sources.
Giving money or resources to your children or aging parents is likely to increase their life span, according to a new paper published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. There is a linear relationship between the amount and frequency of wealth transfers and the lengths of individuals' lives, the study results have shown. The researchers' goal was to track data on how every individual in a given society consumes and saves. Intergenerational wealth transfers can include money, but they can also include houses, benefits or time. The researchers recognized that other factors - such as country's gross domestic product (GDP) and income inequality - also affect a population's life expectancy and adjusted their models to include those factors. One likely reason, [lead study author Tobias] Vogt said, for the correlation between countries experiencing greater longevity in the presence of financial transfers was that those countries exhibited stronger social cohesion. To back that up, he cited a 2010 meta-analysis ... with an aggregate of 148 separate studies involving a total of more than 300,000 participants. It found that survival was 50% greater for those with stronger social relationships compared to those with lesser or no social bonds. Generosity and life expectancy are among the six variables scientists look at when making the World Happiness Report, which is released annually by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations.
Last August, NPR profiled a Harvard-led experiment to help low-income families find housing in wealthier neighborhoods. Every quoted expert is connected to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which helps fund the project. NPR itself receives funding from Gates. The story ... is one of hundreds NPR has reported about the Gates Foundation or the work it funds, including myriad favorable pieces written from the perspective of Gates or its grantees. And that speaks to a larger trend - and ethical issue - with billionaire philanthropists’ bankrolling the news. As philanthropists increasingly fill in the funding gaps at news organizations ... an underexamined worry is how this will affect the ways newsrooms report on their benefactors. Nowhere does this concern loom larger than with the Gates Foundation. During the pandemic, news outlets have widely looked to Bill Gates as a public health expert on covid - even though Gates has no medical training and is not a public official. PolitiFact and USA Today (run by the Poynter Institute and Gannett, respectively - both of which have received funds from the Gates Foundation) have even used their fact-checking platforms to defend Gates from “false conspiracy theories” and “misinformation,” like the idea that the foundation has financial investments in companies developing covid vaccines and therapies. In fact, the foundation’s website and most recent tax forms clearly show investments in such companies, including Gilead and CureVac.
Note: Watch an excellent 15-minute presentation by courageous journalist Ben Swann on the agenda of facebook fact checkers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.
Dr Stefan Peterson, chief of health at Unicef, cautioned that the blanket lockdowns imposed in many low and middle income [countries] are not an effective way to control Covid-19 and could have deadly repercussions. “Indiscriminate lockdown measures do not have an optimal effect on the virus,” he [said]. “If you’re asking families to stay at home in one room in a slum, without food or water, that won’t limit virus transmission. I’m concerned that lockdown measures have been copied between countries for lack of knowing what to do, rarely with any contextualisation for the local situation.” According to a stark report published in Lancet Global Health journal on Wednesday, almost 1.2 million children could die in the next six months due to the disruption to health services and food supplies caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The modeling ... found that child mortality rates could rise by as much as 45 per cent due to coronavirus-related disruptions, while maternal deaths could increase by almost 39 per cent. Dr Peterson said these figures were in part a reflection of stringent restrictions in much of the world that prevent people leaving their homes without documentation, preventing them from accessing essential health care services. In some countries the public are also avoiding hospitals and health centres for fear of picking up Covid-19. Dr Peterson warned that these trends have resulted in a reduction in the “effective utilization of services” - a shift which ... could be more dangerous than the virus itself.
In response to the novel and deadly coronavirus, many governments deployed draconian tactics never used in modern times: severe and broad restrictions on daily activity that helped send the world into its deepest peacetime slump since the Great Depression. The equivalent of 400 million jobs have been lost world-wide, 13 million in the U.S. alone. Global output is on track to fall 5% this year, far worse than during the financial crisis. Despite this steep price, few policy makers felt they had a choice, seeing the economic crisis as a side effect of the health crisis. They ordered nonessential businesses closed and told people to stay home, all without the extensive analysis of benefits and risks that usually precedes a new medical treatment. Five months later, the evidence suggests lockdowns were an overly blunt and economically costly tool. The evidence also points to alternative strategies that could slow the spread of the epidemic at much less cost. Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong set early examples of how to stop Covid-19 without lockdowns. They quickly cut travel to China, introduced widespread testing to isolate the infected and traced contacts. Sweden took a different approach. Instead of lockdowns, it imposed only modest restrictions to keep cases at levels its hospitals could handle. Sweden has suffered more deaths per capita than neighboring Denmark but fewer than Britain, and it has paid less of an economic price than either.
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.
A group of Silicon Valley and Wall Street executives has raised $30 million to speed the development of a closely watched psychedelic-drug therapy. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a nonprofit advocating for psychedelic research since the 1980s, is conducting its last phase of clinical trials to research the efficacy of using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD afflicts about eight million adults a year. MDMA is more commonly known as the main component of Ecstasy. Armed with the new funding, MAPS is aiming to finish the trials and seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration to commercialize the MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as soon as 2022. In 2017, the FDA designated MDMA as a breakthrough therapy for PTSD, meaning it would expedite review of the drug. MAPS said a recent interim analysis of its Phase 3 clinical trials ... showed a very high likelihood the therapy will be effective for treating PTSD. In phase 2 clinical trials, individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder received psychotherapy, some with the psychedelic drug MDMA. More of those who received the drug no longer received a PTSD diagnosis in the months after treatment, compared with those who received a placebo. Business leaders said their donations came from a personal connection to mental-health conditions. Among them is billionaire Bob Parsons, founder of GoDaddy and ... a Marine Corps Vietnam War veteran, who said he has continued to battle PTSD.
Note: To read the entire article free of charge, see this webpage. Note that as big Pharma won't make big profits from these therapies, they are not funding any of the major studies, while the nonprofit MAPS has stepped in to make this happen. And not mentioned in this article is that the results of these studies has been dramatic, with over 2/3 of patients showing no signs of PTSD a year after treatment. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.
The nation's mental health is languishing, according to data reported this week as part of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Suicidal ideation is up among young people since last year, with as many as one in four people ages 18 through 24 having seriously considered suicide in the 30 days preceding the survey. In the general US population, the CDC reported that 11% of adults surveyed had seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days before they completed the survey. Among those identifying as Black or Hispanic, the numbers were worse: 19% of Hispanics reported suicidal ideation and 15% of Blacks reported suicidal thoughts. The results reflect a nation increasingly on edge. The number of Americans reporting anxiety symptoms is three times the number at this same time last year, the CDC said. "Previous events have had a start, middle, an end," said Vaile Wright [with] the American Psychological Association. "People can't disconnect from this." Add on the pressures of the economy, the increased scrutiny on racial injustice and the looming specter of the presidential election, and it's hard for many to feel like things might turn out OK. The stress is disproportionately falling on the young. On an individual level, Wright noted that the main pillars of psychological health include eating healthy, staying active, getting enough sleep and maintaining social connections. But figuring out healthy ways to socialize virtually can require being intentional.
2020 marks the 82nd year that researchers at Harvard University began following 724 college age men as part of the longest running study in history on human development. Their objective? To determine what factors lead to healthy and happy lives. Key results suggest that happiness and health do not result from fame and fortune. Instead, as the Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development Robert Waldinger put it, the clearest message to emerge is, “Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.” Close relationships ... are better predictors of long and happy lives than social class, IQ, or even genes. Research from University College London found that people with a greater sense of purpose in life lived longer than those with the lowest sense of purpose. A study conducted with the elderly showed those who helped others lived longer lives. Researchers from Norway found that women who rated high for humor had a 48 percent lower risk of death from all causes. Research from University College London showed people who felt younger had a lower death rate than those who felt their own age or older. A Harvard study found the most optimistic people had a 16 percent lower risk of death from cancer, a 38 percent lower risk of death from heart disease and respiratory disease, and a 39 percent lower risk of dying from stroke. Research from UC Berkeley shows that experiencing awe can actually impact health by reducing inflammation and lowering the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
Note: The above article contains a great list of questions designed to help improve wellbeing. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
So now we know: Sweden got it largely right, and the British establishment catastrophically wrong. Anders Tegnell, Stockholm’s epidemiologist-king, has pulled off a remarkable triple whammy: far fewer deaths per capita than Britain, a maintenance of basic freedoms and opportunities, including schooling, and, most strikingly, a recession less than half as severe as our own. Politicians can react in one of three ways to a pandemic. They can do nothing, and allow the disease to rip until herd immunity is reached. Quite rightly, no government has pursued this policy, out of fear of mass deaths and total social and economic collapse. The second approach involves imposing proportionate restrictions to facilitate social distancing, banning certain sorts of gatherings while encouraging and informing the public. The Swedes pursued a version of this centrist strategy: there was a fair bit of compulsion, but also a focus on retaining normal life and keeping schools open. There was no formal lockdown. The third option is the full-on statist approach, which imposes a legally binding lockdown and shuts down society. Almost all economists thought that Sweden’s economy would suffer hugely from its idiosyncratic strategy. They were wrong. Sweden’s GDP fell by just 8.6 per cent in the first half of the year ... and its excess deaths jumped 24 per cent. By contrast, Britain’s economy slumped by 22.2 per cent in the first half of the year, a performance almost three times as bad as Sweden’s, and its excess deaths shot up by 45 per cent.
Note: A Swedish MD on the front lines shares thoughts on why Sweden's COVID death rate has been in the single digits for weeks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on Americans' mental health, according to a new survey out Thursday from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It found elevated levels of symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders, substance use and suicidal ideation among U.S. adults, and identified populations at increased risk, including young people, racial and ethnic minorities, essential workers and caregivers of adults. More than 40% of respondents who completed surveys during June reported an adverse mental or behavioral health condition, and 11% reported having seriously considered suicide in the 30 days prior. The data's greatest value, experts say, is the spotlight it shines on vulnerable populations. "It is showing that this breakdown in our society, the breakdown of the safety net, the breakdown of economic security is taking a massive toll," said Anna Mueller, a suicide researcher and professor of sociology at the Indiana University Bloomington. "These breakdowns really show how crucial economic stability and economic security are to an individual's well being. Because the people who are more vulnerable in terms of their socioeconomic status, people who are being put in harm's way, those are the people who are suffering the most." The survey found 75% of respondents 18-24 reported at least one adverse mental or behavioral health symptom and serious suicidal ideation among this group was 25%.
It looks like an ordinary commercial warehouse, only much bigger. When the lights come on, hundreds of thousands of shrink-wrapped boxes of medicines emerge from the gloom, stacked on shelves nearly five stories high. This [warehouse] and several others across the country are part of the $7 billion Strategic National Stockpile, a government repository of drugs and supplies ready for deployment in a bioterrorism or nuclear attack, or ... other major public health emergency. For nearly two decades, the repository has been almost exclusively managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That will change under a Trump administration plan to shift oversight of the $575 million program. Public health officials and members of Congress ... worry the move will disrupt a complex process that relies on long-standing relationships. Experts also question whether the administration’s plan will politicize decision-making about products bought for the stockpile. The office of the assistant secretary for preparedness and response (ASPR) oversees the process by which the government awards contracts to private biotechnology companies that develop and manufacture medicines. The CDC then is responsible for buying and replenishing the materials. Come October, however, the ASPR will be in charge of choosing the products and then purchasing them for the stockpile. Critics say it will allow biotech companies to lobby for more of their specialized, and often more expensive, drugs to be included.
Note: With a $7 billion price tag, big Pharma is making money hands over fist on this repository which is almost never used. Most of these drugs have a shelf life of well under 10 years, so major parts of this huge inventory go to waste every year and have to be disposed of. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and Big Pharma profiteering 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.
An additional 6.7 million children under the age of five could suffer from wasting – and therefore become dangerously undernourished – in 2020 as a result of the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF warned today. According to an analysis published in The Lancet, 80 per cent of these children would be from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Over half would be from South Asia alone. “It’s been seven months since the first COVID-19 cases were reported and it is increasingly clear that the repercussions of the pandemic are causing more harm to children than the disease itself,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Household poverty and food insecurity rates have increased. Essential nutrition services and supply chains have been disrupted. Food prices have soared. As a result, the quality of children’s diets has gone down and malnutrition rates will go up.” Wasting is a life-threatening form of malnutrition, which makes children too thin and weak, and puts them at greater risk of dying, poor growth, development and learning. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, 47 million children were already wasted in 2019. Without urgent action, the global number of children suffering from wasting could reach almost 54 million over the course of the year. This would bring global wasting to levels not seen this millennium. The estimated increase in child wasting is only the tip of the iceberg, UN agencies warn. COVID-19 will also increase other forms of malnutrition in children and women.
A leading epidemiologist says "thousands of people" will be quarantined in isolation facilities for months - and possibly years - into the future. University of Otago professor of public health Michael Baker's appearance on Newshub Nation on Saturday comes after multiple cases of people breaking out of their facilities. Prof Baker says ... we need to be prepared for a "long-term risk management challenge". "Mistakes happen, and we have to learn from them and improve our systems so we don't repeat those errors," he [said]. "We're going to have thousands of people sitting in these facilities, quarantined in isolation facilities for months, maybe years ahead." The latest escapee, a person in their 60s, broke the window of the Waipuna Hotel in Auckland on Friday and climbed out of the building. Their escape is the fourth since last Saturday, when a woman scaled two fences to escape from Auckland's Pullman Hotel. On Tuesday, a 32-year-old man snuck through a gap in the Stamford Plaza fencing and visited an inner-city supermarket. Prof Baker says we need to look at why these people feel the need to escape from the isolation facilities. ACT leader David Seymour said the Government needs to start profiling travelers based on their risk of absconding. "The vast majority of people entering New Zealand will pose absolutely no risk of absconding from managed isolation and quarantine facilities," he said in a statement. "But a tiny minority will be a risk. The Government should ... place them under tighter security."
Note: Baker likely is not referring to individuals being detained for years, but to these policies continuing for years. A second MSN article includes a video describing how police are now guarding the quarantine facilities in New Zealand, which is being called "managed isolation." The "managed isolation" aka quarantine policy started in April. As this article states, "every person arriving in New Zealand will have to go into compulsory quarantine as a measure to try and combat Covid-19." For more, see summaries of revealing news articles on the coronavirus from major media sources.
More than 600 of the nation’s physicians sent a letter to President Trump this week calling the coronavirus shutdowns a “mass casualty incident” with “exponentially growing negative health consequences” to millions of non COVID patients. “The downstream health effects ... are being massively under-estimated and under-reported," according to the letter initiated by Simone Gold, M.D., an emergency medicine specialist. “Suicide hotline phone calls have increased 600%,” the letter said. Other silent casualties: “150,000 Americans per month who would have had new cancer detected through routine screening.” From missed cancer diagnoses to untreated heart attacks and strokes to increased risks of suicides, “We are alarmed at what appears to be a lack of consideration for the future health of our patients.” The physicians’ letter focuses on the impact on Americans’ physical and mental health. “The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. In youths it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty, and abuse. “It is impossible to overstate the short, medium, and long-term harm to people’s health with a continued shutdown,” the letter says. “Losing a job is one of life’s most stressful events, and the effect on a person’s health is not lessened because it also has happened to 30 million [now 38 million] other people.”
Scientists have devised a way to use the antibody-rich blood plasma of COVID-19 survivors for an upper-arm injection that they say could inoculate people against the virus for months. Using technology that's been proven effective in preventing other diseases such as hepatitis A, the injections would be administered to high-risk healthcare workers, nursing home patients, or even at public drive-through sites. But the idea exists only on paper. Federal officials have twice rejected requests to discuss the proposal, and pharmaceutical companies — even acknowledging the likely efficacy of the plan — have declined to design or manufacture the shots. The antibodies in plasma can be concentrated and delivered to patients through a type of drug called immune globulin, or Ig, which can be given through either an IV drip or a shot. Yet for the coronavirus, manufacturers are only developing an intravenous solution of Ig. Intravenous plasma products are traditionally the main economic driver for the industry. The money-making antibodies are also far more diluted in intravenous drugs than in injectable ones, which boosts profit margins. “They charge a fortune off of intravenous drugs in the hospital. They don't want to devote the manufacturing plant to something that won't make oodles of money,” said one infectious disease expert. Researchers also said industry executives have little incentive to produce the immunity shots for the coronavirus, given the possibility that a longer-lasting vaccine could replace it within a year.
Across the pharmaceutical and medical industries, senior executives and board members are making millions of dollars after announcing positive developments, including support from the government, in their efforts to fight Covid-19. After such announcements, insiders from at least 11 companies – most of them smaller firms whose fortunes often hinge on the success or failure of a single drug – have sold shares worth well over $1 billion since March, according to figures compiled for The New York Times. The sudden windfalls highlight the powerful financial incentives for company officials to generate positive headlines in the race for coronavirus vaccines and treatments, even if the drugs might never pan out. Some officials at the Department of Health and Human Services have grown concerned about whether companies are trying to inflate their stock prices by exaggerating their roles in Operation Warp Speed, the flagship federal initiative to quickly develop drugs to combat Covid-19. In some cases, company insiders ... appear to be pouncing on opportunities to cash out while their stock prices are sky high. And some companies have awarded stock options to executives shortly before market-moving announcements about their vaccine progress. "It is inappropriate for drug company executives to cash in on a crisis," said Ben Wakana, executive director of Patients for Affordable Drugs. "Every day, Americans wake up and make sacrifices during this pandemic. Drug companies see this as a payday."
Dr. Brooke Herndon, an internist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, could not stop coughing. Dr. Kathryn Kirkland, an infectious disease specialist at Dartmouth, had a chilling thought: Could she be seeing the start of a whooping cough epidemic? By late April, other health care workers at the hospital were coughing. It was the start of a bizarre episode at the medical center: the story of the epidemic that wasn’t. For months, nearly everyone involved thought the medical center had had a huge whooping cough outbreak, with extensive ramifications. Nearly 1,000 health care workers ... were given a preliminary test and furloughed from work until their results were in; 142 people, including Dr. Herndon, were told they appeared to have the disease; and thousands were given antibiotics and a vaccine for protection. The whole thing was a false alarm. Now, as they look back on the episode, epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists say the problem was that they placed too much faith in a quick and highly sensitive molecular test that led them astray. Such tests are coming into increasing use and may be the only way to get a quick answer in diagnosing diseases like whooping cough, Legionnaire’s, bird flu, tuberculosis and SARS. There are no good estimates of their error rates. But their very sensitivity makes false positives likely, and when hundreds or thousands of people are tested, as occurred at Dartmouth, false positives can make it seem like there is an epidemic.
According to a July 17 study published in the International Journal of Geriatrics and Rehabilitation, 50 percent of nucleic acid coronavirus tests distributed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided inaccurate results. The study's lead author, Sin Hang Lee, MD, director of Milford Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, found that the testing kits gave a 30 percent false-positive rate and a 20 percent false-negative rate. To determine these false-positive and false-negative rates, the Connecticut State Department of Public Health Microbiology Laboratory provided Lee 20 tests, which were then re-tested using his own methodology, which examines samples on a cellular level, rather than just testing fluid with no cellular matter from potentially infected oral and nasal secretions. While the results of Lee's testing may be alarming, they also pointed to yet another discovery: new mutations of the virus. Two tests that initially provided false-negatives and one test that yielded a positive result were actually found to be positive for coronavirus and a mutation of the virus, meaning two variants of the virus can simultaneously infect one person. However, it's not just the test you use that may be contributing to inaccurate results—when you get tested is important, too. Getting tested the day a person is infected with coronavirus will likely yield a 100 percent false-negative rate; by day 8 after becoming infected, however, that rate drops to just 20 percent.
Note: Explore an excellent, well-researched article further questioning the validity of these tests. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Sweden famously took a totally different approach to its Nordic neighbours in trying to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. The Swedish strategy allowed people to keep living largely as normal. Stores and restaurants remained open – so too did many schools. With a COVID-19 death toll of 5,700, Sweden’s mortality rate from the disease is now around a quarter higher than that of the United States, when adjusted for population size. However, authorities insist that the number of deaths has considerably dropped in recent weeks. "We've actually seen a clearly declining trend in the number of patients in intensive care and also in the number of deaths since the middle of April," said Anna Mia Ekström ... at Stockholm’s Karolinksa Institute. So how close is Sweden to possibly reaching herd immunity? We don’t know at this point. Scientists are still trying to figure out whether immunity from the new coronavirus can even be reached – and for how long. Ekström noted that the reproduction number of the epidemic – or R number, which measures the average number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to – has now fallen in Sweden to around 0.6, meaning transmission is declining. The number of people with antibodies against the new coronavirus, meanwhile, is increasing. Data published by Sweden’s public health agency in June showed that about 10 per cent of people in Stockholm – the nation's worst affected area – had developed antibodies to COVID-19, more than anywhere else in the country.
Note: The number of new cases and deaths in Sweden has dropped significantly while the U.S. other non-European countries are seeing a rise in both, according to this MSN article. For the month of July 2020, Sweden had 370 deaths while California had 3,200 deaths. California has a population about four times that of Sweden, yet California with its strict lockdown had almost 10 times as many deaths as Sweden, which is one of the few countries that chose not to lock down. For more, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Pandemics can be indiscriminate. COVID-19 has been different. The disease has shown a special animus for older people, with those 65-plus considered at especially high risk for hospitalization and death, and those 18 and below catching a semblance of an epidemiological break. Adolescents ... are likelier to experience milder symptoms or none at all. But if COVID-19 is sparing most kids’ bodies, it’s not being so kind to their minds. In one study out of China, published in JAMA Pediatrics, researchers in Hubei province, where the pandemic originated, examined a sample group of 2,330 schoolchildren for signs of emotional distress. The kids had been locked down for ... an average of 33.7 days. 22.6% of them reported depressive symptoms and 18.9% were experiencing anxiety. Then too there is ... the economy, which continues to struggle badly. A 2018 paper published in Health Economics ... studied economic conditions in the U.S. from 2001 to 2013 and found that during the Great Recession, a 5-percent-age-point increase in the national unemployment rate correlated with an astounding 35% to 50% increase in “clinically meaningful childhood mental-health problems.” With unemployment now exceeding 11%, [health-policy researcher Ezra] Golberstein expects to see more of the same emotional blowback. “When the economy is in a bad place, kids’ mental health gets worse,” he says. “Children who were struggling before [the pandemic] are at higher risk now,” says psychologist Robin Gurwitch.
Note: For the second quarter of 2020, the U.S. GDP plunged 32.9% according to this CNBC article. The lockdown policies are clearly damaging not only the health of the economy, but of the children as well. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and health from reliable major media sources.
Mounting evidence suggests the coronavirus is more common and less deadly than it first appeared. The evidence comes from tests that detect antibodies to the coronavirus in a person's blood rather than the virus itself. The tests are finding large numbers of people in the U.S. who were infected but never became seriously ill. And when these mild infections are included in coronavirus statistics, the virus appears less dangerous. "The current best estimates for the infection fatality risk are between 0.5% and 1%," says Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. That's in contrast with death rates of 5% or more based on calculations that included only people who got sick enough to be diagnosed with tests that detect the presence of virus in a person's body. And the revised estimates support an early prediction by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In an editorial published in late March ... Fauci and colleagues wrote that the case fatality rate for COVID-19 "may be considerably less than 1%." The new evidence is coming from places such as Indiana, which completed the first phase of a massive testing effort early in May. Indiana's infection fatality rate turned out to be about 0.58%, or roughly one death for every 172 people who got infected. In New York ... an antibody study indicated the state has an infection fatality rate around 0.5%. Studies in Florida and California have suggested even lower fatality rates.
Research shows that acts of kindness make us feel better and healthier. Kindness is also key to how we evolved and survived as a species, scientists say. We are hard-wired to be kind. Psychology professor Sonja Lyubomirsky has put that concept to the test in numerous experiments over 20 years and repeatedly found that people feel better when they are kind to others, even more than when they are kind to themselves. “Acts of kindness are very powerful,” Lyubomirsky said. In one experiment, she asked subjects to do an extra three acts of kindness for other people a week and asked a different group to do three acts of self-kindness. The people who were kind to others became happier and felt more connected to the world. The same occurred with money, using it to help others versus helping yourself. Lyubomirsky said she thinks it is because people spend too much time thinking and worrying about themselves and when they think of others while doing acts of kindness, it redirects them away from their own problems. Oxford’s [Oliver] Curry analyzed peer-reviewed research like Lyubomirsky’s and found at least 27 studies showing the same thing: Being kind makes people feel better emotionally. But it’s not just emotional. It’s physical. Lyubomirsky said a study of people with multiple sclerosis ... found they felt better physically when helping others. She also found that in people doing more acts of kindness that the genes that trigger inflammation were turned down more than in people who don’t.
One by one, vaccine developers at a White House roundtable convened by President Donald Trump in early March pitched their product as a viable solution to the coronavirus. StĂ©phane Bancel of Moderna Inc. glanced across the table at the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and said he is "very proud to be working with the US government and to have already sent, in only 42 days from the sequence of the virus, our vaccine to Dr. Fauci's team at the NIH." Bancel went on to say that he needed just "a few months" to start phase two of a three-part clinical trial of the sort that typifies vaccine development. (The entire process often takes more than a decade.) The day after the roundtable, the FDA green-lit Moderna's product for trial, making it the first vaccine candidate to advance to the first phase of a clinical study, in which an as-yet unapproved vaccine is injected into the arms of a small group of 45 human volunteers. The effort received another boost on April 16, when the federal Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) awarded Moderna up to $483 million to accelerate the development and manufacturing of the vaccine. The FDA allowed Moderna's RNA vaccine ... to essentially gloss over the animal-testing that typically precede clinical trials in humans. [Moderna's former director of chemistry Dr. Suhaib] Siddiqi said this is cause for alarm. "I would not let that [vaccine] be injected in my body," he said. "I would demand: Where is the toxicity data from the lab?"
Note: Read a New York Times/MSN article titled "Corporate Insiders Pocket $1 Billion in Rush for Coronavirus Vaccine." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and vaccines from reliable major media sources.
The drug that buoyed expectations for a coronavirus treatment and drew international attention for Gilead Sciences, remdesivir, started as a reject. To make progress, Gilead needed help from U.S. taxpayers. Lots of help. Three federal health agencies were deeply involved in remdesivir’s development every step of the way, providing tens of millions of dollars of government research support. Federal agencies have not asserted patent rights to Gilead’s drug. That means Gilead will have few constraints other than political pressure when it sets a price. “Without direct public investment and tax subsidies, this drug would apparently have remained in the scrapheap of unsuccessful drugs,” Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Tex.) ... said earlier this month. Doggett and Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.) have asked Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar for a detailed financial accounting of federal support for remdesivir’s discovery and development. Watchdog groups ... have documented the large taxpayer-funded contributions toward the drug. Public Citizen estimates public investment at a minimum of $70 million. An independent organization that measures the cost-effectiveness of drugs said Gilead could be justified in charging up to $4,500 for a 10-day course of treatment for a single coronavirus patient. But advocates, citing a study by academic researchers on what it costs to make the drug, have said Gilead could break even by charging $1 per dose.
Note: According to this CNBC article Gilead is charging from $2,000 to $3,120 per patient despite huge subsidies. Gilead is the same company which developed Tamiflu and licensed it to Roche. Aggressive sales of Tamiflu to governments around the world brought profits of over $1 billion yet almost none of the doses sold were ever used, as described in this Reuters article. The study that is being used to tout Remdesivir was conducted by none other than Gilead. Could there be conflict of interest here? For more, see summaries of revealing news articles on big Pharma corruption.
Pediatricians say students should be in classrooms for in-person learning as soon as possible – the most full-throated endorsement yet for getting children back into schools amid the coronavirus pandemic and one that was included in a set of recommendations released by the American Academy of Pediatrics for how schools should safely reopen. "The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020," the group representing 67,000 pediatricians wrote. "Lengthy time away from school ... often results in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits as well as child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation. This, in turn, places children and adolescents at considerable risk of morbidity and, in some cases, mortality." The recommendations acknowledge that infectious disease experts are still learning about the effects of COVID-19. But the academic, physical and mental upsides associated with reopening outweigh the risks, the group concludes, especially as evidence mounts that children ... tend to exhibit milder symptoms when they do contract the virus. Perhaps most importantly, the pediatric group concludes, reopening is essential for the country's most vulnerable students, including poor students and students of color.
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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is conflating the results of two different types of coronavirus tests, distorting several important metrics and providing the country with an inaccurate picture of the state of the pandemic. We’ve learned that the CDC is making, at best, a debilitating mistake: combining test results that diagnose current coronavirus infections with test results that measure whether someone has ever had the virus. The agency confirmed to The Atlantic on Wednesday that it is mixing the results of viral and antibody tests, even though the two tests reveal different information and are used for different reasons. This is not merely a technical error. The upshot is that the government’s disease-fighting agency is overstating the country’s ability to test people who are sick with COVID-19. States have set quantitative guidelines for reopening their economies based on these flawed data points. Several states - including Pennsylvania, the site of one of the country’s largest outbreaks, as well as Texas, Georgia, and Vermont - are blending the data in the same way. Virginia likewise mixed viral and antibody test results until last week, but it reversed course and the governor apologized for the practice. These results damage the public’s ability to understand what is happening in any one state. On a national scale, they call the strength of America’s response to the coronavirus into question. The number of tests conducted nationwide each day has more than doubled in the past month. At the same time, the portion of tests coming back positive has plummeted.
Most new Covid-19 hospitalizations in New York state are from people who were staying home and not venturing much outside, a “shocking” finding, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. The preliminary data was from 100 New York hospitals involving about 1,000 patients. It shows that 66% of new admissions were from people who had largely been sheltering at home. The next highest source of admissions was from nursing homes, 18%. Cuomo said nearly 84% of the hospitalized cases were people who were not commuting to work through car services, personal cars, public transit or walking. He said a majority of those people were either retired or unemployed. Overall, some 73% of the admissions were people over age 51. He said the information shows that those who are hospitalized are predominantly from the downstate area in or around New York City, are not working or traveling and are not essential employees. He also said a majority of the cases in New York City are minorities, with nearly half being African American or Hispanic. Cuomo said the state’s hospitalization rate has continued to decline, although at a “painfully slow” rate. He said around 600 infected people were still walking through hospital doors every day, although that number has also declined. While data shows the coronavirus is on the decline in New York, the new survey results appear to clash with Cuomo’s prior assurances that isolation can reliably prevent transmission.
Coronavirus patients without symptoms aren’t driving the spread of the virus, World Health Organization officials said Monday, casting doubt on concerns by some researchers that the disease could be difficult to contain due to asymptomatic infections. Preliminary evidence from the earliest outbreaks indicated that the virus could spread from person-to-person contact, even if the carrier never develops symptoms. But WHO officials now say that while asymptomatic spread can occur, it is not the main way it’s being transmitted. “From the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual,” Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said. The virus is primarily spread via respiratory droplets when someone coughs or sneezes or if they touch a contaminated surface, scientists say. WHO officials say Covid-19 can also spread in the so-called pre-symptomatic stage — a few days before a patient shows symptoms. More research and data are needed to “truly answer” the question of whether the coronavirus can spread widely through asymptomatic carriers, Van Kerkhove added. “We have a number of reports from countries who are doing very detailed contact tracing,” she said. “They’re following asymptomatic cases. They’re following contacts. And they’re not finding secondary transmission onward. It’s very rare.”
Note: This official was immediately pressured to retract what she said, even though it was based on scientific studies. Learn in this Science magazine article how Fauci based his recommendations on one faulty study with five people to state "There's no doubt after reading this paper that asymptomatic transmission is occurring." See this CNN article for Fauci quote. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Social isolation is a growing epidemic — one that’s increasingly recognized as having dire physical, mental and emotional consequences. Since the 1980s, the percentage of American adults who say they’re lonely has doubled from 20 percent to 40 percent. About one-third of Americans older than 65 now live alone, and half of those over 85 do. People in poorer health — especially those with mood disorders like anxiety and depression — are more likely to feel lonely. Those without a college education are the least likely to have someone they can talk to about important personal matters. A wave of new research suggests social separation is bad for us. Individuals with less social connection have disrupted sleep patterns, altered immune systems, more inflammation and higher levels of stress hormones. One recent study found that isolation increases the risk of heart disease by 29 percent and stroke by 32 percent. Another analysis that pooled data from 70 studies and 3.4 million people found that socially isolated individuals had a 30 percent higher risk of dying in the next seven years, and that this effect was largest in middle age. Loneliness can accelerate cognitive decline in older adults, and isolated individuals are twice as likely to die prematurely as those with more robust social interactions. These effects start early: Socially isolated children have significantly poorer health 20 years later. All told, loneliness is as important a risk factor for early death as obesity and smoking.
Sending children back to schools and day care centres in Denmark, the first country in Europe to do so, did not lead to an increase in coronavirus infections, according to official data, confirming similar findings from Finland on Thursday. As countries across Europe make plans to exit months of lockdown aimed at curbing the virus outbreak, some parents worry that opening schools first might put the health of their children in danger. Following a one-month lockdown, Denmark allowed children between two to 12 years back in day cares and schools on April 15. Based on five weeks' worth of data, health authorities are now for the first time saying the move did not make the virus proliferate. "You cannot see any negative effects from the reopening of schools," Peter Andersen, doctor of infectious disease epidemiology and prevention ... said on Thursday. In Finland, a top official announced similar findings on Wednesday, saying nothing so far suggested the coronavirus had spread faster since schools reopened in mid-May. The number of infected children aged between one and up to 19 has declined steadily since late April, Andersen said, following a slight uptick immediately after the reopening of schools. But this was too early to have anything to do with the reopening, he said. "Based on preliminary experiences, it does not look like there has been a negative effect on the spread among school children or in the society in general," Andersen said and called Denmark's reopening strategy "prudent". A steady drop in daily infections, hospital admissions and deaths since early April has led Denmark to continue its reopening, with shopping malls, bars, restaurants allowed to reopen in May.
Since June 19, when new cases in the United States went back over 30,000 in one day, we have been constantly bombarded with stories of how the virus is “spiking” in “record” numbers in many of the states (like California, Texas, Florida and Arizona) that were not hit hard in the “first wave.” Across the country, our number of new cases has indeed exploded to new levels during this time period ... and the news media, both at the national and local levels, have used these statistics to essentially create panic porn. The resulting public anxiety has caused several states to reverse their reopenings. Obviously the “new case” data point is both real and relevant, but it is also now extremely misleading. By incompetently using the same measure of what a “positive” virus test meant in April, to what it now means in July, the news media is in the process of, quite effectively, sabotaging America’s recovery from this crisis. The data ... now makes it overwhelmingly obvious that nowhere near as many people who recently tested positive for the virus are going to die as did when this nightmare began. While the development has gotten scandalously little news coverage, the daily numbers of deaths with/of COVID has been declining with remarkable consistency for well over two months now. Sweden, a country much maligned in the media because they dared to not lock down by government mandate, has “new case” and “death” charts which look remarkably similar to ours. Their daily death rate has recently been down to single digits.
Note: Don't miss this entire article which pulls back the curtain on media manipulations in these challenging times. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.
Dr. Richard Bartlett works at various clinics around West Texas, and says he’s found a successful treatment for the coronavirus. “The treatment plan is inhaled, generic budesonide,” Bartlett said. “Using some generic antibiotics to protect from a secondary bacterial infection. Using zinc, which interferes with virus replication. It’s common sense. It’s intuitive.” Budesonide is a steroid, that can be inhaled directly to the lungs using a nebulizer. The drug has been used for decades to treat asthma and is approved by the FDA. However using it to treat COVID-19 is not. “I am not aware of any doctors anywhere that are using this specifically for COVID-19, yet,” Bartlett said. Bartlett said he treats people as soon as they show symptoms. “Early treatment is better with this disease,” he said. “And I’m having a 100% survival rate. I don’t even know how many I’ve treated...dozens. I have 14 that I’m treating right now.” Bartlett said that patients tell him they feel immediate relief. Bartlett said he’s currently writing a paper to submit to medical journals. Additionally, he said the National Institute of Health, as well as the countries of France and Spain will be looking into inhaled budesonide treatments.
Note: Watch a fascinating interview with this doctor. And remember that the biggest sponsor of the major media is big Pharma. The don't want any cheap medicine like hydrochlorequine or budesonide to look good. There are other inexpensive treatments that are not being reported. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The maker of a drug shown to shorten recovery time for severely ill COVID-19 patients says it will charge $2,340 for a typical treatment course for people covered by government health programs in the United States and other developed countries. Gilead Sciences announced the price Monday for remdesivir, and said the price would be $3,120 for patients with private insurance. The amount that patients pay out of pocket depends on insurance, income and other factors. The price was swiftly criticized; a consumer group called it “an outrage” because of the amount taxpayers invested toward the drug's development. In 127 poor or middle-income countries, Gilead is allowing generic makers to supply the drug; two countries are doing that for around $600 per treatment course. The drug, given through an IV, interferes with the coronavirus’s ability to copy its genetic material. In a U.S. government-led study, remdesivir shortened recovery time by 31% — 11 days on average versus 15 days for those given just usual care. Peter Maybarduk, a lawyer at the consumer group Public Citizen, called the price “an outrage.” “Remdesivir should be in the public domain” because the drug received at least $70 million in public funding toward its development, he said. “The price puts to rest any notion that drug companies will ‘do the right thing’ because it is a pandemic,” Dr. Peter Bach, a health policy expert ... said. “The price might have been fine if the company had demonstrated that the treatment saved lives. It didn’t.”
Note: The March coronavirus package passed in the U.S. "not only omitted language that would have limited drug makers’ intellectual property rights, it specifically prohibited the federal government from taking any action if it has concerns that the treatments or vaccines developed with public funds are priced too high." While many suffer economically from the virus, big Pharma is raking in big bucks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Sweden's state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell has hit back at the World Health Organization after it included Sweden in a group of countries facing "a very significance resurgence" of coronavirus infections. Mr Tegnell, who has in recent months become one of the world's most high profile and divisive epidemiologists, said: "That is, unfortunately, a total misinterpretation of the data." "It's very unfortunate that people lump Sweden together with countries that earlier have had no problem at all and are now apparently at the start of their epidemic," he told Sweden's state broadcaster SVT. Hans Kluge, the WHO's Regional Director for Europe, on Thursday named Sweden in a list of eleven problem countries ... which are facing "accelerated transmission" of infection. Sweden has this month seen the daily number of confirmed cases more than triple from 60 on June 1st to 207 on Thursday. But Mr Tegnell argued that this has to do with increased testing rather than a resurgence in infection. "This is growing because we recently started offering tests to everyone with symptoms," he told Sweden's TT newswire. "We are doing twice as many tests as we were a few weeks ago. But the growth we are seeing is in mild cases, not hospital admissions." Mr Tegnell has drawn both admiration and criticism internationally for leading a coronavirus strategy that left schools for 14-16 year olds open throughout the pandemic, as well as bars, restaurants, gyms, and much else, relying instead on the public's willingness to follow social distancing guidelines.
Hundreds of articles in medical journals claiming to be written by academics or doctors have been penned by ghostwriters in the pay of drug companies, an Observer inquiry reveals. The journals, bibles of the profession, have huge influence on which drugs doctors prescribe and the treatment hospitals provide. But The Observer has uncovered evidence that many articles written by so-called independent academics may have been penned by writers working for agencies which receive huge sums from drug companies to plug their products. Estimates suggest that almost half of all articles published in journals are by ghostwriters. While doctors who have put their names to the papers can be paid handsomely for 'lending' their reputations, the ghostwriters remain hidden. In the United States a legal case brought against drug firm Pfizer turned up internal company documents showing that it employed a New York medical writing agency. One document analyses articles about the anti-depressant Zoloft. Some of the articles lacked only one thing: a doctor's name. In the margin the agency had put the initials TBD, which Healy assumes means 'to be determined'. Dr Richard Smith, editor of the British Journal of Medicine, admitted ghostwriting was a 'very big problem'. 'We are being hoodwinked by the drug companies. The articles come in with doctors' names on them and we often find some of them have little or no idea about what they have written,' he said.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science from reliable major media sources.
Bayer will pay more than $10 billion to resolve thousands of lawsuits regarding claims that its Roundup herbicide causes cancer, the company announced. Monsanto, bought by Bayer in 2018, lost a lawsuit that same year brought by a school groundskeeper who claimed its weedkiller had caused his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Since then, thousands of U.S. lawsuits have been filed against the company. The settlement, however, does not contain an admission of wrongdoing or liability. Bayer will pay $8.8 billion to $9.6 billion to settle existing lawsuits and then another $1.25 billion that will cover any potential litigation in the future. Lawsuits allege that Monsanto ignored warnings that its herbicide contained potentially cancer causing chemicals, then concealed the threat to consumers. A jury awarded California groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson nearly $290 million in damages in August 2018 after they found Monsanto failed to warn Johnson and other consumers about the risks posed by its weed-killing products. A judge upheld the decision upon appeal, but lowered the damages to $78 million due to what she considered an overreach in punitive damages decided by the jury. And last year, a California jury awarded a husband and wife more than $2 billion in damages in a suit that claimed Roundup caused their illness. German pharmaceuticals and chemical giant Bayer bought Monsanto in 2018 just months before Johnson won his suit against the company. Bayer eliminated the Monsanto name, but maintained the brands.
Note: The negative health impacts of Roundup are well known. Yet the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
Prof Matteo Bassetti, head of the infectious diseases clinic at the Policlinico San Martino hospital in Italy, told The Telegraph that Covid-19 has been losing its virulence in the last month and patients who would have previously died are now recovering. The expert in critical care said the plummeting number of cases could mean a vaccine is no longer needed as the virus might never return. "The clinical impression I have is that the virus is changing in severity," said Prof Bassetti. "In March and early April the patterns were completely different. People were coming to the emergency department with a very difficult to manage illness and they needed oxygen and ventilation, some developed pneumonia. "Now, in the past four weeks, the picture has completely changed. There could be a lower viral load in the respiratory tract, probably due to a genetic mutation in the virus which has not yet been demonstrated scientifically. Even elderly patients, aged 80 or 90, are now sitting up in bed and they are breathing without help. The same patients would have died in two or three days before. "I think the virus has mutated because our immune system reacts to the virus and we have a lower viral load now due to the lockdown, mask-wearing, social distancing. "Yes, probably it could go away completely without a vaccine." Prof Karol Sikora ... at Rutherford Health previously said it is likely the British public has more immunity than previously thought and Covid-19 could end up "petering out by itself".
Tens of thousands of Covid-19 tests have been double-counted in the Government’s official tally, public health officials have admitted. Diagnostic tests which involve taking saliva and nasal samples from the same patient are being counted as two tests, not one. The Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England each confirmed the double-counting. This inflates the daily reported diagnostic test numbers by over 20 per cent, with that proportion being much higher earlier on in the crisis before home test kits were added to the daily totals. Almost 350,000 more tests have been reported in Government data than people tested since the start of the pandemic. It is not the first time the Government has been caught massaging the testing data. It was accused last month of including thousands of home tests which had been posted but not completed in a bid to reach its target of 100,000 tests. Jon Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said: “Ministers have already received an embarrassing slap on the wrists for their dodgy spin on testing figures. It seems they haven’t learnt their lesson.” The Government announced at the beginning of May that it would be extending its target from 100,000 tests per day to 200,000 tests per day. But so far it has only hit the 100,000 target nine times in the 20 days since its introduction. Global health experts said the Government should stop fixating on its arbitrary targets and instead focus on making testing work to drive down Covid-19 infections in the UK.
Warren D. Ward, 48, was in high school when the swine flu threat of 1976 swept the U.S. A relative died in the 1918 flu pandemic, and the 1976 illness was feared to be a direct descendant of the deadly virus. “The government wanted everyone to get vaccinated,” Ward said. “But the epidemic never really broke out. It was a threat that never materialized.” The episode began in February 1976, when an Army recruit at Ft. Dix, N.J., fell ill and died from a swine flu virus thought to be similar to the 1918 strain. Several other soldiers at the base also became ill. The CDC ... called on President Ford and Congress to begin a mass inoculation. The $137-million program began in early October, but within days reports emerged that the vaccine appeared to increase the risk for Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare neurological condition that causes temporary paralysis but can be fatal. More than 40 million Americans ... received the swine flu vaccine before the program was halted in December after 10 weeks. More than 500 people are thought to have developed Guillain-Barre syndrome after receiving the vaccine; 25 died. Only about 200 cases of swine flu and one death were ultimately reported. No one completely understands the causes of Guillain-Barre, but the condition can develop after a bout with infection or following surgery or vaccination. The federal government paid millions in damages. The pandemic, which some experts estimated at the time could infect 50 million to 60 million Americans, never unfolded.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Can the mind-blowing effects of psychedelics help heal our traumas? The scientific community [says] it's an increasingly hopeful thumbs up. Despite the fact that psychedelics are illegal, the last decade has seen an explosion of research, with results so intriguing that governments are greenlighting studies around the world. Scientists are busily exploring the role of hallucinogens on treatment-resistant depression, post traumatic stress disorder, cancer-related anxiety, addictions, and even anorexia. During the '40s and early '50s tens of thousands of patients took LSD and other psychotropics to study their effects on cancer anxiety, alcoholism, opioid use disorder, depression, and ... PTSD. Researchers began to see psychedelics as possible "new tools for shortening psychotherapy." In the 1950s UK psychiatrist Dr. Humphry Osmond began giving LSD to treatment-resistent alcoholics: 40% to 45% of those who took LSD were still sober after a year. [Then] in 1970, President Richard Nixon ... classified hallucinogenics as Schedule I drugs -- the most restrictive category. [Fast forward to today and] MAPS is in the final phase of a gold-standard study administering MDMA [Ecstasy] to 300 people with severe PTSD. Results of the second phase showed 68% of the people no longer met the criteria for PTSD at a 12-month follow-up; before the study they had suffered from treatment-resistant PTSD for an average of 17.8 years. The results are so positive that in January the FDA declared MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD a "Breakthrough Therapy." Perhaps one day soon a trip to the therapist will include a trip into your mind, and hopefully, a quicker path to healing.
Note: The full article at the link above gives a concise, yet thorough survey of the use of psychedelics for healing and growth over the years. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the powerful healing potentials of some psychedelics from reliable major media sources.
How accurate are the coronavirus tests used in the U.S.? Months into the outbreak, no one really knows. When the new virus began spreading, the Food and Drug Administration used its emergency powers to OK scores of quickly devised tests, based mainly on a small number of lab studies showing they could successfully detect the virus. That’s very different from the large patient studies that can take weeks or months, which experts say are needed to provide a true sense of testing accuracy. There have been more than 2 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. and more than 115,000 deaths. Cases in nearly half of U.S. states are rising. Most COVID-19 tests in the U.S. don’t give data on real-world performance, including how often the tests falsely clear patients of infection or falsely detect the virus. That information is lacking for all but a few of the roughly 80 commercial screening tests available. Last month, the FDA warned doctors of a potential accuracy problem with Abbott Laboratories’ rapid ID Now test, which delivers results in roughly 15 minutes. The test has been lauded by President Donald Trump and used to screen the president, his staff and visitors to the White House. The FDA alert followed a preliminary report by New York University that found Abbott’s test missed between a third to one-half of infections caught by a rival test in patients screened for the virus. Dr. Colin West of the Mayo Clinic worries doctors and patients have put too much confidence in the current crop of tests.
Remember the coronavirus? We were told by public health experts ... that we could not go outside for any reason. Roughly two weeks ago, everything changed. We all watched as mass stay-at-home orders and self-isolation gave way to massive street protests, where tens or hundreds of thousands of people gathered together in the U.S. and around the world. Virtually no prominent experts have denounced any of this on the ground that it will spread the coronavirus and ultimately kill more people. To the contrary, many infectious disease experts have done the exact opposite: they have endorsed and encouraged these mass street protests, claiming not that their support for them is grounded in their political values but in their health and scientific judgment. Perhaps the most egregious and illustrative example of the utter manipulation of public health science and expertise for nakedly political ends is found in the open letter that was originally crafted by epidemiologists at the University of Washington and then ultimately signed by 1,300 experts from around the country. These health experts ... decree that support for these protests is mandated as a matter of public health and scientific expertise, while imperiously insisting that other protests should still be scorned and prohibited. How is it remotely within the scope of the expertise of epidemiologists to pick and choose which political protests should be permitted and/or encouraged and which ones banned and/or denounced?
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.
The authors of a British-Norwegian vaccine study - accepted by the Quarterly Review of Biophysics - claim that the coronavirus's spike protein contains sequences that appear to be artificially inserted. In their paper, the Norwegian scientist Birger Sřrensen and British oncologist Angus Dalgleish claim to have identified "inserted sections placed on the SARS-CoV-2 spike surface" that explains how the virus interacts with cells in the human body. The report’s authors also claim the lack of mutation in the virus since its discovery, suggests it was already fully adapted to humans. Sřrensen ... claimed that China and the United States have collaborated for many years on coronavirus research through "gain of function" studies, in which the pathogenicity or transmissibility of potential pandemic pathogens can be enhanced.
Note: One day after being published, this article was greatly changed and given the new title "Controversial Coronavirus Lab Origin Claims Dismissed By Experts." A paragraph at the top of the article now states, "This article has been substantially updated to reflect criticism of the published study, along with the general scientific consensus on Covid-19." Since when is an article changed because is it criticized or not in line with scientific consensus? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from major media sources.
A former head of MI6 has said he believes the coronavirus pandemic "started as an accident" when the virus escaped from a laboratory in China. Sir Richard Dearlove ... pointed to a scientific paper published this week by a Norwegian-British research team who claim to have discovered clues within Covid-19's genetic sequence suggesting key elements were "inserted" and may not have evolved naturally. In their paper, the scientists claim to have identified "inserted sections placed on the SARS-CoV-2 Spike surface" that explain how the virus binds itself to human cells. "The SARS-CoV-2 spike is significantly different from any other Sars that we have studied," the paper says. Two laboratories in Wuhan studying bat coronaviruses – the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control – have been suggested as the possible true sources of the outbreak. Sir Richard suggested scientists may have been conducting secret gene-splicing experiments on bat coronaviruses when Covid-19 somehow escaped. Sir Richard said he did not believe the Chinese had released the virus deliberately, but accused Beijing of subsequently covering up the scale of its spread. Last month, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, claimed there was "enormous evidence" that the coronavirus outbreak originated in a Chinese laboratory, but did not provide any proof. However, the US National Intelligence Director's office later said it had determined that Covid-19 "was not manmade".
It’s an issue that’s been argued about for months: Can people who don’t feel sick spread the coronavirus, and if so should we all be wearing masks to stop it? Even the [WHO] can’t seem to get it straight. On Tuesday the U.N. health agency scrambled to explain seemingly contradictory comments it has made in recent days. On Friday, WHO changed its mask advice, recommending that people wear fabric masks if they could not maintain social distancing, if they were over age 60 or had underlying medical conditions. Part of the reasoning, WHO officials said, was to account for the possibility that transmission could occur from people who had the disease but weren’t yet symptomatic. But when Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19 was asked about the frequency of this kind of transmission this week, she said “It still appears to be rare that asymptomatic individuals actually transmit onward.” The details on how well the coronavirus spreads in different circumstances is not well understood. Can people who don't feel sick spread the disease? We don’t know. WHO has maintained for months that the vast majority of COVID-19 spread is from people with symptoms like a fever or cough, and that transmission from people who don’t feel sick is not thought to be a major driver of the disease. Does wearing a mask help? Probably. Why don't we know for sure? It’s complicated. Truly asymptomatic people are likely not responsible for significant virus spread. Detailed studies ... are needed. Although numerous studies have suggested people can spread the virus before they show symptoms, WHO has largely dismissed those as anecdotal or pointed out that they were based on modelling.
Note: A Jan. 31st CNN article quotes Fauci as saying "There's no doubt after reading this paper that asymptomatic transmission is occurring." Yet it turns out the paper he referenced was based on only five people and made the faulty assumption that the woman in question was asypmtomatic. Why would Fauci jump to this conclusion so early on from one tiny sample? What was his agenda? And this ABC News article states the accuracy of many coronavirus tests is still unknown. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from major media sources.
The World Health Organization is recommending healthy people, including those who don’t exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, only wear masks when taking care of someone infected with the contagion, a sharp contrast from the advice given by American public health officials who recommend everyone wear a mask in public. “If you do not have any [respiratory] symptoms such as fever, cough or runny nose, you do not need to wear a mask,” Dr. April Baller, a public health specialist for the WHO, says. “Masks should only be used by health care workers, caretakers or by people who are sick with symptoms of fever and cough.” The recommendation differs from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which urges individuals to wear a mask or face covering in public settings, regardless of infection, to limit the spread of the virus. “We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (‘asymptomatic’) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (‘pre-symptomatic’) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms,” the CDC mask guidance says. “In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.” Baller noted that masks can give people a “false feeling of protection” and noted that sick individuals should wear one to prevent transmitting the virus to others.
The facts are this: COVID-19 is a real disease that sickens some, proves fatal to others, mostly the elderly — and does nothing to the vast majority. That, in a nutshell, is it. The response to the coronavirus is hyped. And in time, this hype will be revealed as politically hoaxed. Or, in the words of Dan Erickson and Artin Massih, doctors and co-owners of Accelerated Urgent Care in Bakersfield, California: Let’s get the country reopened. “Do we need to still shelter in place? Do we need businesses to be shut down? Our answer is emphatically no" ... Erickson said. The scientists leading the coronavirus shutdown charge [based their] estimates on computer modeling. But at the same time ... they were acknowledging that computer modeling is inaccurate and errs on the side of hype. But from these faulty overinflated computer figures came all the constitutionally questionable actions by government — from ordering businesses closed to quarantining-slash-house arresting American citizens to doing some quick and pitiful and economically painful income redistribution schemes via stimulus funds’ legislation. This virus was far more contagious than anything ever before seen or studied, Americans were told. And any time the case counts dropped off and the numbers proved wrong, well, this was due to the social distancing and quarantining and face-mask wearing that Americans had been doing — Americans were told. “When I’m writing up my death report I’m being pressured to add COVID. Why is that? If you’re going to dance on someone’s constitutional rights, you better have a good reason — you better have a really good reason, not just a theory,” Erickson said.
Note: We don't consider the Washington Times to be a highly reliable source, but occasionally they report on key matters that other media fail to report, as is the case with this one. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Twice in the last week, Pennsylvania’s official COVID-19 death count spiked. Then, on Thursday, the number plummeted. The state Department of Health provided several justifications for the fluctuations, citing technical issues, lengthy investigations, and the addition of “probable” deaths. Facing mounting questions about the accuracy of the count, officials on Thursday removed more than 200 probable deaths from the tally. Health Secretary Rachel Levine said the change was made in an effort to be transparent. The state’s coroners – tasked with investigating suspicious deaths – have grown increasingly frustrated by the Health Department’s reluctance to seek their help. “There’s a discrepancy in the numbers,” Charles E. Kiessling Jr., president of the Pennsylvania Coroners Association ... said Thursday. The confusion began Sunday, when Pennsylvania raised its coronavirus death toll to 1,112 – an increase of 276 overnight. On Tuesday, the department reported another spike, from 1,204 to 1,564 deaths.The jump that day, first blamed on a computer glitch, was explained as a “reconciliation” of multiple reporting systems.” Levine also said the “significant increase” included “probable positive” COVID-19 deaths. “We will now be reporting probable deaths related to COVID-19 in addition to confirmed deaths,” she said. Jeffrey Conner, the coroner in Franklin County, said he was blindsided by the department’s news on Tuesday that 10 people had died of COVID-19 in the county. As of Wednesday afternoon, he said, he was aware of only one death. On Thursday, the state’s revised data reported just one death for the county.
We have detonated the global economy to pursue a lockdown experiment that may not have worked, according to the latest evidence. World-class studies that suggest lockdown did not alter the pandemic's course are mysteriously vanishing into internet obscurity on first contact with the official narrative. This is a scandal so overwhelming that there is only one good place to start: the evidence as it stands. In accordance with pro-lockdown theory, if stay at home orders worked, you might have expected to see daily deaths spike 3-4 weeks after such measures were implemented. But, in Britain, infections may have peaked a week before lockdown, according to Prof Carl Heneghan of Oxford University, with daily deaths in hospitals plateauing a fortnight after it was introduced. We are not an anomaly: peak dates across Europe also seem to confound the official theory. Don't just take my word for it. A University of the East Anglia study posits that Europe's "stay-at-home policies" were not effective. A JP Morgan investigation suggests the virus "likely has its own dynamics" which are "unrelated to often inconsistent lockdown measures". Nobel prize-winning bio-physicist Michael Levitt ... has claimed, sensationally, that the modelling that justified lockdown made the fatally incorrect assumption that Covid-19's spread is continuously exponential.
A third of Americans are showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression, Census Bureau data shows, the most definitive and alarming sign yet of the psychological toll exacted by the coronavirus pandemic. When asked questions normally used to screen patients for mental health problems, 24 percent showed clinically significant symptoms of major depressive disorder and 30 percent showed symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. The findings suggest a huge jump from before the pandemic. For example, on one question about depressed mood, the percentage reporting such symptoms was double that found in a 2014 national survey. The troubling statistics were released last week in a tranche of data from the Census Bureau. The agency launched an emergency weekly survey of U.S. households at the end of April to measure the pandemic’s effects on employment, housing, finances, education and health. In the most recent data release, 1 million households were contacted between May 7 and 12, and more than 42,000 responded. Buried within that 20-minute survey, U.S. officials included four questions taken nearly word-for-word from a form used by doctors to screen patients for depression and anxiety. Those answers provide a real-time window into the country’s collective mental health after three months of fear, isolation, soaring unemployment and continuing uncertainty. Those results reflect a deepening of existing trends: rising depression, stress and suicide among young adults.
Note: Read also a Washington Post article titled "A massive wave of evictions is coming." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and health from reliable major media sources.
President Trump’s enthusiastic embrace of a malaria drug that he now says he takes daily — and the resulting uproar in the news media — appears to be interfering with legitimate scientific research into whether the medicine might work to prevent coronavirus infection or treat the disease. The drug, hydroxychloroquine ... is also widely used to treat lupus and other autoimmune diseases. But specialists — including Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert — say the jury is still out. Mr. Trump’s frequent pronouncements and misstatements — he has praised the drug as a “game changer” and a “miracle” — are only complicating matters. Last week, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which Dr. Fauci leads, announced a 2,000-patient study to determine whether hydroxychloroquine, when combined with the antibiotic azithromycin, “can prevent hospitalization and death from Covid-19,” joining more than 50 other clinical trials that are continuing in the United States. Researchers around the country said the controversy was depressing enrollment in their clinical trials. The president’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro ... said “hydroxy hysteria” in the news media — not Mr. Trump — was to blame. “Has the media’s war of hysteria on hydroxychloroquine killed people?” Mr. Navarro asked in an interview. “If the scientific evidence does indeed prove that the medicine has both prophylactic and therapeutic value, the answer is yes.”
Note: In a survey reported in this New York Post article, over 2,000 physicians were asked which drug was most effective in treating the coronavirus. Hydroxychloroquine was chosen by the greatest number of those surveyed (37%). Remember that chlorequine has already been proven safe for other illnesses and is very cheap as the patent expired. So big Pharma, who are huge sponsors of the media, don't like this drug. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The uncertainty surrounding coronavirus has been a huge source of anxiety throughout this pandemic, as scientists have struggled to uncover not just a treatment for the disease, but also basic facts about its existence. Though many have been concerned about infection through items like groceries or mail deliveries, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently issued updated guidance saying that coronavirus “does not spread easily” from touching surfaces or objects. “It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes,” the CDC says. “This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus.” The CDC still notes, however, that the virus spreads 'very easily and sustainably’ from person to person. As precautions against infection, the organization continues to recommend that people wash their hands often with soap and water and maintain six feet of social distance from others. Despite the update regarding transmission through objects, it still says that Americans should routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
Justin Rosenstein had tweaked his laptop’s operating system to block Reddit, banned himself from Snapchat, which he compares to heroin, and imposed limits on his use of Facebook. He was particularly aware of the allure of Facebook “likes”, which he describes as “bright dings of pseudo-pleasure” that can be as hollow as they are seductive. And Rosenstein should know: he was the Facebook engineer who created the “like” button. There is growing concern that as well as addicting users, technology is contributing toward so-called “continuous partial attention”, severely limiting people’s ability to focus, and possibly lowering IQ. One recent study showed that the mere presence of smartphones damages cognitive capacity – even when the device is turned off. But those concerns are trivial compared with the devastating impact upon the political system that some of Rosenstein’s peers believe can be attributed to the rise of social media and the attention-based market that drives it. Drawing a straight line between addiction to social media and political earthquakes like Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump, they contend that digital forces have completely upended the political system and, left unchecked, could even render democracy as we know it obsolete. It is revealing that many of these younger technologists are weaning themselves off their own products, sending their children to elite Silicon Valley schools where iPhones, iPads and even laptops are banned.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
For weeks, the world has been inundated with information about the COVID-19 pandemic. While cases continue to rise and researchers learn more about the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), most data has lacked a certain specificity. But on Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was able to give a closer look at exactly who is most affected by COVID-19. In a new study published for the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, researchers found that the majority of those hospitalized due to COVID-19 have preexisting conditions—about 90% of patients, or nearly all, had one or more underlying conditions. The most common ... include hypertension (49.7%), obesity (48.3%), chronic lung disease (34.6%), diabetes mellitus (28.3%), and cardiovascular disease (27.8%). The data collected for the study came from the COVID-19–Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET), created for population-based surveillance for all confirmed COVID-19–related hospitalizations in the US. The CDC's new study used the demographics of 1,482 COVID-19 patients ... from across 14 different states. The study found that 74.5% of those hospitalized due to coronavirus were age 50 or older, with the highest rates among those over 65. Men were also disproportionately affected (54.4% of those hospitalized from COVID-19 were male), as were African Americans, who represented 33% of hospitalizations, despite only making up 18% of the total population studied.
It wasn’t looking good for South Korea in mid-February. The nation had the world’s second highest number of coronavirus cases after China. But thanks to early preparations, and a robust public health response based around extensive testing and tech-powered contact tracing, the nation’s tally of infections has been kept to just 10,765. More impressive still, no major lockdown or restrictions on movement have been imposed, save a few scattered curfews. On Apr. 15, some 29 million people turned up to vote in parliamentary elections - yet no known infections arose, thanks to strict social distancing at the polls. On Wednesday, South Korea had zero local infections for the first time since the outbreak was first recorded 72 days previously. South Korea’s health and welfare minister Park Neung-hoo explained to TIME exactly how his nation engineered such a remarkable turnaround. "Instead of physical lockdown, we fought the virus through an epidemiological approach such as wide diagnostic testing and isolation of contacts, while encouraging people’s voluntary cooperation for social distancing," [he said]. "We believed this was more effective than forcible measures and indeed it paid off. The key is whether we are able to keep COVID-19 cases within our medical system’s capacity to treat patients. In Korea, we set strict standards and regularly evaluate how patient numbers match our medical capacity, allowing us balance the two pressing needs [of public health and economy]."
Note: Read more on South Korea's success in this NBC article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.
With nearly 55,000 confirmed lives lost in the United States so far and widespread economic disruption from the coronavirus, it is increasing apparent that America could learn a thing or two from how other democracies are managing the pandemic. Taiwan, for example, never ordered a lockdown. Its baseball season is in full swing. The country is so flush with pandemic supplies that it is exporting 10 million masks to America and elsewhere. Under Iceland's "lockdown lite," kindergartens and elementary schools are on limited operations, allowing parents to work. South Korea's malls and restaurants are bustling. Constraints are being eased in New Zealand and in Germany. The rate of coronavirus deaths in these five countries — three of which are led by women — is significantly less than that in the United States, which has lost more people to the virus than any nation and has the world's seventh highest COVID-19 mortality rate. Taiwan, South Korea, Iceland and Germany began stockpiling test kits even before their first coronavirus deaths. The United States, meanwhile, fumbled the creation of a COVID-19 test in February and has been behind ever since. Other nations were innovative and aggressive on testing. Taiwan checked passengers disembarking from cruise ships and retested patients diagnosed with influenza or pneumonia to ensure no mistakes were made. South Korea launched drive-thru diagnostics on Feb. 26. Iceland leads the world in per capita testing, while America ranks 41st.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.
Before the pandemic, 87 million people were uninsured or underinsured in our country, and more than 30,000 people died every year because they couldn’t get to a doctor when they needed to see one. More than half a million families declared bankruptcy each year because of medically related debt. One out of five Americans could not afford the outrageously priced prescription drugs their doctors prescribed to them. And our healthcare outcomes, from maternal deaths to life expectancy to infant mortality, lagged behind most other industrialized nations. And for all of that, the United States still spends nearly $11,000 on healthcare for every adult and child – more than twice the average of other major countries. That was before the pandemic. The situation is far more dire now. Over just the last five weeks, more than 26 million Americans have lost their jobs and now face a crisis unique among advanced countries: for most of them, their healthcare was tied to their jobs. In America, unlike any other major country, when you lose your job, you lose your healthcare. As a result, up to 35 million Americans are estimated to see their health coverage disappear in the middle of this Covid-19 nightmare. Do we really want to continue the current expensive and cruel system that ties healthcare to our jobs? Or do we need a simple, comprehensive and cost-effective system that understands that healthcare is a human right for all of our people – employed or unemployed, young or old, rich or poor?
Last year, the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the organization led by Dr. Fauci, funded scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other institutions for work on gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses. Many scientists have criticized gain of function research, which involves manipulating viruses in the lab to explore their potential for infecting humans, because it creates a risk of starting a pandemic from accidental release. The work entailed risks that worried even seasoned researchers. More than 200 scientists called for the work to be halted. Dr. Fauci played an important role in promoting the work. In 2019, with the backing of NIAID, the National Institutes of Health committed $3.7 million over six years for research that included some gain-of-function work. The program followed another $3.7 million, 5-year project for collecting and studying bat coronaviruses ... bringing the total to $7.4 million. [One] phase of the project [included] gain-of-function research for the purpose of understanding how bat coronaviruses could mutate to attack humans. According to Richard Ebright, an infectious disease expert at Rutgers University, the project ... would enhance the ability of bat coronavirus to infect human cells and laboratory animals using techniques of genetic engineering. SARS-CoV-2, the virus now causing a global pandemic, is believed to have originated in bats. U.S. intelligence, after originally asserting that the coronavirus had occurred naturally, conceded last month that the pandemic may have originated in a leak from the Wuhan lab.
Note: Newsweek reported that in 2017, Anthony Fauci predicted a "surprise outbreak" during Trump's presidency. How could he have known this? This Washington Post article has the title "State Department cables warned of safety issues at Wuhan lab studying bat coronaviruses." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.
In January 2018, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing took the unusual step of repeatedly sending U.S. science diplomats to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), which had in 2015 become China’s first laboratory to achieve the highest level of international bioresearch safety. WIV issued a news release in English about the last of these visits. Last week, WIV erased that statement from its website, though it remains archived on the Internet. What the U.S. officials learned during their visits concerned them so much that they dispatched two diplomatic cables ... back to Washington. The cables warned about safety and management weaknesses at the WIV lab and proposed more attention and help. The first cable ... warns that the lab’s work on bat coronaviruses and their potential human transmission represented a risk of a new SARS-like pandemic. “Most importantly,” the cable states, “this finding strongly suggests that SARS-like coronaviruses from bats can be transmitted to humans to cause SARS-like diseases." The Chinese government, meanwhile, has put a total lockdown on information related to the virus origins ... while suppressing any attempts to examine whether [their] lab was involved. The Shanghai lab that published the novel coronavirus genome on Jan. 11 was quickly shut down by authorities for “rectification.” Several of the doctors and journalists who reported on the spread early on have disappeared. The Chinese researchers at WIV were receiving assistance from the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch and other U.S. organizations.
Note: The entire article at the link above raises vitally important questions, as does this Newsweek article titled, "Dr. Fauci Backed Controversial Wuhan Lab With Millions of U.S. Dollars for Risky Coronavirus Research." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.
Federal officials on Tuesday ended a moratorium imposed three years ago on funding research that alters germs to make them more lethal. Such work can now proceed, said Dr. Francis S. Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, but only if a scientific panel decides that the benefits justify the risks. Some scientists are eager to pursue these studies because they may show, for example, how a bird flu could mutate to more easily infect humans, or could yield clues to making a better vaccine. Critics say these researchers risk creating a monster germ that could escape the lab and seed a pandemic. In October 2014, all federal funding was halted on efforts to make three viruses more dangerous: the flu virus, and those causing Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). But the new regulations apply to any pathogen that could potentially cause a pandemic. There has been a long, fierce debate about projects — known as “gain of function” research — intended to make pathogens more deadly or more transmissible. Tensions rose in 2014 after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention accidentally exposed lab workers to anthrax and shipped a deadly flu virus to a laboratory that had asked for a benign strain. That year, the N.I.H. also found vials of smallpox in a freezer that had been forgotten for 50 years. When the moratorium was imposed, it effectively halted 21 projects. In the three years since, the N.I.H. created exceptions that funded ten of those projects.
Note: This article was written three years before the coronavirus hit. Could the lifting of this ban and later U.S. funding of the highest level virology lab in Wuhan have played a role in the pandemic? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on science corruption and health from reliable major media sources.
High levels of air pollution may be “one of the most important contributors” to deaths from Covid-19, according to research. The analysis shows that of the coronavirus deaths across 66 administrative regions in Italy, Spain, France and Germany, 78% of them occurred in just five regions, and these were the most polluted. The research examined levels of nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant produced mostly by diesel vehicles, and weather conditions that can prevent dirty air from dispersing away from a city. Many studies have linked NO2 exposure to health damage, and particularly lung disease, which could make people more likely to die if they contract Covid-19. “The results indicate that long-term exposure to this pollutant may be one of the most important contributors to fatality caused by the Covid-19 virus in these regions and maybe across the whole world,” said Yaron Ogen ... who conducted the research. A separate study published on 7 April looked at fine particle pollution in the US and found that even small increases in levels in the years before the pandemic were associated with far higher Covid-19 death rates. Another recent paper noted that the high death rates seen in the north of Italy correlated with the highest levels of air pollution. Jenny Bates, an air pollution campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “This new study is worrying. This is all the more reason to keep traffic and pollution levels down as much as possible now and get out of this terrible situation with a view to fewer but cleaner vehicles on the road.”
Note: And is it just a coincidence that according to this CNBC article China's 5G networks went online just weeks before the coronavirus outbreak? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.
As California and other states stockpile ventilators to prepare for a surge of coronavirus patients, a debate is emerging among doctors across the country about whether the breathing machines actually hinder recovery from COVID-19. A few small studies from around the world have led some doctors to consider the possibility that placing COVID-19 patients on a ventilator hurts more than it helps, and may even increase their chance of dying. In general, putting someone on a ventilator is an extreme measure because it involves sedating patients and inserting a tube in their mouth and threading it through the airway into the lungs. Too much oxygen or pressure from the ventilator can damage the lungs. A study in Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus emerged late last year, found that out of 37 critically ill COVID-19 patients on ventilators, 30 died within a month. One report in Italy looked at 1,300 critically ill patients and found that 90% were intubated and put on a ventilator. Of those, a quarter died in the ICU. In New York City, 80% of coronavirus patients placed on ventilators have died, the Associated Press reported. “The traditional approach is to say, let’s just intubate them now while we still have a little bit of time,” said Dr. Jahan Fahimi, medical director of UCSF’s emergency room in San Francisco. “Well, in COVID, we’re thinking that’s not the right approach. But if you don’t intubate them, it’s going to be much more labor intensive from the medical side, to watch these patients carefully on high-flow oxygen.”
Lately, my country has caught the attention of the media. Sweden’s response to the pandemic has been singled out as “radical,” “lax” and “controversial” because Sweden has not imposed a broad general lockdown. Sweden is known as a country with a strong welfare model, including public healthcare for all, and has among the world’s highest life expectancies. Some might find it difficult to reconcile this image with our approach to containing COVID-19. Sweden shares the same goals as all other countries — to save lives and protect public health. Sweden’s measures differ from other countries in a few significant ways. We are not shutting down schools for younger children or daycare facilities. We have no regulation that forces citizens to remain in their homes. And we have not ordered the closure of any businesses. Swedish laws on communicable diseases are mostly based on voluntary measures and on individual responsibility. The use of recommendations in public health efforts — rather than mandates — is a common strategy in Sweden. One example of this is child immunizations. In contrast to the United States, where all 50 states mandate immunizations for children in order to enroll in school ... Sweden’s child vaccination program is based on recommendations from the authorities and is not a legal requirement. Yet more than 97% of Swedish children are vaccinated. Sweden’s strategy may not provide all the answers, but we believe the combination of voluntary and mandated measures is not only more sustainable for Sweden than a lockdown strategy but will strengthen the resilience of Swedish society to fight this virus in the long run.
Note: Almost every other major media article criticizes Sweden for its approach, which is supported by more than 80% of Swedes. And almost every news article compares them to other Scandinavian countries, which are doing much better than Sweden, but fails to mention its neighbors France, Belgium, and the UK, which have locked down, and are doing much worse than Sweden. Yet even the New York Times has admitted their economy will fair better than most other countries. For more, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on the coronavirus from media sources.
The World Health Organization lauded Sweden as a “model” for battling the coronavirus as countries lift lockdowns — after the nation controversially refused restrictions. Dr. Mike Ryan, the WHO’s top emergencies expert, said Wednesday there are “lessons to be learned” from the Scandinavian nation, which has largely relied on citizens to self-regulate. Ryan noted that instead of lockdowns, the country has “put in place a very strong public policy around social distancing, around caring and protecting people in long-term care facilities. What it has done differently is it has very much relied on its relationship with its citizenry and the ability and willingness of its citizens to implement self-distancing and self-regulate,” Ryan said. “In that sense, they have implemented public policy through that partnership with the population.” He said the country also ramped up testing and had adequate capacity in hospitals to handle any outbreaks. “I think if we are to reach a new normal, Sweden represents a model if we wish to get back to a society in which we don’t have lockdowns,” Ryan said. The country, which has a population of 10.3 million, has seen more than 20,300 cases and 2,462 deaths as of Thursday afternoon — far higher than its Nordic neighbors, which implemented stricter containment measures, the latest data shows.
Note: Almost every other major media article criticizes Sweden for its approach, which is supported by more than 80% of Swedes. And almost every news article compares them to other Scandinavian countries, which are doing much better than Sweden, but fails to mention its neighbors France, Belgium, and the UK, which have locked down, and are doing much worse than Sweden. Yet even the New York Times has admitted their economy will fair better than most other countries. For more, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on the coronavirus from media sources.
YouTube has banned any coronavirus-related content that directly contradicts World Health Organization (WHO) advice. The Google-owned service says it will remove anything it deems "medically unsubstantiated". Chief executive Susan Wojcicki said the media giant wanted to stamp out "misinformation on the platform". The move follows YouTube banning conspiracy theories falsely linking Covid-19 to 5G networks. Mrs Wojcicki made the remarks on Wednesday during her first interview since the global coronavirus lockdown began. "So people saying, ‘Take vitamin C, take turmeric, we’ll cure you,’ those are the examples of things that would be a violation of our policy,” she told CNN. “Anything that would go against World Health Organization recommendations would be a violation of our policy.” Last week, Facebook announced users who had read, watched or shared false Covid-19 information would receive a pop-up alert urging them to visit the WHO's website. Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp, meanwhile, stopped users forwarding messages already shared more than four times by the wider community to more than one chat at a time. It comes as some of the UK's largest news publishers, including Daily Telegraph and the Guardian, criticised Google for failing to be transparent about its approach to filtering adverts alongside coronavirus-related content, according to the Financial Times.
Note: So now anything posted by those not deemed to be "experts" will be banned. Whatever happened to free speech? Watch YouTube's CEO spell this out in this video. More excellent, little-known information here in an interview with a respected MD whose video was banned. And how can BBC state links between 5G and Covid-19 are false, when that has yet to be established? Is it just a coincidence this CNBC article states China's 5G networks went online just weeks before the coronavirus outbreak? See also concise summaries of revealing coronavirus news articles.
YouTube has removed two videos of California doctors ... Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi of Bakersfield, California [which] downplayed the risk of the coronavirus and asserted that stay-at-home measures were unnecessary. Facebook, however, has not removed the doctors' videos. The different reactions of YouTube and Facebook highlight the challenges of moderating high-stakes misinformation as it goes viral, especially when it is considered to be expert opinion. The video removed by YouTube showed a one-hour news conference livestreamed by local media, including NBC and ABC affiliates in Bakersfield. By Wednesday, the video had been seen at least 15 million times. Erickson and Massihi, owners of several urgent care centers in the area, presented data from 5,213 COVID-19 tests. The data, they claimed, showed that the coronavirus was widespread in the community already but had caused few deaths. Their data, they said, supported the need to rethink state stay-at-home measures. Furthermore, Erickson ... claimed that COVID-19 death numbers were inaccurate, citing other unnamed doctors in Wisconsin and California who he said had told him that they were urged to list the disease as a cause of death even if it was unrelated. "The only justification for taking it down was that the two physicians on screen had reached different conclusions from the people currently in charge," said Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Massihi posted a video to his personal Facebook page Tuesday thanking supporters while insisting that their comments were meant only to share their own data, not to drive national or even state policy.
Note: Watch an excellent follow-up interview with Dr. Erickson exposing further deception. Even if these doctors are wrong about some of their conclusions, don't they have a right to express their opinions? Will anyone who disputes the claims of government officials be banned from expressing their opinions on social media? Sadly, this BBC article shows that is already true for the coronavirus on YouTube. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading health expert and member of President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force, predicted three years ago that the administration would have to deal with a surprise disease outbreak. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) told a Georgetown University event on pandemic preparedness in January 2017 that there was "no doubt" President Trump's team would face "challenges that their predecessors were faced with" over infectious diseases. He also called for the creation of a "public health emergency fund" aimed at handling situations such as a surprise virus outbreak, adding that waits for funding had been "painful" in the past. Delivering a keynote speech at the Georgetown University Medical Center event, Dr. Fauci said: "If there's one message that I want to leave with you today... is that there is no question that there will be a challenge to the coming administration in the arena of infectious diseases. "Both chronic infectious diseases in the sense of already ongoing disease, and we have certainly a large burden of that, but also there will be a surprise outbreak." "And I hope by the end of my relatively short presentation you will understand why history ... will tell the next administration that there's no doubt in anyone's mind that they will be faced with the challenges that their predecessors were faced with." He went on to note that over his career he had advised several president's on a range of emerging infectious diseases.
Note: How could Fauci possibly have known with such certainty back in 2017 that there would be a surprise outbreak? Something is fishy here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.
A few days after preliminary results from a large-scale antibody study in Santa Clara County suggested coronavirus infections in the county are underreported by a factor as large as 50 to 85, results from a newly-released antibody study conducted in Los Angeles County contained similar findings. The L.A. antibody study was conducted by the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Unlike the Stanford study, where participants were recruited via Facebook ads, participants in the Los Angeles County were recruited by market services firm LRW Group, which used a large proprietary database to create a random sample of the county population. Of the 1,000 individuals tested in early April, 4.1 percent were found to have COVID-19 antibodies. When adjusting for statistical margin of error, the study finds that 2.8 percent to 5.6 percent of the county's adult population has already been infected, which translates to 221,000 to 442,000 people. If infections are this vastly underreported, then the mortality rate of COVID-19 is substantially lower than current estimates. The Stanford researchers ... projected deaths through April 22 and divided that figure by the number of infections to calculate a "true" mortality rate of .12 to .20 percent when using the weighted figures. Using the unweighted numbers ... one gets a "true" mortality rate of .35 percent, a number almost identical to the mortality rate calculated following antibody tests in a hard-hit German town.
Note: The WHO has claimed a mortality rate of 3.4%, 10 times higher than these studies are showing. The Washington Post on April 17th wrote a very misleading article with "U.S. coronavirus fatality rate rises to 5 percent" as part of the headline, despite knowing about the above study. Could it be that fear mongering serves the WHO, the media, and elites? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.
It might not be until fall 2021 that Americans "can be completely safe" from COVID-19, Bill Gates said in a Tuesday interview with Judy Woodruff on PBS Newshour. That's because it will take more than a year before a vaccine can be developed and deployed, according to researchers working to develop a treatment for COVID-19. "The vaccine is critical, because, until you have that, things aren't really going to be normal," the billionaire philanthropist told Woodruff. "They can open up to some degree, but the risk of a rebound will be there until we have very broad vaccination." Social distancing is helping to lower the number of COVID-19 cases. The goal, Gates explained, is to get that number down to a point where "contact tracing" (a process in which those within close contact with an infected person are closely monitored) can be done, in order to maintain necessary quarantines. To understand what life in the U.S. will look like six to 12 months from now, Gates suggested China as a good model. "They are sending people back to work, but they're wearing masks. They're checking temperatures. They're not doing large sporting events. And so they have been able to avoid a large rebound," he said. Beyond that, "returning to some semblance of normal," as Woodruff put it, can be predicted by watching the behaviors of other countries. Sweden, for example, isn't "locking down quite as much," so their experience will be informative, Gates explained.
Note: In this video interview, Gates says we need to vaccinate everyone in the world. And he wants indemnity in case the vaccine he sponsors ends up killing or injuring many. Learn more about how Gates uses his billions to gain political power. And don't miss this most important video focused on how he is using fear of the virus to promote his agenda to require a "digital certificate" to ensure they've been vaccinated. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.
After four Louisville, Kentucky, coal-fired power plants either retired coal as their energy source or installed stricter emission controls, local residents’ asthma symptoms and asthma-related hospitalizations and emergency room visits dropped dramatically, according to research published today in Nature Energy. Coal-fired power plants are known to emit pollutants associated with adverse health effects, including increased asthma attacks, asthma-related ED visits and hospitalizations. In 2014, coal-fired power plants accounted for 63% of economy-wide emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO 2) in the U.S.. Historically, Kentucky has ranked among the top five states in the U.S. for emissions from power generation. Starting with a pilot in 2012, the city of Louisville embarked on a project called AIR Louisville, which aimed to use data from Propeller Health’s digital inhaler sensors to gain insights into the impact of local air quality on the burden of respiratory disease in the community. Between 2013 and 2016, one coal-fired power plant in the Louisville area retired coal as an energy source, and three others installed stricter emission controls. The researchers found that energy transitions in the spring of 2015 resulted in three fewer hospitalizations and ED visits per ZIP code per quarter in the following year. This translates into nearly 400 avoided hospitalizations and ED visits each year across Jefferson County.
The world is at risk of widespread famines "of biblical proportions" caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the UN has warned. David Beasley, head of the World Food Programme (WFP), said urgent action was needed to avoid a catastrophe. A report estimates that the number suffering from hunger could go from 135 million to more than 250 million. Even before the pandemic hit, parts of East Africa and South Asia were already facing severe food shortages caused by drought and the worst locust infestations for decades. Addressing the UN Security Council ... Mr Beasley said... "We could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months". The WFP chief - who has just recovered from Covid-19 - began his Security Council briefing by saying "excuse me for speaking bluntly." There is no blunting what could happen in a world facing - even before this global health crisis - what David Beasley called the worst humanitarian catastrophe since the Second World War. In an interview, he also expressed fear that 30 million people, and possibly more, could die in a matter of months if the UN does not secure more funding and food. The WFP's senior economist, Arif Husain, said the economic impact of the pandemic was potentially catastrophic for millions "who are already hanging by a thread". "It is a hammer blow for millions more who can only eat if they earn a wage," he said in a statement. "Lockdowns and global economic recession have already decimated their nest eggs. It only takes one more shock - like Covid-19 - to push them over the edge."
Note: This Reuters article also claims that the coronavirus could plunge half a billion worldwide into poverty. Though some of this may be fear-mongering to get more money and is quite typical of the media, the article does raise serious questions about the numbers that could die as a direct result of the global lockdown. So who is this lockdown really serving? 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.
A series of missteps at the nation's top public health agency caused a critical shortage of reliable laboratory tests for the coronavirus. President Donald Trump assured Americans early this month that the COVID-19 test developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is "perfect" and that "anyone who wants a test can get a test." But more than two months after the first U.S. case of the new disease was confirmed, many people still cannot get tested. Four primary issues ... hampered the national response — the early decision not to use the test adopted by the World Health Organization, flaws with the more complex test developed by the CDC, government guidelines restricting who could be tested and delays in engaging the private sector to ramp up testing capacity. By mid-February, only about a half-dozen state and local public health labs had reliable tests. But still, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield continued to insist his agency had developed "a very accurate test." "We found that, in some of the states, it didn't work," Redfield said earlier this month. As more sick people sought to be tested, many states were forced to limit access because of the flawed CDC test. Accounts began to emerge ... of people with all the symptoms of COVID-19 who either couldn't get tested or had test results delayed. On Feb. 29, only 472 patients had been tested nationwide, with just 22 cases confirmed, according to CDC data. By comparison, South Korea ... mobilized to test more than 20,000 people a day.
Note: Explore a ZeroHedge article titled "Whistleblower: How CDC Is Manipulating The COVID-19 Death-Toll." A BMJ article titled "Covid-19: four fifths of cases are asymptomatic, China figures indicate" quotes one epidemiologist as asking "What the hell are we locking down for?" For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.
A woman with COVID-19 at a Solano County hospital — the nation’s first case from an unknown source — exposed 121 health workers to the coronavirus, yet only three got the disease, a new study of the February case reveals. All three had been in close contact for about two hours with the patient, and two had no protective gear, according to the report published Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those workers also examined the patient and performed treatments that involved close contact, such as placing her on a breathing machine. The researchers tested just 43 of the 121 workers for the coronavirus because only they had developed a cough or other symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 patients within two weeks after exposure. Across the country, more than 9,200 health workers out of an estimated 18 million have the disease, the CDC reported Tuesday in a separate paper, which notes that the number probably understates the true number of coronavirus infections. Dr. Robert Siegel, an infectious disease expert at Stanford, called the relatively low infection rate from the Solano County patient a hopeful sign. But he added that public health officials should remain vigilant in protecting workers. “The results are promising for health care workers. It means that the risk may be less than we thought,” Siegel said.
Note: If only three out of 121 got the virus, and those three all had prolonged exposure, how contagious really is it? Explore a ZeroHedge article titled "Whistleblower: How CDC Is Manipulating The COVID-19 Death-Toll." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and the coronavirus pandemic 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.
The US [provided a] $3.7 million grant to the Wuhan-based laboratory carrying out research on virus derived from bat caves. The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) was conducting the coronavirus experiments on mammals, with funds received from the United States National Institute of Health. The NIH has been listed as a partner by the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Other American institutes that have partnered with the research lab, include: University of Alabama, University of North Texas Eco Health Alliance [and] Harvard University. WIV ... has more than 1,500 strains of deadly viruses stored and specialises in research of 'the most dangerous pathogens', in particular the viruses carried by bats. The project released its first research in November 2017 ... titled 'Discovery of a rich gene pool of bat SARS-related coronaviruses provides new insights into the origin of SARS coronavirus.' Hitting out at the US government, US Congressman Matt Gaetz said: "I'm disgusted to learn that for years the US government has been funding dangerous and cruel animal experiments at the Wuhan Institute, which may have contributed to the global spread of coronavirus." Conspiracy theories have been hinting at the possibility of the virus being developed in the WIV. Last week, Cao Bin, a doctor at the Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital ... revealed that out of the first 41 cases found positive for coronavirus, 13 had no contact with the wildlife market, raising the doubts that the virus was in fact lab originated. 'It seems clear that the seafood market is not the only origin of the virus,' he said.
Note: Newsweek reported that in 2017, Anthony Fauci predicted a "surprise outbreak" during Trump's presidency. Respected author Peter Breggin, M.D., has uncovered more on how the U.S. and China collaborated to transform an animal coronavirus into one that can attack humans. Don't miss his excellent essay with a link direct to the study, which was published in the prestigious British journal Nature. Why was an FDA official involved and why was NIH funding a project that enabled the Chinese to develop a military weapon or to accidentally or purposely cause an epidemic?
Some billionaires are satisfied with buying themselves an island. Bill Gates got a United Nations health agency in Geneva. The world’s richest man has become the World Health Organization’s second biggest donor, second only to the United States. This largesse gives him outsized influence over its agenda. The result, say his critics, is that Gates’ priorities have become the WHO’s. When Gates started throwing money into malaria eradication, top officials — including the chief of the WHO’s malaria program — raised concerns that the foundation was distorting research priorities. “The term often used was ‘monopolistic philanthropy’, the idea that Gates was taking his approach to computers and applying it to the Gates Foundation,” said a source close to the WHO board. “He is treated liked a head of state, not only at the WHO, but also at the G20,” a Geneva-based NGO representative said. Some health advocates fear that because the Gates Foundation’s money comes from investments in big business, it could serve as a Trojan horse for corporate interests to undermine WHO’s role in setting standards and shaping health policies. The Gates Foundation has pumped more than $2.4 billion into the WHO since 2000. Dues paid by member states now account for less than a quarter of WHO’s $4.5 billion biennial budget. The rest comes from ... governments, Gates, other foundations and companies. Since these funds are usually earmarked for specific projects or diseases, WHO can’t freely decide how to use them.
Note: Just to be clear, Bill Gates is neither an MD nor a PhD. This entire article has astounding information on the unethical relationship between Gates and the WHO and his desire to have a global ID to ensure everyone in the world is vaccinated. This Forbes article is titled "Bill Gates Calls For National Tracking System For Coronavirus During Reddit AMA." For lots more, see this highly revealing video. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced a sweeping relaxation of environmental rules in response to the coronavirus pandemic, allowing power plants, factories and other facilities to determine for themselves if they are able to meet legal requirements on reporting air and water pollution. The move comes amid an influx of requests from businesses for a relaxation of regulations as they face layoffs, personnel restrictions and other problems related to the coronavirus outbreak. Issued by the E.P.A.’s top compliance official, Susan P. Bodine, the policy sets new guidelines for companies to monitor themselves for an undetermined period of time during the outbreak and says that the agency will not issue fines for violations of certain air, water and hazardous-waste-reporting requirements. Companies are normally required to report when their factories discharge certain levels of pollution. The order asks companies to “act responsibly” if they cannot ... monitor or report the release of hazardous air pollution. Businesses, it said, should “minimize the effects and duration of any noncompliance” and keep records to report to the agency how Covid-19 restrictions prevented them from meeting pollution rules. Gina McCarthy, who led the E.P.A. under the Obama administration ... called it “an open license to pollute.” She said that while individual companies might need flexibility, “this brazen directive is nothing short of an abject abdication of the E.P.A. mission to protect our well being.”
Coronavirus patients in areas that had high levels of air pollution before the pandemic are more likely to die from the infection than patients in cleaner parts of the country, according to a new nationwide study that offers the first clear link between long-term exposure to pollution and Covid-19 death rates. In an analysis of 3,080 counties in the United States, researchers at the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that higher levels of the tiny, dangerous particles in air known as PM 2.5 were associated with higher death rates from the disease. For weeks, public health officials have surmised a link between dirty air and death or serious illness from Covid-19. The Harvard analysis is the first nationwide study to show a statistical link, revealing a “large overlap” between Covid-19 deaths and other diseases associated with long-term exposure to fine particulate matter. The paper found that if Manhattan had lowered its average particulate matter level by just a single unit, or one microgram per cubic meter, over the past 20 years, the borough would most likely have seen 248 fewer Covid-19 deaths by this point in the outbreak. The paper ... found that just a slight increase in long-term pollution exposure could have serious coronavirus-related consequences, even accounting for other factors like smoking rates and population density. The study also could have far-reaching implications for clean-air regulations, which the Trump administration has worked to roll back over the past three years.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.
Bill Gates ... just called for a complete and utter shutdown and quarantining of the entire American nation. “Despite urging from public health experts,” Gates wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece, “some states and counties haven’t shut down completely. This is a recipe for disaster. Because people can travel freely across state lines, so can the virus. The country’s leaders need to be clear: Shutdown anywhere means shutdown everywhere. Until the case numbers start to go down ... no one can continue business as usual or relax the shutdown.” He then added that the impacts of the new coronavirus could linger another 18 months or so, until a vaccine was developed. For the peons of America, work isn’t an option. It’s food. It’s survival. The fate of a hard-earned dream shouldn’t rest with a globalist billionaire who’s warning of dire coronavirus consequences to come — all the while making hands-over-fist coronavirus money. It’s a conflict of interest. WHO didn’t announce the coronavirus as a pandemic until the very day after Gates ... made a very large donation to a cause that benefits WHO. In a 2017 piece titled, “Meet the world’s most powerful doctor: Bill Gates,” Politico wrote: “Some billionaires are satisfied with buying themselves an island. Bill Gates got a United Nations health agency. Over the past decade, the world’s richest man has become the World Health Organization’s second-biggest donor, second only to the United States. … This largesse gives him outsized influence over its agenda. … The result, say his critics, is that Gates‘ priorities have become the WHO‘s.”
Very Important Note: To understand how the coronavirus is being used to exert more control over humanity, don't miss this incredibly important video focused on how Bill Gates is using fear around the coronavirus to push through his agenda to vaccinate everyone on the planet and then require a "digital certificate" to ensure they've been vaccinated. For other reliable, verifiable informing demonstrating how Gates' vaccine agenda has already harmed hundreds of thousands of children read this excellent article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Tokyo’s coronavirus “state of emergency” is as surreal as they come. Though the streets are noticeably quieter than normal, subways and buses are still jammed with commuters. Stock trading goes on as normal. Many bars, restaurants and cafes are abuzz. So are barbershops, beauty salons and home improvement centers. In Shibuya and other meccas of youth culture, teenagers who should be hunkering down at home are out and about. Leave it to Japan’s largest metropolis to morph shelter-in-place into a giant kabuki performance starring 8.3 million people. [Prime Minister] Abe should dispense with the pandemic kabuki and call for a strict shelter-in-place policy. Though there are legal questions about enforceability, Abe could use the bully pulpit to urge Japanese — and companies — to comply.
Important Editor's Note: This article is a prime example of how the media is bulldozing it's social isolation agenda and convincing people to willingly give up their freedoms. Japan was one of the first countries hit by the virus, with it's first death due to the coronavirus on Feb. 13th. Yet while the U.S., Italy, France, Spain, and the UK all had their first coronavirus deaths after Japan, all of these countries as of April 12th had tens of thousands of deaths, while Japan had only 124 deaths. That's 100 times less. Instead of calling for stricter policies in Japan, why isn't everyone asking what they are doing to have such an incredibly low death rate without instituting lockdown procedures? For more serious questions on how we are being manipulated, see this excellent essay.
The Netherlands has tried to adopt an "intelligent lockdown", but the infection is spreading rapidly and it has one of the world's highest mortality rates from the pandemic. Having shunned the stricter measures of neighbouring states the government has pursued an "intelligent" or "targeted" lockdown. It wants to cushion the social, economic and psychological costs of social isolation and make the eventual return to normality more manageable. [The] local florist, ironmonger, delicatessen, bakery and toy store are still serving customers. Posters on the door and sticky tape on the floor encourage people to give each other space. Only those businesses that require touching, like hairdressers, beauticians and red light brothels, have been forced to cease trading. Schools, nurseries and universities are closed. Bars, restaurants and cannabis cafes are shut, although they seem to be doing a roaring trade in takeaways. "We think we're cool-headed," explained Dr Louise van Schaik of the Clingendael Institute of International Relations. "We don't want to overreact, to lock up everybody in their houses." People have been advised to stay at home, but you can go out if you are unable to work from home ... as long as you maintain 1.5m (5ft) social distance. It helps that the Dutch appear to be broadly compliant. One survey suggested 99% of people kept their distance. Dutch public health agency RIVM has launched a study to see how far antibodies created when people are exposed remain effective in preventing re-infection. "It's kind of like creating your own internal vaccine, by being exposed to it and then letting your body generate those antibodies naturally," Prof Aura Timen from the RIVM told the BBC.
Note: On 3/28, the Netherlands had over six times as many deaths as California with 639 compared to California's 104. Yet 15 days later (4/12), California had risen 608% to 633, while the Netherlands has gone up only 428% to 2,737. This is quite interesting considering that California has been in lockdown since 3/19. You can verify this by going to this link of archived statistics on the virus and clicking on the dates in question. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Much of Europe is still on coronavirus lockdown, with severe restrictions on movement and penalties for those who transgress. But not Sweden. Restaurants and bars are open in the Nordic country, playgrounds and schools too, and the government is relying on voluntary action to stem the spread of Covid-19. The Swedish government is confident its policy can work. Sweden's actions are about encouraging and recommending, not compulsion. Elisabeth Liden, a journalist in Stockholm, [noted that] "the subway went from being completely packed to having only a few passengers per car. I get the sense that a vast majority are taking the recommendations of social distancing seriously." On March 24, new rules were introduced to avoid crowding at restaurants. But they very much stayed open. So did many primary and secondary schools. Gatherings of up to 50 people are still permitted. The country's state epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell ... defended the decision to keep schools open [saying] "a lot of children are suffering when they can't go to school." Much of Sweden's focus has been to protect the elderly. Anyone aged 70 or older has been told to stay at home and limit their social contact as much as possible. Another factor in Sweden's favor is a generous social welfare net that means people don't feel obligated to turn up for work if their young child is sick. State support kicks in on day one of absence from work due to a child being sick. The next month will determine whether the Swedish system got it right.
Note: On 3/28, Sweden had twice as many deaths (203) as California (104). Yet 15 days later (4/12), California had risen 608% to 633, while Sweden had risen only 443% to 899. This is quite interesting considering that California has been in lockdown since 3/19, yet Sweden is not. You can verify these figures by going to this link of archived statistics from Johns Hopkins on the virus and clicking on the dates in question. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
A model predicting the progression of the novel coronavirus pandemic produced by researchers at Imperial College London set off alarms across the world and was a major factor in several governments' decisions to lock things down. But a new model from Oxford University is challenging its accuracy. The Oxford research suggests the pandemic is in a later stage than previously thought and estimates the virus has already infected at least millions of people worldwide. In the United Kingdom, which the study focuses on, half the population would have already been infected. If accurate, that would mean transmission began around mid-January and the vast majority of cases presented mild or no symptoms. The head of the study, professor Sunetra Gupta, an Oxford theoretical epidemiologist, said she still supports the U.K.'s decision to shut down the country to suppress the virus. But she also doesn't appear to be a big fan of the work done by the Imperial College team. If her work is accurate, that would likely mean a large swath of the population has built up resistance to the virus. Theoretically, then, social restrictions could ease sooner than anticipated. What needs to be done now, Gupta said, is a whole lot of antibody testing to figure out who may have contracted the virus. Her research team is working with groups from the University of Cambridge and the University of Kent to start those tests for the general population as quickly as possible.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.
As countries around the world grapple with the coronavirus, Taiwan may offer valuable lessons on how to curb its spread. The island is just 81 miles and a short flight away from mainland China, where COVID-19 is believed to have originated in the city of Wuhan. And yet, Taiwan has had only 50 cases of COVID-19 and one death. Of the 100-plus countries and territories affected, Taiwan has the lowest incidence rate per capita — around 1 in every 500,000 people. What lessons can Taiwan teach the world so other countries can stem the spread of the virus? On Dec. 31, the same day China notified the World Health Organization that it had several cases of an unknown pneumonia, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control immediately ordered inspections of passengers arriving on flights from Wuhan. Taiwan began requiring hospitals to test for and report cases. That helped the government identify those infected, trace their contacts and isolate everyone involved. Equally important, Taiwan's CDC activated the Central Epidemic Command Center relatively early on Jan. 20 and that allowed it to quickly roll out a series of epidemic control measures. The country’s health insurance system, which covers 99 percent of the population, has been crucial. “You can get a free test, and if you’re forced to be isolated, during the 14 days, we pay for your food, lodging and medical care,” [government spokesperson Kolas Yotaka] said. “So no one would avoid seeing the doctor because they can’t pay for health care.”
Note: This wired.com article further shows how Singapore is doing well with the pandemic. Another article shows why several countries have had success in this. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Michael Levitt, a Nobel laureate and Stanford biophysicist, began analyzing the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide in January and correctly calculated that China would get through the worst of its coronavirus outbreak long before many health experts had predicted. Now he foresees a similar outcome in the United States and the rest of the world. While many epidemiologists are warning of months, or even years, of massive social disruption and millions of deaths, Levitt says the data simply don’t support such a dire scenario — especially in areas where reasonable social distancing measures are in place. “What we need is to control the panic,” he said. In the grand scheme, “we’re going to be fine.” Here’s what Levitt noticed in China: On Jan. 31, the country had 46 new deaths due to the novel coronavirus, compared with 42 new deaths the day before. Although the number of daily deaths had increased, the rate of that increase had begun to ease off. It was an early sign that the trajectory of the outbreak had shifted. “This suggests that the rate of increase in the number of deaths will slow down even more over the next week,” Levitt wrote. He predicted that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in China would end up around 80,000, with about 3,250 deaths. This forecast turned out to be remarkably accurate. Now Levitt ... is seeing similar turning points in other nations. He analyzed data from 78 countries that reported more than 50 new cases of COVID-19 every day and sees “signs of recovery” in many of them.
Note: Consider the research of 12 other experts questioning the coronavirus panic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.
The new NextSeq 550 sequencing machine at UCSF’s clinical lab on Berry Street looks like a microwave with a computer keyboard, but to microbiologist Charles Chiu, it is the key to California’s fight against the deadliest, most invasive virus to strike humanity in decades. The professor of medicine at UCSF will be using the black contraption ... to sequence the genomes of the viruses infecting hundreds of COVID-19 patients in the Bay Area during the next few weeks. Chiu ... is one of the top infectious disease specialists in the world. He has assembled an expert team of scientists ... to find critical clues about where the viral outbreaks in the Bay Area came from and how quickly the disease is spreading. He has already analyzed nine samples from the more than two dozen passengers who tested positive for the coronavirus on the Grand Princess cruise ship and is close to pinpointing the origin of those cases. “Those sequences belong in the same cluster as the infection in Washington state,” Chiu said. “They really suggest a link between Washington state and California.” Chiu said tracking the spread of the virus through genetics is possible because coronaviruses are known to have one to two mutations per month, allowing genomic sequencing to track a particular strain back to its origin. The rate of mutation in coronaviruses is much slower than it is with the influenza virus, which averages about eight to 10 mutations per month.
The latest threat to global health is the ongoing outbreak of the respiratory disease that was recently given the name Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19). The Covid-19 outbreak has posed critical challenges for the public health, research, and medical communities. In their Journal article, Li and colleagues provide a detailed clinical and epidemiologic description of the first 425 cases reported in the epicenter of the outbreak: the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, China. A degree of clarity is emerging from this report. The median age of the patients was 59 years, with higher morbidity and mortality among the elderly and among those with coexisting conditions (similar to the situation with influenza). Of note, there were no cases in children younger than 15 years of age. Li et al. report a mean interval of 9.1 to 12.5 days between the onset of illness and hospitalization. On the basis of a case definition requiring a diagnosis of pneumonia, the currently reported case fatality rate is approximately 2%. In another article in the Journal, Guan et al. report mortality of 1.4% among 1099 patients with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19; these patients had a wide spectrum of disease severity. If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.
Note: The main author of this article, Anthony S. Fauci, is the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Consider the research of 12 other experts questioning the coronavirus panic. Explore also this excellent article which 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.
The current coronavirus disease [may] be a once-in-a-century evidence fiasco. At a time when everyone needs better information ... no countries have reliable data. This evidence fiasco creates tremendous uncertainty. Draconian countermeasures have been adopted in many countries. The data collected so far on how many people are infected and how the epidemic is evolving are utterly unreliable. Given the limited testing to date ... we don’t know if we are failing to capture infections by a factor of three or 300. Reported case fatality rates, like the official 3.4% rate from the [WHO], cause horror — and are meaningless. Patients who have been tested ... are disproportionately those with severe symptoms and bad outcomes. The Diamond Princess cruise ship [had a] case fatality rate [of] 1.0%, but this was a largely elderly population. Projecting the Diamond Princess mortality rate onto the age structure of the U.S. population, the death rate among people infected with Covid-19 would be 0.125%. But since this estimate is based on extremely thin data ... the real death rate could stretch from five times lower (0.025%) to five times higher (0.625%). A population-wide case fatality rate of 0.05% is lower than seasonal influenza. If that is the true rate, locking down the world with potentially tremendous social and financial consequences may be totally irrational. In the absence of data, prepare-for-the-worst reasoning leads to extreme measures of social distancing and lockdowns. Unfortunately, we do not know if these measures work. With lockdowns of months, if not years, life largely stops, short-term and long-term consequences are entirely unknown, and billions, not just millions, of lives may be eventually at stake.
Note: John Ioannidis is professor of medicine, epidemiology and population health at Stanford University. To be truly informed, don't miss this entire, very well researched article at the link above. Consider also the research of 12 other experts questioning the coronavirus panic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.
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.
It's been overshadowed by the new coronavirus outbreak in China, but this year's flu season could be near its peak. At least 14,000 people have died and 250,000 have already been hospitalized during the 2019-2020 flu season, according to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 26 million Americans have fallen ill with flu-like symptoms. "There is a deadly respiratory virus that is circulating throughout the United States, and it is at its peak. It is not novel coronavirus," said Dr. Pritish Tosh, an infectious disease specialist with the Mayo Clinic. This flu season ... started early, in October, with an unusual wave of influenza B virus. Influenza B is less likely than other strains to mutate and become more virulent. That means it poses a greater threat to young people than to older folks, who may have gained immunity because they encountered the strain before. There have been 105 flu-related deaths among children this season, a higher total at this point of the year than any season in the past decade. Two-thirds of these deaths were associated with influenza B viruses, the CDC noted. More recently, a second wave of influenza A viruses featuring the H1N1 strain has hit the United States, Tosh noted. "This has been an extended season, and we've certainly been seeing a lot of hospitalizations and bad outcomes from it," Tosh said. "We will likely continue to see high influenza activity for several weeks. We are probably at its peak right now. I sure hope it doesn't get much worse."
Note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now estimates that between 390,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations and between 23,000 and 59,000 deaths have resulted from seasonal flu so far this season. That's between 150 and 300 deaths every day in the U.S. from the regular flu. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
I wonder how many of the readers remember the WHO’s pandemic alert on swine ‘flu some years ago? When the WHO was proactive to announce a pandemic then without any scientific justifications I was the one who wrote that that was a business stunt! People did not believe and the British Medical Journal rejected my paper. After one long year what I had predicted came true. Council of Europe Health Committee Chairman Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg said that the declaration of a swine flu pandemic was a false alarm. “There are many signs that there is close cooperation between the WHO and pharmaceutical companies. We have to find out whether there was pressure or whether there was money given as an incentive to the WHO to have this pandemic declared,” Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg adds. To give a simple example of the swine flu drug Tamiflu when given to a million people, 45,000 will experience vomiting, 31,000 will experience headache and 11,000 will have psychiatric side-effects. These figures might be insignificant if Tamiflu cures swine flu. That is not the case. Raising the fear levels in society is the surest way of depressing their immune system! This is good for business. With people’s immune system depressed they are prone to all kinds of infections. What follows next is the usual history. Greedy drug companies will now vie with each other to produce a vaccine. Vaccination is big business. This pattern goes on and on as long as money and medicine are related.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.
A man from London has become the second person in the world to be cured of HIV, doctors say. Adam Castillejo is still free of the virus more than 30 months after stopping anti-retroviral therapy. He was not cured by the HIV drugs, however, but by a stem-cell treatment he received for a cancer he also had, the Lancet HIV journal reports. The donors of those stem cells have an uncommon gene that gives them, and now Mr Castillejo, protection against HIV. In 2011, Timothy Brown, the "Berlin Patient" became the first person reported as cured of HIV, three and half years after having similar treatment. Stem-cell transplants appear to stop the virus being able to replicate inside the body by replacing the patient's own immune cells with donor ones that resist HIV infection. Adam Castillejo - the now 40-year-old "London Patient" who has decided to go public with his identity - has no detectable active HIV infection in his blood, semen or tissues, his doctors say. It is now a year after they first announced he was clear of the virus and he still remains free of HIV. Lead researcher Prof Ravindra Kumar Gupta, from the University of Cambridge, told BBC News: "This represents HIV cure with almost certainty. "We have now had two and a half years with anti-retroviral-free remission. "Our findings show that the success of stem-cell transplantation as a cure for HIV, first reported nine years ago in the Berlin Patient, can be replicated."
Among the 2,158 people to have been killed by the coronavirus pandemic in Italy as of Monday, the oldest was 95 and the two youngest were 39. Silvio Brusaferro, the president of Italy’s Higher Institute of Health, said on Friday that the average age of coronavirus victims was 80.3, with the majority having suffered underlying illnesses. The most common additional health issue was arterial hypertension followed by chronic heart disease, atrial fibrillation and cancer. More than 70% of those who have died were men. The two 39-year-old victims were a man with diabetes and a woman with cancer.
Note: Yet very strangely in Italy's neighbor France, "half the severe cases were people aged under 60," according to this report. For two other excellent articles which put the Coronavirus in perspective, see this compilation of data and this excellent essay on how the virus is being used to promote the surveillance state. Lots more from reliable sources on selling fear during virus scares is available here. And for how fear is used to control us and what we can do about it, don't miss this excellent essay.
More than 99% of Italy’s coronavirus fatalities were people who suffered from previous medical conditions, according to a study by the country’s national health authority. After deaths from the virus reached more than 2,500, with a 150% increase in the past week, health authorities have been combing through data to provide clues to help combat the spread of the disease. Italy has more than 31,500 confirmed cases of the illness. The new study could provide insight into why Italy’s death rate, at about 8% of total infected people, is higher than in other countries. The Rome-based institute has examined medical records of about 18% of the country’s coronavirus fatalities, finding that just three victims, or 0.8% of the total, had no previous pathology. Almost half of the victims suffered from at least three prior illnesses and about a fourth had either one or two previous conditions. More than 75% had high blood pressure, about 35% had diabetes and a third suffered from heart disease. The average age of those who’ve died from the virus in Italy is 79.5. As of March 17, 17 people under 50 had died from the disease. All of Italy’s victims under 40 have been males with serious existing medical conditions. According to the GIMBE Foundation, about 100,000 Italians have contracted the virus, daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported. That would bring back the country’s death rate closer to the global average of about 2%.
Note: Yet very strangely in Italy's neighbor France, "half the severe cases were people aged under 60," according to this report. For two other excellent articles which put the Coronavirus in perspective, see this compilation of data and this excellent essay on how the virus is being used to promote the surveillance state. Lots more from reliable sources on selling fear during virus scares is available here. And for how fear is used to control us and what we can do about it, don't miss this excellent essay.
The World Health Organization [is facing] charges that the agency deliberately fomented swine flu hysteria. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) ... is publicly investigating the WHO's motives in declaring a pandemic. The chairman of its influential health committee, epidemiologist Wolfgang Wodarg, has declared that the "false pandemic" is "one of the greatest medicine scandals of the century." Even within the agency, the director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Epidemiology ... Dr. Ulrich Kiel, has essentially labeled the pandemic a hoax. "We are witnessing a gigantic misallocation of resources [$18 billion so far] in terms of public health," he said. The pandemic declaration [reflects] sheer dishonesty motivated not by medical concerns but political ones. Unquestionably, swine flu has proved to be vastly milder than ordinary seasonal flu. It kills at a third to a tenth the rate, according to [CDC] estimates. Did the WHO have any indicators of this mildness when it declared the pandemic in June? Absolutely. We were then fully 11 weeks into the outbreak and swine flu had only killed 144 people worldwide--the same number who die of seasonal flu worldwide every few hours. (An estimated 250,000 to 500,000 per year by the WHO's own numbers.) The agency was losing credibility over the refusal of avian flu H5N1 to go pandemic and kill as many as 150 million people worldwide, as its "flu czar" had predicted in 2005. Around the world nations heeded the warnings and spent vast sums developing vaccines and making other preparations. So when swine flu conveniently trotted in, the WHO essentially crossed out "avian," inserted "swine."
Note: Forbes removed this article from their website once it gained attention. In this intriguing 11-minute video, epidemiologist Dr. Wodarg questions the validity of the Coronavirus numbers and explains how fear and manipulation have greatly exaggerated the fear around this virus. Explore extensive, eye-opening coverage from reliable sources revealing how the swine and avian flu "pandemics" were designed for corporate profit. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
A Missouri jury’s $265 million award to peach grower Bill Bader in his lawsuit against herbicide providers Bayer and BASF has raised the stakes for the two companies as at least 140 similar cases head to U.S. courts. A jury in U.S. District Court in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, handed Bader, the state’s largest peach farmer, $15 million in actual and $250 million in punitive damages. He sued the companies saying his 1,000-acre orchard was irreparably harmed by herbicide that they produce, which drifted onto its trees from nearby farms. The three-week trial was the first case in the United States to rule on the use of dicamba-based herbicides alleged to have damaged tens of thousands of acres of U.S. cropland. The herbicide can become a vapor and drift for miles when used in certain weather, farmers have claimed. Bayer faces separate multi-billion-dollar litigation over the Roundup weedkiller made by Monsanto, the U.S. firm it took over for $63 billion in 2018. Monsanto made Roundup and dicamba, and Bayer is being sued over both products. Bader Farms, in southern Missouri near the Arkansas border, said it lost many trees when the herbicide containing dicamba was used on nearby soybean and cotton farms and drifted onto its property. The farm said repeated dicamba exposure beginning in 2015 killed or weakened the fruit trees. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency imposed restrictions on the use of dicamba in November 2018 over concerns about potential damage to nearby crops.
U.S. insurers and providers spent more than $800 billion in 2017 on administration, or nearly $2,500 per person - more than four times the per-capita administrative costs in Canada's single-payer system, a new study finds. Over one third of all healthcare costs in the U.S. were due to insurance company overhead and provider time spent on billing, versus about 17% spent on administration in Canada, researchers reported in Annals of Internal Medicine. Cutting U.S. administrative costs to the $550 per capita (in 2017 U.S. dollars) level in Canada could save more than $600 billion, the researchers say. "The average American is paying more than $2,000 a year for useless bureaucracy," said lead author Dr. David Himmelstein, a distinguished professor of public health at the City University of New York. "That money could be spent for care if we had a 'Medicare for all program'," Himmelstein said. Why are administrative costs so high in the U.S.? It's because the insurance companies and health care providers are engaged in a tug of war, each trying in its own way to game the system. "Some folks estimate that the U.S. would save $628 billion if administrative costs were as low as they are in Canada," said Jamie Daw, an assistant professor ... at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "That's a staggering amount," Daw said. "It's more than enough to pay for all of Medicaid spending or nearly enough to cover all out-of-pocket and prescription drug spending by Americans."
Note: The study described above is available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health from reliable major media sources.
Coronavirus has the world on edge. The outbreak is now a global pandemic. Coast to coast, large public gatherings and major events have been canceled. Employees have been told to work from home, universities have moved all classes online and elementary schools have closed for sanitizing. The stock market has seen meteoric crashes. It's a global event pervading nearly every aspect of people's lives. Psychologists and public health experts say public anxiety is high, and it's largely fueled by a feeling of powerlessness. The spread of the new coronavirus is not just a public health crisis. Part of what drives feelings of anxiety is a lack of information. The virus is new, and there remain many questions. Most people haven't had it, nor do they know someone who has. Experts say that matters. Not everyone reacts to epidemics the same way. When news is mixed, people can choose to focus on the good or the bad. The good news is, for most people, the illness caused by the coronavirus is generally mild and the flu-like symptoms of fever and cough don't last long. The bad news is the virus is novel and highly contagious. Whether people fixate on the good or the bad has a lot to do with who they are. Reports say most people who contract the coronavirus experience symptoms similar to the flu. Then people read stories about the National Guard helping with quarantine containment. A blog post from the Poynter Institute, which trains journalists, noted that saying "deadly virus" can be misleading, because the virus is not deadly for most people. People should also limit their media exposure, experts say. They caution against reading about the outbreak obsessively and recommend getting needed information and moving on.
Note: Read this entire article at the link above to gain a good perspective on the emotional impact of the Coronavirus. Then explore this CDC webpage on the 2009 Swine flu (H1N1), which states, " CDC estimated there were ... 274,304 hospitalizations and 12,469 deaths in the United States due to the (H1N1)pdm09 virus. Additionally, CDC estimated that 151,700-575,400 people worldwide died. 80 percent ... occurred in people younger than 65 years of age." These numbers are far below those of the Coronavirus. So why is the whole world shutting down in fear?
According to a recent study by Johns Hopkins, more than 250,000 people in the United States die every year because of medical mistakes, making it the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer. Other studies report much higher figures, claiming the number of deaths from medical error to be as high as 440,000. [The study] defines a death due to medical error as one that is caused by inadequately skilled staff, error in judgment or care, a system defect or a preventable adverse effect. This includes computer breakdowns, mix-ups with the doses or types of medications ... and surgical complications. The U.S. patient-care study, which was released in 2016, explored death-rate data for eight consecutive years. The researchers discovered that based on a total of 35,416,020 hospitalizations, there was a pooled incidence rate of 251,454 deaths per year — or about 9.5 percent of all deaths — that stemmed from medical error. According to Dr. John James, a patient-safety advocate and author of A Sea of Broken Hearts: Patient Rights in a Dangerous, Profit-Driven Health Care System, patients need to take charge. “There needs to be a balance between the provider community and the patients.” James’ site, Patient Safety America, lists the three levels in which patients can protect themselves. These include being a wise consumer of health care by demanding quality, cost-effective care; by participating in patient-safety leadership through boards, panels and commissions that implement policy and laws; and by pushing for laws that favor safer care, transparency and accountability.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in health from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
As the new Coronavirus spreads illness, death, and catastrophe around the world, virtually no economic sector has been spared from harm. Yet amid the mayhem ... one industry is not only surviving, it is profiting handsomely. "Pharmaceutical companies view Covid-19 as a once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity," said Gerald Posner, author of "Pharma: Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America." The world needs ... treatments and vaccines and, in the U.S., tests. Dozens of companies are now vying to make them. The ability to make money off of pharmaceuticals is already uniquely large in the U.S., which lacks the basic price controls other countries have, giving drug companies more freedom over setting prices for their products than anywhere else in the world. During the current crisis, pharmaceutical makers may have even more leeway than usual because of language industry lobbyists inserted into an $8.3 billion coronavirus spending package, passed last week, to maximize their profits from the pandemic. Initially, some lawmakers had tried to ensure that the federal government would limit how much pharmaceutical companies could reap from vaccines and treatments for the new coronavirus that they developed with the use of public funding. But many Republicans opposed adding language to the bill that would restrict the industry's ability to profit, arguing that it would stifle research and innovation. The final aid package not only omitted language that would have limited drug makers' intellectual property rights, it specifically prohibited the federal government from taking any action if it has concerns that the treatments or vaccines developed with public funds are priced too high.
Note: For glaring examples of how big Pharma and select public officials made money hand over fist during previous virus scares, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the avian and swine flu from reliable major media sources.
As China encourages people to return to work despite the coronavirus outbreak, it has begun a bold mass experiment in using data to regulate citizens’ lives — by requiring them to use software on their smartphones that dictates whether they should be quarantined or allowed into subways, malls and other public spaces. The system does more than decide in real time whether someone poses a contagion risk. It also appears to share information with the police, setting a template for new forms of automated social control that could persist long after the epidemic subsides. The Alipay Health Code, as China’s official news media has called the system, was first introduced in the eastern city of Hangzhou ... with the help of Ant Financial, a sister company of the e-commerce giant Alibaba. People in China sign up through Ant’s popular wallet app, Alipay, and are assigned a color code — green, yellow or red — that indicates their health status. The system is already in use in 200 cities and is being rolled out nationwide, Ant says. As soon as a user grants the software access to personal data, a piece of the program labeled “reportInfoAndLocationToPolice” sends the person’s location, city name and an identifying code number to a server. The software does not make clear to users its connection to the police. In the United States, it would be akin to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention using apps from Amazon and Facebook to track the coronavirus, then quietly sharing user information with the local sheriff’s office.
Note: Learn in this revealing article how China is blacklisting certain citizens using this system and "banning them from any number of activities, including accessing financial markets or travelling by air or train, as the use of the government’s social credit system accelerates." Learn more about the serious risk of the Coronavirus increasing the surveillance state in this excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
The outbreak of Covid-19 has been anathema for most of China’s economy but the novel coronavirus was a shot in the arm for the state’s surveillance apparatus, which has expanded rapidly in pursuit of the epidemic’s spread. Facial recognition cameras, phone tracking technology and voluntary registrations have all been deployed to monitor the flow of people and the possible transmission of disease. “The Chinese surveillance systems currently ... has two purposes: the first is to monitor public health and the second is to maintain political control,” says Francis Lee, a professor ... at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Once the outbreak is controlled, however, it’s unclear whether the government will retract its new powers. While facial recognition provides a way to monitor crowds from a distance, governments have deployed close-range means of tracking individuals too. The municipal government of Hangzhou worked with ecommerce giant Alibaba to launch a feature through the company’s mobile wallet app, AliPay, that assesses the user’s risk of infection. The app generates a QR code. Guards at checkpoints in residential buildings and elsewhere can then scan that code to gain details about the user. John Bacon-Shone ... at Hong Kong University thinks that the ongoing threat of outbreaks will provide a constant justification for the new systems. “I am rather pessimistic that there will be full rollback of data collection once it has been implemented,” Bacon-Shone says.
Note: Remember all of the privacy and freedoms given up after 9/11? How many of those have been given back? Learn more about the serious risk of the Coronavirus increasing the surveillance state in this excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
Before a vaccine to combat the coronavirus pandemic is within view, the Trump administration has already walked back its initial refusal to promise that any remedy would be affordable to the general public. “We can’t control that price because we need the private sector to invest,” Alex Azar, Health and Human Services secretary and a former drug industry executive, told Congress. After extraordinary blowback, the administration insisted that in the end, any treatment would indeed be affordable. The federal government, though, under the Clinton administration, traded away one of the key tools it could use to make good on the promise of affordability. Gilead Sciences, a drugmaker known for price gouging, has been working with Chinese health authorities to see if the experimental drug remdesivir can treat coronavirus symptoms. But remdesivir, which was previously tested to treat Ebola virus, was developed through research conducted at the University of Alabama ... with funding from the federal government. That’s how much of the pharmaceutical industry’s research and development is funded. The public puts in the money, and private companies keep whatever profits they can. It wasn’t always that way. Before 1995, drug companies were required to sell drugs funded with public money at a reasonable price. Under the Clinton administration, that changed. In April 1995, the Clinton administration capitulated to pharmaceutical industry pressure and rescinded the longstanding “reasonable pricing” rule.
Note: Read an excellent post by an infectious disease doctor saying he's much more concerned about the fear and panic around the Coronavirus than about the virus itself. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
A large scale malaria vaccine study led by the World Health Organization has been criticised by a leading bioethicist for committing a “serious breach” of international ethical standards. The cluster randomised study in Africa is already under way in Malawi, Ghana, and Kenya, where 720,000 children will receive the RTS,S vaccine, known as Mosquirix, over the next two years. Mosquirix, the world’s first licensed malaria vaccine, was positively reviewed by the European Medicines Agency, but its use is being limited to pilot implementation, in part to evaluate outstanding safety concerns that emerged from previous clinical trials. [Among these concerns] were a rate of meningitis in those receiving Mosquirix 10 times that of those who did not, increased cerebral malaria cases, and a doubling in the risk of death (from any cause) in girls. Charles Weijer, a bioethicist at Western University in Canada, told The BMJ that the failure to obtain informed consent from parents whose children are taking part in the study violates the Ottawa Statement, a consensus statement on the ethics of cluster randomised trials, of which Weijer is the lead author, and the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences’ International Ethical Guidelines. “The failure to require informed consent is a serious breach of international ethical standards,” he said.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Vice-premier Sun Chunlan, one of the most senior government officials to visit the centre of the coronavirus outbreak [was] heckled by residents who yelled “fake, fake, everything is fake” as she inspected the work of a neighbourhood committee charged with taking care of quarantined residents. Videos posted online showed Sun and a delegation walking along the grounds while residents appeared to shout from their apartment windows, “fake, fake,” “it’s all fake,” as well as “we protest”. Since 12 February, all residential compounds in Wuhan have been put under lockdown, barring most residents from leaving their homes. In an unusual turn of events, on Friday various Chinese state media outlets reported the videos showing public discontent. Such videos are frequently censored. Yet, the People’s Daily posted a video subtitled in English showing one person shouting “fake, fake,” which has since been removed. A government-affiliated account on WeChat ... said in an essay posted on Thursday that all the facts of the incident were “basically true”. According to state broadcaster CCTV, Sun held a meeting immediately after the incident to deal with the complaints. Staff have been dispatched to visit the residents one by one. Observers say state media may be trying to co-opt discussion of the videos, which circulated widely online, and provide their own narrative of events. Elsewhere in China, schools in provinces reporting no new cases for a number of days, started to set their opening dates in a sign of the country returning to normal. Wuhan reported 126 new coronavirus cases on Thursday but the wider province of Hubei excluding the capital recorded none for the first time during the outbreak.
Note: Remember all of the privacy and freedoms given up after 9/11? How many of those have been given back? Learn more about the serious risk of the Coronavirus increasing the surveillance state in this excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
The percentage of national income that is absorbed by health care has grown over the past half-century, from 5% in 1960 to 18% in 2017, reducing what is available for anything else from 95% in 1960 to 82% today. The costs of health care contribute to the long-term stagnation in wages; to fewer good jobs, especially for less educated workers; and to rising income inequality. American health care is the most expensive in the world, and yet American health is among the worst among rich countries. The U.S. has lower life expectancy than the other wealthy countries but vastly higher expenditures per person. In 2017, the Swiss lived 5.1 years longer than Americans but spent 30% less per person; other countries achieved a similar length of life for still fewer health dollars. How is it possible that Americans pay so much and get so little? The money is certainly going somewhere. What is waste to a patient is income to a provider. The industry is not very good at promoting health, but it excels at promoting wealth among health care providers. Employer-based coverage is a huge barrier to reform. So is the way that the health care industry is protected in Washington by its lobbyists—five for every member of Congress. Our government is complicit in an extortion that is an important contributor to income inequality. Through pharma companies that get rich by addicting people, and through excessive costs that lower wages and eliminate good jobs, the industry that is supposed to improve our health is undermining it.
The United States ranks lower than 38 other countries on measurements of children's survival, health, education and nutrition - and every country in the world has levels of excess carbon emissions that will prevent younger generations from a healthy and sustainable future, according to a new report. The report, published in the medical journal The Lancet ... ranked 180 countries based on a "child flourishing index" and the United States came in at No. 39. Countries also were ranked by levels of excess carbon emissions - specifically researchers took a close look at estimated levels for 2030. Based on that data, the United States ranked No. 173 for sustainability. The year 2030 was selected as the threshold because in 2015 governments around the world adopted "Sustainable Development Goals" created by the United Nations to make improvements for people and the planet by 2030. Norway, South Korea and the Netherlands ranked in the top three, respectively, on current child "flourishing," but those countries were 156th, 166th and 160th, respectively, on the global sustainability index that measured carbon emissions, according to the report. Some countries had lower, yet still high, excess carbon emissions levels, but those countries did not rank well on the "child flourishing index" in the report. For instance, Burundi, Chad and Somalia ranked first, second and third on the sustainability rankings but 156th, 179th and 178th, respectively, on the "flourishing" rankings.
Note: For the full report in the highly respected Lancet, see this webpage. Infographics on this topic are also available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
The Medicare For All plan proposed by Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren would save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars each year and would prevent tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths, a new study shows. The analysis ... found that transitioning the U.S. to a single-payer health care system would actually save an estimated $450 billion each year, with the average American family seeing about $2,400 in annual savings. The research, which was published Saturday in the medical journal The Lancet, also found that Medicare for all would prevent about 68,000 unnecessary deaths per year. Overall, the new research anticipates annual savings of about 13 percent in national health care costs, while providing better health care access to lower-income families. According to the study, about 37 million Americans do not have health insurance, while an additional 41 million people do not have adequate health care coverage. Taken together, about 24 percent of the total population does not have health care coverage that meets their needs. "The entire system could be funded with less financial outlay than is incurred by employers and households paying for health-care premiums combined with existing government allocations," the authors wrote in the study. The authors also noted, as [Democratic presidential candidate Bernie] Sanders often does when discussing Medicare for all, that health care expenditures in the U.S. are "higher" per capita "than in any other country."
Note: The incredible amount of corruption in US health care makes it the most costly in the world. Could universal health care help to curb the corruption? The Lancet study described above is available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
At this week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, where the cannabis industry enjoyed a whole pavilion of its own, the biggest takeaway was where cannabis is headed in terms of human health. Rick Doblin, executive director of MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies ... has delivered a TED talk on the future of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. And at Davos there was strong interest in the plant-based psychedelic molecules Doblin works with, [pharmacist Saul] Kaye said. “If you look at cannabis as an entryway into the market for botanical-based medicines, you can look at mushrooms, psilocybin,” said Kaye. “You can look at ibogaine, ayahuasca, which are new medicinal models that are breaking out in the world based on botanical medicine that has been illegal for the last 100 years. “Cannabis has elevated access to all kinds of botanical-based medicines, which ultimately can change mental health, physical health; and it’s a fascinating area that we can ... elevate the conversation around.” Other topics at the cannabis forum ... merited an “elevated” conversation of their own. A speaker from StemCell United, for example, addressed the fast expansion of CBD companies in Asia, building on what Kaye termed “a global de-stigmaization” across the Asian markets. The result, he said, has been to begin changing the traditional impression of cannabis from “This is illicit, this is a drug,” to, “This a research drug that is much safer than alcohol and tobacco.”
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.
In the fall of 1932, the fliers began appearing around Macon County, Ala., promising “colored people” special treatment for “bad blood.” “Free Blood Test; Free Treatment, By County Health Department and Government Doctors,” the black and white signs said. “YOU MAY FEEL WELL AND STILL HAVE BAD BLOOD. COME AND BRING ALL YOUR FAMILY.” Hundreds of men — all black and many of them poor — signed up. What the signs never told them was they would become part of the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male,” a secret experiment conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service to study the progression of the deadly venereal disease — without treatment. The study recruited 600 black men, of which 399 were diagnosed with syphilis and 201 were a control group without the disease. The researchers never obtained informed consent from the men and never told the men with syphilis that they were not being treated but were simply being watched until they died and their bodies examined for ravages of the disease. Initially, when the study began, treatment for syphilis was not effective, often dangerous and fatal. But even after penicillin was discovered and used as a treatment for the disease, the men in the Tuskegee study were not offered the antibiotic. Although originally projected to last six months, the study extended for 40 years. “Local physicians asked to assist with study and not to treat men,” the Centers for Disease Control reported in a timeline of the experiment.
Note: Read more about the Tuskegee study. This is just one of many known cases of humans being used as guinea pigs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on science corruption from reliable major media sources.
When the man from Hangzhou returned home from a business trip, the local police got in touch. They had tracked his car by his license plate in nearby Wenzhou, which has had a spate of coronavirus cases. Stay indoors for two weeks, they requested. After around 12 days, he was bored and went out early. This time, not only did the police contact him, so did his boss. He had been spotted ... by a camera with facial recognition technology, and the authorities had alerted his company as a warning. “I was a bit shocked by the ability and efficiency of the mass surveillance network. They can basically trace our movements ... at any time and any place,” said the man, who asked not to be identified for fear of repercussions. Chinese have long been aware that they are tracked by the world's most sophisticated system of electronic surveillance. The coronavirus emergency has brought some of that technology out of the shadows, providing the authorities with a justification for sweeping methods of high tech social control. Artificial intelligence and security camera companies boast that their systems can scan the streets for people with even low-grade fevers, recognize their faces even if they are wearing masks and report them to the authorities. If a coronavirus patient boards a train, the railway's "real name" system can provide a list of people sitting nearby. Mobile phone apps can tell users if they have been on a flight or a train with a known coronavirus carrier, and maps can show them ... where infected patients live.
Note: The New York Times strangely removed this article. Yet it is also available here. Is there something they don't want us to know? Read an excellent article showing how this virus scare is being used to test China's intense surveillance technologies in very disturbing ways. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
The number of new coronavirus cases reported in China over the past week suggested that the outbreak might be slowing — that containment efforts were working. But on Thursday, officials added more than 14,840 new cases to the tally of the infected in Hubei Province alone, bringing the total number to 48,206, the largest one-day increase so far recorded. The death toll in the province rose to 1,310, including 242 new deaths. The sharp rise in reported cases illustrates how hard it has been for scientists to grasp the extent and severity of the coronavirus outbreak in China. Confronted by so many people with symptoms and no easy way to test them, authorities appear to have changed the way the illness is identified. Hospitals in Wuhan, China — the largest city in Hubei Province and the center of the epidemic — have struggled to diagnose infections with scarce and complicated tests that detect the virus’s genetic signature directly. Other countries, too, have had such issues. Instead, officials in Hubei now seem to be including infections diagnosed by using lung scans of symptomatic patients. The change ... raises the question whether the province, already struggling, is equipped to deal with the new patients. The few experts to learn of the new numbers ... were startled. Lung scans are an imperfect means to diagnose patients. Even patients with ordinary seasonal flu may develop pneumonia visible on a lung scan.
Note: So now anyone who has regular pneumonia will likely be diagnosed as having Coronavirus. This intriguing article suggests that many of the Coronavirus deaths are pneumonia not associated with the virus. For more showing how the fear around this is being blown way out of proportion, see this well researched essay. Then explore concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
Eleven military bases near major airports in the United States are setting up quarantine centers for possible coronavirus patients, the Department of Defense said. The Department of Health and Human Services asked the Pentagon for quarantine space in case beds fill up at other coronavirus centers around the country, according to a DOD statement. The Pentagon already agreed to house up to 1,000 people for quarantine after they returned to the United States from areas with the virus, the Associated Press reports. As of Friday, more than 31,400 people have been infected with the 2019 coronavirus worldwide, with most in mainland China, according to the AP. More than 630 people have died from the virus, almost all in China, the AP reports. “These are tertiary locations, and HHS already has primary and secondary locations identified that are not DOD facilities,” the Pentagon said. Each base will be able to house up to 20 patients along with public health personnel and equipment. The agreement lasts until Feb. 22, the DOD said. “DOD personnel will not be in direct contact with the evacuees and will minimize contact with personnel supporting the evacuees,” the Pentagon said. If anyone tests positive for the virus, public health officials with DHHS will move them to a civilian hospital, according to the statement.
Note: Read an excellent article suggesting there is much fear mongering taking place around the Coronavirus. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
Two former Merck & Co Inc scientists accusing the drugmaker of falsifying tests of its exclusive mumps vaccine said in a court filing on Monday that Merck is refusing to respond to questions about the efficacy of the vaccine. Attorneys at Constantine Cannon, who represent the scientists, asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Lynne Sitarski of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to compel Merck to respond to their discovery request, which asks the company to give the efficacy of the vaccine as a percentage. Instead of answering the question ... Merck has been consistently evasive, using “cut-and-paste” answers saying it cannot run a new clinical trial to determine the current efficacy, and providing only data from 50 years ago. The two scientists, Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski, filed their whistleblower lawsuit in 2010 claiming Merck, the only company licensed by the Food and Drug Administration to sell a mumps vaccine in the United States, skewed tests of the vaccine by adding animal antibodies to blood samples. As a result, they said, Merck was able to produce test results showing that the vaccine was 95 percent effective, even though more accurate tests would have shown a lower success rate. The plaintiffs said these false results kept competitors from trying to produce their own mumps vaccines, since they were unable to match the effectiveness Merck claimed. The case is United States ex rel Krahling et al v. Merck & Co Inc, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, No. 10-4374.
Note: Why didn't this get reported widely? A search reveals no major media other than Reuters and WSJ covered this. This article in a local paper states the two whistleblowers were threatened by Merck with jail if they went public with this. It also says all students in a Syracuse University mumps outbreak had been properly vaccinated. This excellent article gives a 2019 update and reveals how the vaccines caused injury in a very high percentage of cases. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.
More than 12 million pounds of medically important antibiotics sold in this country are not for use in humans; they're for livestock. And the antibiotics are driving the spread of drug-resistant bacteria in the animals that can get passed on to us through food. Yet it's almost impossible to get on the farms to conduct inspections and stop infection outbreaks from spreading, even for public health officials. In 2015, Washington state epidemiologist Scott Lindquist investigated an outbreak of antibiotic resistant salmonella tied to roaster pigs. The salmonella was resistant to antibiotics. Lindquist traced the cause of the outbreak to a slaughterhouse. "We come in and we find the bacteria, essentially everywhere," [said Lindquist]. "So I want to go back to the farms and I wanna sample the pigs at the farm." But to his surprise, Lindquist, who was conducting the investigation, was flatly turned down. Thwarted, he says, by the National Pork Producers Council, the lead lobbying group for the $23 billion pork industry. They sent Lindquist a letter denying him access to the farms. Even federal inspectors have trouble getting on farms. They are not allowed on a farm to look for bacteria that make people sick without the farmer's permission. Farmers started using antibiotics decades ago ... to make animals grow faster with less food. In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration told farmers to stop using antibiotics in animals for growth purposes, but ... they are permitted to use them for disease prevention, and there are no reporting requirements.
In a squat rig fitted with a 5,000-gallon tank, Peter crisscrosses the expanse of farms and woods near the Ohio/West Virginia/Pennsylvania border, the heart of a region that produces close to one-third of America’s natural gas. He hauls a salty substance called “brine,” a naturally occurring waste product that gushes out of America’s oil-and-gas wells to the tune of nearly 1 trillion gallons a year. At most wells, far more brine is produced than oil or gas, as much as 10 times more. It collects in tanks, and like an oil-and-gas garbage man, Peter picks it up and hauls it off to treatment plants or injection wells, where it’s disposed of by being shot back into the earth. Through a grassroots network of Ohio activists, Peter was able to transfer 11 samples of brine to the Center for Environmental Research and Education at Duquesne University, which had them tested in a lab at the University of Pittsburgh. The results were striking. Radium ... is so dangerous it’s subject to tight restrictions even at hazardous-waste sites. The most common isotopes are radium-226 and radium-228, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires industrial discharges to remain below 60 for each. Four of Peter’s samples registered combined radium levels above 3,500, and one was more than 8,500. Peter’s samples are just a drop in the bucket. Oil fields across the country — from the Bakken in North Dakota to the Permian in Texas — have been found to produce brine that is highly radioactive.
Note: In addition to producing this radioactive waste, fracking employs secret chemical mixtures and poisons drinking water. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
Senior officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told staffers to avoid using seven words such as “science-based” and “fetus” in budget-related documents. The backlash was swift and strident; headlines accused the CDC of censoring scientific ideas. Documents recently obtained via two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests indicate the CDC and other executive branch agencies ... quietly implement organized strategies to control the flow and tone of scientific information to the press and the public. Moreover, these practices have been in place under both the Trump and Obama administrations. The techniques being used are much more subtle ... than mere censorship. Two agencies under the Department of Health and Human Services’ umbrella have erected obstacles to reporters’ access to federal scientists. And by striking backroom deals with favored journalists, press officers try to get reporters to cleave to an official narrative. Meanwhile government workers at the FDA, are also portraying a ... press-restraining practice as a boon to journalists. In a so-called “close-hold” embargo - exposed by Scientific American in 2016 - a few select journalists are given early access to information; in return they agree to hold off on publishing until the agency gives the go-ahead, and to let officials choose whom the reporter may speak with before the embargo expires. Collectively, these practices at the FDA and CDC are staunching the flow of important science and policy decisions to the public.
On Wednesday, a Turin, Italy court of appeals agreed with a 2017 lower court ruling stating that excessive mobile phone usage causes brain tumors. "There are solid elements to affirm a causal role between the exposure of the person to radio frequencies from mobile phones and the disease that arose," read the ruling in part, translation from Italian provided by The Guardian. The case in question was filed by former Telecom Italia worker Roberto Romeo, 59, against Italy's National Institute for Insurance Against Workplace Accidents (INAIL), a national insurance provider. Romeo testified that he used cell phones for four to five hours daily during the average work week. He was employed by Telecom Italia for 15 years before he was diagnosed with a benign tumor, neurinoma of the acoustic nerve. He contracted meningitis after the removal of the nerve, as well as suffering damage to 23 percent of his other bodily functions. In the initial ruling, INAIL was ordered to compensate Romeo €500 ($557.42 in U.S. dollars) monthly for the rest of his life. INAIL appealed the decision. The court did not allow lawyers for INAIL to submit studies to the court which were financially supported by telecom companies. Two court-appointed doctors subsequently provided testimony for Romeo's case during the appeals process, producing studies which declared that individuals who spoke on their phones for an average of 30 minutes a day ... increased their risk of developing head tumors. The ruling from the appeals court ordered INAIL to compensate Romeo.
Note: For more information, see this excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the dangers of wireless technologies from reliable major media sources.
Drug company Hoffmann-La Roche ... bilked U.S. federal and state governments out of $1.5 billion by misrepresenting clinical studies and falsely claiming that its well-known influenza medicine Tamiflu was effective at containing potential pandemics, according to a recently unsealed whistleblower lawsuit. The lawsuit claims the drugmaker's scheme involved publishing misleading articles falsely stating that Tamiflu reduces complications, severity, hospitalizations, mortality and transmission of influenza. The company then used those articles to aggressively market the drug to the government for pandemic use. Relying on the supposed truthfulness of Roche's claims, federal and state governments spent about $1.5 billion to stockpile Tamiflu to combat influenza pandemics, according to the complaint. The lawsuit brings claims under the False Claims Act, which allows individuals to bring claims on behalf of the government. Whistleblower Dr. Thomas Jefferson, a physician and public health researcher affiliated with the respected global Cochrane Collaboration research network, has researched neuraminidase inhibitors like Tamiflu for more than two decades. He began questioning Tamiflu's efficacy in 2009 and spearheaded efforts to have the company release the underlying clinical study data. When he finally received the data in 2013, Dr. Jefferson analyzed it and concluded that the clinical data does not support Roche's claims about Tamiflu's effectiveness for use in an influenza pandemic.
Note: Though the major media is ignoring this major allegation, it was reported on the website of the highly respected British Medical Journal. Note also that Former U.S. Sect. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld made $5 million from the sales of Tamiflu. More details are available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.
The Coronavirus outbreak that started in China has spread concerns across the world. With more than 8,000 confirmed cases and at least 170 deaths, the virus is a global public health emergency, the World Health Organization declared Thursday. But the vast majority of the cases and all of the deaths are in China. Despite repeated statements from the CDC declaring the general risk to the American public to be low, fear in the U.S. has spread across social media. After news that a plane carrying roughly 200 Americans out of China would land in the U.S., some questioned whether they should be let back into the country, regardless of repeated screenings from health officials. "There's a lot of hysteria right now about that," says Brandon Brown, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Riverside, school of medicine. Their concerns are better focused elsewhere, he says. More than 8,000 people in the U.S. have died from the flu this season, which peaks between December and February, according to CDC estimates. During the 2018-2019 season, the CDC estimates 16.5 million people went to a health care provider for the flu and more than 34,000 people died in the U.S. The prior season saw 61,000 deaths. Brown says, "We need to be much more afraid of the thing that's been killing us for years, which is the seasonal influenza." Good health practices can prevent both the flu and the coronavirus.
Note: Lots more excellent information on fear-mongering around the Coronavirus is available on this webpage and this one. An excellent video interview features a scientist who specializes in genetics. He has examined the genome released by the Chinese government in search of the origins of the Coronavirus. Watch the first 10 minutes at this link. His solid investigation strongly suggests "this particular virus has a laboratory origin." For a detailed analysis of the science, see this webpage.
The death rate from cancer in the United States saw the largest ever single-year decline between 2016 and 2017 since rates began declining in 1992, according to a new report from the American Cancer Society. [A] deceleration in lung cancer deaths spurred an overall drop in cancer mortality of 2.2% from 2016 to 2017, according to the report. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in the United States, accounting for about 27% of all cancer deaths — more than breast, prostate, colorectal, and brain cancers combined. Lung cancer is also the most common cause of death due to cancer among men age 40 and older and women age 60 and older. The decline in mortality from melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, was also dramatic. Dr. William Cance, chief medical and scientific officer for the American Cancer Society, attributed [decreased] mortality from lung cancer and melanoma to treatment advances made in the past 10 years. "They are a profound reminder of how rapidly this area of research is expanding, and now leading to real hope for cancer patients," Cance said. As of 2017, cancer deaths have dropped 29% from 1992 numbers — meaning an estimated 2,902,200 fewer cancer deaths, according to the ACS report. "This steady progress is largely due to reductions in smoking and subsequent declines in lung cancer mortality, which have accelerated in recent years," reads the report.
The International Federation of Health Plans, a group representing the C.E.O.s of health insurers worldwide, publishes a guide every few years on the international cost for common medical services. Its newest report, on 2017 prices, came out this month. Every time, the upshot is vivid and similar: For almost everything on the list, there is a large divergence between the United States and everyone else. Patients and insurance companies in the United States pay higher prices for medications, imaging tests, basic health visits and common operations. Those high prices make health care in the U.S. extremely expensive, and they also finance a robust and politically powerful health care industry, which means lowering prices will always be hard. For a typical angioplasty, a procedure that opens a blocked blood vessel to the heart, the average U.S. price is $32,200, compared with $6,400 in the Netherlands, or $7,400 in Switzerland, the survey finds. A typical M.R.I. scan costs $1,420 in the United States, but around $450 in Britain. An injection of Herceptin, an important breast cancer treatment, costs $211 in the United States, compared with $44 in South Africa. These examples aren’t outliers. Researchers at Harvard conducted an exhaustive study last year of things that make health systems in developed countries different from one another. The clear finding of those researchers was that it’s this huge gap in prices ... that helps explain why the United States is such an expensive place to be sick.
MDMA is the main ingredient in club drugs ecstasy or molly. But [Lori] Tipton wasn't taking pills sold on the street to get high at a party. She was trying to treat her post-traumatic stress disorder, with the help of licensed therapists. Two specially-trained psychotherapists ... sat next to Tipton as she recalled some of her deepest traumas, like discovering her mother's body after a murder-suicide. "I was able to find such empathy for myself. I realized how much I was thinking this was my fault," she says. The synthetic psychoactive chemical MDMA is emerging as a promising — if unconventional — treatment for PTSD. Scientists are testing how pharmaceutical-grade MDMA can be used in combination with psychotherapy to help patients who have a severe form of PTSD that has not responded to other treatments. It's not yet available as a treatment for PTSD outside of clinical trials, but the success of early trials has proponents hopeful that the therapy could be available to more people in coming years. They're aiming for approval by the The Food and Drug Administration, which granted breakthrough therapy status to MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in 2017. After the Phase 2 trials of MDMA-assisted treatments concluded in 2017, researchers found 54% of the patients who took MDMA had improved to the point that they no longer fit the diagnosis for PTSD (compared to 23% in the control group). A year later, the number who no longer had PTSD had risen to 68% percent.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.
Just last month, the World Health Organization announced that two of three strains of polio had been eradicated. It's been one of the great success stories of modern medicine. The disease, which, of course, can lead to paralysis, has been reduced to just a handful of cases around the world. But now scientists say there's been a troubling setback. One of the vaccines used to prevent polio has actually been causing some people to get polio. The problem begins with what's called a live vaccine, which has little bits of weakened polio virus in it, given to children around the world. What seems to have gone wrong? The oral polio vaccine that's used primarily in low- and middle-income countries - it's been the workhorse of this global effort to eradicate polio. But it is a live vaccine. It's cheap. It's easy to administer. However, this live vaccine is continued to be used worldwide. And while you're doing that, some of that vaccine has gotten out into the world. And it's mutated. It starts circulating again, just like regular polio. But early on, it's just - it's still a vaccine. It's not dangerous. And then slowly, it sort of regains strength. And they're finding they can actually genetically see this - that scientists can actually trace it back directly to the vaccine. And now these vaccine-linked cases are actually causing more cases of paralysis each year than actual traditional - what scientists call wild polio. In the United States and in Europe ... we're using an injectable vaccine, which is a dead vaccine. It is not a live virus, and it cannot cause polio.
For most, psychedelic drugs conjure up images of the 1960's, hippies tripping out on LSD or magic mushrooms. But ... these powerful, mind-altering substances are now being studied seriously by scientists inside some of the country's foremost medical research centers. They're being used to treat depression, anxiety and addiction. The early results are impressive, as are the experiences of the studies' volunteers who go on a six-hour, sometimes terrifying, but often life-changing psychedelic journey. For nearly two decades now, [scientist Roland Griffiths] and his colleague Matthew Johnson have been giving what they call "heroic doses" of psilocybin to more than 350 volunteers, many struggling with addiction, depression and anxiety. Carine McLaughlin was a smoker for 46 years and said she tried everything to quit before being given psilocybin at Johns Hopkins last year. That was more than a year ago; she says she hasn't smoked since. The study she took part in is still ongoing, but in an earlier, small study of just 15 long-term smokers, 80% had quit six months after taking psilocybin. That's double the rate of any over-the-counter smoking cessation product. Jon Kostakopoulos was drinking a staggering 20 cocktails a night ... when he decided to enroll in another psilocybin trial at New York University. During one psilocybin session, he was flooded with powerful feelings and images from his past. He took psilocybin in 2016. He says he hasn't had a drink since.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.
A ProPublica analysis has found that doctors who receive payments from the medical industry do indeed prescribe drugs differently on average than their colleagues who don't. And the more money they receive, the more brand-name medications they tend to prescribe. [They] matched records on payments from pharmaceutical and medical device makers in 2014 with corresponding data on doctors' medication choices in Medicare's prescription drug program. Doctors who got money from drug and device makers prescribed a higher percentage of brand-name drugs overall than doctors who didn't. Even those who simply got meals from companies prescribed more brand-name drugs, on average. Doctors who received more than $5,000 from companies in 2014 typically had the highest brand-name prescribing percentages. Among internists who received no payments, for example, the average brand-name prescribing rate was about 20 percent, compared to about 30 percent for those who received more than $5,000. ProPublica has been tracking drug company payments to doctors since 2010 through a project known as Dollars for Docs. The tool now covers every drug and device company, thanks to the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, a part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Separately, ProPublica has tracked patterns in Medicare's prescription drug program ... which covers more than 39 million people. This new analysis ... looked at doctors who wrote at least 1,000 prescriptions.
One of the first things I learned about pain was its value. I was a third-year medical student in 1976. We were ... encouraged to listen carefully to the patient’s experience of pain, the timing, the duration and any factors that made it better or worse. Forty years later, our concept of pain couldn’t be more different. Instead of learning from pain, we now regard it as an illness in and of itself. Insurance companies, health-care providers and drugmakers have all worked to increase the public’s fear of pain, leading us to see it as something to be treated, eliminated, banished — never lived with or accommodated or managed — lest it destroy us. They turned our natural fear into big business; our fee-for-service system has multiplied treatments based primarily on the financial rewards for pharmaceutical companies, doctors and hospitals. That attitude shift is perhaps the most overlooked explanation for an opioid crisis that kills tens of thousands of Americans every year. A healthy fear of pain ... protects us from injury and reminds us to allow time for healing. But otherwise, the fear of pain, and the belief that a pain-free existence is optimal or even possible, has been a catastrophe for patients. Before the opioid revolution, doctors understood that pain was important to keeping us safe, to be lived with and managed. Even if this meant we bore frequent episodes of discomfort, that was better than the nationwide crisis America faces today. Life isn’t “pain free.” If we want to end the epidemic of addiction, we need to relearn that lesson.
A leading medical journal is launching a global campaign to separate medicine from big pharma. The BMJ [British Medical Journal] says doctors are being unduly influenced by industry-sponsored education events and industry-funded trials for major drugs. Those trials cannot be trusted, the journal's editor and a team of global healthcare leaders write in a scathing editorial. The "endemic financial entanglement with industry is distorting the production and use of healthcare evidence, causing harm to individuals and waste for health systems", they write. They are calling for governments to start funding independent trials of new drugs and medical devices, rather than relying on industry-funded studies. Sponsored research is more likely to find a favourable result compared to independent research. And they want medical associations to discourage doctors from going to industry-funded education events. Assistant Professor Ray Moynihan [is a] researcher studying the link between money and medicine and is one of the leaders of The BMJ's campaign. “When we want to decide on a medicine or a surgery, a lot of the evidence we used to inform that decision is biased," he says. "It cannot be trusted. Because so much of that has been produced and funded by the manufacturers of those healthcare products." Dr Moynihan points to ... Johnson & Johnson, which sold pelvic mesh to thousands of Australian women. It knew the mesh could cause serious harm, but never properly warned women of the risks.
Note: Read the highly revealing comments of Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, on the massive corruption she found in the medical industry. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
You’ve probably heard about microdosing, the “productivity hack” popular among Silicon Valley engineers and business leaders. Microdosers take regular small doses of LSD or magic mushrooms. At these doses, they don’t experience mind-bending, hallucinatory trips, but they say they get a jolt in creativity and focus that can elevate work performance, help relationships, and generally improve a stressful and demanding daily life. Late last year, the first placebo-controlled microdose trial was published. The study concluded that microdoses of LSD appreciably altered subjects’ sense of time, allowing them to more accurately reproduce lapsed spans of time. Does a microdose change brain function? There’s a myriad of ways to test this, but [Devin] Terhune looked specifically at the way the subjects perceive time. When shown a blue dot on a screen for a specific length of time, the subjects were asked to recreate that length of time by pressing a key. Typically, with longer time intervals, people underrepresent time (i.e. hold the key down for a shorter period of time than reality). In the study, those who received microdoses held the key longer, better representing the actual time interval. Does this mean microdosing makes you smarter? Terhune and his co-authors were cautious in overinterpreting their finding. For one, it’s not clear that perceiving time more accurately is preferable. The brain seems to favor underrepresenting time for reasons that are unclear. The finding does show that microdoses changed brain function.
It's flu-shot season, and public health officials are urging everyone over 6 months of age to get one. For vaccine manufacturers, it's a bonanza: Influenza shots ... are a multibillion-dollar global business. But how good are they? Last month, in a step tantamount to heresy in the public health world, scientists at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota released a report saying that influenza vaccinations provide only modest protection for healthy young and middle-age adults, and little if any protection for those 65 and older. Moreover, the report's authors concluded, federal vaccination recommendations ... are based on inadequate evidence and poorly executed studies. Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy [stated,] "It does not protect as promoted. It's all a sales job: it's all public relations." While researching the report ... the authors discovered a recurring error in influenza vaccine studies that led to an exaggeration of the vaccine's effectiveness. They also discovered 30 inaccuracies in the statement on influenza vaccines put forth by the expert panel that develops vaccine recommendations, all of which favor the vaccine. The new report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy is not the first to point out the shortcomings of influenza vaccines, however. The Cochrane Collaboration, an international network of experts that evaluates medical research, concluded in a 2010 review that the vaccines ... have minimal impact in seasons when vaccines and viruses are mismatched.
Note: A 2020 study on the annual flu vaccine in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluded that "no evidence indicated that vaccination reduced hospitalizations or mortality among elderly persons." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.
At 74, the venture capitalist George Sarlo might not have seemed an obvious candidate for an ayahuasca experience. Mr. Sarlo’s close friend, a doctor, told him about ayahuasca, a psychedelic brew made from the Banisteriopsis caapi vine, native to the Amazon. Used for centuries in sacred healing traditions throughout Central and South America, ayahuasca is now gaining popularity around the world. [It] is mostly illegal in the United States. Notably, ayahuasca’s increasing popularity knows no age limits: many of those now showing interest are squarely in Mr. Sarlo’s own demographic. Mr. Sarlo himself was initially skeptical. Taking ayahuasca would entail a potentially distressing night of hallucinations, and excretions of all kind, especially vomiting. But he still decided to head to Yelapa, a small village in Mexico, and swallow down the bitter brew. Mr. Sarlo said that afterward, something shifted. “It changed my life completely.” He realized that his life had been “absolutely full of miracles,” he said. As Michael Pollan put it, “psychedelics might be wasted on the young.” Mr. Pollan, the author of the recent best seller “How To Change Your Mind,” a history of psychedelics and a chronicle of his own experiences trying them, said ... he was surprised by the number of people he encountered when writing his book in their 70s and 80s expressing interest in trying psychedelics. Though perhaps he shouldn’t have been: as he himself has written, one of the reasons to come to psychedelics later in life is to tangle with one’s own mortality.
Doctors have used ultrasound to successfully treat prostate cancer in a new study promising a new alternative to surgery. Prostate is the second most deadly type of cancer in men, with lung cancer the only variant to claim more lives. Treatment is challenging because surgery and radiation can leave men incontinent or impotent. However, a pioneering new technique avoids the risks by using a rod-shaped device inserted into the urethra while guided by magnetic resonance to administer precise bursts of ultrasound. The sound waves heat and destroy the tumour, leaving surrounding areas unharmed. The new study was presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America and involved 115 men with localised prostate cancer. After treatment with ultrasound, clinically significant cancer was eliminated in 80 per cent of the group, with 65 per cent having no signs of cancer after one year. Most of the men also saw reduced blood-antigen markers for prostate cancer, and overall no bowel complications were reported. Study co-author Steven Raman, professor of radiology and urology at the University of California at Los Angeles, said: “It’s an outpatient procedure with minimal recovery time. “We saw very good results in the patients, with a dramatic reduction of over 90 per cent in prostate volume and low rates of impotence with almost no incontinence.” The process, called Tulsa-Pro, has been approved for clinical use in Europe.
Note: Why isn't this exciting new development approved or even reported in the US? And learn about a man who developed a similar treatment almost a century ago only to have it quashed by the medical establishment.
A whistleblower who works in Project Nightingale, the secret transfer of the personal medical data of up to 50 million Americans from one of the largest healthcare providers in the US to Google, has expressed anger to the Guardian that patients are being kept in the dark about the massive deal. The anonymous whistleblower has posted a video on the social media platform Daily Motion that contains a document dump of hundreds of images of confidential files relating to Project Nightingale. The secret scheme ... involves the transfer to Google of healthcare data held by Ascension, the second-largest healthcare provider in the US. The data is being transferred with full personal details including name and medical history and can be accessed by Google staff. Unlike other similar efforts it has not been made anonymous through a process of ... de-identification. The disclosed documents include highly confidential outlines of Project Nightingale, laying out the four stages or “pillars” of the secret project. By the time the transfer is completed next March, it will have passed the personal data of 50 million or more patients in 21 states to Google, with 10 million or so files already having moved across – with no warning having been given to patients or doctors. Google has entered into similar partnerships on a much smaller scale with clients such as the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine. But in that case all the data handed over to the search giant was encrypted, with keys being held only on the medical side.
Scientists have created a new cowpox-style virus in a bid to cure cancer. The treatment, called CF33, can kill every type of cancer in a petrie dish and has shrunk tumours in mice, The Daily Telegraph reported. US cancer expert Professor Yuman Fong is engineering the treatment, which is being developed by Australia biotech company Imugene. They are hoping the treatment will be tested on breast cancer patients, among other cancer sufferers, next year. Professor Fong is currently in Australia to organise the clinical trials, which will also be run overseas. Patients with triple negative breast cancer, melanoma, lung cancer, bladder, gastric and bowel cancer would be tested in the 'basket study'. The virus, which causes the common cold, was turned into a treatment for brain cancer by scientists in the US. The cancer in some patients disappeared for years before it came back, while others saw tumours shrink considerably. Similarly, a form of the cold sore virus called Imlygic or T-Vec was found to be able to treat melanoma, as it helped the body's immune system recognise and destroy tumours and melanoma cells in the body. Cancer patients would have the engineered virus injected directly into their tumours for the breakthrough treatment. It's hoped the virus would infect the cancer calls and make them explode. The immune system is then expected to be alerted about other cancer cells in the body, prompting the diseased cells to be killed.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on promising cancer research from reliable major media sources.
The nation’s health experts are unable to gauge the effect of many potentially toxic chemicals on humans because the federal government has failed to study such exposure and has “a long way to go” before remedying the situation, according to a report released Tuesday. The study by the General Accounting Office was begun nearly two years ago. The study reviewed more than 1,400 chemicals that pose potential threats to human health and found that only 6% are being tracked by HHS and the EPA. And only a small percentage of the chemicals known or thought to be carcinogenic are being tracked by the government. In some situations where medical experts wanted to collect “human exposure” data - from blood, hair or urine, for example - and examine it for chemicals, they were constrained by financial resources. Such situations included suspected “cancer clusters” or contact with toxic chemicals. State and federal environmental health officials said that current budgets allow them to collect or use such data in less than half the cases where they thought it to be necessary. Even when laboratories have the capacity to collect the data, no laboratory method has been developed for assessing exposure levels in human tissue for many of the 1,400 chemicals known to pose a threat to human health. Data on how environmental toxins affect children are particularly lacking, according to physicians and public health officials who testified at Tuesday’s hearing
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.
Suicide rates for active-duty service members and veterans are rising, in part, experts say, because a culture of toughness and self-sufficiency may discourage service members in distress from getting the assistance they need. In some cases, the military services discharge those who seek help, an even worse outcome. More than 45,000 veterans and active-duty service members have killed themselves in the past six years. That is more than 20 deaths a day — in other words, more suicides each year than the total American military deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq. The latest Pentagon figures show the suicide rate for active-duty troops across all service branches rose by over a third in five years, to 24.8 per 100,000 active-duty members in 2018. Those most at risk have been enlisted men under 30. The data for veterans is also alarming. In 2016, veterans were one and a half times more likely to kill themselves than people who hadn’t served in the military, according to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Among those ages 18 to 34, the rate went up nearly 80 percent from 2005 to 2016. The risk nearly doubles in the first year after a veteran leaves active duty, experts say. The Pentagon this year also reported on military families, estimating that in 2017 there were 186 suicide deaths among military spouses and dependents. Military officials note that the suicide rates for service members and veterans are comparable to the general population after adjusting for the military’s demographics — predominantly young and male.
The US Food and Drug Administration approved Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s esketamine on Tuesday for treatment-resistant depression; the drug is the chemical cousin of ketamine, the powerful anesthetic that has been used illegally as the club drug Special K. It will be sold as Spravato. It's for patients who have tried at least two other medications without success, and it should be taken with an oral antidepressant. "There has been a longstanding need for additional effective treatments for treatment-resistant depression, a serious and life-threatening condition," Dr. Tiffany Farchione, acting director of the Division of Psychiatry Products at the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said. Spravato is a nasal spray administered by an approved health care provider in a doctor's office or a medical clinic. It may also be self-administered but only under the supervision of a care provider and cannot be taken home. Depending on the severity of the patient's depression, it is given either once a week or once every other week. The drug is rapidly acting, so it starts working faster than other antidepressants, according to Janssen. It works by restoring brain cells in patients with treatment-resistant depression. Currently available treatments for major depression are ineffective in 30% to 40% of patients. The drug was designated as a breakthrough therapy in 2013, a status intended to "expedite the development and review of drugs for serious or life-threatening conditions," the FDA said at the time.
In the 1960s, the sugar industry funded research that downplayed the risks of sugar and highlighted the hazards of fat, according to a newly published article in JAMA Internal Medicine. The article draws on internal documents to show that an industry group called the Sugar Research Foundation wanted to "refute" concerns about sugar's possible role in heart disease. The SRF then sponsored research by Harvard scientists that did just that. The result was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1967, with no disclosure of the sugar industry funding. There's no evidence that the SRF directly edited the manuscript published by the Harvard scientists in 1967, but there is "circumstantial" evidence that the interests of the sugar lobby shaped the conclusions of the review, the researchers say. The documents in question are five decades old, but the larger issue is of the moment, as Marion Nestle notes in a commentary in the same issue of JAMA Internal Medicine: "Is it really true that food companies deliberately set out to manipulate research in their favor? Yes, it is, and the practice continues. In 2015, the New York Times obtained emails revealing Coca-Cola's cozy relationships with sponsored researchers who were conducting studies aimed at minimizing the effects of sugary drinks on obesity. More recently, the Associated Press obtained emails showing how a candy trade association funded and influenced studies to show that children who eat sweets have healthier body weights than those who do not."
Note: Read more on the sugar industry's manipulation of science. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
The average 30-day stay at a California rehab costs families $40,000. It’s expensive and often highly risky. The Russells [checked] their 19-year-old son, Teddy Russell, into Mountain Vista last summer. “During intake, they had trouble with the blood pressure cuff and she said, ‘No, I have no medical training at all,’” said Anne Russell, talking about the counselor at the rehab. Mountain Vista Farm is a state licensed residential detox facility, which in California is not required to have a doctor on site. Anne Russell believes the lack of medical support drastically changed the course of her family’s life. “We trusted them to help him and our son trusted us and it was just a nightmare,” she said. Detox centers must check on patients every 30 minutes for the critical first 72 hours but that didn’t happen. Seven hours after being dropped off at Mountain Vista Farm, Teddy Russell was dead. The state has the power to suspend a rehab facility’s license after a Class A deficiency. Teddy’s death resulted in two of those. But the state didn’t shut this place down. In fact, we’ve learned it rarely shuts any rehab down. Instead the penalty in Teddy’s case was a $700 fine. Public records show Teddy’s story is not unique. 190 people have died at other rehab facilities in California since 2010. We found dozens of deficiencies, from falsifying records, failing to report deaths, and employing unqualified staff to not monitoring patient vitals, like what happened to Teddy.
Note: John Oliver has a hard-hitting video on the serious problems found at many rehab centers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
Can any medical-research studies be trusted? That question has been central to [Dr. John] Ioannidis’s career. He’s what’s known as a meta-researcher, and he’s become one of the world’s foremost experts on the credibility of medical research. He zoomed in on 49 of the most highly regarded research findings in medicine over the previous 13 years, as judged by the science community’s two standard measures: the papers had appeared in the journals most widely cited in research articles, and the 49 articles themselves were the most widely cited articles in these journals. Of the 49 articles, 45 claimed to have uncovered effective interventions. Thirty-four of these claims had been retested, and 14 of these, or 41 percent, had been convincingly shown to be wrong or significantly exaggerated. If between a third and a half of the most acclaimed research in medicine was proving untrustworthy, the scope and impact of the problem were undeniable. “Even when the evidence shows that a particular research idea is wrong, if you have thousands of scientists who have invested their careers in it, they’ll continue to publish papers on it,” he says. “It’s like an epidemic, in the sense that they’re infected with these wrong ideas, and they’re spreading it to other researchers through journals.” Of those 45 super-cited studies that Ioannidis focused on, 11 had never been retested. Perhaps worse, Ioannidis found that even when a research error is outed, it typically persists for years or even decades.
Note: For more along these lines, read the revealing comments of Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, on the massive corruption she found in the medical industry. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science from reliable major media sources.
In November, Dr. He Jiankui announced that twin girls had been born in China from embryos whose genes he had altered using CRISPR gene-editing technology. According to the magazine Science, he hoped to build a baby-designing business. In March, a World Health Organization committee argued for a moratorium on clinical human genome editing "until its implications have been properly considered." But no system of global guidance exists to implement or enforce such a ban on the practice. In June, a Russian scientist declared that he plans to proceed anyway. You can imagine what bad actors with eugenic fantasies could do with this technology. But today, many parents, with the best interest of their future children in mind, choose embryos based on the genes inside. Since 1978, when the first child, Louise Brown, was born using in-vitro fertilization, this and other assisted reproductive technologies have expanded immensely, creating over a million babies. Because preimplantation genetic diagnosis allows parents to avoid transmitting mutations to children, CRISPR will unfortunately probably be used to enhance progeny with socially desired traits such as height, certain athletic abilities or intelligence. Such uses will be very profitable. Due to high costs, assisted reproductive technologies, including preimplantation genetic diagnosis, are not available to everyone and are thus altering how thousands of affluent people -- but not poorer individuals -- thrive and live.
The telecommunications industry and their experts have accused many scientists who have researched the effects of cell phone radiation of "fear mongering" over the advent of wireless technology's 5G. The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announced ... that the commission will soon reaffirm the radio frequency radiation (RFR) exposure limits that the FCC adopted in the late 1990s. These limits are based upon a behavioral change in rats exposed to microwave radiation and were designed to protect us from short-term heating risks due to RFR exposure. Yet, since the FCC adopted these limits based largely on research from the 1980s, the preponderance of peer-reviewed research, more than 500 studies, have found harmful biologic or health effects from exposure to RFR at intensities too low to cause significant heating. The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified RFR as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" in 2011. Last year, a $30 million study conducted by the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) found “clear evidence” that two years of exposure to cell phone RFR increased cancer in male rats and damaged DNA in rats and mice of both sexes. The Ramazzini Institute in Italy replicated the key finding of the NTP using a different carrier frequency and much weaker exposure to cell phone radiation over the life of the rats.
Note: Explore a thoroughly researched document titled “Legal, Constitutional and Human Rights Violations of Smart Grid and Smart Meters” which exposes the blatant illegality of the smart meter rollout and its risks and dangers and a video interview with the author. 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.
Antibiotic resistance contributes to the death of 700,000 people around the world each year. Experts have predicted it will eclipse the number of people affected by cancer by 2050. One of the biggest causes is the overuse of antibiotics. On Monday, a group led by researchers from the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policies released a new study looking at the global consumption of antibiotics. They found the use of antibiotics worldwide has increased 65 percent from 2000 to 2015. What happens is, antibiotics kill bacteria that make us sick. But the bacteria over time evolve and develop an ability to survive the onslaught of the antibiotics. They, in essence, get smart. So, over time, bacteria survive that have resistance built in. The biggest contributor to this problem is in low- to mid-income countries. Back in 2000, the usage of antibiotics in the lower- to mid-income countries vs. high-income countries was about equal. In 2015, the usage in those low- to mid-income countries doubled. The projections are, by 2030, our use of antibiotics, if nothing changes, will be triple what it is today. And what that means is, there are going to be many more antibiotics which become really just basically useless, more so-called superbugs out there. And we are facing the prospect of a post-antibiotic world. We could get back to a world ... where something as simple as a cut or a blister could kill you, which is what the world was like before we had antibiotics.
A study published in JAMA Pediatrics has given new life to a long-running debate: whether adding fluoride to drinking water is a prudent way to prevent tooth decay, or a potentially toxic mistake. The research, which focused on mother-child pairs from six Canadian cities, found that high fluoride exposure during pregnancy was correlated with lower IQ scores among young children, especially boys. “Based on the current evidence, it is a reasonable recommendation to tell women to reduce their fluoride intake during pregnancy,” says study co-author Christine Till. The U.S. began adding fluoride to some public water supplies in the 1940s, in an effort to strengthen teeth and prevent decay, and research on it has been accumulating in the subsequent decades. At high doses, fluoride can actually damage people’s teeth, according to the World Health Organization - and some research, much of it in animals, suggests it’s also tied to more serious side effects, including bone cancer and cognitive impairments. In part due to that controversy, more than 300 communities in North America have voted to end fluoridation programs over the past 20 years, according to the anti-fluoride activist group Fluoride Action Network. Today, about 66% of Americans and 39% of Canadians had access to fluoridated water. Drinking an extra milligram of fluoride per day - about a liter of properly fluoridated water, plus a mug of tea (which is itself a source of fluoride) - during pregnancy translated to an average 3.66-point IQ drop for boys, the [new] study shows.
Note: Did you know that the US lowered it's recommendation for fluoride in drinking water in 2015 to "reduce the risk of Americans getting too much exposure"? Another Time magazine article states that researchers found that "exposure to high levels of fluoride from drinking water can contribute to a seven-point drop in IQ on average." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
An institute whose experts have occupied key positions on EU and UN regulatory panels is, in reality, an industry lobby group that masquerades as a scientific health charity, according to a peer-reviewed study. The Washington-based International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) describes its mission as “pursuing objectivity, clarity and reproducibility” to “benefit the public good”. But researchers from the University of Cambridge, Bocconi University in Milan, and the US Right to Know campaign assessed over 17,000 pages of documents under US freedom of information laws to present evidence of influence-peddling. The paper’s lead author, Dr Sarah Steele, a Cambridge university senior research associate, said: “Our findings add to the evidence that this nonprofit organisation has been used by its corporate backers for years to counter public health policies. ILSI should be regarded as an industry group – a private body – and regulated as such, not as a body acting for the greater good.” Around this time, ILSI was caught up in a separate controversy, when the Guardian revealed that ILSI Europe’s vice-president Prof Alan Boobis chaired a UN panel that found glyphosate was probably not carcinogenic to humans. The final panel report included no conflict of interest statements, even though ILSI Europe had received donations of $500,000 (Ł344,234) from Monsanto, which uses glyphosate in its RoundUp weedkiller, and $528,500 from its industry representative, Croplife International.
Note: Check out a great article on how lobby groups like this cause the media to become industry lapdogs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
About a half a dozen journalists were in a northern California courtroom to cover a third lawsuit alleging that Monsanto’s pesticide glyphosate causes cancer. [Sylvie] Barak told others that she was a freelancer for the BBC. When journalists searched the internet for Barak, they noticed that her LinkedIn account said she worked for FTI Consulting, a global business advisory firm that Monsanto and Bayer, Monsanto’s parent company, had engaged for consulting. Monsanto has also previously employed shadowy networks of consultants, PR firms, and front groups to spy on and influence reporters. And all of it appears to be part of a pattern at the company of using a variety of tactics to intimidate, mislead and discredit journalists and critics. In the latest example of Monsanto’s efforts to track journalists, The Guardian reported in August on internal documents from the company’s “fusion center,” which worked to discredit reporters and nonprofits via third-party actors. In the California trial, the reporter who first identified Barak as an FTI plant said she ... saw an uptick in Monsanto’s industry partners contacting her as she covered the trial. A guy named Jay Byrne ... contacted her on social media to discuss how GMO criticism was part of a Russian influence campaign; when she Googled Byrne, she learned he is Monsanto’s former director of communications. In a January deposition, a Monsanto representative said that in 2016 the company spent “around $16 or 17 million” on activities to defend glyphosate.
Note: Major lawsuits are now unfolding over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public on the dangers of glyphosate. Yet the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
Johns Hopkins Medicine announced the launch of the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, to study compounds like LSD and psilocybin for a range of mental health problems, including anorexia, addiction and depression. The center is the first of its kind in the country, established with $17 million in commitments from wealthy private donors and a foundation. The centers at Johns Hopkins and Imperial College give “psychedelic medicine,” as some call it, a long-sought foothold in the scientific establishment. Since the early 2000s, several scientists have been exploring the potential of psychedelics and other recreational drugs for psychiatric problems, and their early reports have been tantalizing. The emergence of depression treatment with the anesthetic and club drug ketamine and related compounds, which cause out-of-body sensations, also has piqued interest in mind-altering agents as aids to therapy. The ... funding will help clarify which drugs help which patients. Roland Griffiths, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins who will direct the new center ... said the new funds will cover six full-time faculty, five postdoctoral scientists and the costs of running trials. Among the first of those trials are a test of psilocybin for anorexia nervosa and of psilocybin for psychological distress and cognitive impairment in early Alzheimer’s disease. “The one that’s crying out to be done is for opiate-use disorder, and we also plan to look at that,” Dr. Griffiths said.
Note: Learn about the fascinating man who is bankrolling a significant portion of this new center in this New York Times article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.
Jada Renee Louis of Newport News, Virginia, died on 22 June 2019 about a week after requiring emergency hospital care for diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious complication caused by a lack of insulin, and a foot ulcer. She was 24. A type 1 diabetic, Louis, who did not have health insurance coverage, couldn’t afford the cost of her insulin doses and pay her rent. She chose to skip doses in order to pay her rent. Today a vial of insulin – which will last 28 days once opened – costs about $300 in the US. “People are literally dying over $300 like my sister did. People shouldn’t have to choose between medications or shelter. That’s the most outrageous decision for somebody to have to make, yet people are doing it daily,” Jazmine Baldwin, Louis’s sister, [said]. Price gouging of insulin and other barriers to accessing it are symptomatic of America’s broken healthcare system, diabetes advocates argue, and the resulting deaths and struggles of those with diabetes demonstrate the need for systemic reforms. Between 2012 to 2016, the average cost of insulin in the United States nearly doubled to $5,705 per year for individuals with type 1 diabetes. Production costs for a vial of insulin are estimated to cost around $5 while pharmaceutical companies charge as high as $540 per vial and Americans are dying as a result of being unable to afford it in addition to the expensive costs of medical care, and supplies such as syringes and glucose monitors. Some 1.25 million Americans are currently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.
The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for prescribing cholesterol-lowering medicines. The big winners are expected to be the drug makers that sell statins, since other types of pills were not recommended. Of the 15 panelists that authored these new guidelines, six reported having recent or current ties to drugmakers that already sell or are developing cholesterol medications. And among the half dozen who disclosed these relationships was one of the two panel co-chairs, which contradicts an Institute of Medicine suggestion about managing conflicts and leadership roles on such panels. To be specific, the Institute of Medicine wrote that, “whenever possible, guideline development group members should not have conflicts of interest ... and the chair or co-chairs should not be a person(s) with conflicts of interest.” The Institute of Medicine also wrote that members with conflicts should not represent a majority (here is the IOM report). “One of the reasons the IOM recently recommended eliminating rather than ‘managing’ financial conflicts of interest in guideline development groups is because of concerns about implicit bias,” says Lisa Cosgrove ... at the University of Massachusetts. “When individuals have commercial ties they are vulnerable to developing subtle, but sometimes powerful, pro-industry ways of thinking. Transparency ... can actually worsen the problem, because some people think simply disclosing a tie relieves any moral concern.”
Note: For lots more on this, see an informative article titled "The Statin Mafia Censors Pharmaceutical Harm." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.
The global insulin market is dominated by three companies: Eli Lilly, the French company Sanofi and the Danish firm Novo Nordisk. All three have raised list prices to similar levels. According to IBM Watson Health data, Sanofi’s popular insulin brand Lantus was $35 a vial when it was introduced in 2001; it’s now $270. Novo Nordisk’s Novolog was priced at $40 in 2001, and as of July 2018, it’s $289. The companies appear to have increased [prices] in lockstep over a number of years, prompting allegations of price fixing. All three companies denied these charges. (In 2010, Mexico fined Eli Lilly and three Mexican companies for price collusion on insulin, an allegation Eli Lilly also denied.) In the United States, a federal prosecutor and at least five state attorneys general are currently investigating the companies’ pricing practices. There is also another, less known corporate entity in the mix: pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which include Express Scripts, OptumRx and CVS Health; all are now named in lawsuits on high insulin prices. These corporate entities are powerful special interests. In 2017, the pharmaceutical and health product industry ... spent nearly $280 million on lobbying, the biggest spender by far of 20 top industries, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The industry also has a revolving door to government. Alex Azar, the head of the Department of Health and Human Services, was the president of Eli Lilly’s U.S. division until 2017.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.
McKrae Game wants people to know that he was wrong about all of it. He was wrong to found Hope for Wholeness Network, a faith-based conversion therapy program that seeks to rid people of their LGBTQ identities. He was wrong to create a slogan promoting the idea of “freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ.” He was wrong to tell people they were doomed for all eternity if they didn’t change their ways. After 20 years working in that field, Game said he realizes the harm he has caused and that he, himself, is gay. Conversion therapy encompasses a widely discredited range of methods that purport to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The practice is illegal in 18 states and the District. “It’s all in my past, but many, way TOO MANY continue believing that there is something wrong with themselves and wrong with people that choose to live their lives honestly and open as gay, lesbian, trans, etc.,” Game, 51, wrote on Facebook last week. “The very harmful cycle of self shame and condemnation has to stop.” Game is among many founders and leaders of conversion therapy programs to disavow the practice later. In 2014, nine former “ex-gay” leaders signed an open letter denouncing conversion therapy as “ineffective and harmful” and calling for an end to it. Leaders of conversion therapy programs rarely renounce the practice publicly because doing so involves turning their backs not just on the ex-gay community, but also on conservative faith as a whole.
Dena Churchill says that if the price for sharing her health "truths" is a $100,000 fine and losing her career, it's a price she's willing to accept. The former Halifax-based chiropractor surrendered her licence and admitted to charges of professional incompetence following a lengthy investigation by the Nova Scotia College of Chiropractors, all prompted by Churchill's persistent sharing of views on vaccines. CBC News began reporting on the complaints against Churchill in 2018, but she has declined to speak publicly until now. In a recent interview, Churchill said she believes there is a distinction between what she was posting on personal social media pages and what she was doing in her professional capacity. She said she felt "assaulted" that her professional governing body could mandate and govern her personal views. "I didn't want to take [the posts] down," she said. "This whole issue is not about what I was doing in my practice or what I was promoting in my practice ... I was reprimanded on my own personal views and wanting to share it with the people I love." Churchill said the information she was sharing was intended for just a few family members, although she also compared what she was doing to living in a building she discovered had arsenic in the water system. "I'd go knock on every door in that building to let them know because I would feel a human desire to help and to share information," she said.
Note: NBC also reports email service provider Mailchimp has removed several anti-vaccination activists from its platform and will no longer provide services to newsletters that push anti-vaccination content. Is this an assault on free speech? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.
New research finds that individuals with higher optimism tend to live longer and also have greater odds of living 85 years and more. A recent PNAS paper describes how the researchers assessed the link between higher optimism and longer lifespan, with a particular focus on the chances of reaching "exceptional longevity." The team carried out the study because most research on exceptional longevity has tended to focus on the effect of "biomedical factors." More recently, however, scientists have become interested in the role of nonbiological factors. "While research has identified many risk factors for diseases and premature death," says first and corresponding author Lewina O. Lee, Ph.D., "we know relatively less about positive psychosocial factors that can promote healthy aging." She and her colleagues defined optimism as the "general expectation that good things will happen or the belief that the future will be favorable because one can control important outcomes." For the analysis, the team brought together data on 69,744 females ... and 1,429 males. The questionnaires that they completed ... included items on optimism. When the researchers analyzed the data, they found that the females and males with the highest levels of optimism ... lived on average 11–15% longer than those with the lowest levels of optimism. In addition, [those] with the highest levels of optimism had a 50–70% greater likelihood of living until their 85th birthday and beyond.
America’s agricultural landscape is now 48 times more toxic to honeybees, and likely other insects, than it was 25 years ago, almost entirely due to widespread use of so-called neonicotinoid pesticides, according to a new study published today in the journal PLOS One. This enormous rise in toxicity matches the sharp declines in bees, butterflies, and other pollinators as well as birds, says co-author Kendra Klein. “This is the second Silent Spring. Neonics are like a new DDT, except they are a thousand times more toxic to bees than DDT was,” Klein says. Using a new tool that measures toxicity to honey bees, the length of time a pesticide remains toxic, and the amount used in a year, Klein and researchers from three other institutions determined that the new generation of pesticides has made agriculture far more toxic to insects. Honey bees are used as a proxy for all insects. The study found that neonics accounted for 92 percent of this increased toxicity. Neonics are not only incredibly toxic to honeybees, they can remain toxic for more than 1,000 days in the environment, said Klein. Some scientists have been warning that there is an “insect apocalypse” underway. A global analysis of 452 species in 2014 estimated that insect abundance had declined 45 percent over 40 years. Not only do bees, butterflies, and other insects pollinate one-third of all food crops, declining insect numbers can also have catastrophic ecological repercussions.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
The Apple iPhone 7 was set to operate at full power and secured below a tub of clear liquid, specially formulated to simulate human tissue. For 18 minutes, [a probe] repeatedly measured the amount of radiofrequency radiation the liquid was absorbing from the cellphone. This test, which was paid for by the Tribune and conducted according to federal guidelines at an accredited lab, produced a surprising result: Radiofrequency radiation exposure from the iPhone 7 — one of the most popular smartphones ever sold — measured over the legal safety limit and more than double what Apple reported to federal regulators from its own testing. The Federal Communications Commission, which is responsible for regulating phones, states on its website that if a cellphone has been approved for sale, the device “will never exceed” the maximum allowable exposure limit. But this phone, in an independent lab inspection, had done exactly that. In all, 11 models from four companies were tested, with varying results. The Tribune asked its lab to conduct a second phase of testing, placing the phones 2 millimeters away from the simulated body. The 2-millimeter distance was chosen to estimate the potential exposure for an owner carrying the phone in a pants or shirt pocket. Under those conditions, most of the models tested yielded results that were over the exposure limit, sometimes far exceeding it. At 2 millimeters, the results from a Samsung Galaxy S8 were more than five times the standard.
Note: 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.
Jack Tibbetts, a member of the Santa Rosa, Calif., city council, knew he had a problem. It was early 2018, and he’d started getting calls from constituents at opposite ends of the political spectrum. The common thread: cellular antennas going up next to their homes, causing concerns over property values and health. Cities and towns throughout Northern California are issuing ordinances that would exclude new 5G cell sites from residential areas, citing ... health concerns. Residents of Portland, Ore., and Whitefish, Mont., have also cited these beliefs while lobbying for restrictions. Legislators in four states including New Hampshire have proposed bills that would mandate further study of health effects or else urge Congress to do so, and Congressman Thomas Suozzi (D., N.Y.) wrote to the FCC echoing these concerns. For Mr. Tibbetts, it didn’t matter whether or not these new “small cell” antennas ... going up in Santa Rosa were actually dangerous. What mattered was that his constituents didn’t want these ungainly chunks of public infrastructure anywhere near them. Whatever the basis for residents’ objections to new cell towers, Mr. Tibbetts - as well as countless mayors, governors and council members across the country - have little or no power under current rules to act on their constituents’ wishes. Those who do take action are creating ordinances that put their cities at risk of being sued by the telecoms, as happened this month in Rochester, N.Y..
Note: You can find the full article on 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.
A judge Monday found Johnson & Johnson responsible for fueling Oklahoma’s opioid crisis, ordering the health-care company to pay $572 million to remedy the devastation wrought by the epidemic on the state and its residents. Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman’s landmark decision is the first to hold a drugmaker culpable for the fallout of years of liberal opioid dispensing that began in the late 1990s. More than 400,000 people have died of overdoses from painkillers, heroin and illegal fentanyl since 1999. With more than 40 states lined up to pursue similar claims against the pharmaceutical industry, the ruling ... could influence both sides’ strategies in the months and years to come. Plaintiffs’ attorneys around the country cheered the decision, saying they hoped it would be a model for an enormous federal lawsuit brought by nearly 2,000 cities, counties, Native American tribes and others scheduled to begin in Cleveland, Ohio, in October. Johnson & Johnson’s products ... were a small part of the painkillers consumed in Oklahoma. But Hunter painted the company as an industry “kingpin” because two other companies it owned had grown, processed and supplied 60 percent of the ingredients in painkillers sold by most drug companies. “At the root of this crisis was Johnson & Johnson, a company that literally created the poppy that became the source of the opioid crisis,” the state charged. The state also said the health-care giant actively took part in ... an aggressive misinformation campaign.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.
In a direct challenge to California regulators and Bay Area environmentalists, the Trump administration Thursday ordered companies to ignore state requirements that businesses warn customers if their products contain glyphosate, a weed killer that has been linked to cancer. The decision flies in the face of three California court rulings against Monsanto, which markets the chemical as Roundup. The agricultural giant faces more than 13,000 suits nationwide by users of Roundup, the world’s best-selling herbicide. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it would no longer approve labels saying glyphosate is known to cause cancer. The state requires companies to warn customers about chemicals known to cause cancer under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. Glyphosate was classified as a probable human carcinogen in 2015 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization. Lawyers for sick clients who were awarded tens of millions of dollars after suing Monsanto introduced evidence that glyphosate can cause genetic damage that leads to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. They claimed Monsanto ignored that information and published information “ghost written” by staffers denying the toxicity of the chemical. Superior Court Judge Winifred Smith said there was clear evidence that Monsanto, after learning of the dangers, “made efforts to impede, discourage or distort scientific inquiry” by regulators.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
Monsanto operated a “fusion center” to monitor and discredit journalists and activists, and targeted a reporter who wrote a critical book on the company, documents reveal. The records reviewed by the Guardian show Monsanto adopted a multi-pronged strategy to target Carey Gillam, a Reuters journalist who investigated the company’s weedkiller and its links to cancer. Monsanto, now owned by the German pharmaceutical corporation Bayer, also monitored a not-for-profit food research organization through its “intelligence fusion center”, a term that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies use for operations focused on surveillance and terrorism. The documents, mostly from 2015 to 2017, were disclosed as part of an ongoing court battle on the health hazards of the company’s Roundup weedkiller. Monsanto planned a series of “actions” to attack a book authored by Gillam prior to its release, including ... directing “industry and farmer customers” on how to post negative reviews. Monsanto paid Google to promote search results for “Monsanto Glyphosate Carey Gillam” that criticized her work. Monsanto “fusion center” officials wrote a lengthy report about singer Neil Young’s anti-Monsanto advocacy. The internal records don’t offer significant detail on the activities or scope of the fusion center, but ... government fusion centers have increasingly raised privacy concerns surrounding the way law enforcement agencies collect data, surveil citizens and share information.
Spending hours on smartphones and tablet devices has frequently been linked to exacerbating mental wellbeing, but new research claims the damage might start in users as young as two. After just one hour of screen time, children and adolescents may have less curiosity, lower self-control and lower emotional stability, which can lead to an increased risk of anxiety and depression, claims a US study published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports. The researchers found that those aged 14 to 17 are more at risk for such adverse effects, but noticed the correlations in younger children and toddlers, whose brains are still developing, as well. The study found that nursery school children who used screens frequently were twice as likely to lose their temper. It also claimed that nine per cent of those aged 11 to 13 who spent an hour a day on screens were not curious in learning new things, a figure which rose to 22.6 per cent for those whose screen time was seven hours a day or more. Authors Professor Jean Twenge, of San Diego State University, and Professor Keith Campbell, of the University of Georgia, said: "Half of mental health problems develop by adolescence. "Thus, there is an acute need to identify factors linked to mental health issues that are amenable to intervention in this population, as most antecedents are difficult or impossible to influence. "Compared to these more intractable antecedents of mental health, how children and adolescents spend their leisure time is more amenable to change."
Three pharmaceutical companies collectively are agreeing to pay California nearly $70 million to settle allegations that they delayed drugs to keep prices high, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said. The bulk of the money will come from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and its affiliates for paying to delay a generic narcolepsy drug, Provigil, from entering the market for nearly six years. Teva is paying $69 million, which Becerra says is the largest pay-for-delay settlement received by any state. Such agreements let the developer of brand name drugs keep their monopolies over the drugs after their patents expire, thereby letting them continue to charge consumers higher prices. The drug developer pays the generic manufacturer to keep the cheaper version of the drug from entering the marketplace for an agreed period of time. Such agreements can force consumers and the health care market to pay as much as 90% more than if there were generic alternatives. More than $25 million of the settlement will go to a consumer fund for California residents who purchased Provigil, Nuvigil or Modafinil between 2006 and 2012. The second, $760,000 settlement is with Teva, Endo Pharmaceuticals and Teikoku Pharma USA over keeping a genetic alternative to the pain patch Lidoderm from entering the market for nearly two years. Both settlements bar the companies from pay-for-delay agreements for several years.
Note: They are only barred from pay-for-delay agreements for several years? Shouldn't this practice be illegal? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.
Scientists have long found a possible link between anticholinergic drugs and an increased risk of dementia. A study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine on Monday suggests that the link is strongest for certain classes of anticholinergic drugs - particularly antidepressants such as paroxetine or amitriptyline, bladder antimuscarinics such as oxybutynin or tolterodine, antipsychotics such as chlorpromazine or olanzapine and antiepileptic drugs such as oxcarbazepine or carbamazepine. Researchers wrote in the study that "there was nearly a 50% increased odds of dementia" associated with a total anticholinergic exposure of more than 1,095 daily doses within a 10-year period, which is equivalent to an older adult taking a strong anticholinergic medication daily for at least three years, compared with no exposure. The researchers found only an association between anticholinergic drugs and dementia risk, not a causal relationship. "However, if this association is causal, the population-attributable fractions indicate that around 10% of dementia diagnoses are attributable to anticholinergic drug exposure, which would equate, for example, to around 20,000 of the 209,600 new cases of dementia per year in the United Kingdom," the researchers wrote in the study. It has been well known that anticholinergic agents and confusion or memory issues are linked, but the new study investigated this association over a long period of time, said Dr. Douglas Scharre ... at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
In May 2008, as the opioid epidemic was raging in America, a representative of the nation’s largest manufacturer of opioid pain pills sent an email to a client at a wholesale drug distributor in Ohio. Victor Borelli, a national account manager for Mallinckrodt, told Steve Cochrane, the vice president of sales for KeySource Medical, to check his inventories and “[i]f you are low, order more. If you are okay, order a little more, Capesce?” Then Borelli joked, “destroy this email ... Is that really possible? Oh Well...” Those email excerpts are quoted in a 144-page plaintiffs’ filing along with thousands of pages of documents unsealed by a judge’s order Friday in a landmark case in Cleveland against many of the largest companies in the drug industry. A Drug Enforcement Administration database released earlier in the week revealed that the companies had inundated the nation with 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills from 2006 through 2012. Nearly 2,000 cities, counties and towns are alleging that the companies knowingly flooded their communities with opioids, fueling an epidemic that has killed more than 200,000. The filing by plaintiffs depict some drug company employees as driven by profits and undeterred by the knowledge that their products were wreaking havoc across the country. Plaintiffs in the case argue that the actions of some of America’s biggest and best-known companies - including Mallinckrodt, Cardinal Health, McKesson, Walgreens, CVS, Walmart and Purdue Pharma - amounted to a civil racketeering enterprise.
The origin, evolution and astonishing scale of America’s catastrophic opioid epidemic just got a lot clearer. The drug industry - the pill manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers - found it profitable to flood some of the most vulnerable communities in America with billions of painkillers. They continued to move their product, and the medical community and government agencies failed to take effective action, even when it became apparent that these pills were fueling addiction and overdoses and were getting diverted to the streets. This has been broadly known for years, but this past week, the more precise details became public for the first time. The revelatory data comes from the Drug Enforcement Administration and its Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System (ARCOS). “This really shows a relationship between the manufacturers and the distributors: They were all in it together,” said Jim Geldhof, a retired DEA employee. “We’re seeing a lot of internal stuff that basically confirms ... that it was all about greed, and all about money.” The data shows a trend in pill distribution that, according to the lawsuit plaintiffs, can’t be passed off as reasonable therapeutic medical treatment. The industry shipped 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills across the country from 2006 through 2012, the period covered by the ARCOS data released this past week. These pills didn’t flow in a steady stream but were more like a flash flood, spiking from 8.4 billion in 2006 to 12.6 billion in 2012.
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives quietly passed a bill requiring the Inspector General of the Department of Defense (DoD) to conduct a review into whether the Pentagon experimented with ticks and other blood-sucking insects for use as biological weapons between 1950 and 1975. If the Inspector General finds that such experiments occurred, then, according to the bill, they must provide the House and Senate Armed Services committees with a report on the scope of the research and "whether any ticks or insects used in such experiments were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design," potentially leading to the spread of diseases such as Lyme. The amendment was put forward by Rep. Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, who was "inspired" by several books and articles claiming that the U.S. government had conducted research at facilities such as Fort Detrick, Maryland, and Plum Island, New York, for this purpose. One of the books that Smith refers to - called Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons ... features interviews with late Swiss-born scientist Willy Burgdorfer - the man credited with discovering the bacterial pathogen that causes Lyme disease - who once worked for the DoD as a bioweapons specialist. "Those interviews ... suggest that he and other bioweapons specialists stuffed ticks with pathogens to cause severe disability, disease - even death - to potential enemies," Smith said.
Hallucination-inducing drugs like magic mushrooms could be about to break big pharma’s stranglehold on the hugely lucrative market for antidepressants, according to the head of the world’s first centre for psychedelic research. Antidepressant prescriptions have doubled in England in a decade with around seven million adults taking the drugs, and the global market is predicted to be worth $15.9bn (Ł12.5bn) by 2023. At Imperial College London, Dr Robin Carhart-Harris is leading one of the first trials to test how therapy using psilocybin mushrooms, which are currently banned in the UK, compares to leading antidepressants. While he won’t prejudge the results of the study, he says participants describe a cathartic emotional “release” with psilocybin therapy – the polar opposite of antidepressants, which patients complain leave their emotions, whether positive or negative, “blunted”. It is the first of many studies planned under the banner of the new Centre for Psychedelic Research at London’s Imperial College. Dr James Rucker is another of those researching the potential benefits of psychedelics ... at King’s College London. The King’s team are launching two trials, one looking at whether psilocybin therapy can help people whose depression is resistant to treatment with conventional antidepressants. He says it was “possible” the drug could be licensed in five years.
The flu vaccine turned out to be a big disappointment again. The vaccine didn’t work against a flu bug that popped up halfway through the past flu season, dragging down overall effectiveness to 29%, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. The flu shot was working well early in the season with effectiveness put at 47% in February. But it was virtually worthless during a second wave driven by a tougher strain, at just 9%. There was “no significant protection” against that strain, said the CDC’s Brendan Flannery. Flu vaccines are made each year to protect against three or four different kinds of flu virus. The ingredients are based on predictions of what strains will make people sick the following winter. This season’s shot turned out to be a mismatch against the bug that showed up late. That pushed down the overall effectiveness to one of the lowest in recent years. Since 2011, the only season with a lower estimate was the winter of 2014-2015, when effectiveness was 19%. A mismatch was also blamed then. Vaccines against some other infectious diseases are not considered successful unless they are at least 90% effective. But flu is particularly challenging, partly because the virus can so quickly change. Overall, flu vaccine has averaged around 40%. Flu shots are recommended for virtually all Americans age 6 months or older.
Note: This article was strangely removed from the website of ABC News. It is still available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.
The number of recommended vaccines was only 23 doses of seven vaccines in 1983. By 2017, the CDC’s recommended number skyrocketed to 69 doses of 16 vaccines – 50 doses given before age 6. Vaccination is not appropriate for every individual due to one’s genetic disposition, autoimmune deficiency, allergy or other circumstance. Medical professionals would never claim that because a certain drug or therapy was approved for most people, everyone should be subject to it – but with vaccine injury, the clinical evidence does not seem to apply. Despite ... specific warnings on each vaccine insert, there is an unwillingness to acknowledge the risk for some individuals. While some claim vaccine injuries are rare, the CDC-funded Harvard Pilgrim Project’s [found] that less than 1 percent are ever reported to VAERS, the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System. Taxpayers – not liability-free pharmaceutical companies – have paid patients $4 billion for their injuries or death through the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program since 1988. Most families that have experiences with vaccine reactions were never notified beforehand of [this] program. Certain ingredients in vaccinations, including chemicals, human, animal, and insect DNA and RNA, are abhorrent to some for religious or ethical reasons. Mandated vaccination should not force someone to compromise their beliefs. The American Medical Association’s code of ethics affirms the right to both religious and philosophical exceptions for physicians themselves to not be vaccinated. The same standard should apply to their patients.
Note: See the highly revealing 6-page report on the US government's "Health Information Technology" website that states, "Adverse events from drugs and vaccines are common, but underreported. ... Fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events are reported." A concise summary of this report can be found here. More valuable information is available here. For even more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources. Explore also the best website calling for responsibility in vaccination.
South-east Asia is battling to contain the spread of highly contagious African swine fever, known as “pig Ebola”, which has already led to the culling of millions of pigs in China and Vietnam. African swine fever, which is harmless to humans but fatal to pigs, was discovered in China in August, where it has caused havoc, leading to more than 1.2m pigs being culled. China is home to almost half of the world’s pigs. There is no vaccination for African swine fever, which causes pigs to internally haemorrhage until they die, so the only option to contain the disease is to kill any contaminated animals. Some estimates say that in China up to 200m animals may eventually be slaughtered. The virus can last for several weeks on anything from clothes to vehicles, allowing for it to easily travel long distances. “This is the biggest animal disease outbreak we’ve ever had on the planet,” said Dirk Pfeiffer, a veterinary epidemiologist. Currently the battle to contain the disease is being lost. “There are concerns that the disease will continue to spread across the countries in south-east Asia,” said Dr Wantanee Kalpravidh, regional manager for UNFAO, who said they believed the swine fever cases being reported by governments in the region were “underestimates”. Wantanee said problems included the lack of compensation for pig farmers in south-east Asia whose herds were culled, giving them little reason to report a disease outbreak, and fears that banning movement of pigs and pork across borders would only create a “black market”.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
"Ultraprocessed" describes many foods, including pre-prepared dishes found in grocery store freezers, packaged baked goods, dehydrated soups, ice cream, sugary cereals and fizzy beverages. Two separate studies published Wednesday in The BMJ link eating the popular factory-made fare with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and an increased risk of early death. Previous studies have associated highly processed food consumption with higher risks of obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even some cancers. "Ultraprocessed foods already make up more than half of the total dietary energy consumed in high-income countries such as USA, Canada and the UK," [said] Maira Bes-Rastrollo, senior author of one study. "Products in this category are rich in poor quality fat, added sugar and salt, along with low vitamin density and fiber content, and they "are economically profitable (low cost ingredients), very palatable and convenient," said Bes-Rastrollo. Worst of all, she explained, they are replacing unprocessed or minimally processed foods and freshly prepared meals in our diets. Bes-Rastrollo and her colleagues also collected information on lifestyle, demographic factors, physical activity, weight and health. Analyzing the data, the team found that a higher consumption of heavily processed foods - more than four servings each day - was associated with a 62% increased risk for early death due to any cause relative to those who ate these foods less frequently.
People are developing dementia a decade before they were 20 years ago, perhaps because of environmental factors such as pollution and the stepped-up use of insecticides, a wide-ranging international study has found. The study, which compared 21 Western countries between the years 1989 and 2010, found that the disease is now being regularly diagnosed in people in their late 40s and that death rates are soaring. The study was published in the Surgical Neurology International journal. The problem was particularly acute in the United States, where neurological deaths in men aged over 75 have nearly tripled and in women risen more than fivefold, the leader of the study, Colin Pritchard from Bournemouth University, [said]. Scientists quoted in the study said a combination of environmental factors such as pollution from aircraft and cars as well as widespread use of pesticides could be the culprit. Early-onset dementia used to cover people developing the disease in their late 60s. Now, it’s meant to mean people much younger than that, the research showed. The study found that deaths caused by neurological disease had risen significantly in adults aged 55 to74, virtually doubling in the over-75s. The sharp increase in death rates from dementia-related diseases cannot simply be blamed on an aging population or stepped-up diagnosis, Pritchard said. “The rate of increase in such a short time suggested a silent or even a hidden epidemic, in which environmental factors must play a major part.”
Soon, soybeans will be bred to yield stable oil without the addition of dangerous trans fats. Lettuce will be grown to handle warmer, drier fields. Wheat to contain less gluten. And pigs bred to resist deadly viruses. Ten years ago, such genetic changes would have been considered science fiction – or so far off into the future of breeding as to be almost unimaginable. But gene editing, particularly with a tool called Crispr-Cas9, has made it much easier and more efficient to tinker with the genomes of plants and animals. The first Crispr-edited products will begin reaching the market this year, and researchers believe it’s only a matter of time before US grocery shelves could be filled with gene-edited produce, grains and meat. The technology will be subject to stringent health and environment review, as well as labeling requirements in the EU, but not in the US. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a statement last March saying it would not regulate crops whose genetic changes could have been produced with conventional breeding. The European court of justice, by contrast, ruled last summer that gene-edited crops should be regulated as GMOs. The scientific challenges have been largely settled. But political and social ones remain. Jennifer Kuzma, co-director of the Genetic Engineering and Society Center at North Carolina State University, said US consumers are willing to pay 20% more to avoid GMO foods, and nearly half of the public reports actively avoiding genetically modified ingredients and food.
Note: Read an excellent addendum to this important article by GMO expert Jeffrey Smith recommending caution in these little-tested new products. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on GMOs and food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Over the last 80 years, much of the land surrounding Venetucci Farm was sold to the US army to establish the base now known as Fort Carson. Farming activities have stopped. In 2016, irrigation water was found to be contaminated with elevated levels of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs). The foundation that runs the farm has joined forces with a local water district to sue the US Air Force, alleging that toxic chemicals used in firefighting foam at a nearby base have tainted the water. Similar concerns have been raised about dozens of other bases across the country. But the problem is not limited to areas close to military installations. PFCs and related human-made chemicals, more generally known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), have been virtually unregulated since at least the 1950s. As well as at industrial sites, airports and bases, PFAS have long been used in household products. They are everywhere. A 2007 study estimated that PFAS are in the blood of 98% of Americans, while last year an analysis by the not-for-profit Environmental Working Group found that more than 1,500 drinking water systems nationwide could be contaminated by PFAS. Studies suggest that certain PFAS may affect the growth, learning and behaviour of infants and older children; lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant; interfere with the body’s natural hormones; increase cholesterol levels; affect the immune system; and increase the risk of kidney and testicular cancer and thyroid problems.
Note: Read more about these chemicals contaminating the drinking water of 110 million Americans. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
After years of lobbying and experimental research, the FDA has granted "breakthrough therapy" status for the drug MDMA as a potential treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. The designation does not mean the drug is FDA-approved, but it does ease the way for clinical trials to test its safety and effectiveness in patients with PTSD. The non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), which has been advocating and fundraising for MDMA research for three decades, announced the FDA's designation. More commonly known as its street names ecstasy or Molly, MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a psychoactive drug that produces feelings of energy and euphoria, often followed by an emotional crash. In recent years, some in the scientific community have suggested it could have medical benefits, as well. In previous phases of clinical trials, the drug was shown to offer significant relief to sufferers of PTSD, a mental health disorder characterized by nightmares or flashbacks and heightened anxiety or depression after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. In phase 2 clinical trials sponsored by MAPS, 61 percent of the 107 participants with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD no longer had the disorder after two months of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy treatment. At a 12-month follow up, 68 percent no longer had PTSD. The organization expects to begin phase 3 trials with a larger group of participants next year.
It's hard to talk about the dangers of cell-phone radiation without sounding like a conspiracy theorist. This is especially true in the United States, where non-industry-funded studies are rare, where legislation protecting the wireless industry from legal challenges has long been in place, and where our lives have been so thoroughly integrated with wireless technology that to suggest it might be a problem ... is like saying our shoes might be killing us. Except our shoes don't send microwaves directly into our brains. And cell phones do - a fact that has increasingly alarmed the rest of the world. There are multiple reports, mostly out of Europe's premier research institutions, of cell-phone and PDA use being linked to "brain aging," brain damage, early-onset Alzheimer's, senility, DNA damage, and even sperm die-offs. In September 2007, the European Union's environmental watchdog, the European Environment Agency, warned that cell-phone technology "could lead to a health crisis similar to those caused by asbestos, smoking, and lead in petrol." In the U.S., there's been very little resistance to the march of the cell towers. In fact, in Congress there's been almost nothing but support. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 ... was the result, in part, of nearly $50 million in political contributions and lobbying largesse from the telecom industry. A rider known as Section 704 ... specifically prohibits citizens and local governments from stopping placement of a cell tower due to health concerns.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on wireless technology risks 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.
Our food and our health are deeply connected. American healthcare spending has ballooned to $3.5tn a year, and yet we are sicker than most other developed countries. Meanwhile, our food system contains thousands of chemicals that have not been proven safe and many that are banned in other countries. Instead of potentially hazardous substances being banned from our food, as they are in, say, Europe, chemicals of concern are typically considered innocent until proven guilty. As a result, we are the guinea pigs in our own experiment. For decades we’ve operated on the principle that if we can selectively kill off the unwanted parts of the natural world, we can control our futures. Farmers operate that way, but also homeowners, highway crews and landscapers. We spread herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones and various other toxins which kill everything around. Even good things. We’re becoming aware of the loss of what we can see: bees, butterflies, the diverse plant life of our ecosystems. We also need to worry about the invisible microbiome and fungi in the soil that nurture life above, store carbon and absorb water. By trying to control crops with herbicides, antibiotics and pesticides, we’ve actually bred bugs, weeds and diseases that are resistant to our control. And our chemical onslaught will have long-term effects. Our fertilizers and pesticides leach into groundwater and streams, head out to sea and create dead zones. They also leach into our drinking water.
It may sound odd, but in America, your loaf of bread can contain ingredients with industrial applications – additives that also appear in things like yoga mats, pesticides, hair straighteners, explosives and petroleum products. Some of these chemicals, used as optional whiteners, dough conditioners and rising agents, may be harmful to human health. Potassium bromate, a potent oxidizer that helps bread rise, has been linked to kidney and thyroid cancers in rodents. Azodicarbonamide (ACA), a chemical that forms bubbles in foams and plastics like vinyl, is used to bleach and leaven dough – but when baked, it, too, has been linked to cancer in lab animals. Other countries, including China, Brazil and members of the European Union, have weighed the potential risks and decided to outlaw potassium bromate in food. India banned it in 2016, and the UK has forbidden it since 1990. Azodicarbonamide has been banned for consumption by the European Union for over a decade. But despite petitions from several advocacy groups – some dating back decades – the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still considers these to be Gras or “generally recognized as safe” to eat, though plenty of experts disagree. The FDA does not review every additive that makes its way into food. Instead, companies can rely on their own experts to determine what’s safe and what isn’t. And once something was determined as Gras, [medical toxicologist Ryan] Marino said, “there is not often any financial incentive for additional testing”.