Daily Archives: September 19, 2020

2020-09-19: News Headlines

news.un (2020-09-19). Uncertain future for migrant workers, in a post-pandemic world. news.un.org The COVID-19 pandemic has largely put a freeze on migration. But will the movement of people recover once the current crisis is over? In an interview with UN News, Gary Rynhart, a senior official at the UN labour agency, ILO, explains why a return to "normal" is unlikely, and migrants will probably face a very different job market.

news.un (2020-09-19). Survival of wildlife reserves under threat in Namibia. news.un.org After six months of lockdown, the Namibian government ended travel restrictions and curfews on Friday, in light of a drop in new COVID-19 cases. But Namibia's economy, which depends heavily on wildlife tourism, has taken a major hit during the period, and the future of the country's wildlife reserves, otherwise known as conservancies, is far from certain.

MEE and agencies (2020-09-19). Iran's coronavirus death toll exceeds 24,000, says health ministry. middleeasteye.net Iran's coronavirus death toll exceeds 24,000, says health ministry | Health specialist says roughly half of all coronavirus patients being treated in Iran's intensive care units are dying | Sat, 09/19/2020 – 13: 11 | An Iranian woman stands next to a street bin urging people to follow anti-coronavirus health protocols in Tehran (AFP) | Iran's coronavirus death toll has topped 24,000, the h…

_____ (2020-09-19). New Report: Private Health Insurers Overpay Hospitals. popularresistance.org Prices paid to hospitals nationally during 2018 by privately insured patients averaged 247% of what Medicare would have paid, with wide variation in prices among states, according to a new RAND Corporation study. | Some states (Arkansas, Michigan, and Rhode Island) had relative prices under 200% of Medicare, while other states (Florida, Tennessee, Alaska, West Virginia, and South Carolina) had relative prices that were above 325% of Medicare. | The study notes a steady increase in hospital prices, rising to the 2018 average level from an average of 224% of Medicare costs in 2016 and 230% of Medicare costs in 2017…

Stephanie Kenefic (2020-09-19). Six teacher deaths at start of fall semester heighten public health concerns. liberationnews.org Reopening schools is by and large not a response to the needs of young people in the United States.

Fight Back (2020-09-19). UIC workers march, call for Gov. Pritzker to support their demands. fightbacknews.org Chicago, IL – Over 1000 University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) workers from SEIU Local 73 and the Illinois Nurses Association (INA) flooded the center of downtown Chicago, September 18, calling for Governor JB Pritzker to support their demands in the largest strike ever at the university. | The strike began last Saturday, September 12, when INA nurses walked out at UI Health, where UIC has refused to negotiate safe staffing limits. 4000 Local 73 workers bolstered the lines September 14, joining the strike, demanding safe working conditions, staffing and a living wage. Large rallies and lively picket lines have m…

William rivers Pitt (2020-09-19). Another Day of COVID, Another Failed Stimulus, Another Thousand Deaths. zcomm.org With an election looming just 47 tiny days away, fury at vicious Republican intransigence has begun to give way to something close to horrified awe…

Jeremy Brecher (2020-09-19). Workers vs. the Coronavirus Depression. zcomm.org This summer has seen two significant national strike actions—for Black Lives and for safe reopening of schools. These are hardly conventional strikes—indeed, they represent historically unprecedented forms of protest…

Nima Elbagir (2020-09-19). Yemen on Brink of Famine After U.S. Cuts Aid While Fueling War. zcomm.org The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is deepening amid the pandemic and cuts to international aid from the United States and its allies, leaving millions of Yemenis facing famine after years of a brutal U.S.-backed, Saudi-led bombing campaign that has devastated the country…

Labor Video Project (2020-09-19). IUOE39 Members Fight In Middle Of A Pandemic! SF Strike Rally For Striking Macy Workers. indybay.org Macy's is trying to weaken and force major concessions on IUOE Local 39 engineers. While giving their executives million dollar bonus they want to take away healthcare and force concessions on wages.

Pingbo Ouyang, Xinyu Zhang, Yinghui Peng, Bing Jiang (2020-09-19). [Correspondence] Seeking clarity on retinal findings in patients with COVID-19. thelancet.com Paula M Marinho and colleagues1 described hyper-reflective lesions in ganglion cell and inner plexiform layers on optical coherence tomography (OCT) images from 24 eyes of 12 adults who had symptoms of COVID-19. Marinho and colleagues argued that these lesions could be associated with COVID-19-related neurological events in humans.2 On the basis of the fundamental principles of OCT, we hold different views as to how the hyper-reflective foci were generated and their relevance to COVID-19.

Hans P. Verkerke, Cheryl L. Maier (2020-09-19). [Commentary] Towards characterized convalescent plasma for COVID-19: The dose matters. thelancet.com Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the cause of COVID-19, remains a global health crisis with limited treatment options. While randomized controlled trials have demonstrated some efficacy of the antiviral agent remdesivir and the corticosteroid dexamethasone in COVID-19 treatment, any beneficial role of convalescent plasma (CP) has been less clear [1,2]. Since the early 20th century convalescent blood products and their antibody derivatives have been used for the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases.

Alicia Ely Yamin (2020-09-19). [Perspectives] Human rights parables for a post-pandemic world. thelancet.com Before the COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the structural inequalities across societies, there were diverging parables in human rights. One narrative identified the populist challenge to human rights and juxtaposed it with the cosmopolitan ideal of a multilateral order. An alternative narrative viewed populism as the symptom of democratic failure more than the cause and argued that the crisis of legitimacy facing the neoliberal, multilateral order was inextricably connected to a world where capitalist democracies have become "mere faàßade democracies", as Jàºrgen Habermas has asserted.

David Agren (2020-09-19). [World Report] Understanding Mexican health worker COVID-19 deaths. thelancet.com An Amnesty International report says that more health workers have died in Mexico than anywhere else. David Agren explores why.

The Lancet (2020-09-19). [Editorial] COVID-19: a stress test for trust in science. thelancet.com Peer Review Week is the annual celebration of the importance of peer review, running Sept 21—25. The theme this year is trust in peer review, a particularly appropriate focus during the COVID-19 pandemic. Trust in research and its role in political decision making and policy changes have never been more at the forefront of public discussion and scrutiny than during the current public health crisis. But what is everyone's role in strengthening this trust?

David Jones, Stefan Helmreich (2020-09-19). [Perspectives] A history of herd immunity. thelancet.com As many countries around the world recognised the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, 2020, some seemed to put their faith in herd immunity. UK pandemic adviser Graham Medley, for example, said that "We are going to have to generate what we call herd immunity", which would require "a nice big epidemic". When the idea received furious criticism, British officials denied that herd immunity had ever been part of their plan. A run at herd immunity in Sweden prompted mathematician Marcus Carlsson to object: "we are being herded like a flock of sheep toward disaster".

Maria Helena da Silva Bastos (2020-09-19). [Correspondence] Brazil's COVID-19 response. thelancet.com Partisan politics during the COVID-19 pandemic has hindered any efforts of working together with science for the greater good of Brazil. As a Brazilian who values life, I do not know what scares me more: contracting COVID-19, or Bolsonaro's Government trying to belittle the disease, forcing us out of the door to confront it, even when they know that we have not done enough as a country to make it safe for us to do so. Although COVID-19 is showing us all that we still have a long way to go to overcome this crisis, which, at the time of writing, has killed approximately 1000 people a day over the past 3 months, the…

Sabine Kleinert, Richard Horton, Editors of the Lancet Group (2020-09-19). [Comment] Preprints with The Lancet are here to stay. thelancet.com We started our collaboration with the freely accessible preprint platform SSRN in June, 2018.1 From then on, we asked all authors of research papers across Lancet journals at submission stage whether they would like to post their paper as a preprint. We started this as a trial to learn more about uptake and the perceptions of the medical and health community, particularly as a latecomer to the preprint concept.

Christine P Stewart, Saskia de Pee, Kenneth Maleta, Kim F Michaelsen, Kathryn G Dewey (2020-09-19). [Correspondence] The double burden of malnutrition—further perspective. thelancet.com We congratulate Corinna Hawkes and colleagues1 on their Series paper that proposes adoption of double-duty actions to combat all forms of malnutrition.However, we have concerns about the way that unhealthy foods are characterised and the description of potential risks associated with energy-dense micronutrient-fortified foods for the prevention or treatment of undernutrition.

John Gilmore (2020-09-19). The Heat: COVID-19 and Latin America. america.cgtn.com Latin America is now the region most affected by COVID-19. Meanwhile, in a stunning public rebuke, President Donald Trump on Wednesday rejected the professional scientific conclusions of his own government about the prospects for a widely available coronavirus vaccine and the effectiveness of masks in …

The Canary (2020-09-19). As infection rate climbs, PM confirms second wave but still says no to national lockdown. thecanary.co Boris Johnson says the second wave of the pandemic has now reached the UK. | By | Ministers are considering tough new coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions as Boris Johnson said the long-feared second wave of the pandemic has arrived in the UK.With new cases of the disease in England estimated to have doubled over the past week, the prime minister said they were keeping "everything under review"."Transmission at a faster rate" with deaths expected to rise: Meanwhile, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said its latest estimate "shows…

The Canary (2020-09-19). Johnson urged to act 'sooner rather than later' to curb coronavirus surge. thecanary.co The Prime Minister is considering fresh restrictions after a sharp rise in new infections. | By | Ministers need to act "sooner rather than later" if they are to prevent a new surge in coronavirus (Covid-19) cases leading to more deaths, a scientist has warned.Professor Neil Ferguson — whose modelling led the government to order the lockdown in March — said the UK was facing a "perfect storm" following the easing of controls over the summer.His warning came as Boris Johnson was spending the weekend in Downing Street considering new re…

Staff (2020-09-19). Hospitals Serving the Poor Close as Investors and Electeds Refuse to Rescue Them. truthout.org Victor Coronado felt lightheaded one morning last month when he stood up to grab an iced tea. The right side of his body suddenly felt heavy. He heard himself slur his words. "That's when I knew I was going to have a stroke," he said. | Coronado was rushed to Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, the hospital nearest his home on Chicago's South Side. Doctors there pumped medicine into his veins to break up the clot that had traveled to his brain. | Coronado may outlive the hospital that saved…

yenisafak (2020-09-19). Madrid residents facing localised lockdown doubt curbs will work. yenisafak.com A partial lockdown aimed at stemming a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases is set to begin in some of Madrid's poorer districts next week, but resident's of one of the worst-hit neighbourhood's said on Saturday they doubted the new measures would work.Vallecas, a southern district with a lower average income and higher immigrant population, has one of the highest infection rates in the Spanish capital – almost six times higher than in Chamberi, a wealthier, northern district."These restrictions are completely useless because we have to travel from one area which has a lot of cases to another which has less and we are go…

yenisafak (2020-09-19). Taiwan travellers take sightseeing 'flight to nowhere'. yenisafak.com A Taiwanese airline carried around 120 passengers on a "flight to nowhere" on Saturday to view the South Korean resort island of Jeju, before flying straight back home, the latest gimmick to give people a glimpse of normality during the COVID-19 pandemic.Tough border restrictions to keep the coronavirus under control have led to a 97.5% plunge in international travel in the region, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.Many frequent flyers miss getting on planes and airlines including Taiwan's EVA Airways Corp and Japan's ANA Holdings Inc, desperate for revenue and to keep their pilots' licences c…

yenisafak (2020-09-19). Former Turkish PM tests negative for virus. yenisafak.com The former Turkish prime minister recovered from COVID-19 and now tested negative.Binali Yildirim said on Twitter his test results came negative about two weeks after contracting the novel coronavirus.Yildirim hailed those who asked about his health status during quarantine days and supported him, saying: "May Allah bless you all."Wishing remedy for all patients going through COVID-19 treatment, he praised healthcare staff working day and night, making many sacrifices from their personal lives.He concluded that people should stick to adopting measures such as wearing masks, social distancing, and personal hygiene…

yenisafak (2020-09-19). Turkey overcoming pandemic's economic effects, says Erdogan. yenisafak.com Turkey's production levels continued to rise in the third quarter as the country has overcome a significant part of the coronavirus pandemic's economic effects, the Turkish president said on Saturday."The number of people employed has been rising since April, when the impact of the pandemic was felt the hardest," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the inauguration of a new section of the North Marmara Motorway.Erdogan, who addressed the ceremony via video link, said Turkey's employment rate will increase further over the coming months, adding that he was hopeful that the third quarter will end with a "growth rate that…

RT (2020-09-19). Tulsi Gabbard goes OFF MESSAGE from fellow Dems again, introduces bipartisan bill to deter fraud with mail-in ballots. rt.com Former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, branded a "Russian asset" by Hillary Clinton for her anti-war views, is again refusing to blindly follow her party's talking points — this time over fears of election fraud. | "Whether in the midst of a pandemic, as we are now, where mail-in voting is likely to drastically increase, or even in a normal election, no one should get in between a voter and the ballot box," the Hawaii congresswoman said Friday on Twitter. | Banning ballot harvesting is not a partisan issue. It's been used & abused in states like North Carolina and California & is ripe fo…

Yisrael Frey (2020-09-19). Hasidic Israeli pilgrims trapped at Ukraine-Belarus border on Covid-19 fears. middleeasteye.net Hasidic Israeli pilgrims trapped at Ukraine-Belarus border on Covid-19 fears | Thousands of pilgrims enduring grim weather, without shelter, blame Israeli government for abandoning them | Sat, 09/19/2020 – 11: 31 | Hasidic Jews sleep outside on the ground at the Belarus-Ukraine border (supplied) | On the biggest Jewish holiday, proclaiming the start of a new year on the Hebrew calendar, thousands of H…

Manlio Dinucci (2020-09-19). The Reason Why Italy Deploys Its Fighters in Lithuania. globalresearch.ca In Europe civil air traffic is expected to drop by 60% this year compared to 2019, due to Covid-19 restrictions, putting more than 7 million jobs at risk. On the other hand, military air traffic is growing. | On Friday, August …

Lise Alves (2020-09-19). [World Report] Brazilian doctors condemn new rules on abortion. thelancet.com Experts say that the new rules for health workers will discourage access to health services and increase the risk of unsafe abortion. Lise Alves reports from Sà£o Paulo.

Maryam Jameela (2020-09-19). With the onset of a second wave, university staff speak out about their fears. thecanary.co The restart of university teaching across UK campuses will see students and staff travelling for face-to-face learning that risks compromising public health. Teaching unions … | By | The restart of university teaching across UK campuses will see students and staff travelling for face-to-face learning that risks compromising public health. | Teaching unions and scientific groups have e…

Richard Horton (2020-09-19). [Comment] Offline: Remembering the scientists. thelancet.com One of the most frightening aspects of reading Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year (1722), his imaginative account of the 1665 Great Plague, is his depiction of the total terror that enveloped London. No one, physicians included, had the slightest clue about the cause of "the Distemper". The best that could be done was to paint a red cross on the doors of those afflicted, padlock them shut, and place watchmen outside to ensure nobody escaped. As bodies accumulated, giant pits were filled with infected corpses.

Peoples Dispatch (2020-09-19). Argentinians commemorate the 44th anniversary of the Night of the Pencils. peoplesdispatch.org The night of September 16, 1976, was one of the bloodiest night of the last civic-military dictatorship in Argentina, when a group of high school students were kidnapped and tortured by the state security forces…

Meghan A Bohren, Kwame Adu-Bonsaffoh, Theresa Azonima Irinyenikan, Thae Maung Maung, Mamadou Dioulde Balde, àñzge Tunàßalp (2020-09-19). [Correspondence] Mistreatment during childbirth — Authors' reply. thelancet.com We thank Maria Helena da Silva Bastos and colleagues, Natasha Housseine and colleagues, and Caitlin Williams and José Belizán for their interest in our Article,1 in which we described how more than a third of women experienced mistreatment during childbirth, including physical and verbal abuse, discrimination, and non-consented procedures in four countries.

Geoff Watts (2020-09-19). [Obituary] Peter Nicholas Kazembe. thelancet.com Influential paediatrician in Malawi. He was born in Nkhotakota, Malawi, on Aug 28, 1954, and died of cholangiocarcinoma in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Aug 11, 2020, aged 65 years.

Natasha Housseine, Marcus J Rijken, Marieke C Punt, Tarek Meguid, Arie Franx, Rieke van der Graaf, Joyce L Browne (2020-09-19). [Correspondence] Mistreatment during childbirth. thelancet.com We laud Meghan Bohren and colleagues1 for using standardised structured direct labour observations, triangulated with survey data, in a multinational study to measure mistreatment during childbirth. Their findings showed that 41 ∑6% of women experienced a type of abuse during labour.1 Direct observations offer a unique opportunity to assess quality of care because they can capture the structure, clinical perspective, and experience of care dimensions.2—4 However, the Article could have benefited from a discussion about how patients' rights and welfare were upheld during observations.

Corinna Hawkes, Marie Ruel, Jonathan C Wells, Barry M Popkin, Francesco Branca (2020-09-19). [Correspondence] The double burden of malnutrition—further perspective — Authors' reply. thelancet.com We thank Saskia Osendarp and colleagues, Mohammad Sorowar Hossain and colleagues, and Christine Stewart and colleagues for their responses to the Lancet Series on the double burden of malnutrition. They make some relevant points that we would like to address here.

WSWS (2020-09-18). OSHA fines meatpacking industry $30,000 after 203 COVID-19 deaths and 18,000 infections. wsws.org The two fines amount to less than $2,500 for each worker who died at the JBS and Smithfield plants in Colorado and South Dakota…

Peoples Dispatch (2020-09-18). French unions hit the streets against anti-worker policies. peoplesdispatch.org On September 17, trade unions in France, including the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) took to the streets of Paris against the anti-worker policies of the Macron government. They marched in opposition to the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the proposed pension reforms.

Eleanor Goldfield (2020-09-18). The Final Nail: COVID-19 Marks the End of Democratic Socialism in Sweden. mintpressnews.com Eleanor Goldfield reports from Stockholm on how COVID-19 has laid bare the US-style capitalist reality taking hold in Sweden and how the pandemic ushered in the end of democratic socialism in the country.

Eric A. Gordon (2020-09-18). 200,000 coronavirus dead due to Trump's neglect of duty. peoplesworld.org It wasn't so long ago, just back in May, that the United States reached the gruesome milestone of 100,000 dead of COVID-19, setting a world record for the number of deaths. Two months later, in late July, we reached 150,000, still holding onto the Number 1 place as the world's epicenter for the killer disease. …

_____ (2020-09-18). Changing The Washington Guard. popularresistance.org At the risk of counting chickens before they hatch, what would the return of Team Blue portend? | As is patently obvious, the US is in trouble. Climate driven heat waves and fires grip the nation. An already faltering economy with deep contradictions could only tank given the shock of the pandemic that has necessitated varying degrees of sequestering. In fact, the downturn had already started before COVID-19 hit. An already largely privatized healthcare system run for profit and a social ethic that rejects "socialized" public health measures could only have proven inadequate.

Stan Cox (2020-09-18). Review of 'Cuban Health Care: The Ongoing Revolution' by Don Fitz. counterpunch.org Don Fitz's new book Cuban Health Care: The Ongoing Revolution was going to press at Monthly Review in early spring, as the pandemic was ramping up, so he had just barely enough time to slip in a postscript teasingly titled, "How Che Guevara Taught Cuba to Confront COVID-19."

WSWS (2020-09-18). World Health Organization warns of "alarming" resurgence of COVID-19 in Europe. wsws.org With over 300,000 weekly infections, European authorities are now confirming more COVID-19 cases each week than they did prior to the lockdowns this spring.

WSWS (2020-09-18). Missouri among top five US states with COVID-19 infections. wsws.org This week Missouri saw 100,000 coronavirus cases and a recent spike of infections and deaths, including in rural counties.

Mark Ashwill (2020-09-18). Balancing Solidarity & Individualism in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond: a View from Vietnam. counterpunch.org A Vietnamese colleague recently asked me this timely and important question in the age of COVID-19 and beyond: Solidarity is sometimes called 'collectivism'. I want to see in my own daughters and our younger generation, in general, both the spirit of individualism (a strong sense of self), balanced with a spirit of solidarity/collectivism. From your

news.un (2020-09-18). New wave of famine could sweep the globe, overwhelming nations already weakened by years of conflict, warn UN officials. news.un.org The global hunger crisis caused by conflict — and now compounded by COVID-19 — is moving into a dangerous phase, the head of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said on Thursday, stressing that without resources, a wave of famine could sweep the globe, overwhelming nations already weakened by years of instability.

Alan MacLeod (2020-09-18). According to Oxfam, Rich Countries Have Already Hoarded Most Future COVID Vaccines. thealtworld.com Oxfam studied five leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates currently under clinical trial and found that rich countries had pumped billions of dollars into securing 51 percent of the promised doses. | MPN— The world's wealthiest nations have already quietly bought up more than half of the potential future supply of the most promising COVID-19 vaccine doses, leaving little for anyone else. International charity Oxfam

news.un (2020-09-18). COVID-19 illustrates 'woefully under prepared' world — UN health chief. news.un.org Despite efforts to break the global cycle of panic and neglect seen throughout multiple disease outbreaks, the UN health agency chief said on Friday that the new coronavirus has shown that the world was "woefully under prepared".