Daily Archives: October 31, 2020

2020-10-31: News Headlines

The Canary (2020-10-31). Unions call for more measures to protect jobs as furlough scheme ends. thecanary.co Fears have been raised that people will be pushed into in hardship as government coronavirus support schemes end.Unions are calling for more measures to protect jobs as the furlough scheme ends, saying the new support plans are "not adequate", while poverty campaigners have concerns about the end of mortgage holidays.With no certainty about whether Covid-19 can be brought under control in the near future and millions of UK people living under further restrictions, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey called on the Government to bring forward clear plans for the protection of health, jobs and incomes.Mr McCluskey…

Thomas A Treibel, Charlotte Manisty, Mervyn Andiapen, Corinna Pade, Melanie Jensen, Marianna Fontana, Xosé Couto-Parada, Teresa Cutino-Moguel, Mahdad Noursadeghi, James C Moon (2020-10-31). [Correspondence] Asymptomatic health-care worker screening during the COVID-19 pandemic — Authors' reply. thelancet.com Kevin Fennelly and Christopher Whalen emphasise that health-care workers (HCWs) are at a higher risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection than are the general population. Angela Chow and colleagues describe their experience in Singapore of very low rates of HCW infections and nosocomial transmission when effective personal protective equipment is implemented. We agree with both perspectives, and our Correspondence1 did not contradict either of these viewpoints.

Mehr News Agency (2020-10-31). Meeting of COVID-19 combat headquarters held on Saturday. en.mehrnews.com TEHRAN, Oct. 31 (MNA) — National Coronavirus Combat and Prevention Headquarters held a meeting in the presence of Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki on Saturday.

Christian Gortázar, Francisco J Rodríguez del-Río, Lucas Domínguez, José de la Fuente (2020-10-31). [Correspondence] Host or pathogen-related factors in COVID-19 severity? thelancet.com Lucy Okell and colleagues1 observed that the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is currently in marked decline in many countries. Okell and colleagues suggest two possible explanations for this decline, namely the effect of lockdowns, physical distancing, and other interventions; or, alternatively, herd immunity. After analysing trends in cumulative deaths over time in many European countries that went into lockdown at different stages of their epidemic, and data obtained from serology studies on the proportion of the population that had the infection previously, Okell an…

news.un (2020-10-31). Sustainable urbanization critical to COVID-19 recovery, better quality of life. news.un.org Cities will be critical for the world to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and the worst recession for decades, according to the latest report published by UN-Habitat, the UN agency working on urban issues.

Michael Welch (2020-10-31). Coronavirus and the Biotech Complex. A Conversation with Whitney Webb. globalresearch.ca "Government insiders had foreknowledge of the Covid-19 crisis on a scale that, thus far, has gone unreported and that those same insiders are now manipulating the government's response and public panic in order to reap record profits and gain unprecedented …

Angela Chow, Htet Lin Htun, Win Mar Kyaw, Lay Tin Lee, Brenda Ang (2020-10-31). [Correspondence] Asymptomatic health-care worker screening during the COVID-19 pandemic. thelancet.com Mass testing of asymptomatic health-care workers (HCWs) has been suggested to reduce nosocomial transmission of COVID-19.1 This level of testing might not be necessary in hospitals with protocols for personal protective equipment,2 despite recommendations by Thomas Treibel and colleagues.3 The 1600-bed Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore, is colocated with the 330-bed National Centre for Infectious Diseases, Singapore, which, together, manage most patients with COVID-19 in Singapore. At this hospital, HCWs use fit-tested N95 respirators, eye protection, gloves, and gowns in areas where patients with COVID-19 are tr…

Mehr News Agency (2020-10-31). Iran COVID-19 update: 386 deaths, 7,820 cases in 24 hours. en.mehrnews.com TEHRAN, Oct. 31 (MNA) — The Iranian Health Ministry has confirmed 7,820 COVID-19 infections and 386 deaths due to the disease in the past 24 hours.

Lucy C Okell, Robert Verity, Aris Katzourakis, Erik M Volz, Oliver J Watson, Swapnil Mishra, Patrick Walker, Charlie Whittaker, Christl A Donnelly, Steven Riley, Azra C Ghani, Axel Gandy, Seth Flaxman, Neil M Ferguson, Samir Bhatt (2020-10-31). [Correspondence] Host or pathogen-related factors in COVID-19 severity? — Authors' reply. thelancet.com Christian Gortázar and colleagues, in their response to our Correspondence about herd immunity in COVID-19,1 suggest that the mutation of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) might provide an alternative explanation for the observed decline in deaths in Europe. As evidence, they highlight the observation that the SARS-CoV-2 virus has mutated,2,3 alongside their own report arguing that the severity of COVID-19 has decreased over time.4 Unfortunately, their own study appears to have ended before many recoveries could have occurred, severely undermining the main conclusion.

Prof Michel Chossudovsky (2020-10-31). O jogo de números do Covid-19: A "segunda vaga" é baseada em estatísticas falsas. globalresearch.ca "Zonas vermelhas", proibiàßà£o de viajar, quarentenas, "listas vermelhas". Uma "Segunda Vaga" foi anunciada. | A campanha do medo tornou-se extenuante. Milhàµes de pessoas alinham-se para serem testadas ao Covid-19. | Medidas estatais drásticas sà£o contempladas, incluindo restriàßàµes a ajuntamentos sociais, casamentos, funerais, …

_____ (2020-10-31). Biden And Trump Agree Far More Than They Disagree. popularresistance.org With the U.S. presidential elections slated for next Tuesday November 3rd, unprecedented numbers of voters have already cast their ballot. Despite a polarized electorate deeply divided on issues from police brutality to COVID-19, for many voters commited to preventing four more years of Trump, the two major candidates prove far more similar than presented in mainstream media. | To shed light on some of these dyanmics in this crucial election for the hemisphere, we spoke with Adrienne Pine, professor of medical anthropology at American University, member of the Embassy Protection Collective, and author of the rece…

Richard Horton (2020-10-31). [Comment] Offline: COVID-19—a crisis of power. thelancet.com COVID-19 is about the politics of the body. In a series of lectures and essays in the 1970s and early 1980s, Michel Foucault (who died in 1984) argued that the discipline of public health emerged with the birth of capitalism in the 18th century. The body came to be understood as an instrument of economic production, of labour power, and so became a subject of significant political interest. Medicine and public health were endorsed as tools to enhance these productive forces, to ensure that people were fit for work.

Mehr News Agency (2020-10-31). Global COVID-19 death toll approaching 1.2m. en.mehrnews.com TEHRAN, Oct. 31 (MNA) — The global COVID-19 death toll has surpassed 1.19 million according to John Hopkins University.

Manlio Dinucci (2020-10-31). Manlio Dinucci: "Il pericolo per l'umanità viene dalle armi nucleari non dal covid" globalresearch.ca Manlio Dinucci, giornalista del comitato "no guerra no Nato", spiega i reali pericoli che incombono oggi sul pianeta. …

Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi (2020-10-31). Video: The Corona Virus and the Health Impacts of the Lockdown: Interview with Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi. globalresearch.ca Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi is an award winning medical doctor specialised in the fields of immunology, bacteriology, virology, and parasitology. | This is not a killer virus comparable to the Spanish Flu. | . | . …

Alex Bainbridge (2020-10-31). Greens advance as Labor returned in Qld election. greenleft.org.au The most important result of the Queensland election is the advance of the Greens. The Greens have increased their representation from one to at least two members of parliament. | Also significant is the return of the Palaszczuk Labor government. This is a vindication of the generally good (albeit inconsistent) approach taken by Queensland Labor to tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

The Canary (2020-10-31). Even the boss of the Police Federation is slating the government's coronavirus communications. thecanary.co The chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales has criticised the "briefing" of a potential lockdown to the media, claiming it had increased pressure on the emergency services. | John Apter, head of the organisation which represents more than 120,000 rank-and-file officers, called for "clear communication" on coronavirus measures. | He tweeted on Saturday morning: "To those briefing selective media on a potential national lockdown please understand the impact this has. It creates a media frenzy, causes confusion and ahead of any official announcement encourages some to make the most of their pre-lockd…

Boaventura de Sousa Santos (2020-10-31). Negationism, gattopardism and transitionism. zcomm.org The new coronavirus pandemic has called into question many of the political certitudes that seemed to have been consolidated over the past forty years…

The Canary (2020-10-31). Union calls for schools to be closed if England enters month-long lockdown. thecanary.co Schools and colleges must be closed if the government imposes another national lockdown, the National Education Union (NEU) has said. Joint general secretary Kevin Courtney also called for ministers to prepare to introduce school rotas for the end of any new restrictions. | New measures: | Boris Johnson is expected to outline fresh measures to control the spread of coronavirus at a Downing Street press conference on 31 October. He is reportedly considering introducing nationwide restrictions next week, which could see everything closed except essential shops and education settings for a month. | NEU calle…

The Lancet (2020-10-31). [Editorial] The US election 2020. thelancet.com 100 years ago, voters in the presidential election of 1920 were weary, trepidatious, and living with the spectre of pandemic and uncertainty. After the carnage of World War 1 and the multiple waves of influenza that enveloped the world between 1918 and 1920 (of the 50 million lives lost, 675‚Äà000 were American), the US economy had sunk into a deep recession as it adjusted to post-wartime production and consumption. Presidential candidate Warren G Harding expounded that "America's present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy".

Ankit Agarwal, Trevor J Royce (2020-10-31). [Correspondence] The effect of Medicare for All on rural hospitals. thelancet.com Alison Galvani and colleagues1 robustly modelled the effect of the Medicare for All Act on US national health expenditures and outcomes. Spending on hospital care and physician or clinical services accounts for 53% of total spending. Their model assumes that Medicare rates are uniformly 22% lower than are private-payer rates and that, by switching all fees to Medicare rates, overall reimbursements will be 6% lower for hospitals and 7% lower for physicians.

Meagan C Fitzpatrick, Alison P Galvani (2020-10-31). [Correspondence] The effect of Medicare for All on rural hospitals — Authors' reply. thelancet.com The USA's rural hospitals are a lifeline for the communities that they serve, as evidenced by the catastrophic effects of their closures. Subsequent to the closure of a rural hospital, mortality rises by 5 ∑9% among residents of the service area.1…

Jeyaraj D Pandian, Yogeshwar Kalkonde, Ivy Anne Sebastian, Cynthia Felix, Gerard Urimubenshi, Jackie Bosch (2020-10-31). [Series] Stroke systems of care in low-income and middle-income countries: challenges and opportunities. thelancet.com The burden of stroke is higher in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) than in high-income countries and is rising. Even though there are global policies and guidelines for implementing stroke care, there are many challenges in setting up stroke services in LMICs. Despite these challenges, there are many models of stroke care available in LMICs—eg, multidisciplinary team care led by a stroke neurologist, specialist-led care by neurologists, physician-led care, hub and spoke models incorporating stroke telemedicine (ie, telestroke), and task sharing involving community health workers.

Pamela Das (2020-10-31). [Perspectives] Kevin Fenton: pursuing equity and equality in public health. thelancet.com Kevin Fenton is a public health polymath. He's worked successfully in health prevention and health improvement for more than three decades and is currently the Regional Director of Public Health England (PHE) London and the Regional Director of Public Health for NHS London. "I have a passion for learning and throughout my career it is about looking for the next set of opportunities to make a difference to the people who I have been called to serve", he says.

Fight Back (2020-10-31). The riot in Naples and the choice between health and work. fightbacknews.org Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from Italian Marxist- Leninist organization Fronte Popolare. | "Health is first and foremost, but without money no masses are sung": so, we read on one of the many banners laid out during the spontaneous protest marches in Naples in these hours. The contrast between health and work, between physical well-being and economic well-being is a choice that in a real democracy we should not even imagine to make. Yet this is the choice put in front of us, in the South as well as in the North, throughout the all country. While the North — and especially…

Sayed Meelad Habib, Maarten H Vermeer (2020-10-31). [Clinical Picture] A baby with red plaques on the face and a first-degree heart block: neonatal lupus. thelancet.com A 3-month-old boy was brought by his mother to our clinic who had noticed that her child had developed several round red lesions on his face (figure). She said that the problem had begun 3 weeks post partum. The baby had been born at full term following an uncomplicated pregnancy. The patient's mother was fit and well with no medical history of note—specifically she did not report any previous infections, or dermatological or autoimmune diseases.

Ed Holt (2020-10-31). [World Report] Slovakia to test all adults for SARS-CoV-2. thelancet.com Slovakia plans to be the first country to test its whole population for SARS-CoV-2, but experts warn of logistical and technical challenges. Ed Holt reports from Bratislava.

Peter Langhorne, Heinrich J Audebert, Dominique A Cadilhac, Joosup Kim, Patrice Lindsay (2020-10-31). [Series] Stroke systems of care in high-income countries: what is optimal? thelancet.com Stroke is a complex, time-sensitive, medical emergency that requires well functioning systems of care to optimise treatment and improve patient outcomes. Education and training campaigns are needed to improve both the recognition of stroke among the general public and the response of emergency medical services. Specialised stroke ambulances (mobile stroke units) have been piloted in many cities to speed up the diagnosis, triage, and emergency treatment of people with acute stroke symptoms. Hospital-based interdisciplinary stroke units remain the central feature of a modern stroke service.

Susan Jaffe (2020-10-31). [World Report] US election 2020: the future of the Affordable Care Act. thelancet.com President Donald Trump pledges to replace the Affordable Care Act while his Democratic opponent Joe Biden offers detailed proposals to improve it. Susan Jaffe reports from Washington, DC.

Lynda Carson (2020-10-30). Trump regime falsely claims it ended coronavirus covid-19 pandemic. indybay.org White House Statement Falsely Claiming Trump Has Ended Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic…

Eve Ottenberg (2020-10-30). Industrial Food Production and the Pandemic. counterpunch.org Covid-19 comes from the primary forest, from bat caves. In a world without industrial agriculture encroaching on that forest, in a world without the corporatization of a wild-food industry, Covid-19 would probably never have left those caves. The pandemic was not caused by small-holder agriculture, and the virus probably did not escape from a lab.

Joe Piette (2020-10-30). Support Pennsylvania prisoners on hunger strike for human rights. workers.org Incarcerated people in many U.S. states have been held in small prison cells for up to 23 hours a day since March 2020, ostensibly because of the threat of COVID-19. Imprisoned workers have filed many grievances over the increasingly unbearable conditions, which are nothing less than torture with no end . . . |

Staff (2020-10-30). Uninsured COVID Patients Aren't Being Told Their Hospital Bills Are Covered. truthout.org When Darius Settles died from COVID-19 on the Fourth of July, his family and the city of Nashville, Tennessee, were shocked. Even the mayor noted the passing of a 30-year-old without any underlying conditions — one of the city's youngest fatalities at that point. | Settles was also uninsured and had just been sent home from an emergency room for the second time, and he was worried about medical bills. An investigation into his death found that, like many uninsured COVID-19 patients, he ha…

RT (2020-10-30). As Covid-19 cases continue to sharply rise in Russia, Kremlin admits country has a shortage of doctors & calls for pay rises. rt.com Russia hasn't got enough doctors and paying them more should be a priority. That's according to Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, who said medics are working in "extreme conditions" during the Covid-19 pandemic. | When asked about doctors' wages, during a Friday press call, Peskov highlighted that Russia's regions have been given extra money to fight the coronavirus, and that they should use some of that to attract better specialists. According to Moscow-based newspaper Kommersant, a journalist had noted that richer areas of the country are luring higher-qualified doctors away from poorer lo…

RT (2020-10-30). 'Vital we start now': WHO reforms should not be left until after Covid-19 pandemic, says German health minister. rt.com The German government has called for immediate reforms to the World Health Organization (WHO), with Health Minister Jens Spahn stressing the importance of starting the process now and not wait until the pandemic has passed. | The UN health agency should be faster in its response to crises, Spahn added, calling for the WHO's members to give it more funding and for them to be better at sharing information. | Read more | | Spahn's call for tran…

RT (2020-10-30). Covid-19 as deadly for nurses as World War I, with fatalities from virus matching deaths during four-year war. rt.com As many nurses have died from Covid-19 as during the whole of World War I, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) has said, adding that health worker fatalities in the pandemic were likely hugely under-reported. | At least 1,500 nurses have lost their lives since the novel coronavirus outbreak was first reported in China's Wuhan some 11 months ago, according to ICN figures. The same amount is believed to have been killed during World War I, which lasted for four years between 1914 and 1918. | "The fact that as many nurses have died during this pandemic as died during World War I is shocking," ICN head Howar…

WSWS (2020-10-30). San Diego educators and students demand access to COVID-19 outbreak data. wsws.org The public must be granted access to proper data and information so that individuals can make informed decisions on their health, and to ensure the proper protection of themselves and their families.

Vijay Prashad (2020-10-30). How Venezuela Has Held Back COVID-19 in Spite of the U.S. Sanctions Stranglehold on Its Economy. counterpunch.org Not for one minute during this pandemic has the United States stopped trying to overthrow the government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. A seam of cruelty runs through U.S. policy, which by its sanctions regime prevents Venezuela from open trade of its oil to import key medical equipment to help break the chain of the virus and heal those infected by it.

Jeff Abbott (2020-10-30). The Other Americans: United States Attacks Cuban Medics During Pandemic. progressive.org The Trump Administration is refusing Cuba's COVID-19 medical aid, claiming the doctors are being 'trafficked.'

Jon Cohen (2020-10-30). The 'Very, Very Bad Look' of Remdesivir, the First FDA-approved COVID-19 Drug. globalresearch.ca October was a good month for Gilead Sciences, the giant manufacturer of antivirals headquartered in Foster City, California. On 8 October, the company inked an agreement to supply the European Union with its drug remdesivir as a treatment for COVID-19—a …

news.un (2020-10-30). World court continues adjudicating throughout COVID health crisis. news.un.org Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the head of the United Nations world court said on Friday that its judiciary work in The Hague, Netherlands, continued unabated.

news.un (2020-10-30). Long-term symptoms of COVID-19 'really concerning', says WHO chief. news.un.org With some COVID-19 patients reporting long-term symptoms, including damage to major organs, the World Health Organization (WHO) urged Governments to ensure they receive necessary care.

Clare Dyer (2020-10-30). COVID-19: Government Poised to Amend Regulations to Allow Use of Unlicensed Vaccine. globalresearch.ca The UK government has set out plans to amend drug regulations in case it decides that covid-19 vaccines should be used before they are licensed, in a bid to roll them out more quickly.1 | In a consultation on the proposals …

news.un (2020-10-30). Kenya relief bid begins to avert 'hunger crisis' among poor workers hit by COVID. news.un.org In Kenya, a major UN-led cash and nutrition relief project is underway for informal workers facing a hunger crisis brought on by COVID-19, amidst warnings on Friday that the situation is likely even worse in many poorer countries.

Sandra Park (2020-10-30). The Dangers of Expanding What Can Be Patented In the Age of COVID-19. aclu.org As the COVID-19 crisis takes its devastating toll, the need for scientific collaboration is self-evident. After the first outbreaks, scientists in China

Johanna Ross (2020-10-30). To Lockdown or Not to Lockdown: Britain Debates. globalresearch.ca The UK government is facing increased pressure to call for a national lockdown or 'circuit breaker' as it has commonly become known after a further 310 deaths to Covid-19 were announced on Thursday. It brings the total number of deaths …

_____ (2020-10-30). Court Protest Aims At Boston Covid Housing Crisis. popularresistance.org Boston, MA – Thousands of families in eastern Massachusetts face renewed risk of eviction. Governor Charlie Baker opted on October 17 to cease emergency measures to protect shelter that have been in effect throughout most of 2020, triggering a huge surge in "notices to quit" from landlords. A rally downtown outside the Eastern Housing Court near Haymarket on a rainy Thursday morning called for an alternative program at the state legislature, among other policies that have been proposed including a rent freeze.

Steven Hill (2020-10-30). Can Facebook be Used to Steal an Election? counterpunch.org What a year. The US has faced three unprecedented crises — the COVID pandemic, nationwide racial unrest, and now a bitterly contested presidential election. And there in the middle of all three is the Dark Trinity: Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. With nearly 3 billion users, Facebook is by far the largest publisher in the world

_____ (2020-10-30). Alice's Nightmare In Drone Land. popularresistance.org New York – On Thursday, 33 people from New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts organized by Upstate Drone Action blocked the gates at Hancock Air Field near Syracuse, NY. | Prior to Thursday's action, activists released this statement: | "And why are we going to Hancock AFB on October 29? Our country has gone down the rabbit hole — racially, spiritually and economically. COVID 19 has exposed the Pentagon and the Federal government's inability to do their job: to aid and protect our people. In fact the government has helped spread COVID, denying its severity and denying our people the PPE to combat that scou…

Jeff Harris (2020-10-30). Nine COVID Facts: A Pandemic of Fearmongering and Ignorance. globalresearch.ca Ever since the alleged pandemic erupted this past March the mainstream media has spewed a non-stop stream of misinformation that appears to be laser focused on generating maximum fear among the citizenry. But the facts and the science simply don't …