Daily Archives: February 1, 2021

2021-02-01: News Headlines

Umar A Farooq (2021-02-01). Rights groups say Biden should reveal vaccine plan for Guantanamo prisoners. middleeasteye.net Rights groups say Biden should reveal vaccine plan for Guantanamo prisoners | Pentagon decided to pause plan to offer coronavirus vaccines to Guantanamo detainees following criticism from Republican lawmaker | Mon, 02/01/2021 – 20: 38 | It is not known how many people at Guantanamo have contracted Covid-19 (AFP) | Rights groups are calling on the Biden administration to publicly reveal its Covid-19…

Choi KR. (2021-02-01). A Nursing Researcher's Experience in a COVID-19 Vaccine Trial. jamanetwork.com This perspective is that of a nursing researcher turned volunteer in a COVID-19 vaccine trial. She considers the experience of study participants and how clinicians will need to prepare their patients for the vaccine's possible adverse effects.

RT (2021-02-01). South Africa receives its first 1 million-dose batch of Covid-19 vaccine. rt.com The first coronavirus vaccine shipment to South Africa has arrived in the country, as it struggles with the continent's highest caseload alongside a more transmissible strain of the virus. | A plane carrying the vaccines touched down at OR Tambo international airport on Monday. The load of one million AstraZeneca jabs, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), were warmly welcomed, with President Cyril Ramaphosa and other high-ranking officials in attendance. | Late in January, the president

RT (2021-02-01). Austria to ease Covid-19 lockdown by opening schools and shops, while tightening borders to hinder arrival of new variants. rt.com Schools and non-essential shops in Austria will reopen next week as the country loosens its lockdown, though border measures will be tightened to stop Covid-19 variants coming in, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has said. | From February 8, schoolkids will have to furnish negative coronavirus test results in order to attend their classes, while shoppers will have to wear the higher-grade FFP2 face masks, which are already mandatory on public transport and in essential shops. | Austria will also reopen museums, galleries, libraries and zoos, and will switch from its current 24-hour ban on movement to overnight curfew…

WSWS (2021-02-01). Far-right protesters temporarily shut down COVID-19 vaccinations at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. wsws.org The Los Angeles Police Department allowed a few dozen right-wing anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown demonstrators to block traffic into Dodger Stadium, forcing a shutdown of the vaccination site for nearly an hour Saturday afternoon.

Karl Grossman, Harvey Wasserman (2021-02-01). Embrittlement in Nuclear Power Plants. counterpunch.org Of all the daunting tasks Joe Biden faces, especially vital is the inspection of dangerously embrittled atomic reactors still operating in the United States. A meltdown at any one of them would threaten the health and safety of millions of people while causing major impact to an already struggling economy. The COVID-19 pandemic would complicate

RT (2021-02-01). Covid-19 school closures could cost UK children £350bn in lost earnings, economy research group says. rt.com The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned that Covid-19 school closures could cost UK children £350 billion in lost earnings over their lives, as not enough is being done to avoid leaving a whole generation of kids behind. | The independent economy research organisation has released a report into the effects of Covid-19 lockdowns on children across the country, as school closures force pupils to learn from home. | Citing research by the World Bank, the IFS suggested that by losing half an academic year, equivalent to five percent of their overall school career, each pupil could see a lifetime los…

RT (2021-02-01). Vaccine crime ring: Chinese police make 80 arrests & seize 3,000 saline-filled syringes. rt.com Dozens of people have been detained after Chinese police launched a crackdown on the manufacturing and selling of fake Covid-19 vaccinations. Authorities say the illicit trade has been going on for months. | Read more | | Law enforcement targeted crime rings in Beijing, as well as the eastern provinces of Jiangsu and Shandong, resulting in more than 80 arrests and the seizure of some 3,000 syringes filled with saline, state news agency Xin…

Binoy Kampmark (2021-02-01). Boris Johnson and the Deaths of the Hundred Thousand. counterpunch.org Not exactly Thermopylae. Not even close. The hundred thousand who have now been taken by COVID-19 in Britain were not determined warriors holding up the forces of a mighty empire to save their land. They were the innocent victims of infection, mismanagement and miscalculation. Central to the policy which led to such losses was a

RT (2021-02-01). Madrid to relax restaurant Covid-19 rules to help businesses and push back against 'political pressure' despite high infections. rt.com The region of Madrid will relax some of its Covid-19 restrictions this week, the region's president announced on Monday, even though infection rates in the capital remain high and most of Spain is tightening health measures. | From Friday, the number of diners allowed per table on outdoor restaurant terraces in Madrid will be upped from four to six and the 10pm curfew on business activity will be pushed back to midnight "as soon as possible," Isabel Diaz Ayuso said. | Ayuso also announced that the use of face masks inside hospitality establishments will be made mandatory. | Those in the Spanish capital are alr…

_____ (2021-02-01). US-Wide Eviction Ban Could Have Prevented Thousands Of COVID-19 Deaths. popularresistance.org Julie Rey has been living on the edge of eviction for much of the Covid-19 pandemic. She's a 42-year-old mother of two, and her family has also been especially afraid of infection, as her 19-year-old daughter suffers from a comorbid condition and is at greater risk from the virus. | In 2021, what they long feared finally happened. At the beginning of the year, Rey and her 14-year-old daughter contracted the virus, and a judge ordered them out of their home by 20 January. The only mercy was that the gears of eviction did not finish turning until their illnesses had faded. They were able to quarantine away from Rey…

RT (2021-02-01). Criminal gangs selling fake negative Covid-19 tests needed by most air travelers, Europol warns. rt.com The EU's policing agency has warned that criminal gangs are cashing in on the Covid crisis by selling forged negative test results at airports. The fakes fetch up to €300 ($362) each, as the certs are now widely needed for travel.

WSWS (2021-02-01). The right to breathe: COVID-19 and the scarcity of medicinal oxygen for the developing world. wsws.org Medicinal oxygen is essential for the treatment of severe and critical COVID-19 infections. Yet the developing world, seeing a surge in cases, faces a dire shortage of this life-saving treatment.

Asha Ramachandran (2021-02-01). COVID behind bars: Infected prisoners work for next to nothing. peoplesworld.org EL PASO, Texas—The county jail was using incarcerated labor to move the corpses of COVID-19 patients into mobile morgues in El Paso, Texas last fall. Media coverage focused on inmates "helping" and "volunteering," even as they were being paid only $2 per hour. Incarcerated people at Airway Heights Correction Center in Washington state are being …

Leah Douglas (2021-02-01). After enduring 'complete hell' during pandemic, food workers face obstacles getting COVID-19 vaccinations. nationofchange.org "Vaccinating our essential farmworkers will ensure the safety of their workplaces, their homes, their families, our food supply, and the vital services that they perform."

RT (2021-02-01). 7 die at Spanish care home after getting Pfizer Covid-19 jab as ALL residents test positive for virus, second doses still to come. rt.com All 78 residents at a nursing home in central Spain have tested positive for Covid-19 after being given their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and at least seven people have died, staff confirmed on Monday. | Most of those who succumbed to the virus had existing conditions, according to Spanish news agency EFE, while four residents are currently hospitalized, and 12 staff have also been infected. | The huge outbreak is at the Lagartera Residence for the Elderly in the Toledo area, southwest of the capital Madrid. | The home's 33 staff must now present a negative PCR test before they start work, and a…

Asha Ramachandran (2021-02-01). COVID behind bars: Infected prisoners work for next to nothing. peoplesworld.org EL PASO, Texas — The county jail was using incarcerated labor to move the corpses of COVID-19 patients into mobile morgues in El Paso, Texas last fall. Media coverage focused on inmates "helping" and "volunteering," even as they were being paid only $2 per hour. Incarcerated people at Airway Heights Correction Center in Washington state …

Jonas Ecke (2021-02-01). The Appointment of Samantha Power is Bad News for USAID. counterpunch.org For all its faults, USAID — the US Agency for International Development — will be one of the most vitally important agencies of the Biden administration. The confluence of Covid-19, global warming, famines in the Horn of Africa, forced migration and a series of unending proxy wars in the Middle East is a perfect storm that

Staff (2021-02-01). 'Bring Sundiata home': The case for freeing elderly political prisoners. therealnews.com Sundiata Acoli has been locked up for 48 years. At 84 years old, and after contracting COVID-19 in prison, Acoli's health is suffering—and a coalition of friends, family, and faith leaders are calling for him to be released before it's too late.

RT (2021-02-01). As EU falls behind on supplies of Covid-19 vaccines, German health minister entertains possibility of using Russia's Sputnik V. rt.com German Health Minister Jens Spahn has revealed that Berlin would be open to importing Covid-19 vaccines from Russia and China as the government looks to find ways to overcome the country's shortage of doses. | "Regardless of the country in which a vaccine is manufactured, if they are safe and effective, they can help cope with the pandemic," Spahn told Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. | The German minister's comments came before Vladimir Chizhov, Russia's permanent representative to the EU, revealed that Moscow is not only open to selling its Sputnik V vaccine but will also share information about how…

RT (2021-02-01). Portugal to receive planeload of German doctors, hospital beds & ventilators to counter dire Covid-19 surge. rt.com Germany will send 26 doctors, nurses and hygiene experts to Portugal on Wednesday to help prop up the nation's Covid-19 efforts as it battles one of the world's worst outbreaks, the German defense minister said on Monday. | "We support our friends in Portugal who find themselves in an especially dramatic situation," Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said. | The German military medical team will stay in Portugal for three weeks. Berlin is also sending 150 infusion machines and 50 ventilators, which are also set to arrive in Lisbon by plane on Wednesday. | Newspaper reports last week said the German armed forc…

Jonas Ecke (2021-02-01). The Appointment of Samantha Powers is Bad News for USAID. counterpunch.org For all its faults, USAID — the US Agency for International Development — will be one of the most vitally important agencies of the Biden administration. The confluence of Covid-19, global warming, famines in the Horn of Africa, forced migration and a series of unending proxy wars in the Middle East is a perfect storm that

Sonali Kolhatkar (2021-02-01). The COVID-19 Pandemic Can't Be Managed, It Has to Be Eradicated. counterpunch.org For millions of Americans who believe that COVID-19 is real, dangerous, and requires a plan of action, Joe Biden's election to the presidency has finally offered a path out of the seemingly never-ending pandemic. Indeed, compared to President Donald Trump's approach—which centered on financing the development of vaccines, but did little else to mitigate the

Staff (2021-02-01). White House Announces $231 Million Contract to Buy Rapid At-Home COVID Tests. truthout.org The Joe Biden administration announced on Monday a $231.8 million contract with Australian company Ellume to buy 8.5 million rapid at-home coronavirus tests. The test will be available for the public to take without a prescription and provides results within 15 minutes. | After the company announced that the tests were

Staff (2021-02-01). All 10 GOP Senators Behind Skimpy COVID Proposal Gave the Military $740 Billion. truthout.org Each of the 10 Republican senators who threw their support behind a widely criticized $600 billion coronavirus relief proposal on Sunday "Every sin…

RT (2021-02-01). China slams Canadian Embassy after staff member ordered customized shirts featuring Wuhan and bat patterns. rt.com Beijing has lodged an official complaint with the Canadian Embassy in China after reports emerged that a staff member ordered customized shirts featuring Wuhan and bat patterns in July 2020. | Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin urged the Canadian authorities to investigate the reports on Monday and take immediate action. Wang stressed that diplomatic and consular personnel stationed abroad in any country in the world should strictly abide by the Vienna Convention and local laws. | The Chinese side was shocked by this and has lodged solemn representations with the Canadian Embassy in China, reque…

Johanna Kichton (2021-02-01). As Congress Negotiates COVID Relief Bill and Budget Reconciliation Process Begins, People's Action Announces Priorities to Protect Everyday People. peoplesaction.org In New Letter to Congressional Democratic Leaders, People's Action Demands Lawmakers Fight for Cash Payments, Vaccines for All, Rent Relief, Good Jobs and Pay, Debt Cancellation, and State Funding Contact: Johanna Kichton, 240.206.1145, press@peoplesaction.org WASHINGTON, D.C.—People's Action today sent a letter to congressional Democrat leadership demanding they protect everyday people in any new COVID relief …

John Nichols (2021-02-01). Cutting $2,000 Payments, and Limiting Who's Eligible for Them, Is Bad Economics and Loser Politics. thenation.com Cutting $2,000 Payments, and Limiting Who's Eligible for Them, Is Bad Economics and Loser Politics…

J.D. ALT (2021-02-01). Shooting Down Deficit Hawks. realprogressives.org Deficit hawks, like dive-bombing kamikazes, are out now again, circling the battleship of our collective efforts to save ourselves. Can we pay ourselves to produce, distribute, and administer the Covid vaccine to every American in six months? No! say the dive-bombing Kamikazes—we cannot collect enough taxes to pay for that. It would require the government to borrow hundreds of billions more, increasing our "deficit" and the national "debt." Can we pay ourselves to design and build a low-carbon infrastructure that will help put a cap on global warming? No and No! say the circling deficit hawks—and h…

_____ (2021-02-01). Demand Mass Clemency On 'National Freedom Day'. popularresistance.org As supporters of the #CagingCOVID campaign, the Antistasis Project is calling for decentralized actions on February 1st across the so-called United States, and internationally, in support of mass clemency for people held in jails, prisons and detention centers. | Reports updated as of Jan. 19, show at least 355,957 prisoners have gotten the virus, and more than 2,232 died as a result of it. . The pandemic has resulted in prisons and jails abusing isolation more than ever before. Social distance is necessary but solitary confinement is torture. | Crowded quarters, a lack of PPE, inadequate medical care, an aging p…

splcenter (2021-02-01). The Year in Hate and Extremism 2020: Hate groups became more difficult to track amid COVID and migration to online networks. splcenter.org &nbsp…

Jim Naureckas (2021-02-01). NYT's China syndrome. mronline.org Imagine a parallel world where the U.S. brought Covid under control in two months, while China still struggled with it, a year and hundreds of thousands of deaths later.

Leehi Yona (2021-02-01). My Students Are Struggling. You'll Never Guess Why. thenation.com My Students Are Struggling. You'll Never Guess Why.

Staff (2021-02-01). Black Americans Are Left Behind as Vaccine Rollout Expands. truthout.org This story also ran on Black Americans are still receiving covid vaccinations at dramatically lower rates than white Americans even as the chaotic rollout reaches more people, according to a new KHN analysis. | Almost se…

RT (2021-02-01). England's health officials begin urgent tests amid fears South African Covid strain now spreading in communities. rt.com Urgent testing for the highly contagious South African strain of Covid has been ordered by Public Health England (PHE) as 11 cases were reported across Britain by Monday afternoon amid growing fears of community transmission. | Authorities are to step up testing for the new variant in London, the Southeast and the Midlands. So far, PHE has ordered new tests in eight separate areas of England. | Initially, PHE reported two people who had no travel links to South Africa tested positive for the mutant strain in Surrey on Monday morning. | Just like the UK mutant strain discovered in November, the South Africa var…

Prof Michel Chossudovsky (2021-02-01). The 2020 Worldwide Corona Crisis: Destroying Civil Society, Engineered Economic Depression, Global Coup d'État and the "Great Reset" globalresearch.ca We are at the crossroads of one of the most serious crises in modern history. We are living history, yet our understanding of the flow of events since January 2020 has been blurred. Worldwide, people have been misled both by their governments and the media.

Igor Derysh (2021-02-01). Joe Manchin snipes at Kamala Harris for pressuring him to vote for coronavirus relief. salon.com "I couldn't believe it. No one called me," Manchin complains after Harris highlights crisis facing his state…

Mark Gruenberg (2021-02-01). OSHA to order firms to protect workers from coronavirus. peoplesworld.org

_____ (2021-02-01). Post Workers Suspended After Refusing To Deliver Epoch Times. popularresistance.org Ramiro Sepulveda, one of the suspended postal workers, told CBC News he objects to the insinuations in some of the paper's past coverage of the origins of the coronavirus, which the paper calls "the CCP virus." | "I'm not for censorship. I'm not against freedom of speech," he said. "What my thing is, is there is no disclaimer stating that this was theory." | He says he went straight to his supervisor when he saw the free editions that were set to be delivered earlier this month. | "I said, 'That Epoch Times, I'm not delivering it. It goes against everything I believe in.'" | The second worker, Linying Su, who was…

WSWS (2021-02-01). French government rejects a new lockdown to stop coronavirus spread. wsws.org Like his counterparts across Europe, Macron is sacrificing masses of lives to increase the wealth of the super-rich.

Barnett BS, Morris NP. (2021-02-01). Pharmacy Access to Sterile Injection Supplies for People Who Inject Drugs. jamanetwork.com This Viewpoint discusses reforms to pharmacy distribution of over-the-counter sterile injection supplies to prevent infections and death among people who inject drugs, especially important during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

WSWS (2021-02-01). Capitalism vs. socialism: The pandemic and the global class struggle. wsws.org One year since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a "Public Health Emergency of International Concern," the response of the ruling class to the pandemic has led to the deaths of more than 2.2 million people.

_____ (2021-02-01). Take Action To End The Economic War At Home And Abroad. popularresistance.org It is the same neoliberal economic system, white supremacy and disregard for human life that underlie sanctions abroad and at home. The current recession and pandemic have exposed this in a brutal way in the United States. The populations that are harmed the most are Indigenous peoples and communities of color. The United States government could have taken the effective steps of cancelling rent and debt, providing a monthly income and nationalizing healthcare that other countries took but instead passed laws that funneled wealth to the top while providing minimal relief to the majority.

WSWS (2021-02-01). Strikes mount in Turkey against austerity and herd immunity policies. wsws.org The Turkish government's murderous response to the pandemic and the collapse of social conditions for millions are increasingly driving workers into struggle.

Peoples Dispatch (2021-02-01). Vietnam's Communist Party sets course for post-pandemic recovery. peoplesdispatch.org The ruling Communist Party of Vietnam has set ambitious targets for boosting growth and economic expansion in the next five years as part of its economic recovery plan in…

WSWS (2021-02-01). Triple shock of US sanctions, oil price collapse and the pandemic decimates Iranian living standards. wsws.org The "hardline" faction around the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is attacking the faction around President Hassan Rouhani who negotiated the nuclear agreement with the Obama administration, amid indications that the Biden administration intends to continue enforcing the "maximum pressure" campaign of draconian sanctions and military provocations against Iran.

Igor Derysh (2021-02-01). Did "defund the police" lead to an increase in murder? Almost certainly not. salon.com In fact, hardly any cities have "defunded" cops — the troubling spike in homicide is probably pandemic-related…

Barnett BS. (2021-02-01). Eastern Kentucky's Lost Generation and the Echoes That Remain—The Aftermath of the Opioid Epidemic. jamanetwork.com This essay describes the author's personal experiences witnessing the opioid epidemic and its devastation in Kentucky.

Colin Todhunter (2021-02-01). Viral Inequality and the Farmers' Struggle in India. dissidentvoice.org According to a new report by Oxfam, 'The Inequality Virus', the wealth of the world's billionaires increased by $3.9tn (trillion) between 18 March and 31 December 2020. Their total wealth now stands at $11.95tn. The world's 10 richest billionaires have collectively seen their wealth increase by $540bn over this period. In September 2020, Jeff Bezos …

McCormick N, Wallace ZS, Yokose C, et al. (2021-02-01). Prolonged Increases in Public-Payer Spending and Prices After Unapproved Drug Initiative Approval of Colchicine. jamanetwork.com This cohort study examines national Medicaid and Medicare drug-spending data to examine colchicine prices over the period from 2008 to 2017.