2021-02-06: News Headlines

Eds. (2021-02-06). Incarcerated and at COVID's mercy: New York must do more for elderly imprisoned people. mronline.org COVID-19 is now raging uncontrolled throughout the United States. New variants that are more easily transmitted have entered the country from the U.K., Brazil and South Africa. Vaccine is scarce.

CGTN (2021-02-06). Interview with Martin Jacques on BBC Coverage of China. dissidentvoice.org The Chinese Foreign Ministry has demanded an apology from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for its recent coverage of COVID-19, saying the BBC used a clip about an anti-terrorism exercise, claiming it was for pandemic control. The BBC responded: it will continue to uphold the "principle of justice". For more on this, CGTN talked to …

Richard Gale (2021-02-06). The COVID-19 Pandemic as a Psychological Coup d'Etat. globalresearch.ca We have almost reached a full year since the spread of SARS-Cov2 was proclaimed a pandemic. If we are to believe the World Health Organization's and individual governments' official statistics, the number of confirmed cases is reaching 100 million with …

_____ (2021-02-06). Citizen Scientists Are Filling Research Gaps. popularresistance.org The rapid spread of COVID-19 in 2020 disrupted field research and environmental monitoring efforts worldwide. Travel restrictions and social distancing forced scientists to cancel studies or pause their work for months. These limits measurably reduced the accuracy of weather forecasts and created data gaps on issues ranging from bird migration to civil rights in U.S. public schools. | Our work relies on this kind of information to track seasonal events in nature and understand how climate change is affecting them. We also recruit and train citizens for community science — projects that involve amateur or vo…

Robert Wheeler (2021-02-06). Vaccine Passports and Health Passes: Is Showing Your "Papers" the "New Normal?" globalresearch.ca First published on December 17, 2021 | Life cannot return to normal until there is a vaccine for COVID 19. | At least, that is what governments, corporations, and their mainstream propaganda media outlets have been incessantly arguing. Interestingly, the development of …

Get on the Mailing List (2021-02-06). Moscone Center Open for SF Vaccine Appointments. indybay.org The Moscone Convention Center at 747 Howard Street, San Francisco, allows everyone in San Francisco to book an appointment or if none is available, get on the mailing list. The City is partnering with Kaiser to do the COVID19 vaccine.

Timothy Alexander Guzman (2021-02-06). Big Pharma and Big Profits: The Multibillion Dollar Vaccine Market. globalresearch.ca First published on January 27, 2016. | Of relevance to an understanding of the Covid Vaccine Initiative | The business of vaccines is soon to become a major source of profits for the world's largest pharmaceutical corporations. A press release (Business Wire, …

Children's Health Defense (2021-02-06). 501 Deaths + 10,748 Other Injuries Reported Following COVID Vaccine, Latest CDC Data Show. globalresearch.ca The numbers reflect the latest data available as of Jan. 29 from the CDC's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System website. Of the 501 reported deaths, 453 were from the U.S. The average age of those who died was 77, the …

Prof Michel Chossudovsky (2021-02-06). The Corona Pandemic: The Most Serious Economic and Social Crisis in Modern History. globalresearch.ca Presentation to the Korea University Conference, February 7, 2021 | Dear Friends, | My thoughts are with the Korean people. With my Korean friends. | I wish to express my solidarity with the Korean people in their long standing struggle waged at different …

Richard Gale (2021-02-06). Can We Trust the World Health Organization (WHO)? globalresearch.ca First published on May 6, 2020 | Many more questions are being raised than there are answers being discovered concerning the recent strains of coronavirus. Where and how did it originate? Was it the result of human engineering and manipulation or …

Zachary Conti (2021-02-06). After Default, Zambia Becomes Third Country Seeking G20 Debt Relief. indybay.org Zambia requested the G20 coronavirus debt relief process, the "Common Framework for Debt Treatment beyond the Debt Service Suspension Initiative."

The Local (2021-02-06). Denmark to Roll Out a 'Digital' Vaccine Passport in 3-4 Months. anti-empire.com The exact practical applications of the digital documentation are still under consideration, but its primary purpose is to facilitate a reopening of society. | "We are taking the first steps so that, before the end of February, you will be able to see your vaccination on (online health services platform) Sundhed.dk," acting finance minister Morten Bà∏dskov said. | "In three to four months, the digital corona passport will be ready for use for things like business trips," Bà∏dskov added. | The government and business representatives will decide on the exact applications of the vaccination 'passport' once…

F. William Engdahl (2021-02-06). What's Not Being Said About the Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccine. "Human Guinea Pigs"? globalresearch.ca The Pharma giant Pfizer use an experimental technology known as gene editing, specifically mRNA gene-editing, something never before used in vaccines. Before we rush to get jabbed in hopes of some immunity, we should know more about the radical experimental technology and its lack of precision.

Robert Hughes (2021-02-06). There Are Still 14 Million Americans on Federal Unemployment, Down Just 2 Million From Shutdown High. anti-empire.com Initial claims for regular state unemployment insurance totaled 847,000 for the week ending January 23, down 67,000 from the previous week's upwardly revised tally of 914,000 (see first chart). Claims have been above 800,000 for three consecutive weeks, in the 700,000 to 1 million range for 22 consecutive weeks, and well above the pre-pandemic level of 212,000 in early 2020 for 45 weeks. | The four-week average rose again, up 16,250 to 868,000. The four-week average has drifted higher since hitting a low of 740,500 for the week of November 28, rising in eight of the last ten weeks. Persistent initial claims at su…

Richard Gale (2021-02-06). Vaccination's Dilemma: Unsafe at Any Dose. globalresearch.ca This incisive article first published in May 2016 analyses the issue of mandatory vaccination. | The CDC and advocates for mandatory vaccination consistently repeat a dangerous mantra that finds no warranted basis in medical science. This monolithic industry, now a massive …

news.un (2021-02-06). FROM THE FIELD: COVID-19 increasing risk of female genital mutilation. news.un.org The COVID-19 pandemic is increasing the risk of female genital mutilation or FGM, with the UN predicting that an additional two million girls will be subjected to the practice in the next ten years.

RT (2021-02-06). Splintered SCOTUS gives California churches partial win, rules state can't ban indoor services, but can limit capacity over Covid. rt.com In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court denied California's ban on indoor church services, but did say the state has the right to limit capacity to 25 percent amid the Covid-19 pandemic. | Religious organizations have been battling with California for months now, as the state's lockdown restrictions have meant that indoor services have been banned across most of the state — a move that has drawn criticism, in particular, because Hollywood productions have been allowed to move forward. | The Supreme Court ruled late Friday night in two cases where churches were suing the state over indoor-services bans, but it…

RT (2021-02-06). Canceling their own? NYT's lead Covid-19 reporter resigns after reprimand for use of 'N-word' fails to appease co-workers. rt.com Donald McNeil Jr., the New York Times' top reporter on the Covid-19 pandemic, has resigned after management's decision not to fire him for innocuously using the "N-word" left many staffers at the newspaper "outraged and in pain." | The episode began when a student on a Times-sponsored trip to Peru in 2019 asked McNeil whether he thought her classmate should be suspended for using a racial slur on a video made years earlier. The reporter, who was on the trip as an expert to inform the students, repeated the slur when asking the girl about the context in which it had been used. | Allegations regarding McNeil's c…

Susan Price (2021-02-06). South Africa: New lockdown bans political gatherings. greenleft.org.au Under new COVID-19 regulations, for the first time in South Africa's history it is now a criminal offence for anyone in the country to hold any kind of political gathering, writes Dale McKinley. This should make us all sit up and take notice.

R H Behrens, Vipul Patel (2021-02-06). [Correspondence] Avoiding shoulder injury from intramuscular vaccines. thelancet.com With the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccination programmes to tens of millions of people, some individuals might receive vaccines, which have received rigorous safety checks and approval from regulatory bodies, via intramuscular injection. However, the safety around the technique used and the site of injection, in particular, has received little attention. As recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), adults aged 16 years or older will be the main population receiving the intramuscular vaccine.

Richard Lane (2021-02-06). [Perspectives] Tahmeed Ahmed: new leader of icddr,b. thelancet.com It was back in 1985 when Tahmeed Ahmed joined the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, today known as icddr,b, in Dhaka. On Feb 1, 2021, he became icddr,b's new Executive Director, its first leader from within Bangladesh. Before his new role, he was Director of Nutrition and Clinical Services at icddr,b, where he also led the organisation's response to COVID-19. As a distinguished clinician and research leader, Ahmed's career has been defined by public health developments in his country, notably in the areas of cholera treatment and in confronting malnutrition.

Richard Horton (2021-02-06). [Comment] Offline: COVID-19 and the convergence of nations. thelancet.com It has become axiomatic that COVID-19 has worsened a range of inequalities within and between countries. Coronavirus-related mortality is higher in more materially deprived communities. If you live in crowded living conditions, your risk of contracting infection will be higher. And crowded living conditions are, of course, more commonly found in poorer areas among people with lower incomes. The risk of death is higher among those who are front-line workers, among those who are unable to enjoy the relative luxury of working from home.

John Zarocostas (2021-02-06). [World Report] WHO team begins COVID-19 origin investigation. thelancet.com A WHO-led international mission has begun investigations in China to try to establish the origin of SARS-CoV-2. John Zarocostas reports on its activities.

_____ (2021-02-06). Sputnik V Gets an Unexpected Boost From NATO in Serbia. strategic-culture.org Aleksandar Pavic describes how the lack of either EU or NATO membership has proven to be an advantage for Serbia in a time of crisis. | Serbia has been one of the stars of the first weeks of the global vaccination effort to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. Differently from other European, and especially EU countries — despite its official

yenisafak (2021-02-06). '1 dose of vaccine for virus survivors will save jabs for millions more'. yenisafak.com In a new study published on Monday, researchers from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York observed that participants who were previously infected with the coronavirus gave an equal or higher antibody response after they were administered the first dose of the mRNA-based vaccine than those did not catch the virus and received two doses of the same vaccine.The study — yet to be peer-reviewed — also found that people who had previously contracted the virus reported unpleasant side effects such as headache, fever, and muscle or joint pain more frequently than those who never had the virus a…

yenisafak (2021-02-06). New coronavirus variants cause concern in Spain. yenisafak.com While the peak of Spain's third wave appears to have passed, new variants are causing unease as Madrid confirmed Spain's first ever case of the Brazil variant on Friday.Spain has now detected all three of the variants that have alarmed health officials worldwide.The mutant virus was detected in a 44-year-old man who had flown into the Madrid airport from Brazil. He presented a negative PCR test upon arrival on Jan. 29, but officials gave him a rapid test and discovered he was contagious.After sequencing the virus, scientists can now confirm that he was carrying the variant, which some studies suggest increases th…

The Lancet (2021-02-06). [Editorial] Genomic sequencing in pandemics. thelancet.com Advanced genetic sequencing techniques have undoubtedly provided valuable information on the biology and evolution of SARS-CoV-2. Never have the nearly 30‚Äà000 nucleotides of a virus been so closely considered by scientists, public health experts, and politicians alike. But the use and application of genetic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 has varied, risking an insufficient response to a rapidly changing pandemic.

Mary J Warrell (2021-02-06). [Correspondence] Time to revise the strategy for Gavi funding of rabies vaccine? thelancet.com The Global Burden of Disease cause and risk summary on rabies shows the 13‚Äà700 deaths worldwide in 2019, close to the estimated 12‚Äà700 furious rabies cases in India alone.1 Figure 4 of this summary is misleading, especially the key. As there is no surveillance in many of the poorest countries, the global annual deaths quoted by WHO2 of 59‚Äà000 is derivedfrom extensive extrapolation. Rabies encephalomyelitis is always fatal in Asia and Africa. Although prevention of infection by correct vaccination after dog bites is extremely effective, vaccines are often…

Udani Samarasekera (2021-02-06). [World Report] Relocated Rohingya face uncertain health-care provision. thelancet.com Bangladesh is moving refugees to an uninhabited island, but non-governmental organisations warn of the lack of health-care provision and coordination. Udani Samarasekera reports.

Gene Bukhman, Ana Mocumbi (2021-02-06). [Correspondence] Universal health coverage for the poorest billion: justice and equity considerations — Authors' reply. thelancet.com As co-chairs of The Lancet NCDI Poverty Commission,1 we thank Jordan Jarvis and Belinda Townsend, and Michelle Amri for their thoughtful comments. Jarvis and Townsend highlight the role of global power arrangements that perpetuate the existence of extreme poverty. Specifically, they refer to the examples of tax avoidance by multinational corporations that starve the poorest countries of potential revenue, and the influence of billionaires on a global health agenda that has excluded non-communicable disease and injury (NCDI) poverty.

thelancet (2021-02-06). [Department of Error] Department of Error. thelancet.com Tonin V. Young people seeking mental-health care. Lancet 2007; 369: 1239—40—In this Comment, the text has been amended at the author's request. This correction has been made to the online version as of Feb 4, 2021.

Michelle M Amri (2021-02-06). [Correspondence] Universal health coverage for the poorest billion: justice and equity considerations. thelancet.com Gene Bukhman and colleagues' work in The Lancet NCDI Poverty Commission is certainly important, particularly for the "world's poorest people".1 However, how the non-communicable disease and injury (NCDI) Poverty Network seeks to apply the Commission's work on NCDI poverty2 has room for additional consideration around justice and equity.

Rob Yates (2021-02-06). [Correspondence] Pooled public financing is the route to universal health coverage. thelancet.com The recent report1 by the Global Burden of Disease 2019 Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Collaborators is a very valuable contribution about whether the world is moving towards UHC and how it is getting there. The report's index of effective coverage is an excellent measure of whether people are actually using the health services available to them and whether these services are effective.

Fight Back (2021-02-06). MN labor movement rallies in support of locked out Marathon refinery workers. fightbacknews.org St. Paul Park, MN – On February 4, with wind chill readings below zero, members of a wide collection of unions gathered for an evening rally at the Marathon Refinery picket line, where Teamsters who work at the refinery have been locked out for two weeks after a 24-hour strike. | Union leaders took to the stage and spoke in solidarity with the locked out workers, including several leaders from Teamsters 120, which represents the refinery workers, along with speakers from the Minnesota Nurses Association, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, Laborers Local 563, The Awood Center, AFSCME Local 3800, UFCW 1189 and others. Memb…

Jacqui Thornton (2021-02-06). [World Report] Hopes for trachoma control in South Sudan. thelancet.com Conflict has hampered trachoma control in South Sudan, but there are new plans to map and treat the disease. Jacqui Thornton reports.

Kristian Reich, Kim A Papp, Andrew Blauvelt, Richard G Langley, April Armstrong, Richard B Warren, Kenneth B Gordon, Joseph F Merola, Yukari Okubo, Cynthia Madden, Maggie Wang, Christopher Cioffi, Veerle Vanvoorden, Mark Lebwohl (2021-02-06). [Articles] Bimekizumab versus ustekinumab for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis (BE VIVID): efficacy and safety from a 52-week, multicentre, double-blind, active comparator and placebo controlled phase 3 trial. thelancet.com Bimekizumab was more efficacious than ustekinumab and placebo in the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. The bimekizumab safety profile was consistent with that observed in previous studies.

Andrew Green (2021-02-06). [Obituary] Tabaré Vázquez. thelancet.com Former President of Uruguay and oncologist. Born on Jan 17, 1940, in Montevideo, Uruguay, he died from lung cancer there on Dec 6, 2020, aged 80 years.

Johan A Maertens, Galia Rahav, Dong-Gun Lee, Alfredo Ponce-de-León, Isabel Cristina Ramírez Sánchez, Nikolay Klimko, Anne Sonet, Shariq Haider, Juan Diego Vélez, Issam Raad, Liang-Piu Koh, Meinolf Karthaus, Jianying Zhou, Ronen Ben-Ami, Mary R Motyl, Seongah Han, Anjana Grandhi, Hetty Waskin, study investigators (2021-02-06). [Articles] Posaconazole versus voriconazole for primary treatment of invasive aspergillosis: a phase 3, randomised, controlled, non-inferiority trial. thelancet.com Posaconazole was non-inferior to voriconazole for all-cause mortality up until day 42 in participants with invasive aspergillosis. Posaconazole was well tolerated, and participants had fewer treatment-related adverse events than in the voriconazole group. This study supports the use of posaconazole as a first-line treatment for the condition.

Sarah Ditum (2021-02-06). [Perspectives] The undiscovered country. thelancet.com It is hard to think of William Shakespeare as a family man. Neither his life nor his work necessarily suggest someone who would walk from London to Stratford-upon-Avon to be at the deathbed of a sick child, or who would remain loyal (after a fashion) to his wife even when circumstances forced them apart. Yet we see him do both these things in Hamnet, Maggie O'Farrell's fictionalised account of the life and afterlife of Shakespeare's only son.

Neil Francey (2021-02-06). [Perspectives] 30th anniversary of Australian legal ruling on second-hand smoke. thelancet.com Before the 1990s, where people smoked was generally unrestricted. Legislation prohibited smoking near explosives or flammable materials, in other hazardous areas, and in some but not all confined spaces. Smoking was largely unrestricted in many work places and most public spaces, such as theatre foyers, pubs, clubs, restaurants, and hotel rooms. In Australia, all this changed after Federal Court Justice Trevor Morling handed down judgment on Feb 7, 1991, in Australian Federation of Consumer Organisations Inc (AFCO) versus the Tobacco Institute of Australia Limited (TIA).

Jessica P Hwang, Alessandra Ferrajoli, Anna S Lok (2021-02-06). [Clinical Picture] Hepatitis B reactivation after chemoimmunotherapy: screen before treatment. thelancet.com A 70-year-old man presented to our department reporting fatigue, night sweats, and weight loss of 18 kg over the previous 3 months. He said he had been taking numerous nutritional supplements and vitamins daily.

Talha Burki (2021-02-06). [World Report] Understanding variants of SARS-CoV-2. thelancet.com Many variants of SARS-CoV-2 are emerging, but will they have different clinical effects? A new consortium is trying to find out. Talha Burki reports.

Kenneth B Gordon, Peter Foley, James G Krueger, Andreas Pinter, Kristian Reich, Ronald Vender, Veerle Vanvoorden, Cynthia Madden, Katy White, Christopher Cioffi, Andrew Blauvelt (2021-02-06). [Articles] Bimekizumab efficacy and safety in moderate to severe plaque psoriasis (BE READY): a multicentre, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised withdrawal phase 3 trial. thelancet.com Bimekizumab showed high levels of response, which were durable over 56 weeks, with both maintenance dosing schedules (every 4 weeks and every 8 weeks). Moreover, bimekizumab was well tolerated, with no unexpected safety findings. Data presented here further support the therapeutic value of bimekizumab and inhibition of IL-17F in addition to IL-17A for patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.

William W Huang, Steven R Feldman (2021-02-06). [Comment] The next quantum leap forward? Bimekizumab for psoriasis. thelancet.com Biologics have revolutionised the management of psoriasis.1 Initially, there were two biologics: alefacept, which worked well but for only a few patients; and efalizumab, which was associated with rare, life-threatening infections.1 But then came etanercept, a treatment that took patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and improved their skin, their joints, and their quality of life.2 Now, etanercept is rarely prescribed, as adalimumab and ustekinumab were approved and were considerably more effective and, at least in the case of ustekinumab, perhaps even safer.

RT (2021-02-05). Will AI save us from Covid-19? New tool can churn out vaccine models in minutes, not months. rt.com Researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) have unveiled an incredibly powerful, AI-powered method for producing new potential Covid-19 vaccine candidates in a matter of minutes or even seconds. | The new process, developed at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, could mark a major turning point in the information war against the coronavirus and its many, increasingly virulent mutations which are taxing an already challenging worldwide vaccine rollout. | The USC team leveraged artificial intelligence (AI) to speed up vaccine analysis which can be quickly and easily adapted to analyze viral mu…

_____ (2021-02-05). Radiation Illnesses And COVID-19 In The Navajo Nation. popularresistance.org The COVID-19 pandemic is wiping out Indigenous elders and with them the cultural identity of Indigenous communities in the United States. But on lands that sprawl across a vast area of the American West, the Navajo (or Diné) are dealing not just with the pandemic, but also with another, related public health crisis. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says COVID-19 is killing Native Americans at nearly three times the rate of whites, and on the Navajo Nation itself, about 30,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and roughly 1,000 have died. But among the Diné, the coronavirus is also s…

_____ (2021-02-05). US Suffers Sharpest Rise In Poverty Rate In More Than 50 Years. popularresistance.org The end of 2020 brought the sharpest rise in the U.S. poverty rate since the 1960s, according to a new study. | Economists Bruce Meyer from the University of Chicago and James Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame found that the poverty rate increased by 2.4 percentage points during the latter half of 2020 as the U.S. continued to suffer the economic impacts of COVID-19. | That percentage-point rise is nearly double the largest annual increase in poverty since the 1960s. This means an additional 8 million people nationwide are now considered poor. Moreover, the poverty rate for Black Americans is estimated to…

RT (2021-02-05). Climate change 'key' in Covid-19 spreading to humans — study. rt.com A study by researchers at the University of Cambridge has found that climate change played a key role in Covid-19 spreading from animals to humans, as the two groups were forced closer together as populations grow. | Scientists examined changes to temperature and rainfall over the last 100 years, specifically modelling bat populations against their habitat needs. They found that climate change had resulted in 40 species relocating during that time to areas in China, Laos and Myanmar. "Bats are the likely zoonotic origin of SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2," the study noted. | The university researchers outlined how t…

RT (2021-02-05). WHO appeals to Covid-19 vaccine developers to share manufacturing sites for a 'massive scale-up' of jab production. rt.com Drug companies should share their manufacturing sites to boost the global rollout of Covid-19 vaccines, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday. | "Last week, Sanofi announced it would make its manufacturing infrastructure available to support production of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. We call on other companies to follow this example," the WHO chief told a news briefing. | Ghebreyesus said some 130 countries, comprising 2.5 billion people, have still not started administering Covid-19 vaccines and that the world needs a "massive scale-up in product…

_____ (2021-02-05). The Economist: Democracy Index ranking for Britain rises!! truepublica.org.uk By TruePublica: The 2020 Democracy Index from the Economist Intelligence Unit found that democracy had deteriorated in all seven regions of the world for the first time since 2010, driven by government measures to address the Covid-19 emergency. And while the biggest regressions were in authoritarian regions, the report said that — "the removal of …