2021-02-16: News Headlines

Metz S. (2021-02-16). The Advantages of Medicare Advantage. jamanetwork.com To the Editor In a recent JAMA Forum, Dr Butler considered the political appeal of Medicare Advantage expansion, including growing enrollment, promotion of managed care, and lower federal spending. However, this appeal misses the purpose of health care reform, succinctly summarized by William Kissick, MD, as the simultaneous achievement of increased access, decreased costs, and improved outcomes. A simpler description is better care to more people for less money.

Butler SM. (2021-02-16). The Advantages of Medicare Advantage—Reply. jamanetwork.com In Reply Even though I agree with Dr Metz that a key criterion of health care reform is to provide "better care to more people for less money," this should not be the only factor considered when choosing a reform strategy. In the US, many people value choice and the avoidance of disruption of familiar forms of health care coverage.

Tompkins EL, Maciuba JM, Andrews MA. (2021-02-16). Geographic Differences in Uncontrolled Chronic Medical Conditions. jamanetwork.com To the Editor Using Veterans Health Administration records, Dr Baum and colleagues estimated the differences in the prevalence of uncontrolled chronic conditions across the population of veterans who moved and the likelihood of uncontrolled chronic conditions after moving. They also provided an E-value estimating the strength of association that an unknown confounder must explain the observed association. However, this article did not provide a measure of the original strength of the association. It would have been illustrative if the authors had provided an original odds ratio or relative risk of disease for com…

Lu Y, Lin A. (2021-02-16). Patient Information: Lateral Internal Sphincterotomy. jamanetwork.com This JAMA Patient Page explains lateral internal sphincterotomy, a surgical procedure used for treatment of anal fissures unresponsive to supportive or medical therapy.

Baum A, Siu AL, Schwartz MD. (2021-02-16). Geographic Differences in Uncontrolled Chronic Medical Conditions—Reply. jamanetwork.com In Reply Dr Tompkins and colleagues suggest additional analyses to clarify the relationship between moving and chronic medical conditions in reference to our recent publication. We would first emphasize that our study does not argue that there is a relationship between moving itself and the prevalence of uncontrolled chronic conditions. Rather, our study sought to estimate the association between changes in individuals' likelihood of an uncontrolled chronic condition after moving and the difference in the prevalence of the uncontrolled chronic condition between movers' destination vs origin zip code. Conceptually…

_____ (2021-02-16). Global South Urges Rich Countries To Lift Monopolies On Covid19 Medical Products. popularresistance.org This landmark proposal to temporarily suspend the application and enforcement of certain intellectual property obligations under the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement), or the "TRIPS waiver" is to facilitate the effective prevention, containment, and treatment of COVID-19. | Developing countries have stressed that the "TRIPS waiver" is an essential starting point for countries to ramp up and diversify the production of therapeutics, vaccines and other medical products needed to address the global pandemic. | However, a handful of countries — mostly those…

WSWS (2021-02-16). As infections surge, highly contagious strain of COVID-19 confirmed in Sri Lanka. wsws.org Doctors and medical experts have warned that the country could face a health catastrophe due to inadequate health facilities and an acceleration of the pandemic's spread.

Karl Grossman (2021-02-16). Nuclear Rockets to Mars? counterpunch.org A report advocating rocket propulsion by nuclear power for U.S. missions to Mars, written by a committee packed with individuals deeply involved in nuclear power, was issued last week by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. | The 104-page report also lays out "synergies" in space nuclear activities between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. military, something not advanced explicitly since the founding of NASA as a civilian agency supposedly in 1958.

Yadav K, Lewis RJ. (2021-02-16). Immortal Time Bias in Observational Studies. jamanetwork.com This JAMA Guide to Statistics and Medicine explains immortal time bias, an error in estimating the association between an exposure and an outcome that results from misclassification or exclusion of time intervals; explains how this misclassification or exclusion can occur; and presents approaches to minimize or avoid immortal time bias.

Weiner JS. (2021-02-16). Enjoy the Vase—Everything Changes. jamanetwork.com In this narrative medicine essay, a psychiatrist finally at peace after his wife's death to cancer learns that his prostate-specific antigen levels have begun to rise, reminding him to embrace uncertainty, a loss of control, and change.

Carl S. Mumm (2021-02-16). You Don't Deserve Anything… counterpunch.org At least, that's what's our "representatives" and their corporate owners believe at their very core. If they thought the vast number of Americans deserved shelter, food, medicine, a tertiary education, or even drinkable water, everyone would have these things. (We are the richest country in the history of humanity, after all.) The one percent that

_____ (2021-02-16). Nuclear Rockets to Mars? strategic-culture.org By Karl GROSSMAN | A report advocating rocket propulsion by nuclear power for U.S. missions to Mars, written by a committee packed with individuals deeply involved in nuclear power, was issued last week by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. | The 104-page report also lays out "synergies" in space nuclear activities between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. military, something not advanced explicitly since the founding of NASA as a civilian agency supposedly in 1958. | The report states: "Space nuclear propulsion and power systems have the potential to provid…

Will Weissert, Alexandra Jaffe (2021-02-16). Workers press Biden to fight for $15 minimum wage. peoplesworld.org WASHINGTON (AP)—Union activist Terrence Wise recalls being laughed at when he began pushing for a national $15 per hour minimum wage almost a decade ago. Nearly a year into the pandemic, the idea isn't so funny. The coronavirus has renewed focus on challenges facing hourly employees who have continued working in grocery stores, gas stations, …

TOTO (2021-02-16). Tokyo Olympinck with coronavirus 2021 What are your comments? indybay.org Tokyo Olympinck with coronavirus 2021 What are your comments?>

Mehr News Agency (2021-02-16). Zionists preventing COVID-19 vaccine from entering Gaza. en.mehrnews.com TEHRAN, Feb. 17 (MNA) — Spokesman for the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) Fawzi Barhoum said that prevention of Zionists from entry of coronavirus, COVID-19, vaccine to Gaza Strip is a crime against humanity.

yenisafak (2021-02-16). Palestine condemns Israel's blocking of vaccine to Gaza. yenisafak.com The Palestinian government on Tuesday condemned Israel's blocking of coronavirus vaccines into the blockaded Gaza Strip. | "Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called on the WHO to stand by its obligations and work towards the entry of the vaccines into the Gaza Strip," government spokesman Ibrahim Melhem told a press conference. | Health Minister Mai al-Kaila, for her part, said her ministry sent 2,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine to Gaza. | "The [Israeli] occupation, however, refused to let the vaccines into the coastal enclave," al-Kaila said in statements cited by the official Wafa news agency. | Al-Ka…

yenisafak (2021-02-16). Netherlands court orders government to lift curfew. yenisafak.com A Dutch court on Tuesday ordered that a nationwide coronavirus curfew "must be lifted immediately" since it violates the freedom of movement and privacy.Reminding that the government used a special act for "very urgent and exceptional circumstances" to implement the curfew, the court in The Hague said: "The introduction of the curfew did not imply the particular urgency required."It said that using such an act to impose curfew is "not legitimate," requires an "extremely careful decision-making process," and that the parliament should have been consulted.The case was brought by campaign group Viruswaarheid (Virus…

Staff (2021-02-16). Headlines for February 16, 2021. democracynow.org Speaker Pelosi Authorizes Independent Commission to Investigate Jan. 6 Insurrection, Deadly U.S. Cold Snap Leaves Millions Without Power, New Orleans Cancels Mardi Gras Parade One Year After It Became Coronavirus Superspreader Event, Gov. Cuomo Acknowledges Not Reporting Nursing Home Deaths But Stops Short of Apology, New World Trade Organization Chief Warns Against Vaccine Nationalism, One Killed, 9 Injured in Missile Attack on U.S. Military Base in Northern Iraq, As Taliban Fighters Surround Afghan Cities, Biden Weighs U.S. Withdrawal Plans, U.S. Removes Houthis from Terror List as Yemen's Humanitarian Crisis W…

Binoy Kampmark (2021-02-16). Trouble in Vaccine Land: The Wiliness of South Africa's Coronavirus Variant. counterpunch.org It began as a shudder through the scientific and public health establishments. A new variant of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 had been found, mutating in South African climes, potentially outwitting human responses to it. Vaccines such as Oxford-AstraZeneca's would have to be brushed up. Rollouts would have to be reconsidered. The South African variant has been

Juan Cole (2021-02-16). Israel stops Palestinians of Gaza from getting 2K doses of Russian Coronavirus Vaccine. juancole.com Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) — According to AFP Arabic, Palestinian Minister of Health Dr. Mai Al-Kilah announced Monday that Israeli authorities halted a shipment of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine sent to the Palestinian Gaza Strip by the Palestine Authority that is based in Ramallah in the Palestinian West Bank. Israel has subjected the …

Kuehn BM. (2021-02-16). High-Income Countries Have Secured the Bulk of COVID-19 Vaccines. jamanetwork.com High-income countries have reserved more than half of the world's coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine doses despite representing just 14% of the world's population, according to an analysis of publicly available data on premarket purchase agreements.

Peoples Dispatch (2021-02-16). Israel blocks delivery of coronavirus vaccines to Gaza. peoplesdispatch.org Continuing with the oppressive and discriminatory policies towards Palestinians in the occupied territories, Israeli authorities have now blocked coronavirus vaccine transfers to Gaza. In a press statement issued on Monday, February 15, Palestinian health minister Mai Alkaila said that "Israeli occupation authority is responsible for this arbitrary procedure which is contrary to all customs, laws and international agreements," Palestinian news agency Wafa reported. | Israeli officials responsible for the decision said that permission to transfer vaccine doses to Gaza has been held pending a "political decision" f…

Medea Benjamin, Nicolas J. S. Davies (2021-02-16). Is Biden Committing Diplomatic Suicide Over the Iran Nuclear Agreement? counterpunch.org As Congress still struggles to pass a COVID relief bill, the rest of the world is nervously reserving judgment on America's new president and his foreign policy, after successive U.S. administrations have delivered unexpected and damaging shocks to the world and the international system. Cautious international optimism toward Biden is very much based on his

Alethea Redfern (2021-02-16). The Weekly Round-up: Phase 2 of the Grenfell Inquiry. ukhumanrightsblog.com In the News: Having been temporarily suspended in early January as a result of an increase in COVID-19 cases, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry hearings resumed on 8 February 2021. The fire killed 72 people. The hearings are being conducted remotely using a Zoom-based video platform, which the Inquiry describes as "a temporary measure to be …

John Bachtell (2021-02-16). Bill Davis—beloved labor and peace activist, Communist leader—lost to COVID. peoplesworld.org Bill Davis, a long-time trade union and peace activist and Communist Party USA leader, died Jan. 23 in New York while in hospice with COVID-19. He was 78 years old. Davis was a caseworker for the New York City Department of Welfare (later Social Services) and a fixture in the trade union movement. As an …

Joe Piette (2021-02-16). Philadelphians demand COVID safety. workers.org Several dozen teachers, parents and community activists protested outside Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenny's home on Feb 12. They were demanding city officials not reopen schools for in-person teaching — until all teachers are vaccinated and all schools are properly ventilated. Educators continue to teach virtually until an arbitrator rules on . . . |

Marc Norton (2021-02-16). Super Bowl for Sports Team Billionaires: SF Giants owner rakes in $815 million during the pandemic. dissidentvoice.org Oracle Park The assets of Charles Johnson, the controversial chief owner of the San Francisco Giants, increased by $815 million during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, his net worth was a mere $4.2 billion dollars. By January 2021 he commanded a fortune of $5.015 billion, an increase just short of 20%. Workers at Oracle …

WSWS (2021-02-16). South African government puts vaccination programme on hold. wsws.org Ramaphosa's government faces a mounting public health crisis, widespread criticisms of its handling of the pandemic and the vaccination rollout, allegations of corruption over Covid-19 spending, near-daily electricity blackouts and soaring debt amid shrinking coffers.

Medea Benjamin and Nicholas J.S. Davies (2021-02-16). Is Biden risking new conflict with Iran by yielding to Dem Hawks and Neoconservatives? juancole.com ( Code Pink) — As Congress still struggles to pass a COVID relief bill, the rest of the world is nervously reserving judgment on America's new president and his foreign policy, after successive U.S. administrations have delivered unexpected and damaging shocks to the world and the international system. Cautious international optimism toward Biden is very …

Dr. Pascal Sacré (2021-02-16). The COVID-19 RT-PCR Test: How to Mislead All Humanity. Using a "Test" To Lock Down Society. globalresearch.ca The misuse of the RT-PCR technique is used as an intentional strategy by some governments, supported by scientific safety councils and by the dominant media, to justify the violation of a large number of constitutional rights, the destruction of the economy with the bankruptcy of entire active sectors of society,…

F. William Engdahl (2021-02-16). The Dubious COVID Models, The Tests and Now the Consequences. globalresearch.ca This article by F. William Engdahl first published on April 29, 2020 focusses on the dubious Covid models used to justify the lockdowns and closure of economic activity Worldwide. | The architects of these models were generously funded by the Gates …

Jasmine Norden (2021-02-16). Reopening schools: experts urge caution as government aims for March return. thecanary.co Conservative MPs have A group of MPs, calling themselves the COVID Recovery Group, have written to the prime minister to call for schools to open in March, as well as for hospitality venues to open by Easter. | The letter, signed by

Global Research News (2021-02-16). Selected Articles: The Reshaping of Global Agriculture. globalresearch.ca By Western countries, including Canada, are using experimental mRNA injections in nursing homes, on the most vulnerable of people. …

Staff (2021-02-16). Andrés Arauz: Ecuador's Presidential Front-Runner on COVID, Austerity & Ending U.S. Interference. democracynow.org Ecuador's presidential front-runner says the country is facing a "double crisis" of COVID-19 and austerity. "We need a renewal in our politics," Andrés Arauz tells Democracy Now! The left-wing economist secured nearly 33% of the vote in the first round of Ecuador's presidential election on February 7 but fell short of the 40% needed to win outright. He will face right-wing banker Guillermo Lasso or Indigenous candidate Yaku Pérez in a runoff election on April 11, depending on the results of a recount after both candidates secured just over 19% of the vote. Arauz has pledged to end austerity measures imposed by Ec…

Nadda Osman (2021-02-16). Egypt: Student anger over in-person exams despite Covid-19. middleeasteye.net Egypt: Student anger over in-person exams despite Covid-19 | Calls for Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel Ghaffar to be dismissed over his comments | Tue, 02/16/2021 – 12: 41 | Many have used the minister's comments to highlight the crowded nature of university education and the threat it could pose to the health of students (Screengrab/Social media) | Egypt's Minister of Higher Education Khaled A…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-16). Protesters in Algeria defy Covid-19 ban to mark second anniversary of uprising. middleeasteye.net Protesters in Algeria defy Covid-19 ban to mark second anniversary of uprising | Demonstrators marched in the town of Kherrata, which activists view as the birthplace of the Hirak movement | Tue, 02/16/2021 – 13: 28 | Protestors chanted anti-government slogans and held Algerian and Berber flags as they marked the second anniversary of the Hirak movement (AFP) | Hundreds of Algerians defied…

Tanya Wadhwa (2021-02-16). What is happening in Latin America with vaccine roll-out? peoplesdispatch.org In Latin American and the Carribean region, so far, nine countries have begun inoculating their populations against COVID-19 and all of them are providing free vaccination to all citizens…

Online News Editor (2021-02-16). Palestinians wait as Israel debates permission of Covid-19 vaccines for Gaza. laprensalatina.com Jerusalem, Feb 16 (efe-epa).- Palestinians in the Gaza Strip continued Tuesday to wait for the arrival of the first Covid-19 vaccines from the West Bank, as Israel is yet to authorize permission for the shipment to enter the coastal enclave. Israeli security officials told Efe that the National Security Council, a body that belongs to …

Mary Bassett (2021-02-16). Lancet Report: 40% of U.S. COVID Deaths Were Preventable. zcomm.org The Country Needs Universal Healthcare Now…

Kim Petersen (2021-02-16). Why are Effective and Inexpensive Chinese and Russian Vaccines Unavailable in Much of the West? dissidentvoice.org In 2016, I attended an information session about First Nations in Lax Kxeen (colonial designation Prince Rupert),1 "BC." During a break, I conversed with some fellow attendees. They expressed skepticism to colonial provincial authorities being behind the intentional spreading of smallpox among First Nations people2 and that a vaccine was withheld from infected Indigenous individuals. …

WDPGWR (2021-02-16). Wednesday 2/17: San Francisco Car Caravan Protest for Gig Drivers' Pandemic Health & Safety. indybay.org Meet at SAFEWAY, 2300 16th St, San Francisco 94103; then we'll car caravan to Uber Headquarters at 1455 Market St. | MASKS AND SAFETY-DISTANCING REQUIRED…

John Buell (2021-02-16). Yes we need the $1.9 Trillion Stimulus: Real Unemployment is 3 times what they're telling us. juancole.com Southwest Harbor, Maine (Special to Informed Comment) — As Congress gets set to debate the Biden Pandemic relief package, one of the favorite Republican lines is the contention that an economic recovery is already well underway. Pouring more money into an accelerating economy is likely to induce seventies style inflation. It is time, they argue, …

Lynda Carson (2021-02-16). New Music Releases By Lynda Carson Includes The Pandemic Blues, And 7 Other Songs. indybay.org The music being posted here was recorded recently on a wonderful 13 year old iMac computer seen in the photo, with an old wood carving overhead of the winged goddess Dadari, which is a wood carving that is well over 100 years old from the island of Bali.

Kuehn BM. (2021-02-16). Global Partnership Aims to Improve Infant HIV Care. jamanetwork.com After stakeholders secured lower prices for a recently approved pediatric HIV medication, an international partnership has urged low- and middle-income countries to procure the drug and make it widely available.

Biller LH, Schrag D. (2021-02-16). Diagnosis and Treatment of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer. jamanetwork.com This narrative review summarizes treatment options for patients with unresectable metastatic colorectal cancer, focusing on the importance of genomic profiling to identify KRAS/NRAS/BRAF variants to guide immunotherapy.

Eds. (2021-02-16). States have no inherent 'right to exist'—but it's a media fixation on Israel/Palestine. mronline.org No state has an intrinsic "right to exist." As international relations scholar Scott Burchill points out, there is no abstract "right to exist" in international law, or in "any serious theory of international relations."

MEE staff (2021-02-16). Israel court rules to expel six Palestinian families from East Jerusalem homes. middleeasteye.net Israel court rules to expel six Palestinian families from East Jerusalem homes | The eviction affects 27 people, in a decision NGO Peace Now says is aimed at dispossessing the Palestinian community of Sheikh Jarrah in favour of settlers | Tue, 02/16/2021 – 14: 04 | Protesters near the house of a Palestinian family, which an Israeli court had ordered to be evicted while declaring Israeli settlers to be the lega…

Gary Leupp (2021-02-16). The Trump Cult and Its Future. counterpunch.org I am quite sure the majority of Trump supporters do not embrace the "theory" that the Democratic leaders are pedophile cannibal satanists whom Trump sought to destroy, to protect the children. An amazing minority do, constituting a robust and vital idiot stratum within the Trump coalition. (It is not clear however what QAnon will play

MEE staff (2021-02-16). Israeli cabinet holds urgent, unscheduled meeting on Syria: Reports. middleeasteye.net Israeli cabinet holds urgent, unscheduled meeting on Syria: Reports | Details of meeting were banned from publication at request of Israeli defence minister Benny Gantz | Tue, 02/16/2021 – 19: 02 | An Israeli flag is seen placed on Mount Bental in the occupied Golan Heights on 10 May 2018 (AFP/File photo) | Israel's cabinet convened for an unscheduled meeting on Tuesday for urgent discussions regarding a human…

imperial.ac.uk (2021-02-16). Animal research during a pandemic: new podcast episode goes live. imperial.ac.uk What's it like to work in animal research during these unprecedented times? A new podcast series explores.