Daily Archives: November 28, 2021

2021-11-28: News Headlines

Prof Michel Chossudovsky (2021-11-28). The Covid-19 Omicron Variant: Towards a Fourth Wave Lockdown? Pretext to Introduce New Repressive Policy Measures. globalresearch.ca Both the governments and the media in chorus are now engaged in a renewed fear campaign focussing on the emergence of a new "deadly" SARS-CoV-2 variant. | Last May it was the Delta variant (B.1.617.2), which allegedly originated in …

WSWS (2021-11-27). Omicron variant threatens to unleash new global surge of COVID-19 pandemic. wsws.org Initial indications are that an unusual constellation of mutations makes the variant far more infectious than the Delta variant and potentially vaccine-resistant.

WSWS (2021-11-27). COVID-19 must be eradicated to stop dangerous new variants. wsws.org The emergence of the Omicron strain of COVID-19 is a devastating exposure of the herd immunity policy implemented by capitalist governments, which oppose lockdowns and other critical public health measures necessary to stop the spread of the disease.

Dave DeCamp (2021-11-27). US Refuses to Engage With Marshall Islands on Damage Caused by Nuclear Weapons Tests. news.antiwar.com The US is refusing to engage with the Marshall Islands on compensation for environmental and health damage caused by the dozens of US nuclear weapons tests carried out in the 1940s and 50s, The Marshall Islands are home to a major US military base and are essentially treated as a US territory under an agreement known as the Compact of Free Association. But the agreement is due to expire soon, and the dispute over the nuclear weapons tes…

TASS (2021-11-27). Several weeks needed to assess vaccines' efficacy against new COVID variant – WHO. tass.com Later today, the WHO will announce whether the variant will be classified as one of interest or of concern…

TASS (2021-11-27). World Health Organization: PCR tests able to detect new SARS-CoV-2 variant 'Omicron'. tass.com Several labs have indicated that for one widely used PCR test, one of the three target genes is not detected, said in a statement…

The Conversation (2021-11-27). What we know so far about Omicron. asiatimes.com Since early in the COVID pandemic, the Network for Genomics Surveillance in South Africa has been monitoring changes in SARS-CoV-2. This was a valuable tool to understand better how the virus spread. In late 2020, the network detected a new virus lineage, 501Y.V2, which later became known as the beta variant. Now a new SARS-CoV-2 …

sputniknews (2021-11-27). Omicron: Indian Politicians Urge PM Modi to Ban Flights From Affected Countries Amid COVID Scare. sputniknews.com The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday named the new strain of coronavirus "B.1.1.529", Omicron. The latter has been classified as a "variant of concern", posing a greater risk than the globally dominant Delta variant.

sputniknews (2021-11-27). Health Agency: New COVID Strain Poses 'High to Very High Risk' to Europe. sputniknews.com The new variant was initially reported in South Africa and Botswana, and in Europe, Belgium was the first to detect it.

Geoff Watts (2021-11-27). [Obituary] Michael Llewellyn Rutter. thelancet.com First professor of child psychiatry in the UK. He was born in Brummana, Lebanon, on Aug 15, 1933, and died of cancer in London, UK, on Oct 23, 2021, aged 88 years.

Richard Lane (2021-11-27). [Perspectives] Pascale Ondoa: strengthening laboratory medicine in Africa. thelancet.com "Our core aim is to build laboratory systems to address the health agenda as defined by Africa", says Pascale Ondoa, who for the past 5 years has been Director of Science and New Initiatives at the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM). Part of this role is to direct technical advice and provide leadership to help shape health strategy and laboratory medicine improvement at the country level. "A lot of our work involves the coordination of partners and experts, so that investments from agencies like PEPFAR, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Fleming Fund, and others generate sub…

TASS (2021-11-27). New B.1.1.529 COVID-19 variant causes no severe diseases – health minister. tass.com Joe Phaahla mentioned that it was too early to say how the new COVID-19 variant would behave…

WSWS (2021-11-27). New York State Assembly releases Cuomo impeachment report. wsws.org The report fails even to mention the role that Cuomo played in legislation that protected the owners of nursing homes and hospitals from liability in COVID deaths.

Branko Marcetic (2021-11-27). Cuba's Vaccine Could End Up Saving Millions of Lives. zcomm.org Thanks to its public biotech sector and its government's deep commitment to public health, Cuba is now the only low-income country to have made its own COVID vaccine, and it's poised to help millions around the world…

WSWS (2021-11-27). Michigan COVID-19 wave escalates as Democrats reject measures to halt the spread. wsws.org The Democratic administration of Governor Whitmer has responded to unprecedented case numbers with a thoroughly inadequate public health advisory.

teleSUR, yart, DRL, JDO (2021-11-27). Cuba mantiene cero muertes por Covid-19 y amplía la vacunación. telesurtv.net Mientras avanza la campaña de vacunación, no se han reportado muertes en dos días consecutivos.

Daniel Caldeira, Fausto J Pinto (2021-11-27). [Correspondence] COVID-19 and myocardial infarction. thelancet.com Ioannis Katsoularis and colleagues1 found that COVID-19 is a risk factor for myocardial infarction and stroke through self-controlled case series evaluation, a method that has been used to establish the risk of myocardial infarction associated with influenza infection.2,3 Regarding myocardial infarction, as the investigators recognised, one of the possible limitations of this research is the inaccurate diagnosis and codification of myocardial injury or myocarditis as myocardial infarction, particularly because the current myocardial infarction definition (and diagnostic methods) differ from the definition at the…

N Hélène Sawadogo, Hamidou Sanou, Jeremy A Greene, Vincent Duclos (2021-11-27). [Correspondence] Beyond COVID-19: scaling up and sustaining mobile health in Africa — Authors' reply. thelancet.com We thank Yap Boum for taking the time to respond to our Perspective.1…

Coral Wynter (2021-11-27). 'Vaxxers': The inside story of AstraZeneca. greenleft.org.au Usually a vaccine takes 5—10 years from conception to production and injection into people's arms. Vaxxers, writes Coral Wynter, describes how a safe vaccine against COVID-19 was produced in only 10 months.

Yap Boum (2021-11-27). [Correspondence] Beyond COVID-19: scaling up and sustaining mobile health in Africa. thelancet.com In their Perspective,1 N Hélène Sawadogo and colleagues highlight the challenges of mobile health care in Africa with the MOS@N project, which provided medical support to pregnant women but ran out of funding 3 years into operation. Securing longer-term funding to sustain mobile health is a challenge in Africa.2 Social innovations such as BIMA (Ghana), AccesAfya (Kenya), Idocta (Cameroon), and Healthforce (South Africa) use telemedicine to improve access to quality health care but have not managed to scale up.

Dave Holmes (2021-11-27). COVID-19 pandemic shines harsh light on privatisation & outsourcing. greenleft.org.au Australia's response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been shaped by the basic realities of contemporary capitalism and neoliberalism, argues Dave Holmes.

Andrew Green (2021-11-27). [Perspectives] A history of US engagement in the HIV/AIDS response. thelancet.com >In late September, 2021, US President Joe Biden tapped John Nkengasong to lead the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). If approved for the role as Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator of US Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS Globally, Nkengasong will inherit a programme at a point of inflection. PEPFAR has been leaderless since Deborah Birx decamped in February, 2020, to coordinate the White House's COVID-19 response under the administration of Donald Trump. She left PEPFAR ahead of the findings from UNAIDS in July, 2020, that highlighted uneven progress towards 2020 milestones in the…

Richard Horton (2021-11-27). [Comment] Offline: The real meaning of decolonisation. thelancet.com The most dangerous threat to health and health equity today is anti-globalism—a denial of evidence pointing to the intrinsic interdependence of human beings; a refusal to accept the transnational nature of risks to our wellbeing; and an antipathy to institutions and individuals promoting cosmopolitan values. Anti-globalism lies behind the failure of governments to accelerate actions to address the climate crisis, is responsible for the failure of nations to coordinate their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, and underlies the savage xenophobia directed towards those fleeing conflict and repression.

Kathy Smith, William Brooks, Jean Challiner, Enid Povey (2021-11-27). [Correspondence] Quality assurance of remote clinical assessments in the NHS. thelancet.com COVID-19 has accelerated the proportion of digital patient consultations across community and hospital settings, bringing both challenge and opportunity to health-care organisations and their staff. Within our own work, one such opportunity was the increased ability to record and review consultation audio, benefiting not just organisational quality assurance and complaint and incident investigation but also providing meaningful feedback to support clinicians' continuous professional development.

Jallicia Jolly (2021-11-27). [Perspectives] A reproductive justice response to HIV/AIDS and COVID-19. thelancet.com Lana is a young Black woman living with HIV in Kingston, Jamaica. A mother of young children, she was concerned about what COVID-19 would mean for her pre-existing diagnosis. During the COVID-19 pandemic she has struggled to find psychosocial support groups, consistent access to antiretrovirals, and employment opportunities to maintain her health and support herself and her family. Pam, a middle-aged HIV-positive woman in Detroit, MI, USA, is a caregiver and local HIV organiser who provides emotional and social support to other newly diagnosed people.

Prof Michel Chossudovsky (2021-11-27). Ciencia falsa, datos no válidos: No existe un "caso confirmado de COVID-19". No hay pandemia. globalizacion.ca "El PCR es un proceso. No te dice que estás enfermo ". | El Dr. Kary Mullis , premio Nobel e inventor del RT- PCR, falleció en agosto de 2019. | "… Todos o una parte sustancial de estos positivos podrían deberse…

Staff (2021-11-27). Conferencia Iberoamericana: Canciller cubano agradece reclamo al cese del bloqueo. cubadebate.cu Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla agradeció la tradicional posición de los países miembros de la Conferencia Iberoamericana en el reclamo al cese del bloqueo económico, comercial y financiero impuesto por Estados Unidos. Recordó que esta política se ha recrudecido de manera deliberada y oportunista en el contexto de la pandemia de COVID-19.

WSWS (2021-11-27). COVID-19 cases surge to record highs in South Korea. wsws.org As the number of new cases grows, inequality is also sharply escalating.

Ioannis Katsoularis, Osvaldo Fonseca-Rodríguez, Paddy Farrington, Krister Lindmark, Anne-Marie Fors Connolly (2021-11-27). [Correspondence] COVID-19 and myocardial infarction — Authors' reply. thelancet.com We thank Daniel Caldeira and Fausto Pinto for their comments regarding our study1 focusing on COVID-19 and myocardial infarction. We did acknowledge the difficulties in distinguishing between different types of myocardial injuries in the discussion. The International Classification of Diseases versions 9 and 10 unfortunately do not distinguish between ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), which is a limitation of our study.

WSWS (2021-11-27). Charité intensive—Station 43: An unsettling documentary about the reality of the coronavirus. wsws.org The true horror of the deadly pandemic is visible "on the faces of the patients, their children and life partners. And it is reflected in the eyes of the medical staff."

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2021-11-27). Climate Change 2021, 40 pp. indybay.org It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred. A.1.1 Since 2011 (measurements reported in AR5), concentrations have continued to increase in the atmosphere, reaching annual averages of 410 parts per million (ppm) for carbon dioxide (CO2)…

Jens Bernert (2021-11-27). The WHO Recommends Genetic Manipulation and Gene Editing of Humans "To Promote Public Health" globalresearch.ca This article published by …

Fight Back (2021-11-27). Thanksgiving served on the picket line at Phoenix airport workers' strike. fightbacknews.org Phoenix, AZ – For many striking concessions workers, this is the first Thanksgiving they are not working. At Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, HMS Host hospitality is the biggest concessions service, with hundreds of workers. Those workers are fed up with four years of failure from HMS to agree to a decent contract. Four days into their indefinite strike, Unite Here Local 11 HMS Host workers are fighting for a contract that includes raises, affordable health insurance, an employer-paid pension, protection for workers' tips, and strong contract language for equal opportunity and protection from discrimination. | It…

John Zarocostas (2021-11-27). [World Report] Countries prepare for pandemic treaty decision. thelancet.com Health diplomats are negotiating over whether to craft a pandemic accord ahead of a Special Session of the World Health Assembly. John Zarocostas reports from Geneva, Switzerland.

Philip Landrigan, Philippe Grandjean (2021-11-27). [Correspondence] Pollution and the developing brain. thelancet.com The Editorial about the social determinants of brain health1 does a superb job of pointing out the powerful association between social disadvantage—poverty, childhood adversity, and violence—and mental disorders. It argues cogently that there is need for psychopharmacologically oriented psychiatric practitioners to join forces with epidemiologists and sociologists to seek holistic approaches to the prevention and treatment of mental illness. Well said!

Andrea Germanos (2021-11-27). Pandemic Response Report Denounces Leaving Global Health 'Hostage' to Big Pharma. zcomm.org "If this pandemic cannot catalyze real change, what will?"

Nicholas J Wald, A Victor Hoffbrand (2021-11-27). [Correspondence] Mandatory UK folic acid fortification. thelancet.com Paul Haggarty's Comment is welcome in drawing attention to the recent decision by the UK Government to fortify non-wholemeal wheat flour with folic acid (vitamin B9).1 Mandatory folic acid fortification will help prevent the birth defects spina bifida and anencephaly and other neural tube defects (NTDs). The Government's decision is a positive step but we have a number of concerns.

The Lancet (2021-11-27). [Editorial] Tobacco control: far from the finish line. thelancet.com Tobacco control is working—slowly. The number of people smoking worldwide has declined and tobacco-attributable deaths are falling. This progress is evident in WHO's fourth report on international tobacco trends, released on Nov 16, which estimates 1 ∑30 billion tobacco users globally in 2020, compared with 1 ∑32 billion in 2015. 60 countries are now on track—versus 32 countries 2 years ago—to achieve the voluntary global target of a 30% reduction in tobacco use between 2010 and 2025. Such progress is welcome.

Susan Jaffe (2021-11-27). [World Report] Theranos founder counters fraud charges in federal trial. thelancet.com Elizabeth Holmes, founder of medical company Theranos, has given evidence in the trial, with a verdict due next month. Susan Jaffe reports.

Fight Back (2021-11-27). Connecticut protest to stop evictions. fightbacknews.org Hartford, CT – On November 20, a dozen protesters rallied in front of the Hartford Supreme Court building to protest the mass evictions happening across Connecticut. The protest centered around Governor Ned Lamont's inability to protect renters from evictions during the ongoing pandemic. There is a new bill requiring landlords to provide tenants with 30 days' removal notice, being disguised as a continuation of the stay on evictions. Other issues included cancelling rent payments and investing in the community instead of police. "Cancel the rents, evictions must end," chanted the protesters. | "The main message w…

WSWS (2021-11-27). Expert Nicolas Smit gives testimony on US masking policies under Trump and Biden. wsws.org In a sweeping report, Smit reviews US masking policies during the pandemic and makes clear which types of masks can prevent airborne transmission.

Ben Norton (2021-11-27). Nicaragua's foreign minister: We're resisting a 'pandemic of neo-colonialism'. thegrayzone.com The Grayzone's Ben Norton sat down for an interview with Nicaragua's Foreign Minister Denis Moncada to discuss the country's decision to leave the OAS, attempts to build an international alliance against US unilateralism, and what an anti-imperialist foreign policy looks like. (Puede leer esta entrevista en español aquí.) Transcript BEN NORTON: This is Ben Norton with The Grayzone. I am in Nicaragua's Foreign Ministry, and I just sat down for an interview with Foreign Minister Denis Moncada. We talked about …

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