Category Archives: Pandemic

Cannabis can help fight coronavirus, study says

Cannabis could be a new weapon in the fight against the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), researchers say. A new study by scientists at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta says that cannabidiol (CBD) — the main non-psychoactive component of marijuana — can help fight the coronavirus by lowering the number of cell receptors available for the latter to attach to.

“There’s a lot of documented information about cannabis in cancer, cannabis in inflammation, anxiety, obesity and whatnot,” said Dr. Igor Kovalchuk, who co-authored the study alongside his wife, Dr. Olga Kovalchuck, and a team of other researchers from Lethbridge. “When COVID-19 started, Olga had the idea to revisit our data, and see if we can utilize it for COVID.”

“It was like a joker card, you know, coronavirus. It just mixes up everybody’s plans,” Olga added.

The Kovalchuks’ have been working with cannabis since 2015, using varieties from around the world to create new hybrids and develop extracts that demonstrate certain therapeutic properties.

CBD reduces available ACE2 receptors for the virus to latch on to

For the study, published in pre-peer review server Preprints, the researchers partnered with cannabis therapy research company Pathway Rx — of which Igor Kovalchuck is the CEO — and cannabinoid-based research company Swysh.

The team created 3D tissue models with human oral, mucociliary and intestinal tissues and tested them with different samples of high CBD extracts. The extracts were low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. (Related: CBD vs. coronavirus? Potential natural remedies that promote immunity.)

With this setup, the researchers then observed the effect that the extracts had on angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the receptor that the virus uses to enter human cells.

The results of the researchers’ tests demonstrated that the extracts helped reduce the number of these receptors that the coronavirus could use to “hijack” host cells.

“A number of them have reduced the number of [ACE2] receptors by 73 percent, the chance of it getting in is much lower,” stated Igor.

“If they can reduce the number of receptors, there’s much less chance of getting infected,” he added.

In addition to ACE2, the researchers also looked into other receptors such as transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2), which allows the virus to invade cells more easily and multiply quickly.

“Imagine a cell being a large building,” explained Kovalchuk to CTV News. “Cannabinoids decrease the number of doors in the building by, say, 70 percent, so it means the level of entry will be restricted. So, therefore, you have more chance to fight it.”

Clinical trials still needed but exploring therapeutic options is important

The researchers’ early findings indicate that the CBD extracts could be used in inhalers, mouthwash and throat gargle products for both clinical and home treatment.

However, they say that people looking for CBD extracts to fight the coronavirus won’t be able to do so at their local dispensaries yet. They state that the current medical cannabis and CBD products, while helpful for a lot of ailments, are not designed to treat or prevent infection from COVID-19.

“The key thing is not that any cannabis you would pick up at the store will do the trick,” said Olga.

With this in mind, the researchers are now actively pursuing clinical trials. They stressed that their data is already based on human tissue models, so these trials are a natural next step.

They also highlight the importance of exploring every therapeutic option when it comes to fighting the coronavirus.

“Given the current dire and rapidly developing epidemiological situation, every possible therapeutic opportunity and avenue needs to be considered.”

“We need to bring it to the people,” says Olga. “We need to fight the beast.”

Visit Pandemic.news to learn more about how health experts are learning to fight the coronavirus.

Sources include:

DailyMail.co.uk

Preprints.org

Calgary.CTVNews.ca

Covid: Killing Fields of the Old and Sick?

Percent of Covid deaths who were in nursing homes

Dear Friends of the Ron Paul Institute:

The numbers are sickening and impossible to ignore. Throughout the United States the Coronavirus “pandemic” looks more and more like a war on the elderly and sick than a mysterious new virus that was so dangerous and unknown that the entire country (with notable exceptions – South Dakota for example) had to be completely locked down tighter than Guantanamo Bay.

Nationwide, 42 percent of the Covid-19 death toll was comprised of Americans who were confined to live-in care facilities. While at first it was easy to simply gasp at a disease so cruel that it seemed to target older people, now that the smoke has cleared it is becoming painfully – and criminally – obvious that the virus had some very powerful human enablers.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has shamelessly used the coronavirus crisis to puff up his national political profile, ordered the elderly hospitalized with Covid back to their nursing homes where they could spread the virus like so many Typhoid Marys. Amid calls for a Federal probe into Cuomo’s callous and deadly decision to rip elderly patients from their hospital beds and send them back to cramped senior facilities, Cuomo demurs, blaming…you guessed it: Trump!

In Pennsylvania a particularly cruel (and unelected) creature, Rachel Levine, in charge of the state’s Covid policy oversaw a virus outbreak that claimed the elderly in care facilities as 70 percent of the entire state’s death toll. Astonishing! A real genocide of the old. Of course before she ordered those elderly hospitalized with Covid back to their care facilities to infect and kill others she moved her own mother out of the facilities and into a hotel.

Under the Mussolini of Michigan, the Covid-ravaged elderly were also returned to their care facilities where they could infect and kill their housemates. Governor Gretchen Whitmer seemed to actually gain pleasure from destroying untold lives with her strict lockdown orders, stooping so low as to strip a 77 year old barber of his license for daring to open his shop against her will as he faced starvation. She loved pushing around working people, who were nearly immune to the virus. But when it came to actually protecting the vulnerable layers of society, she was AWOL.

These shameful policies were followed in many states and while at first when little was known about the outbreak, there might be some room for acceptable error. But as it became clear the demographics of who were most vulnerable, it has become indefensible to focus all resources on shutting down restaurants, bars, churches, mom and pop shops, schools while ignoring that the virus preyed almost exclusively on the old and sick. Yes, shut down elementary schools where virtually no one fell victim, but throw open the doors to the old folks home where the virus raged like a tsunami. Brilliant move.

Coincidence? We should not discount the possibility that sheer government incompetence is responsible for this massive failure and resulting senior killing fields. Maybe there is more to it. The sanctity of life in the United States has been degraded for years, including via a foreign policy that considers half a million dead Iraqi children “worth it” to undermine Saddam Hussein’s rule. A foreign policy that doesn’t blink when an estimated 40,000 Venezuelan civilians die from US sanctions. A foreign policy that has spend the past nine years arming literal Islamist terrorists to overthrow the secular rule of Syria’s Assad with hundreds of thousands dead in the process and nary a notice in the US mainstream media.

When one embraces the idea that it’s OK to kill millions overseas to maintain a US global empire that only enriches the Beltway military-industrial-Congressional-media-think tank complex, it is not a far leap to embrace the idea that seniors are expendable. When some lives are not considered worth saving – from pre-cradle to grave – it is a slippery slope to view others also not worth saving.

EU admitted “American-led system” nears its end

European Union looks towards Asia to preserve its interests in the 21st century

EU admitted “American-led system” nears its end

“This comes as the U.S. is approaching 2 million cases of coronavirus and over 100,000 deaths. Earlier this month, the unemployment rate in the U.S. reached 14.7% with the Federal Reserve estimating it could reach a high of 25%. Pre-coronavirus data found that 29.9% of Americans live close to poverty while 5.3% of the population live in deep poverty and 11.1% of American households, were food insecure, meaning they had difficulty providing enough food for all people within the house.”

duran.com

European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell told a gathering of German ambassadors on Monday that “analysts have long talked about the end of an American-led system and the arrival of an Asian century. This is now happening in front of our eyes.” He said that the coronavirus pandemic could be the catalyst to shift power from West to East and that “pressure to choose sides is growing”  for the EU, before adding that the 27-nation bloc “should follow our own interests and values and avoid being instrumentalised by one or the other.”

Borrell said “we only have a chance if we deal with China with collective discipline,” noting that an upcoming EU-China summit this autumn could be an opportunity to do so. “We need a more robust strategy for China, which also requires better relations with the rest of democratic Asia.”

As China, India, Japan, Indonesia and Russia will become some of the world’s biggest economies by 2030, according to Standard Chartered Plc, the 21st century is known as the “Asian Century.”  So, the EU has a serious decision to make on whether to continue its hostile approach towards Russia if it wishes to have more straight forward trade access to Asia. Putin has made incentives for colonists to populate the Far East of Russia to boost its small population of under seven million people who live close to China to fully and better engage in the “Asian Century.”

European trade with Asia could be done through the Russian Far East port of Vladivostok and the Trans-Siberian transportation routes, and this would also bypass China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Macron last year made a Facebook post where he said “progress on many political and economic issues is evident, for we’re trying to develop Franco-Russian relations. I’m convinced that, in this multilateral restructuring, we must develop a security and trust architecture between the European Union and Russia.” With Macron emphasizing a European-Russian rapprochement, he then expanded on General de Gaulle’s famous quote that Europe stretches “from Lisbon to the Urals,” by saying that Europe reaches Vladivostok which is near the Chinese and North Korean border.

According to experts China’s foreign investment in the advanced development zone accounts for about 59.1% of all foreign investments in the region. The Russian Far East has a huge investment potential, especially with materials, natural resources, fisheries, and tourism, and China aims to take advantage of the mostly underdeveloped region. The region is not only resource rich, but is strategically located as it borders China, Mongolia and North Korea, and has a maritime border with Japan.

With France’s recognition of Vladivostok and Borrell now acknowledging that the power centers of the world are shifting to the East, the EU has little choice but to make a rapprochement with Russia and end its sanctions regime. In addition, it would be in the EU’s interests not to engage in anti-China actions on behalf of the U.S.

China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has meant that it has not only recovered and restarted its economy, but that it engages in large-scale soft power projections by delivering tons upon tons of medical aid to every region in the world and has sent doctors and nurses to the most affected countries. This comes as the U.S. is approaching 2 million cases of coronavirus and over 100,000 deaths. Earlier this month, the unemployment rate in the U.S. reached 14.7% with the Federal Reserve estimating it could reach a high of 25%. Pre-coronavirus data found that 29.9% of Americans live close to poverty while 5.3% of the population live in deep poverty and 11.1% of American households, were food insecure, meaning they had difficulty providing enough food for all people within the house. Despite the growing social and domestic problems in the U.S., it is unlikely that Washington will give up its global hegemony so easily.

But Borrell seems to have little confidence that the U.S. will maintain its global leadership and is now eyeing China and the East as the EU’s new main trading partner. Effectively, as the Anglo World attempts to maintain the Atlanticist dominance, the EU is recognizing that its future lies with Eurasia.

US Pirates of the Caribbean

“American global power right now is seen as a farce. It has been devastated by a virus and shown to be a lying cheat over its attempt to smear China and the World Health Organization. Its sanctioning against nations struggling with a deadly disease is barbaric terrorism; and while millions of Americans are facing poverty, the US is sending warships and warplanes to all corners of the world.”
sputniknews.com
May 21, 2020

You have to be amused at this headline: “US masses planes at Japan airbase to show foes and allies it can handle coronavirus,” reports Reuters.

So, let’s get this straight. At a time when the US is leading the world with deaths and infections from the disease, the Pentagon views flexing muscles with warplanes in the Asia Pacific is somehow a demonstration of American potency.

While the American public is crying out for more resources to cope with the pandemic, Washington sees fit to ramp up militarism not just in the Asia Pacific, but also in the Arctic region, the Persian Gulf and the Caribbean.

US warships despatched to the Caribbean are said to be on a mission to counter-narcotic trafficking. Few people will buy that pretext. The military force is deployed as a threat to Venezuela and its socialist government which the Trump administration has openly targeted for regime change.

A failed coup attempt earlier this month involving a private US mercenary outfit may or may not have had official support from the White House.

But one thing is clear: when Russia proposed a statement of support for Venezuela at the UN Security Council this week in which the failed coup was denounced as a violation of the UN charter forbidding aggression, the draft statement was “killed” by Washington’s envoy.

The implication is that Washington’s public position sees nothing wrong with aggression despite the flagrant violation of international law that it involves.

In that case, it could be expected that the US will attempt to block Iranian oil tankers en route to Venezuela. If aggression is acceptable to Washington then why not also a bit of high-seas piracy?

Five Iranian-flagged tankers are due to dock in the South American country in the coming days. They are reportedly ferrying $45 million worth of gasoline to alleviate Venezuela’s crippled economy as it struggles like many other nations to control the coronavirus pandemic.

Venezuela is a major exporter of crude oil but due to US sanctions its capacity to refine fuel has been decimated. This has caused severe shortages for Venezuelan transport which has, in turn, exacerbated the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Both Venezuela and Iran have warned the US to not interfere in the sea passage of the oil tankers. Both countries have been burdened with American sanctions, but they are legally entitled to conduct bilateral trade. If US warships impede the transport, then it will be viewed by Venezuela and Iran as an act of piracy. We might add that the rest of the world will view it that way too. An act of piracy compounding acts of economic aggression under heartless US sanctions.

Given the pandemic crisis, Iran’s supply of vital fuel to Venezuela is not merely a normal trade transaction, but a courageous act of solidarity and humanitarian aid.

The Trump administration has mischievously indicated it will do something to stop the Iranian ships reaching Venezuela. What that something is open to guesswork. Will it use its warships in the Caribbean to mount a blockade?

Iran has warned it will retaliate. Perhaps by attacking American warships in the Persian Gulf, where skirmishing has already taken place.

Venezuela says it is sending naval forces to escort the Iranian tankers once they arrive in its territorial waters.

In the next coming days, a showdown awaits which could have explosive repercussions, not least because the Iranian tankers are reckoned to contain 1.5 million barrels of gasoline.

The US head of Southern Command, Admiral Craig Faller, this week played down the probability of an armed confrontation with the Iranian vessels.

He is quoted as saying: “You have to ask yourself what interest Iran has in Venezuela, where we have seen recent indications of Iranian military and state support?”

Eh, let’s guess Admiral Faller, maybe simply an act of solidarity by two nations who are under the boot of American imperialism and illegal sanctions that amount to a crime against humanity.

American global power right now is seen as a farce. It has been devastated by a virus and shown to be a lying cheat over its attempt to smear China and the World Health Organization. Its sanctioning against nations struggling with a deadly disease is barbaric terrorism; and while millions of Americans are facing poverty, the US is sending warships and warplanes to all corners of the world.Washington won’t dare do piracy in the Caribbean at this juncture. Because it can’t afford another fiasco. Its global image is already in tatters.

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

US pandemic cover-up responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands

Saving Wall Street, not lives

The deliberate efforts by the federal government to muzzle scientists and downplay the disease, combined with massive delays in the roll-out of testing, led states to begin restrictions far too late.

Source

http://www.wsws.org

Andre Damon

May 22, 2020

 

On Wednesday, researchers from Columbia University released a study showing that the massive US death toll, now approaching 100,000, is a direct consequence of decisions made by the Trump administration.

The study, posted on medRxiv.org, found that if the United States had begun social distancing and other control measures just two weeks earlier, it would have saved the lives of 54,000 people. The implementation of such measures one week earlier would have saved 36,000 lives.

These figures quantify the consequences of the Trump administration’s efforts in January and February to minimize the threat posed by the pandemic. Despite clear evidence and warnings by scientists, Trump and his cabinet members systematically downplayed the significance of the disease. As late as February 28, Trump was still claiming that the coronavirus “is going to disappear” like “a miracle.” Trump condemned those saying that COVID-19 was rapidly spreading throughout the country, declaring, “This is their new hoax.”

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

But within the government, leading scientists had been ringing the alarm for nearly two months in a futile attempt to make the White House take the most basic measures to prepare for a major pandemic. “Public health officials were fully aware of the emerging threat of COVID-19 by early January 2020,” wrote Rick Bright, the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, in a whistleblower complaint.

In a subsequent interview, Bright added “I knew that all of the signs for a pandemic were present. A novel virus, causing significant mortality, and spreading. All the signs were there. It was just a matter of time before that virus left China.”

Bright’s statements tear apart the administration’s claims that “no one could have predicted” the pandemic, and that to the extent the response was delayed in the United States, it was because China lied about the spread of the disease.

Rather, the Trump administration, Bright said, was “intent on downplaying this catastrophic threat.”

The deliberate efforts by the federal government to muzzle scientists and downplay the disease, combined with massive delays in the roll-out of testing, led states to begin restrictions far too late.

New York State implemented its stay-at-home order on March 22, more than two months after community transmission began in the United States in mid-January. Lockdowns in most US cities came three and a half months after Chinese researchers discovered the virus, prompting fears of a global pandemic.

While the Trump administration and the media blame China for delaying the release of information, it now emerges that as many as 50,000 deaths were caused by the White House’s decision to postpone as long as possible the ordering of a lockdown.

Chinese scientists announced a cluster of unexplained illnesses on December 31, and the announcement was widely reported in the United States, including by Reuters, the Associated Press and the New York Times.

The World Socialist Web Site, on the basis of only publicly available data, was able to warn on January 24 that “evidence has emerged that person-to-person infection is occurring.” Four days later, the WSWS wrote, “The outbreak has exposed the enormous vulnerability of contemporary society to new strains of infectious disease, dangers for which no capitalist government has adequately prepared.”

But for months, US officials did nothing to prepare for the coming pandemic. It was not until nearly eight weeks after the first public statements by Chinese health officials that any systematic testing for COVID-19 began in the US.

Even as Trump did nothing to prepare for the spread of COVID-19, he imposed a travel ban on China against the advice of the World Health Organization and his own scientific advisors. Within the federal government, Bright and other scientists within the administration were desperately warning that a travel ban would not prevent the disease from entering the United Sates.

Why, despite the warnings of scientists within his administration, did Trump implement a purely cosmetic measure, whose aim would be to construct the narrative that COVID-19 would be kept out of the country?

Driving the White House’s response to the pandemic from the beginning was not the threat of COVID-19 to human lives, but its impact on the stock market. The White House was well aware that the pandemic would have a devastating impact. But it would come under conditions where Wall Street was already under tremendous strain. The markets had been artificially inflated through years of ultra-low interest rates and “quantitative easing,” which had fueled a massive rise in indebtedness that was undermining corporate profitability and threatening a collapse of the already wildly inflated stock market.

Trump and his advisers knew that the impact of the pandemic would trigger a market selloff, which could only be contained and reversed through the infusion of trillions of dollars in cash from the Federal Reserve and Treasury. In order to gain time, the White House suppressed information and misled the public while this bailout could be prepared.

An article by Edward Luce in the Financial Times last week provided a window into this process. “Nothing could be allowed to frighten the Dow Jones,” the Times wrote, explaining the thinking of the Trump administration. “Any signal that the US was bracing for a pandemic—including taking actual steps to prepare for it—was discouraged.”

The Financial Times quoted one person close to the White House as saying, “Jared [Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law] had been arguing that testing too many people, or ordering too many ventilators, would spook the markets and so we just shouldn’t do it.”

Amid the public silence, there was furious activity in the background as lawmakers were preparing what would be the largest government bailout of major corporations in history. The Trump administration was playing for time, keeping the public in the dark while a complex program for bailing out Wall Street could be put into motion.

This time was used to write what would become an 800-page bill known as the CARES Act, which created the framework for a multitrillion-dollar bailout of the financial system by the Federal Reserve and the funneling of hundreds of billions of dollars into major corporations from the Treasury.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced the bill on March 25. Within two days, the CARES Act passed the Senate with a unanimous vote and the House with a voice vote. It was signed into law the same day. In other words, the largest redistribution of public funds in human history took just 48 hours.

An article in Foreign Affairs notes that this bailout would “blur the lines, never clear to begin with, between the public and private sectors and transfer a large portion of the global economy onto government balance sheets. This level of spending has no precedent in history—not even close. Not in war. Not in peacetime. Not ever.”

As soon as this bailout was secured, the media immediately changed its tone. It turned from focusing on images of mass death and overcrowded hospitals to “hopeful signs” and “silver linings” in order to declare that the pandemic was all but over and that workers should get back on the job.

Even as 1,500 Americans continue to die every day from COVID-19, all 50 states have reopened businesses, sending workers back to work in unsafe conditions and setting the stage for a massive resurgence of the disease.

The same total disregard for human life that prompted the White House to downplay the pandemic and hamper the federal response is at work in the back-to-work campaign.

Amid warnings by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield that the United States faces a major resurgence of COVID-19, Trump declared yesterday, “Whether it’s an ember or a flame… we’re not closing our country.”

In other words, no matter how high the death toll climbs, the needs of society will not be allowed to interfere with the profit-making of Wall Street. The priority of the government will continue to be the interests of financial oligarchy, not saving lives.

This is why the fight against the pandemic must be waged not only on the medical front, but on the political front as well. The struggle against COVID-19 is inseparable from the broadest possible fight against the criminal policies of the Trump administration and its supine enablers in the Democratic Party.

As the Socialist Equality Party wrote in its recent statement, “Build rank-and-file factory and workplace committees to prevent transmission of the COVID-19 virus and save lives,” workers must:

Form rank-and-file safety committees in every factory, office and workplace. These committees, democratically controlled by workers themselves, should formulate, implement, and oversee measures that are necessary to safeguard the health and lives of workers, their families and the broader community.

There can be no “business as usual!” The pandemic exposes the urgent necessity for a complete restructuring of the processes of production, distribution and economic activity in general. The lives of working people and their families must not be sacrificed in the interests of corporate profits and the private wealth of billionaire oligarchs.

We urge all those who agree with these demands to draw the necessary political conclusions and take up the fight for socialism.

 

Ten reasons why immunity passports are a bad idea

Pic added by Tales
Restricting movement on the basis of biology threatens freedom, fairness and public health.
Women in Beijing display a health QR code on their phones as a security guard takes their temperature with a remote sensor

A woman in Beijing shows a health QR code on her phone to access a shopping area, as a security guard checks her temperature. Credit: Kevin Frayer/Getty

Imagine a world where your ability to get a job, housing or a loan depends on passing a blood test. You are confined to your home and locked out of society if you lack certain antibodies.

It has happened before. For most of the nineteenth century, immunity to yellow fever divided people in New Orleans, Louisiana, between the ‘acclimated’ who had survived yellow fever and the ‘unacclimated’, who had not had the disease1. Lack of immunity dictated whom people could marry, where they could work, and, for those forced into slavery, how much they were worth. Presumed immunity concentrated political and economic power in the hands of the wealthy elite, and was weaponized to justify white supremacy.

Something similar could be our dystopian future if governments introduce ‘immunity passports’ in efforts to reverse the economic catastrophe of the COVID-19 pandemic. The idea is that such certificates would be issued to those who have recovered and tested positive for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 — the coronavirus that causes the disease. Authorities would lift restrictions on those who are presumed to have immunity, allowing them to return to work, to socialize and to travel. This idea has so many flaws that it is hard to know where to begin.

On 24 April, the World Health Organization (WHO) cautioned against issuing immunity passports because their accuracy could not be guaranteed. It stated that: “There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection”(see go.nature.com/3cutjqz). Nonetheless, the idea is being floated in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and other nations.

China has already introduced virtual health checks, contact tracing and digital QR codes to limit the movement of people. Antibody test results could easily be integrated into this system. And Chile, in a game of semantics, says that it intends to issue ‘medical release certificates’ with three months’ validity to people who have recovered from the disease2.

In our view, any documentation that limits individual freedoms on the basis of biology risks becoming a platform for restricting human rights, increasing discrimination and threatening — rather than protecting — public health. Here we present ten reasons why immunity passports won’t, can’t and shouldn’t be allowed to work.

Ten points

Four huge practical problems and six ethical objections add up to one very bad idea.

COVID-19 immunity is a mystery. Recent data3 suggest that a majority of recovered patients produce some antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. But scientists don’t know whether everyone produces enough antibodies to guarantee future protection, what a safe level might be or how long immunity might last. Current estimates, based on immune responses to closely related viruses such as those that cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), suggest that recovered individuals could be protected from re-infection for one to two years. But if SARS-CoV-2 immunity instead mimics that seen with the common cold, the protection period could be shorter.

Serological tests are unreliable. Tests to measure SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the blood can be a valuable tool to assess the prevalence and spread of the virus. But they vary widely in quality and efficacy. This has led the WHO and former US Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb to caution against their use in assessing individual health or immune status. Several available tests are sufficiently accurate, meaning they are validated to have at least 99% specificity and sensitivity. But preliminary data suggest that the vast majority aren’t reliable4. Low specificity means the test measures antibodies other than those that are specific to SARS-CoV-2. This causes false positives, leading people to think they are immune when they aren’t. Low sensitivity means that the test requires a person to have a high concentration of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies for them to be measured effectively. This causes false negatives in people who have few antibodies, leading to potentially immune individuals being incorrectly labelled as not immune.

The volume of testing needed is unfeasible. Tens to hundreds of millions of serological tests would be needed for a national immunity certification programme. For example, Germany has a population of nearly 84 million people, so would require at least 168 million serological tests to validate every resident’s COVID-19 immune status at least twice. Two tests per person are the minimum, because anyone who tested negative might later become infected and would need to be retested to be immune certified. Repeat testing, on no less than an annual basis, would be necessary to ensure ongoing immunity. From June, the German government will receive 5 million serological tests a month from the Swiss firm Roche Pharmaceuticals — a leading supplier of one SARS-CoV-2 serological test that has been approved by regulators. This will allow only 6% of the German population to be tested each month.

Even if immunity passports were limited to health-care workers, the number of tests required could still be unfeasible. The United States, for example, would need more than 16 million such tests. At the time of writing, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and US public-health laboratories have performed more than 12 million diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2 (3% of the total US population; see go.nature.com/2wemdd2). Even South Korea, a country with high testing rates, had managed to test only 1.5% of its population by 20 May (see go.nature.com/2aztfvp).

Health-care worker draw blood samples from a family wearing facemasks sitting at the dining table in their home in Munich

Health-care workers in Munich, Germany, take blood to test for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2.Credit: Laetitia Vancon/NYT/Redux/eyevine

Too few survivors to boost the economy. The proportion of individuals known to have recovered from COVID-19 varies widely in different populations. Reports from hot spots in Germany and the United States suggest some locations could have recovery rates between 14% and 30%. In New York state, for example, where 3,000 people were tested at random in grocery shops and other public locations, 14.9% had antibodies against COVID-19 (see go.nature.com/2waaku9). But these seem to be the exception. In an April press conference, the WHO estimated that only 2–3% of the global population had recovered from the virus.

Low disease prevalence combined with limited testing capacity, not to mention highly unreliable tests, means that only a small fraction of any population would be certified as free to work. Based on current numbers of confirmed US cases, for example, only 0.43% of the population would be certified. Such percentages are inconsequential for the economy and for safety. A cafe can’t open and serve customers without risk if only a fraction of its staff are certified as immune. A shop can’t turn a profit if only a minuscule proportion of customers are allowed to enter.

Monitoring erodes privacy. The whole point of immunity passports is to control movement. Thus, any strategy for immunity certification must include a system for identification and monitoring. Paper documentation could be vulnerable to forgery. Electronic documentation integrated into a smartphone app would be more resistant to fraud and more effective for contact tracing, retesting and updates of immune status.

But electronic documents present a more serious risk to privacy5. In some Chinese provinces, QR codes on smartphones control entrance into public places on the basis of the individual’s COVID-19 health status. However, these apps report more than COVID-19 information — including people’s locations, travel history, who they’ve come into contact with and other health information, ranging from their body temperature to whether they’ve recently had a cold. Taiwan is also using smartphone apps with alert systems that are directly linked to police departments. The United Kingdom, United States and many other countries are testing various app options. Yet there’s no guarantee that the apps will recede when COVID-19 does. China has announced that elements of its QR-code tracking system are likely to remain in place after the pandemic ends.

Marginalized groups will face more scrutiny. With increased monitoring comes increased policing, and with it higher risks of profiling and potential harms to racial, sexual, religious or other minority groups. During the pandemic, China has been accused of racially profiling residents by forcing all African nationals to be tested for the virus. In other parts of the world, people from Asia have faced spikes in racialized prejudice.

Before this pandemic, stop-and-frisk laws in the United States already disproportionately affected people of colour. In 2019, 88% of people who were stopped and searched in New York City were African American or Latin American (go.nature.com/2jntjym). And during the pandemic, policing continues to target people from minority groups. Between mid-March and the start of May in Brooklyn, New York, 35 of the 40 people arrested for violating physical distancing laws were black6.

Continue:

Source

New Zealand Uses Pandemic To Explore Four-Day Workweek

Source

http://www.zerohedge.com

As New Zealand’s economy adjusts to the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has pitched a four-day workweek and other flexible working options, saying it will stimulate the economy, boost domestic tourism and encourage better work-life balance while the country’s borders remain closed to foreign nationals, according to The Guardian.

The pitch comes as the NZ economy is expected to contract up to 8% this year according to the IMF, while unemployment could hit 15% – 30%.

Ardern was sharing suggestions during a Facebook live session while she was in the tourist city of Rotorua – adding that New Zealanders would travel more within the island nation if they had more flexibility, helping the country’s collapsed tourism sector.

I hear lots of people suggesting we should have a four-day workweek. Ultimately that really sits between employers and employees. But as I’ve said there’s just so much we’ve learned about COVID and that flexibility of people working from home, the productivity that can be driven out of that,” said Ardern.

I’d really encourage people to think about that if you’re an employer and in a position to do so. To think about if that’s something that would work for your workplace because it certainly would help tourism all around the country.”

Andrew Barnes is the founder of Perpetual Guardian, a business of more than 200 people that transitioned to a four-day workweek in 2018.

Barnes found the shift made his employees happier and more productive and said the regime also had benefits for mental and physical health, the environment, family and social lives, and climate change.

New Zealand could definitely go to a four-day week in the aftermath of Covid, and in fact it would be a strategy to rebuild the economy and particularly the hard-hit tourism market as it pivots to a domestic focus,” Barnes said.

We need to retain all the productivity benefits working from home has brought, including cleaner air and a lack of gridlock lost productivity from commuting while helping businesses stay afloat. We have to be bold with our model. This is an opportunity for a massive reset.” –The Guardian

According to Barnes, a four-day workweek could be modeled after the German system of kurzarbeit, or “short work,” which would theoretically allow people to remain in their jobs.

“Finally, we have to factor in the need to address widespread mental health problems,” said Barnes. “The Kindness Institute reported a 25% uptick in use of its services during the lockdown, so we must understand that there has to be a focus on mental health in order to resurge economically. The 4 Day Week is a tool to protect the health of workers in every respect, making this model all the more relevant to the new world we find ourselves in.

The ‘Conman Elites’ That Want To “Save Us” From COVID-19

Last week the Federal Reserve released a report predicting that the next print on GDP numbers will likely show a loss of 34.9% in the second quarter. This is the biggest GDP plunge since the Great Depression; even the crash of 2008 doesn’t compare.  And when we take into account the fact that the Fed artificially boosts GDP calculations by adding in many non-productive government programs, we have to ask, what are the REAL losses above and beyond what the Fed admits to?

With the supply chain in disarray, many companies (like Apple) are trying to shift their manufacturing base to dodge the pandemic. Of course, none of them want to bring factories back to the US; there’s simply no incentive to do so. And, the small business sector has been crushed by the shutdowns, with the vast majority of those seeking bailout loans still waiting for aid and over 20.5 million employees laid off in April alone.

Needless to say, the economy has been severely affected. The problem is that many people are being led to believe that this event has been triggered by the virus outbreak alone. This is a lie. As I noted back in February in my article ‘Global Centralization Is The Cause Of The Crisis – Not The Cure’, the collapse of the Everything Bubble was well underway long before the pandemic. The crash was started by the Federal Reserve hiking rates into economic weakness at the end of 2018, puncturing the bubble and setting the liquidity crisis in motion.

The pandemic is just the icing on the cake of a collapse that was going to happen anyway. It is also a convenient scapegoat, because now the banking elites are going to escape all the blame for the crash and the public is going to hyperfocus on the coronavirus as the culprit.

As I also warned would happen over the past few months, the Chinese government has been caught in numerous lies surrounding their response to the outbreak, including hiding the true numbers of dead and infected and suppressing information to the rest of the world on the danger of human-to-human transmission. The problem that the public is still not being told about, however, is that the Chinese did not act alone, they had help.

It takes two sides to do the pandemic tango – If air travel had been cut off from China immediately upon the confirmation of the virus spread until the danger could be assessed, the outbreak may have never carried beyond China’s borders. Yet this did not happen. Air travel remained open for weeks from China after the outbreak confirmation. Then, when the virus hit Italy hard, air travel continued from Europe to the US unabated. It was almost as if the establishment WANTED the virus to spread quickly…

I remember some of the idiotic sentiments being passed around in web forums back in January and February. Some people argued that the virus “only infects Asians”. Some people said sarcastically “Oh no, whatever will we do without our new iPhones…!”. And, yet others, including the Trump Administration, argued that the US economy would escape any real harm.

Well, we are a few months into the outbreak and now the US has the largest number of infections in the world. US deaths are already almost triple that of the CDC’s yearly reported 30,000 deaths for the flu. The virus is no Black Plague, but it’s not something to be shrugged off either. If this virus behaves anything like the pandemics of the past, expect it to linger for a couple of years, not just a few months.  The lockdowns actually guarantee that this situation will drag on for quite some time.

Apple iPhone sales have crashed 77% in April, right along with almost every other sector of the economy. Clearly, the Trump Administration and Larry Kudlow were either lying to us in February, or they had no idea what they were talking about.

Despite the current reopening hype, the situation is only going to get worse from here on out. Certainly in terms of the economy, but also in terms of the outbreak. The globalists have openly discussed their plans for this pandemic, including a minimum 18 month period of lockdowns and “reopenings”. The public seems to be oblivious to the fact that the plan is for a “1 month open, 2 months closed” cycle going into next year. That’s right, the lockdowns will return.

Certain globalists have slithered out of the swamp to the forefront of media attention recently, and it is interesting to see how transparent the narrative has become. As I have predicted time and time again, during the collapse the very people that helped create the crisis are now suddenly being put on a pedestal by the media as our saviors and some are being presented as “rebels” on the side of conservatives. Here are just a few global elites that have been specifically prominent during this disaster.

Bill Gates

Wow, I’m getting incredibly sick of seeing Bill Gates presented in the media lately as some kind of virology guru. Why should we take the advice of a computer programmer on issues of biology and sociopolitical response? Why should we take the advice of an open globalist with an admitted agenda of population control?

Bill Gates is notorious for letting his agendas slip in public forums such as his Ted Talks. In 2010 Gates called for carbon emissions to be reduced to zero (an impossibility without complete de-industrialization and the economic murder of billions of people). In the same talk, he hinted that methods to reduce the population could include “new vaccines and reproductive health services…” He did not elaborate at the time, except to claim that vaccines would lead to “social changes” that would reduce population.  Aren’t vaccines supposed to extend people’s lives, thus increasing the population?

We do know that Bill Gates has funded numerous experimental vaccine trials through the World Health Organization, including Polio vaccination programs. It was these same programs that led to viral outbreaks of polio in various countries and hundreds of paralyzed children. In fact, the vaccines caused more cases of polio than the wild-type virus. This if VERIFIED FACT, admitted by the WHO, though numerous leftist media sources have tried to deny it.

At most, the WHO and Gates can claim that the infections were “accidental”. But if this is the case, it would still suggest that vaccines developed by Gates Foundation programs and the WHO should not be trusted. Given Gates’ obsession with depopulation, I think it safer to not allow him to inject viruses (living or dead) into people.

The Gates Foundation was also central in Event 201, a pandemic exercise which “simulated” a coronavirus outbreak and the government and UN response. This exercise took place only a couple of months before the real thing happened. What an incredible coincidence. It is also an incredible coincidence that almost every solution presented in the simulation is now being implemented or suggested around the world during the real pandemic, including the use of tracking apps and immunity passports that violate every level of personal freedom we know.

Gates is not a hero, far from it. In fact, Gates and his ideology benefit greatly from the pandemic.

Mohamed El-Erian

A dedicated globalist, El-Erian has been everywhere in the economic media lately. As I examined in my Globalist Disinformation Spotlight article, El-Erian is an active promoter of a global currency under the control of the IMF through its Special Drawing Rights basket. He also argued last year that economic swings were “out of the control of central banks” and that they should not be blamed for any financial disruptions. At the same time, El-Erian claimed that the US economy was “strong” and that there was no chance of a recession in 2020.

El-Erian was consistently wrong about almost everything last year, but this year, suddenly, he has been the go-to guy for the economic media. Mohamed has shifted gears entirely in 2020, flip-flopping on his outlook and presenting, finally, a realistic analysis of the situation.  He is now being presented as the wise man on the mountain warning us of impending disaster.

This is a classic case of the globalist “savior” narrative in play. They lie about the danger of collapse right up until the collapse becomes obvious to the public, and then they suddenly start warning of the collapse when it is too late for the public to do anything about it. That is to say, they keep the public unprepared and complacent for as long as possible, then act like they predicted the whole mess at the last minute.

Elon Musk

The great fake liberty billionaire.  A long time globalist, Musk seems like an enigma, but he is really rather simple. As a classic narcissist, Musk switches his persona to ride what he sees as the waves of public sentiment. He wants to be all things to all people and has bought into his own hype. A couple of years ago Musk was a globalist gatekeeper, a top guest of the Global Government Summit, a proponent of universal basic income, and argued in favor of transhumanism.

Musk’s companies are lavished with praise in the media despite their minimal global market share.  Being one of the only carmakers in the US does mean Tesla is one of the “biggest” in the US, I suppose (but how often do you actually see a Tesla on the road outside of California?).  The problem is Musk survives predominantly by siphoning up billions in government funding and taxpayer dollars. Without such funding, Musk would have been out of business a long time ago.  This fact runs contrary to Musk’s new persona as a kind of libertarian, small government businessman.

Also keep in mind that Musk’s business model relies on global warming propaganda flowing out of the same elitist circles he enjoys when he’s not “speaking out” about government tyranny.  If carbon controls are not enforced by governments (and if gas prices stay low), Musk’s high-priced electric cars have no market.

While Musk’s companies live primarily on government welfare, the guy acts like he’s some kind of savant, and he has a lot of people fooled on this account on both sides of the political spectrum. It is truly astounding.  If he is a “genius” at anything, it is that he is an effective con man.

For now, Musk is attempting to hook into the alternative media and the rise of the liberty movement with his anti-lockdown tweets and sudden opposition to globalism. Has Musk been “red-pilled”?  I suspect he will flip-flop again in due course. If Musk wants to cut off all ties to his many friends in the globalist community then perhaps he has turned a new leaf, but I seriously doubt it.

Dr. Anthony Fauci

One of the people that helped create the coronavirus outbreak is the leading Trump Administration talking head on the coronavirus response. An avid defender of the WHO and, along with Trump, a defender of China’s rigged data back in January, Fauci is the guy who, in 2015, greenlit the millions of dollars in funding on coronavirus research at the Level 4 lab in Wuhan, China.  This is the same lab that is now under investigation for releasing the virus on the world, and Fauci’s funding went directly into research on coronavirus transmission from bats to other mammals.

All I have to ask is, why has this man been at the forefront of the pandemic response for the US? Now in self-isolation for possible infection, perhaps Fauci will fade into the background as he is further exposed as a participant in the creation of this pandemic.

Greta Thunberg

Thunberg is not so much a global elite as she is a useful idiot.  A puppet of her activist parents, Thunburg only parrots the same global warming arguments that have already been debunked year after year, yet she continues to be elevated in the mainstream media as a spokes girl for environmentalism.  Why?  Because the “children are our future”, and leftists love the idea of brainwashed kid activists.  If Thunburg is any indication of the next generation, the future is bleak.

While there is still zero concrete evidence that human carbon emissions lead directly to changes in the Earth’s climate, it is true that the climate does “change” over time.  Of course, shifts in activity on the gigantic nuclear fusion reactor in space known as THE SUN are probably more responsible for temperature changes on the Earth than the tiny 0.04% of carbon in the Earth’s atmosphere.  Don’t tell the political left this, though, or you might be labeled a “climate denier”…

Thunberg and other climate activists have suddenly been pushed to the forefront recently to comment on the pandemic situation.  This might seem rather bizarre, but it makes sense when you realize how the pandemic is being exploited by the globalists to achieve certain goals.  Every agenda of the globalists from carbon emissions reductions to the suppression of industrial manufacturing to the destruction of large scale farming and even to the reduction of meat in people’s diets is being accomplished right now by the coronavirus and the government shutdowns.  Where climate activists failed, the virus is making headway.

Beyond that, climate activists are now arguing that the restrictions put in place because of the pandemic should be KEPT IN PLACE because of global warming.  You see how that works?  One has nothing to do with the other, but the technocrats will force the public to see them as related if they can.  Just “listen to the scientists”, people!  Listen and obey the high priests of the Technotronic era.  Stop demanding evidence, you aren’t “smart enough” to understand it anyway.  Only UN-funded labs have the power to decipher the magical math behind global warming studies.

The pandemic will open the door to many lies and the flood of disinformation the alternative media has been working so hard to counter is going to explode beyond anything we’ve seen in the past.  The elites are at a crossroads.  They have to turn the public towards supporting collectivism and tyranny now, or they may find themselves facing the business end of a large number of torches and pitchforks.  At the bottom, these elites should be in prison, not on TV dictating to the people about how they should behave and what freedoms they should give up during the crisis.

*  *  *

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What on Earth Is the US Doing by Bombing Somalia?

Source

original.antiwar.com
Terror,usa,war,america,bombs - free image from needpix.com

The Trump administration has quietly ramped up a vicious bombing – and covert raiding – campaign in Somalia amid a global coronavirus pandemic. Neither the White House nor the Pentagon has provided any explanation for the deadly escalation of a war that Congress hasn’t declared and the media rarely reports. At stake are many thousands of lives.

The public statistics show a considerable increase in airstrikes from Obama’s presidency. From 2009 to 2016, the U.S. military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced 36 airstrikes in Somalia. Under Trump, it conducted at least 63 bombing raids just last year, with another 39 such attacks in the first four months of 2020. The ostensible US target has usually been the Islamist insurgent group al-Shabab, but often the real – or at least consequent – victims are long-embattled Somali civilians.

As for the most direct victims, it’s become clear that notoriously image-conscious AFRICOM public affairs officers have long undercounted and underreported the number of civilians killed in their expanding aerial bombardments. According to Airwars, a UK-based airstrike monitoring group, civilian fatalities – while low relative to other bombing campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Syria – may exceed official Pentagon estimates by as much as 6,800 percent. Only these deaths don’t tell the half of it. Tens of thousands of Somalis have fled areas that the US regularly bombs, filtering into already overcrowded refugee camps outside of the capital of Mogadishu.

There are approximately 2.6 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Somalia who barely survive and are often reliant on humanitarian aid. So vulnerable are the refugees in the pandemic-petri-dish camps, that one mother of seven described feeling “like we are waiting for death to come.” Her fears may prove justified. Recently, coronavirus cases have risen rapidly in Somalia – a country with no public health system to speak of – and due to severely limited testing availability, experts believe the actual tally is much higher than reported. No matter how AFRICOM spins it, their escalatory war will only exacerbate the country’s slow-boiling crisis.

A Sordid Backstory

While comprehensive analysis of the sordid history of US military operations in Somalia would fill multiple volumes, it’s worth recalling the basic contours of Washington’s record. During the Cold War, the US pressured the United Nations to hand over the ethnically Somali Ogaden region to Ethiopia, then proceeded to arm and back this sworn enemy of Mogadishu. That is until Marxist Ethiopian military officers took power in a 1974 putsch, at which point America turned on a dime, and changed sides. Washington then backed Somalia in the ensuing war over Ogaden. Over the next decade and a half, the US propped up the abusive and corrupt Somali dictator Mohammed Siad Barre.

Nevertheless, after the Berlin Wall came down and Barre, a notorious human rights-violator, had outlived his Cold War usefulness, Congress cut off military and – more importantly – economic aid. Barre was soon toppled in a coup, and clan-based militias carved up the remnants of the Somali state. Civil war raged, and hundreds of thousands of civilians starved to death in the ensuing famine. Thanks to the blockbuster 2001 Hollywood film “Blackhawk Down,” what came next is the one bit of Somali history most Americans know. In 1992, US troops filtered into Somalia to support what began as a United Nations humanitarian response. No doubt, they eventually did some good.

In the chaos, the UN and especially the took sides in the civil war. Then after American special operators killed numerous civilians in the hunt for one particular warlord, thousands of angry Somalis turned on a group of army rangers and Delta Force commandos during another botched raid. In the day-long battle that inspired the film, 18 US soldiers and – far less reported – some 500 Somali men, women, and children were killed. With no stomach for the bad press of body bags being brought home, President Bill Clinton pulled the troops out within months.

For several years, Washington reverted to largely ignoring the ongoing Somali tragedy. That is until the 2001 terror attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., placed the region – and anything vaguely Islamist – into the Pentagon’s crosshairs. There hadn’t been much of an al-Qaeda presence in Somalia at the time, so the US basically “invented” one. In 2006, after an imperfect but popular Islamic Courts movement brought some stability to the capitol, Washington encouraged, backed, and even took part in an Ethiopian invasion.

This too backfired. The more hardline al-Shabab was empowered, largely catalyzed, and grew in popularity through its resistance to the illegal Ethiopian occupation and to the corrupt UN and U.S.-backed interim governments that followed. What AFRICOM’s director of operations called the “disease” of al-Shabab is now used as a vague justification of the latest escalation in US airstrikes.

AFRICOM Inertia

How many Americans know that some 500800 US troops are based in Somalia at any given time? Fewer still likely have the faintest idea that three Americans were killed in neighboring Kenya just a few months back, when al-Shabab nearly overran an airbase that housed some US troops.

Apathy and ignorance are troubling enough, but as has been the case for nearly all recent interventions in the Greater Middle East, Washington’s aggressive Somalia policy has proven counterproductive. The more intense and overt the US military strikes and presence, the more empowered al-Shabab becomes since the group is as much nationalist resistant movement as terror group. While this admittedly abhorrent crew kills and oppresses Somali civilians as much as or more than American bombs or U.S.-backed government security forces, Washington’s self-sabotage is real. As a Brown University Costs of War Project report concludes: “Al-Shabaab is fueled, in part, by the US war against it.” Though affiliated with al-Qaeda, al-Shabab’s recruits, expertise, and grievances are mainly local. Most funding comes from piracy and other criminal enterprises.

The United Nations with tacit support from even America’s NATO allies has called for a global ceasefire during the coronavirus pandemic. The Trump team has only escalated military actions in various hotspots – particularly Somalia. This won’t play well with allies, adversaries, or neutral nations alike. If anything, it will drive the latter into the arms of Russia or China. In the face of such strategic inertia, one can’t help but wish the US military would heed its own doctrine.

It might start with number four on its list of the eight “paradoxes” of counterinsurgency: “Doing Nothing is Sometimes the Best Action.”

This article was produced by Globetrotter, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Danny Sjursen is a retired US Army officer and contributing editor at Antiwar.com His work has appeared in the NY Times, LA Times, The Nation, Huff Post, The Hill, Salon, Popular Resistance, and Tom Dispatch, among other publications. He served combat tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at his alma mater, West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge. His forthcoming book, Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War is now available for pre-order. Sjursen was recently selected as a 2019-20 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Fellow. Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet. Visit his professional website for contact info, to schedule speeches or media appearances, and access to his past work.

Copyright 2020 Danny Sjursen

China: Coronavirus Could Be Changing, Experts Claim

Source

telesurenglish.net

May 20, 2020

  • Qiu Haibo, Intensive Care Unit expert in Zhongda Hospital, Nanjing, China.

    Qiu Haibo, Intensive Care Unit expert in Zhongda Hospital, Nanjing, China. | Photo: Twitter/@PhoenixSquawk

Positive cases in northern China seem to incubate the virus for a longer-term, with milder symptoms, a new study found.

China’s medical experts warned on May 19 that COVID-19 may be mutating, given the disease’s behavior changes in the northern region.

RELATED: 

China to Channel About $2 Billion to Developing Countries

According to Qiu Haibo, head of the Department of Critical Care Medicine in  Zhongda hospital, COVID positive patients during the new virus outbreak in Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces show a different infection comportment in comparison to Wuhan initial cases.

Positive cases in northern China seem to incubate the virus for a longer-term, with milder symptoms, a new study found.​​​​​​. Wuhan’s original cases had quicker and stronger symptoms in only two weeks.  Besides, experts detected heart, kidney, and gut damage in Wuhan patients, while northern affected ones showed lung damage.

As Qiu explained, these differences could reveal pathogens are changing, which could be difficult to comprehend for testing, and control. “The longer period during which infected patients show no symptoms have created clusters of family infections,” the former director of the Chinese society of critical care medicine (Csccm) stated.

Hugh Randall@Hughscs

More than 100 million people in China face new lockdown as second wave of COVID-19 cases emergehttps://lnkd.in/ggZ7PZx 

More than 100 million people in China face new lockdown as second wave of COVID-19 cases emerge

Nearly 108 million people in China’s Jilin province are being forced back on lockdown after a growing group of new coronavirus infections has triggered a backslide in the nation’s push to return to…

foxnews.com

See Hugh Randall’s other Tweets
Positive cases in northern China seem to incubate the virus for a longer-term, with milder symptoms, a new study found.

Chinese Health experts are analyzing if these changes respond to a virus mutation or a health protocol deviation. COVID mutations could cause not only new outbreaks but also treatment inaccuracy. Alongside the health risk, economies would be forced to reopen later than scheduled  Even so, there is no evidence that this virus change makes it more contagious.

“In theory, some changes in the genetic structure can lead to changes in the virus structure or how the virus behaves,” University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health director, Keiji Fukuda, said. “However, many mutations lead to no discernible changes at all,” he added.

So far, China registered 82,965 positive cases, 4,634 deaths, and 78,244 recoveries.