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Fauci says omicron variant is `just raging around the world' – North Shore News

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The COVID-19 omicron variant is “just raging around the world,” the White House’s top medical adviser said Sunday, and President Joe Biden is planning to give “a stark warning of what the winter will look like” for unvaccinated Americans.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “the real problem” for the U.S. hospital system is that “we have so many people in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated who have not yet been vaccinated.”

The prospect of a winter chilled by a wave of coronavirus infections is a severe reversal from the optimism projected by Biden some 10 months ago, when he suggested at a CNN town hall that the country would essentially be back to normal by this Christmas. Biden has been careful not to overpromise, yet confidence in the country has been battered by an unrelenting wave of COVID-19 mutations and variations that have left many Americans emotionally exhausted, dispirited and worried about infections.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, tried to defend the president’s earlier promise in a separate interview Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“The idea about hoping and having an aspiration to be independent of the virus after a period of time is understandable and reasonable,” Fauci said. “But the one thing that we know from, now, almost two years’ experience with this virus is that it is really very unpredictable.”

Yet the president seems stuck to be potentially stuck in a negative feedback loop as there is a risk that infections could worsen the supply chain challenges facing the United States and fuel inflation. Gov. Jared Polis, D-Colo., told NBC that Biden should stop talking about vaccination as two shots and a booster and, instead, call it “three doses” that are needed to maximize protection.

Polis pivoted to inflation that is running at a nearly four-decade high, saying Biden needed to show the country how he is addressing that particular challenge as part of his coming remarks on the omicron variant.

“We can do very concrete things that actually reduce the costs for Americans,” said Polis, noting that Colorado is cutting vehicle registration fees and making it free to register a new business.

The administration is expecting a series of breakthrough infections with the surge of holiday travelers. Fauci said most people who have been vaccinated and gotten a booster should be OK if they take precautions such as continually wearing masks in crowded settings such as airports.

Biden plans to speak Tuesday on the status of the fight against COVID-19 and discuss government help for communities in need of assistance, White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted. The president also will warn about the risks for those Americans who “choose to remain unvaccinated.”

Fauci was asked on CNN whether he expected record numbers of cases — and what about hospitalizations and deaths. “Yes, well, unfortunately. I think that that is going to happen,” he said.

Fauci told NBC the president would again urge people to get the booster shot, highlight increased availability of testing, discuss “surge teams” for besieged hospitals and explain how important it is to provide vaccines for the rest of the world.

“The one thing that’s very clear, and there’s no doubt about this, is its extraordinary capability of spreading, its transmissibility capability. It is just, you know, raging through the world, really,” Fauci said. “And if you look even here in the United States, you have some regions that start off with a few percent of the isolates that are positive, now going up to 30%, 40%, and some places 50%.”

Psaki’s announcement Saturday on Twitter came after Vice President Kamala Harris said in a Los Angeles Times interview that the Biden administration “didn’t see delta coming. I think most scientists did not — upon whose advice and direction we have relied — didn’t see delta coming.” She added: “We didn’t see omicron coming. And that’s the nature of what this, this awful virus has been, which as it turns out, has mutations and variants.”

The vice president’s words raised doubts as to the administration’s strategy for addressing the pandemic. Biden had effectively declared independence from the virus at a White House celebration on July Fourth to mark progress with vaccinations inside the United States, yet the global nature of the pandemic meant that the disease could evolve as others around the world waited for immunization.

Fauci told NBC he saw the variants coming and he thought Harris’ statement “was taken a bit out of context,” adding he believed she was referring to “the extraordinary number of mutations … particularly with omicron. No one had expected it that much but we were well prepared and expected that we were going to see variants.”

Josh Boak, The Associated Press



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Sinovac regimen gets strong boost from Pfizer, AstraZeneca or J&J COVID shots – study

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A third booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine made by AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech or Johnson & Johnson increases antibody levels significantly in those who have previously received two doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac shot, a study has found.

The study found that CoronaVac received the strongest boost from a viral vector or RNA shot, including against the Delta and Omicron coronavirus variants, researchers from Brazil and Oxford University said on Monday.

China-based Sinovac’s vaccine uses an inactivated version of a coronavirus strain that was isolated from a patient in China. It is currently approved in more than 50 countries including Brazil, China, Argentina, South Africa, Oman, Malaysia, Indonesia and Turkey.

“This study provides important options for policymakers in the many countries where inactivated vaccines … have been used,” said Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and study lead.

However, another study in December found that Sinovac’s two-dose shot followed by a booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine showed a lower immune response against the Omicron variant compared with other strains.

Viral vector vaccines such as the ones developed by AstraZeneca-Oxford and J&J use a weakened version of another virus to deliver genetic instructions for making proteins from the virus against which protection is sought. Pfizer and BioNTech’s mRNA vaccines deliver a genetic transcript with instructions for making viral proteins to teach the body how to defend against infections.

A third dose of CoronaVac also increased antibodies, but the results were better when a different vaccine was used, according to the latest study that included 1,240 volunteers from the Brazilian cities of Sao Paulo and Salvador.

Antibody levels were low before the booster doses, with only 20.4% of adults aged 18-60 and 8.9% of adults aged over 60 having detectable levels of neutralising antibodies. These were seen to significantly increase across every booster vaccine regimen, according to the study, which was published in the Lancet medical journal on Friday.

 

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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A Unstoppable Universal Plague

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During the 15th Century, the world was exposed to what seemed like an unstoppable plague. Victims a new and terrifying plague was upon Europeans, and then spread throughout Europe, to Africa, Asia, and beyond. where it came from no one really knows.

Victims experience pustules erupting on their noses, lips, eyes, swelling into ulcers as the sores crept into their mouths and down their throats. Their muscles and bones became painful, especially at night. Most physicians thought they were seeing either leprosy or elephantiasis, or something worst.

 

These medical professionals were experiencing mass Syphilis for the first time. In a two hundred year period over a hundred million people were affected with many millions dying. This plague was an equal opportunity infliction. Rich and poor, Kings and their Queens, Lords and their ladies, members of the growing middle class were all inflicted. This STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) became most difficult to not only treat but also identify. As mentioned above, the inflicted showed various symptoms, this disease began as painless and easily missed sorely at an infection site, which over a short period of time disappeared, followed by a copper penny rash on the hands and feet. When the rash cleared up, the disease became latent, infecting the brain, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, and bones. These symptoms did not follow the same pattern, making it difficult to recognize what the inflicted was suffering.

Syphilis spreads through skin-to-skin contact mutating into a much deadlier sexually transmitted disease. Known as the great pretender, syphilis affected young men who succumbed to the wiles of prostitutes. These young men went home to their wives, girlfriends, and family members inflicting these innocents with this disease. Syphilis can be transmitted by either gender. In the middle ages, women were often blamed for the spread of this disease. The Catholic Church prohibited sex outside of marriage, in an attempt to stop the spread. Previously prostitutes had been considered a needed service to the community, with brothels and prostitutes a common community element. Brothels and prostitution became illegal in many lands, and sex workers could face prison time.

Condoms, a linen sheath infused with chemicals was introduced to European cultural life. The use of mercury was also introduced, and in time many realized they were poisoning themselves using this method of medical treatment.
Society’s response to this deadly disease was to persecute women of the lower classes, those who may be forced to become active in the sex trade so they could feed their families. Unfortunately, the religious organizations of the world and their powerful allies assaulted Womanhood in many ways, attempting to control the disease (not the men who spread it) buy controlling women. The Spanish Inquisition, British Witch Persecutions, divestment of women within the Church all were efforts to assert man’s predominance within society and protect manhood everywhere. To admit and recognize that men were the super spreaders of this disease could not become common knowledge, or at least acted upon openly.
In 1908 a German Scientist named Paul Ehrlich discovered Salvarsan, a magic bullet that could kill the microbes without harming the inflicted. This antibiotic-like material worked well to bring Syphilis under control.

Unfortunately, this pandemic continues to spread throughout the world today. Like Covid-19 there are many syphilis mutagens, different strains with similar, yet slightly different symptoms. In 2019 over 27 million people worldwide were recognized to be inflicted with syphilis, many in parts of the world where needed medicine cannot be readily found. Syphilis also facilities both HIV transmission and acquisition. The Great Pretender of STDs will find a way to spread and kill. Better watch out, and better not cry, just know what harmful things are out there folks. Be very much aware, alert, and alive.

Steven Kaszab
Bradford, Ontario
skaszab@yahoo.ca

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Canada’s Trudeau slams ‘fear mongering’ over COVID vaccine mandate for truckers

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday accused conservative politicians of stoking fear that COVID-19 vaccine mandates for cross-border truck drivers are exacerbating supply chain disruptions and fueling inflation.

The United States imposed a mandate, meant to aid the fight against the fast spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus, on Jan. 22, while Canada’s started on Jan. 15. The trucking industry has warned the measure will take thousands of drivers off the roads during what is already a dire labor shortage in the industry.

Alberta’s conservative provincial leader, Jason Kenney, called for a pause of the mandate last week, and on Monday posted pictures on Twitter of empty shelves in supermarkets, calling for “immediate action” by both the U.S. and Canadian federal governments.

“This is turning into a crisis,” Kenney wrote.

“I regret that the Conservative Party and conservative politicians are fear mongering to Canadians about the supply chain, but the reality is that vaccination is how we’re going to get through this,” Trudeau told reporters when asked about supply chain disruptions resulting from the policy.

Pierre Poilievre, finance critic for the main federal opposition Conservative Party, last week called the requirements a “vaccine vendetta against our hardworking truckers” that will drive up inflation and result in “empty shelves” at stores.

Trudeau has resisted industry pressure to delay the mandate, saying everyone should be vaccinated and Canada is aligned with the United States, its largest trading partner. More than two-thirds of the C$650 billion ($521 billion) in goods traded annually between Canada and the United States travels on roads.

Canada’s inflation rate hit a 30-year high of 4.8% in December and economists said the vaccine mandate may contribute to keeping prices higher for longer. In the United States, inflation surged 7% on a year-on-year basis in December, the largest rise in nearly four decades.

Canadian Manufactures & Exporters President and Chief Executive Dennis Darby said he and other manufacturing lobbies spoke with Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne on Friday about problems caused by the vaccine mandate.

Manufacturers are already seeing delays and price increases, Darby said.

“Our supply chain in North America is a very, very efficient supply chain, but it’s not very resilient,” Darby said in an interview on Monday. “It doesn’t have a lot of slack.”

After the meeting with Champagne, Darby’s group and some 30 other trade associations called for concrete action to tackle supply chain problems, including reversing the trucker inoculation mandate.

A convoy of truckers started off from Vancouver on Sunday on its way to protest the mandate in the capital city of Ottawa.

 

(Reporting by Steve Scherer, additional reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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