Health

HEALTH CARE

Attacks on Dr. Anthony Fauci grow more intense, personal and conspiratorial

For over a year, Anthony Fauci has been a bogeyman for conservatives, who have questioned his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and accused him of quietly undermining then-President Donald Trump. But those attacks took on a whole new level of vitriol this week, to the point that one social media analysis described it as highly misleading and at least one platform pulled down some posts, citing false content. It all stemmed from a tranche of Fauci’s emails that were published as part of a Freedom of Information Act request filed by various news outlets. Within hours of publication, the hashtag #FauciLeaks was trending on Twitter.

COVID-19

Biden shut down Trump, Pompeo effort to prove Wuhan lab theory

The Biden administration has reportedly shut down a discrete State Department operation, launched by former President Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to prove the widely-disputed theory that COVID-19 originated in a lab in Wuhan, China. CNN reported Tuesday that the current administration ultimately halted the effort over concerns regarding the quality of the inquiry’s work, according to three sources familiar with the decision.

COVID-19

Miami Beach imposes emergency Covid curfew to curb spring break chaos

Miami Beach commissioners were to hold an emergency meeting on Sunday, to determine whether to extend an unusual 8pm curfew aimed at curtailing spring break crowds that got so out of hand authorities had to call in SWAT teams. Officers in bulletproof vests dispersed pepper spray balls on Saturday to break up groups that descended on sunny South Beach by the thousands, trashing restaurants and flooding the streets without masks or social distancing despite Covid-19 restrictions.

COVID-19

Fauci urges Americans to take any of three Covid vaccines available to them

The nation’s leading infectious disease expert has urged Americans to take whatever vaccine is immediately available to them, following this weekend’s approval of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose jab as a third option in the fight against Covid-19.

COVID-19

President Joe Biden to hold memorial as US nears 500,000 Covid deaths

Joe Biden is set to mark the latest tragic milestone of Covid deaths in the US on Monday night, with a candlelit commemoration and moment of silence for the 500,000 who will have lost their lives. With the heart-wrenching landmark approaching, the White House is preparing for a sunset ceremony focused on those who have died and their grieving loved ones. With his wife, Jill Biden, Vice-president Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, by his side, the president is expected to echo the commemoration held for Covid victims at the Lincoln Memorial the night before his inauguration. He said then: “To heal we must remember.”

COVID-19

US could have averted 40% of Covid deaths, says panel examining Trump's policies

The US could have averted 40% of the deaths from Covid-19, had the country’s death rates corresponded with the rates in other high-income G7 countries, according to a Lancet commission tasked with assessing Donald Trump’s health policy record. Almost 470,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus so far, with the number widely expected to go above half a million in the next few weeks. At the same time some 27 million people in the US have been infected. Both figures are by far the highest in the world.

COVID-19

Riots at the Capitol could be a coronavirus superspreader event

Wednesday, pro-Trump rioters stormed into the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, many in that crowd attended a rally put on by the president and stood around outside the Capitol. Many videos and photos of the people at the Capitol have surfaced, often showing people without masks or face coverings and standing in close proximity to others who were also maskless. Some health experts think this riot could be a superspreader event for COVID-19.

Misinformation 'superspreaders'

Covid vaccine falsehoods still thriving on Facebook and Instagram

Under pressure to contain an avalanche of falsehoods, Facebook announced on 3 December that it would ban debunked claims about the safety and efficacy of vaccines now being distributed worldwide. The company said it removed more than 12m pieces of content from Facebook and Instagram between March and October, and that it worked with factcheckers to place labels on 167 million more pieces of content over the same period.

COVID-19: USA

How CDC takes the citizens for a ride

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control pulled new guidelines acknowledging the new coronavirus could be transmitted by tiny particles that linger in the air, saying a draft version of proposed changes was posted in error on the agency’s website. For months, the CDC said the new coronavirus is primarily transmitted between people in close contact through large droplets that land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. On Friday, however, it added that tiny particles known as aerosols could transmit the virus.

How Trumps incapacity is explained

Woodward tapes 'reveal strong leadership' on Covid

The revelation that Donald Trump deliberately downplayed the coronavirus pandemic forced key aides on to desperate defence on Sunday, barely 50 days from the presidential election.

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Trump official preventing Fauci from discussing Covid children risk

A health official hired by a Donald Trump appointee has been working to prevent Dr Anthony Fauci from talking about dangers that Covid-19 poses to children, Politico reported on Wednesday.

COVID-19

Task force reports show dire US-reality

As President Donald Trump was painting a positive picture of the coronavirus pandemic and urging states to reopen the nation's businesses and schools, data from the White House coronavirus task force released Monday shows he was getting increasingly dire reports about the spread of the pandemic in July and August.

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Task force discussed CDC guidelines when he was in surgery

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and member of the White House coronavirus task force, said Wednesday he was undergoing surgery during the task force meeting when updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 testing guidelines were discussed.

no end in sight in wildfire disaster

California battles more than 500 fires

Some of California’s largest wildfires in state history are growing larger and more destructive, with no end in sight as emergency response efforts are stretched thin and tens of thousands of people are forced to evacuate their homes.

COVID-19: USA

Herd immunity would lead to massive death tolls

If the United States allowed coronavirus infections to run rampant to achieve possible herd immunity, the death toll would be massive, especially among vulnerable people, the nation's top infectious doctor said.

COVID-19

Fauci says family has faced threats, harassment amid pandemic

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said he and his family are getting death threats because people don’t like what he says about COVID-19.

World Health Organization

There may never be a "silver bullet" for Covid-19

There might never be a “silver bullet” for Covid-19 in the form of a perfect vaccine, and the road to normality could be long, the World Health Organization has said.

Dementia Study

Lifestyle changes could delay or prevent 40% of dementia cases

Excessive drinking, exposure to air pollution and head injuries all increase dementia risk, experts say in a report revealing that up to 40% of dementia cases worldwide could be delayed or prevented by addressing 12 such lifestyle factors.

Opioid Crisis

71,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year

Nearly 71,000 Americans died of drug overdoses last year, a new record that predates the Covid-19 crisis, which the White House and many experts believe will drive such deaths even higher.

Dr. Anthony Fauci

I think you can trust me

Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious diseases expert, has pushed back at a concerted campaign by Donald Trump and his allies to discredit his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

New York City

Hungry rats torment alfresco diners after lockdown famine

New York City is starting to tentatively emerge from the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic but a revival in outdoor restaurant dining is facing a new hazard – a plague of rats.

Jair Bolsonaro

Presseverband stellt Strafanzeige gegen Brasiliens Präsidenten

Jair Bolsonaro habe das Leben und die Gesundheit anderer gefährdet, lautet der Vorwurf. Der Präsident hatte am Dienstag vor Reportern seine Mund-Nasen-Maske abgenommen.

Shortnews

mifepristone

Supreme Court reinstates restrictions on abortion pill

The Supreme Court on Tuesday night granted the Trump administration’s request to reinstate federal rules requiring people seeking medication abortions to obtain the pills in-person from a medical provider. The court’s 6-3 decision along ideological lines halted a lower court ruling that waived Food and Drug Administration rules to allow abortion pills to be distributed by mail during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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mifepristone

Supreme Court reinstates restrictions on abortion pill

The Supreme Court on Tuesday night granted the Trump administration’s request to reinstate federal rules requiring people seeking medication abortions to obtain the pills in-person from a medical provider. The court’s 6-3 decision along ideological lines halted a lower court ruling that waived Food and Drug Administration rules to allow abortion pills to be distributed by mail during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ruling was the court’s first major action on abortion since Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the seat left vacant by the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In a brief opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts asserted that the case wasn’t about abortion, but rather whether courts could substitute judgment of federal officials at the FDA.

The court’s three liberal justices said they would have denied the Trump administration’s request for a stay. In a dissenting opinion, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan said federal government rules restricting dispensation of the abortion pill, mifepristone, are medically unnecessary and present “an unnecessary, unjustifiable, irrational, and undue burden” on women.

A short-handed Supreme Court in October had declined to intervene in the same case. That allowed abortion clinics to continue dispensing the pills via telemedicine and through the mail, which they say has kept patients and staff safer during the pandemic.

The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its request after Barrett joined the bench. The administration said continuing to enforce longstanding FDA rules on mifepristone, which was approved 20 years ago, “does not create a substantial burden on abortion access.”

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented abortion clinics challenging the FDA rules, said no evidence has emerged during the pandemic showing it is riskier for patients to receive the pills at home rather than at a clinic. In a December filing with the Supreme Court, the group argued that with the virus surging nationwide, reinstating the rules would “subject patients to needless and grave health risks.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Vaccine is ‘unlikely’ by U.S. election

White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday a coronavirus vaccine probably won’t be ready by the U.S. presidential election even as the Centers for Disease and Prevention asks states to ready distribution facilities by Nov. 1. At a health conference, Fauci said it’s more likely a vaccine will be ready by “the end of the year” as drug companies Moderna and Pfizer race to complete patient enrollment for their late-stage vaccine trials by the end of September.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci

Vaccine is ‘unlikely’ by U.S. election

White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday a coronavirus vaccine probably won’t be ready by the U.S. presidential election even as the Centers for Disease and Prevention asks states to ready distribution facilities by Nov. 1.

At a health conference, Fauci said it’s more likely a vaccine will be ready by “the end of the year” as drug companies Moderna and Pfizer race to complete patient enrollment for their late-stage vaccine trials by the end of September.

“It’s unlikely we’ll have a definitive answer” by the Nov. 3 election, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said at the Research! America 2020 National Health Research Forum.

The comments are also at odds with President Donald Trump, who suggested at a press conference Monday that a vaccine could be ready for distribution by Election Day.

UFO Investigation

Pentagon forms new task force

The Pentagon is forming a new task force to investigate UFO sightings that have been observed on several occasions by U.S. military aircraft. The creation of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, or UAPTF, continues an effort begun in recent years to investigate unexplained aerial incidents encountered by the U.S. military. “The Department of Defense established the UAPTF to improve its understanding of, and gain insight into, the nature and origins of UAPs. The mission of the task force is to detect, analyze and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security,” the Pentagon wrote in a statement late Friday.

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UFO Investigation

Pentagon forms new task force

The Pentagon is forming a new task force to investigate UFO sightings that have been observed on several occasions by U.S. military aircraft. The creation of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, or UAPTF, continues an effort begun in recent years to investigate unexplained aerial incidents encountered by the U.S. military.

“The Department of Defense established the UAPTF to improve its understanding of, and gain insight into, the nature and origins of UAPs. The mission of the task force is to detect, analyze and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security,” the Pentagon wrote in a statement late Friday.

“The Department of Defense and the military departments take any incursions by unauthorized aircraft into our training ranges or designated airspace very seriously and examine each report. This includes examinations of incursions that are initially reported as UAP when the observer cannot immediately identify what he or she is observing,” the statement added.

The new task force will be overseen by the Department of the Navy and will report to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security. The U.S. Navy has previously led efforts to look into unidentified aerial phenomena since the service branch has reported several encounters involving their aircraft.

In April, the Pentagon declassified three videos captured by U.S. Navy pilots that appear to show unidentified flying objects. Two of the videos contain U.S. service members commenting on how quickly the object moves while another speculates that the unidentifiable object could be a drone.

“Dude, this is a f--king drone, bro,” one pilot is heard saying. Another says “there’s a whole fleet of them.”

“They’re all going against the wind. The wind’s 120 knots to the west. Look at that thing, dude!” the first person says. “It’s rotating!”

President Donald Trump has previously described the U.S. Navy footage as “a hell of a video” and told Reuters that he wonders “if it’s real.”

In June, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted that the Pentagon as well as intelligence community leaders should provide a public analysis of the encounters.

England

Jürgen Klopp zum Fußball-Manager des Jahres gewählt

Jürgen Klopp ist nach dem Gewinn der Meisterschaft mit dem FC Liverpool von seinen Trainerkollegen zum Fußball-Manager des Jahres in England gewählt worden. Der Coach erhielt die Sir Alex Ferguson Trophy für seine herausragenden Leistungen. Klopp hatte Liverpool in der abgelaufenen Saison zum ersten Meistertitel seit 30 Jahren geführt. "Das ist sehr besonders für mich, weil ich von meinen Kollegen gewählt worden bin", sagte Klopp. Ferguson, der einst Manchester United zur Weltmarke formte, hob die "außerordentliche" Leistung von Klopps Team hervor. "Du hast es absolut verdient".

Fussball England

Lovren und Lallana verlassen Liverpool

Der kroatische Nationalspieler Dejan Lovren und Adam Lallana verlassen den von Jürgen Klopp trainierten englischen Fußballmeister FC Liverpool. Nach sechs Jahren bei den Reds wechselt der 31 Jahre alte Innenverteidiger Lovren in die russische Premjer-Liga zu Zenit St. Petersburg. Das gaben beide Clubs bekannt. Beim russischen Meister unterschrieb Lovren einen Dreijahresvertrag bis 2023. Lallana zieht es indes zu Brighton and Hove Albion. Beim Premier-League-15. erhält der 32-Jährige einen Dreijahresvertrag.