Covid Journal, May 2, 2020
Canada is officially AR-15 free. (Getting them off the street will be the next challenge).
On the heels of the terrorist attack in Nova Scotia last week, the federal government has taken action to ban nearly 1,500 kinds of assault rifles. Here are some of them …
It’s been a long time coming.
Did you know that the original request for help ‘mayday’ was actually an abbreviation of sorts meaning ‘I mean help’ (m’aider). It came to be a request that would be delivered between English and French airports so that there would be no confusing the request. It’s repeated three times so that there’s no way it can be confused with something else.
Later, it came to be known as a day of protest against labour disputes. Yesterday was no different.
There were claims of the success. Did you boycott The CLAW (Costco, Loblaws, Amazon, Walmart) as part of your support for these protests? Can you please boycott these companies today (and any time in the future) as part of your support for essential grocery workers and other employees that aren’t seeing the massive upswell in profits that the Westons and Blackrock are?
Support local worker initiatives.
Now more than ever.
Drugs vs Treatments vs Vaccines
It’s hard to avoid some pretty scary shit about vaccines, especially when Bill Gates is talking about the ‘final solution’ for his proposed miracle RFID-tracking vaccine, which is why I hope the world stays open to the actual delivery mechanism for treatment with Covid-19.
Will it be a vaccine or will the cure be a drug or even more simple treatment?
In the US, Dr. Fauci is on record as saying one drug treatment may be the best approach, but there are LOTS of people still working on different approaches to how to get the world back to work without making everyone sick.
Scientists on Wednesday announced the first effective treatment against the coronavirus – an experimental drug that can speed the recovery of COVID-19 patients – in a major medical advance that came as the economic gloom caused by the scourge deepened in the U.S. and Europe.
The U.S. government said it is working to make the antiviral medication remdesivir available to patients as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, remdesivir is produced by a single company known as Gilead Sciences. Yes, the same Gilead that is the name of the totalitarian state in Handmaid’s Tale. WTF? You can’t make this shit up (even though, I suppose, Margaret Atwood did).
In Other News …
I might have gone along with the vaccine component of the response to Covid (even though no one can confirm if the response to Covid should be a vaccine, pill, walk in the park or some other treatment) had Bill Gates no opened his mouth and uttered the words ‘Final Solution’.
At 2:28 Bill Gates and Stephen Colbert dare to joke about this …
Bill Gates never produced a virus-free software for our computers. Why the hell should he be trusted with a vaccine that would ‘save the planet’?
And … if you really don’t want to sleep tonight, read this article in Newsweek (presumably about as mainstream as you can get) where they track Dr. Fauci’s investments to a lab in Wuhan which is dedicated to manipulating viruses. The program was terminated when Obama was in charge, but later in 2017, was allowed to start its research again. You be the judge.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is an adviser to President Donald Trump and something of an American folk hero for his steady, calm leadership during the pandemic crisis. At least one poll shows that Americans trust Fauci more than Trump on the coronavirus pandemic—and few scientists are portrayed on TV by Brad Pitt.
But just last year, the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the organization led by Dr. Fauci, funded scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other institutions for work on gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses.
In 2019, with the backing of NIAID, the National Institutes of Health committed $3.7 million over six years for research that included some gain-of-function work. The program followed another $3.7 million, 5-year project for collecting and studying bat coronaviruses, which ended in 2019, bringing the total to $7.4 million.
Many scientists have criticized gain of function research, which involves manipulating viruses in the lab to explore their potential for infecting humans, because it creates a risk of starting a pandemic from accidental release.
SARS-CoV-2 , the virus now causing a global pandemic, is believed to have originated in bats. U.S. intelligence, after originally asserting that the coronavirus had occurred naturally, conceded last month that the pandemic may have originated in a leak from the Wuhan lab. (At this point most scientists say it’s possible—but not likely—that the pandemic virus was engineered or manipulated.)
Dr. Fauci did not respond to Newsweek’s requests for comment. NIH responded with a statement that said in part: “Most emerging human viruses come from wildlife, and these represent a significant threat to public health and biosecurity in the US and globally, as demonstrated by the SARS epidemic of 2002-03, and the current COVID-19 pandemic…. scientific research indicates that there is no evidence that suggests the virus was created in a laboratory.”
The NIH research consisted of two parts. The first part began in 2014 and involved surveillance of bat coronaviruses, and had a budget of $3.7 million. The program funded Shi Zheng-Li, a virologist at the Wuhan lab, and other researchers to investigate and catalogue bat coronaviruses in the wild. This part of the project was completed in 2019.
The work entailed risks that worried even seasoned researchers. More than 200 scientists called for the work to be halted. The problem, they said, is that it increased the likelihood that a pandemic would occur through a laboratory accident.
Nevertheless, in 2014, under pressure from the Obama administration, the National of Institutes of Health instituted a moratorium on the work, suspending 21 studies.
Three years later, though—in December 2017—the NIH ended the moratorium and the second phase of the NIAID project, which included the gain-of-function research, began. The NIH established a framework for determining how the research would go forward: scientists have to get approval from a panel of experts, who would decide whether the risks were justified.
The reviews were indeed conducted—but in secret, for which the NIH has drawn criticism. In early 2019, after a reporter for Science magazine discovered that the NIH had approved two influenza research projects that used gain of function methods, scientists who oppose this kind of research excoriated the NIH in an editorial in the Washington Post.
“We have serious doubts about whether these experiments should be conducted at all,” wrote Tom Inglesby of Johns Hopkins University and Marc Lipsitch of Harvard. “[W]ith deliberations kept behind closed doors, none of us will have the opportunity to understand how the government arrived at these decisions or to judge the rigor and integrity of that process.”