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Paul Clashes With Fauci Over Child Vaccinations
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Wednesday clashed with White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci about whether children who were previously infected with COVID-19 need to be vaccinated, the latest in his long-running feud with the nation’s top infectious diseases doctor.
During a Senate hearing about the administration’s response to monkeypox, Paul played a clip of Fauci on C-SPAN in 2004. In the clip, Fauci told someone who was infected with the flu they did not need a flu shot. “If she got the flu for 14 days, she’s as protected as anybody can be because the best vaccination is to get infected yourself,” Fauci said in the video.
Paul then pressed Fauci on why his comments about COVID-19 differed from what he said about the flu, and why he recommended parents vaccinate their children even if they’ve previously been infected with the coronavirus.
“What you’re doing is denying the very fundamental premise of immunology that previous infection does provide some sort of immunity,” Paul said.
How Bill Gates and Partners Used Their Clout to Control the Global COVID Response — With Little Oversight
When COVID-19 struck, the governments of the world weren’t prepared. From America to Europe to Asia, they veered from minimizing the threat to closing their borders in ill-fated attempts to quell a viral spread that soon enveloped the world. While the most powerful nations looked inward, four non-governmental global health organizations began making plans for a life-or-death struggle against a virus that would know no boundaries.
What followed was a steady, almost inexorable shift in power from the overwhelmed governments to a group of non-governmental organizations, according to a seven-month investigation by POLITICO journalists based in the U.S. and Europe and the German newspaper WELT. Armed with expertise, bolstered by contacts at the highest levels of Western nations and empowered by well-grooved relationships with drug makers, the four organizations took on roles often played by governments — but without the accountability of governments.
The four organizations had worked together in the past, and three of them shared a common history. The largest and most powerful was the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest philanthropies in the world. Then there was Gavi, the global vaccine organization that Gates helped to found to inoculate people in low-income nations, and the Wellcome Trust, a British research foundation with a multibillion-dollar endowment that had worked with the Gates Foundation in previous years.
Finally, there was the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, or CEPI, the international vaccine research and development group that Gates and Wellcome both helped to create in 2017.
“What makes Bill Gates qualified to be giving advice and advising the U.S. government on where they should be putting the tremendous resources?” asked Kate Elder, senior vaccines policy adviser for the Doctors Without Borders’ Access Campaign.
Reports of Acute Adverse Events in mRNA COVID Vaccine Recipients After the First and Second Doses in Japan
Mass vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is ongoing in many countries worldwide. This study reports the occurrence of acute adverse events among vaccine recipients at a mass vaccination center in Japan.
The most common event was vasovagal syncope/presyncope, followed by acute allergic reactions. The occurrence rate of vasovagal syncope/presyncope was highest in the young population of those aged 16–29 years, but such age dependency was not apparent in acute allergic reactions.
Both symptoms were more prevalent in women than in men. Vasovagal syncope/presyncope occurred mainly within 20 minutes of the injection, whereas nearly half of the episodes of acute allergic reactions occurred after 20 minutes.
Report Details ‘Massive Global Failure’ in Response to COVID — The Lancet Commission Calls for Transformation of WHO, More Investment for Pandemic Preparedness
The Lancet Commission called for a major overhaul of the World Health Organization (WHO) and global health policy following the estimated deaths of more than 17 million people worldwide as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Commission recommended that the WHO “be transformed and bolstered by a substantial increase in funding,” as well as “increased and more effective investment for both pandemic preparedness and health systems in developing countries, with a focus on primary care, achieving universal health coverage and disease control more generally.”
To address the COVID-19 pandemic, a global vaccine-plus strategy needs to be established, combined with public health and financial measures to control infection, the report noted.
Moreover, the origin of SARS-CoV-2 needs to be found, which will require “unbiased, independent, transparent and rigorous work by international teams in virology, epidemiology, bioinformatics and other related fields.”
The Number of People Working Remotely Tripled During COVID
Why it matters: The new figures provide a fresh look into how the pandemic upended how Americans work, play and live. By the numbers: 17.9% of people primarily worked from home in 2021, compared with 5.7% in 2019, per the survey results.
Nearly half, 48.3%, of workers in Washington, DC, worked from home in 2021, the highest percentage of remote workers in the country, per the Census Bureau.
What they’re saying: “Work and commuting are central to American life, so the widespread adoption of working from home is a defining feature of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Michael Burrows, a statistician in the Census Bureau’s Journey-to-Work and Migration Statistics Branch, said in a statement.
Johns Hopkins Is Reducing Its COVID Data Tracking
Johns Hopkins University is scaling back how much and how frequently it tracks COVID-19 pandemic metrics due to a slowdown in local data reporting, the university confirmed to Axios.
Why it matters: There will be less attention on COVID case numbers and deaths, which could leave Americans in the dark about future surges.
Details: The university’s data dashboard — which helped track case numbers, deaths and other metrics — will begin a slowdown on Sept. 21 since there is less reporting data available in the U.S. and around the world, according to university officials.
What they’re saying: “We have seen a dramatic shift in the way that state and local governments not only collect this data but share it publicly,” Beth Blauer, data head for the university’s Coronavirus Resource Center, told Wall Street Journal. “That deeply constrains the way that we can actually report.”
EU Ignores Information Request in Probe Over Massive Pfizer COVID Vaccine Order
The European Court of Auditors wants to know how the bloc clinched its biggest COVID-19 vaccine contract — and whether there was anything untoward in text messages between European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen and Pfizer chief Albert Bourla. So far, however, the EU budget watchdog’s probe has been met with silence.
In a report issued Wednesday, the Court of Auditors said it had asked the Commission for details on the preliminary negotiations around Europe’s third vaccine contract with Pfizer for its BioNTech-partnered mRNA shot Comirnaty.
“It is the biggest COVID-19 vaccine contract signed by the Commission and will dominate the EU’s vaccine portfolio until the end of 2023,” the Court of Auditors noted.
Despite the request for detail on aspects of the deal like scientific expert advice, discussion records and term agreements, “none was forthcoming,” the watchdog said in its report.
Long COVID Is Keeping Millions out of Work — and Worsening Labor Shortage in the U.S.
We’ve all seen the headlines about labor shortages, worker attrition, or — as many mainstream media outlets refer to it — “the Great Resignation.”
It’s true: since 2020, a record number of people have quit their jobs. The trend is ongoing, and some argue quitting is contagious. But, there’s another contagion that’s probably causing people to leave the workforce in droves.
Since 2020, there have been more than 95m recorded U.S. COVID-19 cases, 1 million deaths and ongoing reports of COVID-induced chronic illness and disability, known as long COVID.
A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that long COVID affects one in five people infected with SARS-CoV-2. A recent Brookings Institution analysis found that as many as 2 to 4 million people may be out of work as a result. With more than 11 million U.S. jobs vacant, it’s plausible that up to one-third of current labor shortages are due to long COVID.
Sheldon Jacobson and Janet Jokela: Will Vaccine Fatigue Affect How Many People Get the Bivalent Booster?
Pfizer’s and Moderna’s bivalent boosters, which are now available to many age groups, offer protection against the original COVID-19 virus plus the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants. Is the nation ready for yet another COVID-19 vaccine shot?
Do people have sufficient trust to get yet another shot? Testing of the bivalent boosters was done primarily on animals, not people, though there is no reason to believe that they are unsafe. What remains less clear is their potential effectiveness in the field.
Vaccine uptake has been persistently dropping, as many have become vaccine-fatigued. Though the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continues to be somewhat high, they have declined over the past two months and continue to show an encouraging downward trend.
FDA Warns Monkeypox Could Mutate if Antiviral Drug Is Overused
The monkeypox virus is only one mutation away from evading a key antiviral drug being used to treat at-risk patients, federal health officials are now warning — and they’re urging doctors to be “judicious” in prescribing the sought-after treatment.
The regulator says lab and animal studies, and evidence from a human case of this family of viruses, suggest monkeypox has “several genetic pathways” to evolve resistance to tecovirimat. Many “require only a single amino acid change,” the FDA said.
“Most patients with intact immune systems really need supportive care and pain control, but often do not need to be stepped up to antiviral treatment,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Dr. Sapna Bamrah Morris said over the weekend, in a webinar hosted by the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Senators Press Biden Administration on ‘Unacceptable’ Monkeypox Response; Officials Defend Their Work
At a congressional hearing on Wednesday with the nation’s leading public health officials, senators on both sides of the aisle criticized the Biden administration’s monkeypox response.
The strongest rebuke came from North Carolina’s Richard Burr, the ranking Republican member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), who labeled the government’s handling of monkeypox a “catastrophic failure” reminiscent of the onset of COVID-19 and implored officials to “do better.”
“You repeated each of the mistakes from the early days of the COVID response, and the cultural arrogance from public health officials who are supposed to be at the forefront of our response let this country down again,” Burr told the officials: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci; Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf and Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell.
Iowa Nurse Fired After Improperly Administering Monkeypox Vaccines
The county health department said Cheryl Sondall, an on-call nurse who had worked for the department for several years, chose not to follow protocol when she administered the vaccine to five patients during a clinic last week.
Nola Aigner Davis, the department spokesperson, said the vaccine was supposed to be administered intradermally, or between the layers of the skin. Instead, the shots were given subcutaneously, or in the fatty tissue under the skin.