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U.S. Intelligence Study Inconclusive on COVID Origins, According to Reports
A classified U.S. intelligence report delivered to the White House was inconclusive on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, in part due to a lack of information from China, according to U.S. media reports.
The assessment received on Tuesday, which was ordered by President Joe Biden 90 days ago, was unable to definitively conclude whether the virus that first emerged in central China had jumped to humans via animals or escaped a highly secure research facility in Wuhan, two U.S. officials familiar with the matter told the Washington Post.
They said parts of the report could be declassified in the coming days.
Biden Receives Inconclusive Intelligence Report on COVID Origins
President Biden on Tuesday received a classified report from the intelligence community that was inconclusive about the origins of the novel coronavirus, including whether the pathogen jumped from an animal to a human as part of a natural process, or escaped from a lab in central China, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
The intelligence community will seek within days to declassify elements of the report for potential public release, officials said.
… despite analyzing a raft of existing intelligence and searching for new clues, intelligence officials fell short of a consensus, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the report is not yet public.
As Delta Spread, COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness Against Infection Fell From 90% To 66% in One Key Study
The effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines at preventing infection fell in one study of U.S. frontline workers from roughly 90% to 66% as the Delta variant emerged and became dominant in the country, an updated report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Tuesday indicated.
The study, known as HEROES-RECOVER, includes more than 4,000 health care workers, first responders, and other frontline workers in eight locations across six states, all of whom have been tested weekly for infection with SARS-CoV-2. More than 4 in 5 were vaccinated, and the vast majority of them received the mRNA vaccines from either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.
Researchers had previously reported that from Dec. 14, 2020, when the vaccines started rolling out, to April 10, 2021, the vaccines were approximately 91% effective at preventing both symptomatic and asymptomatic infection from SARS-2. The finding underlined the ability of the vaccines to halt infection entirely and slash transmission; the clinical trials that led to the authorization of the vaccines had generally focused on their effectiveness at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 cases.
Even Mainstream Media Is Now Asking Big Questions About COVID Vaccines
Former Congressman Ron Paul has highlighted this week that a handful of mainstream media articles have actually begun to break ranks in terms of questioning key aspects of vaccine effectiveness and mandates, particularly when it comes to the controversial boosters now being widely proposed.
“Even mainstream media is now asking big questions about the vaccines” Wednesday’s Liberty Report featured. A couple of recent headlines in Bloomberg and BBC were unexpected in terms the criticism reflected and somewhat skeptical pushback against the ‘consensus narrative.’
Johnson & Johnson Touts Antibody Response for COVID-19 Booster 8 Months After Original Vaccination
Shortly after the U.S. telegraphed its booster plan for Pfizer and Moderna’s mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines, Johnson & Johnson has rolled out trial results showing a follow-up dose of its vaccine boosts recipients’ antibody responses.
Armed with interim results from two phase 1/2a studies, Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday said a follow-up dose of its vaccine prompted a “rapid and robust” increase in spike-binding antibodies. The increase was more than nine times higher than results observed 28 days after primary vaccination, the company said in a release.
Investigators observed “significant” antibody boosts in patients between the ages of 18 to 55, as well as in patients ages 65 and up, the company said. For the study, investigators gave recipients boosters eight months after their original vaccination.
Global COVID-19 Cases Plateau After Nearly Two Months of Increase, WHO Reports
The number of new COVID-19 cases reported globally “seems to be plateauing” after increasing for nearly two months, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday.
The cumulative global caseload now stands at more than 211 million, with the total death toll surpassing 4.4 million, according to WHO’s weekly epidemiological update.
The number of new global cases now appears to be stable, after increasing since mid-June, WHO noted in the report.
What Is the ‘COVID-22 Variant’ and Should Americans Be Worried?
On seeing the trending term, users responded with tweets and memes about what some perceived to be a whole new type of coronavirus.
Experts told Newsweek that the term is inaccurate and that “COVID-22” does not exist.
The term appears to have been coined by Sai Reddy, a professor of synthetic immunology at ETH Zurich, a public research university in Switzerland.
I Drove 8 Hours to (Maybe) Get My Baby the COVID Vaccine
The day my phone rang last week was unusual in that I had not yet Googled “when can kids get the COVID vaxx,” “pediatric vaccine timeline,” or some combination thereof, despite having been awake for hours. It hadn’t been necessary: Fellow despairing parents of those too young to be vaccinated had already filled my social-media feeds with the latest, grimmest headlines.
The nearly sevenfold increase in new COVID infections among children between the first week of July and the first week of August, and then the 48% rise in the week that followed; the pediatric ICUs at or near capacity in states with low vaccination rates; the desperate hope that the FDA providing full approval to Pfizer’s vaccine would allow pediatricians to prescribe it off-label to the under-12 set — 48 million people — for whom trials are still underway.