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Former U.K. Vaccines Chief Says Incidence of Myocarditis Is Higher ‘Than Most of Us Anticipated’

The Epoch Times reported:

Sir John Bell told British MPs that boosters are not really providing any prolonged protection against transmission and his “biggest issue” with the mRNA vaccines is the incidence of myocarditis, particularly in young males. He also said it was “possible” there was an accidental lab leak in Wuhan.

Canadian-British immunologist and geneticist, Sir John Bell told MPs at the Science and Technology Committee and Health and Social Care Committee on Wednesday, as part of the inquiry into lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic that he didn’t know why COVID-19 booster jabs were rolled out to the entire population.

As Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, Bell played a critical role in the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot as an early member of the government’s vaccine task force.

Editor’s Note: A Review of Criticisms of a ProPublica-Vanity Fair Story on a COVID Origins Report

ProPublica reported:

On Oct. 28, ProPublica and Vanity Fair published a story about an interim report on the origins of COVID-19 released by the Republican oversight staff of a Senate committee. The interim report was the product of a far-reaching investigation into the question of how the pandemic began, and we wanted to give readers an inside view of the team’s work and share independent experts’ views of its findings.

The debate over COVID-19’s origins has been contentious from the start, and the report’s conclusion that the pandemic was “more likely than not, the result of a research-related incident” triggered criticism. Scientists, China observers and others questioned the Senate team’s findings and our reporting about them. Over the past several weeks, reporters and editors at both publications have taken a hard look at those criticisms. Our examination affirms that the story, and the totality of reporting it marshals, is sound.

We re-interviewed some of our original sources and reached out to other specialists to address questions that were raised about the work we did to put in context the evidence cited by the interim report. In particular, we took a close look at how Toy Reid, a State Department political officer on loan to the committee, translated a Chinese Communist Party branch dispatch that was cited in both the interim report and in our story as evidence that staff at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) may have been responding to a biosafety hazard or breach.

We commissioned three Chinese language experts with impeccable credentials who were not involved in the original story to review Reid’s translation. They all agreed that his version was a plausible way to represent the passage, though two also said they would have translated the words to refer to the dangers of day-to-day lab operations. The third produced a translation that was in line with Reid’s. All agreed the passage was ambiguous. We have updated the story to underscore the complexity of interpreting that dispatch.

It remains clear that in 2019, the WIV was addressing serious safety issues while scientists there faced pressure to perform. Risky coronavirus research took place in laboratories that lacked the maximum biocontainment safeguards, according to the interim report.

Long COVID May Be ‘the Next Public Health Disaster’ — With a $3.7 Trillion Economic Impact Rivaling the Great Recession

CNBC reported:

Despite being up to date with vaccines and boosters, Sam Norpel, 48, got COVID-19 in December 2021, when the highly transmissible Omicron variant was fueling record U.S. caseloads. She never got better — and in fact, feels worse, with a range of debilitating symptoms that make it impossible to work.

Her halting speech can be triggered by something as innocuous as cold water or cool air on the skin. Extreme noise sensitivity requires her to wear noise-canceling headphones all day. She’s also endured a low-grade migraine for nearly a year, which can flare up after prolonged screen time.

Norpel is one of the millions of Americans with long COVID, also known as long-haul COVID, post-COVID or post-acute COVID syndrome. While definitions vary, long COVID is, at its core, a chronic illness with symptoms that persist for months or years after a COVID infection.

Up to 30% of Americans who get COVID-19 have developed long-haul symptoms, affecting as many as 23 million Americans, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

FDA Pauses Authorization for Last Remaining COVID Monoclonal Antibody Treatment

The Hill reported:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Wednesday that the COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment bebtelovimab from Eli Lilly is no longer authorized for emergency use in the U.S. as it is not expected to be effective at neutralizing the two most dominant Omicron subvariants in the country right now.

The Omicron subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 collectively account for 57.3 percent of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. right now, having pushed the BA.5 Omicron subvariant out as the dominant subvariant earlier this month.

The agency stated that Eli Lilly and its distributors have paused the distribution of bebtelovimab until further notice and the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response has also paused the fulfillment of any pending requests for the drug.

With this treatment no longer being distributed or authorized for use, the FDA advised that healthcare providers choose “appropriate” treatments including the authorized antivirals Paxlovid, Veklury and Lagevrio.

West Virginia to End COVID-Related Emergency Order in 2023

Associated Press reported:

Republican Gov. Jim Justice said Wednesday that West Virginia’s state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic will end at the start of the new year.

The state of emergency has been in effect since March 16, 2020. It allows the governor to suspend certain rules on personnel and purchasing.

Most U.S. states have now ended COVID-19-related emergency orders, or have orders in place that will expire in the coming weeks and months.

Hospital Care at Home Faces Possible Sunset

Axios reported:

A pandemic-driven workaround that delivers hospital-level care in patients’ homes could become a bargaining chip as Congress hashes out a year-end spending deal.

Why it matters: The Acute Hospital Care at Home program is held up in some health circles as a viable model for treating frail Medicare patients while relieving overcrowding in inpatient settings.

But it’s one of a long list of COVID-era flexibilities that could sunset at the end of the public health emergency without congressional action.

How it works: Since the fall of 2020, hospitals can apply for waivers and, if approved, be reimbursed the same amount by Medicare to provide 24/7 nursing services in patients’ homes.

Australian GP Sues Medical Regulators over Registration Suspension for Speaking Against COVID Vaccines

The Epoch Times reported:

An Australian general practitioner who was suspended for saying COVID-19 vaccines are dangerous has taken court action against the country’s medical regulators to regain his registration. North Brisbane GP registrar William Bay got his registration suspended on Aug. 17 after he interrupted a national Australian Medical Association conference in late July and told the doctors present to stop forcing vaccines on people.

Following his suspension, Bay filed a lawsuit against the Australian Health Regulation Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the Medical Board of Australia.

At a Brisbane supreme court’s directions hearing on Nov. 30, Bay, who represented himself, told the court that he should not have been deprived of his registration due to several reasons, one of which was the medical regulators did not have a valid legal existence as a national authority.

After the first hearing concluded, Bay told his supporters he was pleased that the court allowed him to challenge the validity of the health regulators. Justice David Boddice told Bay that the purpose of the first directions hearing was to establish what materials the parties had to provide each other and determine the date of the next hearing.

COVID Hit HIV Detection in Europe, Threatens Eradication Progress

Reuters reported:

The number of people in Europe with undiagnosed HIV has risen as testing rates fell during the COVID-19 pandemic, threatening a global goal of ending the disease by 2030, a report said.

The joint World Health Organization (WHO) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) report said that in 2021 a quarter fewer HIV diagnoses were recorded compared to pre-pandemic levels in the WHO’s European region.

This region includes Russia and Ukraine, which have the area’s highest rates of HIV infection.

This setback was likely because services related to HIV, including testing, were sidelined in many European countries during the two years of the pandemic, the report found.

Biden Administration Prepares to End Monkeypox Emergency Declaration

Politico reported:

The Biden administration is eyeing an end to its public health emergency declaration for mpox, a sign that officials believe they’ve brought the monthslong outbreak under control.

Health officials are likely to issue a 60-day notice later this week for winding down the declaration, two people with knowledge of the matter told POLITICO. Such a move would put it on track to officially expire by Jan. 31.

The decision is not yet final, and could still change, the people cautioned. But the discussion comes as U.S. cases of mpox — the virus known as monkeypox until recently — have hit new lows, easing a health crisis that predominantly gripped the community of men who have sex with men throughout much of the spring and summer.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recording just a handful of new infections per day, down from more than 400 average daily cases at the peak of the outbreak. The decline has also alleviated initial fears that the virus would spill into the broader population, further complicating efforts to contain the spread.