Archiv: experts / bureaucrats / advisers / technocrats / plutocrats / functionaries / cadres / apparatchiks / apparatus


06.04.2021 - 10:56 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Covid third wave ‚will NOT‘ overwhelm NHS: Government scientists‘ most likely scenario after the economy re-opens in June projects deaths will stay in double figures even with ALL restrictions lifted – as Boris faces backlash over ‚hellish demi-lockdown‘

Modelling by Imperial College London academics — involving ‚Professor Lockdown‘ Neil Ferguson — shows that coronavirus patients will take up around 5,000 beds during any future spike, far lower than the 30,000 occupied in January.

And thanks to the effects of vaccines far fewer of those patients will die, with daily deaths remaining below 100 even with cases above 50,000, according to the scenario that the scientists regard as most likely.

30.03.2021 - 16:40 [ smithsonianmag.com ]

Why U.S. Approval of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine Is Taking So Long

By the morning of March 23, officials at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases released a letter from its data and safety monitoring board that’s been examining the AstraZeneca trial, Andrew Joseph reports for STAT News. The letter stated that AstraZeneca had used outdated data to reach its efficacy number. The move was unprecedented; usually, monitoring boards keep their correspondence with companies private.

“We just felt we could not remain silent. Because if we did remain silent, we could be understandably accused of covering something up. And we definitely didn’t want to be in that position,” says Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID, to STAT News. “In my mind, it’s an unforced error by the company.”

28.03.2021 - 23:21 [ The Guardian ]

Give pause before you raise a glass to the prospect of a vaccine passport

… The bad news is that Johnson’s “papers for pints” plan is essentially a national ID card by stealth, one that would link our identity to our Covid status – whether we’ve been vaccinated, had a recent negative test or have antibodies.

The UK has already toyed with national ID cards. It rejected them in 2010. As Theresa May, then home secretary, explained in 2010: “This isn’t just about cost savings, it’s actually about the principle, it’s about getting the balance right between national security and civil liberties, and that’s what the new coalition government is doing.”

27.03.2021 - 14:00 [ Express.co.uk ]

What’s the point of a BRILLIANT vaccine if we remain prisoners in our homes? JUDY FINNIGAN

I’m getting very tired of various scientific oddbods turning up on the news and telling us our future. This is invariably gloomy, speculating about how new variants will not allow us to have holidays abroad this summer.

The latest – unbelievably – is Professor Neil Ferguson, who was so publicly caught flouting his own lockdown advice last year by inviting his mistress over for a spot of nooky.

Shamed for a bit, he’s now back on his high horse, saying summer holidays are not for the rest of us.

27.03.2021 - 13:52 [ Yahoo.com ]

Boris Johnson sends envoy to Serum Institute for vaccine deal with India

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has sent an envoy to India to secure millions of doses of the AstraZeneca (AZN.L) COVID-19 vaccine.

Lord Eddie Lister, the PM’s Conservative peer, and international adviser David Quarrey, met with India’s foreign secretary Harsh Shringla in New Delhi on Monday.

21.03.2021 - 18:31 [ BBC ]

Covid-19: Record-breaking day with 873,784 vaccine doses given in UK

Meanwhile, a leading epidemiologist has predicted that people may need to wear face coverings and socially distance for several years before a return to normality.

Mary Ramsay, the head of immunisation at Public Health England, said basic measures could be in place until other countries successfully roll-out jabs.

She said people „have got used to those lower-level restrictions now, and people can live with them, and the economy can still go on with those less severe restrictions in place“.

16.03.2021 - 12:10 [ BBC ]

What is the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill and how will it change protests?

It will also become a crime to fail to follow restrictions the protesters „ought“ to have known about, even if they have not received a direct order from an officer.

At present, police need to prove protesters knew they had been told to move on, before they can be said to have broken the law.

The proposed law includes an offence of „intentionally or recklessly causing public nuisance“.

16.03.2021 - 12:08 [ theGuardian.com ]

Civil liberties groups call police plans for demos an ‚assault‘ on right to protest

Among other things, the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill will give Priti Patel powers to create laws to define “serious disruption” to communities and organisations, which police can then rely on to impose conditions on protests.

The HMICFRS report, ordered by Patel following Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests, outlines a “need to develop” covert intelligence gathering methods and an expectation of increased use of facial recognition technology, despite a court of appeal ruling last year that its use in south Wales breached privacy rights and broke equalities law.

16.03.2021 - 11:44 [ Boris Johnson - Gov.uk ]

PM Boris Johnson: The Oxford vaccine shows why we and the world need Britain to be global

The objective of Global Britain is not to swagger or strike attitudes on the world stage. It is to use the full spectrum of our abilities, now amplified by record spending on both defence and science, to engage with and help the rest of the world. That is how we serve the British interest, and I mean the economic interest of people up and down the country. And as the vaccine programme begins to inspire a new global hope, we want to use this moment to heal, both literally and figuratively.

11.03.2021 - 09:22 [ Haaretz ]

How Much Did Pfizer Pay Israeli Doctors, and for What?

No one would accept a situation in which journalists reporting on the coronavirus also work for Pfizer, for money, at the same time, without informing readers. And these are just reporters. What physicians decide and do directly impacts public health, sometimes on matters of life and death. This certainly applies to people advising the government on policies. The public has the right to know exactly how much parties with vested interests are paying the physicians.

07.03.2021 - 13:02 [ CormanDrostenReview.com ]

Review report Corman-Drosten et al. Eurosurveillance 2020

(27.11.2020)

It should be noted that there is no mention anywhere in the Corman-Drosten paper of a test being positive or negative, or indeed what defines a positive or negative result. These types of virological diagnostic tests must be based on a SOP, including a validated and fixed number of PCR cycles (Ct value) after which a sample is deemed positive or negative. The maximum reasonably reliable Ct value is 30 cycles. Above a Ct of 35 cycles, rapidly increasing numbers of false positives must be expected .

PCR data evaluated as positive after a Ct value of 35 cycles are completely unreliable.

07.03.2021 - 12:57 [ Weltgesundheitsorganisation - WHO.int ]

Berlin, Jan 17th, 2020: Diagnostic detection of 2019-nCoV by real-time RT-PCR

All oligonucleotides were synthesised and provided by Tib-Molbiol, Berlin. Thermal cycling was performed at 55°C for 10 min for reverse transcription, followed by 95°C for 3 min and then 45 cycles of 95°C for 15 s, 58°C for 30 s.

07.03.2021 - 11:28 [ Newsletter.co.uk ]

Dr Anne McCloskey: It is an alarmist distortion of the facts to say 100,000 people in the UK have died of Covid

(05.03.2021)

A new directive from the WHO to every doctor changed fundamentally how deaths were attributed. Any death, within 28 days of a positive PCR test (which Kary Mullis, the test’s inventor, and Nobel Laureate was clear should not be used as a diagnostic tool) was to be included in the Covid fatality total, regardless of the context.

Where there was no positive test, but clinical symptoms compatible with Covid 19 that is fever, shortness of breath, loss of taste and so on, likewise, attribution to the virus on the death certificate was encouraged. Autopsies ceased.

07.03.2021 - 10:31 [ Haaretz ]

Israel’s COVID Infection Rates Are Rising – but It May Not Matter That Much Now

(02.03.2021)

Health experts say most at-risk Israelis are now vaccinated, and they expect the number of seriously ill coronavirus patients to drop

02.03.2021 - 20:16 [ marketwatch.com ]

Only 50 people are known to have contracted COVID-19 more than once — but new strains have medical experts on high alert

There are about 60 confirmed cases of reinfection globally.

28.02.2021 - 08:22 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

What IS the truth about Covid deaths? Grieving relatives along with MPs and top medics demand inquiry as families reveal MORE loved ones they believe were wrongly certified as virus victims

Grieving families last night said deaths had been wrongly certified as Covid-19.

Demanding an inquiry, top medical experts and MPs also insisted they were ‘certain’ that too many fatalities were being blamed on the virus.

One funeral director said it was ‘a national scandal’. The claims are part of a Daily Mail investigation that raises serious questions over the spiralling death toll.

24.02.2021 - 11:35 [ Yahoo.com ]

SolarWinds, Microsoft, FireEye, CrowdStrike defend actions in major hack – U.S. Senate hearing

Lawmakers started the hearing by criticizing Amazon representatives, who they said were invited to testify and whose servers were used to launch the cyberattack, for declining to attend the hearing.

23.02.2021 - 10:10 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

We surrendered our freedom to lockdown – the state must never hold such control over our lives again

We know that the trajectory of the virus has been indistinguishable between North Dakota (with masks and distancing in restaurants) and South Dakota (without restrictions). We know that California, which locked down and closed schools, seems to have fared worse than Florida, which did not. We can see that the picture in Belgium with its hard lockdowns has now converged with that in Sweden which famously took a voluntary approach. Similarly, the ‘second wave’ trajectory in Japan is remarkably similar to that of the UK.

I know, I know, fascinating stuff…. but let’s leave all that for the public inquiry.

23.02.2021 - 10:03 [ theSun.co.uk ]

DEADLY DATA: Plan to lift lockdown by Easter ‘was canned after Sage scientists warned it would cause 91,000 more deaths

Models predicted it would lead to nearly 60,000 Covid patients in hospital by June, compared to last month’s high of 39,000.

Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance spoke of his support for the gradual approach taken by PM Boris Johnson, saying: „The sooner you open up everything, the higher the risk of a bigger resurgence.

„The slower you do it, the better.“

23.02.2021 - 06:05 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Covid cases are UP for first time in SIX WEEKS with 10,641 new infections while deaths tumble to 178 in lowest toll since December 13 – and Britain dishes out just 150,000 vaccines in worst performance since inoculation drive started

– Department of Health figures show infections are 9 per cent up on last Monday, when 9,765 were declared
– But laboratory-confirmed coronavirus fatalities have dropped by almost a quarter, from 230 last Monday
– Britain dished out 150,000 vaccines yesterday, in worst daily toll since roll-out began to speed up last month

23.02.2021 - 06:03 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Boris, Whitty and Vallance dismiss Tory and business fury at ultra-cautious lockdown ‚roadmap‘ saying the country wants ‚certainty not urgency‘ – with shops, salons and drinks outside from April 12 but no foreign travel before mid-MAY or hugs until June

Social distancing rules will stay in force until June 21 at the minimum, with a government review to decide their future after that. The decision means that grandparents face months of waiting before they can hug their grandchildren – even though millions have already been vaccinated.

22.02.2021 - 15:37 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Tories demand ‚irreversible‘ lockdown easing and slam Boris for moving too slowly as he prepares to unveil ‚roadmap‘ with ALL schools to return on March 8 and Rule of Six back by April – but shops, salons and pubs face waiting MONTHS

The PM is set to reveal his ‚roadmap‘ in a statement to the Commons this afternoon once it is rubber-stamped by Cabinet, after scientists seemingly won the battle for a slow approach regardless of the surging vaccination drive.

18.02.2021 - 15:29 [ SeekingAlpha.com ]

SolarWinds breach launched from within the United States

Neuberger notably said the attack, which compromised „9 federal agencies and about 100 private companies,“ was launched from inside the United States.
SolarWinds shares are down 1.4%. Two security names closely tied to the hack, FireEye (FEYE -3.2%) and CrowdStrike (CRWD -2.5%), are also in the red.

18.02.2021 - 15:28 [ CNN ]

Biden administration says investigation into SolarWinds hack is likely to take „several months“

The US government’s probe into the devastating SolarWinds breach is likely to take „several months“ at least, according to the top White House cybersecurity official, speaking to reporters Wednesday in the Biden administration’s first public assessment of the gravity of the suspected Russian spying campaign.

17.02.2021 - 09:44 [ Newsweek ]

Two-Thirds of Middle East Experts Want Biden to Return to Iran Deal Without Conditions: Poll

The Middle East Scholar Barometer found that 67 percent of respondents said the foreign policy strategy that was most likely to produce „favorable results“ for the U.S. would be Biden returning „immediately“ to the current Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) before negotiating any other conditions with Iran. Also in the survey, released Tuesday, 75 percent of experts said the U.S. returning to the deal would reduce the likelihood of Iran getting a nuclear weapon within the next decade.

15.02.2021 - 20:52 [ theGuardian.com ]

UK Covid: ‚we want this lockdown to be the last,‘ says Boris Johnson, as he calls for ‚optimism and patience‘ – as it happened

The level of coronavirus infections is still high and the number of hospitalisations higher than they were during the first peak, Chris Whitty said.

15.02.2021 - 06:09 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Ministers must never again be free to impose crippling restrictions without proper scrutiny

Drawing on the Civil Contingencies Act, measures would also need Parliamentary approval before coming into effect (unless too urgent – in which case validity would be provisional) and they would expire after no more than 30 days unless renewed, so that in the event of another pandemic, restrictions could not be imposed for months on end without proper scrutiny.

15.02.2021 - 05:53 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Single jabs of Covid vaccine are providing 67% protection against infections, data reveals as experts say delaying second dose is ‚paying off‘

Prof Spector said that he no longer watched the Government’s daily briefings as he felt the statistics were not presented in context, particularly the death rates.

He said: ‚It’s very sad people die of anything. Yesterday around 600 people died of Covid but on a normal day in February 1,500 people die of heart disease, strokes, cancer etc or the flu.

‚This has got a lot of people extremely anxious and are petrified to leave their homes and may have problems coming out if we do not put those statistics into context.

‚People are dying of Covid but people die of other things. I would like to see less fear-mongering.‘

13.02.2021 - 19:21 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Boris says he’s ‚optimistic‘ about easing lockdown starting with schools in March and we will ‚learn to live with‘ Covid – as leaked data shows hospitalisations falling much FASTER than expected

Modelling by Sage presented to Downing Street and leaked to The Times predicts hospital admissions and deaths will more than halve over the next month.

Patients battling coronavirus in hospital currently number around 24,000, but this figure is expected to be slashed to around 9,000 by mid-March.

Yesterday 1,908 patients were taken to hospital in the UK, a massive drop in admission rates since the peak in January when around 4,500 were admitted on a single day.

13.02.2021 - 19:18 [ ABC News ]

COVID-19 could become a seasonal illness like the flu, experts say

Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center and professor of pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, concurred, adding that he is also „not sure we’re ever going to really eliminate this virus. … It’s not like measles, where you get life-long sterilizing immunity.“

But even if the virus sticks around, new vaccines and new drugs to fight the virus mean it’s unlikely to cause severe illness in the future. Offit predicts „that eventually, it will cause fewer deaths than influenza.“

12.02.2021 - 02:24 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

School return date must be ’signed in blood‘, Boris Johnson told

Rob Halfon, the Tory chairman of the Education Select Committee, told The Telegraph: „We just need to make sure March 8 is signed in blood, not just a line in the sand.“ Mark Harper, the chairman of the Covid Recovery Group, said: „It’s crucial we don’t backslide on this.“

12.02.2021 - 02:14 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Furious Tory MPs say Covid vaccine roll-out is pointless unless UK goes back to normal life soon after SAGE doomsters push back on easing lockdown within weeks and warn we could be wearing masks FOREVER

The Prime Minister has promised to get children back in classrooms by March 8 as part of his ‚route map‘ out of lockdown, which he plans to reveal on Monday, February 22.

12.02.2021 - 02:11 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Powerful ‚Covid O‘ Cabinet committee is set to consider plans for ‚vaccine passports‘ tomorrow amid hopes they could save summer holidays

The critical ‚Covid O‘ Cabinet sub-committee is expected to look at proposals for assembling a system that could loosen restrictions on international travel.

However, there are not expected to be any final decisions – and no date has been mooted for when the arrangements might come into force.

08.02.2021 - 16:20 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Exclusive: Alarming new evidence on coronavirus mutation could bring tougher restrictions

(18.12.2020)

Government scientists at the Porton Down laboratory in Wiltshire have been conducting experiments on the new strain, and have confirmed ministers‘ fears about it being far more infectious than the original strain of the virus.

07.02.2021 - 16:01 [ Dr. Simon, PhD in Biotech / Twitter ]

The statements that German virologist @BrinkmannLab makes are an utter disgrace. She said that a delay in measured in November 2020 cost 30,000 lives in Germany and that the same will happen again with the new „mutants“. Isn’t there any lawyer out there to legally stop her?

07.02.2021 - 15:44 [ Groo The Wonderer / Twitter ]

The left has become very authoritarian; the idea that the govt shouldn’t shut down businesses or tell people when they can leave their homes is now “ libertarian”

07.02.2021 - 15:30 [ theSun.co.uk ]

LOCKED IN: Restrictions can’t ease until NEXT YEAR due to aggressive mutant Covid strains, warns Sage

They came to their conclusions by modelling what could happen in the next few months under the vaccine rollout, presenting their findings to Sage on January 14.

Researchers at Warwick University wrote in the document, published today: “With the new aggressive covid strain, likely transmission efficacies prove insufficient to prevent further infection outbreaks across the population.

07.02.2021 - 14:54 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Coronavirus latest news: Restrictions on large gatherings likely to be in place ‚for next few years‘

Prof Spector also suggested that basic infection control measures – including physical distancing, face masks and handwashing – should remain in place as they „don’t cost really anything to do“.

„I think we need to get used to that and that will allow us to do the things we really want to do more easily and more readily,“ he said.

05.02.2021 - 21:32 [ Clarity / Twitter ]

The flu abruptly disappeared in March of 2020. It disappeared at about the exact same time covid-19 testing and detection ramped up. See the timing overlay below

04.02.2021 - 21:49 [ Daily Mail U.K. / Twitter ]

70 Tory MPs demand a route out of lockdown amid fears Boris is being ‚beaten up by the scientists‘

04.02.2021 - 21:48 [ Standard.co.uk ]

Boris Johnson hit by Tory revolt on reopening schools sparked by Scottish return and falling Covid cases

(03.02.2021)

The new rebellion mushroomed after Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set the pace by announcing a phased return of Scottish schools from February 22.

Tory MPs also pointed to falling case rates and evidence to Parliament from the Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries that schools are not considered one of the major vectors of infection transmission.

02.02.2021 - 09:32 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Exclusive: Boris Johnson pushes to reopen schools as Covid cases fall

(today)

Boris Johnson has ordered ministers to ramp up preparations for reopening schools after being told the UK is now past the peak of the current wave of coronavirus.

The Prime Minister has made it clear that the Government’s immediate focus must be on education and is expected to announce further measures to help children catch up after almost a year of disruption.

02.02.2021 - 09:28 [ talkRADIO / Twitter ]

„We’ve got the four horsemen of the education apocalypse riding towards our pupils.“ Robert Halfon, Education Select Committee chairman, says the impact of children not being at school is huge.

(01.02.2021)

02.02.2021 - 09:24 [ Steve Baker, Member of UK Parliament / Twitter ]

700 million days of schooling were lost in 2020. And every day schools stay shut, the attainment gap widens. We must act now. Govt must #REOPENSCHOOLS or set out the harms and benefits justifying the decision to keep them closed. Join @UsforThemUK

(26.01.2021)

https://usforthem.co.uk/

02.02.2021 - 08:56 [ Killian Foley-Walsh, Esq. / Twitter ]

Sabine Weyand was Michel Barnier’s number 2 in the Brexit negotiations. If she is responsible for triggering Art. 16, it’s not credible to suggest she didn’t understand its implications.

01.02.2021 - 21:24 [ COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium ]

COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium

The current COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, represents a major threat to health. The COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium has been created to deliver large-scale and rapid whole-genome virus sequencing to local NHS centres and the UK government.

COG-UK is made up of an innovative partnership of NHS organisations, the four Public Health Agencies of the UK, the Wellcome Sanger Institute and over twelve academic partners providing sequencing and analysis capacity.

01.02.2021 - 21:17 [ Regierung des Vereinigten Königreichs - Gov.uk ]

Genome UK: the future of healthcare

(26 September 2020)

Genome UK sets out how the genomics community will work together to harness the latest advances in genetic and genomic science, research, and technology for the benefit of patients.

Our vision is to create the most advanced genomic healthcare ecosystem in the world, where government, the NHS, research and technology communities work together to embed the latest advances in patient care.

Our goal is that patients in the UK will benefit from world-first advances in genomic healthcare through globally leading collaborations between the government, NHS and researchers, building on already successful programmes such as the 100,000 Genomes Project, delivered by NHS England and Genomics England, and UK Biobank.

31.01.2021 - 21:07 [ Spiked ]

Lockdown has ravaged the working class

From the moment this disastrous policy was instigated, it became immediately apparent that we were not all in it together. In every single aspect of life, the working class has suffered most during lockdown. Worse still, over the course of the past year, class inequalities have grown wider and have become more entrenched. And yet, at each turn, left-wing lockdown lovers have demanded ever-more severe restrictions on people’s lives.

31.01.2021 - 20:06 [ Spectator.co.uk ]

The way ‘Covid deaths’ are being counted is a national scandal

(May 30, 2020)

Normally, two doctors are needed to certify a death, one of whom has been treating the patient or who knows them and has seen them recently. That has changed. For Covid-19 only, the certification can be made by a single doctor, and there is no requirement for them to have examined, or even met, the patient. A video-link consultation in the four weeks prior to death is now felt to be sufficient for death to be attributed to Covid-19.

31.01.2021 - 20:04 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Social distancing may remain in place ALL YEAR: Graphs show how UK could see huge spike in deaths if restrictions are lifted too early as vaccine would have to be 85% effective to stop a surge in fatalities

Grim new graphs lay bare the dilemma facing Boris Johnson’s government as officials try to work out how to reopen the country without causing a third wave of coronavirus infections, as SAGE recommends keeping social distancing measures in place until 2022.

30.01.2021 - 11:44 [ Independent.ie ]

Covid-19 vaccine chaos as EU is forced into U-turn after blocking supplies to the North

A government source said the Taoiseach had not been given any advance warning of the EU decision to invoke the article in the protocol.

The source said the article may have been inadvertently triggered by “someone who did not understand the political implications” of the decision.

Some EU officials are understood to be livid about the move, which they see as ruining the work they’ve done since the Brexit vote in 2016.

28.01.2021 - 18:41 [ Desmond Swayne, Member of Parliament ]

Demoralising the NHS?

(17.01.2021)

I have been criticised by a family doctor on the grounds that a question I put to the PM in Parliament was ‘demoralising for NHS staff’.
I am at a loss as to how this could be the case.
The question to the PM was this:
“Pubs cannot compete with supermarkets for off-sales. Even within a household, people cannot play tennis or golf. Notwithstanding the assault on liberty and livelihoods, why are the regulations pervaded by a pettifogging malice?”

28.01.2021 - 17:09 [ Sky.com ]

COVID-19: Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne urged anti-vaxxers to ‚persist‘ against COVID restrictions

A senior Conservative MP urged anti-vaccination campaigners to keep going with their fight against government restrictions and told them NHS capacity figures were being „manipulated“ to exaggerate the scale of coronavirus, Sky News can reveal.

28.01.2021 - 16:21 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Vaccines WILL limit the spread of coronavirus – but we won’t know by how much until mid-February, experts say

Another burning question which will determine how gung-ho ministers can be with easing restriction is to what extent the vaccines stop people from spreading Covid.

The Government has commissioned a study to investigate the vaccines and their role on transmission, which is being overseen by Public Health England. It is focused on frontline healthcare workers who’ve been jabbed.

28.01.2021 - 16:19 [ Sky News ]

COVID-19: PM criticised for being too secretive about scientific advice that led to tiers and lockdowns in England

(08.01.2021)

The MPs also express concern about the government presenting statistics in a misleading way, and urge ministers to take care to maintain public confidence in them.

„There is nothing to fear from openness,“ said Tory MP Greg Clark, who chairs the committee.

23.01.2021 - 19:49 [ CNN ]

Unlocking the World: What ‚vaccine passports‘ mean for your summer vacation

This week, Zurab Pololikashvili, the secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, called for the global adoption of vaccination passports as part of wider measures he said were essential to get the world in motion once again.
„The rollout of vaccines is a step in the right direction, but the restart of tourism cannot wait,“ he told a meeting of the UNWTO’s Global Tourism Crisis Committee in Madrid. „Vaccines must be part of a wider, coordinated approach that includes certificates and passes for safe cross-border travel.“

23.01.2021 - 19:33 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

London is burning in lockdown – and if it falls, so will the rest of the UK

London is burning. There are no flames but, make no mistake, it is burning. Instead of fighting the fire, the government and its ineffectual mayor are pouring fuel on it.

23.01.2021 - 09:05 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Revealed: SAGE warning that says scientists are only 50% sure Kent strain is more deadly in evidence that was handed to ministers just hours before ’scaremongering‘ press conference

A SAGE warning revealing that scientists are only 50% sure the Kent strain of coronavirus could be more deadly was handed to ministers just hours before last night’s ’scare-mongering‘ press conference, it has been revealed.

Ministers were only informed about the development yesterday morning after scientists on the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), a subcommittee of Sage, discussed the issue on Thursday.

22.01.2021 - 20:42 [ Spectator.co.uk ]

The way ‘Covid deaths’ are being counted is a national scandal

(May 30, 2020)

Normally, two doctors are needed to certify a death, one of whom has been treating the patient or who knows them and has seen them recently. That has changed. For Covid-19 only, the certification can be made by a single doctor, and there is no requirement for them to have examined, or even met, the patient. A video-link consultation in the four weeks prior to death is now felt to be sufficient for death to be attributed to Covid-19.

22.01.2021 - 20:30 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Boris Johnson, Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance make shock claim the Kent mutant coronavirus MIGHT be 30-40% more deadly but provide no evidence at all – as Covid cases fall AGAIN by 30% to 40,261 and R number drops below 1

Boris Johnson and his top scientific advisers tonight sensationally claimed the Kent coronavirus variant could be up to 40 per cent deadlier – but sparked fury by not providing the public any evidence for their doom-mongering.

Critics argued No10’s bold claim – based on findings by three academic groups – were reminiscent of ‚Project Fear‘, accusing ministers of managing to find a ’new twist‘ in Britain’s crisis whenever hopes are raised that lockdown could be eased.

22.01.2021 - 18:52 [ Weltgesundheitsorganisation - WHO.int ]

Berlin, Jan 17th, 2020: Diagnostic detection of 2019-nCoV by real-time RT-PCR

All oligonucleotides were synthesised and provided by Tib-Molbiol, Berlin. Thermal cycling was performed at 55°C for 10 min for reverse transcription, followed by 95°C for 3 min and then 45 cycles of 95°C for 15 s, 58°C for 30 s.

22.01.2021 - 18:38 [ New York Times ]

Your Coronavirus Test Is Positive. Maybe It Shouldn’t Be.

(29.08.2020)

Most tests set the limit at 40, a few at 37. This means that you are positive for the coronavirus if the test process required up to 40 cycles, or 37, to detect the virus.

Tests with thresholds so high may detect not just live virus but also genetic fragments, leftovers from infection that pose no particular risk — akin to finding a hair in a room long after a person has left, Dr. Mina said.

Any test with a cycle threshold above 35 is too sensitive, agreed Juliet Morrison, a virologist at the University of California, Riverside. “I’m shocked that people would think that 40 could represent a positive,” she said.

21.01.2021 - 09:35 [ theHill.com ]

Senate confirms Biden’s intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official

Senators voted 84-10 to confirm Haines, who appears to be the only Cabinet official Biden will get confirmed on the first day of his administration.

19.01.2021 - 21:50 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Pressure grows on Boris Johnson to agree plan to start easing lockdown restrictions by March 8

„We locked down the country and shut down our schools on the basis of a forecast, so why can’t we open it up on the basis of one too? It is not sustainable to leave the public and British businesses languishing any longer,“ Mr Baker told The Telegraph.

19.01.2021 - 18:47 [ Prem Sikka / Twitter ]

To rebuild the economy, UK govt has set-up a Build Back Better Council. It is full of grandees from companies not paying the minimum wage, dodging taxes, engaged in illicit financial flows and anti-worker practices. No union reps. What could go wrong?

19.01.2021 - 17:52 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

388 people aged under 60 with ‚NO underlying health conditions‘ have died of Covid in England’s hospitals

(27.12.2020)

Just 388 people aged under 60 with no underlying health conditions have died of Covid-19 in England’s hospitals since the start of the pandemic, NHS data has showed.

The figures show that 1,979 previously healthy people died in hospitals in England after testing positive for Covid-19 between April 2 and December 23.

19.01.2021 - 17:36 [ DerbyShireTimes.co.uk ]

Derbyshire health chiefs warn that vaccines alone will not mean an end to restrictions

“We don’t know yet whether an individual can, although not becoming ill from the virus because they have been vaccinated, still catch it and spread it on to others.

19.01.2021 - 17:24 [ Standard.co.uk ]

Vaccinated Brits told not to hug kids amid fears millions will ignore Covid rules once they have jab

Asked whether people who had received the jab could hug their children, Janet Lord, director of Birmingham University’s Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, said: “I would certainly advise not to do that at the moment because as you probably know with the vaccines they take several weeks before they are maximally effective.“

19.01.2021 - 17:20 [ bestlifeonline.com ]

The COVID Vaccine May Not Protect You From This One Thing, Experts Warn

(05.12.2020)

In order to halt the spread of coronavirus completely, a vaccine would need to produce antibodies that stop the virus from replicating. „To prevent asymptomatic infection and transmission, you need what’s called sterilizing immunity,“ Greg Poland, MD, director of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group, explained to USA Today. While it’s possible that one or more of the vaccines could produce sterilizing immunity, it currently remains unproven.

17.01.2021 - 17:51 [ theGrayzone.com ]

Five questions for new Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer about his UK and US national security establishment links

(June 5, 2020)

The public deserves answers about the UK’s new opposition leader and his relationship with the British national security establishment, including the MI5 and the Times newspaper, his former role in the Julian Assange case and his membership in the intelligence-linked Trilateral Commission.

17.01.2021 - 17:35 [ John Crace / theGuardian.com ]

In these grim times we all need a saviour and right now it is Chris Whitty

(11.01.2021)

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. In these exceptionally grim times we’re all – Boris Johnson included – looking for a saviour to rise from these streets. And right now that salvation appears to be the England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty. Just about the only person left whom anyone can trust to tell the country the naked truth about coronavirus.

17.01.2021 - 17:25 [ Spectator.co.uk ]

The way ‘Covid deaths’ are being counted is a national scandal

(30.05.2020)

Normally, two doctors are needed to certify a death, one of whom has been treating the patient or who knows them and has seen them recently. That has changed. For Covid-19 only, the certification can be made by a single doctor, and there is no requirement for them to have examined, or even met, the patient. A video-link consultation in the four weeks prior to death is now felt to be sufficient for death to be attributed to Covid-19.

17.01.2021 - 17:15 [ Neil O'Brien / theGuardian.com ]

I’d love to ignore ‘Covid sceptics’ and their tall tales. But they make a splash and have no shame

They rubbished those who knew what they were talking about. Professors Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance were “Messrs Doom and Gloom”, “fear-mongering” and “self-serving”. That Whitty and Jonathan Van-Tam used their tiny amount of spare time to volunteer in hospitals suggests that’s not true. Now, as the death toll still rises, the same people crawl from the woodwork to demand we lift all restrictions as soon as the most vulnerable are vaccinated.

17.01.2021 - 17:03 [ BMJ.com ]

Covid-19: the problems with case counting

(03 September 2020)

At the moment it seems that a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive result is the only criterion required for a case to be recognised.

“In any other disease we would have a clearly defined specification that would usually involve signs, symptoms, and a test result,” says Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at the University of Oxford and the editor of BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine. “We are moving into a biotech world where the norms of clinical reasoning are going out of the window. A PCR test does not equal covid-19; it should not, but in some definitions it does.”

14.01.2021 - 09:06 [ Spiked ]

The government is terrorising the public

The politics of fear is being used to justify another authoritarian lockdown.

14.01.2021 - 08:56 [ Spectator.co.uk ]

The way ‘Covid deaths’ are being counted is a national scandal

(30.05.2020)

Normally, two doctors are needed to certify a death, one of whom has been treating the patient or who knows them and has seen them recently. That has changed. For Covid-19 only, the certification can be made by a single doctor, and there is no requirement for them to have examined, or even met, the patient. A video-link consultation in the four weeks prior to death is now felt to be sufficient for death to be attributed to Covid-19.

14.01.2021 - 08:54 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Government’s chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance warns UK is in for ‚a pretty grim period‘ for Covid deaths which won’t reduce ‚for some weeks‘ even if lockdown measures bring infections down – as Britain sees daily record of 1,564 fatalities

Department of Health figures show the daily laboratory-confirmed death toll has risen 50 per cent week-on-week, with data suggesting the total number of coronavirus victims — both suspected and confirmed — has now passed the 100,000 mark.

13.01.2021 - 18:30 [ Nature.com ]

UK science advisers: publish evidence behind COVID vaccine changes

Pfizer–BioNTech say they do not have evidence of what happens to immunity beyond 21 days after the first dose.

(…)

The JCVI adds that: “Protective immunity from the first dose likely lasts for a duration of 12 weeks.” But it has not published evidence to support this.

13.01.2021 - 18:12 [ voanews.com ]

US Changes Vaccine Strategy, WHO Says Herd Immunity Will Not Be Achieved in 2021

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization is warning that mass vaccinations against the novel coronavirus will not produce herd immunity this year.

WHO chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan told reporters Monday that it takes time to produce and administer enough doses of a vaccine to finally stop the spread of COVID-19. Swaminathan stressed the need for countries to continue observing mitigation efforts such as mask-wearing, social distancing and hand-washing.

12.01.2021 - 14:15 [ theHill.com ]

AstraZeneca vaccine likely won’t be authorized in US until April

(30.12.2020)

The coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University is not likely to be authorized for use in the U.S. until April, a top Trump administration health official said Wednesday.

“We project, if everything goes well, that the readout and emergency use authorization may be granted somewhere early in the month of April,” Moncef Slaoui, the chief science adviser for the administration’s Operation Warp Speed, told reporters.

12.01.2021 - 11:43 [ World Association for Christian Communication ]

COVID-19 pandemic and biopolitics in Latin America

(17. AUgust 2020)

At the time of this writing [June 3, 2020], Latin America has become the new epicenter of the pandemic with growing number of reported cases of infections and deaths. Various governments in Latin America (Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil) and the Inter-American Development Bank have deployed digital technologies to control the transmission of the virus and to support testing and tracing. They have collaborated with private companies and universities in setting up mobile applications for geolocalizing and contact-tracing possibly infected people. Expectedly, these actions have raised concerns about the negative impact of massive surveillance.

However, while we recognize the legitimacy of these concerns, the problem in Latin America takes different dimensions than in Europe, North America, and East Asia. For the moment, the governments in the region have significant problems to launch and maintain massive digital surveillance apparatuses.

12.01.2021 - 11:41 [ waccglobal / Twitter ]

Does the #COVID-19 pandemic mark the birth of a new form of #biopolitics? The Latin American case shows important departures from Europe and the U.S., both in the adoption of surveillance technologies and in the types of biopolitical control

11.01.2021 - 19:50 [ Neil Clark / Twitter ]

Lockdowns only end when we realise they are not meant to end.

11.01.2021 - 19:44 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

People with common colds testing positive for Covid-19 may simply be asymptomatic cases, experts reveal

Trademark symptoms of seasonal flu could be mistaken for symptoms of Covid-19 if the individual tests positive for the virus, it is claimed.

More than eight in ten people who test positive for coronavirus show none of the main symptoms at the time they are tested, a major study by UCL previously revealed.

However, those who test positive when they have cold symptoms may mistake them as being a part of the virus – adding to fears that it is taking a new guise as fresh strains emerge.

11.01.2021 - 08:14 [ DailyMal.co.uk ]

No 10 considers a tougher lockdown ‚with curfews, exercise limits, compulsory masks outside, no support bubbles and nurseries shut‘ if Covid cases keep rising‘ – amid suggestion ‚people may only be allowed to leave home ONCE a week‘

– The Cabinet Office refused to deny that the draconian new laws were incoming after UK’s streets were busy
– They instead pointed to Matt Hancock’s vague statement on rules earlier today: ‚Follow the rules we’ve got‘
– Hancock refused to speculate when asked if harsher measures coming, such as curfews and closing nurseries
– Whitehall source said potential changes included introducing ban on people leaving their homes more than once a week

10.01.2021 - 15:33 [ theGuardian.com ]

NHS could vaccinate UK against Covid in five days, says Oxford professor

Sir John Bell, regius chair of medicine at the University of Oxford, said stubborn NHS bureaucrats were standing in the way of a high-speed mass inoculation programme that could prevent many further deaths.

“The NHS has the theoretical capacity to immunise everybody in five days if they want to, but I don’t get the sense they are really motivated,” Bell told the Times.

10.01.2021 - 15:27 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

No10 is examining plans to keep bars closed for FIVE MONTHS with full lockdown until late March as Covid death toll passes 80,000

Prof Whitty commended the public for their efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19 and noted the hope offered by various vaccines, but he echoed other experts in saying it would be some weeks before the jabs start to reduce the number of people taken to hospital.

10.01.2021 - 14:42 [ Neil Clark, journalist & broadcaster / Twitter ]

(1) How do we know we’re not bring told the truth? There’s c 1600-1700 deaths a day at this time of the year. Yet we are told that ´1300 are dying from Covid’. But with no excess deaths that means just 3-400 from pneumonia, flu, heart disease, cancers? That is clearly absurd.

(09.01.2021)

(2) Clearly what is happening is a reclassification of deaths. Non-Covid deaths are being reclassified as ´Covid deaths’ by means of ramped up PCR testing. Which begs the question: why are they doing this, if not to justify lockdowns and other restrictions?

10.01.2021 - 14:23 [ theCanary.co ]

Coronavirus data contractors engaged in dirty tricks and disinformation campaigns

(10.05.2020)

Palantir was co-founded in 2004 by Paypal owner and billionaire Peter Thiel. What the blog doesn’t reveal is that Palantir’s client list has included amomgst others, the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, the Centre for Disease Control, the Marine Corps, the Air Force, Special Operations Command, West Point and the IRS.

Furthermore, in 2016, it was revealed Palantir had a $34.6m contract with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and helped the Customs and Border Protection Agency create the Analytical Framework for Intelligence (AFI) system to track immigrants.

Nor does the blog mention that Palantir worked for UK intelligence and was awarded contracts to handle vast data sets on UK citizens for British spy agency GCHQ.

09.01.2021 - 18:18 [ BMJ.com ]

Covid-19: the problems with case counting

(03 September 2020)

At the moment it seems that a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive result is the only criterion required for a case to be recognised.

“In any other disease we would have a clearly defined specification that would usually involve signs, symptoms, and a test result,” says Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at the University of Oxford and the editor of BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine. “We are moving into a biotech world where the norms of clinical reasoning are going out of the window. A PCR test does not equal covid-19; it should not, but in some definitions it does.”

09.01.2021 - 18:12 [ Spectator.co.uk ]

The way ‘Covid deaths’ are being counted is a national scandal

(30.05.2020)

Normally, two doctors are needed to certify a death, one of whom has been treating the patient or who knows them and has seen them recently. That has changed. For Covid-19 only, the certification can be made by a single doctor, and there is no requirement for them to have examined, or even met, the patient. A video-link consultation in the four weeks prior to death is now felt to be sufficient for death to be attributed to Covid-19.

09.01.2021 - 18:02 [ Lockdown Resistance Network / Twitter ]

Enough and no more. Never in history have we behaved like this. This is psychological warfare and gaslighting. Whitty and the rest are drunk on power. I’m not complying with this nonsense. I’m not complying with this once great country becoming a totalitarian dictatorship.

09.01.2021 - 17:53 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Now scientists call for ‚lax‘ third lockdown to be made even TOUGHER: SAGE expert says new coronavirus variant cannot be contained by current restrictions as terrifying Chris Whitty adverts try to scare of Brits into staying at home

As a result, ministers are considering introducing tougher measures as part of the crackdown, including possibly making face masks mandatory in busy outdoor areas.

England’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty has appeared in adverts urging us to stay at home as the new variant of the virus rips across the country.

09.01.2021 - 15:25 [ Glenn Greenwald / Twitter ]

In case any of you doubt there is a new War on Terror underway: here’s a former CIA operative and Pentagon official now a member of Congress (a Democrat, needless to say), explicitly saying (on MSNBC, of course) that the new War on Terror is domestic:

06.01.2021 - 14:05 [ Spiked ]

It’s the pro-lockdown lobby that is spreading fake news

This is the stage of lockdown authoritarianism we have now reached: anyone who questions the lockdown will be branded a liar and a hoodwinker who should be expelled from public life, while the cheerers of lockdown, those self-styled saviours of lives, can say whatever they want with very few repercussions.

05.01.2021 - 08:39 [ @shawalzy / Twitter ]

Can’t wait for the ‚Tier 19 Annual Hunger Games‘ where all districts battle it out for visiting Greggs privileges. #lockdownthoughts #lockdown

05.01.2021 - 08:32 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

‚What I’ll look like when we FINALLY get out of lockdown‘: Brits wearily take to social media to ponder how long it will be before they are free again

– Britons have taken to social media to mock the prospect of a third lockdown
– Boris Johnson unveiled a new set of restrictions in his address to nation last night

04.01.2021 - 22:34 [ Diogo Simão Lemos / Twitter ]

• @ECDC_EU assesses that the probability of #SARSCoV2 VOC 202012/01 and 501.V2 being introduced and further spread in the EU/EEA is currently 𝐡𝐢𝐠𝐡. 1/4

(29.12.2020)

(…)

Therefore, the overall risk of an increased impact on health systems in the coming weeks is assessed as 𝐡𝐢𝐠𝐡. 4/4

04.01.2021 - 22:31 [ yenisafak.com ]

ECDC releases report on new COVID-19 strain

(22 Dec 2020)

Noting that the ECDC’s report on the new strain was published last night, Balik said “this mutant variant has been named SARS-CoV-2 VUI 202012/01 [Variant Under Investigation, year 2020, month 12, variant 01] for now.”

Balik said the report points out the importance of a comprehensive examination of the new strain.

04.01.2021 - 17:59 [ Wikispooks.com ]

Document:Senior spy appointed to lead UK’s joint biosecurity centre

(05.06.2020)

Clare Gardiner, head of cyber resilience and strategy at the UK National Cyber Security Centre — a branch of signals intelligence agency GCHQ — will become the centre’s first director-general, responsible for advising ministers on the “alert level” for the virus; which is similar to assessing the terror threat.

Ms Gardiner’s role at the NCSC involves advising businesses and public organisations on how to improve their cyber defences, and she will return to this post after her secondment at the centre. But her research background in epidemiology and medical statistics make her well-suited to the role, according to one person familiar with her appointment.

She will report to Dido Harding, who is in charge of the NHS test and trace service.

The decision to put a security official in charge is likely to cause consternation among public health experts, who have questioned whether the template of a terror analysis centre is appropriate for managing a viral pandemic,

04.01.2021 - 17:48 [ Nick Eardley / Twitter ]

NEW: Sources have told the BBC the Covid threat level – decided by the Joint Biosecurity Centre, which includes the UK’s four Chief Medical Officers – is being moved up to 5, the highest level. This is different from tiers

04.01.2021 - 17:40 [ MorningAdvertiser.co.uk ]

‘No hard evidence on curfew’ admits Gov adviser Vallance

(09 Dec 2020)

Vallance and chief medical officer Chris Whitty were asked if there was something that could be done in the structure in scientific advice that could be a bit more forensic about those restrictions on the sector that have a very big impact on certain people. The scientific advisers said they are trying very hard to get data but can´t give specific data on it, and nor can anyone else across the world.

04.01.2021 - 17:10 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

England goes BACK into full lockdown: Boris will plunge country into March-style curbs in 8pm TV address tonight – with fears schools will be shut and households banned from mixing for MONTHS as COVID alert is raised to top level

– Boris Johnson is set to announce a dramatic new national lockdown for England amid mutant Covid crisis
– Ex-health secretary Jeremy Hunt urged immediate closure of schools, borders with household mixing ban
– Matt Hancock said the tiers were no longer strong enough to deal with the mutant version of coronavirus
– Suggested public’s failure to comply with all the rules was to blame for inability to control outbreaks in Tier 4
– PM warned that curbs are about to get ‚tougher‘ – and admitted he is considering further closures of schools
– Government’s core ‚Covid-O‘ committee has met this morning to decide on the next steps in the response

04.01.2021 - 07:20 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Boris’s lockdown D-Day: PM will decide TODAY whether to plunge ALL of England back into full lockdown – potentially for MONTHS – after Keir Starmer demanded tougher restrictions to stop ‚out of control‘ mutant Covid virus

Professor Sir Mark Walport, a member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said it would be difficult to keep the new, faster-spreading strain of the virus under control without ‚much tighter‘ social-distancing measures.

Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, the former chief scientific adviser said: ‚It’s clear that this variant is transmitting more readily – it’s transmitting more readily in younger age groups as well.

03.01.2021 - 08:21 [ Sky.News ]

COVID-19: Chief medical officer Chris Whitty warns coronavirus vaccine shortages will last months

(01.01.2021)

„At the moment it doesn’t look good – a hole is appearing because there’s a lack of other approved vaccines and we have to fill the gap with our own vaccine,“ BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin told news weekly Spiegel.

03.01.2021 - 08:08 [ Times of India ]

Global partnership COVAX secures two billion COVID-19 vaccine doses

(19.12.2020)

UNITED NATIONS: Global vaccine partnership COVAX has lined up almost two billion doses of existing and candidate COVID-19 vaccines for use worldwide, including 200 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine through an agreement between the Vaccine Alliance Gavi, the Serum Institute of India and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

03.01.2021 - 07:06 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

PETER HITCHENS: Guess where Professor Lockdown got his ideas … China’s police state

Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, said at the time that it was ‘just not possible’ for Ferguson to continue advising the Government. But this was not true. The professor was said to have resigned from the SAGE advisory committee. But did he? Not really. A current State website lists him as a member of the ‘New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group’ (NERVTAG). Minutes suggest he was only ever away from that for a few weeks.

02.01.2021 - 19:06 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

EU bureaucracy is accused of ‚costing lives‘ after European regulators said they cannot approve the Oxford vaccine before February

(31.12.2020)

Mr Wathion told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad the EMA was ‘in the dark’ about what kind of data was being used for Britain to approve the use of the Oxford vaccine.

The EU has already bought 400million doses of the jab while awaiting regulatory approval.

02.01.2021 - 08:17 [ Sky.News ]

COVID-19: Chief medical officer Chris Whitty warns coronavirus vaccine shortages will last months

„At the moment it doesn’t look good – a hole is appearing because there’s a lack of other approved vaccines and we have to fill the gap with our own vaccine,“ BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin told news weekly Spiegel.

30.12.2020 - 03:58 [ mark cording / Twitter ]

What’s the update on the Oxford vaccine Mr Hancock

30.12.2020 - 03:50 [ Matt Hancock, secretary of State for Health & Social Care / Twitter ]

Fantastic to see Margaret Keenan receive her second dose of the @Pfizer /@BioNTech_Group #coronavirus vaccine

30.12.2020 - 03:38 [ BBC ]

Covid: Millions more braced for tougher rules in England

Government sources have indicated an announcement later will see more areas move into tier four – „stay at home“.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is due to detail the changes – which could be introduced within days – in the House of Commons after 14:30 GMT.

30.12.2020 - 03:35 [ noone@nowhere / Twitter ]

Still no Oxford vaccine emergency approval. Unbelievable.

(23.12.2020)

28.12.2020 - 17:26 [ gab.ai/murali / Twitter ]

How many willing to bet that this case is part of pharma wars to sabotage Oxford vaccine?

(28.11.2020)

28.12.2020 - 17:25 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Coronavirus latest news: One million vaccinations a week will not bring pandemic under control, warns Sage expert

Sir Jeremy Farrar, the director of the Wellcome Trust who advises Number 10’s advisory panel Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said: „We’re not going to be free of this pandemic by February, this is now a human endemic infection.

28.12.2020 - 17:24 [ .oxfordmail.co.uk ]

No herd immunity through vaccine programme before summer, Sage scientist warns

Calum Semple, professor of outbreak medicine at the University of Liverpool and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), described the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine as a “game changer” if it is approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the coming days.

But he told BBC Breakfast…

28.12.2020 - 17:20 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

SAGE demands ALL pupils are kept home till February: Scientists demand new national lockdown for kids after Gove says only Years 11 and 13 and primary schools will return on January 4

Pressure has also been growing on Boris Johnson from within his own party to keep all pupils in school at the start the new term – but the PM has sided with SAGE scientists, who are pushing for schools, especially secondary schools to close for all of January, at least, because of the new super-strain of Covid-19, according to Politico.

Mr Johnson was reportedly told last week by SAGE, led by Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance, that a stricter lockdown is required because the one in November, where schools remained open, did not keep the ‚R‘ rate below 1, an adviser has claimed.

28.12.2020 - 09:44 [ Mirror.co.uk ]

Millions more face being placed in Tier 4 in bid to control mutant coronavirus strain

Dr Zubaida Haque, who sits on Independent Sage, has questioned why the government haven’t placed the whole country in the harshest tier of restrictions to save lives.

28.12.2020 - 09:37 [ Spiked ]

Lockdown: a deadly, failed experiment

It has been a global catastrophe. We must never go down this road again.

27.12.2020 - 06:35 [ Washington Post ]

How the Iowa caucuses came ‘crashing down,’ under the watchful eye of the DNC

(Feb. 16, 2020)

The DNC ordered and paid for a security audit of the software, which was completed by NCC Group, a Britain-based cybersecurity firm. Out of the review, which also involved threat assessment conducted with the national party as well as officials in Iowa and Nevada, came directions to guard the name of the vendor, and to take the software live as late as possible to prevent it from getting into the hands of hackers, according to multiple people who participated or had knowledge of the exercises.

27.12.2020 - 06:14 [ KCRG.com ]

County party chair thinks internal audit was too kind to Iowa Democratic Party

(Dec. 16, 2020)

After the caucus, the IDP hired a pair of Democratic lawyers: Nick Klinefeldt, who was a federal attorney appointed by President Barack Obama, and former Iowa Attorney General Bonnie Campbell. They were tasked with identifying and determining the cause of problems that occurred during the 2020 Iowa Caucuses, with the results of their investigation being released to the public on Saturday morning.

27.12.2020 - 06:10 [ Politico.com ]

Iowa autopsy report: DNC meddling led to caucus debacle

(12.12.2020)

The audit states the conversion tool had coding errors that spit out inaccurate numbers and caused confusion about the accuracy of the results, eventually leading to delays in reporting. But the state party’s app never malfunctioned nor was hacked, the report concludes.

27.12.2020 - 06:04 [ theIntercept.com ]

Investigator: DNC Was “Directly Involved” in Iowa Caucus App Development, Countering DNC Denial

(22.12.2020)

The DNC’s meddling, which included a last-minute demand that developers of the Shadow app create a special software that would allow the DNC real-time access to the raw numbers before they went public, didn’t sit well with Zogby.

“Why would [the DNC] need to see that?” Zogby said about the DNC’s insistence on access to the raw caucus results before they went public. “Why wouldn’t you trust the state party to make the determination?”

In the transcript from the closed-session meeting held by the state party, members suggested that the DNC’s goal was to strip Iowa of its prestigious first-in-the-nation status.

27.12.2020 - 05:22 [ gab.ai/murali / Twitter ]

How many willing to bet that this case is part of pharma wars to sabotage Oxford vaccine?

(28.11.2020)

27.12.2020 - 05:20 [ Sean / Twitter ]

Can I ask why the Oxford vaccine approval is taking so long? It only took 23 days for Pfizers, we are nearly at day 30 and still no sign of approval!

(21.12.2020)

27.12.2020 - 05:05 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Millions to receive Oxford coronavirus vaccine from Jan 4

The Government is aiming for two million people to receive their first dose of either the Oxford vaccine or the Pfizer jab within a fortnight as part of a major ramping up of the inoculation programme.

26.12.2020 - 06:53 [ Marcy Winograd / Twitter ]

After CODEPINK Campaign & pressure from others, Torture Defender Mike Morell Bows Out for CIA. Now, we must ask the tough questions of #AvrilHaines, challenge her nomination & put the #drone program on trial!

26.12.2020 - 03:22 [ Marcy Winograd / Medium.com ]

Open Letter to President-Elect Biden & U.S. Senate from Torture Victims and their Advocates Opposed to Mike Morell for CIA and Avril Haines for National Intelligence.

(21.12.2020)

Morell has no place in a Biden-Harris administration. His nomination would send a chilling message to torture survivors and other victims of grave injustice that the United States government, including the Biden administration, does not uphold its own stated principles. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) from the Senate Intelligence Committee has said about Morell: “No torture apologist can be confirmed as CIA director. It’s a nonstarter.” We agree and urge the President-elect not to nominate Morell.

We also oppose Avril Haines, another toture apologist, as Director of National Intelligence. Since she has already been nominated, we ask Senators to oppose her confirmation.

26.12.2020 - 03:19 [ CodePink.org ]

No, Joe, Don’t Roll out the Red Carpet for Torture Enablers

(24.12.2020)

It was painful enough to live through the U.S invasion of Iraq that caused untold devastation and human misery for no justifiable reason.

Now we are again reminded of the grim Bush legacy with President-elect Biden’s nomination of Avril Haines for Director of National Intelligence.

26.12.2020 - 01:47 [ US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence ]

REPORT of the SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE STUDY of the CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY’S DETENTION AND INTERROGATION PROGRAM

The Committee makes the following findings and conclusions:

#1: The CIA’s use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.

(…)

#2: The CIA’s justification for the use of its enhanced interrogation techniques rested on inaccurate claims of their effectiveness.

(…)

#3: The interrogations of CIA detainees were brutal and far worse than the CIA represented to policymakers and others. (…)

At least five CIA detainees were subjected to „rectal rehydration“ or rectal feeding without documented medical necessity. The CIA placed detainees in ice water „baths.“ The CIA led several detainees to believe they would never be allowed to leave CIA custody alive, suggesting to one detainee that he would only leave in a coffin-shaped box. One interrogator told another detainee that he would never go to court, because „we can never let the world know what I have done to you.“ CIA officers also threatened at least three detainees with harm to their families— to include threats to harm the children of a detainee, threats to sexually abuse the mother of a detainee, and a threat to „cut [a detainee’s] mother’s throat.“

#4: The conditions of confinement for CIA detainees were harsher than the CIA had represented to policymakers and others.

Conditions at CIA detention sites were poor, and were especially bleak early in the program. CIA detainees at the COBALT detention facility were kept in complete darkness and constantly shackled in isolated cells with loud noise or music and only a bucket to use for human waste.10 Lack of heat at the facility likely contributed to the death of a detainee. The chief of interrogations described COBALT as a „dungeon.“11 Another senior CIA officer stated that COBALT was itself an enhanced interrogation technique.“ At times, the detainees at COBALT were walked around naked or were shackled with their hands above their heads for extended periods of time. Other times, the detainees at COBALT were subjected to what was described as a „rough takedown,“ in which approximately five CIA officers would scream at a detainee, drag him outside of his cell, cut his clothes off, and secure him with Mylar tape. The detainee would then be hooded and dragged up and down a long corridor while being slapped and punched.

26.12.2020 - 01:43 [ ZeroHedge.com ]

„We Tortured Some Folks“: CIA Lied To Congress, Senate Torture Report Reveals

(Dec 09, 2014)

The drilldown from Bloomberg:

– CIA provided inaccurate information about effectiveness and scope of interrogations of suspected terrorists, and mismanaged a program that was far more brutal than represented, according to 6-year investigation by Democrats on Senate Intelligence Cmte.
– Interrogation techniques weren’t effective, didn’t produce key information that led to killing of Osama bin Laden and were significantly different from procedures authorized by Justice Dept, report says
– CIA provided inaccurate information to White House, Congress, DOJ, CIA Inspector General, media and the public
– “This document examines the CIA’s secret overseas detention of at least 119 individuals and the use of coercive interrogation techniques – in some cases amounting to torture,” Senate Intelligence Cmte Chairman Dianne Feinstein says in statement

26.12.2020 - 00:16 [ theHill.com ]

Meet Biden’s pick to lead the US intelligence community

Haines is expected to withstand scrutiny during the Senate confirmation process for her role in the drone program, as well as her approval of a CIA review board decision in 2015 not to discipline agency personnel for intruding in computers used by the Senate Intelligence Committee when it was investigating the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program. Haines was also part of the team that redacted the committee’s report on the program.

23.12.2020 - 11:32 [ BBC ]

Oxford vaccine: How did they make it so quickly?

(23.11.2020)

Scientists took a common cold virus that infected chimpanzees and engineered it to become the building block of a vaccine against almost anything.

Before Covid, 330 people had been given ChAdOx1 based-vaccines for diseases ranging from flu to Zika virus, and prostate cancer to the tropical disease chikungunya.

The virus from chimps is genetically modified so it cannot cause an infection in people. It can then be modified again to contain the genetic blueprints for whatever you want to train the immune system to attack.

23.12.2020 - 11:18 [ inews.co.uk ]

Boris Johnson’s future as Prime Minister rests on the Oxford vaccine being approved

The hope in Downing Street is that the Oxford vaccine will get the green light by the end of the year. This would allow the Prime Minister to start laying out plans for restrictions to be lifted.

21.12.2020 - 22:37 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

UK has vaccinated 500,000 people against Covid since December 8, Boris Johnson says as regulators face growing pressure to approve Oxford’s jab in desperate race to speed up the roll-out

The MHRA drugs regulator has been doing its final review of the vaccine for three weeks now, since November 27, with a decision expected by next Tuesday.

(…)

However, they made a decision about Pfizer and BioNTech’s jab within 10 days of being instructed to do so by the Department of Health.

21.12.2020 - 21:09 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Who knew what and when about Britain’s Covid mutation? PHE first discovered the fast-spreading variant in October but didn’t raise the alarm until last week – amid claims scientists held back discovery to bounce No10 into Tier Four

At the start of the month information about VUI-202012/01 was passed to the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Advisory Group (NERVTAG) committee, which advises England’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty. The group first discussed the strain at a December 11 meeting and began modelling its severity on the UK’s epidemic.

Ministers were not made aware of the variant until last Monday, almost two months after its initial discovery, when they were told it was more infectious and probably behind the continued rise in cases in London and the South East.

20.12.2020 - 15:24 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

It felt like a meeting of horror movie scriptwriters: GLEN OWEN tells the inside story of how a libertarian PM ended up feeling he had no choice but to cancel Christmas

The grim countenances of Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance told the story before they even started talking – Christmas was off. As Boris Johnson sat in the Cabinet Room at 5pm on Friday, Whitty and Vallance appeared on the Zoom monitors and started reeling off increasingly alarming data about the new mutant strain of the coronavirus…

19.12.2020 - 21:22 [ CNBC ]

Trump contradicts Pompeo, plays down alleged Russian role in cyberattack

Trump’s comments in the form of Twitter posts on Saturday went against comments his secretary of state made less than 24 hours earlier.
SolarWinds, the company at the center of the attack, has not yet blamed any one country.

19.12.2020 - 21:07 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

‚We’re not going to be knocking on people doors on Christmas Day‘: Police officers say new Tier 4 restrictions ‚don’t make sense‘ as thousands vow to IGNORE the rules

At an emergency press conference, Boris Johnson announced a third of England, including London and swathes of the home counties, will be shifted up to the brutal new tier from midnight.

Mr Marsh told MailOnline the new rules – which close non-essential retail and ban overnight stays in infection spots – meant little, because Mr Johnson has ‚lost the good will of the people‘ over the festive period.

19.12.2020 - 20:43 [ Downing Street No 10 / Regierung von Großbritannien ]

Prime Minister announces Tier 4: ‚Stay At Home‘ Alert Level in response to new COVID variant

The Prime Minister has announced tougher restrictions for large parts of South East England with a new Tier 4: ‘Stay at Home’ alert level.

The decision follows a rapid rise in infections attributed to the rapid spread of a new variant of COVID-19.

Based on preliminary modelling data, the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) now consider that the new strain can spread significantly more quickly and could increase R by 0.4 or more. New and existing data will continue to be analysed as we learn more about the variant.

19.12.2020 - 20:38 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Exclusive: Alarming new evidence on coronavirus mutation could bring tougher restrictions

Government scientists at the Porton Down laboratory in Wiltshire have been conducting experiments on the new strain, and have confirmed ministers‘ fears about it being far more infectious than the original strain of the virus.

(…)

The meeting of ministers was expected to continue late into the night, with Whitehall sources refusing to rule out a press conference on Saturday to announce additional restrictions.

19.12.2020 - 12:27 [ federalnewsnetwork.com ]

SolarWinds breach raises stakes for NDAA Trump still threatens to veto

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) said the breach makes a clear case for the work of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission and the cyber provisions that made it into the annual defense policy bill passed by the House and Senate.

“This is the most important bill on cyber ever passed by Congress, and that’s why I’m really hoping that the president will either sign the bill or let it become law without a signature, because there is so much critically important material in the bill,” King said during an annual summit hosted by Defense One.

19.12.2020 - 12:24 [ Cyberspace Solarium Commission ]

Cyberspace Solarium Commission

The Cyberspace Solarium Commission (CSC) was established in the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 to „develop a consensus on a strategic approach to defending the United States in cyberspace against cyber attacks of significant consequences.“ The finished report was presented to the public on March 11, 2020.

Our Report

The Cyberspace Solarium Commission’s proposes a strategy of layered cyber deterrence. Our report consists of over 80 recommendations to implement the strategy. These recommendations are organized into 6 pillars:

– Reform the U.S. Government’s Structure and Organization for Cyberspace.

– Strengthen Norms and Non-Military Tools.

– Promote National Resilience.

Reshape the Cyber Ecosystem.

Operationalize Cybersecurity Collaboration with the Private Sector.

– Preserve and Employ the Military Instrument of National Power.

19.12.2020 - 11:07 [ theIntercept.com ]

The CIA’s Afghan Death Squads

While CIA officers run the operations, most of the ground support during strike force unit missions, including the control of air power, is provided by fighters loaned out by Joint Special Operations Command. Variations on this arrangement have been used by the CIA since the Church Committee clamped down on agency excesses at home and abroad in 1975. Originally dubbed “Omega” in Afghanistan, the program temporarily strips special forces of their regular military designation — a process known as “sheep-dipping”— and places them under CIA command. This enables the CIA to circumvent the restrictions placed on fighters who ordinarily operate under regular wartime Title 10 authority, placing them instead under the agency’s Title 50 authority for covert actions.

19.12.2020 - 10:35 [ CNN ]

Congressional backers cite cybersecurity provisions as they push Trump to sign defense bill

The massive defense bill that President Donald Trump is threatening to veto contains provisions for increased cybersecurity, which has taken on significantly more importance in the wake of a massive cyberattack on federal agencies at the hands of suspected Russian hackers.

The National Defense Authorization Act includes pay raises for America’s soldiers, modernizations for equipment and provisions to require more scrutiny before troops are withdrawn from Germany or Afghanistan.

19.12.2020 - 09:24 [ Fox News ]

After government hack, media mum on ex-cybersecurity chief highlighted for contradicting Trump’s fraud claims

„As I said in a news briefing, Election Day was ‘just another Tuesday on the Internet,’“ he wrote. „Normal sorts of scanning and probing were happening, but we did not see any successful attacks or damaging disruptions.“

Yet hackers were arms deep in a slew of federal agencies. The infiltration, believed to have been conducted by the Russians, appears to have compromised the Departments of Energy, State, Defense, Homeland Security, Treasury and Commerce. His name did not appear in CNN’s story about CISA and the hack published Thursday.

18.12.2020 - 19:33 [ bleepingcomputer.com ]

FBI, CISA officially confirm US govt hacks after SolarWinds breach

(17.12.2020)

The compromise of multiple US federal networks following the SolarWinds breach was officially confirmed for the first time in a joint statement released earlier today by the FBI, DHS-CISA, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

„Over the course of the past several days, the FBI, CISA, and ODNI have become aware of a significant and ongoing cybersecurity campaign,“ the US intelligence agencies said …

18.12.2020 - 19:18 [ Forbes ]

DHS, DOJ And DOD Are All Customers Of SolarWinds Orion, The Source Of The Huge US Government Hack

Though it’s not clear whether it uses the Orion tool, the DHS’s own Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is a SolarWinds customer too, buying $45,000-worth of licenses in 2019. The U.S. Cyber Command also spent over $12,000 on SolarWinds tools in the same year.

SolarWinds, a publicly-listed Austin, Texas-based company with a value of over $6 billion, has its own customer list, though it doesn’t break down which products clients use. That list includes more than 425 of the Fortune 500, all major US telecoms providers, the top five U.S. accounting firms, hundreds of global universities, the NSA and the White House.

18.12.2020 - 18:43 [ theHill.com ]

Lawmakers ask whether massive hack amounted to act of war

Hackers believed to be part of a nation state have had access to federal networks since March after exploiting a vulnerability in updates to IT group SolarWinds’s Orion software. The hack has compromised the Treasury, State and Homeland Security departments and branches of the Pentagon, though it is expected to get worse. SolarWinds counts many more federal agencies as customers, along with the majority of U.S. Fortune 500 companies.

17.12.2020 - 10:42 [ Globes.co.il ]

Israeli drones leased to Germany to remain unarmed

Felgentreu is considered one of the biggest supporters of the move to arm the UAVs, which was separated from the actual procurement of the UAVs due to previous opposition within the SPD, which caused him to resign over the issue. Felgentreu has told „Globes“ in the past that the German army needs the Israeli UAVs to help protect its combat soldiers on missions in Afghanistan and Mali.

17.12.2020 - 09:19 [ USA Today ]

FDA says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine vials may hold extra ‚obtainable‘ doses, adding to US supply

Pharmacists must throw away any extra amount of the vaccine if it does not consist of the 0.3 mL needed for a full dose, Pfizer said. The remaining amount „must never“ be combined with the vaccine from another vial.

The Pfizer vaccine, green-lighted by the FDA on Dec. 11, was developed in less than a year, a fraction of the time it would usually take as researchers worldwide frantically sought an antidote to a virus discovered in China in December 2019.

17.12.2020 - 08:55 [ New York Times ]

2 Alaska Health Workers Got Emergency Treatment After Receiving Pfizer’s Vaccine

One of the workers, who did not have a history of allergies, remained in the hospital on Wednesday night. Some reactions to the vaccine were also reported last week in Britain.

14.12.2020 - 23:53 [ FT.com ]

Researchers looking at new coronavirus strain, says health minister

Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, told a press conference that London was being moved to more stringent Tier 3 restrictions because cases were surging in and around the capital — and not directly in response to the discovery of the new variant.

13.12.2020 - 19:40 [ BMJ.com ]

Conflicts of interest among the UK government’s covid-19 advisers

(09.12.2020)

Little is known about the interests of the doctors, scientists, and academics on whose advice the UK government relies to manage the pandemic. Attempts to discover more are frequently thwarted, finds Paul D Thacker

13.12.2020 - 14:55 [ CormanDrostenReview.com ]

Review report Corman-Drosten et al. Eurosurveillance 2020

(27.11.2020)

It should be noted that there is no mention anywhere in the Corman-Drosten paper of a test being positive or negative, or indeed what defines a positive or negative result. These types of virological diagnostic tests must be based on a SOP, including a validated and fixed number of PCR cycles (Ct value) after which a sample is deemed positive or negative. The maximum reasonably reliable Ct value is 30 cycles. Above a Ct of 35 cycles, rapidly increasing numbers of false positives must be expected .

PCR data evaluated as positive after a Ct value of 35 cycles are completely unreliable.

13.12.2020 - 14:50 [ National Center for Biotechnology Information - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov ]

Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR

(23.01.2020)

All oligonucleotides were synthesised and provided by Tib-Molbiol (Berlin, Germany). Thermal cycling was performed at 55 °C for 10 min for reverse transcription, followed by 95 °C for 3 min and then 45 cycles of 95 °C for 15 s, 58 °C for 30 s.

(…)

This work was funded by European Union DG Research through projects Prepare (GA602525), Compare (GA643476), and EVAg (GA653316); by European Union DG SANCO through EVD-LabNet, as well as by the German Ministry of Research through projects RAPID (01KI1723A) and DZIF (301-4-7-01.703).

13.12.2020 - 14:41 [ WHO.int ]

Berlin, Jan 17th, 2020: Diagnostic detection of 2019-nCoV by real-time RT-PCR

All oligonucleotides were synthesised and provided by Tib-Molbiol, Berlin. Thermal cycling was performed at 55°C for 10 min for reverse transcription, followed by 95°C for 3 min and then 45 cycles of 95°C for 15 s, 58°C for 30 s.

13.12.2020 - 13:31 [ New York Times ]

Your Coronavirus Test Is Positive. Maybe It Shouldn’t Be.

(29.08.2020)

Most tests set the limit at 40, a few at 37. This means that you are positive for the coronavirus if the test process required up to 40 cycles, or 37, to detect the virus.

Tests with thresholds so high may detect not just live virus but also genetic fragments, leftovers from infection that pose no particular risk — akin to finding a hair in a room long after a person has left, Dr. Mina said.

Any test with a cycle threshold above 35 is too sensitive, agreed Juliet Morrison, a virologist at the University of California, Riverside. “I’m shocked that people would think that 40 could represent a positive,” she said.

12.12.2020 - 20:00 [ CNN ]

It took AstraZeneca researchers 1 month to get vaccine trial data to FDA, source tells CNN

(14.10.2020)

The source said the root of the delay is that the participant was in the United Kingdom, and the European Medicines Agency and the FDA store data differently.

„They had to convert data from one format to another format. It’s like taking stuff off a PC and putting it onto an Apple. They had to spend a lot of hours to get what they wanted,“ the source said.

09.12.2020 - 18:18 [ Standard.co.uk ]

Warning after two NHS workers have allergic reaction to Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine

They developed symptoms of “anaphylactoid reaction” shortly after receiving the vaccine, but both recovered after the appropriate treatment.

After the incident, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) told NHS trusts that anyone who has a history of “significant” allergic reactions – including to medicines, food or vaccines – should not currently receive the vaccine.

08.12.2020 - 01:02 [ CNN ]

New Covid-19 stay-at-home orders set to take effect Sunday night for millions of Californians

Some 27 million people in the Southern California and San Joaquin Valley regions will be affected after both regions triggered a mandate issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom last week requiring new restrictions if a region’s hospital intensive care unit capacity drops below 15%.

06.12.2020 - 13:11 [ Washington Post ]

Pentagon spy agencies to meet with Biden transition team

Officials said that advisers to the incoming Biden administration are scheduled to meet with officials at the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and other spy services at their headquarters.

05.12.2020 - 15:10 [ theGuardian.com ]

Chinese official’s ‚repugnant‘ tweet of Australia soldier likely amplified by fake accounts, experts say

Cyabra, an Israeli cybersecurity firm, said it was highly probable that an orchestrated campaign had promoted Zhao’s tweet.

Cyabra said it had found 57.5% of accounts that engaged with Zhao’s tweet were fake, and “evidence of a largely orchestrated disinformation campaign” to amplify its message. The firm did not give any details about who was behind the campaign.

Cyabra said it analysed 1,344 profiles and found a large number were created in November and used once, to retweet Zhao’s tweet.

04.12.2020 - 21:50 [ CNN ]

Vaccination cards will be issued to everyone getting Covid-19 vaccine, health officials say

(02.12.2020)

„Everyone will be issued a written card that they can put in their wallet that will tell them what they had and when their next dose is due,“ Moore said. „Let’s do the simple, easy thing first. Everyone’s going to get that.“

04.12.2020 - 21:47 [ Zero Hedge ]

‚Immunity Cards‘ To Be Issued To All Americans; Enable CDC To Track COVID-19 Vaxx Status In Database

On Wednesday the Department of Defense released the first images of a COVID-19 vaccination record card as well as vaccination kits, according to CNN.

„Everyone will be issued a written card that they can put in their wallet that will tell them what they had and when their next dose is due,“ says Dr. Kelly Moore, associate director of the Immunization Action Coalition.

04.12.2020 - 21:33 [ theLocal.ch ]

‚Freedom Pass‘: Will Switzerland introduce a British-style coronavirus immunity card?

Ruth Humbel, a National Councillor with the Swiss People’s Party, said that people who are immune to the virus should receive a card or certificate which will allow them to participate in certain activities, such as going to football games, clubs or travelling, 20 Minutes reports.

04.12.2020 - 21:24 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

No10 stops short of ruling out Covid ‚immunity passports‘ despite saying it is ’not something the PM wants‘ – as Wales raises fears of spot checks at pubs and shops by bringing in ID-style cards for people who get vaccine

– Pfizer vaccines licensed by UK regulator and will be distributed from next week
– Wales says people will be issued with ID-style cards to show they have had jab
– Fears that pubs and shops could demand proof of vaccine before allowing entry

04.12.2020 - 05:09 [ CNN ]

CNN Exclusive: Biden says he will ask Americans to wear masks for the first 100 days he’s in office

President-elect Joe Biden told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday that he will ask Americans to wear masks for the first 100 days after he takes office, in a sign of how Biden’s approach to the virus will be dramatically different from President Donald Trump’s response.

„Just 100 days to mask, not forever. One hundred days. And I think we’ll see a significant reduction,“ Biden said for the first time in the interview with Tapper.

03.12.2020 - 17:16 [ theDiplomat.com ]

NATO Huddles With Asia-Pacific Democracies to Talk China

The incoming Biden administration has pledged to do even more to partner with allies on the China challenge.

In another step in that direction, on December 2, the foreign ministers of the NATO members, along with delegations from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea, gathered virtually to discuss the rise of China and the implications for the global balance of power.

24.11.2020 - 20:53 [ Max Blumenthal / Twitter ]

After Jake Sullivan chirped to his boss about Al Qaeda being „on our side in Syria,“ he advocated for more covert arms shipments to the Syrian insurgency the jihadist group was leading. Expect more wise moves like this in the months and years to come.

24.11.2020 - 20:49 [ Wikileaks / Twitter ]

„[al-Quada] is on our side in Syria“–email from policy advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Feb 2012)

(12.04.2017)

24.11.2020 - 20:45 [ CBS News ]

Biden to appoint Jake Sullivan as national security adviser

Sullivan has been advising Mr. Biden on domestic policy, but has an extensive foreign policy background. He served as Mr. Biden’s national security adviser during President Barack Obama’s second term and was a head of policy planning and deputy chief of staff to Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state.

24.11.2020 - 20:38 [ Erik Sperling 🌍 #YemenCantWait / Twitter ]

Tony Blinken, in Riyadh, April 2015: “Saudi Arabia is sending a strong message […] we have expedited weapons deliveries, we have increased our intelligence sharing, and we have established a joint coordination planning cell in the Saudi operation centre”

24.11.2020 - 11:22 [ Rashida Tlaib, Abgeordnete im US Repräsentantenhaus / Twitter ]

So long as he doesn’t suppress my First Amendment right to speak out against Netanyahu’s racist and inhumane policies. The Palestinian people deserve equality and justice.

24.11.2020 - 11:20 [ Fox News ]

Rashida Tlaib accused of anti-Semitism for reaction to Biden’s Jewish Sec of State nominee

„Biden names a Jew to his cabinet What’s Rashida’s response?! ‚Welp, as long as that Judische pick doesn’t stop me from focusing my hatred on one country, Israel, then he’s a good Jew!‘ It’s not your 1A right you’re trying to protect but your vile Jew-hatred! That’s ALL yours!“ Americans Against Antisemitism founder Dov Hikind reacted.

„You can just say you’re worried because he’s Jewish…“ the Republican Jewish Coalition tweeted.

23.11.2020 - 21:02 [ Caitlin Johnstone ]

Surprise! America Is Getting Another Psycho For Secretary Of State

The State Department was meant to be the counterpart to the War Department, focusing on diplomacy and peace. What ended up happening as the US government morphed into a globe-spanning empire dependent on endless violence and aggression is that the State Department wound up focusing more and more on manufacturing interventionist narratives on the world stage to gin up international support for starvation sanctions, proxy wars and war coalitions.

So in practice the US ended up with two war departments: the DoD and the State Department. Which is why you’ve seen the nation’s Secretaries of State becoming more and more jingoistic and psychopathic, to the point where some sort of antisocial personality disorder is almost a job requirement for the position.

23.11.2020 - 20:52 [ Glenn Greenwald ]

A Long-Forgotten CIA Document From WikiLeaks Sheds Critical Light Today on U.S. Politics and Wars

The Agency knew that their best asset for selling their wars was Barack Obama — the same reason so many in the security state were eager to get rid of Donald Trump.

23.11.2020 - 11:51 [ New York Times ]

Transition Highlights: Biden Plans to Name Blinken, Sullivan and Thomas-Greenfield to Cabinet

Together, Mr. Blinken and Mr. Sullivan, good friends with a common worldview, have become Mr. Biden’s brain trust and often his voice on foreign policy matters. And they led the attack on President Trump’s use of “America First” as a guiding principle, saying it only isolated the United States and created opportunities and vacuums for its adversaries to fill.

23.11.2020 - 11:41 [ Ro Khanna, Abgeordneter im US Repräsentantenhaus / Twitter ]

Flournoy supported the war in Iraq & Libya, criticized Obama on Syria, and helped craft the surge in Afghanistan. I want to support the President’s picks. But will Flournoy now commit to a full withdrawal from Afghanistan & a ban on arms sales to the Saudis to end the Yemen war?

23.11.2020 - 11:22 [ theGrayzone.com ]

VIDEO: Top Biden advisors Flournoy and Blinken promise smarter, more secretive permanent war policy

Since the 1990s, Flournoy and Blinken have steadily risen through the ranks of the military-industrial complex, shuffling back and forth between the Pentagon and hawkish think-tanks funded by the U.S. government, weapons companies, and oil giants.

Under Bill Clinton, Flournoy was the principal author of the 1996 Quadrinellial Defense Review, the document that outlined the U.S. military’s doctrine of permanent war – what it called “full spectrum dominance.”

21.11.2020 - 16:36 [ NBC News ]

Biden faces a race against the clock for U.S. to rejoin Iran nuclear deal

With Iran due to hold elections in June, any diplomatic effort will have to move swiftly during Biden’s first few months in office, say former U.S. officials, European diplomats and regional experts.

14.11.2020 - 15:59 [ BMJ.com ]

Covid-19: politicisation, “corruption,” and suppression of science

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health.1 Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science.

The UK’s pandemic response provides at least four examples of suppression of science or scientists. First, the membership, research, and deliberations of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) were initially secret until a press leak forced transparency.

12.11.2020 - 10:06 [ theGuardian.com ]

Vaccine taskforce chief may benefit from £49m UK investment

She is expected to leave her post at the end of the year, according to a government source who said her contract ran until January 2021 and she had always intended to leave at that point.

11.11.2020 - 10:08 [ Saagar Enjeti, Host of Rising / Twitter ]

There it is. Confirmation that Esper and his team were fired for thwarting admin efforts to withdraw troops from Afghanistan Its been 20 years there is no „premature withdrawal“

09.11.2020 - 23:17 [ The Hill ]

Top US official for Syria and ISIS to retire this month

Joel Rayburn, currently deputy assistant secretary and special envoy for Syria, will take on the responsibilities of engagement with Syria.

Ambassador Nathan Sales, the coordinator for counterterrorism, will take on the role of special envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

06.11.2020 - 18:15 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Downing Street REJECTS calls to end lockdown despite four more sets of real-world data showing second wave of Covid was dropping and R rate was stable BEFORE crippling restrictions based on flawed projections

Downing Street today refused calls for England’s second lockdown to be cut short and insisted it will run until December 2, despite four more sets of real-world data that show the second wave was already shrinking before the Government pushed the panic button on a drastic month-long shutdown.

Promising figures published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – which runs a massive government surveillance scheme that randomly swabs tens of thousands of people to track the size of the outbreak – suggest that the country’s coronavirus outbreak has shrunk.

06.11.2020 - 17:06 [ Haaretz ]

Israel Has a New Secret Contact-tracing App. This Is What We Know

Aside from the ministers, the meeting was attended by professionals from numerous agencies, including the Shin Bet, the Health Ministry, the Privacy Protection Authority, the treasury, the Justice Ministry, the National Security Council, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Public Security Ministry, the Economy Ministry and the army’s Home Front Command.

06.11.2020 - 13:35 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Exclusive: ‚Covid graphs were wrong in suggesting daily deaths would soon surpass first wave‘

Official projections which pushed the country into a second lockdown have been quietly revised to no longer suggest deaths could soon overtake those at the peak of the first wave, The Telegraph has learned.

03.11.2020 - 14:59 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

More proof England’s lockdown was premature? Top researchers say R rate has dropped to 1 as Oxford expert claims Covid infections are ‚flatlining‘ and the ‚4,000 deaths‘ graph used to justify restrictions has ‚proven to be incorrect‘

– King’s College London said cases were now ‚plateauing‘ and there was a ’slight fall‘ in infections across UK
– Oxford’s Carl Heneghan said told how coronavirus hospital admissions, cases and ‚in effect‘ deaths in retreat
– It comes as Sir Patrick Vallance and Prof Chris Whitty face questions from MPs over the 4,000 deaths figure

03.11.2020 - 14:49 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Is the NHS actually QUIETER than usual? Leaked document claims hospitals are 84% full (but last autumn the figure was 92%)

– Beds have never been less than 85% full for a three-month period since 2010
– Spring this year was the first time, because patients were turfed out for Covid-19
– And occupancy remains below average levels despite second wave, stat shows

02.11.2020 - 15:38 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

How Vallance’s secret blood-curdling press briefing on looming lockdown – an hour BEFORE Boris agreed to it – lit the fuse on Nov 5th shutdown that could blow up our economy

– Boris Johnson announced England-wide lockdown after weeks insisting he would stick to his local ‚Tiers‘
– The PM summoned a dramatic press conference Saturday night after details of the U-turn idea were leaked
– Sir Patrick Vallance gave blood-curdling briefing about the situation on Friday before ministers made decision
– More details were then leaked overnight before the wider Cabinet had been gathered, forcing the PM’s hand
Mr Johnson is set to use a statement to the House of Commons this afternoon to say there is ’no alternative‘

02.11.2020 - 15:33 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Apocalyptic forecast of 4,000 coronavirus deaths a day could be FIVE TIMES too high and had already been proved wrong when government revealed it at weekend

– Sir Patrick Vallance presented worst-case scenario in Saturday’s briefing when lockdown was confirmed
– But it has emerged it was based on forecasts made weeks ago and since updated to give lower estimates
– Oxford’s Carl Heneghan said he was ‚concerned‘ at officials‘ choice to use old data which could be misleading
– Tory MPs accused SAGE, of which Vallance is chair, of ‚cherry-picking‘ figures and not giving full picture
– England will be thrust into a second lockdown from Thursday, pending a vote in Parliament on Wednesday

01.11.2020 - 18:24 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Coronavirus latest news: Boris Johnson faces Tory rebellion over national lockdown

Boris Johnson faces a rebellion from his backbenches over the new national lockdown restrictions for England amid warnings that the measures would be „disastrous“ for the economy.

This comes after Cabinet Minister Michael Gove admitted the four-week-long national lockdown could be extended beyond December 2.

01.11.2020 - 18:18 [ CNN ]

Boris Johnson accused of ‚giving in to scientific advisers‘ as England heads for lockdown

Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith wrote in the UK’s Telegraph newspaper that the month-long lockdown showed government was „giving in to the scientific advisers,“ claiming that government experts had „pressurised“ Johnson into the step.

„Normally, advisers advise and ministers decide. Yet that system has broken down with Sage [the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies] believing its advice to be more like commandments written on stone and its members publicly lecturing the Government over the airways,“ Duncan Smith wrote.

01.11.2020 - 18:09 [ Reuters Canada ]

Britain starts accelerated review for AstraZeneca’s potential COVID-19 vaccine

Work began on the Oxford vaccine in January. Called AZD1222 or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, the viral vector vaccine is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus that causes infections in chimpanzees.

31.10.2020 - 21:18 [ BBC ]

‚Stay at home‘ from Thursday, says PM in new England lockdown

During the news conference, it was explained that the number of hospital admissions is rising rapidly.

Scientists have made a projection to see how the number of daily admissions would rise over the next six weeks.

As shown by the graph below, the number would surpass the figures of the first wave.

31.10.2020 - 12:04 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Three facts No 10’s experts got wrong: DR MIKE YEADON says claims that the majority of the population is susceptible to Covid, that only 7% are infected so far and virus death rate is 1% are all false

While Boris Johnson will be the person announcing that catastrophic decision, the measures are being dictated by a small group of scientists who, in my view, have repeatedly got things terribly wrong.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has made three incorrect assumptions which have had, and continue to have, disastrous consequences for people’s lives and the economy.