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Thread: COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus pandemic

  1. #1226
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puzzld View Post
    I've seen that, but Tony Fauci says maybe not. https://www.nbcnews.com/health/healt...pread-n1258142 lets hope he's right, cause I don't expect that most people will continue (hell start) being careful once they feel protected.

    And yeah Gnome thinks she's on track to run as well. I hope they all go down in flames. None of them should be trusted with any power whatsoever.
    I hope Fauci is right.

    I just saw this and it made me laugh. I'm sure our illustrious governor is super pissed off!

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/whi...-slow-n1258360

    Feds plan Florida, Penn. mass Covid vaccination centers as storms slow distribution

    The federal government is opening five new Covid-19 mass vaccination centers in Florida and Pennsylvania, adding to an increasing number of distribution points that aren't being left to state governments to operate.

  2. #1227
    Moderator puzzld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    I hope Fauci is right.

    I just saw this and it made me laugh. I'm sure our illustrious governor is super pissed off!

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/whi...-slow-n1258360

    Feds plan Florida, Penn. mass Covid vaccination centers as storms slow distribution
    Yeah. I saw that and thought about what you said about how your idiot is trying to make points with his people using the vaccines.
    I wish we could shut these aholes down. Your gov, my gov, and all the others.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by nestlequikie View Post
    Why on earth would I smite you when I can ban you?

  3. #1228
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://ohiocapitaljournal.com/2021/...isinformation/

    The opening testimony Wednesday in support of a legislative effort to allow lawmakers to vote down public health orders went far enough off the rails for YouTube to remove footage of the speaker.

    Tom Renz, an attorney for Ohio Stands Up, filed a lawsuit in federal court in September seeking to overturn any and all health orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A federal judge last week deemed the arguments nearly “incomprehensible” and ordered Renz to show cause for why he shouldn’t dismiss the suit for procedural errors.

    The Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom, an anti-vaccine activism group aligned with Renz, posted to YouTube footage of Renz’s 35-minute, oftentimes rambling testimony to the House State and Local Government Committee.

    The video was soon taken down for violating YouTube’s terms of service.

    “We have clear Community Guidelines that govern what videos may stay on YouTube, which we enforce consistently, regardless of speaker,” said Ivy Choi, a spokeswoman for Google, which owns YouTube.

    “We removed this video in accordance with our COVID-19 misinformation policy, which prohibits content that claims a certain age group cannot transmit the virus. We do allow material with sufficient educational, documentary, scientific or artistic (EDSA) value.”

    The policy states videos cannot spread medical misinformation that contradicts local health authorities’ or the World Health Organization’s medical information about COVID-19.

    In his testimony, Renz baselessly claimed no Ohioans under the age of 19 have died of COVID-19. Data from the Ohio Department of Health shows 10 children in the age group have died of the disease during the pandemic.

    Similarly, Renz said children can neither contract nor spread COVID-19. He even claimed the CDC says this as well, which is untrue. CDC guidance states children can contract and spread the coronavirus.

    While it’s unclear which specific COVID-19 misinformation from Renz sparked YouTube’s decision, there’s a lot to choose from.

    Renz’s testimony was a firehose of COVID-19 conspiracy theorizing: He said unspecified entities “provide funding for people to find a COVID-19 death;” the ODH “whitewashes” its coronavirus data; that PCR testing, which public health officials consider to be a premier diagnostic, is “garbage” or “absolutely useless.”

    He claimed the lockdown orders of the spring to be “the most drastic curtailment of rights ever taken in American history.” The statement was made without acknowledgement to the enslavement of Black Americans, the mass detention of Japanese Americans to internment camps during World War II, the forced relocation of Native Americans, or any number of national atrocities through American history.

    While YouTube removed the footage, Ohio Republican lawmakers praised Renz for the testimony.

    Chairman Scott Wiggam, who has falsely proclaimed that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election, praised Renz for bringing “the other side of the data” to the table.

    Rep. Diane Grendell, who without evidence accused ODH of publishing “corrupted” data to a panel of state senators in November, also praised Renz.

    Footage of the hearing is still publicly available on the Ohio Channel, and OAMF has since re-uploaded it to Rumble, which has looser content guidelines.

    Renz made the statement supporting House Bill 90, which would allow lawmakers to vote down public health orders related to the pandemic. A similar version of the proposal passed the Senate earlier this week.

    The lawsuit against ODH was Renz first filing in federal court after passing the bar on his fifth attempt, according to records from the Ohio Supreme Court.

    His “about me” page for his website claims lists no prior legal experience besides serving as a clerk on the Indian Supreme Court. However, in a prior interview, he said he did not remember when he served on the court and said he did not speak Hindi.

    Renz declined to answer questions about his testimony.”

    “This should not be right and left and we should not be fighting over facts,” Renz told lawmakers. “The question I would ask to the people who are saying that I’m incorrect or lying, is who are you working for and how much are you getting paid? Because inevitably, I’m finding they typically are working for someone or getting paid somewhere.”

  4. #1229
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    This is why I stopped shopping at Publix. They are so up in this crap. This is from a couple of weeks ago, and I suspect this is why Biden is bringing in fed gov vaccine clinics to Florida.

    https://www.salon.com/2021/02/01/aft...ution_partner/

    After $100K donation, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis awards contract for supermarket vaccine distribution

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is facing criticism after deciding this month that he would revoke COVID-19 vaccine access at health centers in Palm Beach County and instead, funnel the states' vaccine supply through Publix, a regional grocery chain. His decision comes just a few weeks after Publix donated $100,000 to his PAC, Friends of Ron DeSantis.

    After the county runs out of its current supply, which health officials say will happen early next month, officials confirmed this week that the state would no longer distribute vaccines through Palm Beach's health department and will be giving them directly to Publix. DeSantis says that the county will be a "test site" for the pilot program to funnel the state's vaccines through Publix.

    "I am absolutely disgusted that the governor of this state has 100 percent taken the ability to vaccinate our residents out of the hands of our public health officials and our medical officials and given that authority to a corporate entity," said the county commissioner at a meeting. Palm Beach County has a population of nearly 1.5 million people. Some of the county's residents live 40 miles away from a Publix.

    Florida's vaccine administration has thus far been rocky and, in some ways, discriminatory, some report, and many worry that the distribution of the vaccine through Publix will only cause further disparities. So far, the Miami Herald writes, vaccine administration has favored the wealthy in Florida — the highest vaccination rates are in wealthy counties and the lowest are in the poorer counties. The disparity is wide: in one wealthy oceanfront county, half of the residents have been vaccinated. But in one county where 40 percent of the residents experience poverty, only two percent have been vaccinated.

    There are also disparities along racial lines in vaccine administration in the state. According to data from the state, approximately 4.9 percent of the people who have been vaccinated so far are Black despite Black people making up 16.9 percent of the population. In Palm Beach, Black people make up 3 percent of the vaccinated population and 19.8 percent of the population overall. Nikki Fried, a state official, told NPR that, with regards to the vaccine distribution disparities, "We have seen numbers that should be morally shocking."

    Democratic member of the House of Representatives in Florida Omari Hardy, who represents part of Palm Beach County, expressed his concerns with the decision on Twitter: "There are entire communities that don't have a Publix, communities like the Glades, which is majority Black, rural, and economically depressed. Other Black communities with Publixes, like Riviera Beach in my district, don't have pharmacies at them. So no vaccines there either."

    "The decision to make Publix the sole vaccine distributor in Palm Beach County means that Black people will continue to struggle to gain access to this vaccine. He has to know this," Hardy continued. "This is more evidence DeSantis doesn't care one bit about Black people. Not one bit."

    Three mayors in the county recently wrote a letter to the governor expressing their concern over this decision. "In more affluent communities, none of those distances would be a barrier to getting the vaccine," the mayors wrote. "This is simply unacceptable, and, quite frankly, unconscionable. Placing such a barrier on an already vulnerable, highly underserved population cannot be allowed to happen."

    "When we first started there were people concerned about, really hesitant about taking the shots, skeptical about it," one mayor told HuffPost. "We've been out there knocking on doors letting people know, trying to encourage them to take the vaccine … now they're excited and willing to do this and now they're hearing that they have to go 35-40 miles away."

    DeSantis's office denies that there is any connection between the donation and his decision to exclusively distribute the vaccines to the public via one grocery chain in Palm Beach. However, many Florida residents have been left with unanswered questions about why he's chosen to do it. Some have pointed out that even opening availability to other pharmacy chains like Walgreens — which has donated less to DeSantis's campaign than Publix — would be helpful.
    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/loc...248817950.html

    Calculating by what Medicare pays per patient to providers of the COVID-19 vaccine, $45.33, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website, Publix stands to make more than $9 million.

    Quite a return on their $100,000 investment on DeSantis.

    This is, plain and simple, dirty pay-to-play politics — corruption made possible by having a manipulative governor who kept COVID-19 infection data secret and is now doing the same with vaccine distribution as people struggle to get appointments.
    Read Next
    fabiola-santiago
    Amid widespread infection, Florida Gov. DeSantis fails on COVID vaccine, too | Opinion
    January 13, 2021 6:00 AM

    The Publix donation should be investigated and sanctioned, and would be, if only law and order in Florida extended to elected officials. But we live in a state where the governor, elected by a very thin margin, thinks of himself as an emperor of sorts, not accountable to the public.

    There’s no transparency in a state once known for its open government.

    The governor doesn’t even allow his surgeon general to answer questions at press conferences that are motivated, not by public interest, but by DeSantis’ public-relations needs. He isn’t working for us, but on behalf of his reelection campaign.

    And this is exactly the type of politician Publix aids and abets by financing their careers.
    Last edited by raisedbywolves; 02-22-2021 at 09:00 AM.

  5. #1230

  6. #1231
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/can...prion-disease/

    . Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began and antivaxxers made common cause with COVID-19 cranks, deniers, and conspiracy theorists, I?ve been repeating a simple message: Everything old is new again. The pandemic has resulted in a lot of scientists and other people paying attention to the antivaccine movement in a way that they never have before. Many of these newbies have been amazed at some of the antivaccine misinformation and disinformation that have been spread about the new COVID-19 vaccines. False antivax claims about these vaccines include a veritable antivax ?greatest hits? of pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, and distortions, a veritable playbook of claims that COVID-19 vaccines kill, cause miscarriages and/or infertility, cause autoimmune disease, ?permanently alter your DNA?, are unnecessary because COVID-19 is not dangerous, that the number of cases are exaggerated, and that the vaccines are filled with ?toxins? (in the case of the mRNA vaccines, the lipid nanoparticles used to encapsulate the mRNA coding for COVID-19 spike protein). Now two more famous antivax claims from the past are popping up in my social media feeds, and they are related. I?m referring to the false claim that the COVID-19 vaccines cause prion disease and that they cause Alzheimer?s disease. We have ?immunologist? Dr. J. Bart Classen to thank for this disinformation and antivaxxers like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. for spreading it.

    First, let?s show how his claim is yet another example of my adage regarding disinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine that ?everything old is new again?.

    Vaccines and Alzheimer?s disease: A brief history
    One of the earliest antivaccine claims that I ever dealt with was a rather specific claim about the influenza vaccine. I first encountered it when Bill Maher parroted it in an interview with Larry King on Larry King Live, way back in December 2005. (Yes, you read that correctly, 2005.) I think it?s useful to recount what Maher said in this exchange:



    MAHER: I?m not into western medicine. That to me is a complete scare tactic. It just shows you, you can?

    KING: You mean you don?t get a ? you don?t get a flu shot?

    MAHER: A flu shot is the worst thing you can do.

    KING: Why?

    MAHER: Because it?s got ? it?s got mercury.

    KING: It prevents flu.

    MAHER: It doesn?t prevent. First of all, that?s?

    KING: I haven?t had the flu in 25 years since I?ve been taking a flu shot.

    MAHER: Well, I hate to tell you, Larry, but if you have a flu shot for more than five years in a row, there?s ten times the likelihood that you?ll get Alzheimer?s disease. I would stop getting your?

    KING: What did you say?

    MAHER: That went better in rehearsal but it was still good. Absolutely, no the defense against disease is to have a strong immune system. A flu shot just compromises your immune system.





    Where did the claim that getting a flu shot more than five years in a row increases your risk of someday developing Alzheimer?s disease originate? While I?m not sure where the claim that the flu shot predisposes to Alzheimer?s disease truly originated, but I?m pretty sure that the specific claim about five years? worth of flu shots increasing the risk of Alzheimer?s disease by ten-fold came from. At the time, a search on that hoary old crank and conspiracy theory website Whale.to quickly revealed this gem from a conference held by the antivaccine group National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) in 1997:

  7. #1232
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://apnews.com/article/fda-j-and...f8197149c80f06

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine offers strong protection against severe COVID-19, according to an analysis released Wednesday by U.S. regulators that sets the stage for a final decision on a new and easier-to-use shot to help tame the pandemic.

    The long-anticipated shot could offer the nation a third vaccine option and help speed vaccinations by requiring just one dose instead of two. Food and Drug Administration scientists confirmed that overall the vaccine is about 66% effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19, and about 85% effective against the most serious illness. The agency also said J&J’s shot is safe.


    The analysis is just one step in the FDA’s evaluation. On Friday, the agency’s independent advisers will debate if the evidence is strong enough to recommend the shot. With that advice, the FDA is expected to make a final decision within days.

    The COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. topped 500,000 this week, and the vaccination drive has been slower than hoped, hampered by logistical and weather delays. So far, about 44.5 million Americans have received at least one dose of vaccine made by Pfizer or Moderna, and nearly 20 million of them have received the second dose required for full protection.

    Tests showed the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were 95% effective at protection against symptomatic COVID-19.

    Dr. Paul Offit, a vaccine expert at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, is part of the FDA advisory panel that will scrutinize the J&J data on Friday and cautions that none of the vaccines have been directly compared. Still, he was encouraged that one dose of the J&J vaccine appears as good at preventing serious illness as its two-dose competitors.

    “This is a vaccine to prevent you from going to the hospital and dying at a level that’s certainly comparable” to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, he said.

    J&J tested its single-dose option in 44,000 adults in the U.S., Latin America and South Africa. Different mutated versions of the virus are circulating in different countries, and the FDA analysis cautioned that it’s not clear how well the vaccine works against each variant. But J&J previously announced that the vaccine worked better in the U.S. — 72% effective against moderate to severe COVID-19, compared with 66% in Latin America and 57% in South Africa.

    MORE COVID-19 NEWS:
    – Ghana 1st nation to receive coronavirus vaccines from COVAX
    – 2 hard-hit cities, 2 diverging fates in vaccine rollout
    – FDA says single-dose shot from J&J prevents severe COVID
    Still, South Africa recently began giving the J&J vaccine to front-line health workers on a test basis after deciding that a vaccine from rival AstraZeneca had not shown strong enough study results.



    Across all countries, Wednesday’s analysis showed protection began to emerge about 14 days after vaccination. But by 28 days after vaccination, there were no hospitalizations or deaths in the vaccinated group compared with 16 hospitalizations and seven deaths in study recipients who received a dummy shot.

    The FDA said effectiveness and safety were consistent across racial groups, including Black and Latino participants.

    All of the world’s COVID-19 vaccines have been tested differently, making comparisons nearly impossible. It would not be surprising if one dose turned out to be a little weaker than two doses, and policymakers will decide if that’s an acceptable trade-off to get more people vaccinated faster.

    J&J has another large study underway to see if a second dose of its vaccine works better, raising the prospect that countries could eventually add a booster if one turned out to be warranted.

    Like other COVID-19 vaccines, the main side effects of the J&J shot are pain at the injection site and flu-like fever, fatigue and headache. No study participant experienced the severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis, that is a rare risk of some other COVID-19 shots, although one experienced a less serious reaction.

    The FDA said there were no serious side effects linked to the vaccine so far, although it recommended further monitoring for blood clots. In the study, those were reported in about 15 vaccine recipients and 10 placebo recipients, not enough of a difference to tell if the vaccine played any role.

    J&J was on track to become the world’s first one-dose option until earlier this month. Mexico announced it would use a one-dose version from China’s CanSino, which is made with similar technology as J&J’s shot but initially was developed as a two-dose option until beginning a one-dose test in the fall.

    The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines now being used in the U.S. and numerous other countries must be kept frozen, while the J&J shot can last three months in a refrigerator, making it easier to handle. AstraZeneca’s vaccine — widely used in Europe, Britain and Israel — is made similarly and also requires refrigeration but takes two doses.

    Full Coverage: Coronavirus vaccine
    If the FDA clears the J&J shot for U.S. use, it will not boost vaccine supplies significantly right away. Only a few million doses are expected to be ready for shipping in the first week. But J&J told Congress this week that it expected to provide 20 million doses by the end of March and 100 million by summer.

    European regulators and the World Health Organization also are considering J&J’s vaccine. Worldwide, the company aims to produce around a billion doses by the end of the year.

    ___

    Associated Press video producer Kathy Young contributed to this report.

    ___

    The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

  8. #1233
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/24/us/ma...rnd/index.html

    The Florida official who set up a vaccine site for affluent ZIP codes and created a VIP list is under investigation, sheriff's office says

    A Florida sheriff's office is investigating whether a Manatee County official broke the law when she organized a Covid-19 vaccine drive limited to two of the county's most affluent ZIP codes.
    The Manatee County Sheriff's Office said it has launched the investigation after a citizen watchdog filed a complaint regarding County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh, who last week admitted she chose the ZIP codes herself and also selected some people for the vaccination list, so she and others could access the Covid-19 vaccine.

    In a complaint to the sheriff's office, Michael Barfield, a paralegal consultant and resident of neighboring Sarasota County, said Baugh, who chairs the commission, may have violated three statutory provisions, including misuse of her public position.

    "When Baugh inserted individuals and herself on a Covid-19 vaccine distribution list she acted contrary to the adopted Vaccine Standby Pool and used her official position to secure a special privilege, benefit, or exemption for herself and others," which could constitute misuse of her government position, Barfield, who also is president of the executive committee of the Florida ACLU board, wrote in the complaint.

    The sheriff's office is examining the complaint line-by-line, Public Information Officer Randy Warren told CNN.

    CNN reached out Wednesday to Baugh's office regarding the investigation and has not heard back.

    Baugh said DeSantis requested the vaccine drive
    Baugh, chair of the Board of County Commissioners and a staunch supporter of Gov. Ron DeSantis, said the "pop-up" vaccine drive was initiated by the Republican governor after he spoke with Rex Jensen, a real estate developer and CEO of the parent company of Lakewood Ranch, the community where the vaccine drive was organized.

    The commissioner said in a meeting last week that it was "(her) idea" to choose the two ZIP codes in the county whose residents were permitted to get vaccinated at the vaccine drive, though she didn't explain her rationale.

    The governor has been criticized for the "pop-up" vaccination sites he has organized around the state. At a news conference Tuesday, he referred to the criticism as an "attack" on him for "vaccinating seniors."

    "When we visit these communities where we were able to do it, they're so, so thankful," DeSantis said.

    Baugh apologized last week for organizing the drive but then said she'd "do exactly what (she) did this time" if presented with the same opportunity.

    The so-called VIP list was mentioned in emails from Baugh obtained by CNN and the Bradenton Herald was the first to report. The few members who were on the list were qualified to receive the vaccine, but by joining the list, Baugh guaranteed they'd skip the line, CNN reported last week.

    Manatee County had previously been lauded by DeSantis for its effectiveness at vaccinating people and standing up one of the first drive-thru vaccination programs in the US. Last week, the governor threatened to withhold additional doses from the county after Baugh was criticized. He has not criticized Baugh or her methodology in organizing his vaccine drive.

    Outraged residents call her actions shameful
    Residents of Manatee County fumed at Baugh for her actions and some called for her resignation in emails to the official, obtained by CNN through a public records request.

    "My blood has been boiling over this elitist vaccine event," wrote one resident, in an email dated February 18. "We all appreciate the extra vaccines but to single out 2 zip codes to receive it smacks of politics, favoritism, elitism and racism. That is the issue."

    Baugh responded to at least one of the residents who emailed her.

    In one email dated February 17, a county resident wrote, "So, since I live in the wrong zip code I need to wait on a vaccine. SHAME ON YOU."

    "I'm not ashamed!" Baugh wrote back. "Quite the contrary, the Manatee registry was reduced by 3000 people and Manatee is busy calling to fill 5200 spaces for the vaccine... This is a win for Manatee thanks to Gov DeSantis..."

    One resident, who said they lived in one of the two zip codes Baugh selected for the drive, thanked Baugh in an email and said she "did her job."

    Amid calls for her resignation, Baugh provided a statement on Monday to CNN Sarasota affiliate WWSB.

    "I have apologized to my constituents and my colleagues for a lapse in judgment," she wrote, according to WWSB. "These petty partisan political calls are nothing more than the divisive politics our Nation needs to steer away from. I will continue working to bring more vaccine to Manatee County and lead us through this pandemic."

    The county commission, by a 4-3 vote on Tuesday, rejected a motion asking Baugh to resign as chairman.

  9. #1234
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    We can thank all the people not wearing masks and congregating for another variant.

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/25/healt...ity/index.html

    Researchers find worrying new coronavirus variant in New York City

    Two separate teams of researchers said this week they have found a worrying new coronavirus variant in New York City and elsewhere in the Northeast that carries mutations that help it evade the body's natural immune response -- as well as the effects of monoclonal antibody treatments.

    Genomics researchers have named the variant B.1.526. It appears in people affected in diverse neighborhoods of New York City, they said, and is "scattered in the Northeast."

    One of the mutations in this variant is the same concerning change found in the variant first seen in South Africa and known as B.1.351. It appears to evade, somewhat, the body's response to vaccines, as well. And it's becoming more common.

    "We observed a steady increase in the detection rate from late December to mid-February, with an alarming rise to 12.7% in the past two weeks," one team, at Columbia University Medical Center, write in a report that has yet to be published, although it is scheduled to appear in pre-print version this week.

    It's the latest of a growing number of viral variants that have arisen in the US, which has had more coronavirus cases -- 28 million -- than any other country and where spread is still intense.

    It's "home grown, presumably in New York," Dr. David Ho, Director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center at Columbia, who led the study team, said by email.

    Viruses mutate all the time. The more people who are infected, and the longer they are infected, the more chance the viruses have to change. A patient's body will be loaded with billions of copies of a virus, and may will be slightly changed, or mutated. Most will come and go.

    But sometimes a mutation or pattern of mutations takes hold and gets passed along. If viruses with such patterns become more common, they're called variants. Again, it's not unusual for variants to arise but if they give the virus worrying properties, such as better transmissibility or the ability to evade treatments and vaccines, that's when doctors start to worry.

    The mutation in this variant that most concerns researchers is called E484K and it gives the virus the ability to slip past some of the body's immune response, as well as the authorized monoclonal antibody treatments. This mutation is popping up independently in many different cases but appears in one particular variant, as well -- the one called B.1.526.

    "It is this novel variant that is surging, alarmingly, in our patient population over the past few weeks," the Columbia team wrote in a copy of their report provided to CNN.

    "We find the rate of detection of this new variant is going up over the past few weeks. A concern is that it might be beginning to overtake other strains, just like the UK and South African variants," Ho told CNN.

    "However, we don't have enough data to firm up this point now."

    But the E484K mutation is seen in at least 59 different lineages of coronavirus, they said -- which means it is evolving independently across the nation and across the world in a phenomenon known as convergent evolution. It may give the virus an advantage.

    "Everything we know about this key mutation suggests that it appears to escape from antibody pressure," Ho said.

    Separately, a team at the California Institute of Technology said they developed a software tool that also spotted the rise of B.1.526 in New York. "It appears that the frequency of lineage B.1.526 has increased rapidly in New York," they wrote in a pre-print -- a report that has not been peer-reviewed but has been posted online.

    On Tuesday, two teams reported on another variant that appears to be on the rise in California.

    They fear that the variant might not only be more contagious, but may cause more severe disease, as well. As with the New York reports, their research is in its very early stages, has not been published or peer reviewed, and needs more work.

  10. #1235
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://www.newsweek.com/what-we-kno...-1-429-1571605

    California Variant of SARS-Cov-II reported

    A new coronavirus variant that was first identified in California is now taking hold in some parts of the state—but what do we currently know about it?

    The variant actually comes in two forms, known as B.1.427 and B.1.429, both of which carry a similar, albeit slightly differing, set of genetic mutations—including three that affect the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

    The spike protein enables the virus to bind on to and enter human cells. One of the mutation that B.1.427 and B.1.429 carry—dubbed L452R—is thought to increase the infectivity of the virus.

    For their study, the researchers examined 2,172 SARS-CoV-2 virus samples collected from patients in 44 California counties between September 1, 2020, and January 29, 2021, according to Science. The scientists found that the prevalence of the variant among the samples increased drastically from zero to more than 50 percent over this time period.

    The UCSF researchers also say that cases caused by the variant are now doubling every 18 days, the Times reported.

    NEWSWEEK SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS >
    The scientists say their data indicates that B.1.427/B.1.429 is more transmissible than the original virus while also being associated with more severe disease—although more research needs to be conducted before either of these conclusions can be confirmed.

    "This variant is concerning because our data shows that it is more contagious, more likely to be associated with severe illness, and at least partially resistant to neutralizing antibodies," senior author of the study Charles Chiu, an infectious diseases physician at UCSF, told Science.

    In fact, the authors wrote in the study that B.1.427/B.1.429 "should likely be designated a variant of concern warranting urgent follow-up investigation," based on the available evidence.

    Evidence to suggest that the variant is more contagious comes, in part, from the finding that people infected with it had about twice as much of the virus in their nose compared to others, which could make them more infectious, according to Science.

    Robert Schooley, an infectious disease expert at UC San Diego, who was not involved in the research, told Science: "The biology of having a higher level of virus... would certainly fit the thesis that people would not do as well."

    Other epidemiological data from nursing home and household settings collected by UCSF researchers supports the hypothesis of higher transmissibility, although B.1.427/B.1.429 may not be as infectious as other variants, such as B.1.1.7, which was first identified in the U.K. and has spread widely across the United States.

    "I'm increasingly convinced that this one is transmitting more than others locally," William Hanage, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who was not involved in the research, told the Times. "But there's not evidence to suggest that it's in the same ballpark as B.1.1.7."

    Data from the study regarding COVID-19 patients found an association between B.1.427/B.1.429 and more severe disease. Among more than 300 people with COVID-19 who were cared for at UCSF clinics or its medical center, those infected with the variant were 4.8 times more likely to be admitted to the ICU and 11 times more likely to die than patients with other variants, the study found, according to Science.
    But the authors admit it is not possible to conclude from these figures that the variant actually causes more severe disease.

    "If I were a reviewer, I would want to see more data from more infected people to substantiate this very provocative claim," David O'Connor, a virus expert from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who was also not involved in the research, told Science.

    Hanage told Science that, unlike the UCSF scientists, he does not believe B.1.427 and B.1.429 should be categorized as variants of concern based on their study alone.

    "The work is definitely worth reporting, but I don't buy that on its own this is sufficient to categorize these as variants of concern," Hanage told Science.

    He also told the Times that B.1.427/B.1.429 is "not as big a deal as the others." B.1.1.7, for example, has tended to explode rapidly in new countries where it appears, whereas this does not appear to be the case with B.1.427/B.1.429.

    Chiu told the Times that it's possible B.1.427/B.1.429 could surpass B.1.1.7 in California, but only time would tell.


  11. #1236
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Good.

    https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wire...ndant-76139121

    FAA seeks $27,500 from passenger it says hit air attendant

    Federal officials are seeking a $27,500 civil penalty against an airline passenger who allegedly struck a flight attendant who asked the passenger and a companion to leave the plane after a dispute over wearing a face mask.

    The confrontation on board a Delta Air Lines flight departing from Miami International Airport for Atlanta began when the passenger's companion refused to wear a mask, secure his tray table or fasten his seatbelt, the Federal Aviation Administration said Friday. Delta, like most airlines, requires most passengers to wear masks except when eating or drinking.

    Pilots returned the plane to the gate, and the pair was asked to disembark. The first passenger began yelling at the flight attendant and other passengers, then hit the flight attendant under her left eye.

    The FAA did not identify the offending passenger or say whether they were a man or a woman. The person has 30 days to respond to the proposed penalty.

    The FAA announced tighter enforcement of rules against disturbances on planes after several rowdy incidents in early January on flights to and from Washington.

  12. #1237
    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    So I took a COVID test and the results say NOT DETECTED. Under that it says "A Not Detected result does not preclude the possibility of SARS-COV-2 infection since the adequacy of sample collection and/or low viral burden may result in the presence of viral nucleic acids below the analytical sensitivity of this test method. Test results should be used with caution an in conjunction with other clinical and laboratory data in making a diagnosis"

    So could I still have it even with a negative result?!?

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    Chelsea, if you are a ghost and reading mds, I command you to walk into the light.

  13. #1238
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    So I took a COVID test and the results say NOT DETECTED. Under that it says "A Not Detected result does not preclude the possibility of SARS-COV-2 infection since the adequacy of sample collection and/or low viral burden may result in the presence of viral nucleic acids below the analytical sensitivity of this test method. Test results should be used with caution an in conjunction with other clinical and laboratory data in making a diagnosis"

    So could I still have it even with a negative result?!?
    That sucks. I guess theoretically you could have it if there wasn't enough of a sample to determine one way or another. Are you still feeling bad?

  14. #1239
    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    That sucks. I guess theoretically you could have it if there wasn't enough of a sample to determine one way or another. Are you still feeling bad?
    No I feel okay now. I was just confused by that wording.

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    Chelsea, if you are a ghost and reading mds, I command you to walk into the light.

  15. #1240
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://www.ktvu.com/news/japans-gov...avirus-variant

    TOKYO - Japan has confirmed the discovery of a new, more contagious coronavirus variant, according to a report released by the country’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID).

    Reuters reported that the new strain appears to have originated overseas, but is different than the other strains identified in Britain, South Africa and Brazil.
    "It may be more contagious than conventional strains, and if it continues to spread domestically, it could lead to a rapid rise in cases," Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said Friday, Reuters reported.

    According to the NIID report, 91 cases of the new strain have been identified in the Kanto region of Japan, roughly 64 miles north of Tokyo.

    The discovery of the new strain comes as Japan approved and began administering its first COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday. Japan’s health ministry said it had approved the vaccine co-developed and supplied by Pfizer.

    Many countries began vaccinating their citizens late last year, and Pfizer’s vaccine has been used elsewhere since December.

    Under the current vaccination plan, about 20,000 front-line medical workers at hospitals in Japan will get the first shots. About 3.7 million other medical workers will be next, followed by elderly people, who are expected to get their shots in April. By June, it’s expected that all others will be eligible.

    The NIID report published Friday acknowledges the beneficial timing of the nation’s vaccine approval but urges medical experts to be on the lookout for adaptive mutations of the virus, suggesting the establishment of systematic genome surveillance.

    So far, there has been no evidence to suggest that the current COVID-19 vaccines wouldn’t work against the other mutations identified around the world.

    But a separate laboratory study from Pfizer Inc-BioNTech suggests that the company’s current COVID-19 vaccine may generate a significantly less robust antibody response against the South Africa variant of the coronavirus.

    According to the in-vitro study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), lab results "indicated a reduction in neutralization," of the virus.

    Japan’s NIID pointed to the same possibility in its report.

    "It has been pointed out that the mutant [South African] strain has the possibility of immune escape that increases the transmission power and diminishes the vaccine effect," The NIID report read.

    In the Pfizer study on the South Africa variant, researchers analyzed blood from people who had taken the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine and identified a two-thirds reduction in the level of neutralizing COVID-19 antibodies to the South Africa variant.

    This was compared with the most common variant of the virus prevalent in the U.S.

    "It is unclear what effect a reduction in neutralization by approximately two-thirds would have on BNT162b2-elicited protection from Covid-19 caused by the B.1.351 lineage of SARS-CoV-2," researchers wrote.

    Despite the results of the in vitro lab test, the company said that there is still no clinical evidence from human trials that the South African mutation reduces the overall protection of the vaccine.

    The Associated Press contributed to this story.

  16. #1241
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/bil...-legislatures/

    According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, all 50 states mandate that students get certain vaccinations against infectious diseases, many aligning their requirements with the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and all allow exemptions for medical reasons. Currently, 45 states and Washington D.C. grant religious exemptions, which, because there are constitutional issues with a state’s inquiring into the bona fides of religious exemption claims, have become de facto “philosophical” exemptions. Fifteen states allow “philosophical” exemptions outright.

    Each year, there are competing bills introduced in the state legislatures attempting to either constrict or expand school immunization requirements, including exemptions. This year is no exception. As well, public health initiatives aimed at the COVID-19 pandemic, and the appearance of vaccines to abate it, have energized the anti-vaccine and “health freedom” crowd. They’ve managed to woo sympathetic legislators into introducing bills targeting COVID-19 mitigation measures like testing, vaccination, and mask-wearing.

    This week we’ll take a look at legislation affecting school vaccination requirements. In my next post, we’ll review COVID-related bills. (There is some overlap.)

    First, some housekeeping. Different states have different abbreviations for legislation: House Bill 123 could be H123, HB123 or, in a state that calls one of its chambers the Assembly, A123, and all of these could be with or without a space between the letters and numbers. There’s also LD (Legislative Document) 123, LB (Legislative Bill) 123, and HF (House File) 123, among others. Some states give pre-filed bills one designation and the filed bills another. To simply things (for me), I’m going to use whatever combination of letters and numbers the particular state uses with a link to the legislature’s website, where you can find all the details.

    Anti-vaccination legislation
    We’ll start in Arizona. While most anti-vaccine legislation tries to put lipstick on the proverbial pig by creating exemptions so broad that they swallow the rule, an Arizona bill dispenses with the cosmetics. HB 2065 makes all school vaccinations merely recommended for attendance, not required. An unvaccinated child could not be excluded from class unless there is an active case of a disease at his or her school and the health department has declared an outbreak in the school’s area.

    Oklahoma SB 350 also prohibits public and private schools from requiring any immunizations for minor children attending school. SB 477 would prevent public and private universities and other institutions of higher education from requiring student immunization against meningococcal disease, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, and rubella. Apparently, current law allowing anyone to opt out of the meningococcal disease vaccine for any reason and medical, religious and “moral” opt-outs for hepatitis B and MMR were not sufficiently subservient to “health freedom”.

    To ensure that Oklahoma health officials’ hands are completely tied in all situations, higher ed school students cannot be required to undergo any vaccination, use any medical device, or undergo any medical procedure, surgical procedure, or physical examination, all of which I suspect is aimed at the COVID-19 pandemic and future public health emergencies. Not only that, but in a provision that almost certainly violates the First Amendment’s free speech guarantees and is void for vagueness to boot, the bill allows criminal misdemeanor prosecution of any employee of a higher ed institution who coerces or in any way influences a student to get vaccinated.

    Likewise, Maine’s LD 156 makes vaccination completely voluntary for students, but only those attending a virtual public school or a private school.

    Other state legislators are using the more traditional approach of expanding exemptions, or making them easier to get, including one bill allowing an exemption for any reason, which essentially makes immunization optional. Some bills also narrow the diseases for which vaccination may be required.

    The Missouri legislature has several of these bills pending. HB 37 would add a conscientious belief exemption to the existing religious exemption at all levels of education, pre-school to post-high school. HB 566 would go even further, allowing exemptions for any reason. (HB 566 would also require the mother’s consent to inoculation of her newborn with the hepatitis B vaccine and hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) per ACIP guidelines when the mother tests positive for hepatitis or her status is unknown. Immunization of newborns under those circumstances are automatic under current law.)

    The state would be prevented from enacting any requirement for obtaining a non-medical exemption beyond signing a form, such as watching a video or visiting the health department, and it would be required to develop an informational brochure on obtaining exemptions and make sure it is widely distributed, as well as to make exemption forms easily available.

    Missouri HB 37 also freezes the diseases against which vaccination can be required to poliomyelitis, rubella, rubeola, mumps, tetanus, pertussis, diphtheria, and hepatitis B, for elementary and secondary schools, and for day care centers, preschools and nursery schools. (Required vaccinations for the latter group now use the ACIP guidelines.) It limits required immunizations to public schools, day care centers, etc., only, making vaccination requirements for private and parochial schools optional. Higher education students living in on-campus housing would no longer be required to get the meningococcal vaccine unless the housing is publicly owned, thereby eliminating the mandate for private schools and privately-owned housing at public schools. HB 35, introduced by the same sponsor as HB37, prohibits any school, city, or county from requiring additional immunizations.

    Finally, failing to vaccinate your child could no longer be considered in neglect and abuse cases in Missouri. To protect the Dr. Bob Sears-type physician, providing medical exemptions, apparently no matter the circumstances, could not be considered by the medical board for any purposes, such as in disciplinary proceedings,

    Minnesota already has a “conscientiously held beliefs” exemption to school vaccinations. SF 292 and HF 452 add a “genuinely and sincerely held religious belief” exemption as well, which seems superfluous. Utah HB 233, which passed the House and is now before the Senate, requires medical and “personal or religious belief” exemptions to vaccinations required by universities and other higher ed institutions, except for students “studying in a medical setting”. The bill prohibits all schools from barring any unvaccinated student, at any level of education, from in-person classes, although “nothing restricts a state or local health department from acting . . . to contain the spread of infectious disease.”

    Mississippi is one of the few states allowing only medical exemptions to school vaccinations. HB 475, which died in committee, added a religious exemption. South Dakota HB 1097 amends the law allowing an exemption when “the child is an adherent to a religious doctrine whose teachings are opposed to immunization” to refocus the exemption on the parent’s opposition “because of a sincerely held religious or philosophical belief”. Connecticut HB 5578, which has 15 Republican sponsors (almost a third of the Republican House membership), would add moral and philosophical objections to the already-allowed medical and religious exemptions. Indiana HB 1279 creates a religious exemption to required vaccinations for foster home licensure. (It also creates a medical exemption.)

    Current law in Massachusetts permits a medical exemption if the physician has personally examined the child and is of the opinion that “the physical condition of the child is such that his health would be endangered by such vaccination or by any of such immunizations”. Massachusetts HD2973 amends that law so that the physician can take into account “concerns regarding an increased risk of adverse events, family history, or exacerbation of pre-existing medical conditions”, whether those are recognized by experts as valid criteria or not.

    In what appears to be another attempt to protect the Dr. Sears-type physician, the proposed legislation would prohibit disciplinary action against a physician providing a medical exemption in the “absence of manifest bad faith”, nor could the exemption be used “to change or negatively affect a physician’s rating or standing with any employer, insurer, hospital affiliation or academic affiliation”, thereby making it harder for the medical board and other organizations to discipline a doctor.

    In New Jersey, A4659 and S2995 would prohibit any school or government entity from requiring flu vaccinations for anyone age 18 or younger. New York A3250 would prohibit flu vaccine mandates for children (age 6 months – 59 months) in childcare and preschool.

  17. #1242
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/bil...-legislatures/

    According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, all 50 states mandate that students get certain vaccinations against infectious diseases, many aligning their requirements with the CDC?s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and all allow exemptions for medical reasons. Currently, 45 states and Washington D.C. grant religious exemptions, which, because there are constitutional issues with a state?s inquiring into the bona fides of religious exemption claims, have become de facto ?philosophical? exemptions. Fifteen states allow ?philosophical? exemptions outright.

    Each year, there are competing bills introduced in the state legislatures attempting to either constrict or expand school immunization requirements, including exemptions. This year is no exception. As well, public health initiatives aimed at the COVID-19 pandemic, and the appearance of vaccines to abate it, have energized the anti-vaccine and ?health freedom? crowd. They?ve managed to woo sympathetic legislators into introducing bills targeting COVID-19 mitigation measures like testing, vaccination, and mask-wearing.

    This week we?ll take a look at legislation affecting school vaccination requirements. In my next post, we?ll review COVID-related bills. (There is some overlap.)

    First, some housekeeping. Different states have different abbreviations for legislation: House Bill 123 could be H123, HB123 or, in a state that calls one of its chambers the Assembly, A123, and all of these could be with or without a space between the letters and numbers. There?s also LD (Legislative Document) 123, LB (Legislative Bill) 123, and HF (House File) 123, among others. Some states give pre-filed bills one designation and the filed bills another. To simply things (for me), I?m going to use whatever combination of letters and numbers the particular state uses with a link to the legislature?s website, where you can find all the details.

    Anti-vaccination legislation
    We?ll start in Arizona. While most anti-vaccine legislation tries to put lipstick on the proverbial pig by creating exemptions so broad that they swallow the rule, an Arizona bill dispenses with the cosmetics. HB 2065 makes all school vaccinations merely recommended for attendance, not required. An unvaccinated child could not be excluded from class unless there is an active case of a disease at his or her school and the health department has declared an outbreak in the school?s area.

    Oklahoma SB 350 also prohibits public and private schools from requiring any immunizations for minor children attending school. SB 477 would prevent public and private universities and other institutions of higher education from requiring student immunization against meningococcal disease, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, and rubella. Apparently, current law allowing anyone to opt out of the meningococcal disease vaccine for any reason and medical, religious and ?moral? opt-outs for hepatitis B and MMR were not sufficiently subservient to ?health freedom?.

    To ensure that Oklahoma health officials? hands are completely tied in all situations, higher ed school students cannot be required to undergo any vaccination, use any medical device, or undergo any medical procedure, surgical procedure, or physical examination, all of which I suspect is aimed at the COVID-19 pandemic and future public health emergencies. Not only that, but in a provision that almost certainly violates the First Amendment?s free speech guarantees and is void for vagueness to boot, the bill allows criminal misdemeanor prosecution of any employee of a higher ed institution who coerces or in any way influences a student to get vaccinated.

    Likewise, Maine?s LD 156 makes vaccination completely voluntary for students, but only those attending a virtual public school or a private school.

    Other state legislators are using the more traditional approach of expanding exemptions, or making them easier to get, including one bill allowing an exemption for any reason, which essentially makes immunization optional. Some bills also narrow the diseases for which vaccination may be required.

    The Missouri legislature has several of these bills pending. HB 37 would add a conscientious belief exemption to the existing religious exemption at all levels of education, pre-school to post-high school. HB 566 would go even further, allowing exemptions for any reason. (HB 566 would also require the mother?s consent to inoculation of her newborn with the hepatitis B vaccine and hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) per ACIP guidelines when the mother tests positive for hepatitis or her status is unknown. Immunization of newborns under those circumstances are automatic under current law.)

    The state would be prevented from enacting any requirement for obtaining a non-medical exemption beyond signing a form, such as watching a video or visiting the health department, and it would be required to develop an informational brochure on obtaining exemptions and make sure it is widely distributed, as well as to make exemption forms easily available.

    Missouri HB 37 also freezes the diseases against which vaccination can be required to poliomyelitis, rubella, rubeola, mumps, tetanus, pertussis, diphtheria, and hepatitis B, for elementary and secondary schools, and for day care centers, preschools and nursery schools. (Required vaccinations for the latter group now use the ACIP guidelines.) It limits required immunizations to public schools, day care centers, etc., only, making vaccination requirements for private and parochial schools optional. Higher education students living in on-campus housing would no longer be required to get the meningococcal vaccine unless the housing is publicly owned, thereby eliminating the mandate for private schools and privately-owned housing at public schools. HB 35, introduced by the same sponsor as HB37, prohibits any school, city, or county from requiring additional immunizations.

    Finally, failing to vaccinate your child could no longer be considered in neglect and abuse cases in Missouri. To protect the Dr. Bob Sears-type physician, providing medical exemptions, apparently no matter the circumstances, could not be considered by the medical board for any purposes, such as in disciplinary proceedings,

    Minnesota already has a ?conscientiously held beliefs? exemption to school vaccinations. SF 292 and HF 452 add a ?genuinely and sincerely held religious belief? exemption as well, which seems superfluous. Utah HB 233, which passed the House and is now before the Senate, requires medical and ?personal or religious belief? exemptions to vaccinations required by universities and other higher ed institutions, except for students ?studying in a medical setting?. The bill prohibits all schools from barring any unvaccinated student, at any level of education, from in-person classes, although ?nothing restricts a state or local health department from acting . . . to contain the spread of infectious disease.?

    Mississippi is one of the few states allowing only medical exemptions to school vaccinations. HB 475, which died in committee, added a religious exemption. South Dakota HB 1097 amends the law allowing an exemption when ?the child is an adherent to a religious doctrine whose teachings are opposed to immunization? to refocus the exemption on the parent?s opposition ?because of a sincerely held religious or philosophical belief?. Connecticut HB 5578, which has 15 Republican sponsors (almost a third of the Republican House membership), would add moral and philosophical objections to the already-allowed medical and religious exemptions. Indiana HB 1279 creates a religious exemption to required vaccinations for foster home licensure. (It also creates a medical exemption.)

    Current law in Massachusetts permits a medical exemption if the physician has personally examined the child and is of the opinion that ?the physical condition of the child is such that his health would be endangered by such vaccination or by any of such immunizations?. Massachusetts HD2973 amends that law so that the physician can take into account ?concerns regarding an increased risk of adverse events, family history, or exacerbation of pre-existing medical conditions?, whether those are recognized by experts as valid criteria or not.

    In what appears to be another attempt to protect the Dr. Sears-type physician, the proposed legislation would prohibit disciplinary action against a physician providing a medical exemption in the ?absence of manifest bad faith?, nor could the exemption be used ?to change or negatively affect a physician?s rating or standing with any employer, insurer, hospital affiliation or academic affiliation?, thereby making it harder for the medical board and other organizations to discipline a doctor.

    In New Jersey, A4659 and S2995 would prohibit any school or government entity from requiring flu vaccinations for anyone age 18 or younger. New York A3250 would prohibit flu vaccine mandates for children (age 6 months ? 59 months) in childcare and preschool.

  18. #1243

  19. #1244
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/02/us/de...tes/index.html

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/02/us/de...tes/index.html

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is facing bipartisan criticism and a call for a federal investigation after the state set up invitation-only Covid-19 vaccination clinics in at least two upscale communities.
    One prominent developer in two communities donated to DeSantis' campaign -- in amounts of $25,000 and $50,000 between 2018 and 2019 for a total of $125,000, according to campaign finance records.

    The exclusive vaccine clinics allowed about 6,000 people to jump ahead of tens of thousands of seniors on waitlists in Manatee and Charlotte counties, where the drives happened.

    "I'm an active Republican, so I'm a fan of the governor, but I think that this could have been done better," said Harvey Goldstein, a staunch Republican in Charlotte County.

    DeSantis declined CNN's request for an on-camera interview for this story. Meredith Beatrice, the governor's director of strategic initiatives, sent an email to CNN saying, in part, "The insinuation that politics play into vaccine distribution in Florida is baseless and ridiculous."

    Florida, where demand for vaccination has exceeded supply since the state started administering it in late December, is facing statewide vaccine distribution challenges.

    So far, more than 3 million Floridians have received one or both doses of a vaccine, according to state records. An overwhelming majority of the recipients, about 76%, have been seniors age 65 and older.

    DeSantis has been fending off criticism about the pop-up sites, even threatening to move a clinic that his state set up in an affluent, mostly white, community in Manatee County after he was confronted with allegations of political favoritism.

    Vanessa Baugh, chair of the Board of County Commissioners of Manatee County, revealed the origins of the vaccine drive at the Lakewood Ranch community after her emails, obtained by CNN and other media outlets through an information request, showed Baugh asked county workers to pull a list of potential vaccine recipients from only two ZIP codes who would then participate in a state-sponsored vaccine drive.

    Baugh said at a public county commissioners' meeting that DeSantis called Rex Jensen, the CEO of the parent company of the Lakewood Ranch community, about setting up a vaccine drive -- and that Jensen called her for help setting up the drive. A news release on the Manatee County website says it aimed to vaccinate 3,000 people over three days.

    Jensen's spokesperson, Lisa Barnott, told CNN their involvement in the vaccine drive was only "to help identify a site that could accommodate 1,000 people per day."

    Some residents in Manatee County said they were outraged by Baugh's actions.

    "The whole thing smacked to me of politics, favoritism, elitism and racism," Ken Schultz, a Manatee County resident, told CNN.

    Baugh apologized following intense criticism regarding the vaccination site, but said at another public county commissioners' meeting February 18 that if presented with the opportunity again, "I will do exactly what I did this time."

    The Manatee County Sheriff's Office launched an investigation last week after Michael Barfield, a self-proclaimed citizen watchdog, filed a complaint claiming Baugh may have broken the law by misusing her public position to benefit herself and others.

    CNN asked Baugh for comment on the investigation but has not heard back.

    At the time, DeSantis discounted the criticism, saying at a February 17 news conference, "It was a choice about where's a high concentration of seniors where you could have communities provide the ability for them to go on (to get vaccinated)."

    It turns out, a similar clinic was arranged at a 55-and-older gated community called Kings Gate, in Charlotte County, which also invited residents of another resort-style community called Grand Palm to get vaccinated.

    But some seniors on the county's waitlist, such as Harvey Goldstein, were not invited, even though he says he lives a few minutes' drive from Kings Gate, where the pop-up clinic was held last month. The appointments for the drive were filled through the community of Kings Gate, according to a news release issued by DeSantis' office.

    "When we're delivering vaccines the mechanism has to be as fair as possible, and we can't play favorites," Goldstein said. "I think it was a mistake."

    Vaccines and political ties
    Kings Gate and Grand Palm have something else in common.

    They were developed by one of DeSantis' donors, Patrick Neal, a real estate developer and former Florida lawmaker. Neal is also a prominent developer at Lakewood Ranch. According to the Neal Communities website, Neal also serves on DeSantis' Judicial Nominating Commission.

    Neal Communities spokesperson Leisa Weintraub told CNN via email that the company was not involved in the Lakewood Ranch vaccination site and said the company would have no further comment.

    In a news release dated February 15 and issued by Neal Communities, Neal said DeSantis reached out for help with the vaccination event at Kings Gate.

    "Neal Communities, Southwest Florida's premier, private homebuilder, was asked by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to assist with a community vaccination event in Charlotte County," said the news release.

    Between 2018 and 2019, Neal donated $125,000 to the Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC, according to campaign finance records. Records also show conservative donor Richard Uihlein, who has family ties to Lakewood Ranch, donated $900,000 to the PAC during that same period.

    CNN reached out to Uihlein and has not heard back.

    The Uihlein family has owned Schroeder-Manatee Ranch (SMR) since the early 1900s and developed Lakewood Ranch on the SMR property, according to the Lakewood Ranch website. SMR, once a working ranch, transitioned into community development in 1994. According to the website, Lakewood Ranch is the fastest selling multi-generational, master-planned community in the United States.

    Democratic US Rep. Charlie Crist sent a letter to acting US Attorney General Monty Wilkinson on February 21, asking the Department of Justice to investigate DeSantis and whether the vaccine drives benefit DeSantis' political allies and donors.

    "Lakewood Ranch's parent company is owned by one of the largest Republican donors in the country, including contributing over $900,000 to the Governor," Crist wrote in the letter.

    The congressman told CNN, "If you're Hispanic or Black or (a) brown person, you're not getting these pop-up vaccines that the governor is giving to people that are in more affluent, more White and more Republican parts of Florida."

    Asked for comment, a Justice Department spokesperson would not say whether it was investigating and declined further comment.

    Mayor challenges governor on vaccine clinics
    In a statement to CNN, the governor's strategic initiatives director, Meredith Beatrice, said nearly half of the senior living community vaccine points of distribution in Florida have been in Broward and Palm Beach counties, "which are not known for being Republican strongholds."

    Beatrice also said the state partnered with places of worship earlier this year and with historically Black colleges and universities, Navarro and CVS y Mas pharmacy stores to help reach underserved communities.
    But Carlos Hernandez, the mayor of Hialeah, a predominantly Hispanic and working-class city, said he doesn't buy the governor's explanation of the pop-up sites.

    Hernandez crashed a news conference DeSantis hosted in his city last week, the day the governor announced the partnership with Navarro and CVS y Mas, and said he has been trying to talk to DeSantis since the pandemic started.

    "Governor, the mayor of Hialeah. How are you, sir?" Hernandez shouted after DeSantis finished his news conference.

    As soon as DeSantis walked out, Hernandez walked up to the governor's lectern and said he doesn't believe politics are not involved in the distribution of the vaccine in Florida.

    "I need help for my people in the city of Hialeah. I've been saying that since this thing started," Hernandez said. "It's sad that he (DeSantis) talks about politics aren't involved. Come on. You know what? Give me the vaccines."

  20. #1245
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Something to keep in mind for when we finally get our vaccines.

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/02/healt...ess/index.html

    Mammograms pick up swelling due to Covid-19 vaccine, causing unnecessary fear, radiologists say

    When she found a lump in her left breast during a routine self-check, Boston primary care physician Dr. Devon Quasha knew exactly what to do. She immediately scheduled a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound at Massachusetts General Hospital for early January.

    Then the Moderna vaccine became available to health care professionals in the city. She received her first Covid-19 shot about a week before her scheduled mammogram.
    Quasha didn't notice much of a reaction to the vaccine at first, but a couple of days before her appointment her left arm began to hurt.

    Tender, swollen lumps developed under her left armpit, along with a large swelling above her collarbone -- all areas where there are lymph nodes, the body's filters for germs.
    "You have lymph nodes above and below your collarbone," Quasha said. "You don't want to feel those. It was scary when I felt it."

    Lymph nodes contain immune cells that help fight invaders. That's why it made sense to Quasha that the nodes were reacting to the vaccine, building antibodies as they were designed to do. But she couldn't be sure.

    The swelling was only on the left side where she had gotten the shot -- the same side as the worrisome lump. Was it a reaction to the vaccine or another sign of breast cancer?

    'It was like a wildfire'

    After the ultrasound, Quasha's radiologist was concerned. She told Quasha she considered the lump she had felt in her breast to be of little significance, but the lymph nodes that showed up as white blobs on her mammogram were another matter.

    In non-pandemic times, that finding would set off alarm bells, requiring the need for further investigation, even an immediate biopsy. Yet Quasha had just had the vaccine. After talking it over with her, Quasha said her doctor decided not to do a biopsy at that time. Instead she told Quasha to come back for a follow-up ultrasound in six weeks.

    Similar scenarios had been happening in mammogram centers around the country. As radiologists compared notes with colleagues, word began to spread.

    "We all started talking about it, and it was like a wildfire," said Dr. Connie Lehman, chief of breast imaging in Massachusetts General's department of radiology.

    "I cannot tell you how many women are showing nodes on mammograms and people thought it was going to be not that common," said Lehman, who is also a professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School.

    Tales of unnecessary biopsies spurred the patient care committee of the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) to put out an advisory in January: Ask your patients about their Covid-19 status, and record the date and which arm received the vaccine. Consider that before automatically scheduling a biopsy.

    "We wanted to advocate that women don't always need to have a biopsy," said Dr. Lars Grimm, associate professor of radiology at Duke University School of Medicine and one of the authors of the SBI advisory. "Because oftentimes the default if you see swollen lymph nodes in a patient would actually be to recommend doing a biopsy."

    Mass General's Lehman agreed. "When you hear hoofbeats, don't think zebra," she said. "If a woman had a vaccine in the arm on the same side, and the lymph nodes are swollen, this is a normal biological response. It's totally expected. It just doesn't make sense to start imaging."

    That does not mean that women who wish to be sure about their cancer status cannot have a biopsy, Grimm stressed.

    "You actually have some women who want to biopsy," he said. "You might tell them, 'Hey, I think this is due to your Covid vaccine, and I'm sure that it's going to resolve in a few weeks on its own and you're going to be fine.' But that patient tells you, 'I'm not going to be comfortable waiting, I want to know now.' "

    Focus on screening to save lives

    For Quasha, the knowledge that many women were experiencing the same type of reaction to the vaccine was a welcome relief from worry. After a discussion with her doctor, she said she no longer needs the follow-up screening.

    "I was very reassured," Quasha said. "The point here is that there are a number of side effects from the vaccine which are not dangerous but can sometimes increase patient anxiety."

    Instead of bringing women back in for an unnecessary ultrasound, radiology centers should be focused on scheduling women who have missed or are overdue on their mammogram, Lehman said.

    "We need to take care of the large percentage of women who didn't get screened because of the shutdowns during Covid," she said. "At Mass General alone, we failed to screen 15,000 women because of Covid, and we're still trying to get them back in.

    "This isn't where I need to start doing axillary ultrasounds, because someone had a vaccine and the node swelled. It's just not being practical or pragmatic or putting our patient's needs first," she said.
    It's not just breast cancer, Lehman stressed. Lymph nodes in other parts of the body are also reacting to the Covid-19 vaccines, causing people with other forms of cancer to undergo unnecessary procedures.

    "There have been some false scares and some unnecessary biopsies because people didn't think to ask, and they assume that the node was the cancer coming back," she said.
    What to do?

    To avoid unnecessary worry, SBI recommends women schedule any routine, annual breast screening before getting the Covid-19 vaccine. If a woman has already had the vaccine, or is soon scheduled to do so, the society suggests waiting at least four to six weeks after the second dose before scheduling your appointment.

    At Mass General, Lehman and her team have gone a step further. They are screening all women regardless of vaccine status, but telling those with no history of cancer that any swelling in the lymph nodes that might be connected to a Covid-19 vaccine is benign -- meaning not cancerous.

    "This follows the American College of Radiology recommendations that if you have a known inflammatory cause you can say it's benign," said Lehman, who recently published a paper on the hospital's procedures.

    "If their concern is a swelling or tenderness after the vaccine in their armpit, we suggest that they wait four to six weeks, talk to their doctor, and if it persists, then we have them come in to do an evaluation of it," she said.

    Whatever you do, experts stress, don't skip getting your breast cancer screening when it is recommended. A study published Tuesday in the journal Radiology that followed over half a million women made the point clearly: Women who skip even one scheduled mammography screening before they are diagnosed with breast cancer have a significantly higher risk of dying.

    In fact, the risk of having a fatal breast cancer within 10 years of diagnosis was 50% lower for women who had regular breast screenings, the study said.

  21. #1246
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://fox40.com/news/coronavirus/s...-the-red-tier/

    FAIRFIELD, Calif. (KTXL) – Solano County is one of the next areas poised to make the transition into the state’s red tier of COVID-19 restrictions.

    Although Solano County health officer Dr. Bela Matyas says the number of COVID-19 cases may still be considered a bit high, the test positivity rate is good.

    “If we have a similar situation next week, even if our numbers are a little bit high, as long as our health equity metric remains really, really good, we’ll be able to go into the red tier,” said Dr. Matyas.

    That’s great news for the restaurant business, considering so many closed from financial hardship due to the pandemic.

    Sacramento County left behind as more counties move to red tier
    That’s why owner Piero Tropeano spent thousands to help keep his customers warm while eating outside Evelyn’s Big Italian Pizzeria & Ristorante in downtown Fairfield.

    “I had to put up this (enclosure), so they stay nice and comfortable. Once I have the lights inside. They’re happy,” Tropeano told FOX40.

    “We’re just looking forward to opening back up and being able to bring business back inside,” said Brevin Hensley, owner of Bud’s Pub and Grill.

    Especially for their faithful customers, who’ve braved chilly nights.

    “Supporting local businesses will be great,” one customer told FOX40.

  22. #1247
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    There's a reason DeSansBrains is winning in the straw poll for the next GOP Presidential nominee (if Cheeto doesn't die of his cholesterol/blood pressure or get thrown in the slammer before then). This guy is Trump Jr. He is as crooked as they come!

    https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/loca...nuary/2453850/

    Ex-Illinois Gov. Rauner Gave $250K to Florida Gov. DeSantis' Campaign After His Gated Community Got COVID Vaccines in January

    Former Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner made a $250,000 campaign contribution to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last week after nearly everyone age 65 or older in the wealthy gated community where Rauner lives was reportedly vaccinated against COVID-19 by mid-January.

    Rauner made the contribution on Feb. 25, according to DeSantis' campaign finance records, listing Rauner's occupation as "retired" and his address in the members-only waterfront community of the Ocean Reef Club, an enclave for the wealthy in Key Largo.

    The Miami Herald first reported the contribution on Wednesday night, along with an emailed newsletter that the paper obtained in which the Ocean Reef Club's management informed residents on Jan. 22 that more than 1,200 homeowners in the community had been vaccinated under the governor's guidelines making anyone 65 or older eligible.
    Also, I saw that Sans Brains is mad because CVS in Florida is abiding by Biden's mandate that ALL teachers that work with kids get access to the vaccine. He wanted to be able to pick and choose which teachers he gave it to, like he's been doing with all the other groups of people that received the vaccine. Asshole!

  23. #1248
    Moderator puzzld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    There's a reason DeSansBrains is winning in the straw poll for the next GOP Presidential nominee (if Cheeto doesn't die of his cholesterol/blood pressure or get thrown in the slammer before then). This guy is Trump Jr. He is as crooked as they come!

    https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/loca...nuary/2453850/

    Ex-Illinois Gov. Rauner Gave $250K to Florida Gov. DeSantis' Campaign After His Gated Community Got COVID Vaccines in January



    Also, I saw that Sans Brains is mad because CVS in Florida is abiding by Biden's mandate that ALL teachers that work with kids get access to the vaccine. He wanted to be able to pick and choose which teachers he gave it to, like he's been doing with all the other groups of people that received the vaccine. Asshole!
    Well if you give it to just any old teacher, some deserving millionaire, ex gov., or R fundraiser might have to do without. That would really suck.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by nestlequikie View Post
    Why on earth would I smite you when I can ban you?

  24. #1249
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-next-pandemic/

    We are just about at a year for the COVID-19 pandemic. After a year COVID has infected more than 115 million people and caused over 2.5 million deaths, with over half a million in the US alone. Pandemic fatigue has definitely set in, but with the rollout of various vaccines we can also see the light at the end of the tunnel. But there appears to be a strong consensus among experts that just because this pandemic ends, as all pandemics eventually do, that does not mean our concerns are over. They may just be getting started.

    Dr. Mike Ryan, head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergencies Program warns that COVID-19 may have just been a “wake-up call”. This was a once-in-a century pandemic, but it may not be another century before the next one hits, and the next one could be far worse. What has changed?

    The most obvious factor is simply that the human population has grown. Infectious diseases spread when animals congregate in large numbers. World population is now approaching 8 billion, and that population is increasingly global. Our rising population also brings other important factors. Producing enough food to feed the world includes raising large numbers of animals in close quarters, and they represent breeding grounds for viruses and infectious agents that can jump to humans.

    Further, humans are increasingly encroaching onto natural habitats, raising the probability of a virus going from a non-human reservoir into the human population. That is likely what happened with COVID-19, although the exact path has not yet been proven. SARS-CoV-2, the disease that causes COVID-19, is endemic in the South Asian bat populations, and likely came from that source through wet markets and intermediate species.

    There are potentially thousands of viruses in the world that have the potential to become the next pandemic, and SARS-CoV-2 is far from the worst of them. Rolling the “pandemic dice” has a good chance of producing something far worse than COVID-19, which is what Ryan and others are referring to with their warnings. The CDC keeps an eye on “Viruses of Special Concern”, such as those likely to produce the next flu pandemic. Other organizations also have published lists of potential severe pandemics, which include things like Ebola and Zika.

    In addition to the direct health effects of the pandemic, it has been incredibly disruptive to life and economic activity. A study published in October estimated that the cost of the pandemic to the US was $16 trillion. At the same time the IMF estimated that world-wide lost productivity alone could cost $28 trillion. A generation of students may have effectively lost a year of education. Life expectancy in the US was decreased by 1.13 years due to COVID-19, disproportionately affecting minorities and the poor.

    Once the vaccines have effectively ended the pandemic (although SARS-CoV-2 will likely remain with us, like the flu), it will be tempting to try to forget it and return to pre-pandemic normal life. But really, that will not be possible, nor should it be our goal. We need to adapt to a world where pandemics are increasingly likely.

    One adaptation, which is the most hopeful thing to emerge during this pandemic, is that health science continues to advance impressively. We not only developed and deployed multiple vaccines within a year of discovering the virus, some are based on an entirely new vaccine platform – the mRNA vaccines (such as the ones developed by Pfizer and Moderna). Because sequencing and making DNA and RNA is now a mature technology, it took only weeks to sequence the genome of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and only days to make the mRNA vaccine once the companies were handed that sequence. It then took months of clinical testing to prove the resulting vaccines were safe and effective – but there clearly is an opportunity here to fast track new vaccines, using a now-proven platform, without having to reinvent the clinical science each time. Quickly producing vaccines in response to new pandemic will likely prove to be one of our most important tools in the future.

    We also need to take concrete steps to reduce the probability of new pandemic viruses from emerging. This may include changing practices at factory farms, and regulating wet markets. But we also need to carefully consider development practices that encroach on natural habitats, and habitat destruction in general.

    The political challenge, as we have seen, may prove to be the most difficult. Preparedness is critical – we need to put in place, and maintain, a pandemic response infrastructure that can monitor for the emergence of new diseases, and respond effectively. This needs to be a global effort. It should be incredibly obvious now that something that happens on the other side of the planet can have devastating effects at home.

    Finally, on the personal and societal level there needs to be permanent changes in culture. We have collective acquired some new skills during this pandemic, and we should not discard them once the pandemic is over. This includes mask-wearing. It should be a simple matter now, and culturally normal and expected, that anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms should remain isolated, but if they have even minor symptoms and need to be in public they should wear a mask and socially distance.

    Further, working from home when sick or exposed should also be accepted as normal and responsible behavior. We can all Zoom now, and this should remain if not the default then at least an option for attending meetings and class when necessary. The pandemic also exacerbated and thereby helped reveal socioeconomic disparities. The “digital divide” now has public health consequences, and as we plan infrastructure investment it is clear that making sure everyone can attend class from home should be a priority.

    In a way, we need to adapt in the same way our immune systems adapt. Once exposed to an infectious agent, our immune systems remember them so that they can respond more quickly and vigorously at the next exposure. Similarly, our world needs to respond more quickly and vigorously to the next pandemic. We must have pandemic-memory, even if we want to forget the past year.

  25. #1250
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://wnyt.com/health/reports-ny-o...183/?cat=10114

    . NEW YORK (AP) - Some New York lawmakers are calling for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's impeachment after reports late Thursday that his top aides altered a state Health Department report to omit the true number of people killed by COVID-19 in the state's nursing homes.

    The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, citing documents and people with knowledge of the administration's internal discussions, reported that aides including secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa pushed state health officials to edit the July report so only residents who died inside long-term care facilities, and not those who became ill there and later died at a hospital, were counted.

    It's the latest blow for Cuomo, who's been besieged by a one-two punch of scandals involving his handling of nursing home deaths and accusations that he made lewd comments and inappropriately touched two former aides and a woman that he met at a wedding he officiated.

    Cuomo had apologized Wednesday for acting "in a way that made people feel uncomfortable" but rejected calls for his resignation and said he would fully cooperate with the state attorney general's investigation into the sexual harassment allegations. Federal investigators are scrutinizing his administration's handling of nursing home data.

    In the wake of Thursday night's report, some state lawmakers - including fellow Democrats like Assembly members Zohran Kwame Mamdani of Queens and Yuh-Line Niou of Manhattan - called for Cuomo's impeachment.

    "15,000 nursing home residents died. 15,000 of our loved ones died. And Cuomo hid the numbers. Impeach," tweeted Queens Assembly member Ron Kim, who said Cuomo bullied him over the nursing home response.

    The July nursing home report was released to rebut criticism of Cuomo over a March 25 directive that barred nursing homes from rejecting recovering coronavirus patients being discharged from hospitals. Some nursing homes complained at the time that the policy could help spread the virus.

    The report concluded the policy played no role in spreading infection.

    The state's analysis was based partly on what officials acknowledged at the time was an imprecise statistic. The report said 6,432 people had died in the state's nursing homes.

    State officials acknowledged that the true number of deaths was higher because of the exclusion of patients who died in hospitals, but they declined at the time to give any estimate of that larger number of deaths, saying the numbers still needed to be verified.

    The Times and Journal reported that, in fact, the original drafts of the report had included that number, then more than 9,200 deaths, until Cuomo's aides said it should be taken out.

    State officials insisted Thursday that the edits were made because of concerns about accuracy, not to protect Cuomo's reputation.

    "While early versions of the report included out of facility deaths, the COVID task force was not satisfied that the data had been verified against hospital data and so the final report used only data for in facility deaths, which was disclosed in the report," said Department of Health Spokesperson Gary Holmes.

    Scientists, health care professionals and elected officials assailed the report at the time for flawed methodology and selective stats that sidestepped the actual impact of the directive.

    Cuomo had refused for months to release complete data on how the early stages of the pandemic hit nursing home residents. A court order and state attorney general report in January forced the state to acknowledge the nursing home resident death toll was higher than the count previously made public.

    DeRosa told lawmakers earlier this month that the administration didn't turn over the data to legislators in August because of worries the information would be used against them by the Trump administration, which had recently launched a Justice Department investigation of nursing home deaths.

    "Basically, we froze, because then we were in a position where we weren't sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice or what we give to you guys, what we start saying was going to be used against us while we weren't sure if there was going to be an investigation," DeRosa said.

    Cuomo and his health commissioner recently defended the March directive, saying it was the best option at the time to help free up desperately needed beds at the state's hospitals.

    "We made the right public health decision at the time. And faced with the same facts, we would make the same decision again," Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said Feb. 19.

    The state now acknowledges that at least 15,000 long-term care residents died, compared to a figure of 8,700 it had publicized as of late January that didn't include residents who died after being transferred to hospitals.

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