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Category: Pandemic (Page 1 of 3)

10 publishers are responsible for 69% of climate change denial content on Facebook

The Guardian »

Ten publishers are responsible for 69% of digital climate change denial content on Facebook, a new study from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) has found. The outlets, which the report labels the “toxic ten”, include several conservative websites in the US, as well as Russian state media.

  • Breitbart, a far-right news site once run by former Trump strategist Steve Bannon
  • Western Journal, a Conservative news site
  • Newsmax, which has previously been sued for promoting election fraud conspiracies
  • Townhall Media, founded by the Exxon-funded Heritage Foundation
  • Media Research Center, a “thinktank” that received funding from Exxon
  • Washington Times, founded by self-proclaimed messiah Sun Myung Moon
  • The Federalist Papers, a site that has promoted Covid misinformation
  • Daily Wire, a conservative news site that is of the most engaged-with publishers on Facebook
  • Russian state media, pushing disinformation via RT.com and Sputnik News
  • Patriot Post, a conservative site whose writers use pseudonyms

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America is avoiding questions about living with the COVID-19 long term

Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic »

So if not cases, then what? “We need to come to some sort of agreement as to what it is we’re trying to prevent,” says Céline Gounder, an infectious-disease expert at New York University. “Are we trying to prevent hospitalization? Are we trying to prevent death? Are we trying to prevent transmission?” Different goals would require prioritizing different strategies. The booster-shot rollout has been roiled with confusion for this precise reason: The goal kept shifting. First, the Biden administration floated boosters for everyone to combat breakthroughs, then a CDC advisory panel restricted them to the elderly and immunocompromised most at risk for hospitalizations, then the CDC director overruled the panel to include people with jobs that put them at risk of infection.

On the ground, the U.S. is now running an uncontrolled experiment with every strategy all at once. COVID-19 policies differ wildly by state, county, university, workplace, and school district. And because of polarization, they have also settled into the most illogical pattern possible: The least vaccinated communities have some of the laxest restrictions, while highly vaccinated communities—which is to say those most protected from COVID-19—tend to have some of the most aggressive measures aimed at driving down cases. “We’re sleepwalking into policy because we’re not setting goals,” says Joseph Allen, a Harvard professor of public health. We will never get the risk of COVID-19 down to absolute zero, and we need to define a level of risk we can live with.

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Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, is optimistic

Stephanie Taylor, CP »

“The curve is just bending,” Tam told a briefing Friday. She also emphasized how basic measures, like masking, should remain in place to avoid another surge in the winter.

Tam said it’s promising that more than 80 per cent of Canadians eligible to receive a shot are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, however, there are still some six million eligible Canadians who are not properly immunized.

In her statement today, the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada said »

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 1,651,236 cases of COVID-19 and 28,141 deaths reported in Canada. These cumulative numbers tell us about the overall burden of COVID-19 illness to date, while the number of active cases, now at 41,549, and 7-day moving averages indicate current disease activity and severity trends.

Updated surveillance data show ongoing regional variation in disease activity, but overall, public health measures re-applied in heavily impacted areas have slowed acceleration of the epidemic nationally. The latest national 7-day average of 3,745 new cases reported daily (Oct 1-7) is a decrease of 14% over the previous week. Unfortunately, hospitalisation and critical care admission trends, primarily involving unvaccinated people, are still elevated, nationally. Together with prolonged hospital stays this continues to place a heavy strain on local healthcare resources, particularly where infection rates are high and vaccination rates are low. The latest provincial and territorial data show that an average of 2,513 people with COVID-19 were being treated in Canadian hospitals each day during the most recent 7-day period (Oct 1-7), which is 2.5% higher than last week. This includes, on average, 769 people who were being treated in intensive care units (ICU), 3.2% less than last week and an average of 38 deaths were reported daily (Oct 1-7). It is hoped that maintaining strengthened control measures in heavily impacted areas will begin to reduce severe illness trends and ease the strain on the health system in the weeks to come.

Canadian Medical Association president Dr. Katharine Smart » Some province are gaslighting health workers

Dr. Smart says there’s a feeling of hopelessness among health-care workers that their governments are not listening to them as they try to manage the pandemic.

Stephanie Taylor and Laura Osman, CP »

The president of the Canadian Medical Association says provinces like Alberta are “gaslighting” health-care workers over the toll the COVID-19 crisis is taking on the health-care system.

“What is happening in the world when we have governments unwilling to listen to the people doing the job?” she told a news conference on Wednesday.

The doctors organization joined with the Canadian Nurses Association to hold an emergency summit Tuesday with health-care workers discussing how to move forward, as COVID-19 cases climb in parts of the country, pushing health systems to the brink.

Together, they called on governments to address staffing shortages across Canada through better retention and recruitment efforts, as well as provide “immediate relief” to those working in COVID-19 hot zones.

The organizations also want governments to commit to protect health systems from collapsing by bringing in public health measures needed to prevent further spread of the virus, and empower school boards to do the same.

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Merck is selling a government financed COVID-19 antiviral back to the U.S. government for 40 times what it costs to make

Merck is charging the U.S. government $712 for a potentially revolutionary COVID-19 antiviral. However, it only costs Merck $17.74 to produce the durg, meaning Merck is selling at a roughly 40 times mark-up.

Merck acquired the rights to the drug – molnupiravir – from Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, which licensed it from Emory University.

Molnupiravir was developed with US federal government funding on two months prior.

Sharon Lerner, The Intercept »

A five-day course of molnupiravir, the new medicine being hailed as a “huge advance” in the treatment of Covid-19, costs $17.74 to produce, according to a report issued last week by drug pricing experts at the Harvard School of Public Health and King’s College Hospital in London. Merck is charging the U.S. government $712 for the same amount of medicine, or 40 times the price.

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