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Thread: Coronavirus/COVID-19: Global Terror

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    One world government needed to cope with COVID-19, says former British PM

    'There has to be a coordinated global response...We need some sort of working executive,' said former PM Gordon Brown.

    March 26, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― A former British Prime Minister has called for the creation of a global government to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

    Gordon Brown, who was both Prime Minister and leader of Britain’s left-wing Labour Party from 2007 until 2010, told British media that the world government he proposed would address the medical and financial crises caused by COVID-19. It would direct efforts to find a vaccine for the virus, organize its production and purchase, and stop profiteers. It would also direct the response of the central banks, protect emerging world markets, and “agree a joint approach to the use of government spending to boost growth.”

    The Guardian reported that Brown would have liked the U.N. Security Council to have been invited to an emergency online meeting of the G20 countries today. The meeting, hosted by Saudi Arabia, is tackling the issue of the novel coronavirus.

    “This is not something that can be dealt with in one country,” Brown said.

    “There has to be a coordinated global response.”

    During the world-wide financial crisis of 2008, then-Prime Minister Brown convinced “other global leaders of the need to bail out the banks,” the Guardian reported. He then hosted the G20 countries at a summit in London, “which came up with a $1.1 trillion rescue package.”

    Contemplating the emerging financial crisis, Brown believes that there should be advocacy for the emerging world markets within the G20 countries through his proposed global taskforce.

    “We need some sort of working executive,” he said.

    “If I were doing it again, I would make the G20 a broader organization because in the current circumstances you need to listen to the countries that are most affected, the countries that are making a difference and countries where there is the potential for a massive number of people to be affected – such as those in Africa.”

    He said also that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund need, as the Guardian paraphrased, “an increase to their financial firepower to cope with the impact of the [coronavirus] crisis impact on low- and middle-income countries.”

    Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit Party, and a founding member of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), took issue with the former Labour Prime Minister’s advocacy for a world government.

    “Gordon Brown doesn’t get it,” he tweeted this morning. “Globalisation is the cause of our problems, not our saviour.”

    But English Catholic writer Laurence England found Brown’s advocacy more disturbing than naive.

    “Gordon Brown does get it,” he tweeted in response. “The One World Government is about sheer power over populaces, not about helping people. They want a world of slaves. He was a key Bilderberg attendee.”

    The Bilderberg meetings have been used as a forum for world elites since 1954 to further their vision for the world. Attendees are free to use information from the discussions. No one is allowed to reveal who said what.

    Other high-profile individuals who have participated in the Bilderberg meeting include elites such as David Rockefeller, Bill Gates, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel, Tony Blair, Emma Bonino, and Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

    According to its own literature, the purpose of the annual Bilderberg Meeting is to “foster dialogue between Europe and North America.”

    At the 2009 London Summit for the G20, Brown said, “I think the new world order is emerging, and with it the foundations of a new and progressive era of international cooperation.”

    Brown is now the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education.

    Lifesitenews
    “When a nation forgets her skill in war, when her religion becomes a mockery, when the whole nation becomes a nation of money-grabbers, then the wild tribes, the barbarians drive in.“ – Robert Howard

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    Trump questions NY request for 30,000 ventilators: 'I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators."

    WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump questioned New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's call for 30,000 to meet an expected surge of patients in the coming weeks.

    "I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators," Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday. "You know, you go into major hospitals, sometimes, they’ll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they're saying, 'Can we order 30,000 ventilators?'" Cuomo has said he needs 30,000 ventilators "at a minimum" to meet the peak of the outbreak in his state in a couple of weeks.

    New York has been at the epicenter of the crisis in the U.S. As of Friday morning, it had 39,140 confirmed coronavirus case and 461 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University data dashboard. The state has only about 4,000 ventilators, which are needed to help patients breathe as they battle a virus that attacks respiratory systems. Cuomo said the state is converting some anesthesia machines into ventilators and adding a second tube to some ventilators in a process known as "splitting. "We're still working with the federal government to try to find more ventilators, but that is our single greatest challenge," Cuomo said Wednesday. Link
    You can't make this stuff up

    Speaking with Sean Hannity on Fox News on Thursday night, Trump again minimized the impact of the infectious outbreak in the United States, casting doubt on the need for so many of the respiratory devices in hospitals treating the disease. “I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they’re going to be,” he said. “I don't believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You go into major hospitals sometimes, and they’ll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?’”

    New York has become the new epicenter America's public health crisis, with hospitals struggling to keep up with larger patient numbers and limited supplies, including masks, gowns and ventilators. In severe cases of Covid-19, the illness caused by coronavirus, ventilators can allow patients to breathe with incapacitated lungs — a common outcome of the disease.

    Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said earlier on Thursday she was told that New York had enough ventilators to meet current needs. While there may be shortages in urban areas like New York City, Birx said, there are other parts of the state “that have lots of ventilators and other parts of New York state that don‘t have any infections right now.“ “There is still significant — over a thousand or two thousand ventilators that have not been utilized yet,” Birx said. “Please, for the reassurance of people around the world, to wake up this morning and look at people talking about creating DNR situations — do not resuscitate situations for patients — there is no situation in the United States right now that warrants that kind of discussion.“...

    Cuomo’s patience with the federal government grew visibly thin during a Tuesday news conference, in which he angrily demanded that the administration meet the needs of the crisis.

    “The president says it’s a war,” the governor said. “Well, then, act like it’s a war!”

    He continued: “You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die because you only sent 400 ventilators.”

    On Thursday, Cuomo said the state had begun converting several thousand anesthesia machines into ventilators and approved the "splitting" of ventilators between two patients — a practice the governor said was "not ideal, but we believe it's workable." "We are talking to the federal government about more ventilators" and still "shopping for ventilators, ourselves," Cuomo said, adding that stockpiles of ventilators were located "all across the state" to deploy to regional hospitals. But "the number of ventilators we need is so astronomical," Cuomo warned, pegging the "apex number" of ventilators that could be required in New York at 40,000. The governor said New York is currently in possession of 12,000 ventilators, and he did not know when the state would reach peak demand. "We don't have an estimate for when we would get there, and hopefully we never do," Cuomo said.

    Cuomo's comments appeared to anger top Trump officials, notably White House adviser Peter Navarro, who told Fox News on Thursday, "Just a day or so ago when he was talking about not getting the ventilators he needed, that morning FEMA had sent 2,000 additional ventilators. That afternoon there were 2,000 additional ventilators sent. My office personally had shepherded 400 ventilators the day before. And there will be more to follow."

    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio clarified on Friday morning that the city had indeed received 2,500 ventilators over the last week or so, but it will soon need 15,000. "When the president says the state of New York doesn’t need 30,000 ventilators, with all due respect to him, he’s not looking at the facts of this astronomical growth of this crisis," de Blasio told ABC's "Good Morning America."

    Surgeon General Jerome Adams sought to defend Trump's remarks on Friday, saying that "when you look at some of the projections out there, they're based on worst case scenarios." According to public health experts, Adams told "CBS This Morning," the "models in many cases are way off." He also claimed that the administration had "people on the ground" in New York City "who have told us that there are 1,000 ventilators sitting in a warehouse right now that haven't been used."

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    Yeah, I'm sure there is a 1000 ventilators sitting in a warehouse waiting to be used, that's why they're splitting the ones they do have out of desperation. Something isn't adding up here.


    After Considering $1 Billion Price Tag for Ventilators, White House Has Second Thoughts

    A deal with General Motors and Ventec Life Systems to produce tens of thousands of the critical lifesaving devices seemed imminent. Then the announcement was pulled back.

    The White House had been preparing to reveal on Wednesday a joint venture between General Motors and Ventec Life Systems that would allow for the production of as many as 80,000 desperately needed ventilators to respond to an escalating pandemic when word suddenly came down that the announcement was off. The decision to cancel the announcement, government officials say, came after the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it needed more time to assess whether the estimated cost was prohibitive. That price tag was more than $1 billion, with several hundred million dollars to be paid upfront to General Motors to retool a car parts plant in Kokomo, Ind., where the ventilators would be made with Ventec’s technology. Government officials said that the deal might still happen but that they are examining at least a dozen other proposals. And they contend that an initial promise that the joint venture could turn out 20,000 ventilators in short order had shrunk to 7,500, with even that number in doubt. Longtime emergency managers at FEMA are working with military officials to sort through the competing offers and federal procurement rules while under pressure to give President Trump something to announce...

    A General Motors spokesman said that “Project V,” as the ventilator program is known, was moving very fast, and a company official said “there’s no issue with retooling.” A Ventec representative agreed. “Ventec and G.M. have been working at breakneck speed to leverage our collective expertise in ventilation and manufacturing to meet the needs of the country as quickly as possible and arm medical professionals with the number of ventilators needed to save lives,” said Chris O. Brooks, Ventec’s chief strategy officer. The only thing missing was clarity from the government about how many ventilators they needed — and who would be paid to build them.

    The shortage of ventilators has emerged as one of the major criticisms of the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus. The need to quickly equip hospitals across the country with tens of thousands more of the devices to treat those most seriously ill with the virus was not anticipated despite the Trump administration’s own projection in a simulation last year that millions of people could be hospitalized. And even now, the effort to produce them has been confused and disorganized.

    At the center of the discussion about how to ramp up the production of ventilators is Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a senior White House aide, who has told people that he was called in two weeks ago by Vice President Mike Pence to produce more coronavirus test kits and who has now turned his attention to ventilators. He has been directing officials at FEMA in the effort. Two officials said the suggestion to wait on the General Motors offer came from Col. Patrick Work, who is working at FEMA. Some government officials expressed concern about the possibility of ordering too many ventilators, leaving them with an expensive surplus... Link
    Billions, trillions to Wall Street - no problem, your wish is our command. Saving your dying grandparents/parents? Nah. It really is all about the benjamins!

    How the Pandemic Will End

    The U.S. may end up with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the industrialized world. This is how it’s going to play out.


    A global pandemic of this scale was inevitable. In recent years, hundreds of health experts have written books, white papers, and op-eds warning of the possibility. Bill Gates has been telling anyone who would listen, including the 18 million viewers of his TED Talk. In 2018, I wrote a story for The Atlantic arguing that America was not ready for the pandemic that would eventually come. In October, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security war-gamed what might happen if a new coronavirus swept the globe. And then one did...

    More transmissible and fatal than seasonal influenza, the new coronavirus is also stealthier, spreading from one host to another for several days before triggering obvious symptoms. To contain such a pathogen, nations must develop a test and use it to identify infected people, isolate them, and trace those they’ve had contact with. That is what South Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong did to tremendous effect. It is what the United States did not.

    As my colleagues Alexis Madrigal and Robinson Meyer have reported, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed and distributed a faulty test in February. Independent labs created alternatives, but were mired in bureaucracy from the FDA. In a crucial month when the American caseload shot into the tens of thousands, only hundreds of people were tested. That a biomedical powerhouse like the U.S. should so thoroughly fail to create a very simple diagnostic test was, quite literally, unimaginable. “I’m not aware of any simulations that I or others have run where we [considered] a failure of testing,” says Alexandra Phelan of Georgetown University, who works on legal and policy issues related to infectious diseases.

    The testing fiasco was the original sin of America’s pandemic failure, the single flaw that undermined every other countermeasure. If the country could have accurately tracked the spread of the virus, hospitals could have executed their pandemic plans, girding themselves by allocating treatment rooms, ordering extra supplies, tagging in personnel, or assigning specific facilities to deal with COVID-19 cases. None of that happened. Instead, a health-care system that already runs close to full capacity, and that was already challenged by a severe flu season, was suddenly faced with a virus that had been left to spread, untracked, through communities around the country. Overstretched hospitals became overwhelmed. Basic protective equipment, such as masks, gowns, and gloves, began to run out. Beds will soon follow, as will the ventilators that provide oxygen to patients whose lungs are besieged by the virus.

    With little room to surge during a crisis, America’s health-care system operates on the assumption that unaffected states can help beleaguered ones in an emergency. That ethic works for localized disasters such as hurricanes or wildfires, but not for a pandemic that is now in all 50 states. Cooperation has given way to competition; some worried hospitals have bought out large quantities of supplies, in the way that panicked consumers have bought out toilet paper.

    Partly, that’s because the White House is a ghost town of scientific expertise. A pandemic-preparedness office that was part of the National Security Council was dissolved in 2018. On January 28, Luciana Borio, who was part of that team, urged the government to “act now to prevent an American epidemic,” and specifically to work with the private sector to develop fast, easy diagnostic tests. But with the office shuttered, those warnings were published in The Wall Street Journal, rather than spoken into the president’s ear. Instead of springing into action, America sat idle.

    Rudderless, blindsided, lethargic, and uncoordinated, America has mishandled the COVID-19 crisis to a substantially worse degree than what every health expert I’ve spoken with had feared. “Much worse,” said Ron Klain, who coordinated the U.S. response to the West African Ebola outbreak in 2014. “Beyond any expectations we had,” said Lauren Sauer, who works on disaster preparedness at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “As an American, I’m horrified,” said Seth Berkley, who heads Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “The U.S. may end up with the worst outbreak in the industrialized world.”...

    As of last weekend, the nation had 17,000 confirmed cases, but the actual number was probably somewhere between 60,000 and 245,000. Numbers are now starting to rise exponentially: As of Wednesday morning, the official case count was 54,000, and the actual case count is unknown.

    Italy and Spain offer grim warnings about the future. Hospitals are out of room, supplies, and staff. Unable to treat or save everyone, doctors have been forced into the unthinkable: rationing care to patients who are most likely to survive, while letting others die. The U.S. has fewer hospital beds per capita than Italy. A study released by a team at Imperial College London concluded that if the pandemic is left unchecked, those beds will all be full by late April. By the end of June, for every available critical-care bed, there will be roughly 15 COVID-19 patients in need of one. By the end of the summer, the pandemic will have directly killed 2.2 million Americans, notwithstanding those who will indirectly die as hospitals are unable to care for the usual slew of heart attacks, strokes, and car accidents. This is the worst-case scenario. This is the worst-case scenario. To avert it, four things need to happen—and quickly.

    The first and most important is to rapidly produce masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment. If health-care workers can’t stay healthy, the rest of the response will collapse. In some places, stockpiles are already so low that doctors are reusing masks between patients, calling for donations from the public, or sewing their own homemade alternatives. These shortages are happening because medical supplies are made-to-order and depend on byzantine international supply chains that are currently straining and snapping. Hubei province in China, the epicenter of the pandemic, was also a manufacturing center of medical masks.

    In the U.S., the Strategic National Stockpile—a national larder of medical equipment—is already being deployed, especially to the hardest-hit states. The stockpile is not inexhaustible, but it can buy some time. Donald Trump could use that time to invoke the Defense Production Act, launching a wartime effort in which American manufacturers switch to making medical equipment. But after invoking the act last Wednesday, Trump has failed to actually use it, reportedly due to lobbying from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and heads of major corporations.

    Some manufacturers are already rising to the challenge, but their efforts are piecemeal and unevenly distributed. “One day, we’ll wake up to a story of doctors in City X who are operating with bandanas, and a closet in City Y with masks piled into it,” says Ali Khan, the dean of public health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. A “massive logistics and supply-chain operation [is] now needed across the country,” says Thomas Inglesby of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. That can’t be managed by small and inexperienced teams scattered throughout the White House. The solution, he says, is to tag in the Defense Logistics Agency—a 26,000-person group that prepares the U.S. military for overseas operations and that has assisted in past public-health crises, including the 2014 Ebola outbreak.

    This agency can also coordinate the second pressing need: a massive rollout of COVID-19 tests. Those tests have been slow to arrive because of five separate shortages: of masks to protect people administering the tests; of nasopharyngeal swabs for collecting viral samples; of extraction kits for pulling the virus’s genetic material out of the samples; of chemical reagents that are part of those kits; and of trained people who can give the tests. Many of these shortages are, again, due to strained supply chains. The U.S. relies on three manufacturers for extraction reagents, providing redundancy in case any of them fails—but all of them failed in the face of unprecedented global demand. Meanwhile, Lombardy, Italy, the hardest-hit place in Europe, houses one of the largest manufacturers of nasopharyngeal swabs.

    Some shortages are being addressed. The FDA is now moving quickly to approve tests developed by private labs. At least one can deliver results in less than an hour, potentially allowing doctors to know if the patient in front of them has COVID-19. The country “is adding capacity on a daily basis,” says Kelly Wroblewski of the Association of Public Health Laboratories.

    On March 6, Trump said that “anyone who wants a test can get a test.” That was (and still is) untrue, and his own officials were quick to correct him. Regardless, anxious people still flooded into hospitals, seeking tests that did not exist. “People wanted to be tested even if they weren’t symptomatic, or if they sat next to someone with a cough,” says Saskia Popescu of George Mason University, who works to prepare hospitals for pandemics. Others just had colds, but doctors still had to use masks to examine them, burning through their already dwindling supplies. “It really stressed the health-care system,” Popescu says. Even now, as capacity expands, tests must be used carefully. The first priority, says Marc Lipsitch of Harvard, is to test health-care workers and hospitalized patients, allowing hospitals to quell any ongoing fires. Only later, once the immediate crisis is slowing, should tests be deployed in a more widespread way. “This isn’t just going to be: Let’s get the tests out there!” Inglesby says.

    These measures will take time, during which the pandemic will either accelerate beyond the capacity of the health system or slow to containable levels. Its course—and the nation’s fate—now depends on the third need, which is social distancing. Think of it this way: There are now only two groups of Americans. Group A includes everyone involved in the medical response, whether that’s treating patients, running tests, or manufacturing supplies. Group B includes everyone else, and their job is to buy Group A more time. Group B must now “flatten the curve” by physically isolating themselves from other people to cut off chains of transmission. Given the slow fuse of COVID-19, to forestall the future collapse of the health-care system, these seemingly drastic steps must be taken immediately, before they feel proportionate, and they must continue for several weeks.

    Persuading a country to voluntarily stay at home is not easy, and without clear guidelines from the White House, mayors, governors, and business owners have been forced to take their own steps. Some states have banned large gatherings or closed schools and restaurants. At least 21 have now instituted some form of mandatory quarantine, compelling people to stay at home. And yet many citizens continue to crowd into public spaces. In these moments, when the good of all hinges on the sacrifices of many, clear coordination matters—the fourth urgent need. The importance of social distancing must be impressed upon a public who must also be reassured and informed. Instead, Trump has repeatedly played down the problem, telling America that “we have it very well under control” when we do not, and that cases were “going to be down to close to zero” when they were rising. In some cases, as with his claims about ubiquitous testing, his misleading gaffes have deepened the crisis. He has even touted unproven medications.

    Away from the White House press room, Trump has apparently been listening to Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Fauci has advised every president since Ronald Reagan on new epidemics, and now sits on the COVID-19 task force that meets with Trump roughly every other day. “He’s got his own style, let’s leave it at that,” Fauci told me, “but any kind of recommendation that I have made thus far, the substance of it, he has listened to everything.” But Trump already seems to be wavering. In recent days, he has signaled that he is prepared to backtrack on social-distancing policies in a bid to protect the economy. Pundits and business leaders have used similar rhetoric, arguing that high-risk people, such as the elderly, could be protected while lower-risk people are allowed to go back to work. Such thinking is seductive, but flawed. It overestimates our ability to assess a person’s risk, and to somehow wall off the ‘high-risk’ people from the rest of society. It underestimates how badly the virus can hit ‘low-risk’ groups, and how thoroughly hospitals will be overwhelmed if even just younger demographics are falling sick.

    A recent analysis from the University of Pennsylvania estimated that even if social-distancing measures can reduce infection rates by 95 percent, 960,000 Americans will still need intensive care. There are only about 180,000 ventilators in the U.S. and, more pertinently, only enough respiratory therapists and critical-care staff to safely look after 100,000 ventilated patients. Abandoning social distancing would be foolish. Abandoning it now, when tests and protective equipment are still scarce, would be catastrophic.

    If Trump stays the course, if Americans adhere to social distancing, if testing can be rolled out, and if enough masks can be produced, there is a chance that the country can still avert the worst predictions about COVID-19, and at least temporarily bring the pandemic under control. No one knows how long that will take, but it won’t be quick. “It could be anywhere from four to six weeks to up to three months,” Fauci said, “but I don’t have great confidence in that range.”

    Even a perfect response won’t end the pandemic. As long as the virus persists somewhere, there’s a chance that one infected traveler will reignite fresh sparks in countries that have already extinguished their fires. This is already happening in China, Singapore, and other Asian countries that briefly seemed to have the virus under control. Under these conditions, there are three possible endgames: one that’s very unlikely, one that’s very dangerous, and one that’s very long.

    The first is that every nation manages to simultaneously bring the virus to heel, as with the original SARS in 2003. Given how widespread the coronavirus pandemic is, and how badly many countries are faring, the odds of worldwide synchronous control seem vanishingly small.

    The second is that the virus does what past flu pandemics have done: It burns through the world and leaves behind enough immune survivors that it eventually struggles to find viable hosts. This “herd immunity” scenario would be quick, and thus tempting. But it would also come at a terrible cost: SARS-CoV-2 is more transmissible and fatal than the flu, and it would likely leave behind many millions of corpses and a trail of devastated health systems. The United Kingdom initially seemed to consider this herd-immunity strategy, before backtracking when models revealed the dire consequences. The U.S. now seems to be considering it too.

    The third scenario is that the world plays a protracted game of whack-a-mole with the virus, stamping out outbreaks here and there until a vaccine can be produced. This is the best option, but also the longest and most complicated.

    It depends, for a start, on making a vaccine. If this were a flu pandemic, that would be easier. The world is experienced at making flu vaccines and does so every year. But there are no existing vaccines for coronaviruses—until now, these viruses seemed to cause diseases that were mild or rare—so researchers must start from scratch. The first steps have been impressively quick. Last Monday, a possible vaccine created by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health went into early clinical testing. That marks a 63-day gap between scientists sequencing the virus’s genes for the first time and doctors injecting a vaccine candidate into a person’s arm. “It’s overwhelmingly the world record,” Fauci said. But it’s also the fastest step among many subsequent slow ones. The initial trial will simply tell researchers if the vaccine seems safe, and if it can actually mobilize the immune system. Researchers will then need to check that it actually prevents infection from SARS-CoV-2. They’ll need to do animal tests and large-scale trials to ensure that the vaccine doesn’t cause severe side effects. They’ll need to work out what dose is required, how many shots people need, if the vaccine works in elderly people, and if it requires other chemicals to boost its effectiveness.

    “Even if it works, they don’t have an easy way to manufacture it at a massive scale,” said Seth Berkley of Gavi. That’s because Moderna is using a new approach to vaccination. Existing vaccines work by providing the body with inactivated or fragmented viruses, allowing the immune system to prep its defenses ahead of time. By contrast, Moderna’s vaccine comprises a sliver of SARS-CoV-2’s genetic material—its RNA. The idea is that the body can use this sliver to build its own viral fragments, which would then form the basis of the immune system’s preparations. This approach works in animals, but is unproven in humans. By contrast, French scientists are trying to modify the existing measles vaccine using fragments of the new coronavirus. “The advantage of that is that if we needed hundreds of doses tomorrow, a lot of plants in the world know how to do it,” Berkley said. No matter which strategy is faster, Berkley and others estimate that it will take 12 to 18 months to develop a proven vaccine, and then longer still to make it, ship it, and inject it into people’s arms.

    It’s likely, then, that the new coronavirus will be a lingering part of American life for at least a year, if not much longer. If the current round of social-distancing measures works, the pandemic may ebb enough for things to return to a semblance of normalcy. Offices could fill and bars could bustle. Schools could reopen and friends could reunite. But as the status quo returns, so too will the virus. This doesn’t mean that society must be on continuous lockdown until 2022. But “we need to be prepared to do multiple periods of social distancing,” says Stephen Kissler of Harvard.

    Much about the coming years, including the frequency, duration, and timing of social upheavals, depends on two properties of the virus, both of which are currently unknown. First: seasonality. Coronaviruses tend to be winter infections that wane or disappear in the summer. That may also be true for SARS-CoV-2, but seasonal variations might not sufficiently slow the virus when it has so many immunologically naive hosts to infect. “Much of the world is waiting anxiously to see what—if anything—the summer does to transmission in the Northern Hemisphere,” says Maia Majumder of Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital.

    Second: duration of immunity. When people are infected by the milder human coronaviruses that cause cold-like symptoms, they remain immune for less than a year. By contrast, the few who were infected by the original SARS virus, which was far more severe, stayed immune for much longer. Assuming that SARS-CoV-2 lies somewhere in the middle, people who recover from their encounters might be protected for a couple of years. To confirm that, scientists will need to develop accurate serological tests, which look for the antibodies that confer immunity. They’ll also need to confirm that such antibodies actually stop people from catching or spreading the virus. If so, immune citizens can return to work, care for the vulnerable, and anchor the economy during bouts of social distancing.

    Scientists can use the periods between those bouts to develop antiviral drugs—although such drugs are rarely panaceas, and come with possible side effects and the risk of resistance. Hospitals can stockpile the necessary supplies. Testing kits can be widely distributed to catch the virus’s return as quickly as possible. There’s no reason that the U.S. should let SARS-CoV-2 catch it unawares again, and thus no reason that social-distancing measures need to be deployed as broadly and heavy-handedly as they now must be. As Aaron E. Carroll and Ashish Jha recently wrote, “We can keep schools and businesses open as much as possible, closing them quickly when suppression fails, then opening them back up again once the infected are identified and isolated. Instead of playing defense, we could play more offense.”

    Whether through accumulating herd immunity or the long-awaited arrival of a vaccine, the virus will find spreading explosively more and more difficult. It’s unlikely to disappear entirely. The vaccine may need to be updated as the virus changes, and people may need to get revaccinated on a regular basis, as they currently do for the flu. Models suggest that the virus might simmer around the world, triggering epidemics every few years or so. “But my hope and expectation is that the severity would decline, and there would be less societal upheaval,” Kissler says. In this future, COVID-19 may become like the flu is today—a recurring scourge of winter. Perhaps it will eventually become so mundane that even though a vaccine exists, large swaths of Gen C won’t bother getting it, forgetting how dramatically their world was molded by its absence. Link

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  7. #205
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    Britain is sliding into dystopia

    Derbyshire Police are using drones to shame the public for going on ‘non-essential’ walks.



    Derbyshire Police have tweeted a menacing video warning the public to stay away from the Peak District during the coronavirus lockdown.

    The video shows police drone footage of unsuspecting members of the public hiking, walking their dogs and watching the sunset. All totally harmless behaviour, which is now deemed ‘non-essential’ – and by implication illegal – by the authorities.

    The footage gives us a glimpse into the dystopia unfolding before our eyes. In the name of fighting coronavirus, in a matter of days Britain has become something of a police state. Millions of people are effectively under house arrest.

    Parliament, meanwhile, before shutting up shop entirely, handed the authorities the most draconian powers ever known during peacetime. Police have been given blanket powers to enforce largely arbitrary rules.

    It is abundantly clear that the people being shamed by Derbyshire Police have done nothing wrong. They are walking alone or in small groups. And with so much distance between them and everyone else – the Peak District could hardly be more sparsely populated – they pose no danger of spreading the virus to anyone.

    If social distancing must be enforced, it should be enforced with proportion, common sense and empathy. It is not at all clear that the police can be trusted to do this.

    Source: Spiked-Online
    “When a nation forgets her skill in war, when her religion becomes a mockery, when the whole nation becomes a nation of money-grabbers, then the wild tribes, the barbarians drive in.“ – Robert Howard

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    More Predictions More Hype

    No one knows how many ventilators will be used or how many sick people may require them to breathe. Maybe, Trump should order 30,000 extra for the entire country. Some people get mild to severe symptoms. If persons with weakened immune system already have an illness like COPD or any disease, they should stay out of the public life and just wear protective mask and gloves to buy necessary goods. You can't put the entire city into quarantine and ruin businesses since some people survive on these incomes. I'd be very angry if I lost my restaurant or shop; next, I can't pay for my mortgage over the months and end up broke with debts or homeless. The "flu" "risk" may be a better option to weather than being financially ruined with a family. I'm slowly seeing businesses reopen against orders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chlodovech View Post


    One world government needed to cope with COVID-19, says former British PM....

    Lifesitenews
    The opposite is true:


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    Italian scientists investigate possible earlier emergence of coronavirus
    March 26, 2020

    Italian researchers are looking at whether a higher than usual number of cases of severe pneumonia and flu in Lombardy in the last quarter of 2019 may be a signal that the new coronavirus might have spread beyond China earlier than previously thought.

    Adriano Decarli, an epidemiologist and medical statistics professor at the University of Milan, said there had been a “significant” increase in the number of people hospitalized for pneumonia and flu in the areas of Milan and Lodi between October and December last year. He told Reuters he could not give exact figures but “hundreds” more people than usual had been taken to hospital in the last three months of 2019 in those areas - two of Lombardy’s worst hit cities - with pneumonia and flu-like symptoms, and some of those had died.

    Decarli is reviewing the hospital records and other clinical details of those cases, including people who later died at home, to try to understand whether the new coronavirus epidemic had already spread to Italy back then.

    “We want to know if the virus was already here in Italy at the end of 2019, and - if yes - why it remained undetected for a relatively long period so that we could have a clearer picture in case we have to face a second wave of the epidemic,” he said.

    The World Health Organization has said the new coronavirus and COVID-19, the respiratory disease it causes, were unknown before the outbreak was first reported in Wuhan, in central China, in December.

    Decarli said once his research was concluded, local health authorities might decide to request authorisation to exhume bodies of people with suspect symptoms. Other experts cast doubt on the hypothesis that the new virus could have been circulating in Europe before the end of 2019.

    “I think it extremely unlikely that the virus was present in Europe before January,” said Paul Hunter, a professor in medicine at Britain’s University of East Anglia who has been tracking the evolving pandemic.

    Hunter said that unless Italian scientists get positive results from samples taken and stored at that time, then the suggestion should not be given credence.

    He added that, given what we know about how infectious the virus is, and the ratio of patients showing no symptoms compared with those that get sick, “it is inconceivable that we would not have had a pretty major epidemic in Europe much earlier if these cases had in fact been COVID-19”.

    Giuseppe Remuzzi, director of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, in Milan, said some family doctors in Lombardy had reported unusual cases of pneumonia late last year that now looked potentially suspicious.

    He said among those were several cases of bilateral pneumonia - which means both lungs are affected - in the areas of Gera D’Adda and Crema in late November and December, with high fever, cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing.

    “None of these cases have been documented as COVID-19 because there was no evidence yet of the existence of COVID-19,” he said.

    Remuzzi said that if evidence of COVID-19 cases in Italy as far back as November was confirmed, this may signal that the virus can go undetected for months. He said some reports in scientific journals had also led other scientists to question whether the virus may have emerged in China as early as October.

    ________________________________
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKBN21D2IG
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    A wave of passionate energy which unites past, present and future generations

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ţoreiđar View Post
    Hard to know how many cases go under the radar, but I think the best assessment can be taken by looking at the countries which have performed the mosts tests so far. From what I can tell, Norway has performed the mosts tests per million inhabitants, followed by South-Korea and Italy.

    As of March 24th:

    Norway
    tests: 70,608
    test per million people: 13,155
    positive tests: 2774
    performed tests per positive: 25.4
    deaths per 100 positive cases: 0.43

    South-Korea
    tests: 348,582
    test per million people: 6,742
    positive tests: 9,037
    performed tests per positive: 38.5
    deaths per 100 positive cases: 1.32

    Italy
    tests: 275,468
    tests per million people: 4,586
    positive tests: 63,927
    performed tests per positive: 4.3
    deaths per 100 positive cases: 10.6
    I seem to have been wrong about this. Iceland is by far the country which has performed the most tests per million inhabitants (perhaps with the exception of some micro-nations). Statistics for Iceland as of March 28th:

    tests: 13,613
    tests per million people: 37,398
    positive tests: 890
    performed tests per positive: 15.3
    deaths per 100 positive cases: 0.22
    A nation is an organic thing, historically defined.
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  14. #210
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chlodovech
    Madness. Merkel handing out money to her voter base, and far too much of it. The only way the degenerate art industry can survive.
    Germany Has Rolled Out a Staggering €50 Billion Aid Package For Small Businesses That Boosts Artists and Galleries—and Puts Other Countries to Shame



    "Artists are not only indispensable, but also vital, especially now," says the country's culture minister.

    Source: artnews.com

    The German federal government is stepping in with a sweeping aid package for the country’s creative and cultural sectors. According to a press release shared by the ministry of culture and reports in the German press, a staggering €50 billion ($54 billion) in backing will be provided specifically to small businesses and freelancers, including those from the cultural, creative, and media sectors.

    The news from the ministry comes less than two weeks after Germany first made its promise of support. “We know the hardships, we know the desperation,” said culture minister Monika Grütters in the statement. “The cultural sector in particular is characterized by a high proportion of self-employed people who now have problems with their livelihoods.” She said that the federal government is “wholly aware” of the importance of the creative industries, adding that “[h]elp is coming as quickly and with as little bureaucracy as possible!”

    The three-part package, according to the ministry’s statement and a report in FAZ, includes up to €50 billion ($54 billion) in aid for individuals who are self-employed as well as for small businesses, and this will extend to artists and small cultural businesses. They state the funding will come in the form of grants designed to help with overhead costs like venue rentals and artist studios. Loans will also be available within the package to help businesses bridge financial bottlenecks. In addition to arts-related individuals and organizations, the funding will support media enterprises, including newspapers.

    In addition to the stimulus money, the new initiative states that social security (including unemployment insurance) will be made available to freelancers—including artists—for a period of six months and expenses for housing will be recognized to ensure that “everyone can stay in their own home.” To this end, the government is injecting another €10 billion ($11 billion) of support. The legislation also allows tenants to be protected from eviction should they be unable to pay rent. Loans may also be deferred and individuals are permitted to ask the tax bureau for a reduction in their payments or an advance on their tax refunds. But the process may not be as quick a fix as it seems: Since the initial announcement, two artists have told Artnet News that the application is actually “highly bureaucratic,” with several forms to complete and over 60 pages of small print.

    Still, the sum being offered by the German government dwarfs the totals offered by other nations. England’s art council announced a package of $190 million in support to the arts. In New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is calling on the government to give US museums a $4 billion bailout—but the final total offered to arts initiatives in the newly passed Senate bill is less than five percent of that.

    In Germany, the emergency legislation will have important implications for publicly funded institutions and museums. The government says that reclamations of funding are to be avoided in the event that projects cannot be implemented. Instead, the government will try to tailor existing budgets and adapt funded programs to suit the current needs.

    “Our democratic society needs its unique and diverse cultural and media landscape in this historical situation, which was unimaginable until recently,” said Grütters. “The creative courage of creative people can help to overcome the crisis. We should seize every opportunity to create good things for the future. That is why the following applies: artists are not only indispensable, but also vital, especially now.”
    “When a nation forgets her skill in war, when her religion becomes a mockery, when the whole nation becomes a nation of money-grabbers, then the wild tribes, the barbarians drive in.“ – Robert Howard

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