Putin touts second doubtful approval of an unproven COVID-19 vaccine

A vaguely smug man in a suit sits in front of a flag.

Enlarge / Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. (credit score: Getty | Mikhail Klimentyev )

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday introduced the second doubtful approval of a COVID-19 vaccine that has not been evaluated in scientific trials.

The vaccine, dubbed EpiVacCorona, is alleged to be an artificial peptide-based vaccine, which makes use of fragments of the pandemic virus, SARS-CoV-2, to spur protecting immune responses in these vaccinated. It was developed by Vector State Virology and Biotechnology Middle, a former Soviet bioweapons analysis lab.

Like the primary Russian-approved vaccine, whether or not EpiVacCorona is definitely protected and efficient is totally unknown. In a televised information convention, Putin mentioned that early trials involving 100 individuals have been profitable. However researchers haven’t revealed any security or efficacy knowledge from these trials. Russian well being officers have mentioned they’re nonetheless reviewing the vaccine for “security and high quality” however declined to offer any extra data on the vaccine, knowledge, or approval course of.

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Grim new analyses highlight simply how arduous US is failing in pandemic

A skeleton hand ominously puts into a map of the United States.

Enlarge (credit score: Aurich Lawson / Getty Photos)

A grim sequence of articles printed right this moment within the Journal of the American Medical Affiliation makes clear simply how arduous america has failed at controlling the continued novel coronavirus pandemic—from the nation’s horrifying demise toll to its incapacity to tug down its shamefully excessive demise charges.

It was already clear that the US has tallied extra deaths from the coronavirus than some other nation and has one of many highest demise charges per capita on the planet. However, in accordance with one article within the sequence, the US can be failing to decrease COVID-19 demise charges—at the same time as harder-hit nations have managed to be taught from early illness peaks and produce their charges down considerably.

For the evaluation, researchers Alyssa Bilinski of Harvard and Ezekiel Emanuel of the College of Pennsylvania in contrast the shifting COVID-19 demise charges of 18 high-income nations throughout three time home windows. The concept was to see how demise charges modified as nations adopted totally different public well being interventions, particularly if that they had seen surges in instances early on that boosted their general demise charge through the pandemic. Particularly, Bilinski and Emanuel checked out COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 individuals ranging from February 13, Might 10, and June 7, with all three home windows ending on September 19.

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Redfield urged to go away CDC in blaze of glory—or perpetually be Trump’s toady

A serious man in a business suit grimaces.

Enlarge / CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield. (credit score: Getty | Alex Edelman)

Famend public well being professional and former head of the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention William Foege penned a non-public letter to present director Robert Redfield final month. It included a determined plea: break freed from the Trump administration’s political meddling, proper the CDC’s course, and brace for a fiery finish.

“The White Home will, after all, reply with fury,” Dr. Foege wrote of his plan, first made public by USA At the moment Tuesday. “However you’ll have proper in your facet. Like Martin Luther, you’ll be able to say, ‘Right here I stand, I can’t do in any other case.’” Peacefully resigning won’t be sufficient to pressure change, Foege added. “After they hearth you, this shall be a multi-week story and you may maintain your head excessive.”

Foege, a former CDC director beneath the Carter and Reagan administrations, has not been a vocal critic of the Trump administration. However, in his letter to Dr. Redfield, he didn’t maintain again on his acerbic take of how the White Home had dealt with the pandemic whereas damaging and sidelining the CDC within the course of.

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Medical doctors nonetheless evasive on Trump’s well being as he leaves hospital

A masked man waves through a bulletproof window.

Enlarge / A automotive with US President Trump drives previous supporters in a motorcade exterior of Walter Reed Medical Middle in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020. (credit score: Getty | Alex Edelman)

After being hospitalized a number of days for a coronavirus an infection and receiving two experimental therapies, supplemental oxygen, and a steroid drug used just for probably the most extreme COVID-19 instances, President Donald Trump on Monday tweeted that he can be leaving Walter Reed Nationwide Army Medical Middle and returning to the White Home.

In a press briefing Monday afternoon, White Home doctor Sean Conley readily acknowledged that Trump has not but reached a essential interval of his an infection—roughly, days seven to 10 after signs—during which COVID-19 sufferers’ circumstances can shortly and dramatically deteriorate from overzealous immune responses. Trump is believed to be at round day six of his symptomatic an infection.

“Although he might not completely be out of the woods but,” Trump’s situation has improved and his medical staff cleared him to return to the White Home, “the place he’ll be surrounded by world-class medical care, 24/7,” Conley defined.

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Trump’s physician dodges questions, suggests president examined optimistic Wednesday

Dr. Sean Conley, White House physician, speaks during a press conference outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S., on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. Dr. Conley said the president is "doing very well" and his condition is improving while being treated at the U.S. military hospital near Washington for Covid-19.

Enlarge / Dr. Sean Conley, White Home doctor, speaks throughout a press convention outdoors of Walter Reed Nationwide Navy Medical Heart in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S., on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. Dr. Conley mentioned the president is “doing very properly” and his situation is bettering whereas being handled on the U.S. army hospital close to Washington for Covid-19. (credit score: Getty | Bloomberg)

In a brief briefing Saturday morning, White Home doctor Sean Conley raised extra questions than solutions with regard to President Donald Trump’s situation and the course of his an infection with the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.

Although Conley opened the briefing by saying that Trump is doing “very properly,” the physician was evasive when requested about fundamental medical care questions, comparable to if the president has obtained supplemental oxygen at any level, how excessive his fever has been, and when he final examined unfavourable for the virus.

Conley additionally made the startling revelation that Trump first examined optimistic for the coronavirus 72 hours earlier.

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Flouting all requirements, Russia plans to launch early COVID-19 vaccine knowledge

An older man in a suit speaks into an array of microphones.

Enlarge / MOSCOW, RUSSIA – AUGUST 14, 2020: Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya Scientific Analysis Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Healthcare Ministry that produces a COVID-19 vaccine. (credit score: Getty | Vyacheslav Prokofyev)

A prime Russian researcher behind the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine defended utilizing the vaccine earlier than testing was full and mentioned he plans to launch medical trial knowledge early—so early, in reality, the information is unlikely to be interpretable.

Alexander Gintsburg, head of the Gamaleya Institute that developed Sputnik V, laid out his ideas on the vaccine and the pandemic in an interview with Reuters printed Tuesday.

“Persons are dying identical to throughout a struggle,” Gintsburg mentioned as he sat in his wood-paneled workplace in Moscow, holding a crystal mannequin of a coronavirus. “However this fast-tracked tempo isn’t synonymous—as some media have prompt—with corners being minimize. No means.”

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Russia provides its untested COVID-19 vaccine totally free to UN officers

A smirking man in a suit sits in front of a UN flag.

Enlarge / Russian President Vladimir Putin handle the 75th session of the United Nations Basic Meeting, by way of teleconference name, in Moscow on September 22, 2020. (credit score: Getty | MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV)

Some United Nations employees are doubtless brushing up on their Russian—particularly methods to say “Thanks, however no thanks” within the nicest means potential.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin provided UN employees free doses of the nation’s COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, which has not accomplished scientific trials for efficacy and has not been totally vetted for security.

Nonetheless, Putin advised that his provide was prompted by the need to offer the individuals what they need: “Some colleagues from the UN have requested about this, and we is not going to stay detached to them,” he mentioned throughout a speech Tuesday at this 12 months’s (digital) Basic Meeting.

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CDC dramatically restores COVID-19 testing recommendation marred by political meddling

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters stands in Atlanta, Georgia, US, on Saturday, March 14, 2020.

Enlarge / The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) headquarters stands in Atlanta, Georgia, US, on Saturday, March 14, 2020. (credit score: Getty | Bloomberg)

In a dramatic transfer, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention on Friday restored its advice to check individuals who have been uncovered to the pandemic coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, however don’t have signs—erasing politically motivated modifications made by members of the Trump administration with out the help or enter of CDC scientists.

The CDC had—till August 24—at all times really helpful testing for all individuals who have had shut contact (inside 6 ft for 15 minutes or extra) with somebody contaminated with SARS-CoV-2, no matter signs. The CDC acknowledged clearly that that is “necessary” and ought to be carried out rapidly “due to the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission,” which is essentially thought to drive the pandemic.

However the steerage was abruptly and quietly modified August 24 to say that uncovered individuals who wouldn’t have signs “don’t essentially want a take a look at.”

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Bonkers federal podcast downplays COVID-19, blasts well being restrictions

Former Trump campaign official Michael Caputo arrives at the Hart Senate Office building to be interviewed by Senate Intelligence Committee staffers, on May 1, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Enlarge / Former Trump marketing campaign official Michael Caputo arrives on the Hart Senate Workplace constructing to be interviewed by Senate Intelligence Committee staffers, on Might 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. (credit score: Getty | Mark Wilson)

In a surprising podcast launched by the Division of Well being and Human Companies, two high officers on the division repeatedly downplayed the COVID-19 pandemic, railed towards mitigation efforts, referred to as closures of in-person education “nonsense,” and mentioned US journalists don’t “[give] a rattling about public well being data.”

The podcast, launched on the HHS web site September 11, is a part of a sequence hosted by Michael Caputo, who presently holds the title of HHS assistant secretary of public affairs. Although Caputo has no background in well being care, the White Home put in him within the division in April—a transfer reportedly made to claim extra White Home management over HHS Secretary Alex Azar. Caputo is a longtime Trump loyalist and former marketing campaign official. He obtained his begin as a protégé of Roger Stone and later labored as a Moscow-based advisor to Boris Yeltsin and did public relations work for Vladimir Putin.

Studying curve

Caputo has most just lately made headlines for working to intervene with and alter scientific experiences on COVID-19 ready by researchers on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. The meddling was supposed to make experiences extra consistent with messaging from Trump, who has admitted to downplaying the pandemic. Caputo additionally raised eyebrows with a Fb dwell video, reported by The New York Instances Monday, wherein, with out proof, he accused authorities scientists of partaking in “sedition” and claimed that the CDC is harboring a “resistance unit.” He additionally spoke of lengthy “shadows” in his DC condo and mentioned left-wing “hit-squads” had been making ready for armed revolt after the election.

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Political appointees demand capacity to rewrite CDC case stories

Image of a man holding his hand to his ear in order to hear better.

Enlarge / Robert Redfield, director of the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), listens throughout a Home Choose Subcommittee on the Coronavirus. Redfield could also be discovering himself trapped between scientists and political appointees. (credit score: Getty Photographs)

Political appointees within the Division of Well being and Human providers are objecting to stories on the COVID-19 pandemic from the Facilities for Illness Management, and try to train editorial management of future stories. That is the underside line of an in depth report from Politico that was based mostly on each inside emails and interviews with folks within the group. The issues apparently stem from the fact-based stories from the CDC working counter to the Trump administration’s most well-liked narrative in regards to the unfold of the pandemic and the suitable public well being responses.

The CDC paperwork at concern are termed Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which give fast summaries of the state of our information about public well being points. Usually, they’re the product of a CDC-backed investigation right into a identified concern; up to now, they’ve centered on issues like outbreaks of food-borne diseases. Whereas they do not have the load of peer-reviewed literature, they’re extensively thought-about to be scientifically dependable, and their fast publication makes them a beneficial useful resource for public well being officers.

It is simple to see how the stories’ correct info could possibly be seen as counter to the popular message of the Trump administration. Trump has made reopening colleges a centerpiece of his pandemic coverage, however CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly stories have described how SARS-CoV-2 can unfold quickly in a school-aged inhabitants, how younger kids can deliver the illness dwelling and move it on to adults, and the way kids can undergo extreme problems from the illness.

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