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Topic subjectThe Omicron coronavirus variant (B.1.1.529) thread - PT II
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=4&topic_id=13477453
13477453, The Omicron coronavirus variant (B.1.1.529) thread - PT II
Posted by handle, Fri Jan-27-23 10:48 AM
Starting a new thread because the older one has over 500 replies and takes forever to load.

Old thread location: https://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=4&topic_id=13448755&mesg_id=13448755&page=
13477455, 01/27/2023
Posted by handle, Fri Jan-27-23 11:03 AM
Story 1:Bivalent data is good enough that FDA advisors say it should replace the OG vaccine.

Story 2:Evusheld doesn't work against XBB1.5, so people with weak immune system who took it prophylactical-ly lose another tool.

Story 3:A proposal to make the vaccine a once-a-year thing. (I think it's a bad idea because this virus is changing faster than once a year.)

Story 4:It's old but I don't think I posted it. If you are pregnant and get COVID you have much higher risks of being hospitalized.


Story 1:
FDA advisors recommend replacing original Covid vaccine with bivalent omicron shots for all doses

*The 21 members of the FDA committee unanimously backed the proposal, agreeing that it would simplify the U.S. Covid vaccination program.

*Currently, Pfizer’s and Moderna’s omicron shots are only authorized as a booster, while the first two doses are still their old shots based on the original Covid strain.

The committee’s 21 members unanimously backed the proposal, agreeing that it would simplify the U.S. Covid vaccination program.

“This is absolutely the right thing to do for the program. It will make things simpler,” said Dr. Melinda Wharton, a senior official at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The proposed change would only affect people who have not yet received their two-dose primary vaccination series. No timeline was provided on when this switch might occur if the FDA accepts the panel’s nonbinding recommendation.

Story 2:
U.S. FDA pulls authorization for AstraZeneca's COVID-19 treatment Evusheld

Jan 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. health regulator has withdrawn emergency-use authorization for AstraZeneca's (AZN.L) COVID-19 antibody cocktail Evusheld as the treatment is not expected to neutralize the currently dominant XBB.1.5 subvariant of Omicron.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had limited Evusheld's use earlier this month for the same reason and the agency's Thursday announcement sent U.S. shares of London-based AstraZeneca down 1.31% to $65.75.

Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 has been spreading rapidly in the country since December and it made up nearly half of all U.S. COVID-19 cases last week, according to government data.

Story 3:
Should COVID vaccines be yearly? Proposal divides US scientists
Some say the US Food and Drug Administration’s proposal to update COVID-19 vaccines each year, similar to influenza jabs, could boost uptake.

Scientists are split about a US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposal to update COVID-19 vaccines once a year, similar to the agency’s approach for annually updating influenza vaccines. At a meeting of the FDA’s vaccine advisory panel on 26 January, some researchers argued that the proposal to offer an updated vaccine every US autumn would help simplify the country’s complex COVID immunization schedule and might boost uptake as a result.

But other scientists were less convinced about the timeline — or whether healthy adults should be urged to receive an annual COVID-19 jab at all. Angela Shen, a vaccine specialist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, says the proposal, released on Monday, is “conceptually not a bad idea”. But she questions whether the data support updating the vaccine composition once a year because SARS-CoV-2 spawns new variants at a much faster rate than influenza. “Just scratching out ‘flu’ and replacing it with ‘COVID’ on all the documents might not work, because COVID is not the flu,” says Shen, who is a member of a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel on immunization practices.

Story 4:
Large new review underscores the risks of Covid-19 during pregnancy

Pregnant women and their developing babies are at higher risk for severe outcomes if they get Covid-19, and now a large, international review is helping to underscore how devastating those risks can be.

The study draws on data from 12 studies from as many countries—including the United States. Altogether, the studies included more than 13,000 pregnant women—about 2,000 who had a confirmed or probable case of Covid-19. The health outcomes for these women and their babies were compared to about 11,000 pregnancies where the mother tested negative for Covid-19 or antibodies to it at the time of their deliveries.

Across the studies about 3% of pregnant women with Covid-19 needed intensive care, and about 4% needed any kind of critical care, but this was far higher than the numbers of pregnant women who needed that kind of care outside of a Covid-19 infection.

Compared to pregnant individuals who weren’t infected, those who got Covid-19 were nearly 4 times more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit. They were 15 times more likely to be ventilated and were 7 times more likely to die. They also had higher risks for pre-eclampisa, blood clots, and problems caused by high blood pressure. Babies born to moms who had Covid-19 were at higher risk for preterm birth and low birth weights.

Previous studies have suggested that Covid-19 may increase the risk of stillbirth, but this study didn’t find that same link.

13477500, Electric Boogaflu
Posted by squeeg, Sat Jan-28-23 04:04 AM
13479382, Turbo & Ozone approved.
Posted by CyrenYoung, Wed Feb-22-23 01:13 PM

*skatin' the rings of saturn*

..and miles to go before i sleep...
13477502, 01/28/2023
Posted by handle, Sat Jan-28-23 08:28 AM
Omicron sub-variant XBB.1.5 accounts for 61.3% of U.S. COVID cases - CDC

Jan 27 (Reuters) - The Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 has likely become the dominant variant in the United States, accounting for 61.3% of COVID cases in the week ended Jan. 28, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed on Friday.

The subvariant accounted for 49.5% of cases in the week ended Jan. 21, estimates from CDC showed.

XBB.1.5, which is currently the most transmissible variant, is an offshoot of XBB, first detected in October.

The now-dominant XBB-related subvariants are derived from the BA.2 version of Omicron.

What’s CH.1.1? Meet ‘Orthrus,’ a new wildcard Omicron strain with a concerning Delta mutation

^^Info about the dominant strain in the UK.
13477539, Find you resources now - before you get infected
Posted by handle, Sun Jan-29-23 12:59 PM
1: Know where your PCR testing locations are:

In San Diego they've closed the majority of testing sites and many of the remains have gone to rapid lateral flow tests. I'd google " PCT testing" and figure out where you'd need to go if you need a PCRF test.

San Diego is here: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/hhsa/programs/phs/community_epidemiology/dc/2019-nCoV/testing.html

2:Know how to message your doctor or someone about anti-viral pills:
I have a portal I use to message my doctor, or I could go into the urgent care to get Paxlovid. San Diego suggest calling 2-1-1 if you don't have a doctor.

Also ask your pharmacy if they can prescribe it directly for you - many can if they have a doctor, a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner available. Some states allow pharmacists to prescribe too.

3:If you think you may have it, isolate or wear mask around people
Better safe than sorry.

Find out now, when you're sick it'll be much less fun.
13477665, Biden intends to end Covid-19 and public health emergencies on May 11,2023
Posted by handle, Mon Jan-30-23 08:16 PM
Medicaid will kick a whole bunch of people off.
Vaccines no longer free.
Congress ( REPUBLICANS!) blocking any new aid, so new research, paying for existing treatments, etc. will all be gone.


President Joe Biden intends to end the Covid-19 national and public health emergencies on May 11, the White House said Monday.

The White House, in a statement of administration policy announcing opposition to two Republican measures to end the emergencies, said the national emergency and public health emergency authorities declared in response to the pandemic would each be extended one final time to May 11.

“This wind down would align with the Administration’s previous commitments to give at least 60 days’ notice prior to termination of the (public health emergency),” the statement said.

The statement added, “To be clear, continuation of these emergency declarations until May 11 does not impose any restriction at all on individual conduct with regard to COVID-19. They do not impose mask mandates or vaccine mandates. They do not restrict school or business operations. They do not require the use of any medicines or tests in response to cases of COVID-19.”

The statement came in response to a pair of measures before the House that would end the public health emergency and the Covid-19 national emergency.

The administration argues that the bills are unnecessary because it intends to end the emergencies anyway. The White House also noted the passage of the measures ahead of May 11 would have unintended consequences, such as disrupting the administration’s plans for ending certain policies that are authorized by the emergencies.

The White House said it would extend the Covid-19 emergencies one final time in order to ensure an orderly wind-down of key authorities that states, health care providers and patients have relied on throughout the pandemic.

A White House official pointed to a successful vaccination campaign and reductions in Covid cases, hospitalizations and deaths as a rationale for lifting the emergency declarations. The official said a final extension will allow for a smooth transition for health care providers and patients and noted that health care facilities have already begun preparing for that transition.

The administration is actively reviewing flexible policies that were authorized under the public health emergency to determine which can remain in place after it is lifted on May 11.

Benefits of the public health emergency
The public health emergency has enabled the government to provide many Americans with Covid-19 tests, treatments and vaccines at no charge, as well as offer enhanced social safety net benefits, to help the nation cope with the pandemic and minimize its impact.

For instance, it has allowed most Americans covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance plans to obtain Covid-19 tests and vaccines at no cost during the pandemic. Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries have also had certain therapeutic treatments, such as monoclonal antibodies, fully covered.

Once the public health emergency ends, many Americans will have to start paying for these items.

However, the federal government has been preparing to shift Covid-19 care to the commercial market since last year, in part because Congress has not authorized additional funding to purchase additional vaccines, treatments and tests.

The public health emergency has also meant additional funds for hospitals, which have been receiving a 20% increase in Medicare’s payment rate for treating Covid-19 patients.

But several of the most meaningful enhancements to public assistance programs are no longer tied to the public health emergency. Congress severed the connection in December as part of its fiscal year 2023 government funding package.

Most notably, states will now be able to start processing Medicaid redeterminations and disenrolling residents who no longer qualify, starting April 1.

As part of a Covid-19 relief package passed in March 2020, states were barred from kicking people off Medicaid during the public health emergency in exchange for additional federal matching funds. Medicaid enrollment has skyrocketed since then, and millions are expected to lose coverage once states began culling the rolls.

Also, food stamp recipients were receiving a boost in benefits during the public health emergency. That extra assistance will end as of March, though several states have already stopped providing it.
13479345, I really hate people misusing the results of this study
Posted by Heinz, Wed Feb-22-23 10:24 AM


13479363, The fallacy is: People who get COVID die at a much higher rate ....
Posted by handle, Wed Feb-22-23 11:09 AM
The fallacy is: People who get COVID die of COVID at a much higher rate than people who don't get COVID.

Also people who have never gotten COVID have a much lower incidence of suffering from long COVID.

Over a million dead American's didn't benefit from "natural immunity."

13479379, Exactly
Posted by Heinz, Wed Feb-22-23 01:01 PM
Not to mention natural immunity does nothing to stop transmission to the vulnerable which is sort of broader point of the vaccine
13479684, 02/28/2022
Posted by handle, Tue Feb-28-23 08:48 AM
The bad news thread - meaning it made the news, but is probably bad.

COVID was cause by a lab leak, says DOE!!!! - with low confidence.

Masks actually don't work (and if you believe the study we weighted multiple times higher than the others - they actually GIVE YOU THE FLU!!):


13479697, Wtf do you mean?
Posted by fif, Tue Feb-28-23 10:58 AM
Lab leak is the most likely origin and most ppl (capable of thinking not puking talking points) who follow this closely have thought this for a long time. Are you saying you disagree?

>The bad news thread - meaning it made the news, but is
>probably bad.

"probably bad". Do you mean false? What do you mean?

13479716, I mean it's "BAD" , like "low"
Posted by handle, Tue Feb-28-23 01:51 PM
>Lab leak is the most likely origin and most ppl (capable of
>thinking not puking talking points) who follow this closely
>have thought this for a long time. Are you saying you

I don't know if it came from nature or from a lab -- but I do know it's not "settled" in any way, especially when this report was issued with "low confidence." I don't know the exact levels of confidence that are available, but "low" seems, un, low. (FBI said it had "moderate confidence" in the lab leak theory.)

So two U.S. intelligence agencies said "Likely from lab" but no prof. 4 say "Likely from nature" but no definitive proof. And several other agencies say "We don't know - there's not enough proof."

So I guess not many people are as "capable of thinking not puking talking points" that you fancy yourself to be.

I mean *the day after* the pandemic started a lot of people said "It was a lab leak, in Wuhan, with a bar" like it was a game of Clue with no proof.

>"probably bad". Do you mean false? What do you mean?
Like "bad" work. Like "bad" job.

Could it come out of a lab? Maybe.

But doesn't seem settled to me - unless you automatically "know" that anyone who disagrees isn't "(capable of
>thinking not puking talking points)."

It's weird that thinking people (who aren't talking point pukers) are proclaiming a low confidence report making hsi matter settled.

>Could it come out of a lab?

(Also the report is classified, so we don't even know what it actually says.)

Edit: Link to an article:https://slate.com/technology/2023/02/lab-leak-theory-doe-wsj-fauci-covid-origins.html
13479820, its not settled
Posted by fif, Wed Mar-01-23 07:10 PM

it's not settled. what 'most likely' means is that if i were forced to bet on it, i'd go with lab leak over natural origin. and my contention is that if most "experts in the field" were forced to do the same...let's say they're forced to bet on it with the consequence of being wrong being a painful death. they have 6 months to weigh the evidence. i think a majority would claim a lab leak was the most likely origin.

but there are all sorts of incentives among experts close to this to not look at things as objectively as they might
13479720, Lol, no, lab leak is NOT the most likely origin.
Posted by stravinskian, Tue Feb-28-23 02:05 PM

The people who actually look at the data and know the science (as opposed to internet cranks and 'journalists' who know no science and think they can find 'data' on the internet) generally all agree that the question is subtle, unsettled (and will probably never be settled to anyone's satisfaction), but that the preponderance of evidence is still clearly in favor of the same kind of natural origin as every other coronavirus that's developed in the last million years, including all of the SARS and MERS variants that covid is a part of.

It's also a completely moot point, because the mere fact that all the other SARS variants emerged naturally means that we need to accelerate laboratory research on them, even if that presents a risk of lab leaks.
13479815, i responded in the other post
Posted by fif, Wed Mar-01-23 06:17 PM

>generally all agree that the question is subtle, unsettled
>(and will probably never be settled to anyone's satisfaction),

i agree, it is unsettled and the origin of covid may never be known

>but that the preponderance of evidence is still clearly in
>favor of the same kind of natural origin as every other
>coronavirus that's developed in the last million years,
>including all of the SARS and MERS variants that covid is a
>part of.

new gene editing techniques...are new. lab leaks happen. scientists now have ability to do things that they couldn't 20 years ago, let alone a million. they can create new viruses with unforeseeable consequences in labs. the wuhan lab was the leading lab in all of china (and up there globally) for sars viruses. the chinese govt used Wuhan as a negative control in a study assessing threat of diseases of zoonotic origin (was considered an unlikely ground zero for this vs places in south china with far more 'wet market' type activity'). a bat virus is considered the most likely starting point of sars cov 2. wuhan virology lab was going very far away and bringing these bat viruses in to study them.

>It's also a completely moot point, because the mere fact that
>all the other SARS variants emerged naturally means that we
>need to accelerate laboratory research on them, even if that
>presents a risk of lab leaks.

without you getting more specific, this is irresponsible. the HOW and WHAT of the science is important. there is a possibility that sars cov 2 started like this: researchers at wuhan virology lab go on far away field trip, find bats with little understood virus, take virus back to Wuhan, start experimenting with the virus, modifications they make (whether intentionally or not, who knows) make the virus capable of spreading and presenting a danger to humans...this virus infects a lab worker....there is a global pandemic.

so in this sceneario, if the researchers left the bats in far flung caves alone...we don't have a pandemic. so saying we need to accelerate lab research without prescribing how we can ensure this research is safe and will not lead to the accidental creation and release of viruses that pose a threat to humans is critical.

taking the lab leak origin hypothesis seriously means taking a hard look at the scientific practices that MAY have caused the pandemic. it's not a point-scoring practice in playing the blame game. the threat of lab-created pandemics is real and more needs to be done to make sure we aren't cooking up global disasters under the blind banner of "all science is good! accelerate! accelerate!"
13479817, You have an exaggerated sense of what "gain of function" research
Posted by stravinskian, Wed Mar-01-23 06:35 PM

is even capable of.

The fact that we can't resolve this question is precisely because the differences between sars-cov-2 and other unquestionably natural coronaviruses are minor and completely consistent with normal evolutionary development. Yes, this virus would have escaped the caves within a couple years regardless of anything the mad scientists might have done.

The deeper you dip into the "scientists are tinkering with viruses" meme the deeper you get into assertions that we know as incontrovertible facts to be untrue.
13479819, RE: You have an exaggerated sense of what "gain of function" research
Posted by fif, Wed Mar-01-23 06:58 PM
>The fact that we can't resolve this question is precisely
>because the differences between sars-cov-2 and other
>unquestionably natural coronaviruses are minor and completely
>consistent with normal evolutionary development.

this is part of what is unsettled about the question of zoonotic vs lab leak. there is disagreement on this point. sars cov 2 COULD be the result of a change to a virus made in the lab. if a virus not deadly or easily transmissible among humans is tweaked in a lab and becomes very transmissible...this virus might look very much like all other coronaviruses that have leapt from animals to people.

> Yes, this
>virus would have escaped the caves within a couple years
>regardless of anything the mad scientists might have done.

the original animal reservoir has not been found. so not sure where your confidence here is coming from.

>The deeper you dip into the "scientists are tinkering with
>viruses" meme the deeper you get into assertions that we know
>as incontrovertible facts to be untrue.

are you claiming that current scientific techniques are incapable of editing the genes (or selectively breeding, fostering certain mutations) of a virus in a way that makes it more deadly to humans? (even as an unintended consequence). i do not think this is true.
13479840, No one said it was impossbile, jsut need some proof
Posted by handle, Thu Mar-02-23 11:23 AM
What folks reacted to were OBSVIOUS racists and loons IMMEDATELY saying it was the CH***KS done infected us, and probably on purpose!!!

Like this guy:

The folks like Jon Stewart on the train because "it makes sense" to them so it has to be true!!!!

1: So could it have evolved or mutated in nature and then travel to humans because of the meat trade at a livestock house or wet market? YEs.

2: Could number 1 have happened, but not travelled into humans but instead was being studied in a lab and a whoopsie occurred and it got out?

3: Could the Chinese have engineered it? Sure.

We've seen #1 happen with other viruses.
We've seen #2 happen, much less often.
We've never seen #3 happen with definitive proof.

I lean to #1 since it has happened before.
And #2 and #3 being bandied about way before we could know anything seems either racists (Trump, GOP, et. al) or jumping the gun (libs!!!)

13479876, RE: No one said it was impossbile, jsut need some proof
Posted by fif, Thu Mar-02-23 09:33 PM
>What folks reacted to were OBSVIOUS racists and loons
>IMMEDATELY saying it was the CH***KS done infected us, and
>probably on purpose!!!

yea, i mentioned this in the other thread:

"the anti-trump contingent in media and govt very quickly moved to dismiss the possibility of a lab leak. with some reason--they didn't want to allow trump's claims to inflame racism, xenophobia etc."

so i get the motive. but it’s time to move past that. preventing future lab leaks should be a top global priority. i do think a lab leak is probably what sparked the pandemic. but regardless of whether that happened or not, the risk of a lab leak causing another pandemic is very real. the world needs to come together ASAP to find ways of reducing the chance of a lab leak causing a future pandemic.

if humans did this to humanity--or can--be good to focus on how not to let the bugs out of the bag.

>I lean to #1 since it has happened before.

will just point out that a lot of what these labs can now do is very new under the sun. far easier to make deadly shit in labs than ever before. this cutting edge science is alluring to researchers–lot of breakthroughs waiting to happen there. but it’s hand of god type stuff and cuts both ways…it can advance medicine but can also create little killers.

13480000, the wet market thing always felt more racist than the lab leak theory
Posted by Mynoriti, Sat Mar-04-23 05:03 PM
i suppose the lab leak is more 'anti-china' on a larger scale, esp since it could also feed people's conspiracies about a bio-weapon, but if we ever really got a definitive answer that this was a result of research and negligence, it would seem like its more racist to say this virus spread because of dirty chinese people cramming animals together ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

>>What folks reacted to were OBSVIOUS racists and loons
>>IMMEDATELY saying it was the CH***KS done infected us, and
>>probably on purpose!!!
>yea, i mentioned this in the other thread:
>"the anti-trump contingent in media and govt very quickly
>moved to dismiss the possibility of a lab leak. with some
>reason--they didn't want to allow trump's claims to inflame
>racism, xenophobia etc."
13480002, in the end
Posted by fif, Sat Mar-04-23 05:12 PM
gain of function research is extremely dangerous and needs to operate in the light of day (well lol, not like outside, but you know what i mean).

so it will be tough to talk about all this and not draw racial attacks from...racists. but with trump out of the picture, the scientific community needs to realize that ongoing and future research that increases the pathogenicity of viruses can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable and requires far more oversight and safety precautions than it appears were in place at the wuhan virology institute.
13479921, Incapable without it being statistically obvious in the genome.
Posted by stravinskian, Fri Mar-03-23 12:03 PM

>>The deeper you dip into the "scientists are tinkering with
>>viruses" meme the deeper you get into assertions that we
>>as incontrovertible facts to be untrue.
>are you claiming that current scientific techniques are
>incapable of editing the genes (or selectively breeding,
>fostering certain mutations) of a virus in a way that makes it
>more deadly to humans? (even as an unintended consequence). i
>do not think this is true.

The genome is just a series of numbers and there are simple statistical tests of how likely a mutation might have come through random processes. Manual genomic editing implants large continuous segments into a preexisting external genome. Random mutation arises from transcription errors and other processes that raise, rather than lower, the entropy of the string.

The fact that these tests have not been able to favor a genomic editing hypothesis also means that these mutations were entirely consistent with natural variation, which in turn means that either it happened naturally or it would have happened naturally very soon anyway.
13479962, Even then they GOT YOU
Posted by handle, Fri Mar-03-23 04:26 PM
I mean, maybe there's a unknown/secret technology that they can obfuscate it with?

AND How do you know the genomic professionals and statisticians and virologists aren't been paid off by big pharma or big China, etc.?

Even then they could have just found it in the wild and let it leak on purpose, or accident......

It's a theory they say you need to DISPROVE .. and until you can prove a different theory they insist their theory is true... with proof.. because it is plausible.

13480001, RE: Even then they GOT YOU
Posted by fif, Sat Mar-04-23 05:06 PM
>I mean, maybe there's a unknown/secret technology that they
>can obfuscate it with?
>AND How do you know the genomic professionals and
>statisticians and virologists aren't been paid off by big
>pharma or big China, etc.?

they have new tools with great power and they want to use them. The Cambridge Working Group proposed a moratorium on gain of function research in 2014 that lasted until 2017. Shi (head researcher of Wuhan VI) proposed adding cleavage site to bat viruses in novel ways to figure out how they might leap to humans. Proposal rejected. What she then did with these ambitions at WVI under woefully inadequate lab safety conditions (for what was in the 2018 proposal) is not entirely clear. But it seems highly possible it was directly against the spirit of the 2014 moratorium--to do novel gain of function research in a lab with lax safety

>It's a theory they say you need to DISPROVE .. and until you
>can prove a different theory they insist their theory is
>true... with proof.. because it is plausible.

again, we're talking about probability, no one has a slam dunk "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED"

the WVI researchers were literally interested in how to make bat viruses leap to humans. the world is a very large place. it is a tremendous coincidence that covid brokeout in Wuhan, a place with a lab that was doing cutting edge research that likely qualified as gain of function with many many bat viruses.
13479999, it's not that simple
Posted by fif, Sat Mar-04-23 04:57 PM
to determine whether editing took place. the pro-zoonosis scientists admit as much in their papers. if the claimed intermediate host had been ID'd...that'd be another thing.

but what we do know is that sars-cov-2 is a bat coronavirus (sarbecovirus) with the only known furin cleavage spike in that lineage.

and the lead researcher at Wuhan Virology Institue, Dr Shi Zhengli, was very interested in figuring out how to add furin cleavage spikes to bat viruses in order to study how they might leap to humans.

Shi, working under EcoHealth Alliance (headed by Peter Daszak), submitted a grant proposal to DARPA in 2018 proposing to introduce "human-specific cleavage sites" into bat viruses. She'd done similar work in the past with Ralph Baric at UNC. The grant proposal was rejected, Shi began working in Wuhan, collecting large numbers of unknown bat viruses and experimenting on them. The safety conditions of this lab were not nearly adequate for gain of function research...

it is not clear what sort of experiments were going on at the WVI. Shi and the Chinese govt have every incentive to cover up. As do many other in this field such as Peter Daszak.

13479841, yeah, i've heard many scientists already come out against this story...
Posted by PROMO, Thu Mar-02-23 12:03 PM
saying it's from a lab leak.

and the reason, and honestly this seems like the most reasonable thought IMO, is that corona virus isn't new, and every other iteration of it that was a health emergency came from natural sources (animal transmission to humans in one way or another).

i'm not invested in who is right or wrong about it, just saying THAT theory does make the MOST sense.
13479877, yea but advances science
Posted by fif, Thu Mar-02-23 09:41 PM
have us in a new world. labs in recent years have been manipulating viruses in new ways with unforeseeable consequences.
13480709, Defintion of Low Confidence as used by the DOE
Posted by handle, Mon Mar-13-23 12:42 PM
Defining terms:

“Low confidence generally means that the information’s credibility and/or plausibility is uncertain, that the information is too fragmented or poorly corroborated to make solid analytical inferences, or that reliability of the sources is questionable.”
13481355, don't know what your point is
Posted by fif, Thu Mar-23-23 10:45 PM
i think you may be misinterpreting what that means...

a coin flip here is 50 50. saying lab origin is "most likely" means DOE estimates there is a greater than 50% chance covid came from a lab.

that's the bottomline conclusion. the "low confidence" they have in the evidence involved is factored into this bottomline assessment of likelihood.

this doesn't mean they're saying 'hey we think there's a 65% chance it came out of a lab cuz this guy we just talked to holding a cardboard sign was really convincing'.

they're weighing all sorts of shit. like all the ins and out of...

well...pandemics throughout history pretty much all came through zoonosis...but...there have been quite a few lab leaks since wwii...and these last 20 years...wow...pretty wild access to the source code of life these lab coats got now...this gain of function stuff's pretty sci fi...oh and what's that...Shi wanted to add FCS's to bat coronaviruses in 2018...and sars-cov-2 is the ONLY bat coronavirus with a furin cleavage spike? hmmm...

...wait, you're telling me she was going to remote caves and collecting as many bat coronaviruses as she could find and freezing them? and then resurrecting them whenever she liked? to do what?! to try to infect mutant mice with humanoid lungs? why? to try to make the viruses capable of infecting humans? whoa, crazy shit, man. wait...what was that proposal of Shi's rejected in 2018 again? oh...so basically she was interested in trying to make sars-cov-2...before it even existed?

Shi must be pissed them raccoon dogs beat her to the punch.

that study is flimsy btw. and the atlantic article you linked was published BEFORE the pre-print of the paper was even released. so it was a PR rollout...and the scientists involved...well..let's say a good number of them have been engaging in motivated reasoning in this space since early 2020. and btw, the NYT changed their original headline on the raccoon dog paper to reduce the 'WOW finally proof of zoonosis!' vibe.

if you want to get into the arguments, go for it. important to remember that what happened happened in china. and china's control of information re:Wuhan have made an objective, thorough investigation impossible. china's incentives here are important to consider.

the raccoon dog paper, hm is there something there? i don't think so, the virus was not IN the animals, was mixed in samples. and mysteriously these wet market sample genomes surface online. there's no way of knowing, but yes, the conclusions of the paper further china's interests in diverting attention away from the gain of function that was going on in the Wuhan labs. Worobey's other papers on the Wuhan wet market have been poked full of holes, problems with methodology. Same with the two origins claim.

So...the jury's still out...what do you think?
13480712, 03/13/2023
Posted by handle, Mon Mar-13-23 12:53 PM
FYI: Still averaging around 400 deaths a day in the United States. Around 140,000 a year.

Johns Hopkins dashboard closed on 3/10/2023:

California to alter COVID rules in healthcare settings: Masks and vaccinations not required

Among the changes announced by the California Department of Public Health is the end of statewide mask requirements in healthcare and other indoor high-risk settings — including correctional facilities and emergency and homeless shelters — beginning April 3.

Effective the same day, California will no longer require COVID-19 vaccinations for healthcare workers, including those in adult and direct care settings, correctional facilities and detention centers.

In other changes, starting March 13, an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 can exit isolation after five days, provided they feel well, symptoms are improving, and they have been fever-free for 24 hours. The state’s earlier recommendation was to exit isolation upon receiving a negative rapid test on or after the fifth day following the onset of symptoms or the first positive test. For those who couldn’t test, or continued to test positive after Day 5, the state recommended isolating for at least 10 days.

Note:LA is keeping theirs, and health care facilities can still require it since they are private property.

COVID in California: State COVID metrics remain in holding pattern
Pandemic numbers barely budged in the past week but continue to show modest improvement.

California’s pandemic numbers barely budged in the past week but continue to show modest improvement. The health department reported on Thursday an average of 2,612 new daily cases — or about 6.5 per 100,000 residents — as of Mar. 9, compared to 2,760 cases per day, or 6.9 per 100,000 residents the week before. The state’s seven-day rolling coronavirus test positivity rate, which tracks the percentage of lab test results that are positive for the virus, edged down to 5.9% from 6.5%. The daily average of COVID patients in California hospitals fell to 2,375 compared to 2,506 last week, and the number of inpatient beds now in use for COVID-19 patients edged up slightly from 4% the prior week. The state tallied another 216 confirmed COVID-19 deaths this week, bringing the statewide pandemic toll up to 100,640 as of Thursday, with an average of 17 people still dying each day due to the virus. Although California’s COVID-19 state of emergency ended Feb. 28, this marks the fourth consecutive week that the numbers have plateaued at a level public health experts say is still too high to declare the virus vanquished.
13481107, 3/20/2023
Posted by handle, Mon Mar-20-23 10:55 AM
Coronavirus: China reports first case of coinfection by two Omicron subvariants


tldr; So we've had delta/Omicron cases reported, here's 2 Omicron infections at the same time.

COVID XBB 1.16 variant: Tracker finds high cases in India, know the symptoms


"In India, XBB.1.16 is showing a high prevalence in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat as per covSPECTRUM. XBB 1.16 has not descended from XBB.1.5 but both have descended from XBB and more recently XBB.1," TOI has reported quoting a top expert from India's genome sequencing network."XBB is currently dominating in India, and the latest uptick in cases in the country could be a result of XBB 1.16 and perhaps XBB 1.5 but a few more sample runs would clear the picture," the expert has told the media.

tldr; Omicron XBB. 1.16 goin buck wild in India

The Strongest Evidence Yet That an Animal Started the Pandemic


I mean, let's not talk about it yet FIF, it's exhausting: I know it could still be: - a racoon dog was using unknown and advanced tools (that are undetectable to less advanced researchers) to study corona viruses, slipped up and give it to itself, then travelled to the market for lunch where it spread from.

tldr; Raccooncoocie!
13481359, what i find puzzling
Posted by fif, Fri Mar-24-23 12:23 AM
about you is that you are clearly somewhere up there in the 95th plus percentile of people in terms of your current concern about covid. (which is whatever to me--from the outside looking in, it seems unhealthy for you tbh, but you gotta do you.)

but despite your doom and gloom hyper-vigilance on all things covid, you are very dismissive of the lab origin hypothesis. We have sci fi capabilities, humans can create the next pandemic in a lab. Maybe we already sparked one off. You've got heavy covid-policeman energy. Since you already got that going, I'd suggest a good use of that energy is learning about the dangers of gain of function research and elevating awareness about it. One of the best preventative measures against another pandemic...is global action to do all we can to ensure the next one isn't started by scientists. If it wasn't a random transmission from the animal world, if WE made it happen, we can organize people in better ways so it don't happen again.

i'm curious at what point this becomes something you are interested in. DOE and FBI are above 50%..dismiss..dismiss...is your response. those are wild high numbers. do you think the other fed agencies are all firmly at 0% likelihood of lab origin and scoffing at DOE and FBI? that's the stance you seem to take, but definitely doesn't reflect the actual probabilities or opinions of qualified people who look into this. even if it were an only 10% chance it came out of a lab...i feel this should be enough to make you think...hey wtf are these virologists doing? something's gotta change there!

>tldr; Raccooncoocie!

13481405, the raccoon dog "report"
Posted by fif, Fri Mar-24-23 05:16 PM
(scare quotes important here...the authors themselves say: "This report is not intended for publication in a journal". So before this pre-print was even released (ie NO other scientists were able to read it or look at the data), the Atlantic performs the puff-job you linked...on a paper NEVER intended for peer-review. This is not the way scientific publishing is supposed to work--and definitely not on a matter as contentious and globally important as the question of how covid began.)

I think there is value in looking at the circumstances of this "report" hitting the Atlantic/mainstream news cycle:

--An opportunity for skeptics like Handle to see that something is amiss in how the covid origins debate is being covered in the media.
--That what the authors of the "report" are doing is largely spin, not objective, peer-reviewed science.
--That the Atlantic (and others) were guilty of journalistic malpractice (on an extremely important topic) in how they covered this.

the Handle, with no grip:

>I mean, let's not talk about it yet FIF, it's exhausting: I
>know it could still be: - a racoon dog was using unknown and
>advanced tools (that are undetectable to less advanced
>researchers) to study corona viruses, slipped up and give it
>to itself, then travelled to the market for lunch where it
>spread from.

"slipped up and give it to itself" --the words of a drunk prostitute talking about an std? hm...but...regarding the "report", covid & raccoon dogs: false. the "report" does NOT show that the raccoon dogs had covid. it looks like, maybe, there was covid on surfaces near raccoon dog dna (shedded fur, slobber, etc). when? on jan 1 2020. long after the first human cases of covid are known to have occurred (late nov-early dec 2019, or before).

if you wanna tighten up your understanding of what's going on in the investigations into covid's origins, i'm all ears. but i think you need to do some reading. you're talking full of certainty from a place of ignorance. you're insulated from the facts, you use the low-resolution, sound-bite views of others to form very strong opinions. not a good method for understanding a topic like this. pass over it in silence, or educate yourself. in general, try to learn how to live with uncertainty, it may help you deal with your emotional problems. this is unsolicited advice, but you often type like an unhinged asshole, so there ya go...

here is a good place to start: Jesse Bloom at Seattle's Fred Hutch analyzes the raccoon report:
13481342, 3/23/2023
Posted by handle, Thu Mar-23-23 01:41 PM
White House To Dissolve COVID Team As It Prepares For End Of Emergency Measures


The White House is reportedly preparing to dissolve its COVID-19 team as Joe Biden’s administration prepares to end the coronavirus national and public health emergencies on May 11.

Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, will probably vacate his position once the emergency officially ends, while many members of his team have already departed.

The news was first reported by The Washington Post.

“As a result of this administration’s historic response to COVID-19, we as a nation are in a safer, better place than we were three years ago,” a senior administration official told The Post. “COVID no longer disrupts our lives because of investments and our efforts to mitigate its worst impacts.

The official added that while Americans will still have to deal with COVID-19, moving out of the emergency phase of the response is the next step in the nation’s fight against the virus.

The emergency declaration was first put in place by then-Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Jan. 31, 2020, while President Donald Trump was in office.

Biden has since extended the emergency but announced earlier this year that it would expire in May.

Jha told WBUR last week this signals the country is in a “different and in a better place with COVID.”

“It means that the emergency tools we needed to manage this virus are no longer needed in the same way,” he said.

It also means some Americans will have to start paying for testing and antiviral drugs, though COVID-19 shots will remain free for the majority of the country.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded a weekly total of 149,955 COVID-19 cases and just over 1,700 weekly COVID-related deaths, as of Wednesday.
13481439, 03/26/2023
Posted by handle, Sun Mar-26-23 10:59 AM
Phonte caught Covid
No article, but on the Taboo episode of ?uestlove's podcast Phonte , wh0 famously sheltered during COVID, caught COVID after doing a small tour on San Diego and Orange County.

A hidden pandemic: the orphans Covid has left behind

Swipe: Joshua, his younger brother, Zachary, 14, and sister, Maddie, 10, are among the estimated 238,500 Covid orphans in the United States whose lives have been upended in the past three years by the loss of a parent or primary caregiver, according to the Imperial College London COVID-19 Orphanhood Calculator. Globally, there have been more than eight million Covid orphans since the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic in March 2020.


It's getting hard to find data on COVID infections since most trackers have shot down and most countries are reporting less frequently.

I heard that last week the entire continent of Africa reported only 6 deaths in total. The US reported 1700 deaths last week.


"Nearly every state, from the 26 worst performing states in the pandemic, fall into one of the three... disproportionately high population of people identifying as Hispanic...higher than the national average identifying as black...or high levels of support for the 2020 republican presidential candidate," said lead author Tom Bollyky, a senior fellow for global health, economics, and development at the Council on Foreign Relations and professor of law at Georgetown University, in a video commentary.

The authors further discussed parts of the study highlighting racial, economic and social inequities in the U.S. that led to differences in rates of infection and death rates between states.

States with higher poverty rates of poverty had higher death rates. For every 2.6% increase in poverty rates above the national average within a state, there was a 23.3% increase in the cumulative death rate, reflecting a significant economic healthcare disparity.

"The COVID-19 pandemic clearly exacerbated fundamental social and economic inequities, but science-based interventions and policy changes provided clear impact on mortality rates at the state level," said Dr. John Brownstein, an epidemiologist and chief innovation officer at Boston Children's Hospital and an ABC News contributor.

Policies adopted by states during the pandemic, including mask mandates, social distancing and vaccine mandates, were associated with lower COVID-19 infection rates and higher vaccination rates were associated with lower death rates.

13481493, RE: 03/26/2023
Posted by JtothaI, Mon Mar-27-23 04:52 PM
I was at the Orange County show and I just KNEW I was going to get it there, it was PACKED.

I didn't.

But a week later my office of 11 got hit with 6 of us including myself catching it.

A guy had it and didn't know and then went out 4 days and then we went down one by one.

Took that paxlovid 5 day script and I'm good after about 6 days.
13481496, Good to hear you're doing okay
Posted by handle, Mon Mar-27-23 05:42 PM
>I was at the Orange County show and I just KNEW I was going
>to get it there, it was PACKED. >I didn't.
>But a week later my office of 11 got hit with 6 of us
>including myself catching it.
>A guy had it and didn't know and then went out 4 days and then
>we went down one by one.
>Took that paxlovid 5 day script and I'm good after about 6

It's still circulating *a lot* compared to flu and colds.

My work's guidance: Masking is highly recommended in indoor settings such as large meetings or group events exceeding 50% of room capacity.

But hey, people doing "non-risky" things are catching it too - it's just incredibly contagious and still out there in force.

I'm glad you did okay.
13481543, 03/28/2022
Posted by handle, Tue Mar-28-23 05:17 PM
Omicron Was Present in Pune's Sewage Days Before Its First Ever Detection in South Africa, Reveals IISER Study


tldr; Omicron discovered in wastewater samples in India before being diagnosed in South Africa.

WHO revises COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for Omicron-era

tldr; Says boosters should/could be given between 6-12 months for those at risk, and recommends weighting cost effectiveness before giving to healthy children.

13482379, 04/10/2023
Posted by handle, Tue Apr-11-23 10:17 AM
Biden signs bill ending Covid-19 national emergency

tldr: Fuck congress, but they only fucked it up by a month. (And the lack of funding is also another fuck congress.)

President Joe Biden signed legislation Monday to end the national emergency for Covid-19, the White House said, in a move that will not affect the end of the separate public health emergency scheduled for May 11.

A White House official downplayed the impact of the bill, saying the termination of the emergency “does not impact our ability to wind down authorities in an orderly way.”

The bill to end the national emergency cleared the Senate last month in a bipartisan 68-23 vote and passed the House earlier this year with 11 Democrats crossing party lines to vote for the joint resolution.

“Since Congress voted to terminate the National Emergency earlier than anticipated, the Administration has worked to expedite its wind down and provide as much notice as possible to potentially impacted individuals,” the official said, adding that the country is in a “different place” than it was in January.

The administration has been winding down authorities over the past few months, the official noted.

The official said that “to be clear, ending the National Emergency will not impact the planned wind-down of the Public Health Emergency on May 11” – which enabled the government to provide many Americans with Covid-19 tests, treatments and vaccines at no charge, as well as offer enhanced social safety net benefits, to help the nation cope with the pandemic and minimize its impact, as CNN previously reported.

“But since Congress moved to undo the National Emergency earlier than intended, we’ve been working with agencies to address the impacts of ending the declaration early,” the official said.

The White House had signaled strong opposition to the bill but said that ultimately, the president would sign it if it came across his desk. The White House had planned end to both emergencies by May 11.


White House launching $5 billion program to speed coronavirus vaccines

Note: It's behind a paywall. I'll post another link below for Eric Topol's take.

“Project Next Gen” — the long-anticipated follow-up to “Operation Warp Speed,” the Trump-era program that sped coronavirus vaccines to patients in 2020 — would take a similar approach to partnering with private-sector companies to expedite development of vaccines and therapies. Scientists, public heath experts and politicians have called for the initiative, warning that existing therapies have steadily lost their effectiveness and that new ones are needed.

“It’s been very clear to us that the market on this is moving very slowly,” Ashish Jha, the White House coronavirus coordinator, said Monday. “There’s a lot that government can do, the administration can do, to speed up those tools … for the American people.”

Jha and others said the new effort will focus on three goals: creating long-lasting monoclonal antibodies, after an evolving virus rendered many current treatments ineffective; accelerating development of vaccines that produce mucosal immunity, which is thought to reduce transmission and infection risks; and speeding efforts to develop pan-coronavirus vaccines to guard against new SARS-CoV-2 variants, as well as other coronaviruses.

13482390, i have serious question and i hope people don't come at me for asking:
Posted by PROMO, Tue Apr-11-23 11:49 AM
is covid still a serious health risk for most people?

the reason i ask is because i'm still masking in public EVERYWHERE i go. but when i go out, i pay attention to the people i see and i'd say 10 percent or less of the people i see are also masked up.

i go to a place on the weekends, BOTH days, where almost no one is masked up, people are right next to each other for extended periods (though it is a big, warehouse like building with a 50 foot tall ceiling so maybe the air just circulates well in there - it doesn't feel like it does though sometimes), and i see the same folks every weekend and none of them are sick or are talking about how they got sick, etc and many of those people go to this place EVERYDAY of the week, not just weekends like i do. on averages there's at least 100 people in there on either Sat. or Sun., sometimes more.

not gonna lie, it's hard when you see everyone else not masked and seemingly healthy, and not want to join. and just from what i'm seeing it seems like it's not really a risk for most people anymore especially if you're vaxxed up.

am i buggin?
13482396, I don’t think it’s much of a risk anymore
Posted by DaKidFromHaiti, Tue Apr-11-23 12:45 PM
I haven’t worn a mask (unless I’m somewhere that asks to wear them) since restrictions got lifted here. I’m double vaxxed up and caught it last summer but been good since. I work with kids everyday who go to school and are around other kids, I’ve gone to the movies more times than I can count maskless, been on the metro, traveled etc with no mask and haven’t gotten sick. Maybe I’ve gotten lucky but going all this long and not getting sick I’m kinda whatever about this stuff now. To each their own and I understand why someone would feel more comfortable wearing a mask but I’m off them.
13482404, appreciate your thoughts.
Posted by PROMO, Tue Apr-11-23 01:42 PM
i'm double vaxxed (not boosted) and got it last summer w/ very mild symptoms (worst was a migraine for a day - i never get migraines, and i don't know if that was from covid per se).

my wife and i have been heavily debating if we want to stop masking or not. still no decision.
13482397, i stopped masking like a year ago
Posted by Mynoriti, Tue Apr-11-23 12:50 PM
with the exception of maybe a doctor's office or places where they're required.
soon as i stopped i didn't wanna go back, and felt like i've been doing it to long, and to a degree i understand why people see mask wearing as being overly paranoid.

but i also don't want t fall into that kind of judgy mindset. I think everyone should do what is comfortable to them. if someone feels safer or even more considerate wearing a mask, they should continue.
but if someone's wearing/not wearing a mask is some kind of statement, that's just goofy.

far as the other stuff, idk. people are still dying, but there are more treatments. i still haven't gotten it (far as i know) but probably 95% of the people i know have had it, some immuno-compromised, some have had it multiple times. mostly i just hear it really sucks for a day or two and it's draining.

13482401, I got it a month ago, and I'm fully vaxed (with the most recent booster)
Posted by mrhood75, Tue Apr-11-23 01:24 PM
So I figure there's still a risk.

I'm one of those people who masks everywhere indoors (I'm sitting at my work desk now masked up). Then a month ago my wife and I pushed our luck going to three events in five days, largely unmasked at each of them. And, of course, she was sick by that Monday and I was sick by Tuesday (though we didn't test positive until Thursday).

I live in the Bay Area, where more people mask up than in many other places, and still a lot of people go unmasked. However, I see my parents on a weekly basis, both of home are very close to 80, neither of whom have had COVID. So, especially out of consideration to them, I mask up whenever I'm inside work or any other public place. I figure staying disciplined is worth their health.

I will add that I just got back from Hawaii for vacation with my wife, parents, and my brother and his wife and kids. We all masked up in the airports and on the plane, but while on the island, no one used masks.
13482402, It depends
Posted by handle, Tue Apr-11-23 01:30 PM
tldr; If you're young and healthy and not around a lot of older/less healthy folks then you'll probably be fine.

>is covid still a serious health risk for most people?
Depends on who you are. It's so contagious that it's very easy to get.


It says we've had 104,242,889 reported cases in the U.S. and 1,127,104 deaths. That means that 1.08% of people who caught COVID died of it. But let's be serious, while I suspect that more people probably died of COVID than reported there were likely 2 or 3 times more infections than reported too.

The CDC also reports 452,024 hospitalizations from COVID. That has had serious impacts of those folks - and on others who couldn't get healthcare because of it. And CDC reported last year that 7% of folks who got infected reported "long covid" symptoms.

So your personal risk, depending on your age, health, immunity (via vaccine or infection or both), and some luck COVID is not a personal death sentence - it never was for most.

Getting sick and feeling bad and missing work and giving your friends/family it are other factors.

>the reason i ask is because i'm still masking in public
>EVERYWHERE i go. but when i go out, i pay attention to the
>people i see and i'd say 10 percent or less of the people i
>see are also masked up.

They may have underlying health conditions - or they may just chose to wear the mask because 'why get COVID while grocery shopping?' if wearing a mask would lower the risk dramatically?

>not gonna lie, it's hard when you see everyone else not masked
>and seemingly healthy, and not want to join. and just from
>what i'm seeing it seems like it's not really a risk for most
>people anymore especially if you're vaxxed up.
>am i buggin?

If you get the current variant, are healthy, are younger, have some immunity from vaccination or prior infection, get Paxlovid or another treatment you may just get a mild flu like illness and you're 99% or more likely to survive and over 92% chance - or more- to not get long Covid.

If your risk profile is worse, like you're an 80 year old with HIV - it's a different calculation.

So within those factors you have to decide when/if to wear a mask. Or if you're around folks who have a different risk profile a lot you may have to factor that in too.

I got it, it fucking SUCKED for me. Healthy 50 year old when I got it, but it knocked me out and sent me to the E.R. because my blood/oxygen level went to 89% on my home monitor - and %93 on the one in the E.R. (Paxlovid was not approved at the time.) My mom, a 74 year old who has weakened immunity from chemo therapy did a lot better than I did.

(All of this changes if a new variant comes around too - it's a moving target.)

But people are getting still sick, and we're still on track to have 100,000 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S this year - that's 2x3 times our "normal" flu deaths in the 21st century.

I still mask everywhere where I'd regret getting COVD - Walmart, Target, Vons, Home Depot, etc. I didn't mask when I had workers in my house recently. I don't mask when in a car with friends either.

I think this way "If it was 2013 and the flu got more contagious and was killing the same amount as COVID is now would I have worn a mask?"

For me, the answer is yes. I suspect for most of the people I know the answer would have been no.
13482429, the costs of masking have
Posted by fif, Tue Apr-11-23 11:56 PM
long outweighed the benefits for the vast majority of people. especially for kids. kids learn a lot from faces, watching faces make words and emotions.

a mask in public in april 2023 also is sending a signal: stay away, i am still very concerned about covid. which is fine, that's your right to be concerned. i don't think most people should be.

but the still-very-concerned might want to consider the effects masking has on reducing their chances of having positive interactions with other humans.

my opinion:

take take take it off

13482635, 04.14.2023
Posted by handle, Fri Apr-14-23 09:28 AM
You're less likely to get long COVID after a second infection than a first

If you've gotten COVID more than once, as many people have, you may be wondering if your risk for suffering the lingering symptoms of long COVID is the same with every new infection.

The answer appears to be no. The chances of long COVID — a suite of symptoms including exhaustion and shortness of breath — falls sharply between the first and second infections, according to recent research.

"It does seem that the risk is significantly lower the second time around than the first time around for developing long COVID," says Daniel Ayoubkhani, a statistician at the Office for National Statistics in the United Kingdom, who's been studying long COVID in that country.
(more at link)

About 100k nurses left workforce amid COVID-19 burnout, stress: survey

About 100,000 nurses quit due to stress and burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic and and another 800,000 said they intend to leave by 2027, according to a new survey from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

California judge orders church that defied COVID rules to pay $1.2M

13482642, I don't think I posted these last week
Posted by handle, Fri Apr-14-23 11:19 AM
Even with improved treatments, COVID’s death rate is still 60% higher than for the flu

Covid-19 isn’t “just a flu,” with a study of hospital patients finding that the virus was still 60% deadlier than influenza last winter.

Greater immunity against the coronavirus, better treatments, and different virus variants lowered COVID’s mortality risk to about 6% among adults hospitalized in the U.S. last winter from 17% to 21% in 2020, researchers at the Clinical Epidemiology Center of the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System in Missouri found. That was still much higher than the flu’s death rate of 3.7%.

“This finding should be interpreted in the context of a two-to-three times greater number of people being hospitalized for Covid-19 versus influenza in the US in this period,” epidemiologist Ziyad Al-Aly and colleagues wrote in a letter Thursday in the journal JAMA. The research is based on an analysis of electronic health records in databases kept by the Department of Veterans Affairs, which operates the largest nationally integrated health care system in the US.

tldr: VA study shows COVID is 60% deadlier than the flu. VA people are older, whiter, and more at risk than you may be.
13482658, let it go
Posted by Tiger Woods, Fri Apr-14-23 01:57 PM
13482936, 04/17/2023
Posted by handle, Mon Apr-17-23 09:47 PM
Rare COVID symptom reported as latest omicron subvariant hits the U.S.

Note: It's pink eye

A new COVID-19 subvariant “threatens to shatter” hopes to stave off a new coronavirus surge in the U.S. before next winter, and some experts worry it could be linked to the rise of a previously rare pandemic symptom.

XBB.1.16, which reached reportable levels in the U.S. last week, could be behind an uptick of conjunctivitis, especially in children, reports from India suggest, alongside the more common symptoms of fever, cough and fatigue.

The latest omicron subvariant, thought to be the most transmissible yet, is fueling a surge of cases in India. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows XBB.1.16 nearly doubled its proportion in the U.S. last week, although it still is considerably less prevalent than other subvariants circulating in the country.

At the same time, pediatrician Vipin M. Vashishtha, a member of the World Health Organization’s Vaccine Safety Net program, also noted a rise in cases of “itchy conjunctivitis with sticky eyes” in India that appear to be to be associated with XBB.1.16, although no studies have yet been published to confirm the linkage.

New COVID variant causes allergy-like symptoms

Doctors here in New York City and around the world are looking into the new omicron subvariant, arcturus, that's spreading fast.

" concerning is that the fact that it may be resistant in terms of antibodies we may have from the other omicron subvariant, so this specific strain may be able to evade those antibodies that our body may have formed to the other omicron subvariants," offered Dr. Rabia Delatour at New York University's Langone Health.

Arcturus is highly contagious among children in India and it's causing a new symptom.

"Something unique about this strain is that we're seeing a lot more cases in children in India, and those children are experiencing some severe conjunctivitis, which is redness or irritation of the eyes and this wasn't previously seen with other immigrants of variants, so it’s something unique to this strain," Dr. Delatour continued.


Anecdotal: Co-worker took his wife and 3 kids on vacation in Mexico. All came back with COVID. (Unclear if he had COVID before travelling or if he caught it while travelling.) Everyone's fine - his wife is pretty sick but doesn't appear serious.
13483039, 04/19/2023
Posted by handle, Wed Apr-19-23 09:24 AM
FDA authorizes additional omicron Covid booster for seniors and people with weak immune systems

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday authorized an additional dose of Pfizer
and Moderna
’s Covid-19 vaccines targeting the omicron variant for seniors and people with weak immune systems.

Seniors who are 65 years of age or older and who have already received a vaccine targeting the omicron BA.5 subvariant are now eligible to receive another dose at least four months after their last shot, according to the FDA. People with weak immune systems can receive another omicron shot at least two months after their last dose and receive additional shots at the discretion of their doctor.

Covid May Increase the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Researchers Find

Men and people with severe illnesses were more likely to develop the condition within a year. But the data does not prove that the coronavirus causes diabetes.

People infected with the coronavirus were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes within a year of their infection, compared with those who had not been exposed to the virus, researchers in Canada reported on Tuesday.

Men were more likely to develop diabetes than women, the scientists found. People who were so sick that they were hospitalized were more than twice as likely to go on to a diabetes diagnosis, compared with those who were not infected.

People who were admitted to intensive care were more than three times as likely to develop diabetes, the researchers also found. The findings add to a growing body of evidence about Covid’s long-term effects.

“This is definitely a concern in terms of long-term outcomes,” said Dr. Naveed Z. Janjua, the paper’s senior author and a professor at the School of Population and Public Health at University of British Columbia.

“With a respiratory infection, you usually think, ‘Seven or eight days and I’m done with it, that’s it,’” he added. “Here we’re seeing lingering effects that are lifelong.” (More at link)

GOP senator releases ‘bombshell’ COVID-19 origins report

Sen. Roger Marshall released a 300-page report that claims the virus came from two lab leaks

After more than two years of research, Sen. Marshall revealed on "Mornings with Maria" Tuesday that a "preponderance of evidence" points to two lab leaks in China as the cause of the global pandemic.

"This is big. It is a bombshell that the preponderance of evidence shows that there were two lab leaks," Sen. Marshall said. "If we had a scale in front of us and we put all the evidence on one side that supports a natural spillover, the other for the lab origin of this, I think that 95% of that evidence is on the lab origin."

Sen. Marshall released his findings on Monday, detailing how the two separate, unintentional leaks spiraled into perhaps one of the most devastating events in recent history.

NOTE: BOMBSHELL is in the title of the press release from Marshall.

*Note: Sen. Roger Marshall still isn't convinced that Biden won the 2020 election.

13483505, 04/25/2023
Posted by handle, Tue Apr-25-23 11:23 AM
Florida surgeon general altered key findings in study on Covid-19 vaccine safety

Joseph Ladapo defended the move, saying revisions are a normal part of assessing such analysis.

Read the original article for all the BULLSHIT he did, I've swiped just a small part.

Swipe: The newly released draft of the eight-page study, provided by the Florida Department of Health, indicates that it initially stated that there was no significant risk associated with the Covid-19 vaccines for young men. But “Dr. L’s Edits,” as the document is titled, reveal that Ladapo replaced that language to say that men between 18 and 39 years old are at high risk of heart illness from two Covid vaccines that use mRNA technology.

The newly released draft of the eight-page study, provided by the Florida Department of Health, indicates that it initially stated that there was no significant risk associated with the Covid-19 vaccines for young men. But “Dr. L’s Edits,” as the document is titled, reveal that Ladapo replaced that language to say that men between 18 and 39 years old are at high risk of heart illness from two Covid vaccines that use mRNA technology.

“Results from the stratified analysis for cardiac related death following vaccination suggests mRNA vaccination may be driving the increased risk in males, especially among males aged 18-39,” Ladapo wrote in the draft. “The risk associated with mRNA vaccination should be weighed against the risk associated with COVID-19 infection.”

Up to one in 20 new diabetes cases could be linked to Covid, study suggests

Up to one in 20 new diabetes cases could be related to Covid infection, data suggests.

The research adds to mounting evidence the pandemic may be contributing to a rapidly escalating diabetes crisis, with individuals who have experienced more severe Covid at greatest risk.

However, lifestyle factors such as being overweight or obese continue to be the main driver for the increase, with 4.3 million officially diagnosed cases in the UK alone.

Are your ears ringing? Experts are studying whether its linked to COVID or the vaccine.


Note: I have a friend who IMMEDIATELY reported tinnitus after getting the first dose, and it happens each time he gets a booster.

He's also had Covid TWICE and MERS, he travels *a lot* for work and can't not travel.

13483773, 04/29/2023
Posted by handle, Sat Apr-29-23 10:24 AM
Reminder: Free tests still available if you haven't reached your limit: https://www.covid.gov/tests

Also: Your health insurance will reimburse you for 8 tests a month - you could buy 8 today, then 8 between May 1st and May 11th and get reimbursed. (Ask your insurance when/if they are discontinuing the reimbursement, they have the option to keep paying if they want to.)

CDC to stop tracking Covid levels in communities
The CDC will end its Covid community-level tracking program, which provided information on how the virus was spreading where you live.


"With the end of the public health emergency, CDC will no longer get the same data. We are working to update the measure used to convey the risk of Covid-19 in communities based on data that will be available," a CDC spokesperson wrote in an email. "Our priority remains providing the information necessary to protect the nation's public health."

Note:You can get some idea of how much is in your community by tracking wastewater. Google your city's name + covid wastewater.


ABC News edits RFK Jr. interview to exclude ‘false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines’

tldr; He's spreading not only COVID vaccine falsehoods, but the tired "Vaccines causes autism" shit. Expect him to be on Real Time with Bill Maher at least 3 times before the election.


13483774, NYT article interview with Fauci
Posted by handle, Sat Apr-29-23 10:42 AM
IT's behind a paywall, but I pasted into a document.

Original link:https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2023/04/24/magazine/dr-fauci-pandemic.html (Try it, you might have enough free articles to view it, I didn't.)

Copy/paste link I posted: https://justpaste.it/90unx

Some swipes:
Wallace-Wells: Even now, when we talk about pandemic response, we focus on things like school closures and masks, but it seems to me that Covid mortality has been shaped much more by the country’s vaccination levels. There have been three times as many American deaths since Election Day 2020 as before. And we’ve done much worse, compared with our peers, since vaccination began than we had before.

Fauci: I mean, only 68 percent of the country is vaccinated. If you rank us among both developed and developing countries, we do really poorly. We’re not even in the top 10. We’re way down there.3 And then: Why do you have red states that are unvaccinated and blue states that are vaccinated? Why do you have death rates among Republicans that are higher than death rates among Democrats and independents?4 It should never ever be that way when you’re dealing with a public-health crisis the likes of which we haven’t seen in over a hundred years.

That’s part of it. The other part of it has nothing to do with that divisiveness. It has to do with the fracturing of our health care delivery system in this country. We have let the local public-health and health care delivery system really suffer attrition. And the health disparities — racial and ethnic health disparities. Every country has a little bit of that, but we really have a lot of it.

Footnote: According to a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in September 2022, rates of excess deaths were 76 percent higher among Republicans than Democrats throughout the pandemic. The gap was much smaller in 2020; it then grew almost sevenfold with the arrival of vaccines.

Wallace-Wells: One thing I’ve seen you emphasizing lately is the lesson that you need to act early to stop exponential growth, and that earlier interventions are much more effective than later interventions. But in January and February and even into March of 2020, you and a lot of other folks in the public-health infrastructure were spreading a message that most Americans didn’t really need to worry about the virus, that it wasn’t a real risk to most of us. It wasn’t until later in March that the alarm was really raised. Was that too late? Could we have raised the alarm earlier? And if so, what would the effect have been, do you think?

Fauci: Well, first of all, this is one of the things that keeps getting distorted. When I said we don’t need to do anything different right at this moment, please don’t forget that was followed by a semicolon, and then a “however,” and then by, “This could change rapidly, and we better be prepared for that.” I said that every single time. And the people who want to do gotchas on me only show the first part.

Wallace-Wells: But if you go back in time, if you put yourself in February 2020, you’re telling Helen Branswell,7 for instance, that this virus was low-risk and that you didn’t want to stake your credibility on what could be a false alarm. Do you wish you had said then more emphatically that this is a real, urgent threat and that we need to stand up our defenses immediately?

Footnote: “At present,” Fauci told the veteran journalist at an Aspen Institute panel on Feb. 11, 2020, “the risk is really relatively low.” But he was careful to say: “Is there a risk that this is going to turn into a global pandemic? Absolutely. Yes, there is.” He also added that “if we got up and said … ‘We’ve really, really got a big risk of getting completely wiped out’ and then nothing happens, then your credibility is gone.”

Fauci: Yeah, I think, retrospectively, we certainly should have done that. If you look at what we knew at the time, though — we didn’t know that in January. We were not fully appreciative of the fact that we were dealing with a highly, highly transmissible virus that was clearly spread by ways that were unprecedented and unexperienced by us. And so it fooled us in the beginning and confused us about the need for masks and the need for ventilation and the need for inhibition of social interaction.

Wallace-Wells: The asymptomatic spread.

Fauci: To me, that was the game-changer. And if we knew that very early on, our strategy for dealing with the outbreak in those early weeks would have been different. So when people say to me, “Could we have done better?” Of course, of course. If you knew many of the things then that now you know, definitely you would want to do things differently.


Wallace-Wells: It was around the same time that the mask guidance wavered — first, masks were not recommended, and then they were.9 But I want to ask you to reflect on the even bigger picture: Were the culture-war fights over masking worth it? Or did those fights have a bigger negative impact on future vaccine uptake among conservatives than the positive impact they had on spread? To be clear: I’m not someone who doesn’t think masks work. I think the science and the data show that they do work, but that they aren’t perfect and that at the population level the effect can be somewhat small. In what was probably our best study, from Bangladesh, in places where mask use tripled, positive tests were reduced by less than 10 percent.

Fauci: It’s a good point in general, but I disagree with your premise a bit. From a broad public-health standpoint, at the population level, masks work at the margins — maybe 10 percent. But for an individual who religiously wears a mask, a well-fitted KN95 or N95, it’s not at the margin. It really does work.


Wallace-Wells: But when I watched your recent lecture at Georgetown, you didn’t talk about herd immunity at all. Nobody does. Which makes sense, given that perhaps 95 percent of the country has had the disease, on top of the almost 70 percent who have been vaccinated, and the virus is obviously still circulating. And in fact a number of epidemiologists I’ve spoken to have told me that given the nature of this virus, we should have never entertained herd immunity as a possibility, given the way SARS-CoV-2 replicates in the body. What went wrong there?

Fauci: Well, I don’t think anybody did anything wrong. What went wrong was that the virus did not act the way one would have thought the virus would act. We made an assumption that turned out to be an incorrect assumption — that this was going to act like other viruses.
The classical definition of herd immunity has been completely turned upside down by Covid. And let me go through the steps. Herd immunity is based on two premises: one, that the virus doesn’t change, and two, that when you get infected or vaccinated, the durability of protection is measured in decades, if not a lifetime. With SARS-CoV-2, we thought protection against infection was going to be measured in a long period of time. And we found out — wait a minute, protection against infection, and against severe disease, is measured in months, not decades. No. 2, the virus that you got infected with in January 2020 is very different from the virus that you’re going to get infected with in 2021 and 2022.

Wallace-Wells: So were we wrong to ever expect that after a given amount of infection and vaccination, the disease would disappear? Because that was an extremely conventional view in 2020.

Fauci: It depends on what you mean by “disappear.” If you control community infection at a low-enough level that it doesn’t disrupt society, to some people that means it disappears. To other people, it means, well, it’s there, but it doesn’t bother society very much.
But be careful: No, it was not completely out of line to think that you could get protection against infection — that even if you got some virus in you, it wouldn’t be of a high-enough titer to transmit to somebody else.

And then we found out something that was stunning. When you looked at the titer of the virus in infected and asymptomatic people and a virus in the nose of symptomatic infected people, it was the same. What the hell is going on here? That was a big surprise. So we were wrong, but we weren’t wrong because we didn’t interpret data in front of us. We never had those data. We did not know early on that 50 to 60 percent of the transmissions would be asymptomatic. That was like, whoa. When I saw those data, I said: This is different. We’re dealing with a disease the likes of which we’ve never seen before.

Wallace-Wells: In the vaccine rollout, did we make a mistake in prioritizing health care workers as opposed to seniors?

Fauci: I don’t know if it was a mistake. A mistake is such a charged word. “Fauci made a mistake, people died. Fauci lied, people died.” Come on. I don’t know if it was a mistake. I think the standard way of protecting people who are at greater risk every day was a sound principle.

Wallace-Wells: But the particular responsibility shakes out a little bit differently if it’s ultimately some vendor in a wet market who is illegally transporting animals or if it’s the product of this international research apparatus, right? I don’t want to overstate the American authority or oversight over every experiment at the Wuhan Institute of Virology — let alone the Wuhan C.D.C. But there is a large American component to the development of this whole international enterprise, going back several decades, and you’ve played a role in developing and funding that.

Fauci: First of all, all of the intelligence groups agree that this was not an engineered virus. And if it’s not an engineered virus, what actually leaked from the lab? If it wasn’t an engineered virus, somebody went out into the field, got infected, came back to the lab and then spread it out to other people. That ain’t a lab leak, strictly speaking. That’s a natural occurrence.

Wallace-Wells: Even in that case, the research itself is still playing a role. But when you say everyone agrees it was not an engineered virus — I don’t think they do. I think they generally agree it was not purposefully engineered to be a bioweapon. I don’t believe they’ve ruled out other forms of engineering — direct genetic interventions or serial passage of viruses.

Fauci: David, you could have taken a virus and serially passaged it in 1920. I could do that tomorrow in your kitchen. You don’t need to do engineering.13

Footnote: 13
The term “gain of function” is used by different people in different ways. To some, it refers to any effort to produce new features in a virus, whether through direct genetic manipulation or simply accelerating natural evolution. When the N.I.H. resumed funding gain-of-function research after a three-year safety review, they did so under what was called the "P3CO" framework, under which research with pathogens known to be infectious and dangerous to humans was held to a higher level of scrutiny.


Read the whole thing it's get a little heated.

And if you look at the viruses that the $120,000-a-year grant was given through EcoHealth to the Wuhan Institute to do surveillance on, and you look at the viruses that they studied that they published in the literature, and that was in all of their progress reports, those viruses could not possibly ever turn into SARS-CoV-2, even if they tried to turn them into SARS-CoV-2, because they were evolutionarily so far from SARS-CoV-2 that anybody who knows anything about virology would say there’s nothing you could do to those viruses that would turn them into SARS-CoV-2. Yet what gets conflated is that the N.I.H. funded them, therefore you are liable for the lab leak if it’s a lab leak. It had nothing to do with what we did, because the viruses were unable to be made into SARS-CoV-2.

13484023, 05/05/2023
Posted by handle, Fri May-05-23 08:46 AM
WHO downgrades COVID pandemic, says it’s no longer emergency


The World Health Organization said Friday that COVID-19 no longer qualifies as a global emergency, marking a symbolic end to the devastating coronavirus pandemic that triggered once-unthinkable lockdowns, upended economies worldwide and killed at least 7 million people worldwide.

WHO said that even though the emergency phase was over, the pandemic hasn’t come to an end, noting recent spikes in cases in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The U.N. health agency says that thousands of people are still dying from the virus every week.

“It’s with great hope that I declare COVID-19 over as a global health emergency,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

“That does not mean COVID-19 is over as a global health threat,” he said, adding he wouldn’t hesitate to reconvene experts to reassess the situation should COVID-19 “put our world in peril.”

Tedros said the pandemic had been on a downward trend for more than a year, acknowledging that most countries have already returned to life before COVID-19. He bemoaned the damage that COVID-19 had done to the global community, saying the virus had shattered businesses and plunged millions into poverty.

“COVID has changed our world and it has changed us,” he said, warning that the risk of new variants still remained.

(more at link)

900,000 New Yorkers Lost at Least 3 Loved Ones to Covid

An estimated two million New Yorkers — nearly one in four — lost at least one person close to them to Covid within the first 16 months of the virus’s arrival, according to the data, which was collected in mid-2021 by federal census workers on behalf of the city. Nearly 900,000 New Yorkers lost at least three people they said they were close to, an open-ended category that included relatives and friends, the survey found.

(more at link)

COVID dropped to 4th leading cause of death in U.S. last year

COVID-19 deaths trailed those caused by heart disease, cancer and injuries such as drug overdoses, motor vehicle fatalities and shootings. In 2020 and 2021, only heart disease and cancer were ahead of the coronavirus.

U.S. deaths usually rise year-to-year, in part because the nation's population has been growing. The pandemic accelerated that trend, making 2021 the deadliest in U.S. history, with more than 3.4 million deaths. But 2022 saw the first drop in deaths since 2009.


Free at-home COVID tests end May 11 for some. Here’s how to stock up

The expiration of the national COVID-19 public health emergency Thursday evening will mean the end of free at-home tests for some, though many Californians will still be able to get their hands on screening kits.

At the end of the scheduled May 11 sunset date, a federal rule requiring insurers to reimburse policyholders for the cost of up to eight at-home COVID tests per month will end.

This tightening of the testing tap will affect some Medicare beneficiaries and threatens to limit or cut off access to no-cost testing across a swath of the country.

But in California, state lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom have taken steps to avoid that scenario.

How will testing access change?
For many in California, there won’t be any near-term changes. State legislators have already ordered health insurers to continue reimbursement for eight monthly at-home tests for most health plans.

What are the details?
Following the passage of Senate Bills 510 and 1473, health plans regulated by the California Department of Managed Health Care will still be required to cover the costs of eight over-the-counter rapid tests a month for each person insured.

Besides employer-based healthcare coverage, this includes Medi-Cal-managed plans and Covered California plans.

Starting Nov. 11, insurers regulated by the state Department of Managed Health Care still must cover COVID tests if they’re provided in network, but can charge for tests purchased out of network.

This covers most insured Californians, including those with plans through their employers — but not everyone. For instance, it’s possible Medicare beneficiaries in the state could lose access.

Edit:Adding this

CDC opens probe after 35 test positive for covid following CDC conference
Attendees say many people did not mask, socially distance or take other precautions recommended earlier in the pandemic


Disease detectives at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are probing a new outbreak: the roughly three-dozen coronavirus cases linked to their own annual conference last week.

“CDC is working with the Georgia Department of Health to conduct a rapid epidemiological assessment of confirmed COVID-19 cases that appear to be connected to the 2023 EIS Conference to determine transmission patterns,” CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund said in an email.

Nordlund said the CDC reported the cases to state health officials who have authority over the location where the conference occurred. Attendees said many people at the gathering did not mask, socially distance or take other precautions that the CDC had recommended earlier in the pandemic.

Fewer than 100,000 confirmed coronavirus cases were reported across the United States last week — the lowest levels in nearly two years. But public health experts have cautioned that the vast majority of cases are not being tracked, with many Americans testing at home, if at all, and opting not to report the results. The virus also remains on pace to be one of the top 10 causes of death this year, with fatalities concentrated among older and immunocompromised individuals.

Experts said an outbreak of coronavirus cases at a CDC conference — the first time the meeting of disease detectives was held in person in four years — illustrates the persistence of an evolving virus. The four-day conference for epidemic intelligence service officers and alumni, held near CDC headquarters in Atlanta last week, drew about 2,000 attendees who were likely to be fully vaccinated.

“This is, unfortunately, the new normal,” Jay Varma, an infectious-disease expert at Weill Cornell Medicine, wrote in a text message. “While it is unsettling to see widespread COVID-19 transmission at CDC’s premier public health conference, it’s probably the clearest example yet” of the global situation.

Varma added that individuals and organizations should continue to take coronavirus precautions to protect themselves and the most vulnerable as needed. “I hope that organizers of large conferences, especially for health professionals, should, at a minimum, make high-quality masks as abundant and available as toilet paper and ensure that there is adequate ventilation and/or disinfection of air,” he wrote.

Nordlund said about 35 people linked to the conference had reported testing positive as of Tuesday.

“Conducting a rapid investigation now will help understand transmission that occurred and assist in refining future public health guidance as we move out of the public health emergency and to the next phase of COVID-19 surveillance and response,” she wrote. “Whenever there are large gatherings, especially indoors, such as at a conference, there is the possibility of COVID-19 spread, even in periods of low community spread.”

Conference attendees also received an email from the CDC that encouraged them to participate in the survey with the Georgia health department, according to an email shared with The Washington Post.

“If you attended the conference in person, you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19,” the email read. “If you are experiencing symptoms, we recommend you follow CDC guidance for isolation and testing.”

The Biden administration has been winding down its pandemic response, with most federal vaccine mandates and the coronavirus public health emergency set to be lifted next week. Public health experts say that while the pandemic’s perils have largely receded, they remain wary of future variants and note that the virus continues to evolve.

For instance, a new omicron subvariant, XBB.1.16, nicknamed Arcturus, is becoming more prevalent throughout the United States. The latest CDC tracker shows the variant made up almost 12 percent of cases nationwide for the week ending April 29, up from about 7 percent the week ending April 15. Most of the infections in the United States right now come from XBB.1.5, also an omicron subvariant.
13484273, 05/11/2023 -
Posted by handle, Thu May-11-23 08:38 AM
FYI, with the emergency ending today, the surveillance capabilities shifting (meaning much less accurate, switching to trend tracking), and the immigration shit storm that will start up tomorrow, remember that 1,100 people in the United States died from Covid last week.

The "good news" is that more people are dying from diabetes than Covid now!!!

As Emergency Ends, a Look at Covid’s U.S. Death Toll


One of the biggest change is that the agency will no longer regularly track and release the number of new COVID infections. That's largely because states will no longer be required to report new cases. In addition, home testing, which mostly isn't reported to authorities, has made new infections a less reliable metric, Shah says.

Instead, the agency will start relying on the number of people being hospitalized for COVID as an indicator of how much the virus is spreading. A CDC analysis of the new approach released Friday confirmed it will be effective, Shah says.

The CDC will also continue to monitor and report how many people are dying from COVID as well as how often people are getting so sick they end up requiring care in emergency rooms.

Wastewater monitoring for the virus will provide additional crucial metrics, he says.

In addition, the agency will continue to monitor genetic analyses of the virus, including among arriving international travelers, to spot any new, potentially worrisome variants.


What does the end of the Covid-19 national emergency mean? Our medical analyst explains


Huge number of asylum seekers at US-Mexico border as COVID-19 restrictions end, new rules begin

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) — The Biden administration on Thursday will begin denying asylum to migrants who arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border without first applying online or seeking protection in a country they passed through. It marks a fundamental shift in immigration policy as the U.S. readies for the end of a key pandemic restriction.

Asylum seekers have been showing up at the border in huge numbers in anticipation of this week’s end of the use of a restriction known as Title 42. That rule has allowed the government to quickly expel migrants to Mexico. U.S. officials warned of difficult days ahead as the program tied to the COVID-19 pandemic expires this week.

The rule announced Wednesday is part of new measures meant to crack down on illegal border crossings while creating new legal pathways. Families who cross the border will face curfews and monitoring; the head of household will wear an ankle bracelet as their cases are heard within 30 days.

But there’s also a plan to open 100 regional migration hubs across the Western Hemisphere and granting humanitarian parole to 30,000 people a month to enter the country from four countries. U.S. officials have detailed steps they’ve taken, including increasing deportation flights, as they prepare for what many are expecting to be a substantial increase in migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.


13485026, 05/24/2023
Posted by handle, Wed May-24-23 09:40 AM
Several people out in my team with COVID. (None serious)

China’s New Covid Wave Set to See 65 Million Cases a Week

XBB is expected to result in 40 million infections per week by the end of May before peaking at 65 million a month later. This comes nearly six months after Beijing dismantled its Covid Zero curbs, allowing the virus to spread rapidly among the country’s 1.4 billion residents.

(If %0.1 of people die from it it's still 40,000 dead the first month. That's the rate of COVID deaths/infection that Korea has.)

COVID-19 vaccines may undergo major overhaul this fall

Earlier this year, U.S. regulators settled on a new strategy for COVID-19 vaccines. Like the annual flu shot, the vaccines will be updated each year based on the virus’ evolution, then rolled out in the fall. Accordingly, on 15 June, advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will weigh which strain or strains of SARS-CoV-2 should make up the next iteration of vaccine, so that the agency can greenlight a version for companies to mass-produce.

Regulators may well jettison the original SARS-CoV-2 strain that emerged in China and is long extinct—but which people are still being vaccinated against today. Many scientists favor eliminating it. The ancestral strain “should go out of the formulation,” says William Messer, an infectious disease specialist and viral immunologist at Oregon Health & Science University. Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) agreed. But other questions loom, including whether to bundle multiple virus strains into the vaccine or just one.

To date, COVID-19 vaccines have been modified only once, when a bivalent version based on both the original strain and the BA.5 Omicron variant was introduced in September 2022. Uptake was disappointing: Only 17% of people in the United States have rolled up their sleeves. (By comparison, about 50% get an annual flu shot.) Furthermore, many researchers say the bivalent vaccine packed less of a punch than it could have. The decision to preserve the ancestral strain sprang from worries that if an entirely new variant emerged, an Omicron-only vaccine might falter against it.

13486218, 6/12/2023
Posted by handle, Mon Jun-12-23 09:20 AM
We should find out how the next booster will be handled this month. Coming soon...


US research finds 1 in 10 adults get long COVID after omicron

Posted the link to FoxNews for the readers who still follow this thread.

More than 70% of US household COVID spread started with a child, study suggests

In-person school contributed to transmission
"More than 70% of transmissions in households with adults and children were from a pediatric index case, but this percentage fluctuated weekly," the study authors wrote. "Once US schools reopened in fall 2020, children contributed more to inferred within-household transmission when they were in school, and less during summer and winter breaks, a pattern consistent for 2 consecutive school years."

I liked this one, turns out kids spread COVID exactly like the spread every other disease :) Who'd have thunk it??


Risk of smell loss from COVID-19 omicron variant is as low as 6% compared with initial variants, finds new study


tldr; Loss of smell has decreased with new variants.

Mysterious COVID strain found in central Ohio

tldr; Someone in Ohio liekly has had COVID for a long time and it's mutating.

Debt ceiling bill takes back COVID money

tldr; Republicans demanded it, Democrats let it happen so the country doesn't implode. So all the "we need more COVID research for bettr treatment posters have one more "both parties are the same!!!" ammo.

COVID cases could be ticking up in New York City, wastewater data shows
Most wastewater plants in the city show high levels of virus detection.


Nearly all of the 14 wastewater treatments plants in the city are currently in the "high" detection level category, meaning likely 50 or more cases per 100,000 people, according to the NYS Wastewater Surveillance Network dashboard, which was updated Friday.

What's more, two-week trend data shows that just three of the plants are seeing decreases in virus detection.

Reported case numbers have not jumped. But fewer people are getting tested than earlier in the pandemic, so case numbers are a less reliable indicator of COVID-19 spread.

13487475, 6/26/2022
Posted by handle, Mon Jun-26-23 11:35 AM
ONI report on Covid Origins delivered to congress:

Summary: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jun/23/covid-19-origins-wuhan-lab-leak-us-intelligence-reports

US intelligence agencies found no direct evidence that the Covid-19 pandemic stemmed from an incident at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology, a report declassified on Friday said.

Republicans now calling for all intelligence reports with any connection to COVID origins to be declassified: https://thehill.com/homenews/4066839-gop-house-intel-chair-wants-covid-origins-declassified/

Updated COVID booster shots this fall aim to protect against newer coronavirus versions


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended on June 15 that updated vaccines target XBB.1.5. But drugmakers were working months before the FDA’s go-ahead to develop a shot focused at that subvariant and others, ensuring they’d be able to quickly scale up production no matter which strain regulators settled on.

U.S. Vaccine Program Now Flush With Cash, but Short on Key Details
A $5 billion federal program aims to make better Covid vaccines.


Efforts to develop the next generation of Covid vaccines are running up against bureaucratic hassles and regulatory uncertainty, scientists say, obstacles that could make it harder to curb the spread of the coronavirus and arm the United States against future pandemics.

The Biden administration, after months of delay, has now addressed at least a shortfall in funding, hurrying to issue the first major grants from a $5 billion program to expedite a new class of more potent and durable inoculations.

But the program is facing the blunt reality that vaccine development, after being shifted into high gear early in the pandemic, has returned to its slower and more customary pace.


CDC tracking new COVID variant EU.1.1

The variant is a more distant descendant of the XBB.1.5 variant that had surged earlier this year, with a handful of more mutations to its spike protein that may be driving its spread.

The CDC estimates that EU.1.1 is now 1.7% of U.S. cases nationwide, but may have already reached as much as 8.7% of cases in the region spanning Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

It is too early to know whether EU.1.1 will lead to new or different symptoms in the U.S.


Getting COVID-19 causes long-term drop in semen quality: study

Men suffer a long-term drop in semen quality after COVID-19 - even if the infection was mild, reveals new research.

Scientists found that more than three months after suffering from mild COVID-19 infection, men have lower sperm concentrations and fewer sperm that are able to swim.

Professor Rocio Núñez-Calonge said that after an average of 100 days following infection there appeared to be no improvement in sperm quality and concentration, even though new sperm would have been produced in that time.

Núñez-Calonge said: “There have been previous studies that show semen quality is affected in the short term following a COVID infection but, as far as we are aware, none that have followed men for a longer period of time.

13487906, 7/5/2023
Posted by handle, Wed Jul-05-23 10:26 AM
How many Americans still haven't caught COVID-19? CDC publishes final 2022 estimates


tldr; 77% had antibodies produced from infection. (And 96.7% had antibodies, either from infection of vaccination.)

Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. adults and older teens had still not caught COVID-19 by the end of last year, according to new estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while 77.5% had antibodies from at least one prior infection.

Note: What a weird way to say it - 3 out of 4 DID get it should be the headline, imho.


Three Vaccines for Fall: What You Need to Know
Here’s who should get the flu, Covid and R.S.V. vaccines, and when.


tldr; R.S.V. vaccine coming too!

Moderna files for European authorization of updated COVID vaccine


July 3 (Reuters) - U.S. biotech firm Moderna (MRNA.O) said on Monday it had submitted a regulatory application to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) seeking authorization for its updated COVID-19 vaccine to target the XBB.1.5 sub-variant.

Fact or Fiction: Madonna was in the ICU because of COVID vaccine?


Madonna spent several days in the ICU recently with a bacterial infection.

In response, a number of people have posted tweets claiming her illness was caused by complications from getting a COVID-19 vaccination.

But that's false.

COVID-19 is a virus, which is not bacterial, and bacterial infections are not listed among the adverse effects of getting the COVID vaccine.

Madonna has been a prominent supporter of vaccines, which critics appear to be latching onto now.
13487910, I still havent
Posted by Mynoriti, Wed Jul-05-23 01:03 PM
(that i'm aware of)
I think 90% of people I know got it

Lol @the Madonna thing. It happens literally every time someone dies or is in the hospital now. I remember Shaq posting a pre-hip surgery pic, since he was cryptic, they were already 100% certain it was the reason.
Someone dies in a car crash, or of being 103 and half the comments are "interesting... jabbed?"
13487913, That study was for 2022
Posted by handle, Wed Jul-05-23 02:04 PM
>(that i'm aware of)
>I think 90% of people I know got it

The number surely increased over the winter.

But this is interesting from the article:
"Just 54.9% of all adults currently think they have ever had COVID-19, according to Census Bureau survey results published by the CDC through mid-June. "

So 54.9% think they got it, but blood tests show at 77% have antibodies formed from infection. (Probably very mild or completely asymptomatic cases.)

They stopped doing the study and surveillance is so low that we'll never know - except that it was a very very high percentage of people that got infected.

Also this:
"Of all age groups, seniors have the smallest share of Americans with at least one prior infection, at 56.5% of people ages 65 and over. Young adults and teens had the largest proportion of people with a prior infection, at 87.1% of people ages 16 to 29."

So the younger people got it more often than seniors - just got sick and/or died at a much lower rate.

Fingers crossed for you that you didn't get it!! (I'm coming up on getting it two years ago on the 15th.)
13488352, I managed to dodge the raindrops and not get it
Posted by spenzalii, Wed Jul-12-23 09:17 PM
Same for my wife. Our daughter, however, did catch it late in the school year last year. She was devastated.
13488355, I got it 2 years ago today (or yesterday)
Posted by handle, Wed Jul-12-23 10:26 PM
Symptoms started 2 years and 1 day ago, official test results came back July 15th, 2021.

It *really* sucked for me, it was two weeks of being sicker than I've ever been including a trip to the ER for a chest X-ray, nd I needed a root canal, and I had nerve damage in my extremities for a month too.

I hope if anyone here gets it that it's a mild case.
13488248, .
Posted by handle, Tue Jul-11-23 07:35 PM
13488500, lol
Posted by fif, Sun Jul-16-23 06:10 PM
fitting post for you on the day of the hearings.
13488505, Nope.
Posted by handle, Sun Jul-16-23 08:06 PM
That was an anniversary post, I deleted it.

Here's a CNN link going in:

The Nation link before:

Article about hearings in Nature:

"Republicans in the US House of Representatives have accused the authors of a 2020 commentary in a scientific journal of colluding with government officials to stifle conversation about COVID-19 origins. Two of the authors — Kristian Andersen, an evolutionary biologist at Scripps Research in La Jolla, California, and Robert Garry, a virologist at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana — appeared before the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic on 11 July to categorically deny these allegations.

Rumours spread in early 2020 that SARS-CoV-2 was a bioweapon created at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. So, Andersen, Garry and their co-authors looked at the available genomic data to determine whether the sections that encode the spike protein — which the virus uses to gain entry to cells — showed signs of genetic engineering. The scientists published their findings as a commentary in Nature Medicine1, in which they concluded that they “do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible”. (Nature is editorially independent of Nature Medicine, and Nature’s news team is independent of its journal team.)"

You're watching Benghnzai hearings mixed with "The Twitter files." It's bullocks. They'll grandstand while going over years old communications that don't support there theory but promise if you read it just the right way, then add a little imagination then you see why SCIENCE tried to protect the Chinese. (They won't mention the myriad of actual scientific AND political failures that actually happened.)

Your position is still:
Scientists in Wuhan engineered a virus deliberately then it accidentally infected the scientists who then spread it in China and beyond. Also: The deliberate genetic engineering is so advanced, or so clever, that it can't YET be spotted by other scientists.

Maybe RFK Jr.s's testimony would finally prove your theory next week:
13488678, Gtfoh
Posted by fif, Wed Jul-19-23 03:35 AM

You're living in a fantasy world.

If you put a gun to the head of Fauci, Farrar, Francis Collins, Andersen, Garry and told them "lab leak or natural origin? your life depends on you being right"...what do you think they would they say?
13488453, 07/14/2023 - Stats are getting better in the last 4 months
Posted by handle, Fri Jul-14-23 09:33 AM
Stats are improving - and seems unlikely it's just because of less surveillance. Still around 38,000 COVID deaths this year, 2022 had 243,780, and 2021 had 445,121, and 2020 had 367,209.


Data Table for Weekly Deaths - The United States
Jul 8, 2023 106
Jun 3, 2023 657
May 6, 2023 915
Apr 1, 2023 1,429
Mar 4, 2023 1,980

Jan 7, 2023 3,851

Data Table for Weekly COVID-19 Hospital Admissions - The United States
Jul 1, 2023 6,220
Jun 3, 2023 7,394
May 6, 2023 9,691
Apr 1, 2023 15,765
Mar 4, 2023 22,337

Jan 7, 2023 44,410

Currently Hospitalized Patients with Confirmed COVID-19, by Week, in The United States, Reported to CDC

Jul 1, 2023 5,177.57
Jun 3, 2023 6,816.86
May 6, 2023 8,890.86
Apr 1, 2023 14,494.57
Mar 4, 2023 20,688

Jan 7, 2023 41,154.43
13488506, 07/16/2023
Posted by handle, Sun Jul-16-23 08:18 PM
California's COVID-19 hospitalizations are near historic lows. Will the lull last?


SWIPE: COVID-19 hospitalizations are close to record lows in California, an optimistic sign as the state attempts to navigate its first surge-free summer of the coronavirus era.

It's difficult to say what the rest of the season will bring, however. The coming weeks will help determine whether some kind of uptick in coronavirus transmission is on tap, or if conditions will remain relatively calm until the autumn and winter.

The rate of new weekly COVID-19 hospitalizations in California — though near an all-time low — has been flat over the most recent two weeks for which data are available.

Nationally, weekly declines are starting to level off, too, with hospitalizations on the rise in some parts of the country.

Throughout the pandemic, hospitalization numbers have proved a useful, if lagging, indicator of coronavirus spread. A significant or sustained jump in patient counts would probably mean the coronavirus is circulating more widely in a community.

What COVID-19 variants are going around in July 2023?


Currently, the dominant variant nationwide is XBB.1.16, with 17.5% of cases, followed by XBB.1.5, with 16.1% of cases, and XBB.2.3 with 13.4% of cases. "The original omicron variant is gone now," says Dr. Rupp. "Currently subvariants of omicron are circulating, including XBB.1.5, XBB.1.16 and XBB.1.9.1."

XBB.1.5, XBB, and XBB.1.16 variants dominating in Nebraska
As of July 8, 2023, XBB.1.16 is the dominant variant in Nebraska, making up 35% of cases. XBB.1.5 is second, making up 32% of cases and XBB is third, with 21% of Nebraska cases.

13488670, 7/18/2023
Posted by handle, Tue Jul-18-23 07:55 PM
A Positive Covid Milestone
In a sign that the pandemic really is over, the total number of Americans dying each day is no longer historically abnormal.

The United States has reached a milestone in the long struggle against Covid: The total number of Americans dying each day — from any cause — is no longer historically abnormal.

Excess deaths, as this number is known, has been an important measure of Covid’s true toll because it does not depend on the murky attribution of deaths to a specific cause. Even if Covid is being underdiagnosed, the excess-deaths statistic can capture its effects. The statistic also captures Covid’s indirect effects, like the surge of vehicle crashes, gun deaths and deaths from missed medical treatments during the pandemic.

During Covid’s worst phases, the total number of Americans dying each day was more than 30 percent higher than normal, a shocking increase. For long stretches of the past three years, the excess was above 10 percent. But during the past few months, excess deaths have fallen almost to zero, according to three different measures.

The Human Mortality Database estimates that slightly fewer Americans than normal have died since March, while The Economist magazine and the C.D.C. both put the excess-death number below 1 percent. Here is the C.D.C. data:

Estimates of weekly deaths above normal in the U.S.
A chart shows C.D.C. estimates of weekly death percentages of normal in the U.S. The average since March 2023 has been below one percent above normal.
The power of immunity
The progress stems mostly from three factors:

First, about three-quarters of U.S. adults have received at least one vaccine shot.

Second, more than three-quarters of Americans have been infected with Covid, providing natural immunity from future symptoms. (About 97 percent of adults fall into at least one of those first two categories.)

Third, post-infection treatments like Paxlovid, which can reduce the severity of symptoms, became widely available last year.

“Nearly every death is preventable,” Dr. Ashish Jha, who was until recently President Biden’s top Covid adviser, told me. “We are at a point where almost everybody who’s up to date on their vaccines and gets treated if they have Covid, they rarely end up in the hospital, they almost never die.”

That is also true for most high-risk people, Jha pointed out, including older adults — like his parents, who are in their 80s — and people whose immune systems are compromised. “Even for most — not all but most — immunocompromised people, vaccines are actually still quite effective at preventing against serious illness,” he said. “There has been a lot of bad information out there that somehow if you’re immunocompromised that vaccines don’t work.”

That excess deaths have fallen close to zero helps make this point: If Covid were still a dire threat to large numbers of people, that would show up in the data.

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Furby, Is That You?
One point of confusion, I think, has been the way that many Americans — including we in the media — have talked about the immunocompromised. They are a more diverse group than casual discussion often imagines.

Most immunocompromised people are at little additional risk from Covid — even people with serious conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or a history of many cancers. A much smaller group, such as people who have received kidney transplants or are undergoing active chemotherapy, face higher risks.

With vs. from
Covid’s toll, to be clear, has not fallen to zero. The C.D.C.’s main Covid webpage estimates that about 80 people per day have been dying from the virus in recent weeks, which is equal to about 1 percent of overall daily deaths.

The official number is probably an exaggeration because it includes some people who had virus when they died even though it was not the underlying cause of death. Other C.D.C. data suggests that almost one-third of official recent Covid deaths have fallen into this category. A study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases came to similar conclusions.

Even so, some Americans are still dying from Covid. “I don’t know anybody who thinks we’re going to eradicate Covid,” Jha said.

Dr. Shira Doron, the chief infection control officer at Tufts Medicine in Massachusetts, told me that “age is clearly the most substantial risk factor.” Covid’s victims are both older and disproportionately unvaccinated. Given the politics of vaccination, the recent victims are also disproportionately Republican and white.

Each of these deaths is a tragedy. The deaths that were preventable — because somebody had not received available vaccines and treatments — seem particularly tragic. (Here’s a Times guide to help you think about when to get your next booster shot.)

Yet the number of Covid deaths has now dropped low enough that they are difficult to notice in the overall death data. They can be swamped by fluctuations in other causes of death, such as the flu or vehicle crashes.

Almost a year ago, President Biden angered some public health experts when he declared, “The pandemic is over.” He may have been premature to make that declaration. But the excess-deaths milestone suggests that it’s true now: The pandemic is finally over.

Related: Researchers are working to ensure developing countries don’t have to rely on wealthy nations for vaccines in a future pandemic, The Washington Post reports.

Rise in new COVID-19 cases in Japan shows little sign of abating

COVID-19 cases in Japan are continuing their recent rise and taking a toll on the elderly in particular, with experts predicting the trend will continue amid high heat, declining population-level immunity and the start of the holiday season.

Health ministry statistics released Friday showed Japan’s ninth wave of coronavirus infections is continuing, with the average number of new cases reported by around 5,000 designated medical institutions in the week through July 9 standing at 9.14, up from 7.24 a week before.

Japan has seen a continuous, though gradual, increase in COVID-19 cases for eight straight weeks since May 8, when it downgraded the disease to a status on par with seasonal flu and scrapped a range of special COVID-19 measures, including the daily counting of cases.

The number of new hospital admissions for COVID-19 is also rising, standing at 6,096 in the week through July 9, up from 5,494 a week before and 4,484 four weeks before.

Cases were seen rising in 45 of the nation’s 47 prefectures, but the increases stand out in western Japan. Okinawa continues to see by far the highest number of patients per institution, at 41.67, though that is down slightly from 48.39 a week before. The Kyushu region has seen major increases, particularly in Kagoshima (17.18), Miyazaki (16), Saga (15.33) and Kumamoto (11.99) prefectures.

Shigeru Omi, the nation’s top coronavirus adviser, said other places in Japan could see an uptick in coming weeks.

“Okinawa has its own unique factors (that led to the current spike in infections),” Omi told an NHK news program Sunday. “It has a close-knit community, and the vaccination rate there is a bit lower (than in the rest of the country). But these factors alone cannot explain the recent spikes.

“The trend could spread northward from Okinawa and Kyushu.”

Omi also said that the trend is likely to continue a little longer, citing the normalization of social and business activities since May 8 and the increasing amount of time people are spending in indoor, less ventilated spaces because of the relentless heat outside. He also mentioned the fact that many people’s immunity is waning, as time has passed since prior infection or vaccination, as well as the prevalence of immunity-escaping variants.
13488984, 07/24/2023
Posted by handle, Mon Jul-24-23 10:14 AM
Dick Durbin Announces He Tested Positive For COVID For Third Time In A Year

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Sunday announced he “unfortunately” tested positive for COVID-19.

Sunday’s positive result is the third time the Democrat has contracted the virus in a year.

Durbin, 78, said he will be staying at home until his doctor clears him.

“Consistent with CDC guidelines, I’ll quarantine at home and follow the advice of my doctor while I work remotely,” he wrote on Twitter.


The CDC is preparing for a winter with '3 bugs out there': Covid, flu and RSV
Vaccine fatigue is already here, although many Americans will be urged to get three different shots this fall.

The Steep Cost of Ron DeSantis’s Vaccine Turnabout
Once a vaccine advocate, the Florida governor lost his enthusiasm for the shot before the Delta wave sent Covid hospitalizations and deaths soaring. It’s a grim chapter he now leaves out of his rosy retelling of his pandemic response.


On a Saturday in September 2020, with Covid-19 killing more than 600 Americans daily and hundreds of thousands of deaths still to come, Dr. Deborah L. Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, heard her cellphone ring. It was Dr. Scott Rivkees, the Florida surgeon general. He was distraught.

“‘You won’t believe what happened,’” she said he told her. Months before Covid vaccines would become available, Gov. Ron DeSantis had decided that the worst was over for Florida, he said. Mr. DeSantis had begun listening to doctors who believed the virus’s threat was overstated, and he no longer supported preventive measures like limiting indoor dining.

Mr. DeSantis was going his own way on Covid.

Nearly three years later, the governor now presents his Covid strategy not only as his biggest accomplishment, but as the foundation for his presidential campaign. Mr. DeSantis argues that “Florida got it right” because he was willing to stand up for the rights of individuals despite pressure from health “bureaucrats.” On the campaign trail, he says liberal bastions like New York and California needlessly traded away freedoms while Florida preserved jobs, in-person schooling and quality of life.

But a close review by The New York Times of Florida’s pandemic response, including a new analysis of the data on deaths, hospitalizations and vaccination rates in the state, suggests that Mr. DeSantis’s account of his record leaves much out.

As he notes at most campaign stops, he moved quickly to get students back in the classroom, even as many of the nation’s school districts were still in remote learning. National research has suggested there was less learning loss in school districts with more in-person instruction.

Some other policies remain a matter of intense debate. Mr. DeSantis’s push to swiftly reopen businesses helped employment rebound, but also likely contributed to the spread of infections.

But on the single factor that those experts say mattered most in fighting Covid — widespread vaccinations — Mr. DeSantis’s approach proved deeply flawed. While the governor personally crusaded for Floridians 65 and older to get shots, he laid off once younger age groups became eligible.

Tapping into suspicion of public health authorities, which the Republican right was fanning, he effectively stopped preaching the virtues of Covid vaccines. Instead, he emphasized his opposition to requiring anyone to get shots, from hospital workers to cruise ship guests.

While Florida was an early leader in the share of over-65 residents who were vaccinated, it had fallen to the middle of the pack by the end of July 2021. When it came to younger residents, Florida lagged behind the national average in every age group.

That left the state particularly vulnerable when the Delta variant hit that month. Floridians died at a higher rate, adjusted for age, than residents of almost any other state during the Delta wave, according to the Times analysis. With less than 7 percent of the nation’s population, Florida accounted for 14 percent of deaths between the start of July and the end of October.

Of the 23,000 Floridians who died, 9,000 were younger than 65. Despite the governor’s insistence at the time that “our entire vulnerable population has basically been vaccinated,” a vast majority of the 23,000 were either unvaccinated or had not yet completed the two-dose regimen.

A high vaccination rate was especially important in Florida, which trails only Maine in the share of residents 65 and older. By the end of July, Florida had vaccinated about 60 percent of adults, just shy of the national average. Had it reached a vaccination rate of 74 percent — the average for five New England states at the time — it could have prevented more than 16,000 deaths and more than 61,000 hospitalizations that summer, according to a study published in the medical journal The Lancet.

Florida’s spike in deaths subsided that fall, as it did elsewhere. Overall, the state’s death rate during the pandemic, adjusted for age, ended up better than the national average. Some public health experts credit the state’s robust health system and strong performance in the pandemic’s first year or so.

But in Florida, unlike the nation as a whole — and states like New York and California that Mr. DeSantis likes to single out — most people who died from Covid died after vaccines became available to all adults, not before. As the governor’s political positions began to shift, so did his state’s death rate, for the worse.

Mr. DeSantis and his aides have said that his opposition was to mandates, not to the vaccinations themselves. They say the governor only questioned the efficacy of the shots once it became evident that they did not necessarily prevent infection — which prompted him to criticize experts and the federal government.
(Much longer at link.)
13489373, it finally got me lol
Posted by Mynoriti, Mon Jul-31-23 01:56 PM
came back from a trip and was worn down. Had a massive headache and a fever and tested pos. It's not super bad other than when the headaches hit. Mostly just feels flu-ish and phlegmy.

13489374, Consider Paxlovid and get better soon
Posted by handle, Mon Jul-31-23 02:50 PM
Co-worker got it - but they went to Comic Con so no one has sympathy.

Hope you get better soon!
13489375, thanks man. yeah, i'll hit the doc up for it if it gets worse
Posted by Mynoriti, Mon Jul-31-23 03:02 PM
13489377, You need Paxlovid within 5 days of symptoms showing up
Posted by handle, Mon Jul-31-23 03:11 PM
No downside to taking it other than the mild side effects it seems.

Ask as soon as you can or you might be out of the window.
13490219, Huh??
Posted by DJR, Sun Aug-20-23 12:04 PM
>Co-worker got it - but they went to Comic Con so no one has

Are you still expecting people to not go out in public around other people?
13490222, RE: Huh??
Posted by handle, Sun Aug-20-23 04:39 PM
>>Co-worker got it - but they went to Comic Con so no one has
>Are you still expecting people to not go out in public around
>other people?
Well, there’s going out in public, and then there’s going into a crowd of 50,000 people indoors during the summer. It’s an incredibly high density area. Plus some people couldn’t get tickets to comicon and also were resentful of that, it’s a hot ticket.

13490225, ehh.. I've been to prob 30+ sporting events since 2021
Posted by Mynoriti, Sun Aug-20-23 06:51 PM
it's one of my favorite things to do, and I gave it up for a year and a half. I'd def go to comicon if that was my thing.. especially in 2023

I can understand someone at high risk wanting to avoid large crowds, but it's a weird thing to be judgy about in 2023

13489754, wasn't too bad
Posted by Mynoriti, Mon Aug-07-23 02:10 PM
mostly headaches and fatigue the first 2 days. had a cough for half a day, and a stuffy nose for half a day. Fever came and went with the headaches

didn't take anything except ibuprofen for the headaches and drank alot of water

overall pretty mild. back to work today
13489507, 08/02/2023
Posted by handle, Wed Aug-02-23 05:56 PM
Summer Wave?
Got an email from work (I work for a hospital) saying this:

The CDC shows a 12.1% rise in hospitalizations from July 16 to 22.
COVID-19 patient census stood at just 13 patients on July 10. but today we have 38 patients with COVID-19.

Employee exposures and laboratory testing positivity rates for employees and patients are also rising.

COVID-19 wastewater surveillance levels in the county are increasing.

So on the rise this week - I hope it's a blip and not a trend.

Even so the increased numbers are *exceptionally low* compared to just a few months ago.

Foxnew has a link saying the same thing a few days ago, for those who have open minds and ask questions:


An NYT article for the "latte drinkers" among us:


The number of deaths is the lowest since the pandemic began, and roughly one-tenth of the levels in January. Most virus fatalities now occur in adults older than 75. But the real toll will be apparent only at the end of the year, after the fall and winter’s respiratory blitz, experts said.
13490218, 08/20/2023
Posted by handle, Sun Aug-20-23 10:57 AM
New variants ABOUND and no one knows if they'll be BAD, but looks like "THE SURGE" that's been "REPORTED" could just be the same uptick seen last year at this time. No one knows yet. (Although like 5 people at work callef out with Covid in the past 2 weeks - none had a 'serious' case.)

Moderna's updated COVID vaccine effective against 'Eris' variant in humans


Aug 17 (Reuters) - Moderna (MRNA.O) said on Thursday an initial study data showed its updated COVID-19 vaccine to be effective against the "Eris" and "Fornax" subvariants in humans.

The company expects the updated shot to be available, pending approval from health regulators in the United States, Europe and elsewhere, in the coming weeks for the fall vaccination season.

Moderna and other COVID-19 vaccine makers Novavax (NVAX.O), Pfizer (PFE.N) and German partner BioNTech SE (22UAy.DE) have created versions of their shots aimed at the XBB.1.5 subvariant.


Why isn't the new booster available yet?

I learned today via FDA why and when the new Covid boosters will be ready
—The reason for the delay is that the Covid Public Health Emergency ended May 11, 2023, so it requires a Product Licensing Application (PLA) instead of an EUA
—Now projected to be available ~9/15

13490308, It finally happened, after damn near 3 1/2 years. I got COVID.
Posted by walihorse, Tue Aug-22-23 08:07 PM
Wife and I both got it. She tested positive 1st and then next day I did. Though we have completely different symptoms. She has sore throat, high fever, body aches and diarrhea. I have slight fever, headache, fatigue, and diarrhea. I lost my smell and taste, she has not. Out of all the symptoms the lost of taste and smell is the most foreign. I’ve never experienced it before and it’s just fucking weird. I truly thought we would stay lucky and never catch it. As Charlie Murphy said. Wrong WRONG.
13490310, Consider asking for Paxlovid if you can get it
Posted by handle, Tue Aug-22-23 10:44 PM
Details: https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-to-get-paxlovid-7693033

Hope you both have 'mild' cases and recover quickly!
13490380, I'm currently taking it
Posted by walihorse, Thu Aug-24-23 12:02 PM
The after taste is fucking awful and that with me losing my taste and smell. I can't imagine if I hadn't
13490312, I was at a bragging point about it
Posted by Mynoriti, Tue Aug-22-23 11:22 PM
my coworkers have all had it multiple times, same with most of my friends.

new years day I went to a gathering and everyone else got it. I was like that shit don't want me

my brother got it the first time a few weeks before me. looks like alot of stragglers are getting hit lately.

feel better! mine was pretty mild, same with most people i know that got it this year. hopefully yours will be to
13490381, Same!
Posted by walihorse, Thu Aug-24-23 12:03 PM
I kept thinking well, I must be dodging the shit outta it. Its been pretty mild, I am on paxlovid and I think that its just as bad as covid.
13490561, I feel like a lot of people catching COVID right now right?
Posted by Buddy_Gilapagos, Mon Aug-28-23 04:54 PM

"Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they don't have a plan anymore." (c) Mike Tyson

"what's a leader if he isn't reluctant"
13490562, Yep. It’s also a bit too normalized for me.
Posted by soulfunk, Mon Aug-28-23 05:23 PM
As in I’ve had a couple cases where folks were like yeah had Covid a couple days ago while being with me and they said it like it was nothing. One when my wife and I went out with some friends, after we’d already been hanging out that night, and the other at the office after being in a meeting room with someone half the day.

In both cases they hadn’t tested negative yet because they weren’t worried about testing, and we’re still getting over some light symptoms. Which I understand them not worrying about it, but STILL it was disarming to me that all ideas of quarantining for a few days once getting it regardless of symptoms are gone now.
13490564, I assume people are mostly using the store bought tests at this point?
Posted by DJR, Mon Aug-28-23 06:48 PM
They’re not going to the doctor unless they’re really sick I would guess?

I was away last week and flew home Saturday, and then Sunday and today I’ve had a cough and some fatigue. In years past, I would think nothing of this. Just a minor cold, without the runny nose(typically the worst part of a cold for me), so no big deal. I’ve stayed home just because thats what I typically always did when I have a cold if possible. I don’t want to be responsible for spreading anything.

But now you’ve got me thinking….even though my symptoms are minor, I probably should test and make sure?

I haven’t knowingly had COVID ever and the few times I’ve been sick and tested, I was negative.
13490565, I assume mostly at home tests. Last year when I got Covid I was able
Posted by soulfunk, Mon Aug-28-23 07:23 PM
to get a paxlovid prescription just from self reporting, didn’t even need to get an official test. But yeah we have several at home test kits and will typically test ourselves whenever any cold/sick symptoms pop up.
13490563, i got hit for the first time 2 weeks ago. over the past 2-3 days i have
Posted by mikediggz, Mon Aug-28-23 05:23 PM
found out about 6 people that i know personally that have caught it. like they were saying right above, i went so long without getting it i thought i was gonna make it thru w/o getting hit...nope. my only main symptom was a terrible cough that plagued me night and day.

because of the cough i was tired as shit. and slight chills here and there. i dont want that shit agn.
13490639, 08/30/2023
Posted by handle, Wed Aug-30-23 11:58 AM
Reminder: BA.2.86 has been reported less that 2 dozen times. The summer "wave" is not being caused by it.

Emory’s Dr. del Rio discusses concerns over a new, unique COVID variant
This variant, BA.2.86, could dodge a person’s immunity and be more infectious and possibly cause more severe illness


Only 11 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus variant BA.2.86 have been reported around the world — but the highly mutated virus has generated intense monitoring by scientists and public health experts.

This variant appears vastly different from its predecessors. Most widely circulating omicron variants feature a small handful of mutations that make them slightly different from the last. But the BA.2.86 features at least 30 mutations on its spike protein that separate it from other omicron strains — potentially giving the virus greater infectivity by being able to dodge a person’s existing immunity from vaccines and previous infections.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this latest variant doesn’t now appear to make people sicker than earlier iterations, and that antiviral treatments such as Paxlovid should still be effective, according to a risk assessment published by the CDC. COVID tests should also still detect it.

More at link.

13490651, With more and more folks catching COVID
Posted by Numba_33, Wed Aug-30-23 01:01 PM
I hope the booster shots will get rolled out sooner rather than later. It's come close to a full year since I received my last shot.
13490757, The booster shots will help hopsitalizations and deaths but...
Posted by handle, Sat Sep-02-23 10:50 AM
Boosters alone (or natural immunity from a previous infection) without any other measures probably won't do much to stop transmission.

Other things that would help, but *very likely* will not be done by the government or by individuals:

Wear a mask when you can.
Social distance when you can.
Improve ventilation when you can.
During an obvious uptick in community cases maybe reconsider the need to go to the club or church or convention or group tap dancing classes.
If you get sick then test and if positive then stay away from people for 10 days.

Testing and tracking of infections is pretty much gone and done for the ENTIRE world. Data from Africa has weeks that go by without 1 reported death from COVID. They're not alone, reporting is not something that people are valuing anymore.

Hospitalization and deaths are not the only things to be worried about. Having COVID sucks. Spreading it to friends sucks. Long COVID sucks.

If COVID never existed and we were seeing these numbers for FLU then more would be being done. But the pollicization of COVID, and the overwhelming pushback from people who "just decided COVID was over" are probably contributing to this fact: no one gives a fuck when you catch COVID anymore unless you take a hospital bed.

Boosters likely coming in 3rd week of this month.

13490797, help me understand your commitment
Posted by fif, Mon Sep-04-23 02:51 AM
to being the most concerned person about covid in any room. you doing alright? really?

people should consider cancelling their plans to have fun? really? still?

let me know when i'm allowed to breathe easy my man
13490799, Yes
Posted by handle, Mon Sep-04-23 10:41 AM
>people should consider cancelling their plans to have fun?
>really? still?

Yes, consider it.

Same way during flu outbreaks you should have considered it. (But you didn't.)

13490801, scroll up in this thread moron
Posted by fif, Mon Sep-04-23 11:26 AM
i put my thinking forward and you got nothing.

covid has been great for you...you get to let your paranoid 'i'm scared of the world' personality unfurl and people (for the most part) don't call you names for it. it's not good for you.

>>people should consider cancelling their plans to have fun?
>>really? still?
>Yes, consider it.
>Same way during flu outbreaks you should have considered it.
>(But you didn't.)
13490855, some news today
Posted by fif, Tue Sep-05-23 03:54 PM
"Fauci was told of NIH ties to Wuhan lab’s novel coronaviruses by January 2020"


use that energy of yours and learn the facts
13490857, I jsut read it - and you call me paranoid?
Posted by handle, Tue Sep-05-23 04:45 PM
I read the article, and the National Review article too.

It says Wuhan Institute of Virology was studying corona viruses. And the NIH gave them money.

No gain of function mentioned. No lab leak confirmed. Nothing.

(And none of your "LAB LEAK ON PURPOSE" shit either.)

"use that energy of yours and learn the facts"

Sick burn broesph!!

13490887, you aren't engaging in anything close to good faith
Posted by fif, Wed Sep-06-23 02:04 PM
you have demonstrated zero grasp on any of the relevant facts and you have repeatedly mis-characterized my position.

Handle this week:

Handle on June 16, 2023:
"I know you think it was engineered, and I’m pretty sure you believe it was developed as a weapon and that it was released intentionally, and your poll cannot reflect that with two options only."

fif on June 16 in response:
"Engineered? Most likely, yes.

Intentionally released? Most likely, no."


this is very poor form, Mr Handle.


what is the "news" in the link I posted? It shows that Fauci received an email from his Chief of Staff on Jan 27, 2020, outlining what Wuhan Institute of Virology (in sometimes conjunction with Peter Daszak's outfit, EcoHealth Alliance and UNC's Ralph Baric) had "accomplished" re: bat coronavirus research. Fauci very likely was aware of some or most of this work prior to this email. After this email...let's say a lot of things happened, many of which remain a mystery to the public. Kristian Andersen and Robert Garry in late jan, early feb discuss the possibility of lab leak with Fauci. Then a Fauci-helmed teleconference where the concerns of these top scientists re: lab leak vanish....and a USA powers-that-be consensus position emerges in the Proximal Origins paper March 17, 2020. This paper has been shredded by other scientists. K Andersen is on record considering lab leak a real possibility even after the publication of Proximal Origins. Peter Daszak spearheaded a lancet article touting zoonosis, didn't reveal his role. This is all off the top of my dome, the evidence of an obfuscation of these people's true beliefs on "did covid come out of a lab in Wuhan?" is overwhelming. If you want me to nail down these references, holla.

So this recent email released thru a FOIA request is further evidence that Fauci and Co have not been forthright about their thinking re: covid's origins. You say no mention of of gain of function in the new email? Look at the sixth bullet point. And consider Shi's 2018 research proposal to DARPA while reading it. Here is the intro to the bullet points:

"NIAID has funded Peter’s group for coronavirus work in China for the past 5 years through R01 1R01AI110964: “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence”. That’s now been renewed, with a specific focus to identify cohorts of people highly exposed to bats in China, and work out if they’re getting sick from CoVs. Erik Stemmy is the Program Officer. Collaborators include Wuhan
Institute of Virology (currently working on the nCoV), and Ralph Baric. The results of the work to date include:"

"Found SARS-related CoVs that can bind to human cells (Published in Nature), and that cause
SARS-like disease in humanized mouse models."

this done most likely through serial passage, which is gain of function. in lax safety conditions. it's all right there if you stop and actually read the facts.


but the comms from Fauci and Co are NOT the most persuasive evidence that covid came out of a lab in Wuhan. The cover-up Fauci, Francis Collin, Daszak, et al engaged in is definitely a data point that pushes the balance of evidence more toward "lab leak most likely"....but my credence in that belief is increased more by other facts... such as

--the on the face of it, incredible coincidence that the only known bat coronavirus with a FCS emerged in Wuhan, a place very far from where bats with closely related viruses have been found. that Shi's team was going very far away to Yunnan, extracting unknown bat viruses from caves and bringing them back to Wuhan to experiment on....and of course Shi's 2018 proposal to DARPA to....add furin cleavage spikes to bat coronaviruses in order to increase their pathogenecity to humans.


would you like to engage with any of this? we could try to figure out where we disagree. but so far you have shown no willingness to actually talk it through.
13490912, No.
Posted by handle, Wed Sep-06-23 04:26 PM
Your engaging in an INCREBILE amount of confirmation bias, then accuse anyone of not following your logic and "PROOF" as being disingenuous.

You BELIEVE in something - I get it. I think you're a crackpot who is grasping at straws and calling everyone else around him a fool.

>would you like to engage with any of this? we could try to figure out where we disagree. but so far you have shown no willingness to actually talk it through.


Go jump start one of your old threads, I'll stay out.
13490913, .
Posted by fif, Wed Sep-06-23 04:34 PM
13490914, well you believe in the opposite
Posted by fif, Wed Sep-06-23 05:00 PM
you're not saying "i don't know". you're not saying "i think there is 10% chance that covid came out of a lab"

instead you are a) not engaging with the facts and b) treating me like I'm a crackpot without explaining why.

so given that this is a public forum, I mount a defense of my position so that other people can decide for themselves. i have been laying out my reasons for believing what I believe.

>Your engaging in an INCREBILE amount of confirmation bias,
>then accuse anyone of not following your logic and "PROOF" as
>being disingenuous.

saying i'm engaging in confirmation bias is meaningless here unless you explain what you mean.

i am not claiming i have "proof" of anything.

here is what I believe: I am 95% sure covid came out of a lab in Wuhan. I am also very sure that if Fauci, et al were in a Goldfinger situation, with a laser bearing down on their nuts, they would tell you the same.

>You BELIEVE in something - I get it. I think you're a crackpot
>who is grasping at straws and calling everyone else around him
>a fool.

>>would you like to engage with any of this? we could try to
>figure out where we disagree. but so far you have shown no
>willingness to actually talk it through.
>Go jump start one of your old threads, I'll stay out.
13490915, i'll also add this
Posted by fif, Wed Sep-06-23 05:12 PM
since people like you rjcc think they can travel into my life (and those of other posters) and determine how I come to my beliefs.

i talk to a lot of people about this. a lot of very intelligent well-credentialed people agree with me. some disagree, sure. i understand the arguments from both sides well. what you have been doing doesn't pass muster.

i don't put a ton of my beliefs out there on okp in a rigorous way, but I consider this an important topic and that it is worthwhile to try to publicize to okp my beliefs here. why? well this all is to me in the realm of "true conspiracy". it also is not that difficult for people to get up to speed on. i am not a conspiracy nut, i don't have a long track record of believing in this or that conspiracy. unlike most of okp, i believe covid very likely came out of a lab in wuhan...why do I think it is important that people consider this possibility and get on board with this thinking?

because gain of function research is very new and very dangerous: it represents an existential threat to humanity.

let's rough estimate that covid killed 10mn people worldwide.

the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed ~110k people on the day of...and maybe another 100k from long-term effects.

what virologists can currently do, in many ways, represents a GREATER threat to humans than nuclear weapons
13490933, Maybe I didn't make this clear.. I am not interested in you
Posted by handle, Thu Sep-07-23 09:17 AM
You posts are unintelligible. Talking to you is like trying to talk to 24 hour a day Fox viewers about Benghazi.

You do not explain your positions well, and when you do your positions are a mixture of "belief" without PROOF AND doomsday cult like importance.

You have posted in the last week that this is "an existential threat to humanity" and "people should consider cancelling their plans to have fun? really? still?."

>covid has been great for you...you get to let your paranoid 'i'm scared of the world' personality unfurl and people (for the most part) don't call you names for it. it's not good for you.

And comments like this SHOW ME WHO YOU ARE. You are a condescending self important asshole.

Please stop trying to engage with me. Look deep into yourself, become *very pleased* and stop thinking about me.

Thanks in advance!!

13490944, RE: Maybe I didn't make this clear.. I am not interested in you
Posted by fif, Thu Sep-07-23 01:49 PM
>You posts are unintelligible. Talking to you is like trying
>to talk to 24 hour a day Fox viewers about Benghazi.

what is unintelligible? you don't get into any of the details. it is clear you disagree with me, but it's not at all clear about what. you dodge.

if you are convinced I'm off my rocker, it should be easy for you to set me right. you can't because you clearly don't know anything about the topic.

>You do not explain your positions well, and when you do your
>positions are a mixture of "belief" without PROOF AND doomsday
>cult like importance.

so you don't think a virus can be made in a lab that could start a pandemic?

"belief without proof". this...given the the way you post on here...man. i have no idea how you justify any of your beliefs, you stay making no sense.

>You have posted in the last week that this is "an existential
>threat to humanity" and "people should consider cancelling
>their plans to have fun? really? still?."

covid rn is not very dangerous for the vast majority of people. given the mental health crisis in america, it is much more important for most people to focus on doing shit like hanging out with friends.

GoF could kill billions of people. do you disagree?

13490798, church
Posted by fif, Mon Sep-04-23 02:53 AM
"sorry, lord, can't have a come to jesus moment today, handle said i might die or kill someone's grandma"
13490830, 09/05/2023
Posted by handle, Tue Sep-05-23 10:21 AM
US lab tests suggest new Covid-19 variant BA.2.86 may be less contagious and less immune-evasive than feared


Two teams of US scientists have completed lab experiments testing the antibodies from vaccinated and infected Americans to see how well they might be able to fend off currently circulating variants of the virus that causes Covid-19, including the highly mutated BA.2.86.

Their results match up almost exactly, and the news – at least when it comes to BA.2.86, which has also been dubbed Pirola – is very good. Our immune systems can recognize and fight off this variant as well as, and perhaps even a bit better than, the currently circulating offshoots of the XBB variant.

What’s more, people who had the most robust responses against BA.2.86 were those who were within six months of an infection with the XBB subvariant. This suggests that this fall’s updated Covid-19 vaccines, which are designed to fight off XBB.1.5, will provide added protection against a range of circulating Covid-19 lineages, including BA.2.86.

First lady Jill Biden tests positive for Covid-19

First lady Jill Biden tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday and is experiencing “mild symptoms,” the White House said. President Joe Biden has tested negative.

13490831, this is a small bit of nice news
Posted by Walleye, Tue Sep-05-23 11:04 AM
>Their results match up almost exactly, and the news – at
>least when it comes to BA.2.86, which has also been dubbed
>Pirola – is very good. Our immune systems can recognize and
>fight off this variant as well as, and perhaps even a bit
>better than, the currently circulating offshoots of the XBB
>What’s more, people who had the most robust responses
>against BA.2.86 were those who were within six months of an
>infection with the XBB subvariant. This suggests that this
>fall’s updated Covid-19 vaccines, which are designed to
>fight off XBB.1.5, will provide added protection against a
>range of circulating Covid-19 lineages, including BA.2.86.

Thanks for posting it. I've got a job that leaves me pretty exposed and a number of immuno-compromised people in my life. Having an organized place to go for COVID news has been really helpful.
13490835, Good to hear. I have to travel for a conference for work
Posted by soulfunk, Tue Sep-05-23 12:18 PM
the first week of November. In the past I've almost ALWAYS gotten sick at that conference. This is the second one that's happened in person post-Covid, so hopefully the new boosters are out before then for me to take.

While me and my immediate family are pretty much back to normal, we are also still cautious about high risk environments like this because my parents are in their 70s, with my dad fighting prostate cancer. We see them often, so I don't want to expose them to unnecessary risk.
13490931, 09/07/2023
Posted by handle, Thu Sep-07-23 09:04 AM
FDA could greenlight new Covid boosters as early as Friday

The Food and Drug Administration plans to greenlight updated versions of the Covid boosters as early as Friday, according to four people familiar with the agency’s plans.

The latest shots are designed to target the XBB.1.5 omicron subvariant. Though that strain is no longer dominant, the boosters should still protect against current circulating subvariants, which are closely related, the drugmakers and experts say.

The Friday timeline for authorization is not firm, and it could slide into early next week, two of the sources said.

COVID hospitalizations increase for 7th consecutive week but new boosters could help

COVID-19 hospitalizations are continuing to rise in the United States but there is hope that the uptick could be stemmed with the new boosters.

Hospitalizations increased 15.7% for the week ending Aug. 26 from 15,050 to 17,418, according to data updated Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

These are similar to levels seen in late March of this year and it marks the seventh consecutive week that hospitalizations have increased.

However, hospitalizations remain relatively low compared to other points during the pandemic. During the peak of omicron, the week of Jan. 15, 2022, there were 150,674 hospitalizations.

Additionally, during the same week over the past three years, weekly hospitalizations have sat at 28,209 in 2020, 85,785 in 2021 and 36,922 in 2022.
13491041, I have a sore throat, a fever, and if I make myself cough ..
Posted by handle, Sun Sep-10-23 04:44 AM
Friday I went hiking in preparation for my Yosemite backcountry hike coming up on the 21st. I had a very small tickle in my throat. I woke up at 1 AM on Saturday and the sore throat was slightly worse. I’d say compared to previous sore throats that it’s a 1 on the scale of 1 to 10.

I took a Covid test at home and it is negative

Saturday I stayed home and I woke up just now at 2:36 AM with a temperature of 101.3, my sore throat is slightly worse, I feel very very warm (although the temperature was 84° in my house, me, turning off the air conditioner may be why I feel so warm but I have a fever of 101.3, that would not be caused by just being in a slightly warm house,), and if I force myself to cough , there’s a little tickle in my throat that shouldn’t be there. Also, like a one on the scale of one to 10 of discomfort.

I’ll take a Covid test when I wake up tomorrow.

This could be something as simple as a sore throat.
This could be Covid.

I’ve been in the presence of three people in the last two weeks where we’ve been unmasked. None have reported any Covid symptoms (yet.)

The very bad news is that my elderly mother, my elderly aunt, and my less seemingly elderly, but 70 year old uncle came over to my house on Friday at noon when I had no symptoms to see my new kitten, and they were here for 30 minutes, and all the windows were closed, and the air conditioner was on
13491042, this is like a hypochondriac's blog but
Posted by fif, Sun Sep-10-23 04:52 AM
prayers out for your fam. how worried should we be for you? run the numbers. what are everyone's chances looking like? what steps are you taking? diet? exercises? sleep? will you be taking paxlovid? any otc things worth taking at this point?
13491045, This morning’s Covid test was positive
Posted by handle, Sun Sep-10-23 10:37 AM
>prayers out for your fam. how worried should we be for you?
>run the numbers. what are everyone's chances looking like?
>what steps are you taking? diet? exercises? sleep? will you be
>taking paxlovid? any otc things worth taking at this point?

I contacted my primary care physician via messaging app and hopefully I’ll have a Paxlovid prescription put in today

I’ll likely be fine, I’m really worried about my mother who is 75, survived cancer, and is kind of feeling weak because of pain around her hip. I got the very first inkling of a symptom on Friday afternoon, she had visited my house Friday morning with my aunt and uncle.

I really hope they didn’t get it.

As for me last time, I got it I felt awful for weeks, my brain didn’t get back to “normal, thinking” for at least three weeks, and I could barely walk up the hill for a month. As of right now I’m not getting coughing and my lungs seemed fine.

When I feel better, I’ll ribbon to you about the hypochondriacs blog, I literally tested positive for a communicable Disease, and I’m worried about my elderly mother. But let’s just be very chill right now, I feel awful, very sick.
13491046, Well luckily
Posted by fif, Sun Sep-10-23 10:51 AM
If memory serves, you and your mother have survived previous bouts with covid so this aint your first rodeo. Hopefully you've learned some good strategies for handling this since then. Last fall, my previously very healthy mother had a scare with her heart that required her to heli-vacced to a hospital. She has a pacemaker now. It's hard to watch loved ones grow old.

Keep strong over there, keeping your stress low is probably a good idea. so in spirit of that, I promise not to bother you for 7 days about how gain of function can kill us all. Peace and blessings to ya
13491047, I have good anecdata
Posted by fif, Sun Sep-10-23 10:57 AM
Of mushrooms helping people with post-covid brain fog. So if u experience that again, maybe chomp some.

Tracking your HRV and doing breathwork may help with cardio recovery.

What's the latest on when and how to resume exercise post-covid to minimize losses to fitness? Hopefully your hiking etc has you in even better shape to beat it than last time. Best wishes
13491077, You talking magic mushrooms?
Posted by DaKidFromHaiti, Mon Sep-11-23 07:41 AM
13491080, Yes
Posted by fif, Mon Sep-11-23 09:44 AM
I know people personally who found these helpful.

And for anosmia from covid (loss of smell taste): there are reports of people who had smell/taste return from 100mcg LSD.

Anecdotal but does seem to be something there.

Anyone with hard-to-resolve cluster headaches/migraines might want to look into shrooms/LSD as well
13491087, That's great
Posted by DaKidFromHaiti, Mon Sep-11-23 04:17 PM
I'm big on mushrooms, I microdose regularly and keep a jar full at the crib just in case but I never knew about its effects on long covid, makes sense considering what I know about what it can do to the brain.
13491049, yeah my mom was my main worry when i got it
Posted by Mynoriti, Sun Sep-10-23 12:58 PM
because she's way more at risk.
fortunately was just me.
of everyone i know who's had it lately it wasn't that bad for them or even for their immune compromised relatives who got it.
mine wasn't that bad. felt like a symptom sampler for a couple days followed by a couple weeks of mild brain fog
these new strains don't seem as potent as before. delta was a motherfucker from what I remember.

feel better, dude
13491099, Update
Posted by handle, Tue Sep-12-23 09:42 AM
Mom, uncle and aunt have no symptoms. They'll tests again on Wednesday.

This time is MUCH MUCH easier than last time. This feels like a minor cold right now. Last time I was *very* sick for 8 days and had emergency chest x-rays due to low blood oxygen.

ChatpGPT took my notes and made this long post:

### **Day 1: September 9, 2023**
* **Morning:** Thomas noticed a minor tickle in his throat accompanied by some phlegm.

### **Day 2: September 10, 2023**
* **Morning:**
* 9:20 AM: Fever hit 100.0°F
* 12:00 PM: The fever decreased to 98.4°F.
* **Afternoon:**
* 4:31 PM: Fever jumped to 100.8°F. Thomas experienced chills, though no cough or sore throat. But forcing a cough out felt slightly scratchy. He opted for a Tylenol to combat the temperature.
* **Midnight and Beyond:**
* 2:06 AM: Fever increased to 101.3°F, and chills began.
* 4:12 AM: Fever slightly decreased to 100.2°F. However, symptoms of runny nose and fatigue started showing.
* 6:09 AM: The fever went back up to 101.3°F.
* 8:00 AM: A slight decrease as fever registered at 100.6°F.

### **Day 3: September 11, 2023**
* **Early Morning:**
* 4:15 AM: Thomas's temperature read 98.4°F. He had slept for about five hours but woke up with minor chills, a headache, and a faint feeling of wooziness. Thankfully, no cough or sore throat, though a forced cough had a hint of a tickle.
* 5:43 AM: No fever, but a runny nose and postnasal drip set in. Headache was minor, but overall, he didn’t feel great.
* 6:08 AM: After taking a Tylenol and showering, Thomas felt crummy. The absence of a cough was a relief, though his voice was notably deeper.
* **Midday:**
* 12:14 PM: No return of the fever. However, nasal congestion became more prominent, and Thomas's voice deepened. Over a call, someone remarked about his congested tone.
* **Afternoon:**
* 3:37 PM: Fever stayed away, but a headache persisted. Thomas's voice seemed affected and he felt the presence of more phlegm in his throat, though without a cough. Fatigue was evident.
* 7:08 PM: The temperature was stable at 98.3°F, blood oxygen at 97%. Sneezing became frequent, but thankfully, the headache intensity decreased.
* 9:55 PM: Thomas mentioned "Paxlovid mouth" being evident but not overwhelming.

### **Day 4: September 12, 2023**
* **Early Morning:**
* 3:21 AM: No fever, and oxygen levels were good. No cough either. However, a sore throat was creeping in. On a pain scale of 1 to 10, it felt like a 2 or 3. Moreover, his voice was heavily affected and had a much lower tone than usual.
* **Current Day:**
* Thomas couldn't shake off the tiredness, finding it hard to sleep for more than 4 hours at a stretch. His tinnitus worsened, becoming exceptionally loud from the previous night. A fresh concern arose when trying to cough up phlegm – it hurt, even if the pain was just a 2 or 3 on a scale of 1 to 10.

13491379, Blood oxygen - how low is low enough to warrant chest x-rays?
Posted by DJR, Thu Sep-14-23 06:16 PM
I was largely at 94-95%, and while I had a lot of chest congestion and coughed a lot, I never felt bad enough to consider going to a doctor.

Just wondering what “low” was for you? I’m usually 96-100%, so I knew I was lower than normal. I googled and saw below 95% is supposed to be a big deal, but even when I was at 94%, I really didn’t feel THAT bad.
13491385, It was under95% for a week - and even lower
Posted by handle, Thu Sep-14-23 07:12 PM
>Just wondering what “low” was for you? I’m usually
>96-100%, so I knew I was lower than normal. I googled and
>saw below 95% is supposed to be a big deal, but even when I
>was at 94%, I really didn’t feel THAT bad.

First time my blood ox was around 92%-94% for the first week, but sometimes down to 90% and even dropping to 89% with my at home monitor on day 8. I messaged the doctor and they said to come in because it was under 95%.

I didn't feel like I was gasping for air, but I was concerned because low blood oxygen for that long is a sign of that you are recovering.

In the hospital their blood ox machine put me at 94%-95% and the chest x-ray showed no lung scaring, but they all thought it was a good idea to get the x-ray. (The doctors suggested it, it was not my idea.)

Now I add 2% to the blood ox reading at home.

I looked at my notes to my doctor and I was sleeping like 20 hours a day, I had a fever for 5 days in a row, and I was coughing like crazy for like 10 days. All that and low blood ox levels is why they suggested I come in.
13491403, EDIT
Posted by handle, Thu Sep-14-23 11:37 PM
>I didn't feel like I was gasping for air, but I was concerned because low blood oxygen for that long is a sign of that you are recovering.


I didn't feel like I was gasping for air, but I was concerned because low blood oxygen for that long is a sign of that you are *NOT* recovering.
13491512, Got it, yeah that makes sense
Posted by DJR, Sat Sep-16-23 11:12 PM
I figured 94% wasn’t THAT bad and I never saw it lower than that.

I’m usually getting 95-96% now and chest congestion gradually clearing up.
13491404, This is good, well presented data
Posted by fif, Fri Sep-15-23 01:48 AM
Well done. Glad you're feeling better. Hope you can shake the lingering symptoms.
13491294, Update 2
Posted by handle, Thu Sep-14-23 10:36 AM
These symptoms are gone:Sore throat. Runny nose. Coughing. Chills and fever. Headache.

These remain:
Lowered voice (so, some inflammation is present in throat.)
Slight lightheadedness. (I still don't 'feel' back to normal.)
Paxlovid taste. (It's a very weak taste - it's not a Snapple - it's more like heavily diluted cucumber water.)

I never lost sense of taste or smell.

This bout has been *much* more mild than the first, but I have taken 3 days off work, and likely will work only half today.

I am still testing positive.

I won't update again unless something really goes wrong.

Mom, aunt, and uncle still show no symptoms - maybe they didn't catch it.
13491833, Update 3 - REBOUND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by handle, Mon Sep-25-23 10:57 AM
So I had a 4 day high elevation Yosemite backpacking trip planned starting on the 21st.
I had to bail out after 36 hours because I was feeling bad.

Video of the areas I was able to make it to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov6FxbqKJps

Tested today, I'm I'm positive as FUCK again. I had tested completely negative 3 times before, and one time I had the slightest of slight faintest - oh-so-faint lines.

So I'm positive again.

Sore throat is a 0.5 on a 1-10 scale, while runny nose would be a 2. No other symptoms.

I messaged my doctor, but it'll probably just be waiting around for this to clear.

I can go out wearing a mask if needed, but I'll just stay away from people unless there's some emergency.
13491079, Thanks again for this thread, Handle.
Posted by Doomdata21, Mon Sep-11-23 08:41 AM
Coworkers are starting to get hit with it. Luckily, we're remote 80% of the time so probably not as bad as it could be with spreads. Dusting off my trusty mask(never really stopped), setting up for the new elixir, and getting my people ready.
13491095, 9/12/2023
Posted by handle, Tue Sep-12-23 07:14 AM
tldr: The CDC still needs to set the policy on who should be eligible, they might do that today.

FDA okays new coronavirus vaccine as respiratory illness season nears

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved a reformulated coronavirus vaccine in a bid to provide increased protection ahead of cooler weather — even as the nation experiences a late-summer uptick of covid-19 cases and hospitalizations.

The shots, which target an omicron subvariant and were cleared for everyone 6 months and older, are manufactured by Moderna and by Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech. If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signs off Tuesday, injections could be available in pharmacies, clinics and doctor’s offices by the end of the week.

The FDA decides who can get a shot, but it’s the CDC that recommends who should get it. That question has been vigorously debated by agency officials and its outside experts in recent days.

The CDC is leaning toward a broad recommendation that covers almost all ages, mirroring the FDA approach, according to federal officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. But it is possible that some on the agency’s panel of outside experts, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, will push for a targeted recommendation focused on those at greatest risk — older Americans or people with weakened immune systems or other illnesses. The committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday on the matter and CDC Director Mandy Cohen is expected to weigh in shortly afterward, the final step in allowing the new shot to be administered.

... This is the first time the federal government is not buying all the coronavirus shots, meaning doctors, hospitals and pharmacies must order them directly. The shots will still be free for most Americans with private health insurance or coverage through Medicare or Medicaid, said Jennifer Kates, senior vice president and director of global health and HIV policy at KFF, a health policy nonprofit. The Biden administration also is taking steps to provide the shots without cost to people who don’t have insurance.
13491178, 9/13/2023 - Boosters approved
Posted by handle, Wed Sep-13-23 09:15 AM
CDC recommends new COVID booster for all Americans over 6 months amid rising cases, hospitalizations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director signed off on the recommendation that all Americans aged 6 months and older receive the updated COVID booster on Tuesday amid rising cases and hospitalizations across the country.

It comes just a day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized and approved the new shot.

The boosters made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna were formulated to target variants that are currently circulating, which are related to XBB – an offshoot of the omicron variant.

The advisory panel made the recommendation, which was then approved by director Dr. Mandy Cohen.

"Vaccination remains critical to public health and continued protection against serious consequences of COVID-19, including hospitalization and death," Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.

"The public can be assured that these updated vaccines have met the agency's rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality. We very much encourage those who are eligible to consider getting vaccinated," the statement continued.

The shots are expected to be available later this week as they are delivered to pharmacies and health care providers across the country, with likely meaningful supply starting next week.

Following the COVID booster approval, President Biden said "today marks another important milestone" and encouraged Americans to continue to stay updated on vaccinations.

"Today’s announcement also means that we now have immunizations for all three major seasonal respiratory viruses – COVID-19, flu, and RSV. Vaccination against COVID-19 remains the most important protection in avoiding hospitalization, long-term health complications and death. I encourage all Americans to stay up-to-date on their vaccines," Biden said.


Note: I checked the local CVS and they list it as :
Vaccine(s): COVID-19 2023-2024 (Pfizer)
Vaccine(s): COVID-19 2023-2024 (Moderna)

CVS says Saturday for booster availability. Rite-aid and Walgreens have not updated yet.
13491282, 09/14/2023
Posted by handle, Thu Sep-14-23 09:42 AM
Florida surgeon general rejects FDA guidance, urges people under 65 not to get Covid booster


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis’ hand-picked surgeon general on Wednesday warned healthy adults under the age of 65 against taking a new Covid-19 booster, contradicting the Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration.

Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, speaking during a roundtable that DeSantis hosted, said that after three years of Covid, most healthy people don’t need to worry about getting infected from a virus that has killed more than 1 million people across the country. Ladapo is a well-known vaccine skeptic who has claimed some shots pose risks to healthy young men.

“With the amount of immunity that’s in the community — with virtually every walking human being having some degree of immunity, and with the questions we have about safety and about effectiveness, especially about safety, my judgment is that it’s not a good decision for young people and for people who are not at high risk at this point in the pandemic,” he said.

Previous guidance by Ladapo about Covid-19 vaccine safety has been widely rejected by the medical community. Daniel Salmon, director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins University, said Wednesday it appeared that Ladapo and the others at the roundtable were selectively highlighting data to show problems with the new boosters.

“In general, they’re cherry-picking data and facts and science,” Salmon said. “And I think that they’re there, because they don’t want to recommend this vaccine for Florida.”

(More at link, it's long)


CDC calls Florida's advice against new COVID booster 'dangerous'


The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is responding after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state's surgeon general advised against getting the new booster.

DeSantis advised against anyone under the age of 65 from receiving the shot while Dr. Joseph Ladapo claimed the federal government wasn't being safe about the risks.

CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen defended the new COVID-19 boosters as "proven safe" and "effective" and called the comments from DeSantis and Ladapo "dangerous."

"Vaccination against COVID-19 remains the safest protection for avoiding hospitalizations, long-term health challenges, and death," Cohen said in a statement. "As we head into the fall and winter seasons, it is important that Americans get the updated COVID-19 vaccine. They are proven safe; they are effective, and they have been thoroughly and independently reviewed by the FDA and CDC...Public health experts are in broad agreement about these facts, and efforts to undercut vaccine uptake are unfounded and dangerous."

(More at link, it's long)
13491378, Felt sore throat last thursday, didn't think much of it
Posted by DaKidFromHaiti, Thu Sep-14-23 06:07 PM
Continues on to Friday, Friday night I'm having chills and bodyaches. By Saturday I'm coughing heavily, decided to get tested on Sunday and was indeed positive. Stayed my ass home, didn't go to school or work the whole week, tested myself again today and finally negative. All my symptoms are gone, just a slight cough but nothing crazy. This was much quicker and lighter than the first time around. First time around I was super sick and had to stay in bed for at least a week.

Started a new job working at a preschool and I'm sure I got it from one of the kids out there, I knew I shoulda got a booster before starting the job but I felt invincible. As soon as December rolls around (since they say you're immune at least 2-3 months after catching it) I'm getting that next booster and hopefully I'll be good until June.
13491386, Hope you stay well
Posted by handle, Thu Sep-14-23 07:13 PM
COVID sucks - but it sucked less this time, it seems.
13491511, 09/16/2023
Posted by handle, Sat Sep-16-23 11:06 PM
COVID levels are so high, they’re hovering near 2020’s initial peak, as the WHO urges those at high risk to take any booster they can get their hands on


U.S. COVID infections are hovering near levels of the pandemic’s first peak in 2020, and approaching the Delta peak of late 2021, according to wastewater surveillance and modeling by forecasters.

It’s yet another sign that while the official pandemic state may be over, the days of COVID are far from it.

Viral wastewater levels are not far behind all of the pandemic’s 2020 peaks except for one—the initial peak of March 2020, which they’ve already surpassed. And they lag just slightly levels seen during the deadly Delta peak of late 2021, according to Biobot Analytics, which monitors such data for the federal government.

A forecast issued this week by Jay Weiland, a leading COVID modeler, came to the same conclusions. On Thursday, Weiland estimated that 650,000 Americans are becoming infected daily, with 1 in 51 Americans currently infected with COVID.

An additional 7% to 10% of the U.S. population will be infected over the next month and a half, Weiland predicted.

Both Biobot data and Wieland’s modeling show U.S. cases beginning to recede. But they may not fall much more, if any, before the anticipated fall and winter surge.

Hospitalization and death toll is still very low, but so many people are getting it now. I was *hoping* it'd be better
13491667, Got my Pfizer and flu shots last night.
Posted by Numba_33, Wed Sep-20-23 03:49 PM
Local Walgreens had both Pfizer and Moderna shots available to my knowledge.

Outside of my arm being pretty sore last night, no side effects so far.

Hopefully my current streak of not contracting COVID since the start of the pandemic will still hold up. At least to my knowledge, I haven't contracted COVID.
13491668, Got my Pfizer and flu shots last night.
Posted by Numba_33, Wed Sep-20-23 03:49 PM
Local Walgreens had both Pfizer and Moderna shots available to my knowledge.

Outside of my arm being pretty sore last night, no side effects so far.

Hopefully my current streak of not contracting COVID since the start of the pandemic will still hold up. At least to my knowledge, I haven't contracted COVID.
13491679, 09/20/2023
Posted by handle, Wed Sep-20-23 11:27 PM
US households will be able to order more free Covid-19 tests starting Monday

The US government will relaunch a program to provide free Covid-19 home tests to Americans, US Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday.

“We will once again begin our program to provide Americans with an opportunity to request tests,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said during an event at a Washington CVS Pharmacy where he was vaccinated against Covid-19 and flu.

US households can order four free tests from Covidtests.gov starting September 25.

Anti-vaxxers loathe Dr. Peter Hotez. In his new book, he mourns their unnecessary deaths

Dr. Peter Hotez is no stranger to controversy.

A pediatric infectious disease specialist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Hotez began taking on the anti-vaccine movement when his now-adult daughter was a child.

Activists blamed her autism and that of others on vaccines. Hotez, who develops vaccines for neglected tropical diseases, didn't buy it.

He took them on directly in his 2020 book "Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism: My Journey as a Vaccine Scientist, Pediatrician, and Autism Dad."

In Rachel's case, Hotez showed that a rare genetic mutation caused her repetitive behaviors and communication difficulties. While not all autism can be explained by single genetic mutations, repeated studies over decades have shown no link between vaccinations and the later development of autism.

Now, the anti-vaccine movement has moved on from autism and so has Hotez.

In a new book, published today, Hotez describes the expansion of the anti-vaccine trend to COVID-19 vaccines, and now to scientific expertise more broadly.

In "The Deadly Rise of Anti-Science: A Scientist's Warning," Hotez outlines the parallels he sees between this push and the anti-intellectualism promoted during the Nazi and Stalin periods of the 20th century.

Hotez compares the mass murders under those authoritarian regimes to the at least 200,000 Americans who died after COVID-19 vaccines were introduced, but who refused to get protective shots because they had been convinced not to.

USA TODAY sat down with Hotez earlier this month to ask him to explain the anti-science shift he's documented and why he finds it so concerning. What follows is a lightly edited and condensed version of that conversation.

Question: You say medical misinformation isn't just "random junk" but organized disinformation intended to mislead people. Can you explain what you're seeing and why it's different now?
Answer: It's well-financed and it's politically motivated. It's a well-formed ecosystem. It's a killer movement and that's why it's important to talk about.

Now it's state-sanctioned. That's the game changer. It's fully enmeshed in American politics. It's a full-on adopted platform of political extremism.

The scale, the political organization, the state sanctioning and the level of death and destruction, that's what's different.

Who benefits? If they're really killing their supporters, that doesn't sound like a good long-term strategy.
Ultimately, it's self-defeating. But in the meantime, it's become an instrument for political control and oppression.

It's a rallying call for the base. It's a way of creating feelings of belonging and part of something bigger.

I don't care what your extreme beliefs are. That's your right as an American citizen. But somehow, we have to carve out the anti-science piece of this because it's killing too many Americans.

As a scientist, you say you are not comfortable being partisan, but clearly, there's one political party most closely associated with this effort. How do you balance that?
All of our training as scientists says we're supposed to be politically neutral. I don't want to talk about it either. But if it means saving lives, we're backed into a corner and really have to.

People are quick to blame Trump, but it began before him and accelerated more after he left.

Do you think the Biden administration could have responded better?
In April, May 2021, vaccination rates stalled. That's when they tried to push for mandates, thinking that was a way to jump-start it and that didn't go well. Then this became a political issue and the defiance started. Then, I just watched in horror as so many Americans especially here in Texas and other red states needlessly died.

If you go to East Texas, everyone you talk to has lost a loved one because they refused a COVID vaccine. That's where you start really seeing the devastation. That's a lethal societal force of enormous magnitude. But we don't explain it that way and that's where I sometimes get a little frustrated with the Biden administration.

How do you view people who believe this misinformation?
I see these individuals as victims of this far-right aggression.

If my car had broken down because of a flat tire and you gave me the choice to have that flat tire in Palo Alto, California, where Stanford (University) is located, or in East Texas, I'd pick East Texas. In Palo Alto, everybody would drive right by and in East Texas, people would be fighting over who would help you change your tire. These people are amazing people and they were targeted by political forces.

Do you see a way to restore public trust in vaccines?
In the past, there was an inherent auto-correction mechanism. When parents aren't vaccinating their kids, they see in their community kids hospitalized for measles and that will correct the situation.

This is not auto-correcting after 200,000 Americans needlessly perished.

What you're seeing instead is those politically motivated members of Congress and governors and presidential candidates are doubling down. Rather than pause for self-reflection, they're saying no, it wasn't COVID that killed Americans, it was the vaccine and by the way, the scientists invented the virus.

It's an attempt to revise history. This is what they do in authoritarian regimes.

I don't see this getting better at least until after the 2024 presidential election. The craziness just seems to be accelerating.

Why do you devote so much time and effort to this fight?
What part I planned in my life was to become a pediatric vaccine scientist. That was the plan 40 years ago. I'm making vaccines for parasitic infections and coronaviruses. I did it because I saw vaccines as the highest expression of science for humanity and I still believe that.

Now the flip side of that is you have anti-vaccine aggression. If you're going to save lives you also have to combat that as well, even though it's unpleasant.

Contact Karen Weintraub at kweintraub@usatoday.com.