More people are dying of COVID under Biden than Trump

On Thursday, the White House announced that President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 and was experiencing mild symptoms. This news arrived as the nation continued to experience yet another wave of the highly contagious virus with few to no mitigation efforts or policies in place.

In 2021, when former President Donald Trump left office—against his will despite having lost—about 400,000 people in the U.S. had officially died of COVID-19. For most of Trump’s reign, there were no vaccines for COVID-19; they only began to be used in the final weeks of his administration, and their benefits had not yet been widely felt. Indeed, for the first few months of the pandemic, there hadn’t been very effective therapeutics at all; in New York City, the death toll grew so quickly, they had to use refrigerated trucks as temporary morgues, and people in jail were asked to dig mass graves for the bodies.

Trump was a cartoon villain of COVID mendacity, running around the country hosting maskless rallies; when he himself contracted the novel coronavirus and was admitted to Walter

— source | Steven W. Thrasher | Jul 21, 2022

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High incarceration rates fuel COVID-19 spread

How can government slow the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S.? Look to America’s unique epidemic engines: jails and prisons in America.

Extremely high rates of incarceration in the U.S. undercut national public health and safety. The overcrowded, tight quarters in jails fuel constant risks of outbreaks. Add to that the daily movement of 420,000 guards in and out of the facilities and 30,000 newly released people who are likely to inadvertently carry the virus back to communities.

A new study from Northwestern Medicine, Toulouse School of Economics and the French National Centre for Scientific Research found the best way to address this public safety threat is through decarceration (i.e., reducing the number of people detained in jails).

“If we can immediately stop jailing people for minor alleged offenses and begin building a national decarceration program to end mass incarceration, these changes will protect us

— source Northwestern University | Sep 2, 2021

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Is BA.5 the ‘Reinfection Wave’?

Well, here we go again. Once more, the ever-changing coronavirus behind COVID-19 is assaulting the United States in a new guise—BA.5, an offshoot of the Omicron variant that devastated the most recent winter. The new variant is spreading quickly, likely because it snakes past some of the immune defenses acquired by vaccinated people, or those infected by earlier variants. Those who have managed to avoid the virus for close to three years will find it a little harder to continue that streak, and some who recently caught COVID are getting it again. “People shouldn’t be surprised if they get infected, and they shouldn’t be surprised if it’s pretty unpleasant,” Stephen Goldstein, a virologist at the University of Utah, told me.

That doesn’t mean we’re about to have a surge on the scale of what we saw last winter, or that BA.5 (and its close cousin BA.4) will set us back to immunological square one. Goldstein told me that he takes “some level of comfort” in the knowledge that, based on how other countries have fared against BA.5, vaccines are still keeping a lot of people out of hospitals, intensive-care units, and morgues. The new variant is not an apocalyptic menace.

But it can’t be ignored, either. Infections (and reinfections) still matter, and by increasing both, BA.5 is extending and deepening the pandemic’s ongoing burden. “We will not

— source | Ed Yong | Jul 11, 2022

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Most British COVID-19 mourners suffer PTSD symptoms

More than eight out of 10 British people who are seeking support for having lost a loved one to COVID-19 reported alarming Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms, new Curtin University-led research has found.

The study, based on data from people seeking help and guidance from the United Kingdom’s National Bereavement Partnership in collaboration with researchers from the Portland Institute for Loss and Transition and Christopher Newport University in the United States of America, also found almost two-thirds of British COVID-19 mourners experienced moderate or severe symptoms of anxiety and depression.

According to the UK’s dedicated PTSD charity, PTSD UK, about 20 per cent of all PTSD cases worldwide are linked to the unexpected death of a loved one.

To date, there have been more than 175,000 COVID-19-related deaths in the United Kingdom.

— source Curtin University | Jul 5, 2022

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Immune response triggered by COVID-19 may damage the brain

A study from the National Institutes of Health describes the immune response triggered by COVID-19 infection that damages the brain’s blood vessels and may lead to short- and long-term neurological symptoms. In a study published in Brain, researchers from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) examined brain changes in nine people who died suddenly after contracting the virus.

The scientists found evidence that antibodies — proteins produced by the immune system in response to viruses and other invaders — are involved in an attack on the cells lining the brain’s blood vessels, leading to inflammation and damage. Consistent with an earlier study from the group, SARS-CoV-2 was not detected in the patients’ brains, suggesting the virus was not infecting the brain directly.

Understanding how SARS-CoV-2 can trigger brain damage may help inform development of therapies for COVID-19 patients who have lingering neurological symptoms.

— source NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke | Jul 5, 2022

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How Many More Seniors Will Die of Covid-19 in Los Angeles County?

One million Americans, over 90,000 people in California, and over thirty thousand Los Angeles County residents have died of Covid-19. The most vulnerable groups are seniors and people with disabilities, especially those that are homebound. The LA County Board of Supervisors should have made homebound people a priority. Instead, it failed them throughout the pandemic and continues to fail them today.

Our story begins with a phone call made in 2020. As the pandemic was getting more deadly, a tenant living at Barnard Way in Santa Monica died of Covid-19. Barnard Way is a 61-unit Section 8 complex with older, disabled, and poor residents. Shawn Casey O’Brien, who lives in the building, contacted the office of the LA County Board of Supervisors to request testing for building residents.

A young staffer spoke with Shawn and Ernie Powell (one of the authors of this piece). After two meetings the staffer indicated that the County itself could not provide the

— source | Ernie Powell, Nikola Alenkin | May 27, 2022

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Global Access to COVID-19 Vaccines

In fact, it seems like nothing much happened, unfortunately, as you just stated. We were really disappointed in the outcome that was reached. You know, the negotiations for this particular decision have been taking place since May, but for the last 18 months the World Trade Organization has been discussing a proposal by India and South Africa to completely suspend intellectual property rights on the full range of COVID-19 medical tools. And that’s, in fact, not what was discussed at all in Geneva last week. And in fact, a bloc of rich countries in the EU, the United States, U.K. and Switzerland, amongst others, led the charge, in essence, to arrive at this watered-down decision, which, in fact, doesn’t waive any intellectual property rights and, in our opinion, you know, may ultimately cause more damage than good.

we’ve argued that it’s a weak deal because it’s not a waiver. It’s not the waiver that was proposed by South Africa and India. It only deals with vaccines, and it only deals with patents. And, in fact, the entire deal is more about a summary of what you would have to do if you decide to manufacture vaccines and export them. So it deals quite significantly with export rights and who should be opting in and who should be opting out of the deal, doesn’t deal with all the other elements of intellectual property like copyright and trade secrets or the recipes and the knowledge that we actually need to scale up manufacturing. And it doesn’t even deal with treatment and diagnostics in the middle of 2022.

— source | Jun 23, 2022

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Forbes, India and Pandora’s Pandemic Box

The ranks of Indian Dollar Billionaires swelled from 102 to 140 in 12 months, if the Forbes 2021 List is to be believed (and when it comes to billionaires and their wealth, Forbes is mostly to be believed). Their combined wealth, it notes, has “nearly doubled to $ 596 billion” in just the past year.

This means 140 individuals, or 0.000014 per cent of the population, had a cumulative worth equivalent to 22.7 per cent (or well over a fifth) of our Gross Domestic Product of $ 2.62 trillion, bringing, as they always do, that whole other meaning to the word ‘Gross’.

Most major Indian dailies carried the Forbes pronouncement in that approving tone they reserve for such feats – omitting to mention what the Oracle of Pelf says in a more upfront and honest way.

“Another Covid-19 wave,” says Forbes in the first paragraph of its report on this country, “is sweeping across

— source | P. Sainath | Apr 18, 2021

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Desperate Indians used up their savings, took loans to survive COVID-19 pandemic

dollars/day : pre-post covid-19
13.4 crore. Increase happened only for poor
$2.01 – 10 : low income. 119.7 -> 116.2 crore
$10.01 – 20 : middle income. 9.9 -> 6.6 crore
$20.01 – 50 : upper middle income. 2.2 -> 1.6 crore
>$50 : high income. 0.3->0.2 crore

increased from 6 crore to 13.4 crores due to covid-19 induced recession.

household debt. mar 20. rs 68.9 lakh crore. dec 20. rs 73.1 lakh crore. debt increased by rs 4.25 lakh crore.
46% indians borrowed to run their household
bank deposit july-sep rs 3.6 lakh crore. oct-dec rs 1.7 lakh crore. first peak of pandemic.
people withdrew nearly rs 2 lakh crore in just 3 months.

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