… To kick off the effort, the White House is gathering key federal officials, top scientists, and pharmaceutical executives including representatives of Pfizer and Moderna for a Tuesday “summit” to discuss the new technologies and lay out a road map for developing them.
“These are vaccines that are going to be far more durable, that are going to provide far longer-lasting protection, no matter what the virus does or how it evolves,” Ashish Jha, the White House Covid-19 response coordinator, said in an interview. “If we can drive down infections by 90% … Covid really begins to fade into the background, and becomes just one more respiratory illness that we have to deal with.”
Jha acknowledged that such a campaign would likely require more money from Congress, though he declined to provide a specific estimate.
The summit is the strongest sign of support to date for developing a new generation of Covid-19 vaccines — an effort that several prominent researchers have long advocated, but that has languished due to lack of investment. Several of those scientists praised the new White House initiative, expressing hope that it is a harbinger of bigger steps that will yield a next generation of Covid vaccines…
“We have fantastic vaccines that are actually doing a lot of good right now and are quite safe,” Jha said. “And so the bar for approving new vaccines is going to be that it has to be better than that. And that’s going to be a high bar.”
While hospitalization rates remain low compared to the devastating Covid waves of January 2021, September 2021, and January 2022, they have steadily climbed since April, as contagious viral variants including BA.4 and BA.5 have rapidly spread. There is really no predicting, experts say, what the virus will throw at society next.
“There’s a sense that we’re playing catch-up with the virus,” Jha said. “The virus is constantly evolving. We’re having to evolve with it, that’s fine. But over the long run, we really need a serious breakthrough.”
In a normal timeline, the story below would’ve been the lead — or even deserving of its own, prime-time post. But the America-first grifters, the conspiracy theorists, and the media enabling them have dug in so deeply that it’s going to make absolutely no bloody difference in this one. For the record — here’s the first of a long, meaty thread with lots of links:
Where did the pandemic begin?
Was it from nature or a lab?
Since the start, this fundamental question has gone unanswered.
— Dr. Angela Rasmussen (@angie_rasmussen) July 26, 2022
Key visual: All the known early infections spread out from the ‘bullseye’ target of the wet market —
Analysis of spatial distributions of early #COVID19 cases and environmental samples from the Huanan market point to the market as the epicenter of #SARSCoV2 emergence, from activities associated with wildlife trade. https://t.co/tykjmEOGxW @MichaelWorobey @K_G_Andersen pic.twitter.com/THYDkLualC
— Science Magazine (@ScienceMagazine) July 26, 2022
Speaking of stories that will change nothing, except the historical record — Politico with a book extract on “The One Time Trump Couldn’t Lie His Way Out of a Crisis”. India, February 2020:
… Trump had known for a while that COVID-19 was poised to spark a pandemic unlike the globe had seen in a hundred years. After he and other top aides, among them Mike Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, initially downplayed warnings coming from elsewhere in the administration — including from national security aide Matt Pottinger and trade adviser Peter Navarro — the president had grown convinced of the danger posed by what he often dubbed “the plague.” He confided in the journalist Bob Woodward as far back as February 7 that he knew the virus was deadly.
But publicly, Trump lied.
He lied at the gathering of the world’s elite in Davos, Switzerland on January 22, saying, “It’s one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” He lied days later in Michigan, declaring that “everything’s going to be great” and falsely claiming, “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.” He later said the virus was going to have “a very good ending for it.” And with an eye toward Wall Street, he lied to the entrepreneurs in India, declaring “as far as what we’re doing with the new virus, I think that we’re doing a great job.”
But the markets fell again that day Trump spoke in New Delhi, creating their biggest two-day slide in four years, and things were about to get worse. None of Trump’s magic words would prevent the Dow from losing 37 percent of its value from February to March, shocking the market when it dropped almost 3,000 points on March 16 — its worst single-day plummet in history…
By October, Trump’s lies about COVID caught up with him when he was hospitalized, ill with a potentially deadly disease after nearly a year of flouting the rules, believing that wearing a mask would, as he told aides, make him look like “a pussy.”
After he was discharged from Walter Reed, and with the lighting just so, Trump strode up the steps to the Truman Balcony. Though still highly contagious, he tore off his mask before stepping inside. Reporters on the lawn, though, noticed something odd: Trump immediately backtracked out to the balcony again before returning inside, as if recreating his entrance. And that’s what he did: He was using the moment to film a video marking his so-called triumph over COVID.
Trump, though having required emergency hospitalization, was once more downplaying the virus. More than 200,000 Americans already had died. And as much as the president was trying to project strength, to convey the impression that he was impervious and could bully and trick his latest and greatest foe into submission, a careful watch of the video depicting him ripping the mask from his face showed a different story.
Trump was gasping for air…
NOT HELPING, Bloomberg!
That, I suspect, is the tweet that will go viral. Here’s a less hyper version of the story:
China’s central metropolis of Wuhan temporarily shut some businesses and public transport in a district with almost a million people on Wednesday, as the city where the pandemic first emerged raised vigilance after several new infections.
China, heavily invested in its “dynamic COVID zero” policy, relies on mass testing, quick restriction on business activity and people’s movements and strict quarantine of cases to block nascent clusters from widening…
Wuhan’s district of Jiangxia, with over 900,000 residents, said its main urban areas must enter a three-day restriction from Wednesday, during which it will ban many large group events and dining at restaurants, close various public entertainment venues, agricultural product marketplaces and small clinics and suspend bus and subway services.
It also urged residents not to leave the area during the three days and encouraged travellers to avoid entry.
The order came quickly after Jiangxia authorities said late on Tuesday they had detected two cases during regular testing drives and found another two from the screening of individuals who came in close contact with infection.
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) July 26, 2022
If only for the photo…
#LongCovid: It's not just adults. A non-trivial rate of what's also called post-Covid condition—PCC—is being reported in kids after severe & moderate Covid. Out of 1884 kids who received 90-day follow-up, 5.8% had some form of PCC: cough, fatigue, weakness https://t.co/DWv1nCGgAl
— delthia ricks 🔬 (@DelthiaRicks) July 26, 2022
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