CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 06/22/2021

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 06/22/2021

(J. Harris: I trust the above counts and they show NO increase in Area G hospital usage which suggests that the “new active cases” are likely to be a bookkeeping error. HOWEVER, Delta is here and we must remain vigilant because of the massive number of unvaccinated residents that we have in East Texas and Harrison Counties)

FROM THE MNM TODAY:

HARRISON COUNTY ACTIVE CASE COUNTS ARE NOT ACCURATE

(J. Harris: Presumably the high counts in most of the surrounding counties are also in error? The state spreadsheets with the County counts seem to be unchanged for several days. See: https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/additionaldata.aspx.... they appear to be unchanged and don’t show an increase in active cases, new or old that I can find, yet)

HERE ARE THE NYT COUNTS FOR TODAY:

(J. Harris: Presumably, the above active case counts/100,000 are just due to adding “old” cases. Data from The TEXAS TRIBUNE is similar to the NYT Data. However, we might just as well keep up with their numbers anyway since they have been very accurate in the past. At any rate, my Norwegian housekeeper says it’s safe to eat out, but not at any “Bubba” joints.)

What is the Delta variant and how is it altering the course of the pandemic?

“…It may be too early to understand what impact the Delta variant will ultimately have on hospitalizations and deaths, but researchers are noting this strain could change the course of the entire pandemic. … the recent rise in UK COVID-19 cases suggests a high proportion of the population needs to be fully vaccinated to overcome the Delta variant….”

(J. Harris: This is a readable and informative summary which is also available on audible.)

FROM HOPKINS CITATIONS:

1. Moderna plans to expand COVID-19 vaccine production: WSJ (Reuters) Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) is adding two new production lines at its COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing plant in Massachusetts, in a bid to prepare for making more booster shots, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

2. CDC Director: Delta Variant to ‘Probably’ Become Dominant Strain in U.S. (Politico) The very contagious and possibly more harmful Delta variant of the coronavirus “probably” will become the dominant strain in the United States in the coming months, Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday on “Good Morning America.” “It’s more transmissible than the Alpha variant or U.K. variant that we have here. We saw that quickly become the dominant strain in a period of one or two months,” Walensky said. “I anticipate that is going to be what happens with the Delta strain here.”

3. COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage and Intent Among Adults Aged 18–39 Years — United States, March–May 2021 Overall, 34% of adults aged 18–39 years reported having received a COVID-19 vaccine. Adults aged 18–24 years, as well as non-Hispanic Black adults and those with less education, no insurance, and lower household incomes, had the lowest reported vaccination coverage and intent to get vaccinated. Concerns about vaccine safety and effectiveness were commonly cited barriers to vaccination. (CDC MMWR, 6/21/2021)COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage and Intent Among Adults Aged 18–39 Years — United States, March–May 2021 Overall, 34% of adults aged 18–39 years reported having received a COVID-19 vaccine. Adults aged 18–24 years, as well as non-Hispanic Black adults and those with less education, no insurance, and lower household incomes, had the lowest reported vaccination coverage and intent to get vaccinated. Concerns about vaccine safety and effectiveness were commonly cited barriers to vaccination. (CDC MMWR, 6/21/2021)

4.Maine’s Mobile Vaccination Unit Ends Mission After Delivering More Than 10,000 COVID-19 Vaccinations After administering more than 10,000 vaccinations across 12 communities in Maine since its launch on April 12, the Maine Mobile Vaccination Unit (MVU) ended its mission, Friday, June 18, 2021, in Old Orchard Beach. The MVU, a partnership between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State of Maine, provided free COVID-19 vaccinations by appointment or on a drop-in basis to adults in Maine who wanted one. At the time of the MVU’s launch in April, Maine was the second state in New England to host a mobile vaccination unit. (FEMA, 6/18/2021)

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 06/21/2021

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 06/21/2021

From THE LANCET:

Neutralising antibody activity against SARS-CoV-2 VOCs B.1.617.2[DELTA] and B.1.351 [BETA]by BNT162b2 [initial Covid-19 virus] vaccination

“…In the case of single-dose recipients, our data show that NAbTs [antibody levels] are significantly lower against B.1.617.2 [Delta] and B.1.351 [Beta]VOCs relative to B.1.1.7 [Alpha], implying that although a single dose might still afford considerably more protection than no vaccination, single-dose recipients are likely to be less protected against these SARS-CoV-2 variants. These data, therefore, suggest that the benefits of delaying the second dose, in terms of wider population coverage and increased individual [antibodies] after the second dose,7 must now be weighed against decreased efficacy in the short-term, in the context of the spread of B.1.617.2 [Delta}. Worldwide, our data highlight the ongoing need to increase vaccine supply to allow all countries to extend second-dose protection as quickly as possible….

“Consequently, further booster immunizations of JCVI Priority Groups in the UK and similar groups in other counties, as well as others with lower vaccine-induced..[resistance] than the cohort of BNT162b2 [Delta] recipients studied here (ideally with modified vaccines that induce [resistance]…. that broadly neutralize emerging …[variants]) are more likely to be required to maintain the highest levels of [resistance] in regions where B.1.617.2[Delta] or other equally … resistant strains become prevalent.

(J. Harris: So, Vaccination with two jabs, and with the second jab administered at the prescribed time, is necessary to protect against the variants studied so far, especially when vaccinated with the British (AstraZeneca)vaccine. This Delta variant is already in the US, but another hospital gutting, mortuary filling US pandemic should be prevented by VACCINATIONS.   We need to vaccinate all the unvaccinated folks we can. I am embarrassed and saddened to have seen with this epidemic just how naive, uneducated, and careless many, many people seem to be. I thought most Americans were smarter than we are. I thought that because of the gross horror of the pandemic, governmental, medical and scientific leaders would be more dynamic, united, and forceful. We have had great success if the rapid discovery, manufacture, and testing of at least two magnificent vaccines. Now, to get comprehensive distribution, we need LEADERSHIP and ORGANIZATION.  For now, the more educated and reasonable folks are mostly vaccinated. Now, we need concerted effort to vaccinate the “hesitant,’ which is about the nicest moniker you can give to most of the unvaccinated. And, we must remember, there will be a next time with other capricious and bastardly viruses — or, we need more gravediggers, and the good ones are being paid not to dig anymore.  Somewhere, Typhoid Mary is chuckling with glee and amazement because “the current authorities” haven’t been more diligent in insisting on —actually demanding — programs for public health management and safety.

VARIANT REVIEW:

The Delta variant is proving to be a stubborn hurdle

“As the U.S. heads into its second pandemic summer, President Biden warned that those who fail to get vaccinated against Covid-19 risk becoming infected by “a variant that is more easily transmissible, potentially deadlier and particularly dangerous for young people...In Russia, the Delta variant is now the most prevalent version in Moscow, where case numbers have tripled over the past two weeks and city officials have added 5,000 beds to coronavirus wards. The outbreak has led to some vaccine mandates.

Mental health crisis is kids’ long-haul COVID

“…We spend a lot of time talking about adults with long-haul COVID…” the behavioral mental health crisis is going to be the long-haul for kids.”

One way children’s hospitals have extended a limited mental health infrastructure and pediatric psychiatric workforce is through behavioral telehealth visits… Patients have responded positively to virtual visits. The hospital saw no-show rates for behavioral health visits drop from 16 percent to 6 percent,…the hospital plans to keep 65 percent of its mental health-related telehealth visits remote. Part of the reason is the accessibility aspect, while another is the ability to see into children’s home lives…”

FROM THE NYT TODAY:

Without access to health care, undocumented immigrants turn to expensive, unproven cures.

(J. Harris: This is also happening here. We need a big ole shaded tent on the square with a sign saying (in English and Spanish) “FREE VACCINATIONS FOR COVID. NO ID NEEDED. FREE. There is plenty of vaccine here and people willing to give it. There are plenty of Spanish speakers willing to help. The County Health Dept., ETBU, Christus, multiple clinics and Pharmacies have and have had vaccines. We have a LOCAL problem. Only 24% of Harrison County residents are vaccinated. About 8% of the population here has had documented Covid, and you can assume at least that many have had silent cases. So, maybe 40 % of us are at least mostly immune to the current Variants, and Delta is coming. In addition, it seems that we have had a super spreader event locally and have a sharp increase in local cases here and in surrounding counties.

Long COVID has exposed medicine’s blind-spot

(J. Harris: Good short discussion about Long Covid. )

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 06/19/2021

Sperm Parameters Before and After COVID-19 mRNA Vaccination

“In this study of sperm parameters before and after 2 doses of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, there were no significant decreases in any sperm parameter among this small cohort of healthy men. Because the vaccines contain mRNA and not the live virus, it is unlikely that the vaccine would affect sperm parameters. While these results showed statistically significant increases in all sperm parameters, the magnitude of change is within normal individual variation and may be influenced by regression to the mean.5 Additionally, the increase may be due to the increased abstinence time before the second sample. Men with oligospermia [low sperm count] did not experience further decline.”

(J. Harris: Thank goodness the family jewels are safe — and in good working order?)

Christus ends Longview mass vaccine hub, transitions appointments to Trinity clinics

The COVID-19 vaccine will now be available Monday through Friday at designated Christus Trinity Clinic primary care locations in Longview, Marshall and Kilgore. Walk-in appointments also are available at Christus Trinity Clinic Urgent Care, 2021 W. Loop 281 in Longview….

All patients will receive the Pfizer vaccine, which is available to everyone 12 and older. The vaccine remains free to patients. Those interested in receiving a vaccine may schedule an appointment online at vaccinate.christushealth.org.

(J. Harris: Thank you Christus Hospitals in Longview, Tyler, and Marshall for your tireless vaccination work. THANK YOU AGAIN! We also want to thank Texas Eastman for their financial donation and support  as well.)

From JAMA:

Lung Transplants for COVID-19—The Option of Last Resort

“….As of today, close to 33 million people in the US have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Some reports have suggested that up to 80% of these patients, even many who were asymptomatic, can have demonstrable lung injury. It remains to be seen whether or not other patients who have recovered from mild, moderate, or even severe COVID-19 are going to be organ donors. If not, this may lead to a significant contraction of our donor pool.’

(J. Harris: A moving interview with a transplant surgeon.)

From Hopkins:

1. Inside Pfizer’s Race to Produce the World’s Biggest Supply of Covid Vaccine (Washington Post) The first attempt to produce industrial-scale quantities of the experimental vaccine that has played a central role in arresting the coronavirus pandemic in the United States was a total failure. Operators at a Pfizer plant outside Kalamazoo hoped the trial run could provide quick validation of the company’s gamble on a newfangled mRNA technology. It also was an early test of Pfizer’s strategy of refusing government aid to develop and rapidly ramp up commercial scale production of its vaccine.

2. Hope Amid Challenging Times for Antibiotic Developers (CIDRAP) A new report from the Access to Medicine Foundation (AMF) is highlighting innovative approaches that these small- and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, are using to navigate this challenging environment. These approaches could help ensure that powerful new antibiotics not only come to 

market, but are used judiciously and are available to the populations that need them the most.

3. Has a ‘Moscow Strain’ of Coronavirus Emerged? (Moscow Times) The developers of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine are studying the jab’s effectiveness against the so-called “Moscow strain” of the virus, they told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency Tuesday. Gamaleya Center head Alexander Gintsburg’s comments come as Moscow officials have sounded the alarm over the Russian capital’s surge in new infections, with reported daily cases more than doubling in the past week. 

4. How the COVID pandemic Is Changing Global Science Collaborations (Nature) Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, science leaders talked widely about leveraging global knowledge and working together. Researchers have paid particular attention to collaboration between the United States and China, the two nations with the biggest scientific output. In the first few months of the pandemic, these two countries collaborated on COVID-19 papers more than any other pair of nations, and at higher rates than they did for non-COVID-19 science. But as the pandemic wore on, the United States turned instead to collaborating on COVID-19 papers with other countries, such as the United Kingdom.. This corresponded with a decline in China’s relative contribution to the literature, as case rates went down and as the government restricted the flow of information about COVID-19.

 5. CureVac’s Covid-19 Vaccine Disappoints in Clinical Trial (New York Times) The trial, which included 40,000 volunteers in Latin America and Europe, estimated that CureVac’s mRNA vaccine had an efficacy of just 47 percent, among the lowest reported so far from any Covid-19 vaccine maker. The trial will continue as researchers monitor volunteers for new cases of Covid-19, with a final analysis expected in two to three weeks.

Deaths of younger people from Covid-19 have upended Hispanic American families.

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Opinion: Critical Race Theory

Opinion: Critical Race Theory

By George Smith  — June 19, 2021

Critical race theory (CRT). I thought I knew what it meant. I didn’t.

Is “critical race theory” a way of understanding how American racism has shaped public policy, or a divisive discourse that pits people of color against white people? Liberals and conservatives are in sharp disagreement. (What else is new?)

The topic has exploded in the public arena this spring—especially in K-12, where numerous state legislatures are debating bills seeking to ban its use in the classroom, in effect, banning episodes in history that may be unpleasant.

In truth, the divides are not nearly as neat as they may seem. The events of the last decade have increased public awareness about things like housing segregation, the impacts of criminal justice policy in the 1990s, and the legacy of enslavement on black Americans. But there is much less consensus on what the government’s role should be in righting these past wrongs. Add children and schooling into the mix and the debate becomes especially volatile.

School boards, superintendents, even principals and teachers are already facing questions about critical race theory, and there are significant disagreements even among experts about its precise definition as well as how its tenets should inform K-12 policy and practice. This explainer is meant only as a starting point to help educators grasp core aspects of the current debate.

Just what is critical race theory anyway?

“Critical race theory is an academic concept that is more than 40 years old. The core idea is that racism is a social construct, and that it is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies,” according to Wikipedia.

The basic tenets of CR emerged out of a framework for legal analysis in the late 1970s and early 1980s created by legal scholars Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and Richard Delgado, among others.

A good example is when, in the 1930s, government officials literally drew lines around areas deemed poor financial risks, often explicitly due to the racial composition of inhabitants. Banks subsequently refused to offer mortgages to Black people in those areas.

(Note: The older I get, the more I read, the more research I do to help explain things.)

Growing up in Avery, an all-white East Texas enclave of about 300 souls, I was fortunate to have teachers that “taught” history as it should be taught, as a series of events that formed our present. They taught the good, the bad and the ugly.

I learned the name of the first black man to set foot on Texas soil (Estavancio,),  was a slave to Spanish explorers;  I was taught how Texas independence fighters wrested the future state from Mexico in a massive land grab; and  how settlers mistreated Native Americans in a series of illegal land acquisitions and broken treaties.

You know, history, real history, not the sanitized version being taught mostly back then…and still today.

History is history, it is truth. Truth: George Armstrong Custer was no gallant prairie warrior defending “real” Americans from savages; Abraham Lincoln had human flaws, including a plan to relocate tens of thousands of former slaves to a Caribbean island; and, when the Constitution was written, “All men are created equal…” did not mean what it said.

To teach the flaws in our development of this country is important to enlighten citizens to past mistakes so we do not repeat them.

That’s the beauty of looking at the past objectively, so we can learn from past mistakes and, thus, create a path to a brighter future.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 06/17/2021

A Pill to Treat Covid-19? The U.S. Is Betting on It.

‘The U.S. Government [is] pouring more than $3 billion on a neglected area of research: developing pills to fight the virus early in the course of infection, potentially saving many lives in the years to come….A number of other viruses, including influenza, H.I.V. and hepatitis C, can be treated with a simple pill. But despite more than a year of research, no such pill exists to treat someone with a coronavirus infection before it wreaks havoc.”

(J. Harris: These “antibiotics” can and will be developed.)

COVID IN USA IN DECEMBER, 2019 DETECTED ON RANDOM BLOOD TESTS

(J. Harris: From AP is easy to understand format. I’m not sure just what it means, yet.)

FROM HOPKINS CITATIONS:

1. Monoclonal Antibodies Cut Risk of Dying from COVID-19—But Only in Some Patients (Science)The world’s largest trial of COVID-19 therapeutics has for the first time produced convincing evidence that a therapy that directly attacks the virus can save hospitalized patients from death. A combination of antibodies called casirivimab and imdevimab, produced by Regeneron, did not lower mortality when all patients in the study were taken together, investigators of the United Kingdom’s Recovery trial announced today—but it reduced deaths by one-fifth among those who did not produce antibodies themselves. A paper with the results will be made available on the medRxiv preprint server later today, the researchers say.

2. Many Post-Covid Patients Are Experiencing New Medical Problems, Study Finds (New York Times) Hundreds of thousands of Americans have sought medical care for post-Covid health problems that they had not been diagnosed with before becoming infected with the coronavirus, according to the largest study to date of long-term symptoms in Covid-19 patients.

3. A Detailed Study of Patients with Long-Haul COVID (FAIR Health) (J. Harris: This is a detailed Long Haul study of almost 2 million Covid cases. It is in PDF format and you can download it.

FROM BECKERS( they closely follow CDC and many other journals and do nice, succinct reviews which are amazingly pertinent — and you can have them sent directly to you.)

CDC releases framework for treating COVID-19 long-haulers

Tofacitinib in Patients Hospitalized with Covid-19 Pneumonia

CONCLUSIONS

Among patients hospitalized with Covid-19 pneumonia, tofacitinib led to a lower risk of death or respiratory failure through day 28 than placebo….”

(J. Harris — THIS IS A LETHAL PNEUMONIA: “A total of 289 patients underwent randomization at 15 sites in Brazil. Overall, 89.3% of the patients received glucocorticoids [as well as Tofacitinib or Placebo] during hospitalization. The cumulative incidence of death or respiratory failure through day 28 was 18.1% in the tofacitinib group and 29.0% in the placebo group…”)

FROM NEJM:

Audio Interview: Covid-19 in Children (CLICK)

FREEAudio

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 06/16/2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Case Investigation and Reporting

Vaccine breakthrough cases are expected. COVID-19 vaccines are effective and are a critical tool to bring the pandemic under control. However, no vaccines are 100% effective at preventing illness in vaccinated people. There will be a small percentage of fully vaccinated people who still get sick, are hospitalized, or die from COVID-19.

More than 139 million people in the United States have been fully vaccinated as of June 7, 2021. Like with other vaccines, vaccine breakthrough cases will occur, even though the vaccines are working as expected. Asymptomatic infections among vaccinated people will also occur.

There is some evidence that vaccination may make illness less severe for those who are vaccinated and still get sick.

Current data suggest that COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States offer protection against most SARS-CoV-2 variants currently circulating in the United States. However, variants will cause some vaccine breakthrough cases.

(J. Harris: The new vaccine (NOVAVAX) might be effective in immunocompromised patients.)

FROM HOPKINS

1. PRESS RELEASE

HHS Awards $125 Million in Workforce Grants for Community-Based Efforts to Bolster COVID-19 Vaccinations in Underserved Communities The US Department of Health and Human Services, through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded $125 million to support 14 nonprofit private or public organizations to reach underserved communities in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Freely Associated States to develop and support a community-based workforce that will engage in locally tailored efforts to build vaccine confidence and bolster COVID-19 vaccinations in underserved communities. These awards reflect the first of two funding opportunities announced by President Biden last month for community-based efforts to hire and mobilize community outreach workers, community health workers, social support specialists, and others to increase vaccine access for the hardest-hit and highest-risk communities through high-touch, on-the-ground outreach to educate and assist individuals in getting the information they need about vaccinations

(J. Harris: Do we have someone working on this????)

2. DELTA VARIANT As countries around the world continue to expand vaccination efforts, there is growing concern that the Delta variant of concern (B.1.617.2; VOC) could cause significant problems before many countries can achieve sufficient vaccination coverage. The Delta variant is the most recent VOC designated by the WHO and US CDC. Reportedly, the current COVID-19 surge in southeastern China is being driven by the Delta variant, and other countries are adapting COVID-19 restrictions in order to mitigate the risk from this VOC. Emerging evidence indicates that the Delta variant poses an elevated risk for severe disease compared to others, and it is believed that the variant is largely responsible for India’s largest surge, which peaked in early May. The Delta variant also represents an increasing proportion of COVID-19 cases in the US—up to 6%, compared to 1% only a month ago—and the UK at 91% of new cases. In response to increasing prevalence of the Delta variant, the UK is extending existing COVID-19 restrictions for another 4 weeks—shifting the expected date from June 21 to July 19—which will allow for accelerated vaccination efforts before taking further steps to ease restrictions.

Emerging data indicate that existing vaccines, including the Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines, are effective in preventing severe disease and hospitalization….”

FROM THE LANCET:

1. SARS-CoV-2 Delta VOC in Scotland: demographics, risk of hospital admission, and vaccine effectiveness

“In summary, we show that the Delta VOC in Scotland was found mainly in younger, more affluent groups. Risk of COVID-19 hospital admission was approximately doubled in those with the Delta VOC when compared to the Alpha VOC, with risk of admission particularly increased in those with five or more relevant comorbidities. Both the Oxford–AstraZeneca and Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines were effective in reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 hospitalisation in people with the Delta VOC, but these effects on infection appeared to be diminished when compared to those with the Alpha VOC. We had insufficient numbers of hospital admissions to compare between vaccines in this respect. The Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine appeared less effective than the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection in those with the Delta VOC. Given the observational nature of these data, estimates of vaccine effectiveness need to be interpreted with caution.

(J. Harris: Delta makes young people sick, sometimes very sick. Vaccines worked in prevention, but it took a month to get protected: “Overall, a strong vaccine effect did not clearly manifest until at least 28 days after the first vaccine dose…”

THE EPIDEMICS IN MARSHALL. (From old notes from newspapers)

Gladys Knight:

The greatest epidemic Marshall has ever had is the one recorded in a little paper, “The Marshall Sentinel”, published in 1873. This epidemic was the yellow fever. From the “Iron Age Extra” October 30 we find that “a quarantine be raised between Shreveport and Marshall so far as the freight of all description, but be continued as to the citizens of Shreveport.” They also advised that “citizens absent from this place remain absent until further notice”. From September 10th to October 30th, 1873, there were seventy deaths from yellow fever. 

In 1900 Marshall had an epidemic of Small Pox.

Later in 1912 there was an epidemic of meningitis. There was no record kept of the number of cases or deaths during this dreaded epidemic, but we know that there were many cases; a few of these proved fatal. (Could this have been an Equine Encephalitis instead?)

The next epidemic that Marshall had was in 1918 and early part of 1919. This epidemic was the Influenza which is commonly known as the “Flu”. There were between six hundred and seven  hundred cases in Marshall, only seventy of which proved fatal.”

Reference: Dr. C. E. Heartsill.

SARS-CoV-2 vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia treated with immunoglobulin and argatroban

(J. Harris: One case report — successful treatment.)

From the Washington Post:

A dispute over vaccination status is taking place in a South Dakota courtroom, where a federal judge has filed criminal contempt charges against three members of the U.S. Marshals Service. U.S. District Judge Charles Kornmann asked the three marshals whether they were vaccinated, and when a deputy marshal refused to answer, the judge ordered her out of the courtroom. The other marshals left, too, taking defendants with them. In a letter, the judge said he expects to know the vaccination status of people working in the courtroom as a matter of “protecting all of us who serve the public.”

(J. Harris: SD is always exciting)

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Opinion: DNA-driven Human Nature

 Opinion: DNA-driven Human Nature

By George Smith

It is a part of basic, DNA-driven human nature for folks to resist admitting a mistake. It doesn’t really matter whether or not the mistake was an honest faux pas or an intentional violation of societal norms, saying “I was wrong!” is just difficult to enunciate. it is a mixture of a negative psychological response and personal muscle control.
There are citizens of Marshall and Longview who owe a former Harrison County resident an abject apology for their thoughts, statements and vitriol hurled in his direction. A vast majority will not apologize for their non-Christian judgment, content to just sit back and forget past thoughts and public statements.

Trey Wood is no angel; he will be the first to tell anyone that. He is a sober alcoholic, former drug addict, a convicted felon who spent two-plus years in prison for robbing a drug dealer. He, like everyone else, has lied in his life to obtain what he wanted at a particular point in the time, without regard for the welfare of others. 
 
I’ve known Trey since his teenage years. He was a certified “rounder”, a gifted athlete and communicator with more charisma than should be allowed. At times, he was an insufferable teenage jerk, but, to me, despite his swagger and jockesque bravado, he had a gentleness that belied his size and outward attitude; he hurt people’s feelings because of his lack of impulse control and his ADD, not out of pure, hard-hearted meanness.   Trey came out of prison with the goal of never going back; once, for Trey, was enough. What he didn’t count on was falling into his lifestyle bugaboo of being in the wrong situation at the wrong time and making bad decisions in an attempt to extricate himself. He started drinking and taking prescription drugs and making friends who were not “friends”. Some people, like Trey,  have a habit of repeating mistakes over and over. And overl. And then there is the Trey who is a talented, award-winning writer, a hard-working, creative  entrepreneur who started three small businesses during the pandemic, and the man-child I know as a loyal friend. He is not a family member…but is a member of MY family.
 
   All that to say this: Several years ago, out cold and partially paralyzed on drugs administered by Marshall physician Shaun Bobbi Kelehan, Trey was sexually assaulted by the doctor. After sobering up, Trey filed charges with the Marshall Police Department; the charges were investigated, video and audio tapes were made, and charges were filed.

That’s where the “fix” went in. Under the guidance of a special prosecutor in Longview, a grand jury declined to indict Kelehan, despite the fact the jurors were not afforded the opportunity to view the videos of Kelehan admitting administering  drugs and the sex act, plus another, earier non-consensual sex act a year earlier that Kelehan admitted that Trey did not remember. The jurors were told the doctor passed a lie detector test and that Trey did not take one, True. But, the doctor took one administered by an official of his choosing; Trey was not offered one. Trey was not called to testify.
 
In other words, the prosecutor gave the jurors what he wanted to give them to elicit a verdict he wanted. As a former foreman of a Harrison County Grand Jury, I watched this scenario play out in the secrecy of the proceedings.
Trey then hit rock-bottom. He started drinking heavily, was in and out of rehab and contemplated suicide. A friend’s concern and intervention by Austin police got him back in detox and he started looking forward to a positive, productive future again.

But he did not forget the abuse, the injustice of the situation or those that judged him rashly and wrongly.
He contacted the Texas Medical Board and provided them with his story, the video and audio tapes and after a months’-long investigation, Kelehan’s practice was severely curtailed. The board continued investigating and uncovered additional information detrimental to Kelehan’s practice.

In April, the board noted in a public document a second male patient had made a similar complaint against Kelehan. 
In the last few months, Kelehan sold his business and, in agreement with the board, elected to relinquish his license rather than continue with a final, formal hearing dealing with the results of the board’s almost year-long investigation.
Giving up his license does not protect Kelehan from further charges or from action in civil court.

Where does this leave Trey?

One word: Vindicated. To those who stood steadfast by the doctor, no one — not even Trey — ever said he wasn’t a good doctor and kind to a vast majority of his patients. But those who attacked Trey, from strangers who only took second-hand, pitifully inadequate information from Facebook posts, and especially from family members who disowned Trey because of his accusation…you owe him a profound and sincere apology.

No one, especially not Trey, expects anyone to take that giant leap; it just is such a hard step to do, you know, admit it when what you think, feel and do is just blatantly wrong-headed.

Still, for all he’s been through, for the injustice to which he was subjected, to the personal attacks and ridicule…a small ‘Sorry!” would be nice.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 06/15/2021

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 06/15/2021

From Lancet:

1. Contextualising evidence-based recommendations for the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India

During the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, which began in March, 2021, demand on the health-care system has far exceeded capacity. Despite crippling shortages, patients are prescribed a battery of ineffective therapeutic interventions.1 Ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, and herbal cocktails continue to receive state patronage.2,  3,  4 On May 8, 2021, 2-deoxy-D-glucose was given emergency authorisation, stating that it will “save precious lives” without any published evidence that it impacts mortality.5 An entrenched culture of polypharmacy and gestalt-driven practice among physicians has resulted in indiscriminate and unwarranted use of remdesivir, favipiravir, azithromycin, doxycycline, plasma therapy, and most recently baricitanib and bevacizumab, regardless of disease severity or drug efficacy. Excessive and inappropriate use of steroids could be contributing to the alarming rise of mucormycosis in patients recovering from COVID-19.

In rural India, where health-care infrastructure is threadbare, and families are poor, patients can ill afford such expensive mistakes. Honing in on the most high yield and affordable interventions, we propose recommendations for testing and management, optimised to India’s current resource-constrained context (table). Every clinical touchpoint should be used to underscore masking, distancing, and vaccination.

DNA test to predict odds of severe COVID-19 draws scrutiny

(J. Harris: These tests are a virtual scam at this time. Someday, there may be some value in this approach.)

From Becker Citations:

1. CDC urges COVID-19 vaccinations at discharge

2. 3 things to know about COVID-19 vaccine boosters

(J. Harris: Important and an understandable read-good news.)

How a rampant coronavirus variant blunts our immune defences

“….Alpha’s ability to outstrip previously circulating variants could stem from mutations in its spike protein that allow it to enter cells more efficiently… Alpha also has tricks linked to mutations outside the spike protein. These mutations probably mean that within hours of infecting a person, Alpha suppresses the rapid-response defence that the body mounts against all invaders. By blocking this ‘innate immune response [interferon]’, the virus buys itself more opportunities to infect other people….cells from the human airway produced interferon, an immune protein that kick-starts the body’s defences on the arrival of a pathogen. The team found that cells infected with Alpha produce much less interferon than do cells infected with previously circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants. Alpha’s suppression of interferon production helps the variant to stick around for longer in the body.

The team attributes this over-expression to a mutation outside the spike protein, in genes that are important for viral replication. The latest paper “highlights the importance of looking beyond the spike protein for new mutations…”

FROM HOPKINS CITATIONS”

1. The mRNA Vaccine Revolution is Just Beginning (WIRED) The scope of mRNA vaccines always went beyond any one disease. Like moving from a vacuum tube to a microchip, the technology promises to perform the same task as traditional vaccines, but exponentially faster, and for a fraction of the cost. “You can have an idea in the morning, and a vaccine prototype by evening. The speed is amazing,” says Daniel Anderson, an mRNA therapy researcher at MIT. Before the pandemic, charities including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) hoped to turn mRNA on deadly diseases that the pharmaceutical industry has largely ignored, such as dengue or Lassa fever, while industry saw a chance to speed up the quest for long-held scientific dreams: an improved flu shot, or the first effective HIV vaccine.

FROM THE ATLANTIC:

What we know about Delta, the new coronavirus variant:

“…It’s more dangerous to be unvaccinated now than it was to be unvaccinated this time a year ago. We know the virus is changing in ways that make it more dangerous. And so if you encounter the virus now, you’re encountering a more problematic pathogen…The U.K. is delaying its reopening because of Delta.. 

[but] given the trajectory we’ve been on for the past several weeks, shutdowns like last spring’s may not be necessary. But we can’t completely forecast things such as how the virus is going to change…we never had a national lockdown in the U.S. throughout this entire thing. And now that the vaccines are here, we have this incredibly powerful weapon. Keeping vaccination rates high and sharing our vaccines with the world could be a way to further ensure that the U.S. doesn’t need to turn to lockdowns at all…[ther is] a lot of optimism from experts in recent weeks. [some experts think] if we haven’t fully turned a corner in this country, we’re in the process right now…It’s not like we’re going to reach utopia by October. But we still have more vaccines in the pipeline.

Deaths of younger people from Covid-19 have upended Hispanic American families.

VACCINATION SITES IN AREA CURRENT:

AND LASTLY:

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 06/11/2021

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 06/11/2021

Have a nice dry weekend. 

NEW YORK TIMES WINS PULITZER PRIZE FOR PUBLIC SERVICE FOR ITS COVID COVERAGE

(J. Harris: Good. They deserved it. Their fabulous writers surround, explore,  and prod problems and  then disseminate information better than any  news, social, or governmental organization of which I am aware. If I could only read one “thing” daily, it would be the Times. I rarely read their editorials; I love their sports department, which for over ten years has been hammering away at Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and for which they deserve another Pulitzer Since early 2020, this paper has provided the best Covid-19 coverage that I have found. Over about the last six months, they have become so adept that they save me an hour or two on most days while I try to keep up with the local ramifications of the Pandemic. CONGRATULATIONS NEW YORK TIMES.

FROM HOPKINS CITATIONS:

1. Mixing COVID-19 Vaccines Appears to Boost Immune Responses (Science) Faced with short supplies of COVID-19 vaccines and unforeseen side effects, some countries have adopted an unproven strategy: switching shots midstream. Most authorized vaccines require two doses administered weeks or months apart, but Canada and several European countries are now recommending a different vaccine for the second dose in some patients. Early data suggest the approach, born of necessity, may actually be beneficial.

2.No Health Issues in Babies Whose Moms Got Flu Vaccine While Pregnant (CIDRAP) Infants who were exposed to the flu vaccine in utero—meaning their mothers received the vaccine while pregnant—did not have an increased likelihood of adverse outcomes, according to a study today in JAMA. The study looked at more than 99% of live births during the 2010-11 to 2013-14 flu seasons in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Underlying Medical Conditions Associated With Severe COVID-19 Illness Among Children

Assessment of Effectiveness of 1 Dose of BNT162b2 Vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 Infection 13 to 24 Days After Immunization.  [PFIZER VACCINE]

Our estimation of 51% vaccine effectiveness against PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and 54% vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic infection 13 to 24 days after immunization with first dose of BNT162b2 provides critically needed evidence on the early performance of BNT162b2 vaccine in real life and has some important implications in decision-making to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and control the pandemic. While these results are encouraging, the BNT162b2 vaccine should be administered in a 2-dose regimen 21 days apart, as licensed for emergency use approval, to achieve maximum protection and impact in reducing the burden of COVID-19 and possibly the transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

(J. Harris: A study from Israel shows TAKE BOTH JABS!)

5 Facts About Covid Vaccines

(J. Harris: Good general and readable article to send to the unvaccinated wary.)

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

My Norwegian Housekeeper is back to work with her new hip. Here she is helping in the garden.

Maybe she’ll be cooking again soon?

As far as the garden in concerned, I’ve not had to water in a month. Unfortunately, some of the tomatoes that I planted early and surrounded by old newspapers, developed non-venereal root rot. The leaves yellowed and died, the stems turned black and dreary and the tomatoes quit growing. I cut off the bad leaves and removed the newspapers to let things dry out. I was not surprised when I noticed that all of the sick plants had been covered by Longview News. The plants protected by Marshall News Messenger were in semi-perfect. condition! Strangely, a couple of plants on the far left side of the garden that were covered by New York Times, must have caught on fire and were charred. I don’t know what all  of this means, and I was a scientist or sorts. I kid you not. J. Harris

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 06/10/2021

DELTA VIRUS IS OUR LATEST WORRY IN THE US

(J. Harris: Good short summary from Washington Post; we looked at some of this earlier)

“Britain has fully vaccinated more than 41 percent of its population, while more than 60 percent have received at least one shot. But over recent weeks, the number of new cases recorded daily has ticked slowly but surely up, while health authorities confirmed last week the delta variant had come to dominate new infections.What we know about the highly infectious coronavirus delta variant includes…Also known by the scientific name B.1.617, the variant was first identified in Maharashtra, India, in October…Though it is just one of many variants to have arisen during the pandemic, it is considered one of the most alarming… the British government believed that the delta variant was 40 percent more transmissible than the alpha variant, also known as B.1.1.7, which was first detected in Britain…the majority of new cases in the country are among those not yet vaccinated. Nearly all serious cases have been recorded among the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated..The jabs are working…We have to keep coming forward to get them, and that includes vitally that second jab, which we know gives better protection against the delta variant…Relaxation of public health and social measures, increased social mobility, virus variants and inequitable vaccination are a very dangerous combination,” (J. Harris: and the US is at risk.)

FROM HOPKINS CITATIONS:

1. Last week, researchers reported in The Lancet that the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine elicited a weaker antibody response to the delta variant than to the original wildtype virus, especially among older populations. The data raise the likelihood of a booster shot being needed for some people, although the scientists cautioned that more data are needed to know whether the vaccine would be any less effective at preventing severe disease, hospitalization, or death

(J. Harris: The article is unreadable for me; the new Greek alphabet designations were not yet selected for the variants. A booster might be necessary to prevent Delta especially in old, fat people who took the Pfizer vaccine. Uh Oh.)

2. Drop in Convalescent Plasma Use at U.S. Hospitals Linked to Higher COVID-19 Mortality Rate (JHSPH) A new study from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and colleagues suggests a slowdown in the use of convalescent plasma to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients led to a higher COVID-19 mortality during a critical period during this past winter’s surge.

3.China is Vaccinating a Staggering 20 million People a Day (Nature) For more than a week, an average of about 20 million people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 every day in China. At this rate, the nation would have fully vaccinated the entire UK population in little more than six days. China now accounts for more than half of the 35 million or so people around the world receiving a COVID-19 shot each day.

4. New CDC Study Shows mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Reduce Risk of Infection by 91 Percent Among Fully Vaccinated (Homeland Preparedness News) A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) demonstrated continuing good news for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, crediting them with reducing the risk of infection by 91 percent for those fully vaccinated by either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.

NYT TRACKER INDIVIDUALIZED FOR ME LOOKS GOOD FOR OUR AREA:

Sinovac says China has approved its vaccine for use in children as young as 3.

In an interview with the state broadcaster China Central Television, Sinovac’s chairman, Yin Weidong, said the company’s clinical trials involving “hundreds” of people had found that its vaccine was just as safe and effective in people ages 3 to 17 as it was in adults.

(J. Harris: Fortunately, there is little need for the US to be in a hurry with this age group at this time.)

Underlying Medical Conditions Associated With Severe COVID-19 Illness Among Children

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

A blonde and her husband are lying in bed

listening to the next-door neighbor’s dog which has been barking in their backyard for hours and hours.

The blonde jumps up out of bed and says,

“I’ve had enough of this”.

She goes downstairs….

The blonde finally comes back up to bed

and her husband says, “The dog is still barking,

what have you been doing?”

The blonde says,

“I put the dog in our backyard,

let’s see how THEY like it!

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