DEATH RATES ARE INCREASED



1. Two years into the pandemic, the coronavirus is killing Americans at far higher rates than people in other wealthy nations,


Two years into the pandemic, the coronavirus is killing Americans at far higher rates than people in other wealthy nations,….Deaths have now surpassed the worst days of the autumn surge of the Delta variant, and are more than two-thirds as high as the record tolls of last winter, when vaccines were largely unavailable…Despite having one of the world’s most powerful arsenals of vaccines, the country has failed to vaccinate as many people as other large, wealthy nations. And it has fallen even further behind in administering booster shots…..The resulting American death toll has set the country apart — and by wider margins than has been broadly recognized. Since Dec. 1, when health officials announced the first Omicron case in the United States, the share of Americans who have been killed by the coronavirus is at least 63 percent higher than a number of other large, wealthy nations..The only large European countries to exceed America’s Covid death rates this winter have been Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Greece and the Czech Republic, poorer nations where the best Covid treatments are relatively scarce…”

(J. Harris: I was unaware of this unfortunate statistic0.)

2. A number of nations are shifting their pandemic approaches. The W.H.O. warns that may be ‘premature.’


1. Will BA.2 impact omicron forecasts? 3 modeling takeaways

2. Mount Sinai launches program for associate degree nurses to earn BSN for free

 3. Medical boards get pushback as they try to punish doctors for Covid misinformation

”… conflicts over supposed cures have been a constant in American history — snake oil cures involving goats’ testicular glands and, later, so-called treatments derived from apricot pits boomed during the early parts of the 20th Century. But, observers said, today we are in a different climate than in previous surges of medical falsehoods.

“The difference …now is the ubiquity of social media...”Any lone voice suddenly has the ability to get tens of thousands of followers, or hundreds of thousands, for an outrageous comment….In all, medical boards have sanctioned eight physicians since January 2021 for spreading coronavirus-related misinformation, according to the Federation of State Medical Boards, which has recommended that health officials consider action against medical professionals who dispense false medical claims in public forums…Facing a flood of misinformation, plus the anti-establishment mood in many red states, the regulatory structure upholding professional standards is “unraveling,” said Richard Baron, the leader of the American Board of Internal Medicine, one of the private-sector bodies that certifies doctors. 

Legal structures developed for the 20th century are, in many states, not suited to discipline doctors who broadcast misinformation on social media because the physicians are not directly treating patients…In November, the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates asked the organization to develop a strategy to address misinformation. The association’s president, Gerald Harmon, told POLITICO around that time he had “the goal ahead of me,” but the “devil is in the details.” The association has no new updates…[however] Simone Gold, the founder of America’s Frontline Doctors, one of the groups promoting ivermectin treatments. Gold has been indicted in the Jan. 6 riot on the Capitol. She has pleaded not guilty.

READABLE EDITORIAL: COVID-19 vaccine: what are we doing and what should we do?

”…In The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Giovanni Corrao and colleagues published the results of a real-world study that examined the infection rate of more than 5 000 000 vaccinated individuals with a follow-up of 9 months… This study confirms data already available for shorter follow-up periods, which showed a decrease in protection against infection that increased with time since the second dose of vaccine…. they documented that protection against severe forms of COVID-19 remained, albeit attenuated, with both adenoviral and mRNA vector vaccines….However, it is important to consider that even an increase in transmissibility with no change in lethality or hospitalisation rates could lead to the collapse of hospital emergency departments and health-care systems and an exceptionally high number of deaths. Moreover, promising and effective new therapies cannot yet have a substantial effect because they are scarce, expensive, and unlikely to have a measurable effect in the short term.

”Three hypotheses have been proposed to explain the occurrence of the omicron variant, which differs in several respects (about 30 mutations) from the other variants of SARS-CoV-2. The first is that it evolved in an immunocompromised human chronically infected with SARS-CoV-2, the second that it evolved in an area of the world where viral sequencing is absent or infrequent, and the third that it evolved in an animal reservoir before a spillover to humans.6 Regardless of the correct hypothesis, the lesson is the same: countries with high numbers of immunocompromised people, where tracing of variants is rarely done, and where contact with animals potentially susceptible to coronaviruses is possible, need to be quickly involved in vaccination campaigns. Africa is a huge continent that has all these characteristics and at the same time has a very low vaccination rate. We cannot think of getting out of the pandemic emergency if we do not include Africa and all developing countries in a capillary vaccination campaign to prevent the emergence and spread of further and more dangerous variants that can evade both natural and vaccine-triggered immune responses and have higher mortality…”

Effectiveness of Inactivated COVID-19 Vaccines Against Illness Caused by the B.1.617.2 (Delta) Variant During an Outbreak in Guangdong, China


Full vaccination with inactivated vaccines is effective against the B.1.617.2 variant. Effort should be made to ensure full vaccination of target populations.


(To Quote Dr. Donald Duck: “QUACK, QUACK, QUACK — QUACKS.”)


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