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Category Archives: Germ Warfare

In Williamsville, old favorites and new keep tradition alive – Buffalo News

Posted: June 1, 2020 at 3:10 am

After a fruitless hour of research, I cannot tell you whether the Haudenosaunee operated any sort of kitchen operation where the trail met the creek in the present-day Village of Williamsville. Most of the time since European settlers showed up, though, this stretch has rarely lacked places dedicated to feeding and watering locals and passers-by alike.

Pondering two centuries of good cheer and grub helped ground me after a head-spinning week of trying to imagine how restaurants are supposed to survive at half speed while training their staff as germ warfare combatants.

One bite of Ross Warhols ramp kimchi cheesesteak ($14) at BriteSmith Brewery (5611 Main St., 650-4080) knocked all that right out of my noggin for now. Restaurant types are reassuringly good at figuring things out.

Like how to griddle a pillowy split-top roll in butter lobster-roll style, and fill it with an original composition: sweet sesame-scented bulgogi-ish braised beef short rib chopped with American cheese, crowned with fermented pickle heavy with ramps and wild forest onions. The collision of melty richness and tang made me glad to be alive.

BriteSmith Brewing's ramp kimchi cheesesteak. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Choices of BriteSmiths wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas ($13-$19) run from margherita to three-meat, with a lobster number ($18) over garlic cream, fontina and chives. Sunday brunch features craggy apple fritters ($6) and chicken with cheddar-chive waffles ($18) and chile-honey butter.

Across the street, Eagle House (5578 Main St., 632-7669) is on the other end of the spectrum. As the area's oldest restaurant approaches 200 years in service, its comfort food-centered menu has never seemed more of the moment.

The rare Welsh rarebit ($11, $14 with bacon) makes its home here. A thick sauce built on beer and extra-sharp Canadian cheddar, further honed with mustard and Tabasco, hits like a hug spooned out onto toast.

Banana pepper chicken ($18 with salad and side) led the entrees. Ordered on aromatic rice pilaf, a chicken breast had been stuffed with spinach, Gorgonzola and more cheeses, crumbed and fried to golden. Served on a mildly rousing pepper cream, with caponata-like tomato compote, its mix-and-match pleasures were diverting.

Simpler satisfactions were in store just a few blocks away at another historic watering hole, Glen Park Tavern (5507 Main St., 626-9333).

Whether from general squeamishness or simple inattention, rare roast beef has of late been an endangered species among beef-on-weck specimens Ive collected.So when the woman who took my order and credit card information asked how I wanted my meat done on the beef on weck ($14.95 large), you could call it a rare thrill.

Eagle House's stuffed pepper chicken. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Enjoy yourself. When I keep getting reminded Im mortal, this is the sort of beef on weck Im going for: one for the ages. That means a thick mattress of hand-cut tenderness to put me in the pink, a roll stout enough to cope, and fresh enough to notice. On the side, horseradish to get your sinuses activated, and rarest of all, au jus that tasted like beef drippings rather than the usual cheap bouillon, drab as dishwater.

The beef can be ordered as a hot open-faced sandwich with gravy ($13.95), just like Glen Parks other stalwart, roasted turkey. A sandwich piled high with better-than-fair fowl, plus lettuce, tomato, onion and cranberry sauce, would please any fans of the form.

A mile east, at Lloyd Taco Factory (5933 Main St., 863-9781) the leading homegrown practitioner of un-Mexican tacos and master of the sub-$10 meal, has made the contactless restaurant transaction frictionless as well. A simple and effective online ordering system leads to a heads-up text, which leads to bags handed out a delivery window.

Lloyd Taco Factory's carne asada camino bowl. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Unless you have a real thing for picking up your food, Id suggest the camino bowls, which are deconstructed burritos minus the flour tortilla shell, proteins bedded on your choice of shredded cabbage, rice and black beans.

Crack-ed potatoes ($4.99) are a must, crispy-jacketed spuds duded up in ssamjang sauce and fried garlic, vegan if you hold the mayonnaise. Vegans have a legitimate contender in the Skinny Thai ($8.99), fried tofu with kicky peanut sauce, radishes and more. Grilled citrus-and-chile-marinated steak stars in the carne asada ($9.49) under fresh-cut pico de gallo.

The Big Lloyd ($8.99) has all the flavors of a Big Mac, down to the sesame seeds, except better, because its built on locally raised grass-fed beef. Then theres my guilty go-to, Dirty South ($8.99): fried chicken, waffle crisps, maple syrup and bacon aioli. Thats right, mayonnaise made with bacon fat instead of oil.

Lloyd Taco Factory's Dirty South burrito bowl. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

So when it comes to recovering from our current unpleasantness, I would look to the restaurant people for hope. For hundreds of years, theyve found a way to keep feeding people, and they will again, taking lessons from old and new.

You know what they say: It takes a village.

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In Williamsville, old favorites and new keep tradition alive - Buffalo News

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Letter: The coronavirus was not created by humans –

Posted: May 24, 2020 at 3:21 pm

Published 12:00am EDT, Friday, May 22, 2020

It has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, COVID-19 is not man-made or genetically modified..

The major research labs in the U.S. all agree (and our allies worldwide) as does the U.S. national Director of Intelligence who released a statement on April 30.

They can tell because human engineered viruses all have common obvious components not present in this virus.

It is also highly unlikely that it was a science experiment gone wrong as the new coronavirus is way different genetically than the SARS virus that originated in bats and was being studied in the Wuhan lab.

No one knows what the animal host source of the new virus is yet, but so far its not bats. Im no scientist so I listen to the experts on this.

So why President Trump would say, the day after this announcement was made by his Director of Intelligence that he has reason to believe it is man made?!

It is mind boggling that our president would make inaccurate statements during a major worldwide pandemic and scare and confuse the people at a time when they are looking for and need calm and reassurance.

The only reason Im bringing this up is because a lot of people Ive spoken to, mainly the presidents supporters, still think its man-made because of President Trumps statements.

So everyone lets remain calm, we are not under a germ warfare attack!

Yes, China probably tried to cover it up and yes, China is moving into world domination.

But lets not get fooled into starting WWIII over false information.

Matt Yordon


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Jesse Jackson: ‘The gated community does not protect you from the pandemic’ – The Guardian

Posted: at 3:21 pm

The Rev Jesse Jackson was born in the racially segregated south when Franklin Roosevelt occupied the White House and war raged in Europe. He was an eyewitness to the assassination of Martin Luther King, campaigned against the Vietnam war and twice ran for US president.

But, now an elder statesman of 78, he has never seen anything like the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 1 million Americans and killed more in April alone than died in Vietnam over 15 years. The worlds most powerful and wealthy country also bears by far its biggest death toll: almost 90,000. It is enough to shake faith in American exceptionalism.

Our military cannot defeat this germ, Jackson says by phone from Chicago, one of the hardest-hit cities. Having the biggest banks, having the biggest military has no meaning in this kind of germ warfare. The frontline is not soldiers; the frontline is doctors and nurses. The planes are grounded, the bombs are irrelevant. It turns out that pride precedes a fall. Sometimes people have to learn that we dont control everything.

Despite lockdown and Parkinsons disease, Jackson is still working with gusto at the Rainbow Push Coalition, a progressive organisation he founded in 1996. It has convened thousands of black doctors and lawyers and released a manifesto suggesting that high-risk groups, including African Americans, be prioritised for coronavirus testing.

Jackson has twice written to Donald Trump urging testing for the 2.2 million people currently in prison. At a time when most Americans are looking inward, he has also called for massive intervention in Africa, a particularly vulnerable continent that is close to his heart.

Were working virtually, making conference calls, using this time to organise people, he says. Weve talked to about 2,000 ministers around the nation over the past 10 days, trying to convince their congregations to honour the protocols and stay in the house.

For a brief while it became voguish to indulge a comforting myth that the coronavirus was the great equaliser, touching the bus driver and Prince of Wales alike. But while infections do not discriminate, humans do. Despite making up only 13% of the US population, African Americans represent 30% of the deaths from the coronavirus.

A Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Committee report last month concluded that people of colour have less access to quality healthcare, are more likely to have a pre-existing health condition and suffer greater exposure to air pollution that puts them at higher risk of asthma. They also make up a disproportionate share of frontline workers, are less likely to be able to work from home and more likely to rely on public transport, and are hit hardest by poverty as layoffs continue to rise.

We know that people should honour the [social distancing] protocols, but some find it more difficult because of congested conditions or their transportation, says Jackson. A lot are untested and uninsured. If youre uninsured, you can go to the hospitals only to be told you cant get service, so you end up resorting to your own home remedies, or you end up in the hospital too late.

That points to disparity in income and education and healthcare. It shows the black condition in America. The legacy of slavery and Jim Crow is very clear.

Like Trumps regressive presidency, the virus is a shock to the system that forces a confrontation with class, race and structural inequality. What had been ambient noise for the privileged is suddenly vividly clear and difficult to ignore.

After 400 years of slavery, segregation and discrimination, why would anybody be shocked that African Americans are dying disproportionately from the coronavirus? Jackson asked in a statement published on 7 April, arguing that all past US presidents have failed to end the virus of white superiority and fix the multifaceted issues confronting African Americans.

He adds, by phone: America has decided the place of blacks in this society, which is beneath that of European immigrants. People say America is 244 years old, but Africans have been here 157 years before the constitution. We shouldnt say America was founded in 1776 it started with slavery in 1619; so were still invisible to that extent.

We still make less, live under stresses and dont live as long. Were still looked upon as the other based upon skin colour, as some kind of irreparable sin in the society. People try to adjust to it but, when a pandemic sets in, the data comes out.

Were about 60% of prisoners in this country. People are sick behind those walls. You can have 200 inmates sick with Covid-19 and the workers go home and they spread it. So the prisons become the epicentre of the untreated and untested and undetected.

Itching to revive their economies, several southern states led by mostly white male governors are already reopening bowling alleys, cinemas, hairdressers, restaurants and other outlets against federal guidelines. A group of activists, mostly black women, warned in a petition that reopening now is irresponsible and a death sentence for many of us.

White privilege will offer no immunity in an interconnected society, says Jackson. If blacks are the drivers and unprotected, the driven are hurt. If the cooks and waiters are unprotected, those they cook for are all unprotected. So were more integrated than we realise on a daily basis.

So we really must have healthcare for all as one of the by-products of this pandemic. Anybody whos left out is a threat to those who are left in. When people as affluent as Prince Charles and Boris Johnson and athletes are affected, it means that the gated community did not protect you from the pandemic. If the poor are not protected, the rich are in jeopardy, because you cannot separate by community the poor from the rich, the white from the black.

Roosevelt was tested by the Great Depression and second world war and rose to the challenge. George W Bush faced the 9/11 terrorist attacks; Barack Obama the financial crisis. Trump had his shot at greatness with the coronavirus pandemic and few, outside his most ardent supporters, would dispute he threw it away.

The first president elected with no previous political or military experience squandered a precious six weeks, instead golfing, holding rallies and prophesying that the virus would disappear like a miracle in warm weather rather than following the pandemic emergency plan bequeathed by Obama and building a rigorous nationwide testing programme.

Is Trump responsible for tens of thousands of deaths? He had an opportunity to move early on it and did not move early on it. The infrastructure that [George W] Bush and Barack had put together on pandemics was ignored. He dismantled the infrastructure and did not pay adequate attention to the threat.

As the threat changed, we didnt have ventilators and respirators. All our preparation was for a financial fight or a military fight. He should have declared a national testing mechanism. There should have been a national lockdown to break the back of it. The attention should have been early; it was not.

Trump has sought absolution at press briefings that sometimes run for more than two hours with a mix of self-congratulation, bloated exaggerations, broadsides at reporters and bad science. He recently ad libbed a jaw-dropping proposal to study the merits of injecting disinfectant into coronavirus patients. It has left his opponent in Novembers election, the former vice president Joe Biden, struggling to get a share of the limelight.

Trump is using the daily press briefing as a platform to promote his politics while Biden is facing lockdown in his basement. But theres a real chance the more he talks, the weaker he gets.

Jackson whose activism began as a student trying to desegregate the public library in his birthplace of Greenville, South Carolina ran against Biden in the 1988 Democratic primary. Bidens campaign fell apart after he quoted without attribution the then British Labour leader, Neil Kinnock, and was accused of plagiarism. Jackson, bidding to become the USs first black president, gathered 7m votes and finished first or second in 46 out of 54 primary contests. But he lost the nomination to Michael Dukakis, who went down to George HW Bush.

Does it hurt that he will never be president? No, it doesnt, he says firmly, because I was a trailblazer, I was a pathfinder. I had to deal with doubt and cynicism and fears about a black person running. There were black scholars writing papers about why I was wasting my time. Even blacks said a black couldnt win.

Some of his foreign policy positions at the time, he points out, became widely adopted: a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians, the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in South Africa (he met Margaret Thatcher to plead for Britain to drop its support for the apartheid regime). In 2000 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the USs highest civilian honour.

When Obama won in 2008, he praised Jackson for making his run possible. As Obama delivered his election night victory speech at Grant Park in Chicago before a crowd of 240,000, Jacksons tear-stained face was among the most indelible images. It was a big moment in history, he recalls. I cried because I thought about those who made it possible who were not there People who paid a real price: Ralph Abernathy, Dr King, Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer, those who fought like hell [at the Democratic national convention] in Atlantic City in 64, those in the movement in the south.

Some felt that Obama should have pushed faster and further on racial justice in his two terms. But Jackson ranks him among the USs top presidents. First, given Americas history in terms of race, he inspired indescribable pride. No 2, his family and their decency and dignity were a big deal.

He points to the Paris climate accords, Iran nuclear deal, rapprochement with Cuba and rescue of the economy as signal achievements. He stabilised the ship when the ship was sinking and got it back above the water. And no scandal. Trump creates a desire for Barack all over again. When he travelled around the world, he was the best face Americas ever had.

In March, Jackson endorsed Bernie Sanders, returning a compliment from 1988 when Sanders backed his campaign. His ideas made the most sense to me, he explains. But after a promising start Sanders fell away, partly because of his failure to connect with older African American voters, where Biden dominated.

His campaign was [about] class without appreciating the caste dimension of poverty, Jackson explains by way of post-mortem. There are 55 black members of Congress and he didnt have one. Maybe one or two black mayors, but he didnt cultivate an African American constituency.

Biden, meanwhile, benefited from his kinship with Obama as well as Trumps repeated attacks that kept his profile up and his name on the front pages. The opposition had no infrastructure for the black vote. In many ways, he inherited votes he didnt campaign for.

In recent weeks, Biden has been endorsed by Sanders, Obama, Hillary Clinton, House speaker Nancy Pelosi and the civil rights hero John Lewis in a show of party unity. Will Jackson support him enthusiastically? Yeah, as an alternative to the present administration, but weve not had a meeting with the black constituency on what our demands are.

The ground is shifting under Trump and Bidens feet. Sanders argues that the pandemic, which has put more than 30 million Americans out of work, shows the failure of the US healthcare system. As an opportunity to reimagine the social contract, the present moment is being compared with Roosevelts New Deal or the post second-world-war consensus in Britain.

Biden won the delegates but Sanders won the issues, Jackson reflects. Sanders agenda will dominate the [Democratic national] convention. One of the by-products of this pandemic is going to be the need for healthcare for all. We cant afford not to have healthcare for all because if you see the gap between the 1% and 99%, the 1% cant hide from who it is thats caring for the masses. The real soldiers are not the investment bankers. Its the doctors and nurses. There is a new appreciation of the common people, doctors and janitors and truck drivers, what they call essential workers.

In many ways, he says, as African Americans, were at the the bottom of the foundation. The foundation is where it starts from. So when the foundations in trouble, the whole buildings in trouble.

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Investigating China: COVID-19 and the CCP The Diplomat – The Diplomat

Posted: at 3:21 pm


The Diplomat author Mercy Kuo regularly engages subject-matter experts, policy practitioners, and strategic thinkers across the globe for their diverse insights into U.S. Asia policy. This conversation with Dr. Xun Zhou reader in modern history at the University of Essex, expert on health intervention and delivery in China, and author of The Peoples Health: Health Intervention and Delivery in Maos China, 1949-1983 (forthcoming) discusses the origins of COVID-19 and the future of Chinas health systems.

Explain the decision-making and authorization process behind health intervention and delivery in China.

After the SARS outbreak in 2003 exposed grave deficiencies in the Chinese health system and the increasing public complaints in China over unaffordability and low quality medical care, the Chinese authorities acknowledged that an efficient health system is pivotal to Chinas overall social and economic development, the countrys stability, and the CCPs political legitimacy as well as Chinas image on the world stage. In 2009, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CCCPC) and the State Council mandated major health reforms. The goal of this Healthy China Strategy is to establish an equitable and effective health system so that China would achieve Health for All by 2020. This entails strengthening healthcare delivery, health security, and provision of essential medicines.

At the top, the State Council set up a State Council Health System Reform Office to coordinate the relevant ministries to develop specific reform policies. The Office is also responsible for evaluating the reform work performed by different ministries as well as by provincial authorities. While this annual evaluation would have a direct impact on the allocation of the state health subsidy as well as promotion of individuals, neither the Office nor the relevant ministries such as the Ministry of Health responsible for formulating national policies have any real power over the implementation of the reform strategy.

To this day the health intervention, delivery, and financing systems remain fragmented. On the ground, each provincial authority is responsible for allocating resources to implement national-level health policies, which may be at odds with local interests. They often treat national policies as merely guidelines, and are not obliged to implement them, whether due to lack of funding, resources, or local interests. On the other hand, with their eyes fixed on more state subsidies and the next opportunity for promotion, local authorities and officials are always more interested in showing their superior in Beijing how well any specific locality is doing in terms of health, rather than being seen as a problem. Even at the national level, health resources in China are managed by different sectors. Coordination between them has always been problematic. In crisis situations, such as during the SARS outbreak in 2003 and the COVID-19 outbreak early this year, such fragmentation severely impeded crisis management.

Identify the factors behind growing international pressure to investigate Chinas handling of COVID-19 domestically and with the World Health Organization (WHO).

The COVID-19 crisis that first took hold in Wuhan in central China exposed the Chinese authorities consistent lack of transparency in acknowledging any disease outbreaks threatening public health. Local and national authorities unwillingness to report the onset of the outbreak as well as their failure to acknowledge the resulting tragedy in Wuhan turned it into as much a man-made catastrophe as a biological one. More importantly Chinas reluctance to share uncensored information with international communities has led some of its Western critics to condemn Beijing. In the United States, capitalizing on the growing public distrust of China that was fanned prior to the outbreak, several leading Republicans have waged a major anti-China campaign aimed at diverting voters attention away from the Trump administrations local mismanagement of the pandemic.

In the U.S. war on COVID-19, China is portrayed as the Patient Zero that has contaminated the rest of the globe, and hence is responsible for costing nearly 30 million American jobs as well as the federal government trillions of dollars in emergency spending. China is blamed for the deepening economic recession not only in the United States but globally. Around the world, as a variety of interests intersected to replicate the horror of the pandemic in different contexts, China has become the ultimate scapegoat. Australian Prime Minster Scott Morrison, for instance, has accused China of having caused the huge loss of lives across the world as well as the global economic shutdown.

The WHO now serves as a political and diplomatic arena in the current health/diplomatic war between the U.S. and China. This is not new, however. From its onset, as pointed out by one of its founding fathers, Dr. Sze Szeming, the WHO has really had more to do with politics than medicine and health. As my book illustrates, throughout the Cold War, the United States, China, and the USSR regularly used the World Health Assembly (WHA) as a political and diplomatic arena to battle each other. China, for example, after rejoining of the WHO in 1973, began to use the WHA meetings to promote its new Third World policy and to combat the First World superpowers such as the USSR and the United States.

Explain the correlation between the CCPs legitimacy and ability to control the COVID-19 narrative on domestic and global health policy as well as geopolitics.

Throughout Chinese history, epidemic, war, and natural disasters, including famine, had been seen as signs indicating the loss of the Mandate of Heaven that inexorably led to the downfall of many dynasties. In the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) politics and health have always been inextricably linked. After the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) seized power in 1949, locally endemic diseases such as schistosomiasis were seen as threats to peoples livelihood, social stability, and national security. Public health campaigns aimed at eradicating such diseases linked allopathic medicine and public health work with the ongoing legitimization of the new order. Fighting the disease came to stand for fighting for socialism. As such the CCP leadership made eradicating diseases and improving the health of the entire population a central pillar of its policies. As the promise to improve the peoples health has been a central tool utilized by the CCP in establishing political legitimacy, its failure to deliver such promise could also cost the party its legitimacy. Hence, the CCPs campaign to control COVID-19 is simultaneously political. At the same time, as public health work in the PRC has served as one of the central means of impacting and influencing the masses, the CCP has also turned the political campaign to combat COVID-19 into a moral crusade involving the entire Chinese nation. This way, the CCP has managed, with some success, to rally support from a large section of the population.

Nationalism is on the rise in China. In the meantime, with the spread of disease globally as well as the xenophobic anti-Chinese discourse in some Western countries, the official propaganda in China is turning COVID-19 into an external menace. This has allowed the CCP to further gain support from Chinese populations both within China and overseas in an alleged united effort or common goal to fight the disease. Such nationalistic rhetoric is also diverting peoples attention away from the earlier tragedy in Wuhan.

Get first-read access to major articles yet to be released, as well as links to thought-provoking commentaries and in-depth articles from our Asia-Pacific correspondents.

Globally, capitalizing on the growing crisis in the United States and Europe, the official media in China has been trumpeting Chinas purported success in controlling the disease. China has also sent medical missions to countries such as Italy. Sending medical missions abroad had been a strategy the PRC used during the Cold War to promote a new international order: a peoples revolutionary movement against colonialism, imperialism, and hegemonism. In the 1970s, the PRCs increasing medical humanitarian activities, and the bonds of friendship created through such undertakings, helped the PRC win its battle against the Republic of China (Taiwan) for the permanent Chinese seat at the UNs Security Council and membership in the General Assembly. This time, the PRCs medical humanitarian efforts have once again won praise from the WHO as well as those who wish to criticize the Trump administration or their own governments failures in tackling the crisis. On the other hand, its also ironic that while health and humanitarianism played pivotal roles in the political and diplomatic negotiations within the White House that eventually led to the opening to China in the early 1970s, currently both the White House and Beijing are using health as a weapon to engage in a new Cold War.

Assess the CCPs strategy to counter global calls for China to be held accountable.

With mounting pressure from some Western countries threatening to bring China to international courts, China has become the global pariah for failing to alert the world about the outbreak. Faced with such a challenge, the CCP, assisted by its official media and the scientific community in China, has been working hard to try turn the tide by propagating itself as a global hero for its successful containment. At the same time, Beijing has launched a major propaganda campaign, backed up by purported scientific evidence, blaming the U.S. military for bringing the disease to Wuhan in the first place. Such strategy is nothing new, however. It resonates with the CCPs campaign against the alleged American germ warfare during the Korean War in the 1950s. On the other hand, China has launched a diplomatic as well as propaganda campaign to attack Western imperialists by evoking the memory of the Hundred Year National Humiliation. In it, the COVID-19 is the new opium plague that the West, in particularly the United States, is using to hobble Chinas rise. But this time, China is determined to not be defeated.

Similar to what happened in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Incident in 1989, the CCP leadership took to the decision that China would remain open to the outside world, and perhaps open wider than before. While last time, Deng Xiaoping sought the help of his old friend President George H. W. Bush of the United States to get China out of the crisis of international isolation, this time President Xi Jinping of China telephoned President Putin of Russia to agree on building stronger ties. Stating that the attempt by some to smear China on the question of the origin of the virus is unacceptable, Putin assured Xi that Russia is ready to continue to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with China in fighting COVID-19 and in other areas.

The day after Xi and Putins communication, on April 17 at the CCCPC Politburo meeting, it was announced that China would facilitate the smooth flow of international logistics, strictly control the quality of epidemic prevention and control supplies for export and jointly advance high-quality development under the Belt and Road Initiative. On the same day, the Wuhan authority published a revised mortality and morbidity figure that increased the citys total COVID-19 death toll by 50 percent. That took the national total in China to more than 4,600. The official statement states that this revision was a result of efforts by authorities to ensure that information on the citys COVID-19 epidemic is open, transparent and the data [is] accurate. At the exact moment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman attacked the United States accusations of a cover-up by China as false: Well never allow any concealment, he said. Clearly China has crafted this new statistical campaign to deter external criticism. At the same time, by ceremoniously increasing the mortality figure, authorities hope to win back peoples trust, hence to ensure the stability of the country.

With U.S. and European policymakers questioning Chinas credibility on health policy and data transparency, why does cooperation between Chinese and Western scientists and health experts remain crucial to containing COVID-19?

In the past 40 years, the West had made much effort to integrate China into the neoliberal world order. This Western enthusiasm to draw China in had been matched by Chinas willingness to participate in it. Chinas ascendance to the worlds second biggest economy, however, has had unintended and catastrophic consequences. Rapid modernization accompanied by unrestricted deforestation and unprecedented scale urbanization have threatened the capacity and resilience of the countrys ecosystems. The ever-increasing human efforts to exploit land, from agricultural expansion and intensification including the animal husbandry industry to produce high protein food for human consumption due to the rise in living standards to the construction of roads, railways, mining, and other large scale modernization projects such as the Three Gorges Dam drove much wildlife into populated areas due to the loss of habitats and led to closer integration between livestock and wildlife. This has increased human exposure to new pathogens threatened public health.

South of the Yangtze River, including the regions around Wuhan, as well as Chinas southwest have become the golden triangle, the ideal environment for the emergence and transmission of a number of infectious diseases (EID), from SARS to the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and COVID-19. All are zoonotic in origin. Yet China is not alone in this nor is China the sole culprit for the pandemic the world is now experiencing. Throughout history, the link between modernity, globalization, and epidemics is obvious. The expansion of global trade and travel have set us free but also left us exposed, ever more vulnerable. Geographical distance, the barrier that used to separate us but also slowed the transmission of infectious diseases, has been mitigated with our improved transportation network.

Today, in China as in much of the world, to catch an airplane is likened to catching a bus. The improved and increased aviation has also accelerated the spread of diseases and the rapidity of occurrence of a pandemic such as the COVID-19. The connectedness of everything in this universe, not only in geographic proximity, also meant science can no longer just rely on isolating particular causes and their effects. There is more than ever before a greater urgency and need for a better understanding of the drivers and causes of the emergence and spread of infectious diseases as well as for closer collaboration between international agencies and national governments together with scientists and health experts across the world and disciplines to strengthen animal and public health surveillance, response, prevention, and preparedness systems at the national, regional, and international levels.

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Investigating China: COVID-19 and the CCP The Diplomat - The Diplomat

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Covid 19 Pandemic | Bioterrorism Market 2020 Competitive Landscape and Growth Opportunity, Industry Status and Forecast to 2025 – Cole of Duty

Posted: at 3:21 pm

COVID-19 impact will also be included and considered for forecast.

Global Bioterrorism Market research report provides detail information about Market Introduction, Market Summary, Global market Revenue (Revenue USD), Market Drivers, Market Restraints, Market Opportunities, Competitive Analysis, Regional and Country Level.

Bioterrorism Market Size Covers Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, CAGR, Trends, Forecast And Business Opportunity.

>>Need a PDF of the global market report? Visit:

Latest research report on Bioterrorism Market delivers a comprehensive study on current market trends. The outcome also includes revenue forecasts, statistics, market valuations which illustrates its growth trends and competitive landscape as well as the key players in the business.

Bioterrorism is terrorism involving the intentional release or dissemination of biological agents. These agents are bacteria, viruses, fungi, or toxins, and may be in a naturally occurring or a human-modified form, in much the same way in biological warfare.

Bioterrorism refers to form of terrorism that involves intentional dissemination or release of biological agents. The agents can be viruses, bacteria or toxins and can also be referred to as germ warfare. Biological agents are mainly found in nature but sometimes they can be modified by the terrorist as to make agents more toxic. Biological agents are used by the terrorists to attain their social or political goals and are used for killing or injuring people, plants and animals. Biological weapons are dangerous as some of these agents are transmitted from one person to another and infection might take hours or days to become noticeable.

Bioterrorism is an invaluable tool as biological agents are relatively inexpensive and can cause widespread fear beyond the actual damage they can cause. They are mainly used by the terrorists to create mass panic and disruption of state or economy. The global market for bioterrorism is segmented on the type of different biological agents currently being used and their mode of delivery. Agents such as anthrax, tularemia, small pox, bubonic plague, botulinum toxin and viral hemorrhagic fevers pose a high threat to national security.

This report focuses on the global Bioterrorism status, future forecast, growth opportunity, key market and key players. The study objectives are to present the Bioterrorism development in United States, Europe and China.

The key players covered in this study Altimmune Bavarian Nordic DynPort Vaccine Company (DVC) Emergent BioSolutions Acambis Achaogen Cleveland BioLabs Elusys Therapeutics

Market segment by Type, the product can be split into Anthrax Smallpox Botulism Radiation/Nuclear defense Others

Market segment by Application, split into Military Government

Market segment by Regions/Countries, this report covers United States Europe China Japan Southeast Asia India Central & South America

The study objectives of this report are: To analyze global Bioterrorism status, future forecast, growth opportunity, key market and key players. To present the Bioterrorism development in United States, Europe and China. To strategically profile the key players and comprehensively analyze their development plan and strategies. To define, describe and forecast the market by product type, market and key regions.

In this study, the years considered to estimate the market size of Bioterrorism are as follows: History Year: 2014-2018 Base Year: 2018 Estimated Year: 2019 Forecast Year 2019 to 2025

For the data information by region, company, type and application, 2018 is considered as the base year. Whenever data information was unavailable for the base year, the prior year has been considered.

Need a PDF of the global market report? Visit:

Table of Content:

Market Overview: The report begins with this section where product overview and highlights of product and application segments of the Global Bioterrorism Market are provided. Highlights of the segmentation study include price, revenue, sales, sales growth rate, and market share by product.

Competition by Company: Here, the competition in the Worldwide Global Bioterrorism Market is analyzed, By price, revenue, sales, and market share by company, market rate, competitive situations Landscape, and latest trends, merger, expansion, acquisition, and market shares of top companies.

Company Profiles and Sales Data: As the name suggests, this section gives the sales data of key players of the Global Bioterrorism Market as well as some useful information on their business. It talks about the gross margin, price, revenue, products, and their specifications, type, applications, competitors, manufacturing base, and the main business of key players operating in the Global Bioterrorism Market.

Market Status and Outlook by Region: In this section, the report discusses about gross margin, sales, revenue, production, market share, CAGR, and market size by region. Here, the Global Bioterrorism Market is deeply analyzed on the basis of regions and countries such as North America, Europe, China, India, Japan, and the MEA.

Application or End User: This section of the research study shows how different end-user/application segments contribute to the Global Bioterrorism Market.

Market Forecast: Here, the report offers a complete forecast of the Global Bioterrorism Market by product, application, and region. It also offers global sales and revenue forecast for all years of the forecast period.

Research Findings and Conclusion: This is one of the last sections of the report where the findings of the analysts and the conclusion of the research study are provided.

About Us:

We publish market research reports & business insights produced by highly qualified and experienced industry analysts. Our research reports are available in a wide range of industry verticals including aviation, food & beverage, healthcare, ICT, Construction, Chemicals and lot more. Brand Essence Market Research report will be best fit for senior executives, business development managers, marketing managers, consultants, CEOs, CIOs, COOs, and Directors, governments, agencies, organizations and Ph.D. Students.

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Covid 19 Pandemic | Bioterrorism Market 2020 Competitive Landscape and Growth Opportunity, Industry Status and Forecast to 2025 - Cole of Duty

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COVID-19 and America The Fire This Time –

Posted: May 8, 2020 at 10:50 am

Dr. Wilmer Leon

By Dr. Wilmer J. Leon, III

( Time catches up with kingdoms and crushes them, gets its teeth into doctrines and rends them; time reveals the foundations on which any kingdom rests, and eats at those foundations, and it destroys doctrines by proving them to be untrue. James Baldwin Down At The Cross, 1963

The foundation of America and its greatness was built upon some interesting principles or precepts; manifest destiny, American exceptionalism, White mans burden and American internationalism to name a few. They have become the foundation and rationalization for a belief system. The basic tenet of that belief system is that the development and expansion of American empire was inevitable if not divine. Former President Reagan called America, the shining city upon a hill. Undergirding this is the cooptation of Christianity and the sickness known as white supremacy.

As children, Americans are indoctrinated into the mythology of America. We pledge allegiance to one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Baldwin dispelled that myth the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon. Jack Jackie Roosevelt Robinson told us long before Kap took a knee, I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am a black man in a white world.

Former Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) told us that The United States is safer and more prosperous in a more democratic world and should take the lead in advancing this cause. The problem with his logic is that you can neither foster nor promote democracy by causing innocent people to suffer through sanctioning their countries or through the barrel of a gun.

America cant bring democracy to Venezuela by supporting coups to overthrow democratically elected presidents, Chavez and Maduro. America cannot bring democracy to Boliva, Brazil and Honduras by supporting undemocratic right-wing governments that repress, threaten and jail their socialist opponents. This is not democracy, this is hypocrisy.

America cannot advance democracy around the world when it weaponizes the cause of the current

global pandemic, COVID-19. How can a country that weaponizes a global pandemic be seen as a shining city upon a hill? It is immoral if not criminal for the U.S. to increase sanctions through its maximum pressure campaigns against Venezuela, Iran, Cuba and Palestine. Americas maximum pressure is negatively impacting the flow of food, PPE, medicine and other supplies into these countries, making it exponentially more difficult for their governments to fight the pandemic.

As U.S. allies in Latin America are struggling to fight the novel coronavirus with limited financial and human resources, the U.S. is pressuring them to expel Cuban doctors. At the request of Donald Trump, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has removed more than 8,000 Cuban doctors and other health professionals from Brazil. Ecuadoran President Lenn Moreno has sent 400 doctors back to Cuba. Bolivia has sent 700 doctors back to Cuba after the US forced the resignation of socialist President Evo Morales in November. The health agreement between Cuba and El Salvador has also been cancelled at Trumps request. Even though the US did not introduce the COVID-19 contagion into these countries, weaponizing it for political purposes to bring about regime change is the same as germ warfare and should be considered a crime against humanity.

America claims to be sanctioning these countries and others in the name of freedom, democracy and the American way. The families being destroyed by COVID-19 because the U.S. is applying its maximum pressure campaign on their governments for their liberty must, as Dr. King said, see Americans as strange liberators.

The science to date tells us that this pandemic was detected in China in late 2019. Chinese health authorities warned the WHO of the pandemic on January 7, 2020. It hit Europe before the CDC confirmed the first case in the US on January 20, 2020. The Trump administration ignored the warnings. Trump largely disbanded the Global Health Security and Biodefense unit in the NSC in May 2018. This made it more difficult for the US to mount a coherent response. Trump cant get out of his own way to solve this problem and Republicans in Congress are afraid to challenge him. Party allegiance trumps loyalty to the American people. All Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) can focus on is approving the next wave of conservative judges. Meanwhile, COVID-19 is exposing that the political system is broken.

Americans have been told that its health care system is the best in the world. People come from all over the world to avail themselves of its wonders and cures. Thats only true, if one can afford them. COVID-19 has exposed the fact that most Americans, even with health insurance, will be saddled with serious medical bills. According toBusiness Insider,the total average charge per COVID-19 patient requiring an inpatient stay (6 days) is $73,300 and the total average estimated allowed amount per commercially insured patient is $38,221.

There are 27 million Americans without insurance.Yet, democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said he would veto a Medicare For All bill if it crossed his desk as president. COVID-19 is exposing that our political process is broken.

The CDC cannot produce a trustworthy COVID-19 testing kit, so the US government cannot test enough Americans to clearly understand the size of the problem. South Korea has identified 29 Korean manufacturers and exporters specializing in COVID-19 diagnostic devices and developed a robust testing regime. Cases in South Korea are dropping. The US cannot manufacture sufficient quantities of PPE since American companies have off-shored their manufacturing to China and Trump will not command the private sector to manufacture PPE through the Defense Production Act. The US government no longer keeps an ample supply of PPE on hand since Americans have bought into the bad idea of less government and the private sector does not want to compete with a well-stocked government in times like this. COVID-19 is exposing that this manufacturing system is broken.

Tyson Foods executives have said that the closure of food-processing plants due to COVID-19 is breaking the supply chain. American farmers are plowing under crops. Dairy farmers are dumping thousands of gallons of milk and millions of animals will be depopulated because of the closure of meat processing facilities while jobless claims increase by 4.4 million, 26 million Americans have lost their jobs to COVID-19 and food banks are going empty. And you call this exceptional?

The U.S. can launch the $13 Billion USS Gerald Ford aircraft carrier with a $400K toilet problem but cant get meat, milk and eggs to market in the midst of starving Americans, a crashing economy and a pandemic. COVID-19 has pulled the covers off of the entire charade called American exceptionalism.

Baldwin told us, time catches up with kingdoms and empires and crushes them. You better check your clocks and watches. God sent Noah the rainbow sign, no more water, COVID-19 this time.

Dr. Wilmer Leon is the Producer/ Host of the nationally broadcast talk radio program Inside the Issues on SiriusXM Satellite radio channel 126. Go to or email:[emailprotected] and Dr. Leons Prescription at

2020 InfoWave Communications, LLC

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What we can learn from the First Peoples of the United States in the era of COVID-19 | TheHill – The Hill

Posted: at 10:50 am

News of how COVID-19 has struck the Navajo Nation has begun to penetrate national coverage of the pandemic. The first cases were believed to have spread at a church rally. Now, the coronavirus has overtaken the Nation, causing nearly 2500 cases and over 70 deaths, and continuing to wreak havoc in a region where running water and electricity are luxuries.

But the Navajo are not alone, of course.

Native American communities, often invisible or oversimplified in terms of their health inequities, are the most at risk in the U.S. for severe disease and higher death rates from COVID-19. The factors are complex: A history of higher infection rates from respiratory illness; a higher prevalence of underlying conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease; crowded living conditions that make physical distancing impossible; and for the 2.2 million Native Americans living on rural reservations, access to hospitals which are under resourced is limited. These hospitals serve populations of 15-20,000 in geographies that span the size of Delaware.

The meaning of the novel virus is different for Native Americans. Within their recent history since the arrival of the first European conquistadors, they have experienced waves of decimation from novel viruses, some systematically used by the colonists as germ warfare to wipe out their peoples.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when federal treaties were signed with the Native American peoples in exchange for enormous tracts of lands, Native Americans were promised federally supported free health care and education in perpetuity. In 1955, this responsibility was transferred from the Department of Interior to the newly minted Indian Health Service (IHS). Yet, never did our federal government adequately fund this new health care organization, a breach of trust and respect for the original North Americans.

One only needs to consider that the IHS average per capita spending per user today is $3,333 compared to $12,744 for Medicare and $9,404 for veterans medical spending. The IHS and Tribes have received significant federal funding to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the challenge now is to be able to spend it on what is needed, given the global shortages in supply of health care equipment and personnel.

After a decade of work on infectious diseases with southwestern tribal communities, in 1991 we signed an MOU with Indian Health Service to leverage our joint resources to promote tribal health and health autonomy. During COVID-19, we have seen IHS staff doctors, nurses and community health workers put themselves and their families at personal risk, lacking personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical needs much like many parts of the world.

In the communities where we have worked, we see the tribal sovereignty of Native peoples affords them a unique capacity to mount their own containment and mitigation strategies. In some places, tribal leaders issued strict ordinances to community members to shelter in place, even before the first cases were confirmed or local states made such declarations, and established unified command systems with IHS partners.

What is happening in Navajo Nation with a rapid surge in COVID-19 cases and a considerable amount of household transmission is what can be expected to happen in other communities heavily impacted by poverty. And the community mitigation strategies that the Navajo developed will have relevance in other settings. For example, in the hardest hit areas on Navajo Nation, local command posts have been established and staffed with strike teams that can deliver essential items food, medication, wood for heating and cooking, hay for livestock so that COVID-19 affected households dont have to send people into the community for these items.

Further, due to the scarcity of available PPE, there has been swift mobilization for local citizens to sew urgently needed masks and gowns. Imagine, once we get to the other side of this public health emergency, these industries may remain and provide new sources of economic development for tribal communities.

The frugal innovations that will come from Indian Country during this pandemic will afford essential lessons for the world and it wont be the first time. Three of the eight vaccines that all U.S. children receive in the first year of life were proven effective with Native American communities. Pedialyte, the standard of care for children to prevent deaths from dehydration during bouts of infectious vomiting or diarrhea, was based on proof of concept with the White Mountain Apache Tribe.

Yet, without additional and sustained resources for Native American health now and in perpetuity, as promised by our federal government, the First Peoples of this continent will continue to suffer the greatest health inequities in the U.S. COVID-19 will be no exception. What Tribal communities achieve in the absence of adequate resources will represent one of the most valiant battles in our countrys war against COVID-19. Together we are stronger.

Allison Barlow, Ph.D, is the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health and senior scientist of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.Laura Hammitt, M.D., is the director of Infectious Disease Programs at the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health and associate professor of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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Pandemics In History- 8: Disease As Weapon – ODISHA BYTES – OdishaBytes

Posted: at 10:50 am

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When pandemics have led to persecution of certain communities, which has been pretty common as we discussed in the previous article, they are often accused of using disease as a biological weapon. The Jews were accused of poisoning the wells of the Christians at the time of Black Death for instance. There has been a lot of discussion currently about COVID-19 being used as a biological weapon by China. Although much of these accusations does not hold water, and reflect cultural prejudices, it is also a fact these fears are based on stories about similar use of disease as a biological weapon in history.

As far back as 1000 BC, the Chinese are supposed to have poisoned water sources of their enemies with arsenic. In fact, poisoning or infecting water sources seems to have been a common strategy. The Romans had poisoned the wells of the besieged enemy cities in 130 BC. In the 12th century, the Holy Roman Emperor, Barbarossa is supposed to have used bodies of dead soldiers to poison the wells of enemies. And as recently as in the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, the Red Cross had accused the Israeli militia of releasing the typhoid bacteria into the water supply of the city of Acre, causing an outbreak of typhoid.

The most well-known story of biological warfare in history is linked to the deadliest pandemic in history, the Black Death. It is well established that the plague arrived in Europe at the port of Messina on Genovese trading ships fleeing Kaffa, a Genoese trading port in Crimea. According to many historians, when the Mongol hordes got affected by plague themselves and were on the verge of abandoning their siege of Kaffa, they used catapults to throw diseased corpses inside the city walls. The plague then spread within the city, leading to some Italians fleeing the city on ships carrying the plague with them to Italy and thereby Europe.


Another well known story of biological warfare is from the wars between the British and the native Indians in America. When the British were besieged by the Delaware Indians at Fort Pitt (which became Pittsburgh) in 1763, they gifted the Indians two blankets and a handkerchief already contaminated with small pox hoping that disease would lead to ending the siege. The attempt has been well documented though the impact has been debatable though the Indians did suffer an outbreak of small pox soon after. Similarly, the small pox epidemic that ravaged the Aborigines in Australia in 1789 has been argued as a case of deliberate infection.

Also Read:Pandemics In History 1: Shipping The Virus

Also Read:Pandemics In History 2: Rats And The PlagueAlso Read:Pandemics In History 3: From Rats To Bats

The development and use of biological weapons in the 20th century is well documented understandably. With the support of scientific advancements, countries started researching and trying out efficient ways of using disease as a biological weapon. By 1933, Japan had built a bioweapons lab in Manchuria, where the notorious Japanese army doctor Shiro Ishii was testing such weapons on Chinese prisoners. Many countries were quick to follow. The US also set up a bioweapon research facility in Maryland. Both the US and the former Soviet Union had developed the technology to spread Yersinia directly and efficiently as an aerosol.

The research and development of biological weapons using disease became so widespread and alarming that most of these countries came together in 1972 to ban them in the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. The Soviet Union, however, was believed to be secretly developing biological weapons and that was later confirmed when Dr. Vladimir Pasechnikdefected in 1989 and confirmed the rumours.

Also Read:Pandemics In History 4: A Tale Of Two Countries

Also Read:Pandemics In History 5: India & Pandemics

Also Read:Pandemics In History 6: Pandemonium In Puri

But the weapons that were being developed were targeted unlike the biological weapons in thrillers and science fiction, which targeted the human race including the people developing it. Soon after COVID-19 broke out, excerpts from the novel Eyes of Darkness by Dean Koontz became viral and it was hailed as a prophetic novel for talking about Wuhan-400, the germ developed at the lab outside Wuhan, and which can wipe out entire cities and countries. What many do not know is that this novel was first published in 1981 at the height of the Cold War, and the germ was called Gorky-400 in the first edition. When the 2nd edition was published in 1989 at the end of the Cold War, it was renamed as Wuhan-400 as China was the new threat to the US.


It is because of this recent history of the development of biological weaponry, which was highly targeted and designed to ensure minimal fatalities on the sides of the attackers that many experts of biological weapons such as Dan Kaszeta argue quite convincingly that COVID-19 is not a biological weapon.

Also Read: Pandemics In History 7: Pandemics And Persecution

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What Are The Best Penny Stocks To Watch This Week? 3 For Your List – Penny Stocks

Posted: at 10:50 am

Are These On Your List Of Penny Stocks To Watch In May 2020?

Regardless of which names are on your list of penny stocks, this week will be an interesting one. While the coronavirus captivated headlines most of this year, China trade could be a focus for the broader markets.

Last week, President Trump threatened to reignite a China trade war in the middle of a global recession and pandemic. This ended up sending the major indexes sharply lower on Friday. Over the weekend this has continued to gain buzz online. Over the weekend, we also saw comments from the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett. He told shareholders at the annual Berkshire meeting that the firm sold its holdings in airline stocks amid the coronavirus pandemic.

[Special Report]The Biggest Market Opportunity Of 2020: Coronavirus

I think there are certain industries, and unfortunately, I think that the airline industry, among others, that are really hurt by a forced shutdown by events that are far beyond our control, he said. Theres no doubt that investors have taken into account the lasting effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Will airline stocks recover? Thats a question better suited for when the economy is back to some kind of normal in my opinion.

What has also gained attention over the weekend were comments made by Gilead (GILD Stock Report). The companys CEO, Daniel ODay told CBS Face of the Nation that the company intends to get remdesivir to patients in the early part of this coming week. Gileads CEO said it wants to work with the government to determine which cities are most vulnerable and where the patients are that need this medicine.

In addition to this Gilead also donated its entire supply of the drug to the U.S. Government. Whether thats good or bad, it has shown the company aims to find a solution for this virus. ODay said, Weve donated the entire supply that we have within our supply chain and we did that because we acknowledge and recognize the human suffering, the human need here, and want to make sure nothing gets in the way of this getting to patients.

Last week the company released preliminary results from a clinical trial. It showed 50% of the COVID-19 patients that were treated saw improvement with a 5-day dose. The company expects to produce more than 140,000 rounds of its 10-day treatment regimen by the end of the month. It also expects to make around 1 million rounds by the end of 2020. Needless to say, there is still much more attention on companies working to address side-effects of the virus and will likely be a focus during the week ahead.

Penny Stock Basics: What Is The Best App For Penny Stocks?

Last week Algernon Pharmaceuticals (AGNPF Stock Report) (AGN) revealed big news last week on its latest treatment progress. Algernon announced late Wednesday afternoon that it has received a No Objection Letter from Health Canada to proceed with a NP-120 (Ifenprodil) COVID-19 Phase 2b/3 multinational clinical trial. The same study protocol is being prepared for submission to the U.S. FDA and Australian regulatory authorities.

The trial will begin as a Phase 2b study and after an interim analysis is performed on the first 100 patients, the data will determine the number of expected patients needed to reach statistical significance in a Phase 3 trial. With positive preliminary data, the clinical trial will move directly from a Phase 2b into a Phase 3.

This news came on the heels of Algernons receipt of regulatory and ethics approval for Phase 2 Ifenprodil COVID-19 human study in South Korea. The company has even received positive feedback from the U.S. FDA for a new intravenous formulation of the treatment. The FDA has advised that for the toxicology program of the new intravenous Ifenprodil formulation, a single animal 30-day study would be acceptable.

With all of this progress, Algernon stock has managed to reach new all-time highs of $0.4867 and marked a run of 188% from April 1 to April 30th. After the late-week pullback from highs, is Algernon set for another rally in May?

One of the late-breaking penny stocks to watch from last week was Fluidigm Corporation (FLDM Stock Report). For most of the Friday session, shares of FLDM stock were quiet. But during the later afternoon session, the penny stock shot up from around $2.15 to highs of $4.39. Why did Fluidigm stock rally so strongly last week?

To get a better understanding, you should know what the company does. Fluidigm focuses on cancer, immunology, and immunotherapy. Using proprietary CyTOF and microfluidics technologies, the company has a multi-omic solution for testing and diagnostics. Fluidigm began focusing its efforts on COVID-19 to research applications for SARS-CoV-2 virus detection. To this end, FLDM stock managed to take off after the company gained attention in an article on The Guardians website.

Titled US germ warfare research leads to new early Covid-19 test, the article discusses a test that has the potential to identify carriers before they become infectious. Within the article released on May 1, Chris Linthwaite, the chief executive of Fluidigm was quoted. He said that this test could have exceptional demand. Hes referring to a project involving Fluidigm to develop a blood-based test. The goal is to be able to detect a viruss presence as early as 24 hours after infection.

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According to the Guardian, the test has emerged from a project set up by the US militarys Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa). Its aimed at rapid diagnosis of germ or chemical warfare poisoning. It was hurriedly repurposed when the pandemic broke out according to The Guardian. The new test is expected to be put forward for emergency use approval by the US FDA within a week.

Shares of Millendo Therapeutics Inc. (MLND Stock Report) saw a strong close to the week last week. The penny stock tumbled in early April after reporting unsuccessful results from a Phase 2b clinical trial. The trial was for evaluating lead drug livoletide in patients with Prader-Willi syndrome. Its an inherited disorder characterized by obesity and type 2 diabetes due to insatiable hunger.

After dropping to lows of $1.26, MLND stock has been working to regain its previous trading levels. There is still a long way to go considering that earlier this year, MLND traded above $9 a share. Needless to say, hopes remain high for some of the perma-longs in this stock. Friday saw MLND stock kick May off with a bang. More than 6.4 million shares traded while the penny stock reached a high of $2.13. After closing at $1.85, the buzz surrounds what comes next.

Millendo hasnt released any big updates to speak of. Furthermore, the last corporate filing simply included the companys filed proxy statement on April 24. However, something of note came in a statement made during the April 6 result PR that could have sparked interest in the company.

With the rapidly evolving COVID-19 global pandemic and the extraordinary burden it has put on hospitals and healthcare providers, we are monitoring the potential impact of the situation on these programs and will provide an update when we have more clarity on expected timelines.

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The havoc wrought by covid-19 will spark new concern over bio-weapons – The Economist

Posted: April 27, 2020 at 4:52 pm

Apr 23rd 2020

Editors note: The Economist is making some of its most important coverage of the covid-19 pandemic freely available to readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. To receive it, register here. For our coronavirus tracker and more coverage, see our hub

THE CORONAVIRUS that has killed over 180,000 people worldwide was not created with malice. Analysis of its genome suggests that, like many new pathogens, it originated by natural selection rather than human design. But if SARS-COV-2 had been deliberately engineered or launched into the world by malefactors, the consequences might have been much the same. Covid-19 has demonstrated the vulnerability of the US and global economy to biological threats, which exponentially increases the potential impact of an attack, says Richard Pilch of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Those concerns are prompting renewed interest in the threat from biological weapons, a lurid corner of warfare that normally languishes in happy obscurity.

In theory, bioweapons are banned. Most countries in the world are party to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) of 1975, which outlaws making or stockpiling biological agents for anything other than peaceful purposes. But some countries probably make them secretly, or keep the option close at hand. America accuses North Korea of maintaining an offensive biological-weapons programme, and alleges that China, Iran and Russia dabble in dual-use research. Toxins like ricin have also been bought and sold on shady recesses of the internet known as the dark web.

Germ warfare briefly rose to prominence in September 2001, when letters laced with anthrax spores were mailed to American news organisations and senators, killing five people. That was a wake-up call. Public health became part of national security. BioWatch, a network of aerosol sensors, was installed in more than 30 cities across America. But in recent years threats from chemical weapons, like the sarin dropped by Syrias air force and the Novichok smeared on door handles by Russian assassins, took priority.

Though the Trump administration published a national biodefence strategy in 2018, it shut down the National Security Councils relevant directorate and proposed cuts to the laboratories that would test for biological threats. Funding for civilian biosecurity fell 27% between fiscal years 2015 and 2019, down to $1.61bnless than was spent on buying Black Hawk helicopters. Its the kind of thing thats very easy to cut where you dont see the damage youre doing until youre in a situation like this, says Gigi Gronvall of the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Security.

Biological weapons are now likely to rise up the agenda, though the lessons from covid-19 are not clear-cut. The Department of Homeland Security warns that extremist groups have sought to spread the virus deliberately, and Mr Pilch says that it has challenged some long-standing assumptions regarding what biological agent may be used as a weapon. Yet many pathogens used as weapons tend to differ from respiratory viruses in important ways.

Those like anthrax, caused by bacteria which form rugged and sprayable spores, but do not spread from human to human, have the advantage of minimising the risk of rebound to the attacker. With the notable exception of smallpoxa highly contagious and lethal virus that was eradicated in 1979 but preserved by the Soviet Union for use against America (but not Europe), and now exists only in two laboratories, in America and Russiamost biological weapons would therefore have more localised effects than the new coronavirus.

Even so, the slow and stuttering response to the pandemic has exposed great weaknesses in how governments would cope. This outbreak has put stress on pretty much every element you need to respond to a biological attack, says Gregory Koblentz of George Mason University, and yet what were seeing is every part of our public-health infrastructure is either broken or stretched to the max. The centrepiece of Americas biosurveillance programme, a network of laboratories designed for rapid testing, failed, says Mr Koblentz, while the national stockpile of face masks had not been substantially replenished in over a decade. Would-be attackers will take note.

Governments are also worried about a new generation of biological threats. In 2016 American intelligence agencies singled out genome editing as a national-security threat for the first time. Two years later a major study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine warned that synthetic biology, a potent set of methods for tinkering with or creating organisms, could, in time, be used to re-create viruses like smallpox or make existing pathogens more dangerous, such as resistant to antibiotics.

In 2011 Dutch and Japanese scientists said that they had created a version of bird flu that could be transmitted between mammals by the respiratory routean announcement that prompted the Netherlands to treat the relevant academic papers as sensitive goods subject to export controls. In January Canadian scientists funded by an American biotech company used synthetic DNA from Germany to synthesise a microbe closely related to smallpox, indicating the ease with which it could be done. If a potential bad actor pursues a weapons capability using SARS-COV-2, the virus is now attainable in laboratories all around the world, and blueprints for assembling it from scratch have been published in the scientific literature, notes Mr Pilch.

The trouble is that biodefence has evolved slowly, says Dan Kaszeta, a former biological weapons adviser to the White House. Compact devices that can detect chemical threats and warn soldiers to don a gas mask have long been available. That doesnt exist for anthrax or any of the other aerosol pathogens, says Mr Kaszeta. Telling the difference between an anthrax spore and a bit of tree pollen is not something you can do in a couple of seconds.

Internationally, the issue is largely neglected. Theres no single facilitator in the UN system for a high-consequence biological event of unknown origin, says Beth Cameron of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, an NGO. The BWC, she says, operates on a shoe-string budget.

Military labs across the world are already heavily involved in the fight against covid-19, but government money is a drop in the ocean compared with the billions of dollars of private funds now being unleashed against the virus. One hope is that the crash efforts to develop better tests and a vaccine may yield so-called platform technologies that would have utility not only against coronavirus, but also a wide range of other biological threats. Anthrax, for instance, has a vaccine but requires a cumbersome five doses. The holy grail, says Mr Kaszeta, would be a broad-spectrum antiviral or vaccinea shield against natural and human foes alike.

Dig deeper:For our latest coverage of the covid-19 pandemic, register for The Economist Today, our daily newsletter, or visit our coronavirus tracker and story hub

This article appeared in the United States section of the print edition under the headline "Spore wars"

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