NEWS HEADLINES: 5-6 May, 2021

NEWS HEADLINES: 5-6 May, 2021

 

Muriel Bowser standing in front of a crowd: MailOnline logo

Washington DC has loosened most of its COVID-19 restrictions and doubled allowed capacity in places like schools, gyms and live entertainment events – but has drawn a line on dancing or standing at weddings. 

Under an order issued on April 26 by Mayor Muriel Bowser, wedding attendees must remain socially distanced in their seats with standing and dancing both prohibited. The order does lift attendance limits, however, with weddings allowed at 25 percent capacity or up to 250 people, whichever is fewer.  

 

FBI Raids Alaska Spa To “Recover Pelosi’s Laptop” Stolen From U.S. Capitol, Owners Reveal

A couple in Homer, Alaska reports the FBI raided their home on Wednesday morning looking for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s laptop.

Twelve agents, FBI, Capitol Police, and other apparent police agents, broke down the door to their home and told Marilyn and Paul Hueper to put their hands up. Paul counted seven guns trained on him when he came out of the bedroom. The agents cuffed the couple and held them for hours.

It was a case of mistaken identity, but the FBI now has possession of Marilyn’s HP Probook laptop. The photo above is on the FBI website as a person of interest in the January 6 surge into the U.S. Capitol, during which Pelosi’s laptop was stolen. The photo above is of the woman the FBI is looking for. Marilyn has no real social media presence or photos online.

Breaking: FBI breaks into Homer, Alaska house, looking for Nancy Pelosi’s laptop

Because they knew the fact that the Huepers were in DC, they bashed in the door of their living quarters at their posh Homer Inn and Spa boutique hotel with guns drawn. They placed them and two other hotel guests in handcuffs, separated them, and began questioning … all without showing their badges or any search warrant.

When requested to do so, they were told, “In due time.” They were never even read their Miranda rights. And when they finally showed them the warrant fully two and a half hours later, the Huepers did not even have sufficient time to read it or their briefly flashed badges completely.

EXC: FBI Raids Alaska Spa To “Recover Pelosi’s Laptop” Stolen From U.S. Capitol, Owners Reveal.

The Huepers joined Editor-In-Chief Raheem Kassam on The National Pulse podcast to discuss the early morning raid, which, as Paul Hueper recalls, didn’t include Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) authorities even “present[ing] a search warrant.”

Pfizer Reaps Hundreds of Millions in Profits From Covid Vaccine

Pfizer’s vaccine is disproportionately reaching the world’s rich.

The company said its vaccine generated $3.5 billion in revenue in the first three months of this year.

Last year, racing to develop a vaccine in record time, Pfizer made a big decision: Unlike several rival manufacturers, which vowed to forgo profits on their shots during the Covid-19 pandemic, Pfizer planned to profit on its vaccine.

On Tuesday, the company announced just how much money the shot is generating.

The vaccine brought in $3.5 billion in revenue in the first three months of this year, nearly a quarter of its total revenue, Pfizer reported. The vaccine was, far and away, Pfizer’s biggest source of revenue.

The company did not disclose the profits it derived from the vaccine, but it reiterated its previous prediction that its profit margins on the vaccine would be in the high 20 percent range. That would translate into roughly $900 million in pretax vaccine profits in the first quarter.

Pfizer has been widely credited with developing an unproven technology that has saved an untold number of lives.

Boy dies from COVID on Hawaii vacation with fully vaccinated parents, officials say

A boy died from COVID-19 while on vacation in Hawaii with his fully vaccinated parents, marking the first child death from coronavirus in the state, officials said.

The boy, who was 10 years old or younger and had underlying health conditions, died after he and his parents visited Hawaii from another state, according to the Hawaii Department of Health. Officials said the child had coronavirus symptoms after arriving and died at a hospital.

“I can tell you that both parents had been vaccinated, fully vaccinated. And both parents had tested negative before traveling from the mainland to Hawaii,” Department of Health spokesperson Brooks Baehr said, Hawaii News Now reported.

“So soon after arrival that it is very likely this child was infected with COVID while on the mainland or perhaps in transit,” he added.

Denmark drops Johnson & Johnson shot from national vaccine rollout

A pack and vials of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson Janssen Covid-19 vaccine photographed on April 30, 2021, at the ZNA Middelheim hospital in Antwerp.

Denmark said Monday it would not include the Covid-19 vaccine from US drugmaker Johnson & Johnson in its national vaccination campaign, citing worries over serious side effects involving blood clots. 

“The Danish Health Authority has concluded that the benefits of using the Covid-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson do not outweigh the risk of causing the possible adverse effect… in those who receive the vaccine,” the authority said in a statement.

“Therefore, the Danish Health Authority will continue the Danish mass vaccination programme against Covid-19 without the Covid-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson,” it added.

The move comes after the Nordic country last month stopped using AstraZeneca’s vaccine altogether over a potential link to a rare but serious form of blood clot.

In critical shift, US now backs patent protection waivers for COVID-19 vaccines

The U.S. had opposed the waiver, along with pharmaceutical companies like Johnson and Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer who are concerned about the precedent it would set and accused the administration of taking “an unprecedented step that will undermine our global response to the pandemic and compromise safety.”

EU May Join US In Backing Proposal To Waive COVID Vaccine Patents

Just after Pfizer reported blockbuster quarterly profits, US trade rep Katherine Tai spilled the beans to Bloomberg that the White House had decided to back a WTO proposal to waive vaccine IPBill Gates, the world’s de facto vaccine czar, was probably less than thrilled to hear the news.

Gates has vigorously opposed the waiver, and by backing it, the White House has effectively helped to validate Gates’s critics, like the New Republic, who have accused him of putting profits before people’s lives.

Australians stuck overseas ‘abandoned’ by their own country

Mandeep Sharma and his family

He is one of the 9,000 Australians stranded in India, left to fend for themselves after Canberra this week banned all flights from the Covid-ravaged nation until mid-May.

Mr Sharma has a wife and two daughters in Adelaide. He travelled to India last month to attend his father’s funeral and was due to fly back next week.

Now he fears contracting the virus and being separated from his family indefinitely.

On Saturday, Australia also announced it would jail anyone who attempts to return from India. For people like Mr Sharma, trying to get home is now a criminal act – punishable by five years jail or an A$66,000 (£36,800; $51,000) fine.

It’s just the latest hardline action taken by the government to keep the virus out of the country. Australia has enjoyed near zero- infection rates and recorded just 910 deaths – far fewer than most other nations.

It attributes its virus success to its strict border controls and quarantine measures. But these have also locked out thousands of Australians from returning home over the course of the pandemic.

The India ban also marks an extraordinary escalation – the first time the country has made it a crime for its own citizens to return home.

China-Australia relations: Beijing ‘indefinitely suspends’ high-level economic dialogue with Canberra

  • National Development and Reform Commission said all activities under the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue had been ‘indefinitely suspended’
  • The decision is based ‘on the current attitude of the Australian Commonwealth government toward China-Australia cooperation’, it said
  • Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison met with China’s President Xi Jinping during the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan in October. Picture: Adam Taylor/Prime Minister‘s Office

China’s top economic planner said on Thursday that it had “indefinitely suspended” its high-level economic dialogue with Australia, amid escalating tensions between the two nations.

A short statement by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said all activities under the framework of the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue had been “indefinitely suspended”.

“Recently, some Australian Commonwealth government officials launched a series of measures to disrupt the normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Australia out of cold war mindset and ideological discrimination,” the statement said.

[The decision is based] on the current attitude of the Australian Commonwealth Government toward China-Australia cooperationNDRC statement

 

19,916 ‘eye disorders’ including blindness following COVID vaccine reported in Europe

More than 10,000 reports of eye disorders after COVID shots in the U.K. alone
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SHUTTERSTOCK.COMHundreds of cases of blindness are among the 19,916 reports of “eye disorders” to the World Health Organization’s European drug monitoring agency following injection of experimental COVID-19 vaccinesThe nearly 20,000 eye disorders reported to VigiBase, a database for the WHO maintained by the Uppsala Monitoring Centre(UMC) in Uppsalla, Sweden, include:

  • Eye pain (4616)
  • Blurred vision  (3839)
  • Photophobia or light intolerance (1808)
  • Visual impairment (1625)
  • Eye swelling (1162)
  • Ocular hyperaemia or red eyes (788)
  • Eye irritation (768)
  • Itchy eyes or eye pruritus (731)
  • Watery eyes or increased lacrimation (653)
  • Double vision or diplopia (559)
  • Eye strain or asthenopia (459)
  • Dry eye (400)
  • Swelling around the eye or periorbital swelling (366)
  • Swelling of eyelid (360)
  • Flashes of light in the field of vision or photopsia (358)
  • Blindness (303)
  • Eyelid oedema (298)
  • Eye or ocular discomfort (273)
  • Conjunctival haemorrhage or breakage of a small eye vessel (236)
  • Blepharospasm or abnormal contraction of an eye muscle(223)
  • Vitreous floaters (192)
  • Periorbital oedema (171)
  • Eye haemorrhage (169)
Covid produces blood clots. The incidence of heart attack, stroke, or limb loss due to an arterial clot in Covid varies from 2%-5%. We pried these out of the lower limb arteries of a Covid patient. We were able to save the limb.
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Lawrence Sellin statement on PLA influence on US virus research programs 5 May 2021

‘Global reset’ needed to fight future pandemics, as creation of WHO research hub announced

'Global reset' needed to fight future pandemics, as creation of WHO research hub announced
A “global reset” is needed to fight future pandemics, Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn told a World Health Organization (WHO) briefing on Wednesday as the UN agency announced the creation of a new research hub in Berlin.

Spahn highlighted the findings of a review into the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which will be officially announced at the WHO’s World Health Assembly later this month.

The authors of the report will call for “nothing less than a global reset in pandemic preparedness” and say that the world needs to focus on the “next crisis,” Spahn said.

Spahn said that the world is “insufficiently prepared” for potential pandemic risks, including the extension of diseases to previously unaffected populations and the transmission of diseases from animals to people.

$100 as an Incentive to Get a Shot? Experiment Suggests It Can Pay Off.

A cash reward works best with Democrats, and relaxing safety guidelines seems to motivate Republicans, a survey study shows.

Endorsements by political figures evoked strong partisan reactions, with Mr. Trump’s endorsement decreasing uptake among Democrats in 2020 and increasing uptake for Republicans to a smaller degree. President Biden’s endorsement decreased uptake among Republicans in 2021. There were hints in 2021 that a Trump endorsement might still increase uptake among Republicans, but the effects were much smaller than when he was in office…..

Roughly a third of the unvaccinated population said a cash payment would make them more likely to get a shot. The benefits were largest for those in the group getting $100, which increased willingness (34 percent said they would get vaccinated) by six points over the $25 group.

The effect was greatest for unvaccinated Democrats, 48 percent of whom said they would be more likely to get vaccinated if it came with a $100 payment.

The incentive to stop wearing a mask and social-distancing in public also had a strong result. On average, relaxing the mask and social distancing guidelines increased vaccine uptake likelihood by 13 points. The largest gains came from Republicans, who reported an 18-point increase in willingness to get vaccinated….

There’s that irreducible 30% that just will not be vaccinated, “When we asked unvaccinated people why they hadn’t tried to get a shot, 38 percent said they were worried about the side effects, and 34 percent said they didn’t think the vaccine was safe … they just don’t trust the government’s motives, and 14 percent say Covid-19 is not a threat to them.”

Some people just cannot see where their own interests lay.

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