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Re: Socialist Demands for the COVID-19 Crisis

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:27 am
by blindpig
Over 7.5 million people sampled for COVID-19 testing in Qingdao
Xinhua | Updated: 2020-10-14 14:37

Citizens receive COVID-19 tests at a testing station in Shibei District of Qingdao, East China's Shandong province, Oct 14, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

QINGDAO -- Over 7.5 million people had been sampled for nucleic acid testing by 9:30 am Wednesday in East China's Qingdao city, after it began a city-wide testing campaign on Monday.

Over 4.06 million of the collected samples have been tested so far and, with the exception of the cases already reported, no new positive samples have been detected, the municipal health commission said.

Qingdao has reported 12 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the virus re-emerged in the city over the weekend, the municipal health commission said.

Qingdao has a population of more than 11 million. The city has vowed to complete city-wide nucleic acid testing within five days starting from Monday.

Citizens register for COVID-19 tests at a testing station in Shibei District of Qingdao, East China's Shandong province, Oct 14, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua] ... 7ea24.html

How it is done. The US Chamber of Commerce would no sooner endorse these practices for reasons of economics and precedence than Donald Trump would for his personal political reasons.But the MSM would never say that, just as they never mention the great success that socialist method and indeed philosophy has had in controlling this pandemic, the propaganda of omission.

Re: Socialist Demands for the COVID-19 Crisis

Posted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:56 pm
by blindpig
The head of Rospotrebnadzor accused the Russians of the increase in the incidence of coronavirus
The people are not the same


The head of Rospotrebnadzor Anna Popova announced a simultaneous increase in the incidence of COVID-19 in Russia. The reason for this, according to the head of Rospotrebnadzor, was the irresponsible attitude of Russians to their health.

Anna PopovaIn recent weeks, there has been a sharp increase in the incidence of coronavirus infection in Russia. According to the authorities, already 90% of beds in hospitals allocated for the treatment of patients with coronavirus are occupied. In many localities, local authorities are hastily refurbishing maternity hospitals, and this provokes protests from local residents. In cities, queues line up for polyclinics . The collapse of the health care system caused by the epidemic has become visible to the naked eye. Under these conditions, the authorities did not find anything better than to blame the people for everything.

However, the entire system of the bourgeois state, the bourgeois power itself, is to blame for the current situation. The so-called optimization of the healthcare system took place in Russia, the whole point of which was to close hospitals and reduce the number of hospital beds. The President of Russia said unequivocally about this: “Our hospital beds are often used not for treating a patient, but in order to heal patients, especially in the autumn-winter period. This is probably not bad either, but the beds are not made for that . " The maintenance of "extra" places in hospitals, Putin called an ineffective waste of funds.

As a result, the “achievement” was a decrease in the number of hospitals and hospital beds so that the number of hospitals is less than in 1932, and the number of beds is at the 1960 level.

On the one hand, we see the heroic efforts of doctors to combat the epidemic, forced to provide assistance to a huge number of patients, and on the other, cynical statements by high-ranking officials accusing people of the pandemic. The COVID-19 epidemic has demonstrated the results of the activities of the Russian bourgeois government over the past 30 years. The catastrophic situation was the result of the entire purposeful policy of the authorities in the past years. ... inila-ros/

Google Translator

No surprise that the primitive accumulationists who continue to rob the Soviet legacy would resort to such excuses. Expect their more sophisticated brethren here to do the same if Trump loses. The blame for everything will be transferred to his maskless minions. While they are indeed dumbasses this will conveniently paper over the cruel deficiencies of capitalism in preparing for and directly addressing this pandemic.

Meanwhile in China, where the capitalists wear a socialist yoke, it's back to business as usual and life has largely returned to pre-pandemic patterns. But US capital, unbridled, anarchic and violently opposed to any and all restraint has shit in it's own Easter Basket.

Re: Socialist Demands for the COVID-19 Crisis

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:43 pm
by blindpig
Let the pandemic be the starting point for an overthrowing course for the benefit of the people

The government's legislative package concerning the coronavirus was adopted by the plenary of the Greek Parliament on April 2nd. It generously offered a multitude of new privileges to business groups, the "slaughter" of remaining labor rights and some half-measures for the pandemic, which are a drop in the ocean in relation to the huge gaps in the collapsed public health system.

The KKE voted against the various anti-labor measures included in it. The KKE MPs have highlighted their dangerous content concerning labor rights, as well as the overall inadequacy of the ND government's measures against the pandemic. The KKE demanded that none of the anti-labor measures be implemented and called on the people to raise the flag of demands with a view to overturning this barbaric anti-popular policy.

Speaking from the floor of the Parliament, Dimitris Koutsoumbas, General Secretary of the CC of the KKE, denounced the governments of both the ND and the former social democratic SYRIZA for dismantling the public health system in favor of the private sector, which has expanded during the past years, due to the commercialization policy of Health, promoted by the EU.

The GS of the CC of the KKE denounced the government's anti-popular measures, as well as the pursuit of a trade union ban, on the pretext of the pandemic. He demanded immediate measures to boost the income of the popular strata and submitted the KKE's comprehensive proposal to immediately strengthen the public health system and protect workers' lives in factories and other workplaces.

Referring to the struggle taking place within the EU to manage the crisis with Keynesian-type state intervention measures, which both ND's liberals and SYRIZA's social democrats endorse in Greece, he noted that these measures are being taken to support the capitalist crisis. He underlined that the workers will have to pay again, as they will be called to fill the new fiscal gaps and new lending created either by the Eurobond or the Coronabond. He noted that in the EU, which is an imperialist capitalist union of states, there can be no "solidarity" because it is not a union in the interest of the peoples.

The GS of the CC of the KKE concluded his speech by saying: "Hope lies only in the awakening of the only true superpower, which is the people themselves. Let the pandemic be the starting point for an overall overthrowing course for the benefit of the peoples". ... he-people/


Response to ND - SYRIZA hypocrisy

The Prime Minister Mr. Mitsotakis requested that the members of the Cabinet and the PMs of the governing party ND deposit half their salary, for the next two months, in order to support the special fund that has been set up to combat the coronavirus.

SYRIZA, for its part, competing with the government in its efforts to impress, called for a mandatory, not voluntary, reduction in parliamentary salaries and benefits for all state and government officials.

Commenting on the ND and SYRIZA proposals for a reduction in PMs' and state officials' salaries to support the special fund to combat the coronavirus, the Press Bureau of the CC of the KKE states the following:

"If ND and SYRIZA and the other parties want to, they can adopt the long-standing proposal of the KKE for a permanent - not temporary, given the pandemic situation - drastic reduction in the PMs' and other high-ranking state officials' salaries and the abolition of the compensation for participation in Parliamentary Committees along with parliamentary benefits. This proposal has always been in place, and much more so given today's conditions where the people are suffering from the consequences of the pandemic, from the great deficits in the public Healthcare System, as well as from measures taken by the government and big business.

Whatever they state contains elements of hypocrisy and demagogy during these difficult times and their goal is to cover up the huge responsibility they bear for the under funding of the public Healthcare System.

We note, once again, that in terms of KKE parliament members, their parliamentary compensation is deposited in full to the Party for the organization of the popular struggle and the fight for people's rights." ... hypocrisy/

Re: Socialist Demands for the COVID-19 Crisis

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:56 pm
by blindpig
Qingdao sets world record in testing 10.8 million swab samples for COVID-19
By Xie Chuanjiao in Qingdao | | Updated: 2020-10-18 21:21

Qingdao municipal government holds the ninth press conference after COVID-19 re-emerges, on Oct 18, 2020. [Photo by Xie Chuanjiao/]

Qingdao in East China's Shandong province set a world record by finishing testing on 10.8 million swab samples in 120 hours in the recent fight against the re-emergence of COVID-19, the city's officials said on Sunday.

After new positive patients were reported on Oct 11, the city's authority immediately launched five days of citywide testing, aiming to cover all city residents.

The virus' resurgence, which happened at the city's pulmonary hospital, included 13 confirmed cases in total up to Thursday.

The results of mass testing by 6 pm on Friday showed no additional positive results beyond those already under quarantine. That also meant "the city only took five days to make it clear that the community has not been exposed," said Luan Xin, the city's deputy mayor, at a press conference held on Sunday.

"Moreover, the city was also able to have confirmed patient zero within five days," Luan added.

The outbreak has been traced back to two dock workers and it was spread through poor disinfection of a CT scanning room shared by patients with the novel coronavirus and other conditions at the hospital, according to previous information released at press conferences.

All 13 COVID-19 patients remaining in the hospital were showing good progress, with the application of Western-style medicine and traditional Chinese medicine combined, officials said.

"One of the patients who previously was in serious condition is also getting better," said Sun Yunbo, director of a medical experts team organized to treat the city's recent novel coronavirus outbreak.

Luan also told the press conference that the city is building a special hospital for infectious disease, which is expected to offer 1,000 beds. It will cover an area of 12 hectares, with its floor space reaching 169,000 square meters.

"The hospital will provide general medical service on a daily basis and can meet an urgent need immediately when an emergent public health accident takes place in Qingdao and its surrounding areas," Luan said.

With an investment of 1.58 billion yuan ($235 million), the hospital is expected to be completed at the end of 2022 and put into operation in 2023, Luan added. ... 7f600.html

"Too difficult". "Too expensive." "Too authoritarian."
Anything but communism...

Re: Socialist Demands for the COVID-19 Crisis

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:38 pm
by blindpig
China's Covid success compared to Europe shows lockdowns are the first step, not a solution

Analysis by James Griffiths, CNN

Hong Kong (CNN)As much of Europe stares down the barrel of renewed coronavirus lockdowns, and a potentially miserable -- and deadly -- winter to come, China is going from strength to strength.

On Monday, the country posted positive economic growth for the second quarter in a row, underlining how speedily the world's second-largest economy has recovered. That comes in the wake of an apparently successful experiment with allowing mass domestic travel, as millions of people criss-crossed China for the Golden Week national holiday.
For many in Europe, China's approach to the coronavirus is characterized by the initial draconian, 76-day lockdown seen in Wuhan, the central Chinese city where cases of the virus were first detected late last year.
But other parts of the country never saw such stringent restrictions, even during the early stages of the pandemic when similar lockdowns were introduced in cities throughout China.

China's success in controlling the coronavirus is not so much a product of those early control measures -- though these have been utilized effectively to halt regional flare-ups -- but how the country handles things after people are allowed to move around again.
In particular, China's ability to track and trace cases across the country whenever there is the suggestion of a new cluster of infections has enabled the government to respond quickly and bring local epidemics under control.
This has included a sophisticated color-sorted "health code" system to track people's movements. A clear (green) bill of health and corresponding QR code is required to enter many businesses, ensuring that almost everyone has adopted the measure, making tracing in the instance of an outbreak easier.
These measures have allowed regional governments to lock down a specific area or conduct mass testing where necessary. This was most recently seen in the city of Qingdao in northeastern China, where more than 10 million people were tested in around a week, after 12 locally-transmitted cases were reported.

Between provinces and regions, borders that were previously frictionless and mostly invisible are now increasingly monitored, so public transport can be restricted or halted completely in the instance of an outbreak. Entry into China from overseas has also been heavily restricted, with strict quarantine measures enforced on arrival.
Containment has also been assisted by widespread mask wearing and sticking to public hygiene regulations, which have often been strictly policed by Chinese authorities, and promoted by mass propaganda campaigns. Sometimes this has been used to further empower China's giant security state, and compliance is rarely optional, but the methods being used have been shown to be effective in other Asian countries without the threat of punishment.
In part, this more productive response to the virus in China -- and in other places throughout Asia, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan -- is due to the differing reaction from the general population in this region compared to Europe.
East Asia suffered through the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2003 and the memory of that held strong, making mask use and other precautions easy to encourage. In parts of Europe and other Western countries, particularly the US, wearing masks remains a controversial issue even now, months after they have been shown to be effective.
This also helped shape official responses to the virus -- unlike in other countries, Asian governments had epidemic plans in place to deal with potential outbreaks, and didn't have to scramble to come up with a plan. And while China was criticized for its initial handling of the epidemic in Wuhan -- censoring news and downplaying its seriousness -- once it had been acknowledged as a national threat, the response was quick and decisive, unlike the dithering seen in Europe and the US even as the potential for a global pandemic was understood.

China has also remained on high alert even as it returned to normal, able to respond quickly to new clusters, and track and trace anyone potentially affected through QR codes, apps, and the country's sprawling (and often highly-intrusive) surveillance state. Similar efforts have been utilized in South Korea, Hong Kong and other parts of Asia.
By comparison, tracing in much of Europe remains a shambles, and the ability to conduct mass testing is lacking in many countries. Where testing is conducted, the utility of the results is often squandered because the infrastructure for tracing and quarantining regional clusters is still lacking.
Similarly, European borders have remained largely open -- despite the bloc having the right to close its usually open boundaries in the name of public health -- with summer travelers blamed for several recent outbreaks.
The World Health Organization (WHO) noted as far back as February that "much of the global community is not yet ready, in mindset and materially, to implement the measures that have been employed to contain Covid-19 in China."
"Fundamental to these measures is extremely proactive surveillance to immediately detect cases, very rapid diagnosis and immediate case isolation, rigorous tracking and quarantine of close contacts, and an exceptionally high degree of population understanding and acceptance of these measures," the report said.
Unfortunately, in the intervening months, even as China's response has been shown to be effective -- and similar models have shown success in South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and other parts of Asia long exposed to the virus -- Europe continues to lag behind. ... index.html

For a US State Dept stenographer, not bad. Other than the obligatory hand wringing about 'authoritarianism' and 'security state'. And that's a joke too: given the data mining engaged in by both the government and even more so by private enterprise the existence of 'privacy' in the 'free' capitalist West is vastly over-estimated. The matter of trust in government is left undisturbed, that the Chinese people comply with necessary measures is something that could not be coerced at such a degree or scale. The people of the USA are distrustful of their government, sometimes for very good reasons, tho not always. A state of affairs encouraged by the ruling class in order to diminish the repute of public services, that they might be profitably monopolized by the private enterprise.

Re: Socialist Demands for the COVID-19 Crisis

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 4:37 pm
by blindpig
NicaNotes: From Headache to COVID Test: My Journey through the Nicaraguan Public Health System
October 22, 2020
By Becca Mohally-Renk

(Becca Mohally-Renk works with the Center for Development in Central America in Ciudad Sandino.)

The Hospitalito in Ciudad Sandino, taken before the pandemic. Photos from CDCA.

In early October I got a headache that wouldn’t go away…and it put me right inside the debate over Nicaragua’s response to COVID-19. Despite being the poorest country in the region, since the coronavirus pandemic hit Central America earlier this year, Nicaragua has consistently had fewer cases, fewer deaths and more successful recoveries per capita than any other country in the isthmus. Our organization, the Center for Development in Central America runs a health clinic in Ciudad Sandino, just outside Managua. Since July we’ve been hearing criticisms that the government is hiding a second wave, but that hasn’t come about yet – folks have been cautiously going about their business, gradually returning to normal life, albeit with masks and hygiene protocols. Still, when I got a headache that wouldn’t go away followed by body aches and fatigue, I was cautious.

Because I work with folks over 60 who have compromised immune systems and chronic conditions, I stayed holed up at home. Uncertain what to do when I still wasn’t feeling 100% a few days later, I called the free 24-hour COVID hotline that the Nicaraguan Health Ministry (MINSA) set up in April. The operator answered on the first ring, no waiting, no hold music. I explained that I wanted to know whether or not I should be quarantining. My husband and I had been sending our 8th and 9th grade daughters to their public school where masks are required, but we were unsure whether or not to keep sending them since I wasn’t feeling well. The operator asked for my name, address, ID number, age, and asked if I had any pre-existing conditions. He went through a list of symptoms with me, then he told me a doctor would give me a callback. Less than five minutes later, a second operator called to re-check symptoms with me. Another three minutes went by, then I got a call back from the doctor. She went through my symptoms and medical history with me and advised me that while I probably didn’t have COVID, I should go in to see a doctor about the headaches.

Two days later when my headaches weren’t better, I’d had a blood test showing a virus so I called the hotline again. As soon as the operator picked up and introduced herself she said, “Is this doña Rebecca? You called us a few days ago because you’d been having headaches? How are you feeling now?” They had my number registered and all my information popped right up. The operator went through the symptom checklist with me again and when I told her about the test result she said, “You should really go in to your health center, your assigned center is the Hospitalito in Ciudad Sandino in front of the police station. I always see that it’s empty there, the attention should be fast. It’s best if you go in.” When I got a call back from the doctor, I asked if they would test me for COVID and he told me that would be up to the doctor who examined me; if I wanted to ensure I got the test, I could go to the central MINSA offices in Managua and pay $150 to get tested.

I found myself hesitating to go in. When the first coronavirus cases were reported in Nicaragua, opposition groups flooded social media with stories of hospital systems collapsing, overrun with the virus. On WhatsApp I was forwarded lists of “recommended” medicines to buy in case my family members got sick. Near my office the lines at the pharmacies to buy these medicines went around the corner and my coworkers were charged $6 for an aspirin tablet. Meanwhile the Health Ministry used TV and radio jingles to counteract bad information: as soon as you get sick, go to your local health center to have a doctor examine you and give you medicine appropriate for your medical history and current condition, all free of charge.

Unfortunately, in May and June many people were too afraid to go to the doctor and the opposition’s lies were paid for in lives lost. Recently I talked with a friend whose family story shows the consequences of misinformation: her sister listened to government advice and as soon as she had a persistent headache she went right in to the public clinic. She was given medicine and quarantined at home where she recovered from a mild case. A second, wealthier sister refused to go to a doctor. When she got sicker she paid a small fortune at a private hospital, but kept getting worse. Finally she went to the public hospital where she was hospitalized and eventually recovered from a severe case of coronavirus. The third family member, a cousin, was too scared to seek care in the public system and too poor to go to the private hospital. He waited at home until he could no longer breathe, and by the time he went to the public hospital he died before they could intubate him.

It was with those lessons in mind that I decided to go to the public hospital in Ciudad Sandino, reasoning I’d rather overreact to a headache than be hospitalized later. I went after 5 o’clock, thinking it would be quieter with the normal outpatient services closed. I was shown to a separate building where I sat outside on a bench to wait with one other patient. After a short wait a nurse checked my temperature, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels. I was then ushered into the exam room where the doctor sat behind a desk 12 feet away. She asked questions about my symptoms and looked at my lab results. The doctor then examined me, looking in my throat, listening to my lungs. She told me that based on clinical exam and my lab tests, they couldn’t conclusively say whether I had COVID or not, so she gave me an appointment to get a COVID test the following morning. The doctor explained that because the COVID tests require full PPE and room disinfection, they schedule all the patients at one time to simplify the process. She told me that they do six COVID tests per day at the hospital, and that at 6:30 PM I was only the sixth possible case that day that had warranted a test.

The following day I went back to get my test at 8 AM. Three other patients and I waited two hours for the final two patients scheduled – they never showed up. As I was waiting, I thought about how the best epidemiological plan still has to contend with human nature. For example, the two missing patients had a chance to find out – for free! – if they had coronavirus. Maybe they didn’t want to wait, maybe they were scared, maybe they felt better, but whatever the reason, they didn’t show up. As anyone who works in public health around the world can attest, getting people to change habits is difficult. Providing them with access services, however, is something that the current government has been able to do – and for patients in Ciudad Sandino over the past 14 years, it has changed their lives dramatically.

It’s called the “Little Hospital” because the Hospitalito – which serves a city of 180,000 – was technically a health center until just a few years ago. During 16 years of neoliberal governments, one building was designated for outpatient services and the second building sat empty. Our CDCA health clinic employed doctors who also worked at the Hospitalito, and they told us that they didn’t even have gloves to examine patients. Every time I went down the street outside the Hospitalito I was stopped by people begging for taxi fare to take their family members into a hospital seven miles away in Managua because there was nothing to be done for them at the Hospitalito and there was no ambulance.

Now the Hospitalito has full emergency services and two ambulances. When I walked through the gate at 8 AM there were over 100 patients waiting to be seen by Operation Miracle, where Cuban-trained ophthalmologists perform more than 10,000 cataract removal surgeries for free annually. I watched families coming in with food and packages for mothers who had recently given birth there – before, women had to go all the way into Managua to give birth; I drove one neighbor who had patiently waited until morning to ask me for a ride and then gave birth just 10 minutes after I dropped her off! Now expectant mothers don’t have to travel while in labor – they were there watching the morning bustle from the porch of the maternity waiting home where they wait out the last two weeks of their pregnancy, resting and being closely monitored by doctors. I walked through the full outpatient areas – gynecology, psychology, pediatrics, and general medicine. As I stood waiting, I could see the constantly moving lines at the pharmacy to pick up free meds and at the laboratory to get free exams. I watched one of the two ambulances get loaded up with tables, chairs, vaccines and medical students and head out to a community health fair. A mototaxi with the MINSA logo emblazoned on it came and went constantly, taking personnel and provisions to the six related health centers open daily and even two rural health centers that are staffed once a week.

And in the midst of all that bustle sat four lonely patients with possible COVID. At 10 AM when I was called in, the doctor in full PPE had me sit down and explained the procedure to me. He stuck a probe way up each of my nostrils and explained that I would be called within two days if my test was positive. If my test was negative, I wouldn’t get a call. I asked if they’d only been doing six tests a day throughout the pandemic. He said no, they had been doing more, but now many days they don’t even have six patients to test, so they randomly test staff to fill their quota. He told me that patients who are clinically shown to have COVID with physical exam are treated as COVID cases, given medicine and counted in the official coronavirus numbers reported weekly at a national level. Anyone who cannot be clinically shown to have COVID is scheduled for the test, and those patients who test positive are also reported in the weekly COVID numbers.

As I went home to await results, I realized that while we don’t yet know why Nicaragua’s COVID numbers are so much lower than their neighbors – maybe experts will be able to determine whether policies such as not ordering a lockdown played a part in its lower caseload – it is clear that Nicaragua’s public health policy set the country up to successfully battle a pandemic by creating a healthier country overall. Although my COVID test was negative this time, I found myself relieved to know that if I feel sick again, I can count on quality care from MINSA. ... lth-system


Compare & contrast:
"We are not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas," Meadows told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union." ... index.html

Re: Socialist Demands for the COVID-19 Crisis

Posted: Sat Oct 31, 2020 2:15 pm
by blindpig
Havana Improves COVID 19-Related Epidemiological Situation

The Cuban Ministry of Public Health announced today 35 new patients, bringing the total to 6,801 positives, of which 6178 have recovered from the disease. | Photo: EFE

Published 30 October 2020 (15 hours 40 minutes ago)

Dr. Francisco Duran, National Director of Epidemiology, highlighted on Friday the progress of the Cuban capital fighting Covid-19.

After undergoing a complicated epidemiological situation since last March, when the first Covid-19 cases were reported on the island, Cuba's capital city showed signs of controlling the second wave of Coronavirus, Dr. Francisco Duran said during a weekly press briefing.

Havana does not report any Covid-19 events open. The spread of the SARS-CoV-2 has diminished, and no deaths were reported, reflecting on tighter controls, taking into account the city's demographic density and mobility of its citizens.

The Cuban capital continues stepping up measures such as social distancing and the use of facemasks, which has been improved in the last few weeks. The doctor referred to the excellent evolution against the disease in Havana. "The work that the capital has done must be recognized. Although the social distancing is not yet fulfilled as it should be, it is very difficult to see someone without a facemask in the street," he said.

On Thursday, Cuba's laboratories carried out 8,245 PCR tests in real-time to detect the virus, and 35 people tested positive. All new cases are Cubans. The new cases belong to Pinar del Rio (26), Sancti Spiritus (5), Havana (2), Artemisa (1), and Camagüey (an imported case).

To date, Cuba accumulates 6,801 Covid-19 cases since March, of which 6178 have recovered from the disease. About 788 children were reported with the virus, and 717 had already recovered, the doctor said. Of 493 active cases, 488 are clinically stable, three are in a critical health condition in intensive care units, and two are seriously ill, Duran said.

"We have no deaths this week, a very positive indicator. We should close tomorrow with a lower number of confirmed cases during the month, as well as the number of deceased," Durán clarified. ... -0011.html


Cuban Vaccine Soberana 02 To Start Phase I Clinical Trials

Cuba's medical regulatory authorities approved Phase I clinical trials for the Soberana 02 Cuban vaccine candidate developed by the Finlay Vaccines Institute. | Photo: Twitter/@FinlayInstituto

Published 28 October 2020

Soberana 02 is the second Cuban COVID-19 vaccine candidate to begin clinical trials after being approved by Cuba's medical regulatory authorities.

The Cuban vaccine candidate against COVID-19, Soberana 02, will start Phase I clinical trials after receiving the approval of the Center for State Control of Drugs, Equipment, and Medical Devices (CECMED).

The Finlay Institute of Vaccines announced the news in its official account on the social network Twitter.

In recent days, Doctor of Science Vicente Vérez Bencomo, General Director of the Finlay Institute, declared to Granma newspaper that this second candidate's approval is similar to Soberana 01, and is a molecular or subunit product, would be imminent.

Vérez Bencomo stated that during the clinical trials of this candidate, it is expected to demonstrate its safety and achieve a protective, powerful, and long-lasting immune response, just like Soberana 01, and prove which immunological properties are confirmed in the vaccinated subjects. ... -0014.html

Re: Socialist Demands for the COVID-19 Crisis

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 2:33 pm
by blindpig
Billionaires' Net Worth Grows to $10.2 Trillion During Pandemic

A report released this morning by UBS and PwC, which covers 2,000 billionaires in 43 nations, reveals that total billionaire wealth reached $10.2 trillion in July. | Photo: Twitter/@ForbesMoncaco-Steve Jurvetson

Published 7 October 2020

The super-rich increased their combined fortunes by 27.5% during the worst of the market turmoil from April through July.

A report from Swiss bank UBS revealed that billionaires did "extremely well" during the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing their wealth more than a quarter to $10.2 trillion at the height of the crisis.

As millions of people lost their jobs and struggled to get by on government schemes, billionaires surpassed their previous peak net worth of $8.9 trillion at the end of 2017, while also increasing their ranks to 2,189 from 2,158 over the past three years.

The world's super-rich currently hold the greatest concentration of wealth since the US Gilded Age at the turn of the 20th century, when families like the Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, and Carnegies controlled vast fortunes.

The wealthiest person on the planet, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, saw his wealth increase $74 billion so far this year, reaching $189 billion. Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, has seen his wealth rise $76 billion this year, totaling $103 billion.

"From 2018 through July 2020, tech billionaires saw their wealth rise 42.5% to $1.8 trillion, the report found, while billionaires deriving their fortune from healthcare similarly saw their wealth rise 50.3% during the period to $658.6 billion."

— Nomi Prins (@nomiprins) October 7, 2020
While the UBS report noted that 209 billionaires had publicly committed to donating $7.2 billion in COVID-19 disaster relief, the figures represent just .07% of all billionaire wealth, with less than one in ten billionaires committing to contribute anything at all.

Luke Hilyard, executive director of the High Pay Centre, which researches excessive pay, said the “extreme wealth concentration is an ugly phenomenon from a moral perspective, but it’s also economically and socially destructive. Anyone accumulating riches on this scale could easily afford to raise the pay of the employees who generate their wealth, or contribute a great deal more in taxes to support vital public services while remaining very well rewarded for whatever successes they’ve achieved."

Josef Stradler, head of UBS' global family office department that directly deals with the world's wealthiest individuals, said that the fact that billionaire wealth had increased so much while hundreds of millions of people worldwide are struggling could lead to public and political anger, having previously warned that the inequality gap between rich and poor could potentially lead to a “strike back." ... -0014.html

you know what to do...

Re: Socialist Demands for the COVID-19 Crisis

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 3:03 pm
by blindpig
Who are “covid dissidents” and why are they dangerous
Reader opinion

The term "covid dissident" has appeared quite recently. But it has already firmly entered our everyday dictionary. To put it quite simply, it means people who ... do not believe in coronavirus.

"What is absurd?" - Ask a person accustomed to the scientific way of knowing the world. “What does it mean - do not believe in coronavirus? Maybe they don't believe in a heliocentric model of the solar system yet? "

Don't oversimplify, however. Yes, in a modern society with an unprecedented availability of information sources, we have to deal with a variety of forms of "faith" and "unbelief." There are people who do not believe that earthly astronauts have already been on the moon, and in general in the reality of space flights. There are people who believe that the world is ruled by aliens. There are even those who seriously doubt the sphericity of the Earth.


Another, less radical branch of "covid dissidents" does not deny the virus itself. However, at the same time, he questions the presence of an epidemic and claims that within the framework, again, of a government special operation, the danger of the virus is significantly exaggerated. "In fact, it is not worse than the flu, and the authorities deliberately lie to us about the scale and intimidate the population!" - you can often hear from them. The goals for which this exaggeration is allegedly being carried out are formulated exactly the same as the deniers of the coronavirus as such see them.

"Patients with coronavirus do not die from it!" - this conclusion was made by many commentators on social networks back in the spring, when among the first victims, most people were carriers of certain chronic diseases. At the same time, none of them got the idea that this is not surprising - after all, a person with a chronic disease is, of course, weaker. In addition, the virus itself, as the doctors said, contributed to the exacerbation of many chronic diseases. Finally, smarter users quickly noticed that if such logic was developed further, then it was possible to come to completely absurd conclusions. For example, that not a single person has died from a fall from a height - after all, in this case it is not the fall itself that kills, but the impact with the ground!

Now, when the second wave of the epidemic has already swept the world, we often hear the following argument: “It is useless to defend ourselves, wear masks and comply with sanitary requirements that limit our freedoms, everyone will get sick anyway!” Only such "covid-fatalists" do not think about the fact that the process of "recovering from everyone" can be long and gradual, or it can turn out to be an avalanche. But in the first case, the health care system - the one whose state today only the lazy does not remember - has a certain amount of time. And this stock can be used for the preparation of beds, for the production of the necessary equipment in the required quantity, for the production of the required volumes of medicines and vaccines, for the implementation of many other necessary measures.[But will it be used? This is a big question. In any case, for our country. - Ed. ]In the end, it should be remembered that the staff of doctors is far from endless, and their capacity for work is not unlimited. In the event of an instant mass outbreak, it will have to be dealt with only by those means that will be available here and now. And if, with the slow course of the epidemic, there are chances that the health care system will withstand the load, then in the second option there will be a sorely lack of beds, medicines, and the same ventilators, and just specialists. And then, exhausted by almost round-the-clock work, doctors will have to resort to practically military-field methods of triage, and decide which of the patients, in the face of a shortage of medicines and equipment, will be given a chance to survive, and which should be considered hopeless. So the phrase that “everyone will get sick anyway” should have an integral continuation - “and the strongest will survive”.

"Quarantine and sanitary measures violate our rights!" Here I would like to express myself not very censorship. Because when rights are really violated, and not by the “world behind the scenes” and not by the abstract “power”, but by a very specific employer, then for some reason we do not observe massive and active opposition, even by completely peaceful and legal methods, in most cases. But, alas, there are plenty of those who want to show their "courage", ignoring sanitary and hygienic requirements, demonstratively neglecting masks and arranging almost demonstrative picnics every warm weekend. Moreover, - let's be objective - the Russian authorities, neither in the spring nor now, have applied such harsh measures as in the same USA or Europe.


So, during the first, spring wave of the epidemic, the fine for a primary violation of quarantine in France was 135 euros , with a repeated violation, its amount increased to 1,500 euros . Well, if the "fronder" continued to persist, then he could part with 3700 euros , or even get arrested for up to six months. And in the UK, starting in October, for a person with symptoms of coronavirus or in contact with a person who has been diagnosed with a coronavirus, in case of violation of quarantine, the fine is up to 1,000 pounds (almost 1,300 US dollars). If the violation is repeated, the fine increases to 10 thousand pounds (13 thousand US dollars).

Maybe in liberal Europe, such strict measures are applied only to those who have already been diagnosed with the disease? Not at all. In Italy, the wearing of masks by all citizens today is mandatory not only in shops and public transport, but also outdoors, while the fine for not wearing a mask ranges from 400 to 1000 euros . In Germany, since mid-August, in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, a fine of 150 euros has been introduced for those who ignore the masks , and in other states, the size of such fines can reach 500 euros . And these examples are far from isolated.

However, Russian “covid dissidents” have the opportunity to demonstrate their indifference to the public interest with significantly less risk. At the same time, he also does not hesitate to call other people "idiots", "slaves" and "herd".

"Masks, gloves and antiseptics are useless . " Most often, adherents of this branch of "covid dissidence" recall that the size of the virus is significantly smaller than the size of the cells of any mask tissue. Although it has already been explained many times by experts that the mask does not filter viruses as such - they really will not be contained by a single tissue barrier - but drops of moisture that carry the virus. Similarly, it is true that the virus does not enter the body through the skin. But with the infected surface of the hand, a person can, consciously or unconsciously, touch one of the mucous membranes. Which, just, are the main gateway for the entry of the virus.

You often hear indignant phrases like “why should I wear a mask if I'm healthy” ? A lot has been written and said that the main danger and insidiousness of the coronavirus lies precisely in its long "latent" period, when a person may not even guess about his illness and at the same time be a kind of "walking biological bomb". But there are still those who do not perceive it. Or deliberately ignores.

"But scientist So-and-so said that all this is garbage!" Interestingly, in science, there really is still no absolute unity on the issue of the origin and properties of the coronavirus. But what's even more interesting is that this is ... a normal situation! Modern science, in contrast to the science of past centuries, when there were still very few scientists, relies not so much on the opinions of individual - even very authoritative - personalities, but on collective agreement, on paradigms and hypotheses recognized by the majority of the scientific community. And the majority today is unanimous that the virus exists, that even the simplest measures can, if not guarantee against infection, then, in any case, significantly reduce its risk and slow the spread of infection around the world, and that vaccinations are the most effective method of struggle.

Here, by the way, it should be noted that the dialectical development of denial of the danger of coronavirus is the promotion of refusal of vaccination. You can also find different branches in it. Most often we hear that "a vaccine cannot be created in a year." However, one should not forget that the work on it did not begin at all "from absolute zero." Despite all the consequences of liberal reforms, Russian microbiologists still have a huge scientific legacy left over from Soviet institutions. And there the developments were very serious - after all, they were faced with the task of resisting a possible bacteriological war. In addition, the new generation of scientists already has a fairly serious groundwork, including during the recent fight against the Ebola outbreak.... And finally, let's remember that Khavkin's cholera vaccine was obtained in 1892, and began to be used already in 1893. And this is not in the 21st century, but in the 19th, when researchers had much fewer opportunities.

[Let us remind our readers about the state of affairs with the Russian vaccine. - Ed. ]

In the end, we will mention another branch of "covid dissidence" and anti-vaccine sectarianism. Fortunately, quite a small number, but very visible on social networks. Representatives of which in all seriousness preach that a vaccine against coronavirus should not protect humanity, but, on the contrary, destroy a significant part of the world's population (in different sources, numbers from 15 to 95 percent are called). And the survivors, along with the same vaccine, will be injected with "nanochips" developed hardly under the personal control of Bill Gates, and with the help of which the world oligarchy intends to control people. And, of course, the 5G telecommunication standard is being introduced precisely to transmit the signal to the newly minted "biorobots".

Here it is hardly possible to take anything seriously and to discuss something. And to explain the origin of such versions, perhaps, one will have to turn to psychiatry. But the most interesting thing is that those who so colorfully paint the horrors of the future "chipization" on the Internet are unlikely to give up their cellular communication today. Which, we note, they use quite voluntarily. And which at the same time is not fictional, but a very real means that allows you to learn a lot about a person. So it's easy to guess: if the "world government" sets itself the goal of "total control over the population of the planet," then it already has much simpler means of achieving it. And not only they do not provoke resistance, but even, on the contrary, are in considerable demand among consumers.

Why is “covid dissidence” so popular?
There are many reasons for this. And they are of a very different nature - both psychological and social.

When the human brain realizes a danger that cannot be avoided, the psyche begins to activate many protective mechanisms. And for many people, one of these mechanisms is the denial of this very danger. In the same way, a child, when he is afraid, closes his eyes with his palms. An adult will not only think and hope that "everything is not so scary", "there is no danger", or "it is artificially exaggerated", but also look for any informational clue that will allow him to prove his innocence at least to himself. Then he goes to the Internet and finds like-minded people, those who, just like him, deny the danger. Because "since I'm not the only one who thinks so, it means that there is something in this!"

The bourgeois egoism, which has been nurtured so long and carefully over the past 30 years, also contributes to a large extent to "covid dissidence". "Why should I, because of some kind of pandemic, deny myself the pleasure of barbecuing on the lake shore and drinking beer with friends?" - thinks the man in the street. Well, and the fact that others may be near - "so these are their problems, if they are afraid, then let them not approach . "

And now we come to the saddest thing.

Over the years that have passed since the collapse of the USSR, our authorities have done everything to make people stop believing them. And now, when it comes to a real danger, and the authorities turn to people with a quite reasonable request to take care of themselves and those around them, these same people simply by virtue of an already established tradition think that they are being deceived this time too. Exactly the same as in the famous parable about the shepherdess. For the sake of a joke, he shouted “Wolves!” Several times, and the fellow villagers who always came to help saw only his smiling face. But when the wolves actually came and pounced on the herd, and the unlucky shepherd already in all seriousness called for help, no one responded. And it didn't help.

[Speaking about “reasonable requests” from the authorities, the author forgets to mention that during the epidemic the authorities remained true to themselves and repeatedly discredited themselves and their measures. Here one can recall the magnificent holidays of the oligarchs without observing epidemiological norms, and the notorious "self-isolation" instead of declaring a full-fledged emergency, and the massive falsification of statistics, and repression against doctors , and the collapse of local healthcare , and much more. Russian citizens have no reason to believe in the good intentions of the Russian authorities. - Ed. ]

Indicative is the fact that in their mistrust of the official data on the scale of the epidemic, people were divided into two groups. Some believe that the official data are many times underestimated, because the authorities hide the true scale. Others just as stubbornly defend the opinion that the data are many times overstated. But both the first and the second are simply sure of deception - because it cannot be otherwise, in their understanding!

People do not believe that any of the top management is actually sick.

People do not believe that government officials and their relatives who wished to volunteer in the third round of trials now in progress were injected with the real vaccine.

People do not believe that the authorities, calling for the observance of quarantine and sanitary measures, can take care of them. [And rightly they don't. The recent meeting between the oligarchs and Putin speaks better than a thousand words. - Ed. ]

And they begin to act already from one simple consideration - "out of spite!" “I’ll take it, and in spite of this government I will go without a mask and ignore the quarantine!”

However, such "resistance" increasingly resembles the phrases of the heroes of the jokes. "To spite my mother, I'll frostbite my ears!" "In spite of my mother-in-law, I'll knock out my eyes - let everyone say that her son-in-law is crooked!" The only question is, who will be really worse from such steps, is purely rhetorical. After all, the chance to meet with a representative of the authorities in the subway or shop, as you might guess, is minimal. But the chance to transmit the infection to another person, the same as you, is, alas, much higher.

At this point, it is worth mentioning a kind of "left" branch of "covid dissidence". Representatives of which are guided by the argument that since the bourgeois government actively calls for the use of protective equipment, then exactly the opposite should be done. What can I say here? Comrades, what if the bourgeois government advises to wash your hands before eating? If the bourgeois government says that according to the rules, the street should be turned green? What if the bourgeois government announces that it is undesirable to walk along the sleepers towards a speeding train? In these and similar cases, will you also act on the principle “exactly the opposite”?

From the fact that the bourgeois power in certain situations voices the truth, it certainly does not cease to be bourgeois. But the truth from this also does not cease to be the truth. And the path of "struggle against capitalism" based on the tactics of a priori denial of everything that the bourgeois government articulates, will lead not forward to socialism and communism, but back to the Middle Ages. When there really was no capitalism, no sanitary measures, no quarantine, no vaccination. But there was much more. The return of which is unlikely to dream of at least one reasonable person.

And, finally, many doubt the need for sanitary and hygienic measures because they do not see the real consequences of the coronavirus. Yes, fortunately, most of us today learn about the situation only from the reports of the Operations Headquarters. You can either believe them or not believe them. But - I repeat - to our great happiness, we do not have the opportunity to check them, personally counting the corpses lying on the streets.

Indeed, the trouble has passed for many people. However, one should not forget about other testimonies when whole families died. And, perhaps, it is worth saying a huge "Thank you!" to all those doctors, rescuers, social workers, volunteers and many other people who, with their selfless work, helped the country to avoid the worst-case scenario. Helped save many lives. Including, possibly, some of those who are so actively shouting on the Internet about the "invented danger" and "special operations of the world government."

Why are “covid dissidents” dangerous?
But the danger posed by the "covid dissidents" themselves, alas, is no longer invented, but quite real. What is it?

Firstly, denying either the epidemic itself, or the degree of its danger, or “protesting” against the “restriction of freedoms,” these people do not comply with sanitary and hygienic standards, and many of them do it demonstratively. "Here I am, all of myself free, look how I show my middle finger to the regime, that's how brave I am, unlike you slaves!" Some even go to an extreme degree - when they deliberately violate the prescribed quarantine, even knowing about their illness. "If I'm already sick, then I have nothing to lose, and infecting others is not my problem."

Fortunately, such extreme manifestations are still quite rare. But very often you hear that "since I am not sick, and I have no symptoms, then I do not have to wear an" idiotic muzzle. " The arguments about the danger of an asymptomatic course, as already mentioned, are not perceived by these people. Moreover, if you tell them that in order to be sure of your health, you need to pass the test, they will snap back - “when the temperature rises, then maybe I'll go!”.


But the virus absolutely does not give a damn about what the “covid dissident” thinks about and what is guided by it. And he will strike indiscriminately - both a stubborn fronder, and an ordinary person who, to his misfortune, turned out to be next to him.

Thus, neglecting sanitary recommendations, such people in any case become already conscious carriers of the virus. The number of patients is increased. There is a shortage of places in hospitals. And, as we have already said, the worst thing is that they increase the likelihood of the moment when there will be more patients in need of ventilators than there are such devices available. When doctors have to make a choice who will live and who will not.

Secondly, many “covid dissidents” are not closed in their circle. They actively encourage others to follow their example. Moreover, in the era of the Internet, it is not so difficult. And on the Internet, you can find a myriad of communities in which the “covid dissidents” spread their ideology, while no longer hesitating to actually call for open disobedience - “if we are not all slaves, we don’t wear idiotic masks, we don’t allow ourselves to pour hands are an incomprehensible antiseptic, then the authorities cannot do anything! " Of course, there are no thoughts about those who become infected and, possibly, even die.

Thirdly, often "covid dissidents" do not confine themselves to campaigning, but also go on to demonstration actions. Stories about how in the spring some young people, wanting to prove that the coronavirus is supposedly not dangerous, licked the walls of houses, in memory of everyone who followed the development of the situation. But such "performances", in the end, are only the business of those who participate in them. But when, in the comments on the page of a well-known parental organization, a certain lady proudly talks about how she achieved the abolition of sanitizers and measuring the temperature of children at the school where her granddaughter studies, it is already much more dangerous.

Finally, the following should not be forgotten. Yes, for a reasonable person who has preserved the knowledge acquired in Soviet schools and institutes, the arguments of the deniers of the coronavirus and anti-vaccines will only cause a smile. However, according to a study conducted by the Directorate for Expert and Analytical Work of the Higher School of Economics, 9.6% of respondents doubted the real danger of coronavirus back in May of this year , and 23.2% were convinced that the epidemic was fiction . The numbers are not that small and cannot but cause alarm.

Because one should not assume that the denial of objectively existing phenomena, the denial of scientific approaches to understanding them, and, if necessary, approaches to combating them, the replacement of the materialistic perception of reality with conspiracy theories, conjectures and rumors will remain only within the framework of the topic of coronavirus infection. In the absence of effective countermeasures, counter-propaganda, in the absence of scientific education of people, these phenomena will cover more and more spheres of human society. And in this case it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to talk about any progressive social transformations.

Alexey Serpokrylov ... i-pochemu/

Google Translator

Re: Socialist Demands for the COVID-19 Crisis

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 4:26 pm
by blindpig
Why pharma giant Pfizer should not control the COVID vaccine

John WinsteadNovember 10, 2020 301 2 minutes read

Download PDF flyer ... osts/89418

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, along with its German partner BioNTech, is hoping to cash in on the promising new vaccine for COVID-19 unveiled this week. Studies have shown that when taken twice three weeks apart, the vaccine was up to 90 percent effective at preventing symptomatic occurances of the disease compared to those who took only a placebo. More studies are soon to come before this vaccine is ready to be rolled out to the general public.

While the vaccine itself is certainly welcome news, Pfizer has a long history of price gouging as well as scandals involving tax avoidance and environmental destruction. The production and distribution of a life saving medication as desperately-needed as the Coronavirus vaccine should not be entrusted to this corporate giant’s executives.

AIDS medication is one example of the company’s extreme greed. In the early 2000s Pfizer came under fire for their high price of AIDS drugs sold around the world. Under intense public scrutiny, the company was pressured into making some nominal donations, but this was short lived. In 2003 they went back on their offer to license its AIDS drug Rescriptor for low-cost distributions internationally.

Pfizer, like all mega corporations, goes to great lengths to avoid paying taxes. In 2015, Pfizer negotiated a $160 billion deal to merge with major pharmaceutical firm Allergan. While regulation changes ultimately scuttled the deal, this move would have allowed the combined company to move its headquarters to Ireland — a main international tax haven. In 2005 Pfizer took advantage of a U.S. tax holiday for companies that agreed to repatriate their foreign profits. The policy was presented to the public as a job creating measure. Pfizer took advantage of the tax holiday more than any other company, repatriating $37 billion to save $11 billion in potential taxes, but instead cut its workforce in the United States.

The company has been fined many times by the Environmental Protection Agency. For example, its plant in Groton, Connecticut was fined in 2005 over a major chemical release that caused serious injuries, and then again in 2008 over Clean Air Act violations. The 2008 fine amounted to nearly $1 million.

Pfizer has a long standing tradition of duplicitous posturing. More than a month ago at the virtual BIO conference, Pfizer’s Chief Business Officer John Young downplayed the priority of return on investment and instead said, “finding medical solutions to this crisis” was the main priority. However, their CEO Albert Bourla said earlier this week that he disagrees with the critics who argue that COVID-19 vaccine developers forgo profits in the interest of humanity writ large. He called his detractors “fanatics” and said “Who is finding the solution? The private sector.”

The implication is that somehow the capitalists that run these companies can take credit for the labor of their scientists and employees. In addition, Pfizer certainly seems to have some kind of interest in the public sector — the corporation had the foresight to add Scott Gottlieb, the most recent past federal Commissioner of Food and Drugs, to its board of directors. Gottlieb is paid over $230,000 in this role.

Without extra profits from a Coronavirus vaccine, Pfizer and its executives have plenty of money already. Bourla received over $16 million in compensation last year alone, and Young made in excess of $7.6 million. Also in 2019, the company’s Executive Chairman raked in $15.3 million, and its Chief Financial Officer took home nearly $9.5 million. Pfizer’s total corporate revenues amounted to $51.8 billion last year.

There is no reason for anyone to expect a company with such a sordid history to be responsible enough to handle the dissemination of perhaps the most important medical advancement of the century — the vaccine to the coronavirus. Like all great scientific breakthroughs, this vaccine is the product of the collective work of many people, so it makes no sense for the rewards of such a product to go into the pockets of a handful of Pfizer executives. The vaccine should, like the polio vaccine before it, be held in common and freely available to all who need it. That is the only way to effectively stomp out this virus and bring an end to this pandemic. ... rationnews