Biden tapping 2 to step in for ousted science adviser
Biden Science Adviser FILE - Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing Sept. 9, 2020, in Washington. (Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP, File) (Michael Reynolds)WASHINGTON — (AP) — President Joe Biden is replacing a top science adviser who resigned under a cloud with two individuals who will split his duties on an interim basis. Biden is tapping a deputy in the White House science and technology office along with the recently retired director of the National Institutes of Health, according to a personal familiar with the president's plans. Biden was expected to elevate Alondra Nelson, currently the deputy director for science and society in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, to become the temporary director of the office. Eric Lander, who had served in the dual roles of Biden's chief science adviser and head of the science and technology office, resigned last week after the White House confirmed that an internal investigation had found credible evidence that he mistreated staff.wftv.com
US scientists who downplayed COVID-19 lab leak origins theory sang a different tune in private, emails show
American scientists who publicly attributed the COVID-19 pandemic to natural origins rather than human engineering were far less confident in private, transcripts and notes from previous meetings show.news.yahoo.com
Scientists believed Covid leaked from Wuhan lab - but feared debate could hurt ‘international harmony’
Leading British and US scientists thought it was likely that Covid accidentally leaked from a laboratory but were concerned that further debate would harm science in China, emails show.news.yahoo.com
Outgoing NIH director says 'hundreds of thousands would have died' from COVID if US hadn't listened to him
Outgoing National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins took aim at the makers of the 'The Great Barrington Declaration,' refusing to step down from calling them “'fringe epidemiologists' while arguing 'hundreds of thousands' would have died of COVID-19 if the country followed their advicenews.yahoo.com
U.S. could see 1 million COVID cases a day, warns retiring NIH director
The Omicron variant could drive the U.S. toward U.S. hitting a million COVID-19 cases per day if Americans are not vigilant about mitigation strategies, outgoing National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins warned on NPR's "Weekend Edition" Sunday.Driving the news: The variant has been detected in 89 countries and is driving COVID-19 cases to double every 1.5 to 3 days in areas where there is community spread, according to the World Health Organization.Stay on top of the latest marketnews.yahoo.com
Retiring NIH director Dr. Francis Collins faced off with Trump over refusing to endorse disproven COVID treatments
Preview: Head of National Institutes of Health tells "CBS Sunday Morning" he tried staying out of partisan debates over last administration's coronavirus response, but was willing to quit rather than compromise scientific principles under former president.cbsnews.com
How can I protect myself from the new omicron variant?
How can I protect myself from the new omicron variant? For all the attention omicron is getting, the overwhelming cause of infections and deaths in many places remains the extra-contagious delta variant. Omicron is an uncertain threat,” Dr. Francis Collins, director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, told The Associated Press. But it also could help ensure safety before holiday gatherings, even if everyone attending has been vaccinated, Vaishampayan says. [ Why can’t some COVID-19 vaccinated people travel to the US? ]wftv.com
Japan bans entry of foreign visitors as omicron spreads
Japan announced Monday it will suspend entry of all foreign visitors from around the world as a new coronavirus variant spreads, prompting an increasing number of countries to tighten their borders. “We are taking the step as an emergency precaution to prevent a worst-case scenario in Japan,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said. The decision means Japan will restore border controls that it eased earlier this month for short-term business visitors, foreign students and workers.news.yahoo.com
The Latest: New Zealand’s largest city to remain locked down
By early next week, New Zealanders should know if their government's strict new lockdown is working to stamp out its first coronavirus outbreak in six months. (AP Photo /Nick Perry) (Nick Perry)WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand’s largest city will remain in lockdown for at least two more weeks, although some restrictions will be eased from Tuesday. Auckland has been in the strictest form of lockdown for just over a month, the longest stretch since the pandemic began. But the outbreak has proved stubborn, with the city continuing to report about 20 new local cases each day. But most people will still be required to live and work from home, and schools will remain closed.wftv.com
The Latest: Health official: Booster use may be expanded
Virus Outbreak Nepal Festival Masked dancers perform during the annual Indra Jatra festival in Kathmandu, Nepal, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. The feast of Indra Jatra marks the return of the festival season in the Himalayan nation two years after it was scaled down because the pandemic. The Food and Drug Administration will consider the advisory group’s advice and make its own decision, probably within days. Nepal’s president and highest officials also lined up to get her blessing, together with the tens of thousands of others. Staffing challenges and concerns about housing volunteers also played into the decision to cancel the event, according to organizers.wftv.com
The Latest: Health official: Booster use may be expanded
The National Institutes of Health director says a U_S_ government advisory panel’s decision to limit Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots to Americans 65 and older as well as those at high risk of severe disease is a preliminary step and predicts broader approval for most Americans “in the next few weeks.”.
Latest: US to spend $470M to learn more about long COVID-19
Virus Outbreak FILE - In this March 26, 2021, file photo a member of the Philadelphia Fire Department prepares a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination site setup in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File) (Matt Rourke)WASHINGTON — The U.S. government will spend $470 million to learn more about long COVID-19, its causes and potential treatments. Biden said 100 million workers would be subject to the requirement. ___PARIS — Health care workers in France face suspension from their jobs starting Wednesday if they haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19. The 1,663 cases reported in the capital and nearby areas were the most since the start of the pandemic.wftv.com
U.S. intelligence agencies split on Covid-19 origins, offer no high-confidence conclusions in new report
WASHINGTON — The U.S. intelligence community said Thursday that it was divided over the exact origin of Covid-19 in China. "After examining all available intelligence reporting and other information, though, the IC remains divided on the most likely origin of Covid-19. Four agencies said they had low confidence that the virus had a natural emergence, according to the report. In May, President Joe Biden ordered a closer intelligence review of what he described as two likely scenarios of the origins of the Covid-19. "Not to say that it could not have been under study secretly at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and got out of there, we don't know about that.cnbc.com
The Latest: US schools open amid record virus delta wave
Kate Brown announced Oregon is expanding its COVID-19 vaccine requirement to include all teachers, educators, support staff and volunteers in K-12 schools. In a message to the community, the university says 87% of students have attested they are fully vaccinated. Those who become fully vaccinated and report their status to the university will no longer have to face twice-weekly testing. North Carolina on Thursday registered more than 7,000 daily COVID-19 cases, the highest in seven months. ___BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania reported 595 coronavirus cases, its highest daily number in three months, amid one of the European Union’s slowest vaccination campaigns.wftv.com
Record delta wave hits kids, raises fear as US schools open
Virus Outbreak Children Delta This 2021 photo provided by Yessica Gonzalez shows her son, Francisco Rosales, 9, in the intensive care unit at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. At times this month, his hospital system has diagnosed 200 children with COVID-19 a day, with about 6% of them needing hospital care. On some days, the number of children in the hospital with COVID-19 has exceeded 45. Knowing the toll the pandemic has taken on children, Hinojosa is determined to keep his schools open. As a parent and an administrator, Weaver said the delta surge “is a major concern, it’s a major frustration.wftv.com
US could see 200,000 Covid cases a day again: ‘Unvaccinated are sitting ducks’
Director of National Institutes of Health pleads with Americans to get their shots as Delta variant ravages the country Dr Francis Collins, director of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), center, speaks during a Senate hearing in Washington on 26 May 2021. Photograph: Stefani Reynolds/EPA The US could soon see Covid-19 cases return to 200,000 a day, a level not seen since among the pandemic’s worst days in January and February, the director of the National Institutes of Health warned onnews.yahoo.com
Faith leaders get COVID-19 shot to curb vaccine reluctance
Patricia Hailes Fears, pastor of the Fellowship Baptist Church in Washington, is administered with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine during a gathering of a group of interfaith clergy members, community leaders and officials at the Washington National Cathedral, to encourage faith communities to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, March 16, 2021, in Washington. AdFollowing a moment of prayer for COVID-19 victims, the socially distanced attendees applauded when the Rev. Ad“We often get asked, can you get COVID-19 from the vaccine? It is impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine," Fauci said, sporting a gray face mask with drawings of laboratory beakers. In Washington, Black residents account for a little under half the population but nearly three-fourths of COVID-19 deaths.
J&J’s 1-dose shot cleared, giving US 3rd COVID-19 vaccine
The FDA said J&J’s vaccine offers strong protection against what matters most: serious illness, hospitalizations and death. The J&J vaccine also is easier to handle, lasting three months in the refrigerator compared to the Pfizer and Moderna options, which must be frozen. Like other COVID-19 vaccines, the main side effects of the J&J shot are pain at the injection site and flu-like fever, fatigue and headache. All COVID-19 vaccines train the body to recognize the new coronavirus, usually by spotting the spikey protein that coats it. It’s the same technology the company used in making an Ebola vaccine, and similar to COVID-19 vaccines made by AstraZeneca and China’s CanSino Biologics.
Biden says US is securing 600 million vaccine doses by July
President Joe Biden speaks during a visit to the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Bethesda, Md. – President Joe Biden said Thursday that the U.S. will have enough supply of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the summer to inoculate 300 million Americans. He toured the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory that created the COVID-19 vaccine now manufactured by Moderna and being rolled out in the U.S. and other countries. The U.S. is on pace to exceed Biden’s goal of administering 100 million vaccine doses in his first 100 days in office, with more than 26 million shots delivered in his first three weeks. On the tour, Biden was shown the lab bench where researchers sequenced the virus and developed the precursor of the Moderna vaccine.
Biden: Science will be at `forefront’ of his administration
President-elect Joe Biden, right, listens as his nomineefor the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and adviser on science Eric Lander speaks during an event at The Queen theater, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Wilmington, Del. Biden also named two prominent female scientists to co-chair the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Biden picked Alondra Nelson of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, a social scientist who studies science, technology and social inequality, as deputy science policy chief. The president-elect noted the team's diversity and repeated his promise that his administration's science policy and investments would target historically disadvantaged and underserved communities. The job as director of science and technology policy requires Senate confirmation.
Biden picks geneticist as science adviser, puts in Cabinet
President-elect Joe Biden picked a pioneering geneticist to be his science advisor and elevated the job to his Cabinet. Saying “science will always be at the forefront of my administration,” Biden said he is boosting the science advisor post to Cabinet level, a first in White House history. The job as director of science and technology policy requires Senate confirmation. Science organizations were also quick to praise Lander and the promotion of the science post. Biden chose Alondra Nelson of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, a social scientist who studies science, technology and social inequality, as deputy science policy chief.
US clears Moderna vaccine for COVID-19, 2nd shot in arsenal
FDA’s decision could help pave the way for other countries that are considering the Moderna vaccine, the first-ever regulatory clearance for the small Cambridge, Massachusetts, company. Britain, Canada and a few other countries already have cleared the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, with a European Union decision due Monday. The FDA’s main messages:--Both the new Moderna vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech shot require two doses several weeks apart. --In a study of 30,000 volunteers, the Moderna vaccine was more than 94% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in people 18 and older. Like with the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, expect sore arms, fever, fatigue and muscle aches, which are signs the immune system is revving up.
'Healing is coming': US health workers start getting vaccine
“I feel like healing is coming.”With a countdown of “3-2-1,” workers at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center gave initial injections to applause. High-risk health care workers were first in line. It just represents a moral failing,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, a public health researcher at Johns Hopkins. And later this week, the FDA will decide whether to greenlight the world’s second rigorously studied COVID-19 vaccine, made by Moderna Inc. “We’re also in the middle of a surge, and it’s the holidays, and our health care workers have been working at an extraordinary pace,” said Sue Mashni, chief pharmacy officer at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.
Volunteers still needed to test variety of COVID-19 vaccines
Moderna Inc. and competitor Pfizer Inc. recently announced preliminary results showing their vaccines appear more than 90% effective, at least for short-term protection against COVID-19. Instead, the vaccines are made with a brand-new technology that injects a piece of genetic code for the spike protein. TROJAN HORSE VACCINESA different way to target the spike protein: Use another, harmless virus to carry the spike gene into the body. Once again, the body produces some spike protein and primes the immune system. But inactivated vaccines give the body a sneak peek at the germ itself rather than just that single spike protein.
2 scientists win Nobel chemistry prize for gene-editing tool
French scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier and American Jennifer A. Doudna have won the Nobel Prize 2020 in chemistry for developing a method of genome editing likened to 'molecular scissors' that offer the promise of one day curing genetic diseases. “There is enormous power in this genetic tool,” said Claes Gustafsson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry. In 1911, Marie Curie was the sole recipient of the chemistry award, as was Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin in 1964. ___Read more stories about Nobel Prizes past and present by The Associated Press at https://www.apnews.com/NobelPrizes___This story was first published Oct. 7, 2020. It was updated on Oct. 8, 2020, to correct the aim of clinical trials that are underway with the gene-editing tool CRISPR.
Nearly 1M who died of COVID-19 also illuminated treatment
Several drugs have proved useful and doctors know more about how to care for the sickest patients in hospitals, he said. People who have died from COVID-19, especially ones who took part in studies, have helped reveal what drugs do or do not help. Two anti-inflammatory drugs, one used in combination with remdesivir — the drug Wang helped test — also have been reported to help although results of those studies have not yet been published. In hospitals, doctors know more now about ways to avoid using breathing machines, such as keeping patients on their bellies. “Prevention is the most important step right now as we’re waiting for a vaccine and we’re improving treatment,” Goodman said.
Late-stage study of first single-shot COVID-19 vaccine begins in US
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn pledged that career scientists, not politicians, will decide whether any coronavirus vaccine meets clearly stated standards that it works and is safe. In one of the largest studies yet, Johnson & Johnson aims to enroll 60,000 volunteers to test its single-dose approach in the U.S., South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. J&J’s vaccine is made with slightly different technology than others in late-stage testing, modeled on an Ebola vaccine the company created. Yet Redfield struggled to defend against criticism that CDC bowed to political pressure with guidelines that discouraged testing of people without COVID-19 symptoms. Going forward, “we need uniformity throughout the country.”In a testy exchange, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky insisted public health officials were wrong that a lockdown could change the course of the pandemic.
Push is underway to test COVID-19 vaccines in diverse groups
– In front of baskets of tomatoes and peppers, near a sizzling burrito grill, the “promotoras” stop masked shoppers at a busy Latino farmers market: Want to test a COVID-19 vaccine? Many thousands of volunteers from minority groups are needed for huge clinical trials underway or about to begin. Scientists say a diverse group of test subjects is vital to determining whether a vaccine is safe and effective for everyone and instilling broad public confidence in the shots once they become available. Together they make up nearly 40% of the U.S. population, and an equitable vaccine study would match those demographics, though health officials would like to see even greater numbers. —-The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education.
Vaccine by Nov. 3? Halted study explains just how unlikely
But public fears that a vaccine is unsafe or ineffective could be disastrous, derailing the effort to vaccinate millions of Americans. DOING THE MATHThe FDA already has told manufacturers it won't consider any vaccine that's less than 50% effective. On the other hand, if equal numbers from the vaccine and placebo groups got infected, the DSMB might declare a vaccine futile, he told The Associated Press. These panels also can calculate infections even before that 150 threshold is met, at set time points in each study. Several vaccine candidates made by Chinese companies are in late stages of testing in various countries, but with smaller numbers of volunteers.
Third virus vaccine reaches major hurdle: final US testing
AstraZeneca announced Monday its vaccine candidate has entered the final testing stage in the U.S. Final testing, experts stress, must be in large numbers of people to know if theyre safe enough for mass vaccinations. Instead, theyre made with the genetic code for the aptly named spike protein that coats the surface of the coronavirus. Chinas government authorized emergency use of CanSino Biologics adenovirus shots in the military ahead of any final testing. Competitor SinoPharm has announced plans for final testing in some other countries.
Debate begins for who's first in line for COVID-19 vaccine
Who gets to be first in line for a COVID-19 vaccine? Huge studies this summer aim to prove which of several experimental COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. But a COVID-19 vaccine decision is so tricky that this time around, ethicists and vaccine experts from the National Academy of Medicine, chartered by Congress to advise the government, are being asked to weigh in, too. Indeed, the risks for health workers today are far different than in the pandemics early days. Now, health workers in COVID-19 treatment units often are the best protected; others may be more at risk, committee members noted.
Why hasn’t the heat stopped the spread of COVID-19?
We all heard the notion that heat would help slow or stop the spread of COVID-19. In April, President Donald Trump said his coronavirus task force had research that indicated heat and humidity may kill or slow the spread of COVID-19, saying the findings may indicate that the disease could be less contagious in summer months. RELATED: Trust Index: Can we count on summer heat to beat the COVID-19 pandemic? According to experts, we can only blame ourselves for the alarming increase in COVID-19 cases. More stores are requiring face coverings to be worn and more and more city and state officials are implementing mask mandates.
Trust Index: Can we count on summer heat to beat the COVID-19 pandemic?
A few months ago, when the virus had just hit the state, health experts speculated that summer heat may slow the spread of the virus. As Florida finds itself further into the summer months, cases of COVID-19 continue to skyrocket. These numbers seem to indicate that despite hot weather, the COVID-19 pandemic continues with force. Although there are many illnesses that destruct with heat and humidity, this usually occurs in ideal situations. The medical community needs much more research and data to definitively determine the effects of heat and humidity on the virus.