England's Deputy Chief Medical Officer says an "incremental creep" of COVID-19 infections has already "baked in" more deaths.
England's Deputy Chief Medical Officer says an "incremental creep" of COVID-19 infections has already "baked in" more deaths.
The dozens of attendees were all mask-less at Caligula, an illegal sex club, violating New York state COVID-19 regulations.
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh on Monday criticized President Trump’s legal team over their chaotic press conference last week that failed to provide any evidence to back up their claims that the 2020 election was rigged.“You call a gigantic press conference like that — one that lasts an hour — and you announce massive bombshells, then you better have some bombshells,” Limbaugh said during his show on Monday. “There better be something at that press conference other than what we got…I talked to so many people who were blown away by it, by the very nature of the press conference. They promised blockbuster stuff and then nothing happened, and that’s just, it’s not good.”He added, “If you’re gonna do a press conference like that with the promise of blockbusters, then there has to be something more than what that press conference delivered.”He also questioned the role of lawyer Sidney Powell, who was present at the press conference but has since cut ties with Trump’s legal team.Though Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis said Powell is “not a member of the Trump legal team” or a personal lawyer to the president, Limbaugh argued it’s a “tough thing to deny she was ever part of it because they introduced her as part of it."“She was at that press conference last week,” he said.During the press conference on Thursday, Giuliani claimed to have evidence of a "national conspiracy" to steal the election for President-elect Joe Biden, though he said he could not yet release any evidence as the judges presiding over the campaign's lawsuit might object and because his witnesses might face retribution if their names became public. He said he had “at least ten” witnesses ready to describe instances of voter fraud, he couldn’t reveal them publicly because “they don’t want to be harassed.”
President-elect Joe Biden's pick for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, "was known for his unimpeachable ethics," according to The American Prospect's prior report. That may be true, but how he's spent his time since the end of the Obama administration has left some critics bristling at his selection.In a July report, TAP put a spotlight on the strategic consultancy firm WestExec Advisers, of which Blinken and Michele Fourney, the favorite to lead the Pentagon in the Biden administration, were founding partners. The firm has ties to an array of industries, including: tech, financial services, aerospace, defense, and pharmaceuticals. But it's not exactly clear who the individual clients are since the firm, which is not registered to lobby, doesn't have to disclose them. The lack of transparency is a cause for concern among some observers, who are worried about people in the Biden, or any, administration getting too wrapped up in the interests of global corporations, TAP reported.Danielle Brian, the executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit watchdog group, told The New York Times that "those kinds of consulting shops," like WestExec, "take advantage of current laws, so there is no transparency in their clients and how they are trying to influence public policy for them. That's exactly the kind of people who should not be in an administration."There likely will be some clarity, however, since Blinken, as a political appointee, will have to disclose clients who paid $5,000 or more for his services in the past year. Read more about WestExec Advisers at The American Prospect. > Federal political appointees are required to disclose clients who paid $5k or more for their services in the past year. So Blinken's financial disclosure will be a rare glimpse into this sort of consultancy's clientele https://t.co/QqfICsYpx4> > -- Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) November 23, 2020More stories from theweek.com Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. The Secret Service is reportedly preparing for Trump's 'post-presidency life' GM dumps Trump pollution fight, abruptly sides with Biden and California
A Russian warship caught the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain operating illegally in Russia's territorial waters in the Sea of Japan, but chased it off, Russia's defence ministry said on Tuesday. Moscow said that the Admiral Vinogradov, a Russian destroyer, had verbally warned the U.S. ship and threatened to ram it in order to force it to leave the area. The U.S ship had immediately returned to neutral waters after being warned off, the defence ministry said in a statement.
A federal court has thrown out the Trump campaign’s lawsuit in Pennsylvania, which challenged presumptive President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the commonwealth. In so doing, district judge Matthew Brann refused the campaign’s eleventh-hour attempt to file a new complaint that would have reinstated election fraud claims the Trump campaign had abandoned a few days earlier. (I outlined the lawsuit here, and explained the Trump campaign’s last-ditch effort to amend it here.)Judge Brann’s 37-page opinion sets forth a variety of reasons for dismissing the case. Most of them are directed toward the complaints of two individual plaintiffs — voters who claimed that their ballots had been improperly discounted. By contrast, the court found that the Trump campaign had no standing to sue, having posited no evidence that President Trump was harmed in any cognizable way by the manner in which the election was conducted in Pennsylvania.At bottom, though, the court found that the fatal flaw in the case is the one that we have repeatedly stressed: The mismatch between the harm alleged and the remedy sought.As the judge explained, even if one accepted the dubious premise that the two voters in question were improperly denied the right to vote while others similarly situated were not, the commensurate relief would be for their votes to be counted.That, however, was not the remedy they sought. Instead, supported by the Trump campaign, the two voters petitioned the court to stop Pennsylvania from certifying — on Monday as state law requires — the commonwealth’s election result, which had Biden winning by 83,000 votes. Brann countered:> Prohibiting certification of the election results would not reinstate the Individual Plaintiffs’ right to vote. It would simply deny more than 6.8 million [Pennsylvanians] their right to vote. “Standing is measured based on the theory of harm and the specific relief requested.” It is not “dispensed in gross: A plaintiff's remedy must be tailored to redress the plaintiff's particular injury.” Here, the answer to invalidated ballots is not to invalidate millions more. [Footnotes omitted.]As we detailed on Friday, the case was in a strange posture.In filing its original complaint on November 9, the Trump campaign claimed extensive vote fraud, relying mainly on the allegation that Republican poll-watchers had been denied a meaningful opportunity to observe the canvassing of ballots. But, as Brann notes (and we discussed here), on November 13, the federal appeals court for the Third Circuit (which has binding effect on Brann’s district court) issued its opinion in Bognet v. Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Though not directly connected to the campaign’s case, Bognet’s reasoning substantially undercut its claims.The campaign reacted by amending its complaint, reducing the case to the narrow claim that Trump voters’ equal-protection rights (and, derivatively, the campaign’s rights) had been violated by an allegedly skewed procedure: Mail-in voters in Biden-friendly counties had been permitted to cure defects in the ballots they’d submitted, while voters in Trump-friendly counties were not. Brann rejected this claim, accepting Pennsylvania’s argument that Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar had encouraged ballot curing all over the state. Thus the state government was not at fault if not all counties availed themselves of this opportunity.That is largely beside the point, though. Even if there had been a violation of the voters’ rights, the remedy would be to count their votes. Instead, as the court observed,> Plaintiffs seek to remedy the denial of their votes by invalidating the votes of millions of others. Rather than requesting that their votes be counted, they seek to discredit scores of other votes, but only for one race [i.e., the presidential race, not the other contests down-ballot]. This is simply not how the Constitution works. [Emphasis added.]Moreover:> Granting Paintiffs’ requested relief would necessarily require invalidating the ballots of every person who voted in Pennsylvania. Because this Court has no authority to take away the right to vote of even a single person, let along millions of citizens, it cannot grant Plaintiffs’ requested relief.Brann concluded that the Trump campaign had no standing to sue based, derivatively, on the harm alleged by the two voters, particularly after the Bognet ruling. He specifically rejected both of the campaign’s main equal-protection complaints: (1) that its poll-watchers were discriminatorily excluded from observing the canvass, and (2) that the opportunity for voters to cure defective ballots was deliberately done in counties the state knew to favor Biden.On the former, Brann held that this was not, as the Trump campaign maintained, an equal-protection issue. The campaign was not claiming that Trump observers were treated differently from Biden observers. On the latter, Brann concluded that the campaign was misinterpreting Bush v. Gore, and, in any event, was not claiming that Boockvar’s guidance on curing ballots differed from county to county.Most significantly, Brann denied the Trump campaign’s dilatory attempt to amend its complaint yet again late this past week, in order to reinstate claims from their original complaint, which they’d withdrawn last weekend. The court reasoned that this would “unduly delay resolution of the issues” in light of the fact that Monday, November 23, is the deadline for Pennsylvania counties to certify their election results to the state government — a necessary prelude to appointing the slate of electors who will cast the commonwealth’s Electoral College votes.In reaction to the ruling, the Trump campaign lawyers issued a statement asserting that, though they disagreed with the decision by “the Obama-appointed judge,” it was actually a boon to “our strategy to get expeditiously to the U.S. Supreme Court.”It is true that Brann was appointed by former President Barack Obama, but he is a Republican and Federalist Society member who was sponsored by the state’s Republican senator Pat Toomey — a common situation when a state’s two senators are from different parties, and an administration has to horse-trade on appointments.Trump lawyers added that the ruling denied them “the opportunity to present our evidence at a hearing.” They described that as “censorship” of “50 witnesses” who would have testified that state election officials denied the “independent review” required by Pennsylvania law. This is an apparent reference to the campaign’s claim that its poll-watchers were not given a meaningful opportunity to observe the canvass, which the lawyers say, “resulted in 682,777 ballots being cast illegally.” The campaign did not mention that it had dropped this charge from its original complaint. Nor did it allude to Brann’s conclusion that the allegation was not a cognizable equal-protection claim under federal law.The campaign says it will seek an expedited appeal to the Third Circuit — the tribunal that just decided the Bognet case, the precedent that appears to have induced the campaign to withdraw the claims it is now seeking to revive. In any event, it is anything but clear that the Supreme Court, which has thus far declined to act on Pennsylvania election-law claims relevant to the 2020 election, would agree to hear the campaign’s case — even assuming that the Third Circuit grants expedited appeal and, as even the campaign plainly expects, rules against the campaign.
Facebook will promote vaccine and climate change information in a bid to please the Biden administration, sources told the Financial Times.
Decorating mansion will be her final official act as first lady
New evidence indicates most of the 24 inmates killed during a prison riot in Colombia’s capital earlier this year over fears that crowded, unhygienic conditions would fuel a virus outbreak were shot to death intentionally, according to a report released Tuesday by Human Rights Watch. The Independent Forensic Expert Group and the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims concluded that none of the dead were shot in a way that indicates whover fired only wanted to injure them. “Most of the gunshot wounds described in the autopsy reports are consistent with having been produced with the objective of killing,” the experts found.
President Trump has yet to concede the election, and New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman thinks his Monday evening tweet about what is in "the best interest of our country" is "the closest to a concession Trump is going to get."Trump wrote that he spoke to Emily Murphy, the head of the General Services Administration, and recommended that she "do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols," adding that he has "told my team to do the same." Murphy needed to ascertain the election in order to formally start the transition process, and after weeks of delays, she sent President-elect Joe Biden a letter on Monday telling him the transition can officially start.Haberman tweeted that she's been told some of Trump's advisers "had been urging him" to let the transition begin before Thanksgiving, "even if he never said the word 'concede.'" Between the Trump campaign and other Republicans, more than 30 lawsuits have been filed in six swing states, in an attempt to contest the election results, NBC News reports. Despite Trump and members of his legal team claiming there has been widespread voter fraud, no court has found a single piece of evidence.Trump's election legal team is being led by his longtime friend and personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City. Giuliani has been "key in stoking Trump's conspiracy theories," Haberman said, but people with knowledge of the matter told her that a recent court loss in Pennsylvania made Trump realize "Giuliani was not painting an honest picture" of his chances of actually changing the election results. Giuliani, she added, took control of Trump's legal team after the campaign dropped a lawsuit in Maricopa County, Arizona, and he warned Trump that "other advisers were lying to him."More stories from theweek.com Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. The Secret Service is reportedly preparing for Trump's 'post-presidency life' GM dumps Trump pollution fight, abruptly sides with Biden and California
Oregon Governor Kate Brown is encouraging residents to call the police on any neighbors who flout state COVID-19 restrictions, which include limiting in-home gatherings to a maximum of six people.“This is no different than what happens if there's a party down the street and it's keeping everyone awake,” Brown said in an interview Friday. “What do neighbors do [in that case]? They call law enforcement because it's too noisy. This is just like that. It's like a violation of a noise ordinance.”Last week the Democratic governor instituted a new round of restrictions aimed at mitigating the spread of coronavirus in the state via executive order, including a two-week “freeze” limiting indoor and outdoor gatherings to no more than six people from no more than two households just ahead of Thanksgiving. Residents are also prohibited from eating out at restaurants and going to the gym, though faith-based gatherings of up to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors are allowed.Violators can face up to 30 days in jail, $1,250 fines or both. The Marion County Sheriff’s office said in a statement on Friday that it believes “we cannot arrest or enforce our way out of the pandemic.”“We believe both are counterproductive to public health goals.”Brown pushed back, calling criticisms of the new restrictions "irresponsible."“This is about saving lives and it's about protecting our fellow Oregonians,” she said. “We have too many sporadic cases in Oregon. We can't trace these cases to a particular source. We have to limit gatherings and social interactions.”On Sunday, new COVID-19 cases reached a record high in the state for the third straight day, with 1,517 new infections recorded, bringing the state total to 65,170.
Japan paused its domestic "Go To Travel" promotion campaign in two cities following sharp rises in COVID-19 infections, a government minister said on Tuesday, a blow to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's plan to help prop up regional economies. "We have agreed to temporarily exclude trips destined for the cities of Sapporo and Hokkaido from the travel campaign," Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Tuesday. "Although we have tried to balance both economic revitalization as well as virus containment, we have made this decision at the local governors' request," Nishimura told reporters after a meeting with Prime Minister Suga and Tourism Minister Kazuyoshi Akaba.
Parishioners of St. Andrews Catholic Church in Fort Worth, Texas, know that the Rev. Jim Gigliotti does not water down Catholic teaching for the sake of his flock’s comfort. He doesn’t mince words when explaining it, either.
An officer revealed Monday Canadian police obtained the security code to Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou's Vancouver house -- not merely passcodes to her electronic devices, which defense lawyers allege violated her rights.
President Trump’s efforts to undermine the results of the November election in Georgia will “absolutely” hurt Republicans in two U.S. Senate runoff races there, an election official in the state said Monday. “We’ve crossed a tipping point where ... there may be some Republicans who don’t trust the outcomes of the system at all, and say, ‘Why bother to vote,’” Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system implementation manager, told Yahoo News.
The Donald Trump phenomenon is purported to have divided friendships, families, and even marriages. I can attest to this fact in my own suburban Washington household, for this perhaps peculiar professional reason: It has occasioned my wife, the longtime sufferer of all my hot takes, to ask approximately one-thousand times whether I finally feel bad about all the mean things I said about Mitt Romney.The short answer is, yes!Romney, now the junior senator of Utah, has displayed rare courage and integrity throughout this hell-year. Alone among Republican senators (indeed, alone among any senator in history), he crossed party lines to vote to convict President Trump on the charge of abusing his power by pressuring a foreign government to interfere in our election. And — not alone, exactly, but hardly in plentiful company — he has forthrightly condemned the president for stonewalling the Biden transition and undermining our democracy.These actions have taken real guts. If I were wearing a cap, I would doff it; if I were to meet Romney in person, I would thank him. With this virtual pen in hand, I am applauding him.However: The long answer to the above question is … Heck no!Let me explain why I’m torn.First, it’s essential to remember how radically different our political landscape looked in the Before Times. The outright bigotry and racism of the 2016 Trump campaign had not yet been contemplated, let alone assimilated; for decades, those things were hinted at, dog-whistled, wink-winked — but they were not, in any overt sense, options on the menu given to Republican primary voters. Consequently, it needs to be said that it’s silly to retroactively credit figures in the party for not behaving that badly.So, what was it that bugged me so badly about mainstream, milquetoast Mitt?In 2007 and 2008, Romney, then the moderate one-term governor of Massachusetts (as well as the son of a famously moderate governor of Michigan) ran a primary campaign that was, I still maintain, preposterous. It was predicated on the notion that frontrunner John McCain (who, after a tumultuous summer in ’07, eventually won the GOP nomination) was too moderate. He compromised too often with Democrats (with Russ Feingold on campaign finance reform; with Ted Kennedy on immigration; with Joe Lieberman on climate change).I understand the imperatives of strategy in winning a primary, when you must appeal to the base before pivoting to the center. But — as I said then and will say again now — I refuse to listen to such an appeal from mainstream milquetoast Mitt. He did not play the Mr. Conservative act lightly; he played it, as he plays everything, stiffly. The act failed. It deserved to fail.Then came 2012. Romney was now something of a frontrunner. He had lost the 2008 primary — but so had McCain, badly, in the general election against President Obama. It was now, in the sequential custom of Republican politics, “Mitt Romney’s turn.” So now he was the one who had to beat back attempts to protect his right flank. Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee (am I forgetting anyone? It feels like I’m forgetting someone!) — they all took their shots at Romney; they all exposed weaknesses or wounded him; and they all, one after the other, failed as he had four years before.Without aid of Google, I remember calling Romney a “rancid imposter” (yikes!). With aid of Google, I see that I called his 2012 campaign “breathtakingly cynical, borderline nihilistic” (I hadn’t seen nothin’ yet!). I haven’t forgotten about the catastrophic 47 percent video. And I sure haven’t forgotten about the way Romney comported himself in the first innings of the Benghazi fiasco (reminder: He really was breathtakingly cynical).But, with the benefit of both hindsight and five years of Donald Trump, here’s what I’ve come to appreciate about Mitt Romney, a man of obvious high character and basic decency, that wasn’t clear to me then, but should have been: He was trying to hold together a party that was morally coming apart at the seams. Indeed, Romney could see for himself that it was thirsting for a demagogue very like Trump (whose endorsement, it must be noted, Romney accepted). “It’s very easy to excite the base with incendiary comments,” he said in February 2012. “We’ve seen throughout the campaign that if you’re willing to say really outrageous things that are accusatory and attacking President Obama that you’re going to jump up in the polls. You know, I’m not willing to light my hair on fire to try and get support. I am who I am.”It took guts to say that then. I didn’t acknowledge it at the time. I should have.When the notional threat of Trump became a reality in 2016, Romney, again, took a stand. In March of that fateful year, Romney warned against nominating a “con man, a fake.” Every word of the speech was born out by the reality of the Trump administration. Not just the bits about Trump’s warped character — but the red flags over Trump’s desire for a trade war and his embrace of prodigious debt.Of course, Romney being Romney, he sullied his righteous stand by agreeing to dine with Trump during the transition, under the guise of possibly being nominated for secretary of state. Predictably, Romney was humiliated. But that was the last time.Very much on his own shingle, Romney won a Senate seat in Utah. From there, he has become one of the bravest and most constructive voices in Republican politics. And while I may regret the excessive tone of some of my criticisms of Mitt Romney’s past, I can say that I look forward to applauding him more often in the future.“Sorry, Mitt”? Not quite.Instead: Go, Mitt, go!More stories from theweek.com Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. The Secret Service is reportedly preparing for Trump's 'post-presidency life' GM dumps Trump pollution fight, abruptly sides with Biden and California
We rounded up a mix of gifts that help others, keep folks healthy, and add a little something-something to the home Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
Buried beneath the laundry pile of new left-wing regulations the Biden administration hopes to push is a previously obscure idea whose time may, regrettably, have come: the federal corporate charter. For decades, anti-capitalist legal theorists have advocated national licensing requirements for corporations — charters that government officials could revoke for alleged misbehavior. We may soon see what that idea looks like in practice.With President-elect Biden moving quickly to staff his new administration, many observers are wondering how radical his appointees are going to be. We may not see Senators Elizabeth Warren (D., Ma.) and Bernie Sanders (I, Vt.) in the cabinet (if for no other reason than their Senate replacements would be named by Republican governors), but we will likely see many new senior federal officials in their mold. CNN reported this week that “Elizabeth Warren's fingerprints are all over the Biden transition, much to Wall Street's dismay.” Our friends on the Street are wise to be dismayed.We can get a good idea of what Warren-style officials would want by looking at the senator’s own Accountable Capitalism Act, an admittedly aspirational piece of legislation introduced in August 2018 as Warren herself was preparing to run for the Democratic nomination for president. The very first item that Warren’s office listed in its press release on the bill is the provision for a federal corporate charter, which would cover any American company with more than $1 billion in annual revenue.The Accountable Capitalism Act would require such corporations to reject the traditional obligation — and long-standing legal precedent — to maximize value for shareholders and instead embrace a “stakeholder” model that “obligates company directors to consider the interests of all corporate stakeholders,” including “communities in which the company operates.” The bill would also create the Office of United States Corporations at the Department of Commerce, which would have the authority to punish any company deemed insufficiently solicitous to stakeholder interests.The legislation invites state attorneys general to petition the director of the Office of Corporations with the names of firms that they consider unworthy. The director would then have it in her power to revoke the charter of any corporation, giving the company in question one year until its ability to operate expires. The only escape from the verdict of the Office of Corporations would, apparently, be a direct appeal to Congress. Warren’s office describes the process by which a company would use its one-year countdown-to-destruction “to make the case to Congress that it should retain its charter.” This special act of Congress, setting aside a particular charter revocation, would be a sort of reverse Bill of Attainder for the corporation in question.Proponents of this “corporate death penalty” assure us that it is not a radical or untested method of regulating business, pointing back to the early days of the republic, when corporate charters were more limited in issuance and duration, and throughout the 19th century, when they were much more frequently revoked by state officials. There was a time, they remind us, when being allowed to form a corporation at all was a special privilege that monarchs and legislatures extended only to enterprises that were judged to be “beneficial to the public interest,” rather than to any old group of investors seeking to pool their resources.Left-wing critics are certainly correct that it was more difficult to form a corporation in the 18th and early 19th centuries, but returning to such a system would hardly be an improvement. One of the many things that we can be proud of in American history is the gradual move away from an economy in which citizens have to beg the government for preference and permission and toward a system in which citizens are generally allowed to conduct their peaceful business as they see fit. During the 19th century we shifted from a system under which the grant of a corporate charter was a one-off special favor, and adopted what was, in effect, a “shall issue” presumption that allowed people to form and operate corporations — as the legal phrasing goes — for “any legal purpose.” Turning the clock back would be social regress, not reform.Senator Warren’s legislation would put the continued existence of every large corporation in the country in the hands of a single sub-cabinet-level political appointee, empowered to determine whether a firm’s “misconduct” had “caused significant harm” to customers, employees, shareholders, or business partners. That last item seems like an odd inclusion, and it could be the worst. Any company that does business with your company and doesn’t like your latest terms could attempt to haul you before the federal Office of Corporations firing squad as a way of playing hardball. Even if unsuccessful, such a review could torpedo the share price of the target company.What price would a company pay if its very existence were on the line? Almost anything short of being legally dissolved suddenly becomes plausible, which is why a future Director of the Office of Corporations would quickly become more powerful than the Department of Justice’s antitrust division, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and even the President himself. The ability to bend the corporate titans of Wall Street and Silicon Valley to your will with the mere suggestion of a charter review would make the ring-makers of Mordor blush: It would permanently institutionalize regulation by shakedown and eliminate due process for shareholders.Suppose, for example, that a left-wing Office of Corporations director decides that ExxonMobil has caused “significant harm” to the global environment by contributing to climate change. Say goodbye to the $150 billion of wealth owned by Exxon’s shareholders. But don’t stop there: Who is to say that the director of President Josh Hawley’s Office of Corporations won’t decide that Apple has done “significant harm” to national security by collaborating with Communist officials in China? There goes another $2 trillion. Hope you weren’t planning to retire anytime soon.The Accountable Capitalism Act isn’t going anywhere in Mitch McConnell’s Senate, but runoff elections in Georgia and a challenging 2022 map for Republicans could change that. Even if the GOP manages to maintain a majority in the upper chamber, supporters of a free and growing economy need to mobilize now to head off ideas like this before they get the “pen and phone” treatment from an incoming administration that has already telegraphed its willingness to make policy without the agreement of Congress.
James Alan White, 55, and his husband, Rusty, left their Dallas, Texas home on the morning of October 22, 2020, and headed to their respective gyms. Alan spent about an hour at LA Fitness and drove to the RaceTrac gas station where security footage showed him filling his tank and driving out of the parking lot. He was supposed to be on a 7 a.m. conference call, but never made it home. A week later, the Porsche SUV he had been driving was found abandoned in the area of Simpson Stuart and Bonnie V
I live in a democracy. But as Thanksgiving approaches, I find myself longing for the type of freedom I am seeing in China. People in China are able to move around freely right now. Many Americans may believe that the Chinese are able to enjoy this freedom because of China’s authoritarian regime. As a scholar of public health in China, I think the answers go beyond that.My research suggests that the control of the virus in China is not the result of authoritarian policy, but of a national prioritization of health. China learned a tough lesson with SARS, the first coronavirus pandemic of the 21st century. How China flattened its curveBarely less than a year ago, a novel coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, with 80,000 cases identified within three months, killing 3,000 people. In late January 2020, the Chinese government decided to lock down this city of 11 million people. All transportation to and from the city was stopped. Officials further locked down several other cities in Hubei Province, eventually quarantining over 50 million people.By the beginning of April, the Chinese government limited the spread of the virus to the point where they felt comfortable opening up Wuhan once again. Seven months later, China has confirmed 9,100 additional cases and recorded 1,407 more deaths due to the coronavirus. People in China travel, eat in restaurants and go into theaters, and kids go to school without much concern for their health. Juxtapose that to what we are experiencing in the U.S. To date, we have confirmed over 11 million cases, with the last 1 million recorded in just the last one week alone. In September and October, friends from China sent me pictures of food from all over the country as they traveled around to visit friends and family for the mid-autumn festival and then the seven-day National Day vacation week. I envied them then and envy them even more now as Americans prepare and wonder how we will celebrate Thanksgiving this year. What China learned from SARSWe Americans are told that the freedoms Chinese now enjoy come at the expense of being subject to a set of draconian public health policies that can be instituted only by an authoritarian government. But they also have the experience of living through a similar epidemic.SARS broke out in November of 2002 and ended in May of 2003, and China was anything but prepared for its emergence. It didn’t have the public health infrastructure in place to detect or control such a disease, and initially decided to prioritize politics and economy over health by covering up the epidemic. This didn’t work with such a virulent disease that started spreading around the world. After being forced to come to terms with SARS, China’s leaders eventually did enforce quarantine in Beijing and canceled the week-long May Day holiday of 2003. This helped to end the pandemic within a few short months, with minimal impact. SARS infected approximately 8,000 worldwide and killed about 800, 65% of which occurred in China and Hong Kong. The Chinese government learned from SARS the important role public health plays in protecting the nation. Following SARS, the government improved training of public health professionals and developed one of the most sophisticated disease surveillance systems in the world. While caught off guard for this next big coronavirus outbreak in December 2019, the country quickly mobilized its resources to bring the epidemic almost to a halt inside its borders within three months. What can the US learn from China?Knowing that there were no safe or proven treatments or an effective vaccine, China relied on proven nonpharmaceutical interventions to conquer the epidemic. First and foremost was containing the virus through controlling the sources of infection and blocking transmission. This was accomplished through early detection (testing), isolation, treatment and tracing the close contacts of any infected individual. This strategy was aided by the three field hospitals (fancang) the government built to isolate patients with mild to moderate symptoms from their families. Strict quarantine measures were also central to preventing the spread of this epidemic, as it was with the SARS epidemic in 2003. This was paired with compulsory mask-wearing, promotion of personal hygiene (hand-washing, home disinfection, ventilation), self-monitoring of body temperature, universal compulsory stay-at-home orders for all residents, and universal symptom surveys conducted by community workers and volunteers. What else could the US have done to be prepared?SARS exposed serious weaknesses in China’s public health system and prompted its government to reinvent its public health system. COVID-19 has exposed similar shortcomings in the U.S. public health system. To date, however, the current administration has taken the exact opposite approach, devastating our public health system. The Trump administration made major cuts to the budgets of the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The last budget submitted by the Trump administration in February 2020, as the pandemic was beginning, called for an additional reduction of US$693 million to the CDC budget. This affected our ability to prepare for a pandemic outbreak. In the past, this preparation included international partnerships to help detect disease before it reached our shores. For example, the CDC built up partnerships with China following the SARS epidemic, to help contain the emergence of infectious disease coming from the region. At one point the CDC had 10 American experts working on the ground in China and 40 local Chinese staff, who mostly concentrated on infectious disease. Trump started slashing these positions shortly after taking office, and by the time COVID-19 broke out, those programs were whittled down to a skeleton staff of one or two. [Research into coronavirus and other news from science Subscribe to The Conversation’s new science newsletter.]The Declaration of Alma Ata guaranteed health for all, and not just health for people governed under a specific type of bureaucratic system. The U.S. has been, and can be, just as dedicated to protecting the health of its people as China under its authoritarian government. We demonstrated this during the Ebola epidemic, with the launch of a whole government effort coordinated by Ron Klain, who has been appointed White House chief of staff under President-elect Biden.This effort, which included a coordinated response with both African nations and China, improved preparedness within the U.S. and ultimately helped to save hundreds of thousands of lives around the world. A reduction in funding for our public health infrastructure, under the Trump administration, was a divestment in the health of the American people and should not have happened. A new administration that places public health at the helm, once again, will I hope prove to us that health is not just something that can be protected under an authoritarian government, but is in fact a right for all.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Elanah Uretsky, Brandeis University.Read more: * Poor US pandemic response will reverberate in health care politics for years, health scholars warn * Experts agree that Trump’s coronavirus response was poor, but the US was ill-prepared in the first placeElanah Uretsky does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
President Donald Trump gave some ground on Monday to allow Joe Biden's transition to the presidency after the ranks grew of prominent Republicans calling for Trump to end efforts to overturn his election defeat. Twenty days after Election Day, most members of Trump's party still refused on Monday to refer to Biden as president-elect, or question Trump's insistence - without evidence - that he only lost on Nov. 3 because of fraud. Trump gave the go-ahead for federal funds to start flowing to Biden so that he can carry out his transition duties before his Jan. 20 inauguration as the 46th U.S. president.