Mar 20, 2020 3-5PM ET
Friday on The Robert Scott Bell Show:
New Yorkers ordered to mostly stay inside: ‘We’re all under quarantine now,’ Gov. Cuomo says Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday ordered nonessential businesses to keep 100% of their workforce at home, and he put in place stringent new restrictions on New Yorkers starting Sunday as the state grapples with the worst coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. “When I talk about the most drastic action we can take, this is the most drastic action we can take,” Cuomo said at a press conference in Albany. Cases across the state surged by 2,950 overnight to 7,102, he said. “This is not life as usual. Accept it. Realize it and deal with it.” Cuomo acknowledged that the restrictions will force businesses to close and people to lose their jobs, adding that he’s suspending evictions across the state for 90 days. “We’re all in quarantine now. We’re all in various levels of quarantine and it’s hard,” he said. Food delivery qualifies as an essential service, he said. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has been pushing Cuomo to issue a shelter-in-place order for New York City, where cases skyrocketed by more than 1,000 in a matter of hours on Thursday. More than half of the state’s cases are concentrated within the five boroughs.
Coronavirus gathering bans raise religious freedom questions On the first Sunday after the coronavirus began upending American life, some religious institutions – including two churches whose pastors are close to President Donald Trump – held in-person services amid public health worries over the pandemic. That picture already looks different this week. Pastor Robert Jeffress, a stalwart evangelical ally of Trump, held services at his First Baptist megachurch this past Sunday in accordance with Dallas-area limits on gatherings of more than 500 people but said in an interview that this week, he would hold online-only worship. The Florida church where Paula White, Trump’s personal pastor and a White House adviser on faith issues, invited congregants to in-person services this past Sunday will also shift to online-only status this week, according to a spokeswoman. Jeffress, who had called for “a fearless church,” said on Tuesday that Christians should take “common-sense approaches” to protect their health. “Every pastor needs to use wisdom, and it is very obvious that the government’s motivation in this is to protect the well-being of individuals,” he said. Churches and other religious institutions that have chafed at public health experts’ calls to fight the virus by avoiding gatherings are under heightened scrutiny as those experts’ pleas become edicts from government officials, including Trump. In a nation where faith can be as politically polarized as any other part of life – and where freedom to worship has become a rallying cry on the right – some conservative religious institutions are acknowledging that the government’s word comes first during a pandemic.
‘Quarantine shaming’: US navigates radical new social norms The chairman of Arizona’s Asian Chamber of Commerce didn’t see much downside to attending a small dinner at a local restaurant to bolster the business and bring together other leaders to discuss how to help Asian-American eateries devastated by the coronavirus. That was, at least, until he posted about it on Instagram. The feedback was swift from people who were appalled that Ryan Winkle would promote a gathering — even a small one — as COVID-19 raged and entire cities were urged to self-isolate. “I started getting some messages saying, ‘Hey, why are you trying to spread the virus?’ I was like, ’It’s a small event, and everyone had washed their hands, and they had sanitizer on the tables,’” Winkle said of the dinner held Saturday in Mesa, Arizona. “My thinking is always about the economics. Imagine when all these businesses shut down. That’s a whole different problem.” “Quarantine shaming” — calling out those not abiding by social distancing rules — is part of a new and startling reality for Americans who must navigate a world of rapidly evolving social norms in the age of COVID-19. As schools close and shelter-in-place orders sweep across the U.S., the divide between those who are stringently practicing self-isolation and those who are still trying to go about some semblance of a normal life has never been more clear. Complicating matters: What was socially acceptable even 48 hours ago may now be taboo, as government officials race to contain the virus with ever-expanding circles of social isolation.
Special Guest James Lyons-Weiler
James “Jack” Lyons-Weiler, PhD is a Pittsburgh-area scientist, lecturer, and author, who has worked collaboratively for over twenty years on over one hundred research studies. After conducting research in Amazonia on prehistorical shifts in climate change, he focused on questions of how to best understand evolutionary biology, and to questions on the origins of biological diversity. Thanks to a Sloan Foundation fellowship, he was then able to shift focus to biomedical problems in cancer, diabetes, heart disease, infectious disease and many other aspects of clinical, biomedical and translational research. To provide a lasting monument to his mother, and to help others share advances in cancer research, he served as the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the open access, peer-reviewed research journal Cancer Informatics (Libertas Academica). An expert in study design, complex data analysis, genetics and systems biology, he has written three books: “Ebola: An Evolving Story” (2015), “Cures vs. Profits: Successes in Translational Research” (2016), and “The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism” (2016). For “Causes”, he reviewed over 3,000 research studies, and he cited >2,000 in the final product. He is currently CEO/Director of The Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge, which conducts research without profit motive to “Reduce Human Pain and Suffering Through Knowledge.” A regular featured guest on many radio shows focused on public health, Dr. Lyons-Weiler has reached millions with his defense of science as a way of knowing. He sees the public’s current widespread distrust in science as misplaced, because individual scientists and corporations should be held accountable when they mislead the public for profit motives, not the entire enterprise of science.
Estimating Effective R0: COVID-19 Data Resources Should Report This For All Countries WE KNOW that at any given time during the growth phase of COVID-19 pandemic the number of cases reported represent perhaps only as many as 20% of cases present. We also know that the number of cases we see today are the product of exposure from infected individuals 4-5 days prior. Therefore, if we use the ratio of the number of cases on a given day, Nx, to the number of cases five days prior (N_(x-5)), we can track the effects of interactions. Notably, this rough estimator will only be relevant during the growth phase; during retraction, the Effective R0 will become <1 but that could be misleading as it would imply that infected people are preventing infection. That neat trick is possible via plasma convalescent therapy, but that’s a different but equally important point. For the outbreak in in the US, the increase since Day 1 looks like this
SARS-CoV-2 Origins: IPAK Research Exonerates Dr. Shi It has been alleged that the genetic modifications of a specific SARS-like virus by Dr. Shi makes her complicit for the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. I have mentioned at least two dozen times that my in-depth analysis of SARS-CoV-2 sequences and all available Beta-Coronavirus sequences shows no evidence of genetic manipulation of SARS-CoV-2. Here I share a side-by-side comparison of the Spike protein motif signature of the spike protein from the very viral sequence Dr. Shi was involved in developing so the public can see the evidence I see. The analysis involves a comparison of protein motifs found in the SARS-CoV-2 sequence to the sequence Dr. Shi had worked on. Importantly, this is not a full showing of all analyses of this kind to date: that analysis is under peer review and I will report that while some sequences published by WIV and by the Military lab in Nanjiang DO have the characteristic motif pattern, those sequences are natural sequences from bats. The spike protein from the Pangolin also has the characteristic signature motif pattern. NO CHIMERIC VIRUS OR LABORATORY-MODIFIED VIRUS THAT I HAVE ANALYZED TO DATE HAS THE SAR-COV-2 CHARACTERISTIC PROTEIN MOTIF SIGNATURE.
How the COVID-19 Pandemic Will End How this pandemic will end depends on how soon the medical community realizes that therapeutics are 100% essential this time. NOW THAT SOCIAL DISTANCING is occurring in the US and other countries, and some countries are under general quarantine, what next? How long will social distancing and quarantine be in effect? The promise of a vaccine against Coronavirus is too far off to play a role in ending the deadly and economy- smashing effects of our response to COVID-19. The move to start human trials of SAR-CoV-2 vaccines without proper animal safety studies has prompted outcries (See Moderna and US NIAID Poised to Endanger the World Population?) given the reality that SARS-CoV studies had unacceptable safety issues of pathogenic priming : animals vaccinated using Spike protein based vaccines against SARS and MERS – close cousin of SARS-CoV-2 – had worse outcomes when challenged with the virus that the vaccine was supposed to protect them against. Even the most vocal vaccine proponents such as Paul Offit and Peter Hotez now say skipping the animal studies could result in unacceptable risks. I should point out that this week, they have joined the ranks of people using freedom of speech to “spread” vaccine skepticism.
Researchers fast-track coronavirus vaccine by skipping key animal testing first A clinical trial for an experimental coronavirus vaccine has begun recruiting participants in Seattle, but researchers did not first show that the vaccine triggered an immune response in animals, as is normally required. Now, biomedical ethicists are calling the shortcut into question, according to Stat News. “Outbreaks and national emergencies often create pressure to suspend rights, standards and/or normal rules of ethical conduct,” Jonathan Kimmelman, director of McGill University’s biomedical ethics unit, wrote in an email to Stat News. “Often our decision to do so seems unwise in retrospect.” Typically, vaccine development can take 15 to 20 years, start to finish, Mark Feinberg, president and CEO of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, told Stat News. The lengthy process requires that scientists first give the vaccine to animals to determine whether it’s safe and effective at preventing the disease in question. Only after passing through iterative tests in animal models, and being adjusted along the way, can a formulation be tested in human trials. “When you hear predictions about it taking at best a year or a year and a half to have a vaccine available … there’s no way to come close to those timelines unless we take new approaches,” Feinberg said.
As pressure for coronavirus vaccine mounts, scientists debate risks of accelerated testing Drugmakers are working as quickly as possible to develop a vaccine to combat the rapidly spreading coronavirus that has infected more than 100,000 people worldwide. Behind the scenes, scientists and medical experts are concerned that rushing a vaccine could end up worsening the infection in some patients rather than preventing it. Studies have suggested that coronavirus vaccines carry the risk of what is known as vaccine enhancement, where instead of protecting against infection, the vaccine can actually make the disease worse when a vaccinated person is infected with the virus. The mechanism that causes that risk is not fully understood and is one of the stumbling blocks that has prevented the successful development of a coronavirus vaccine. Normally, researchers would take months to test for the possibility of vaccine enhancement in animals. Given the urgency to stem the spread of the new coronavirus, some drugmakers are moving straight into small-scale human tests, without waiting for the completion of such animal tests. “I understand the importance of accelerating timelines for vaccines in general, but from everything I know, this is not the vaccine to be doing it with,” Dr Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told Reuters.
Remember Friends, The Power to Heal is Yours!
More upcoming RSB events:
- NOCO Hemp Expo, Denver CO – March 27-28, 2020 Delayed!
- Be Healthy Utah Conference, Sandy UT April 17-18, 2020 Delayed!
- MAHO Expo Convention & Trade Show, Columbus OH – July 24-26, 2020