October 25th, 2020 1-3PM ET
Sunday on The Robert Scott Bell Show:
South Korea vaccine death toll grows to 32 amid denials flu shot linked to teen’s demise South Korea’s forensic agency said it found no links between a 17-year-old boy’s death and a flu shot he had taken, as Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Friday called for an investigation amid rising concerns about the safety of the vaccines following the death of at least 32 people. The teen was among the first reported to have died as part of a government campaign to vaccinate about 30 million of a population of 52 million to prevent coronavirus complications. The toll has grown over the past week, sparking calls from doctors and politicians for a halt to the programme. South Korea’s forensic agency said it found no links between a 17-year-old boy’s death and a flu shot he had taken, as Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Friday called for an investigation amid rising concerns about the safety of the vaccines following the death of at least 32 people. The teen was among the first reported to have died as part of a government campaign to vaccinate about 30 million of a population of 52 million to prevent coronavirus complications. The toll has grown over the past week, sparking calls from doctors and politicians for a halt to the programme. Both the forensic agency and police were not immediately reachable for comment. Of the known deaths, 22 including the boy received a free flu shot the government has allotted for some 19 million teenagers and senior citizens, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. At least seven of the nine people investigated had underlying conditions.
South Sudan confirms outbreak of vaccine-derived polio Health officials in South Sudan on Thursday confirmed a new outbreak of polio, just months after declaring the wild version of the deadly virus eradicated in Africa’s youngest country. The health ministry said 15 cases of vaccine-derived polio—a form of the illness which occurs in rare incidents when the weakened virus in the vaccine mutates—had been identified in the country’s northwest. “Yes, there is an outbreak of vaccine-derived polio, and the Ministry of Health and its partners are working on it, and I think it is under control,” the ministry’s director general for preventative health services, Dr. John Pasquale Romunu, told reporters. “It has affected quite a number of counties and states.” On August 25, South Sudan was among four African nations to receive confirmation that wild poliovirus had been eradicated within their borders—allowing the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare the entire continent free of the crippling disease. It was just the second time a deadly virus had been declared eradicated in Africa since smallpox 40 years earlier. But the fanfare was short lived. Just two days later the UN confirmed that more than a dozen cases of vaccine-derived polio had sprung up in nine states across Sudan. This version of the disease particularly affects countries with low immunisation rates and poor sanitation where it can transmit through contaminated water or food, health experts say.
Placebo group: What happens after a COVID vaccine is authorized? If a coronavirus vaccine is authorized in the United States before the end of the year, will trial participants who received a placebo rush out to get vaccinated? While the question hasn’t received much attention among the general public, it’s one that worries health experts and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Currently tens of thousands of people in the United States and other countries are participating as volunteers in what are known as phase three clinical trials. Typically half receive the experimental vaccine, while the remainder are given a placebo, though they do not know which one was administered to them. The aim is to observe over the course of months how many people in each group naturally contract the virus and fall ill from COVID-19. If the number of vaccinated participants contracting COVID-19 is at least 50 percent lower than in the placebo group, US drug authority FDA can grant it emergency use authorization. But for a permanent authorization, the FDA requires a longer period of study—generally six months. The aim is to confirm the safety of the vaccine since certain rare side-effects may not be detected during the two-month period currently scheduled for emergency use approval. The problem is that, generally, for ethical reasons, once a medicine or vaccine is authorized, participants who received a placebo in a clinical trial are informed of it. They could then understandably ask for the real vaccine or seek it out themselves, but that would decrease the placebo group.
Dementia leading cause of death in September The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today (23 October) revealed “dementia and Alzheimer’s disease” were the leading cause of death in September. Collectively they accounted for 11.2% of all deaths in England and 11.1% of deaths in Wales. Coronary heart disease, itself a risk factor for dementia, was the second leading cause of death in both England and Wales. In England, COVID-19 was the 19th most common cause of death and was 24th in Wales. Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, has said government must do everything it can to protect people with dementia and deliver on its commitment to double funding for dementia research to stop the devastating impact the condition is causing. During the 2019 election, the government promised to increase its spending on dementia research to over £160 million a year, but no further detail on this pledge has yet been revealed. Samantha Benham-Hermetz, director of policy and public affairs at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
Daycares in Finland Built a ‘Forest Floor’, And It Changed Children’s Immune Systems Playing through the greenery and litter of a mini forest’s undergrowth for just one month may be enough to change a child’s immune system, according to a small new experiment. When daycare workers in Finland rolled out a lawn, planted forest undergrowth such as dwarf heather and blueberries, and allowed children to care for crops in planter boxes, the diversity of microbes in the guts and on the skin of young kids appeared healthier in a very short space of time. Compared to other city kids who play in standard urban daycares with yards of pavement, tile and gravel, 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds at these greened-up daycare centres in Finland showed increased T-cells and other important immune markers in their blood within 28 days. “We also found that the intestinal microbiota of children who received greenery was similar to the intestinal microbiota of children visiting the forest every day,” says environmental scientist Marja Roslund from the University of Helsinki. Prior research has shown early exposure to green space is somehow linked to a well-functioning immune system, but it’s still not clear whether that relationship is causal or not.
Hour 2 ENCORE – Special Guest Dr. Ravi Kulasekere
Dr. Ravi Kulasekere is a graduate from the Trinity ND program, and a board certified holistic health practitioner. He is also a board certified medical physicist, a career that spanned almost 13 years in the field of cancer care. Here he was forced to look into vaccines in 2011 when in his hospital job required him to be vaccinated annually with the flu shot in order to keep his job. While refusing to be vaccinated, in November 2016 he voluntarily left his position as chief medical physicist at the county hospital in Cleveland, and opened his own holistic health practice Do No Pharm Naturopathy LLC in Lakewood, Ohio. Since 2011 he has also been diligently studying the untold science behind vaccines and has been a vocal supporter, both online and offline, of informed consent and the ability to choose to be vaccinated or not. He has provided both written and in-person expert testimony at many state sponsored bills in OH that are aimed at removing vaccine choice and is also actively involved in the health freedom advocacy group, Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom and Health Freedom Ohio In his spare time, he loves to travel, enjoys gardening, ethnic cooking, astronomy, being active in the vegan community in Cleveland and playing with a toddler and her train set.
Enforce quarantine to crush pandemic, says WHO Contacts of people confirmed to have coronavirus should be properly quarantined, the World Health Organization said on Monday, as the pandemic surges in Europe and North America. WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan linked soaring transmission rates in the northern hemisphere to the failure to implement the vital step rigorously. He said if he could have one wish, it would be to ensure “every contact of a confirmed case is in quarantine for the appropriate period”. “I do not believe that has occurred systematically, anywhere,” he told a virtual press conference from the WHO’s headquarters in Geneva, saying it was “a good part of the reason why we’re seeing such high numbers”. Ryan said that about half of the 48 countries in the UN health agency’s European region had seen roughly 50 percent increases in cases within the past week—and hospitalisations and death rates were beginning to track those rises. However, there was hope that deaths and serious cases would not reach the levels seen earlier this year. Ryan said the average age of sufferers was now much younger, treatment had improved and those infected may have been exposed to lower doses of the virus because of physical distancing and mask wearing.
California’s feared surge of virus cases hasn’t happened Near the end of September, with coronavirus cases falling and more schools and businesses reopening, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration urged restraint, citing a statistical model that predicted a startling 89% increase in virus hospitalizations in the next month. That hasn’t happened. Instead, state data shows hospitalizations have fallen by about 15% since that warning while the weekly average number of new cases continues to decline even as other more populous states like Florida, Ohio and Illinois see increases. California’s good news isn’t enough to change what Newsom calls his “slow” and “stubborn” approach to reopening the world’s fifth-largest economy. He again cautioned people against “being overly exuberant” about those coronavirus numbers, pointing to a “decline in the rate of decline” of hospitalizations. While California’s 14-day average of hospitalizations is down, the 7-day average is up ever so slightly to 2,241 patients. The number peaked in July at more than 7,100. “Boy, what more of a reminder do you need than seeing these numbers begin to plateau?” Newsom said Monday during his weekly news conference.
Reopened Schools in New York City Not Seeing COVID Case Spikes Three weeks after becoming the first big urban area to reopen public schools since the pandemic began, New York City is not seeing a feared surge in cases among students and staff. Instead, health officials are seeing a surprisingly small number of COVID-19 cases, The New York Times reported. Of 15,111 staff members and students tested randomly in the first week of its testing regimen, the city has gotten back results for 10,676. There were only 18 positives: 13 staff members and five students, the Times reported. Even better, when officials put mobile testing units at schools near the Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods that have had new outbreaks, only four positive cases surfaced in more than 3,300 tests conducted since the last week of September, the newspaper said. New York City is facing fears of a second wave of the virus fueled by local spikes in Brooklyn and Queens, and official have closed more than 120 public schools as a precaution, the Times reported. Still, the sprawling system of 1,800 public schools is a bright spot as the city tries to recover from a pandemic that has killed more than 20,000 people and severely weakened its economy. When the city reopened its school system in September, roughly half of the city’s students opted for hybrid learning, where they are in the building some days, but not others. The approach has enabled the city to keep class sizes small, the Times reported.
‘At a breaking point’: New surge of Covid-19 cases has states, hospitals scrambling, yet again Here we go again. As hospitalizations for Covid-19 inch up around the country, some states are readying plans for field hospitals. Communities are delaying reopening plans and even imposing new measures, though some governors remain opposed to additional restrictions. Deaths — currently standing about 220,000 — have not surged again yet, but that might just be a matter of time. The current rise in coronavirus cases around the U.S. is reminiscent of the summer crest, and has flashbacks to the emergence of the national crisis in the spring. There are attempts to characterize what’s happening — a third wave or a third peak of a single wave that never fully ebbed — but whatever your semantic preference, cases are racing up in many states and breaking daily records in the Midwest and Mountain West. They’re even creeping up in places that experienced the brunt of the earlier outbreaks, like Massachusetts and New York. “We thought it was horrible then, but when you look at it from this perspective, they were fairly low,” said Kimberley Shoaf, an expert in public health crises at the University of Utah, reflecting on her state’s caseload in the spring. Now, for the first time, Utah is consistently seeing more than 1,000 new daily infections, according to STAT’s Covid-19 Tracker.
‘Protect Americans’: CDC issues recommendation for mask mandate on planes, trains The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday issued a “strong recommendation” that all passengers and employees on airplanes, trains, subways, buses, taxis and ride-share vehicles should wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The interim guidance also calls for facial coverings at transportation hubs like airports and train stations. “Broad and routine utilization of masks on our transportation systems will protect Americans and provide confidence that we can once again travel more safely even during this pandemic,” the CDC said. Airlines, Amtrak and most public transit systems and U.S. airports already require all passengers and workers to wear facial coverings, as do most airports, and ride-sharing firms Uber and Lyft. But the White House in July opposed language in a bill before Congress that would have mandated all airline, train and public transit passengers and workers to wear masks. The White House did not immediately comment on the CDC recommendation. In July, the White House Office of Management and Budget said legislation requiring masks was “overly restrictive.” It added that “such decisions should be left to states, local governments, transportation systems, and public health leaders.”
Remember Friends, The Power to Heal is Yours!
More upcoming RSB events:
Trinity Health Freedom Virtual Expo – October 24-25