Thursday, March 04, 2021

'NINETY PER CENT of Germany's severe Covid-19 patients have migrant background and more than half are Muslim' despite making up 4.8% of the population

More than 90 per cent of severely ill coronavirus patients in Germany have a 'migrant background', a leading doctor has said, prompting claims that the government is turning a blind eye to the issue to avoid igniting a race row.

Thomas Voshaar, the head doctor at a German lung hospital, said a survey of leading medics had found that many of the sickest patients were what he described as 'patients with communications barriers'.

In a conference call of health experts, reported by Bild, Voshaar said he had raised the issue with Angela Merkel's health minister Jens Spahn - while the head of Germany's top diseases institute, Lothar Wieler, described it as a 'taboo'.

Wieler added that the number of Muslims in intensive care was 'clearly above 50 per cent' even though they make up only around five per cent of Germany's 83million population.

Voshaar told the February 14 conference call that government warnings about the dangers of the virus were 'simply not getting through' to migrant communities.

He said top doctors had compiled figures from intensive care wards in November and December 2020 and January 2021, the peak months of the second wave.

'According to my analysis, more than 90 per cent of the intubated, most seriously ill patients always had a migrant background,' he said. 'We agreed among ourselves that we should describe these people as 'patients with communications barriers'. We don't seem to be getting through to them.'

Wieler, the RKI chief, called for authorities to engage with imams to get through to Muslim communities, calling the issue a 'taboo' and a 'real problem'. 'There are parallel societies in our country. You can only put that right with proper outreach work in the mosques, but we're not getting through. And that sucks,' he said.

Wieler said the proportion of Muslims in intensive care wards was 'clearly above 50 per cent', even though they make up only around 4.8 per cent of the population.

Asked by Bild about the conference call, Wieler did not deny what was said but described it as a 'private, informal exchange' rather than conclusive findings.

Voshaar said that everyone he had spoken to about his findings, including health minister Spahn, had reacted with a sense of 'oh God'.

But Merkel is not thought to have discussed the issue in her regular meetings with state premiers.

Experts on the conference call are said to have raised fears that the German government was avoiding confronting the issue for fear of triggering a racism debate.

Migrants and integration are a sensitive political issue in Germany, which unilaterally took in more than a million refugees from war-torn Syria in 2015. That spurred the growth of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which surged into parliament in 2017 and severely weakened Merkel's authority.

One politician in Merkel's party acknowledged that there might be 'language barriers' but said the dangers should be clear by now regardless of background.

Minority groups have been hardest-hit in many countries, including in the UK where studies have shown a higher mortality rate among black and Asian people.

But Germany's RKI has published no official figures on infection or death rates among different ethnic groups.

The new revelations are the latest blow to Merkel's government which is already facing criticism over the slow vaccine roll-out and long-running lockdown.

Meanwhile, Merkel wants to start easing virus curbs from next week with surveys suggesting Germans are losing patience with the lockdown. 'We're coming out of a long lockdown and must now proceed step by step,' Merkel said in a video call with MPs from her conservative bloc.


Could a vaccine against South African 'super-Covid' prevent ALL forms?

Scientists have found a potential silver lining to the worrisome South African coronavirus variant: antibodies developed to it may protect against other variants.

Lab tests by Africa Health Research Institute scientists suggests that antibodies triggered by exposure to the country's dominant coronavirus variant can prevent infection by other variants, the scientists said on Wednesday.

The opposite is true of people infected with other variants. The immunity someone gains from prior infection with earlier forms of the virus or even the UK's B117 variant is less protective against South Africa's B1351 variant.

And the discovery that antibodies to B1351 may offer broader immunity suggests that making vaccines that trigger these immune cells could mean a vaccine for that variant may protect against all of the currently circulating forms.

Better yet: Moderna announced Wednesday that it has shipped enough supplies to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for trials of its booster shot designed specifically to combat B1351 to begin.

If infection rates can be kept low enough to close the window of opportunity for new variants to arise, Moderna's booster vaccine and others designed to block B1351 could have a good shot at ending the pandemic.

The clinical trial has not yet begun, but will include both participants who got two doses of Moderna's original vaccine in the earlier trial and participants who have never had the vaccine or COVID-19.

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said Wednesday that it could have booster doses ready later this year. 'We look forward to beginning the clinical study of our variant booster and are grateful for the NIH’s continued collaboration to combat this pandemic,' Bancel said in a statement.

'As we seek to defeat COVID-19, we must be vigilant and proactive as new variants of SARS-CoV-2 emerge. Leveraging the flexibility of our mRNA platform, we are moving quickly to test updates to the vaccines that address emerging variants of the virus in the clinic.

'Moderna is committed to making as many updates to our vaccine as necessary until the pandemic is under control. We hope to demonstrate that booster doses, if necessary, can be done at lower dose levels, which will allow us to provide many more doses to the global community in late 2021 and 2022 if necessary.'

Although the UK's B117 variant is certainly spreading more quickly than other variants, the SOuth African form has much more concerning mutations.

In addition to be an estimated 50 percent more infectious, changes in its spike protein - the portion of the virus that allows it to infect human cells - make the variant less 'visible' to antibodies developed based on other forms.

The variant doesn't totally nullify the effects of current vaccines - which were designed based on the genetic makeup of earlier circulating forms of the virus - but they do weaken it.

Potency was reduced by about five-fold in the lab for Moderna's original shot, and by about two fold for Pfizer's vaccines.

Johnson & Johnson's one-shot reduced infection risks by 64 percent in South Africa, where the variant is dominant, compared to 72 percent in the US, where there are only 65 confirmed cases, according to the CDC.

But all three companies are now working on booster shots, with Moderna's leading the pack as it takes a step closer to clinical trials.

The findings in the South African laboratory studies offer hope that COVID-19 vaccines based on the 501Y.V2 variant first identified late last year could protect against multiple variants circulating in different parts of the world.

The more contagious variant drove a second wave of infections in South Africa that peaked in January and is believed to have spread to many other countries in Africa and other continents.

'We used plasma...from people that were infected in this latest wave with the 501Y.V2' - another alphanumeric name for the variant that emerged in South Africa - 'and we used it against the first-wave virus...what we found is that it could neutralize, OK not as well as it could neutralize itself but it's not bad at all,' Alex Sigal from the Africa Health Research Institute told a news conference.

Sigal said vaccines designed with the 501Y.V2 variant in mind 'might be cross-protective to other variants...this gives you some idea how this problem of variants can be solved.'

Penny Moore, a professor at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, said the antibody response from the 501Y.V2 variant was only reduced threefold against the first-wave virus, whereas the response from the first-wave virus was reduced nine-fold against 501Y.V2.

'It's not that the antibodies that are triggered by 501Y.V2 are somehow magical, there is a drop-off, ... but unlike the antibodies triggered by the original variant they seem to somehow have a little bit more breadth,' she told the same briefing.

Salim Abdool Karim, a top government adviser on COVID-19, noted that major vaccine manufacturers including Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson were already making vaccines based on the 501Y.V2 variant.

Moderna had already adapted its shot and was putting it into human studies, he added.

He predicted that by the end of 2021 most vaccine manufacturers would have adapted their shots, 'not because they are specifically worrying about the virus coming from South Africa... but because key mutations in the 501Y.V2 are actually also present in many other variants.'

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the research was encouraging and that genomics surveillance had helped the government respond to the pandemic.

South Africa has recorded by far the most COVID-19 infections and deaths on the African continent, at 1.5 million cases and over 50,000 fatalities to date.


The real president who is running things instead of Biden!

This is not a conspiracy theory. It is a reasonable deduction

When you really think about it, would you let a seventy-eight-year-old man run the country? Nah, they couldn’t be that stupid.
Or…could they? Anyway, what seems to be happening now is that Joe Biden is being sent out to make the speeches and do the smiling and the waving. Just because someone has the title doesn’t mean they are the one in charge. Anyone that has ever seen an officer in the military get chewed out privately by an upper enlisted person knows that’s the case

The fact of the matter is, they are going to try and insulate Joe Biden as much as humanly possible.

Former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice has been tapped to lead the White House Domestic Policy Council in the Biden administration, but former acting DNI Ric Grenell believes she could be in control of a lot more.

“I think you need to watch Susan Rice very closely,” he said on “Sunday Morning Futures.” “She will be the shadow president.”

Susan Rice, known for launching regime change war in Libya, trying and failing to launch regime change war in Syria, and blaming Benghazi on a YouTube video has returned to the White House briefing room— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 26, 2021

Grenell called Biden’s pick “interesting” considering Rice has no experience in domestic policy but nonetheless will be “incredibly influential” under the new administration.

Having served in the Obama administration as a national security adviser, Rice already understands the “entire apparatus,” Grenell said.

“I think the reality is, she’s going to be running foreign policy, domestic policy,” he said. “She’s probably extremely happy that Kamala Harris is going to be preoccupied with the Senate… and won’t have a lot of time to get into policy issues.”

Wow, Biden Policy Advisor Susan Rice, who never fully answered why she was unmasking Americans and evaded the truth in multiple interviews about Benghazi is now going to discuss a top priority for Biden Admin, Racial equity (equality)— Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) January 26, 2021

Grenell theorized that the Democrats elected Biden because he could be swayed.

“We saw him raise his hand during the Democratic primary for some really radical ideas,” he said. “The progressives have clearly taken over him… And Susan Rice being right there at the White House to be the shadow president is probably exactly where she wants to be.”




No comments: