10,000 on ignore, Book 190, The Days of Reckoning, Part 49.....

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Covid Live Updates: Virus Symptoms Can Last a Year, Study Finds


One year after becoming ill with the coronavirus, nearly half of patients in a large new study were still experiencing at least one lingering health symptom, adding to evidence that recovery from Covid-19 can be arduous and that the multifaceted condition known as “long Covid” can last for months.

The study, published Thursday in the journal The Lancet, is believed to be the largest to date in which patients were evaluated one year after being hospitalized for Covid. It involved 1,276 patients admitted to Jin Yin-tan Hospital in Wuhan, China, who were discharged between Jan. 7 and May 29, 2020.

The researchers, who also evaluated the patients six months after hospitalization, found that while many symptoms improved over time and many of the 479 people who had been employed when they got Covid had returned to their original job, 49 percent of patients still had at least one health problem......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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TTM note: They used the sewage ditch which, as I noted earlier, is also speculated to be the route used by ISIS-K terrorists. Things that make me go "hmmm."
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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People previously infected with COVID-19 have strong immunity to delta, and that's a very good thing
Mark Sumner

On Thursday, the CDC logged over 2,000 deaths from COVID-19 for the first time since March. With the delta variant dominant across the nation, cases were at record levels in states like Hawaii and Oregon which had been among the best at handling, and tamping down, past waves. However, the bulk of the new cases—and new deaths—continued to be in the Southeast. A band of states from Louisiana to South Carolina all have rates of disease that exceed 500 cases per 100,000 citizens over the last week. Those same states are generating stories of too many COVID-19 patients in hospital beds, too many patients in ICUs, and rates of positive tests at record highs.

One thing several of those states are not producing in record quantity — public data. As Kaiser Health News reports, multiple states have pulled back on the amount of data they’re sharing about the COVID-19 crisis. Florida has been a leader in obscuring data from the outset, having ordered medical examiners to stop publicly listing cause of death and famously firing and eventually prosecuting the data scientist who built their state COVID-19 dashboard. That dashboard has been gone from Florida’s state web site for months now, as the state has repeatedly stepped back its reporting. Official data is now only available once a week, and even then Florida has adopted a new method of reporting deaths that makes each current day seem like a triumph (Florida officially notched just 8 new deaths for Thursday) while the actual numbers are much higher (it really logged over 400 deaths spread across the last few weeks). Florida Agriculture Commissioner and the states’ only Democratic official Nikki Fried has been providing some updates on a daily basis, but there are limits on what Fried can offer, simply because the state is not making the data easy to obtain.

Florida isn’t alone. In Georgia, the state has pulled the plug on reporting of cases and deaths in both prisons and nursing homes. Information is still being passed along to federal officials, and some of the information the state used to provide gets rolled up into the numbers available on the CDC’s data tracker. However, those coming into Georgia’s state dashboard will find that if they want to know what they’re not seeing, they’ll have to go to another site and whip out the calculator.

Nebraska took its dashboard down completely, then put it back — but only with weekly data. Iowa also is also down to reporting data once a week. South Dakota has often been a hole in the map for weeks, even in the CDC data. As in Georgia and Florida, data is still moving to the CDC on a daily basis from hospitals, but it provides a limited view of what’s happening.

It’s almost as if these states are more interested in pushing a narrative, rather than providing the truth.
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As Kaiser notes, data from prisons has become particularly hard to come by. Even when states do provide such data, it has grown more limited in details and in some states is only available on a monthly basis. Considering the way that COVID-19 has spread massively through some prison systems, and how guards and other prison workers have acted as a conduit carrying disease both into and out of prisons to the broader community, this is a big concern.

Data from nursing homes is also a concern. Despite the increase in deaths for younger victims of COVID-19, the majority of deaths continue to be among those over 60. Almost 19% of Americans over 65 are still not fully vaccinated, and multiple states have refused to require workers at nursing homes to be vaccinated. As a result, federal data shows that over a third of nursing home workers—540,000 out of 1.5 million—remain unvaccinated. The rate of vaccination tends to mirror the general state population, meaning that in several states a majority of these workers are not vaccinated. President Biden has informed facilities that all employees must be vaccinated this fall if they want to keep getting federal funds, but for the moment in many states its difficult or impossible to determine the actual level of COVID-19 within nursing homes.

With the decreased levels of data provided from many states, it can be difficult to see what’s really happening. But one thing is clear — what’s happening is bad. As CBS reports, Georgia has joined those states where hospitals are so full that emergency rooms can’t take any new patients. Multiple hospitals across the states have declared themselves on “diversion,” meaning that ambulances are directed to take patients elsewhere. As might be expected, this kind of situation can easily cascade into a widespread outage, with ambulances either shuttling back and forth, or waiting in lines for a bed to become open.

As for Florida … back on August 11, Ron DeSantis assured everyone that the state was on its way to recovery. They just couldn’t see it yet, That’s because, as Florida Politics reported at the time, DeSantis claimed that there were “leading indicators” in the data he was seeing—data not available to everyone else—that showed the delta wave coming to an end. According to DeSantis, areas of the state were already “nosing over” when it came to their rates of COVID-19. Over two weeks later, Florida is still leading the nation in both cases and deaths.


ScreenShot2020-06-10at4.09.35PM.png


Florida’s cases aren’t just the highest in the nation, they’ve been consistently higher than they were at the top of the midwinter peak, which came before widespread vaccination was available. Florida actually has 51.9% of its population fully vaccinated, but DeSantis’ policies—forcing schools to open in person no matter what, banning mask mandates, forcing businesses not to check for vaccination—have completely negated the protection that vaccination should have afforded his state.

But for Florida—and, strangely enough, for Sen. Rand Paul—there is some good news. That’s because a study published this week in Science shows that those who have been through a SARS-CoV-2 infection are left with immunity that appears to be “much greater” than that afforded by vaccines. The data shows that those who have previously been infected with the virus are much less likely to experience a second or “breakthrough” infection, and that includes infection by the delta variant. Those previously infected also matched the vaccinated when it came to having a lower chance of serious illness if they did become infected. So, on this one very, very limited thing, Rand Paul was right—his past infection with COVID-19 is providing him with protection against a repeat.

The study was conducted in Israel, where the vaccination rate is high. That allowed researchers to see that, while both vaccinated and previously infected people were much less likely to be infected by the delta variant than those who were unvaccinated, those who had been infected had a significant edge. In one part of the study, the chances for the vaccinated to become infected were actually 27 times higher. Remember that number, because Republicans are sure to cite it when they misuse this data. Which they will. However, that’s a bit misleading because both vaccinated and previously infected had a huge edge over the unvaccinated.

All of this is good news for everywhere like Florida (or the still spiking U.K.) where infection rates have been high. It means that the infected population is very unlikely to be “repeat customers” for COVID-19 in the near future. Combine the rates of infection with rates of vaccination, and some locations really should be getting near herd immunity, even if reaching that level requires over 90% of the population be protected. The Science study is a very good sign that eventually, this thing should genuinely burn itself out, at least regionally, and at least for a period of months … and that was not a sure thing.

However, one thing the scientists involved in the study want to make clear is that people should not go out and intentionally try to get infected. Let’s do that one again: people should not go out and try to get infected. No COVID-19 infection parties.

That’s because while getting infected does appear to convey lasting immunity, it does so at a very high price. That price is around 15% of people becoming seriously ill, a still unknown percentage left with lingering damage, and—getting back to where this article started—about 2,000 people a day dying from infection.

What the scientists want everyone to know is that the vaccine also imparts strong, lasting protection, and unlike the disease, the vaccine will not kill you, send you to the ICU, or leave you dragging around an oxygen tank for life. When choosing a method of protection from COVID-19, choose the vaccine. Every time.

Eventually, areas will gain enough protection, either through vaccine or infection, to limit community spread of COVID-19. The question is: at what price?
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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WASHINGTON, Aug 27 (Reuters) - A deadly attack in Afghanistan's capital Kabul on Thursday was carried out by a single suicide bomber at a gate to the airport and there was no second explosion at a nearby hotel, the Pentagon said on Friday.


The Kabul airport attack, which killed 13 U.S. troops and at least 79 Afghans, was claimed by Islamic State militants. The Islamic State's Afghan affiliate, ISIS-Khorosan, has emerged as an enemy of both the West and of the Taliban.

The attack marked the first U.S. military casualties in Afghanistan since February 2020 and represented the deadliest incident for American troops there in a decade.

U.S. General Frank McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, had said on Thursday that initial information was that two suicide bombers had attacked the airport gate and the nearby Baron hotel.

"I can confirm for you that we do not believe that there was a second explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, that it was one suicide bomber," Army Major General William Taylor told reporters on Friday. He said U.S. troops wounded in the attack were now being treated in Germany.

Taylor said about 300 U.S. citizens had been evacuated in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of Americans evacuated to about 5,100.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told the reporters during the same briefing that the United States believed there are still "specific, credible" threats against the airport.

"We certainly are prepared and would expect future attempts," Kirby said, adding: "We're monitoring these threats, very, very specifically, virtually in real time."

U.S. officials have said the biggest threat facing the airport are potential rocket attacks or car bombs.

Thursday's attack occurred during a U.S.-led evacuation of tens of thousands of people. The Taliban came to power nearly two weeks ago as foreign forces began withdrawing, ending a 20-year war.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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A Florida judge on Friday ruled that the DeSantis administration can’t punish local school districts for passing mask mandates, notching a win for parents who fought back against the Republican governor over his hands-off Covid-19 policies.

By taking the enforcement mechanism out of DeSantis administration’s mask rules, Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper stops the Florida Department of Education from sanctioning school districts that require face coverings.

DeSantis has vowed to appeal the decision.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Judge rules against Florida Man DeSantis in important mask mandate case
Walter Einenkel

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ war on his constituents’ health and common sense lost a major battle on Friday. After three days of parents’, teachers’, and physicians’ testimony, 2nd Judicial Circuit Court Judge John C. Cooper ruled that the Florida governor’s executive order preventing school districts from implementing universal mask mandates is unconstitutional. “I conclude that this evidence demonstrates that facemask policies that follow CDC guidance are, at this point in time, reasonable and consistent with the best scientific and medical and public opinion guidance at this time. I am enforcing the bill passed by the legislature and requiring that anyone who uses that bill has to follow all of the provisions, not some of the provisions.”

This comes as a blow to DeSantis’ attempts to emulate his idol, Donald Trump, by using his powerful leadership position to put millions of people’s lives in jeopardy for political gain. The case made in the Tallahassee court by attorney Craig Whisenhunt wasn’t a hard one to make. Whisenhunt, who represented parents in Hillsborough, Orange, and Alachua counties who sued the Florida governor, said, “There can be no rational, reasonable, competent basis to prohibit school boards from complying with expert recommendations from the CDC.”

..........
Judge Cooper also said that lawyers representing DeSantis gave statements that were in opposition to the scientific evidence presented at the trial. Also important was the secondary defense laid out by DeSantis, which was a hasty piece of legislation called the Parent’s Bill of Rights, that DeSantis and other anti-maskers have hoped would give them the Constitutional power against a lawsuit like the one ruled on today. Judge Cooper granted an injunction against the State Board of Education, which was enforcing DeSantis’ executive order, and said that the new Parent’s Bill of Rights law does "not ban mask mandates at all. [...] Parents' rights are very important, but they’re not without some reasonable limitations.”


"We all zealously protect our personal rights," he said. "We can drink until we're intoxicated...but we cannot get in our car and start driving around while we've had alcoholic beverages that impair our ability to drive. We all have the right to drink alcohol, but the driver’s right to drive intoxicated is limited by the government."
"When we talk about absolute and fundamental rights, there’s always a footnote," Cooper added. "Well let’s see if exercising this right harms other people."

Also important to note, Judge Cooper pointed out that DeSantis and his cronies don’t have the right to penalize school boards—a tactic that DeSantis has tried to use to bully educators into complying with his anti-mask mandate. For now, DeSantis is hoping that shadow money and misled MAGA families can help him continue his political ambitions, telling reporters on Thursday, “I know there’s parents who had their rights taken away, who are going to pursue legal action. I think you will see that in some areas.”

Plaintiff attorney Whiswenhunt has consistently pointed out how morally bankrupt DeSantis’ position and, more importantly, actions have been around this issue: "He waited until he could insert a rule and restrict the authority of school boards on the eve of their opening, when they wouldn’t have time to redress their concerns or bring their issues to the court. And as efficient and expedited as this case has been, it has taken us into the school year already. And it could have been litigated and resolved months ago—without the risk and detriment to students."

On Tuesday, Florida said that 16,820 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, down from last week’s record-setting 17,000. Science and the best practices have shown that allowing schools to mandate mask-wearing can help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Cases of COVID-19 have been surging over the past few weeks as the more infectious delta variant becomes the dominant strain of the virus. Very few other places have been hit as hard as Florida, and the terrible policies from Republican officials are directly correlated to higher hospitalization and death rates.

Most schools are in defiance of Gov. DeSantis at this point, as more than half of the students in Florida’s public school are following mask mandates. DeSantis has previously said he would appeal a decision he didn’t like in this case.
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Friday, Aug 27, 2021 · 2:51:18 PM EDT · Walter Einenkel
The Tallahassee Democrat reports that Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna, one of the officials Gov. DeSantis tried to sanction over mask mandates, said he feels vindicated by the Judge Cooper’s decision. "Right now, I’m on cloud nine.”


 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Republicans want America to know they also have a strategy on Afghanistan: Use it to hurt Joe Biden
Mark Sumner

On Thursday, President Joe Biden addressed the nation after an explosion outside of Hamid Karzai International Airport took the lives of 13 American service members. In that speech, Biden sent condolences to the families of those lost, promised to track down the terrorists behind the attack, reaffirmed his commitment to carry on with the evacuation in Afghanistan, praised the sacrifice and commitment of the all-volunteer military, took full responsibility for his decisions, and doubled-down on bringing the 20 year conflict to a close.

In response, Republicans made it clear that they have a strategy of their own. That strategy won’t get one more person out of Afghanistan. It won’t save the lives of a single service member. It’s not concerned with finding the ISIS-K terrorists behind the explosion. It isn’t concerned with taking any kind of responsibility. It most certainly doesn’t want the war to end. Nope. The Republican plan for Afghanistan is blindingly simple: Use it, with the help of the media, to damage Joe Biden.

As CNN reports, the only thing really bothering Republicans about Afghanistan is a divide over just how they can leverage the death of American service members as political fodder.

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In 1982, President Ronald Reagan sent 800 U.S. Marines into Lebanon to help push leftist Palestinians out of country and protect gains that had been made by the Christian Phalange militia in a long-running civil war. This was followed by a Marine being killed by a bomb, several more Marines being killed by snipers, 63 people being killed when a suicide driver drove an explosive-laden van into the U.S. embassy, and then 241 service members being killed when another terrorist drove a sophisticated truck bomb into the central Marine barracks. It was, and still is, the largest single day number of American Marines lost since the Battle of Iwo Jima.

Post-bombing reports showed that the Marines had not been allowed to maintain a secure perimeter for pollical reasons. Still, Reagan went in front of the nation and vowed that the Marines would stay until the mission was complete. Except they didn’t. After four months of no progress, Reagan pulled the Marines out. The identities of the terrorist who drove a van into the U.S. embassy and the terrorists who drove a truck into the Marine barracks were never established. It was never clear where they came from or what group they supported.

Following this Reagan wasn’t exactly impeached. Instead, he was reelected by a record margin in November 1984. But that, of course, was a different time. Also, Reagan managed to squeeze a whole second war into the time between pulling out the Marines and Election Day. And in that second little war—which even Margret Thatcher thought was ridiculous—only 20 Marines got killed. Reagan ran on these examples of his willingness to expend American lives.

In the current time, there’s a civil war going on in the Republican Party, but that civil war is between those who want to impeach Joe Biden or call on him to resign right now, and those who are willing to wait to until Republicans gain an expected House majority in the 2022 elections.
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Few things could illustrate the total lack of concern that Republicans hold for the actual situation in Afghanistan better than a press briefing McCarthy held on Friday morning. As NBC news reporter Jake Sherman reported, McCarthy didn’t bother with checking to see if he had any kind of coherent statement concerning what was actually happening. Instead the Republican leader called for every troop to come out, while insisting that Bagram Air base should be reoccupied. Then he said that America should keep some troops in Afghanistan, but we shouldn’t be negotiating with the Taliban. And when it was pointed out that Trump negotiated with the Taliban, McCarthy just moved on to the discussion of when is the best time to impeach Biden. McCarthy doesn’t have a position on that, either. Because McCarthy’s position is never more than what the crowd is calling for at that exact second.


When it comes to developing an actual proposal on what to do in Afghanistan, Republicans do have one clear position: Why?

Why should they? When, as Huff Post pointed out on Thursday, Republicans can simultaneously make calls for actions that would require Biden to reinvade the entire country then at the same time criticize him for not getting every single person out of the nation without a scratch, and media won’t challenge the lack of reason or consistency … why do anything more? So long as Republicans can see that networks will gladly put them on the air and echo their statements about “chaos” and “failure,” having an actual strategy on Afghanistan would only be a liability.

That frees Republicans to concentrate on the one thing that really concerns them — 2022. Untethered from either the necessity of governing, or the need to have a coherent platform, Republicans can be all-attack all the time. That allows statements like this from Republican Rep. Mark Green, “I’d put more military in there, I’d get every single American out and I’d start killing bad guys.” Or Sen. Ben Sasse writing a note in which he declares that America needs to “reverse course” and occupy most of Afghanistan because ending the war shows “weakness.”

None of it makes sense. It doesn’t have to make sense. Because Republicans don’t consider their enemy to be either the Taliban or ISIS-K, and they don’t consider their goal to be getting Americans out safely. They certainly aren’t interested in ending the war.


They’re only interested in evacuating Democrats from the House, Senate, and White House. And in that scheme, they seem to have plenty of allies.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Barbara Lee, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lead call urging Biden admin to raise refugee admissions cap
Gabe Ortiz

Nearly 70 legislators led by anti-war stalwart Barbara Lee and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are calling on the Biden administration to raise the refugee cap for the 2022 fiscal year, citing “vulnerable Afghans who are in grave danger following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.” President Joe Biden has previously pledged to raise the cap to 125,000 in the next full fiscal year. Currently its 62,500. Legislators are calling on him to raise it to at least 200,000.

“After decades of disastrous U.S. intervention in Afghanistan, one thing is clear: we have a moral responsibility to provide safe harbor and refuge for the Afghan people. Now, the growing humanitarian crisis is further exposing the horrific costs of our endless wars,” they write. “The United States must do everything in its power to protect those who have borne the brunt of this decades-long conflict, especially Afghans who are at increased risk of persecution or death by the Taliban …”....

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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The novel coronavirus surge in Florida shows little sign of slowing down, and hospitals are continuing to struggle to keep up with the massive influx of patients.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that 14 portable morgues are being driven into central Florida as hospitals have run out of room to store dead bodies.

"The number of deaths right now is unprecedented," Lynne Drawdy, executive director of the Central Florida Disaster Medical Coalition, tells the Orlando Sentinel. "What we're hearing from the hospitals is that the death count right now is higher than it ever has been."

Raul Pino, a health officer in Orange County, tells the Orlando Sentinel that the morgues are not just an ominous sign for the present, but for the weeks to come.......
 

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