Usher’s News & Analysis for July 24, 2020

The first confirmed coronavirus outbreak at an Iowa meatpacking plant was far more severe than previously known, with more than twice as many workers becoming infected than the state Department of Public Health told the public, newly released records show.

Outbreak at Iowa Pork Plant Was Larger Than State Reported

Smart move:

Zurich Insurance Decides Not to Renew Cover for Canada’s Trans Mountain Oil Pipeline

I had zero knowledge of this before reading this fascinating article on the heavily censored website of Dr. Mercola.

Horseshoe crabs, which have been on this planet for an estimated 450 million years, surviving ice ages, asteroids and more, and predating dinosaurs by more than 200 million years,13 may have met their match with the pharmaceutical industry, as their population is on the decline.

Use of Synthetic Alternative Could Save Horseshoe Crabs

In 1997, scientists at the National University of Singapore developed laboratory-synthesized recombinant Factor C (rFC), a synthetic alternative to the LAL test. The synthetic version uses a single protein cloned from a horseshoe crab as its active ingredient.22 Although rFC is approved for use in Europe, questions about efficacy have kept it from being widely used in the U.S.

Writing in PLOS Biology, however, researchers determined that rFC is not only effective for endotoxin detection but also may largely eliminate the occurrence of false positive reactions that may occur to glucans and some other substances.23 “The reagent [rFC] is more consistent since it is not subject to the lot-to-lot variability found in LAL,” they noted, adding that it presents potential cost savings as well.

Importantly, switching to rFC would reduce the demand for LAL by 90%, which could save about 100,000 horseshoe crabs from dying every year in North America alone. The represents an “extraordinary opportunity” for the pharmaceutical industry to contribute to horseshoe crab conservation, leading the researchers to call for urgent change in the industry ….

Will This Species Be Sacrificed Due to COVID?

This is from another extremely censored site: Children’s Health Defense.

… Moderna plugs a small piece of coronavirus genetic code into human cells, potentially altering DNA throughout the human body and reprogramming our cells to produce antibodies to fight the virus. mRNA vaccines are a form of genetic engineering called “germ line gene editing”.

Gates Pushes Experimental Technology on Seven Billion Humans

The “Geneva Statement” Calls for Course Correction on Heritable Genome Editing

Wow. By Dr. Alan Palmer:

Is it possible that one of the variables making the elderly susceptible to coronavirus infection is the flu shot? The elderly have long been a highly targeted group for marketing the flu vaccine, yet a recently released study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Defense and published October 2019 in the journal Vaccine, Influenza vaccination and respiratory virus interference among Department of Defense personnel during the 2017–2018 influenza season, found that service personnel given the flu shot were 36% more likely to get a coronavirus infection than those who were unvaccinated. It has long been known that receiving influenza vaccination may increase the risk of other respiratory viruses, a phenomenon known as “virus interference.” Yet, CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) requires that elderly persons living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities get vaccinated against influenza. That very flu shot mandate may have left those individuals with already compromised immune systems more vulnerable to COVID-19.

A post from October 2005, CMS Will Require Nursing Homes to Vaccinate Residents Against the Flu stated: “Nursing homes serving Medicare and Medicaid patients will have to provide immunizations against influenza and pneumococcal disease to all residents if they want to continue in the programs, according to a final rule published by CMS in today’s Federal Register.” CMS and CDC assert that 90% of all flu related deaths annually are in persons 65 years and older and that is their rationale.

If the flu shot were greatly effective and had little or no side effects, vaccinating all elderly people may be an excellent idea. The problem with that rationale is ….

Why Has Everyone Seemingly Forgotten How the Immune System Works?

A step in the right direction:

Morgan Stanley Set to Become First U.S. Bank to Publicly Disclose How Much Its Loans and Investments Contribute to Climate Change

The court struck down the immigration regulation as a legal nullity. It then ordered the government to prove that Hassoun’s detention under the Patriot Act was justified.

ACLU Secures Release of U.S. Resident Unlawfully Detained Under Patriot Act

The days of the Likud and the like getting away with whatever they want will end.

Construction began three months ago, and the family did not apply for a permit from the Israeli government; Israel controls the area in which Hebron lies, known as Area C, where Palestinians are rarely granted building permits.

“If we applied for a permit, we would not have gotten it,” Maswada told the Middle East Eye. “We thought maybe during Covid-19, there would be some exceptions.”

‘Cruelty of the Occupation Knows No Bounds’: Israel Demolishes Covid-19 Clinic in Epicenter of West Bank Outbreak

I don’t want to hear anyone tell me that we can’t afford to expand enhanced unemployment benefits when we spend more on endless wars than the next ten countries combined.

~ Ro Khanna

It will apparently be up to Seattle to show the way. That way is to spend more on the root causes of crime and war rather than on law-enforcement, punishment, and the military. The really important thing that you only hear about here is that we don’t have to cut the Pentagon or Police in order to vastly increase spending on the root causes. We don’t have to borrow money to spend it. We simply need to create it. Why that hasn’t become THE HOT TOPIC is because it’s censored information and has been for literally centuries.

Police Budgets Are Ballooning as Social Programs Crumble

The AI Awakening: Implications for the Economy

Technology has played a critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic, facilitating remote work and automating certain pandemic responses. But it has also accelerated technological adoption, and the “future of work” may now be the present.

Silicon Valley has long been focused on the potential economic disruption of “Artificial General Intelligence”. While that may still be decades away the pandemic has accelerated the development and adoption of machine learning. Further, as major technology companies like Twitter, Facebook and Microsoft re-evaluate long term remote work strategies for their workforce it has become clear that the Post-COVID economy will not look the same as the one we left behind. What do these changes mean for work and workers and what can we do to prepare ourselves?

Erik Brynjolfsson examines the effects of information technologies on business strategy, productivity and performance, digital commerce, and intangible assets. He is the author of several books including, with co-author Andrew McAfee, NYTimes best-seller The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (2014) and Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future (2017).