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covid-19

Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive, tests positive for coronavirus

World-record sprinter and eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt has tested positive for the coronavirus and is self-isolating at his home in Jamaica after last week celebrating his 34th birthday with a big bash mask-free.

Jamaica’s health ministry confirmed late on Monday that Bolt, who holds world records in the 100m and 200m distance, had tested positive after he posted a video on social media around midday saying he was waiting to hear back on his results.

“Just to be safe I quarantined myself and just taking it easy,” Bolt said in the message that he appeared to have taped himself while lying in bed. It was posted with the caption “Stay safe my ppl.”

The only sprinter to win the 100m and 200m golds at three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012 and 2016) said he did not have any symptoms of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

Bolt said he took the test on Saturday, the day after he celebrated his birthday at a bash where partygoers danced to the hit “Lockdown” by Jamaican reggae singer Koffee.

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“Best birthday ever,” Bolt, who retired from athletics in 2017, wrote on Instagram, posting a photo of himself holding his daughter, Olympia, who was born in May.

Kevin Hart reveals he tested positive for coronavirus earlier this year

Fans wished Bolt a speedy recovery on social media – “drink up your ginger tea,” one wrote – although some accused him of carelessness.

Daily confirmed cases in Jamaica have surged to more than 60 per day over the past four days from less than 10 just a few weeks ago. Jamaica now has 1,612 confirmed cases, with 622 active cases and 16 deaths from coronavirus.

Officials put the uptick in cases down to the reopening of international borders as well as celebrations over a long weekend in August marking Independence Day and Emancipation Day.

They also put the blame at the feet of people who refuse to wear masks and practice social distancing.

The pickup has raised concerns over national elections that Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness called for in September, six months ahead of schedule.

Holness on Sunday suspended all his campaigning activities, including motorcades, home visits and rallies, and asked other parties to do the same.

Authorities have also delayed the reopening of schools for one month and citizens are under a national curfew from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

CORRECTION (Aug. 25, 2020. 12:46 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article included an incorrect photo on some platforms due to a technical problem. The photo depicted actor Kevin Hart. It has been replaced with a photo of Usain Bolt.

This content was originally published here.

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covid-19

NBC News reporter berated by Trump at coronavirus briefing: ‘You’re a terrible reporter’

During a daily press briefing on the coronavirus outbreak, President Trump tires to berate NBC News reporter Peter Alexander, calling him a “terrible reporter” working for “Concast.”

This content was originally published here.

Categories
functional medicine

Tee-Up Your Immunity for COVID 19 | Sanctuary Functional Medicine

The race against COVID-19 has developed into the most widely watched scientific discovery since HIV.  However, HIV’s story turned into a long grueling ultra-marathon while COVID is more like the Olympic 1600 meter race with speed hoping for a quick finish.  The rapidity of discovery has been both exhilarating and maddening.  Each discovery is met with a breath of relief as a piece of the puzzle comes into place.  On the other hand, as some discoveries contradict other discoveries, or force some adaptation of what we thought we knew, many become agitated that we can’t get the story straight.  This is actually the normal process of science in which we both build on prior discoveries and have to alter our prior misconceptions along the way.  The only difference is that we are watching it in 4x fast forward on the movie big screen in real life.

The primary instigating article for this post combines both excitement and potential frustration into one discovery.  Researchers from Duke with the National University of Singapore (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) published their findings in the journal Nature recently concerning COVID-19 and T cell immunity.  The findings bring excitement as it should improve our current response to COVID-19.  The findings could also shake up the COVID 19 response.

Researchers looked at whether patients who recovered from COVID-19 would demonstrate memory T-Cells against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.  Our immune system’s T-cells defend against viral infections by identifying and attacking viral infected cells so they are neutralized before replicating millions of virus copies.  Their memory T-cell versions remain in our bodies after the infection is conquered so that they can rapidly respond at the first signs of an attempted repeat infectious attack.

In the study, all patients who had recovered from COVID-19 demonstrated the presence of these memory T cells. This is in contrast to other studies showing that not all recovered patients possessed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 virus which has been considered as a means of determining past infection and/or current immunity.  This is where the COVID-19 world gets shaken up.  While there is much controversy over the accuracy of COVID-19 antibody testing’s accuracy, we may simply be testing the wrong arm of the immune system.  Antibodies are proteins produced in abundance by the immune system’s B cells.  They attach to viruses or bacteria or other foreign objects and mark them for attack.  If instead, our defense against SARS-CoV-2 lies more within the T-cell arm of the system, then testing for antibodies is less relevant to the COVID-19 response.

Beyond this question of T versus B response that is not yet fully answered, we have another potential paradigm rattling finding from this study.  The researchers also looked at those who were not known to have been infected by SARS-CoV-2.  Surprisingly, they found that about 50 percent possessed memory T-cells that cross-reacted to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, providing some level of immune defense.  They hope to continue research that could help us understand why some fair better against in COVID-19 than others. Possibly, those with the cross-reactivity may respond faster and thus more successfully when infected.  They are also following COVID-19 survivors to monitor whether their T-cell immunity endures or fades like the antibody responses appear to do.

If any of you want to jump down the rabbit hole and dig further into T-cell immunity in COVID-19, I have provided a few other resource links.  The paper by Vabret et al is a long exposition attempting to combine all prior knowledge of COVID-19 immunology prior to May 6.  While we have added to our knowledge in the past few months, the complexity of viral immunity in this paper will leave your head spinning and help you understand why “it just is not that simple”.  A Technology News link describes the development of a test kit to assess one’s T-cell immunity to SARS-CoV-2.  The article by Melgaco et al discusses the quandary of waning antibodies after infection.

With the breadth and depth of SARS-CoV-2 understanding rapidly expanding, many will have to become “COVID-ologists”.  As a functional MD caring for hundreds of patients presenting with a wide variety and complexity of disease processes, I will never be able to qualify as a “COVID-ologist”.  However, as a functional MD working to understand and apply foundational understanding of how our immune system serves us, I will strive towards taking the “COVID-ologists” research and applying it to my patients.  I look forward to my medical colleagues work in the labs and academic centers shining light into the inner workings of our immune system.

Original Article:

Nina Le Bert, Anthony T. Tan, Kamini Kunasegaran, Christine Y. L. Tham, Morteza Hafezi, Adeline Chia, Melissa Hui Yen Chng, Meiyin Lin, Nicole Tan, Martin Linster, Wan Ni Chia, Mark I-Cheng Chen, Lin-Fa Wang, Eng Eong Ooi, Shirin Kalimuddin, Paul Anantharajal Tambyah, Jenny Guek-Hong Low, Yee-Joo Tan, Antonio Bertoletti. SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity in cases of COVID-19 and SARS, and uninfected controls. Nature, 2020; DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2550-z

Thanks to Science Daily:

Duke-NUS Medical School. “Scientists uncover SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity in recovered COVID-19 and SARS patients.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 July 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200716101536.htm>.

Other Resources:

Vabret, Nicolas et al. “Immunology of COVID-19: Current State of the Science.” Immunity vol. 52,6 (2020): 910-941. doi:10.1016/j.immuni.2020.05.002

Measuring the T Cell Immune Response to COVID-19.  Technology News Networks. Published July 8, 2020. Accessed July 26, 2020.

Melgaço, Juliana Gil et al. “Protective immunity after COVID-19 has been questioned: What can we do without SARS-CoV-2-IgG detection?.” Cellular immunology vol. 353 (2020): 104114. doi:10.1016/j.cellimm.2020.104114

Grifoni, Alba et al. “Targets of T Cell Responses to SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus in Humans with COVID-19 Disease and Unexposed Individuals.” Cell vol. 181,7 (2020): 1489-1501.e15. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2020.05.015

Bergmann, Cornelia C et al. “Coronavirus immunity: from T cells to B cells.” Advances in experimental medicine and biology vol. 581 (2006): 341-9. doi:10.1007/978-0-387-33012-9_61

Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more… offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.

This content was originally published here.

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covid-19

Jason calls off Friday the 13th activities due to coronavirus | SoraNews24 -Japan News-

Hilarious series of images from Japan show even Jason is concerned about COVID-19.

Friday the 13th is a day that’s tied up with some of the most frightening characters from the world of cinema, and one of the most notorious faces to pop up around this time of year is Jason Voorhees, the cold-blooded murderer from the Friday the 13th horror movie series which first debuted in 1980.

Hockey-masked Jason has been creeping into everyone’s nightmares since making his killing debut in the ’80s, and later resurfacing for some more bloodshed in the early 21st century as well. While he’s been keeping a curiously low profile recently, this year Jason appeared in Japan in the lead-up to Friday the 13th, giving a surprise press conference to inform everyone that the coronavirus would be impinging on this year’s activities.

“This month’s Friday the 13th has been called off.”

Jason then appeared to break down after his announcement, with Freddy Krueger stepping in to console him.

With Prime Minister Abe calling for large events and gatherings to be cancelled or postponed, a number of well-known theme parks and tourist sites in Japan remain closed temporarily. Whether or not the lack of crowds to slaughter weighed in on his decision to call off Friday the 13th, it appears that Jason is keeping in line with the Prime Minister’s cautionary guidelines, which includes telecommuting from home too.

▼ Look out! Jason’s working from home tonight… with Sadako and Chucky in the room.

Jason and his figurine handler, Twitter user @suekichiii, quickly went viral online, ratcheting up thousands of likes and retweets for their cleverly staged images.

▼ “Oh crap!” says Jason, as he spots himself trending online.

People around Japan found themselves strangely relating to Jason and his efforts to socially distance himself from others during the coronavirus outbreak.

“It’s a hard time for us all.”
“Don’t cry — hang in there, Jason!”
“This must’ve been a painful decision for him to make.”
“Jason’s scared of the coronavirus too! That must be why he’s wearing a full face mask.” 
“Not a great mask against the coronavirus with all those holes in it….”
“I never thought I’d say this but… Jason’s gestures are so kawaii!!!”

Like Jason, a lot of us will probably be staying indoors this Friday the 13th as we wait for the coronavirus pandemic to die down. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t find ways to entertain ourselves at home though, so put away the axe, Jason, and enjoy some of the free manga being provided online during the coronavirus outbreak.

And why not get a pizza delivered while you’re at it? Now with the new zero-contact service being offered by Domino’s and Pizza Hut in Japan, it’s probably the only time Jason can get a pizza delivered to his front door!

Source, featured image: Twitter/@suekichiii
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functional medicine

Jon Rappoport, Root of the poisonous tree, Trial of John Q Citizen, ENCORE – David J Blyweiss, MD, Functional medicine, BPA mortality, Supplementation, Honey vs antibiotics, Pharma reputation, Immune system and MORE!

You can listen to the Live GCN Stream

August 23rd, 2020 1-3PM ET

Sunday on The Robert Scott Bell Show:

Special Guest – Jon Rappoport!

has worked as a free-lance investigative reporter for over 30 years. He is the author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX. He has written articles on politics, health, media, culture and art for LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, Village Voice, Nexus, CBS Healthwatch, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. In 1982, the LA Weekly submitted his name for a Pulitzer prize, for his interview with the president of El Salvador University, where the military had taken over the campus

August 20, 2020 Before I jump in, I want to point to a film that hacks away the leaves, the branches, the trunk and the roots of the poisonous tree of vaccination all at once: VAXXED II, directed by Brian Burrowes. . “Urge” is too light a word. What is coming down the pipeline at us, in terms of attempts at vaccine mandates…this film will only strengthen your resolve, even if you’re quite sure you don’t need strengthening. The film contains many interviews with parents of vaccine-devastated children, and the children are there, too. The children who have died are there as well. Nobody has ever made a film like this. We DO need to drill down to the roots of the poisonous tree. Some people make this calculation: “I don’t want my view of COVID to appear too radical. That would drive the audience away. So I’ll cut myself off at a certain point and try to give the audience pieces of the puzzle they can digest…” For example, they would assert: “I’m not against vaccines. I just want to make them safer.” They would say: “We have to agree there is a new virus spreading around the world. If we don’t, people will reject everything we say. So let’s focus on whether the virus is as dangerous as health officials claim it is.” They would say: “We have to accept official case numbers as a starting point, even if untold numbers of people are being diagnosed with COVID by a casual glance at their symptoms, and even if the tests are inaccurate…” Bit by bit, and piece by piece, people would be accepting the official COVID story, until there is very little to argue about. Let’s take the issue of safer vaccines. How are they going to be made safer? Manufacturers are going to throw in the towel and just eliminate the toxic adjuvants? They’ll eliminate the injected germs which are the very basis of the exercise? They’ll make vaccines in outer space, where, hopefully, contamination with random viruses would be avoided? The synthetic genes they insert in the body will magically refrain from creating many horrendous ripple-effects?

John Q found himself in a small courtroom. The lighting was dim. He’d been brought there to stand trial for a minor offense. He was trying to remember what it was. Not wearing his mask? Not keeping his distance? Breaking curfew? The judge was sitting behind a table on an elevated platform. The judge began speaking— You think you’ve been arrested because of some little item. You’re wrong. What we’re talking about here is reality. The picture frame and your place in the picture. Your life is INSIDE. That’s the deal. Whether you agreed to the terms is beside the point. Once you’re inside the picture, you’re expected to take on all the duties of a law-abiding citizen. That’s your ID package. No exceptions. It doesn’t matter what the rules are, you follow them. You’re supposed to get a haircut and a shave, that’s what you do. You’re supposed to wear a suit, you wear a suit. You’re supposed to fall in line, you get in line and wait. If one day the crap hits the fan and everything goes blooey, you wait for orders. Some days are sunny, sometimes it rains. You have other dreams, you ignore them. You’re carved down into a shape. You assume that shape. You live according to what that shape is supposed to do. You’re a CITIZEN. You aren’t anything else. This is a one-time offer. Today we fine you. If you show up here again, we stick you in jail. You and all other citizens put together are a PATTERN. We don’t expect you to understand it, we just expect you to do your part. What else do you think this IS? Stop testing the limits. The limits aren’t going to move. Everybody starts out thinking he’s a foreigner to reality. He’s taking a look-see. He’s checking out the situation. But that’s not the way it is. We’re here to make sure everyone gets the message. Once you’re in, you’re in.


Hour 2 ENCORE – Special Guest – David J Blyweiss, MD

began his medical career as a clinical pharmacist in South Florida prior to earning his medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine in 1982. This dual background allowed him to appreciate the relevance of conventional pharmaceutical/surgical based treatments in acute medical conditions, but also to recognize where these approaches fell short in treating the vast majority of patients who suffered from the chronic degenerative diseases of “western civilization origin”. Over the last twenty years, with the nutritional medical knowledge base expanding in the fields of nutrigenomics, proteomics and other related “orthomolecular” disciplines directed towards patients’ biochemical individuality, Dr. Blyweiss became an early adherent, experienced practitioner and now teacher of what would become known as “functional medicine”. Dr. Blyweiss has used this matrix of systems biology to effectively manage and alleviate the symptoms related to the most “difficult-to-treat” conditions by addressing the underlying causes, helping to guide the body to heal itself.

In association with Humana Medical Plans, as an affiliated provider, Dr. Blyweiss also served as member of, and subsequent chairman of, the Quality Assurance Committee and Physician Credentialing Committee from 1985 – 1990. He is adjunct faculty at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine helping to train both future and practicing physicians in “functional medicine” . He is both a local authority and international speaker on a multitude of important medical subjects with a functional medicine approach. Dr. Blyweiss was one of three researchers doing the early work on chlorhexidine (phisohex, hibiclens) while earning his first post graduate degree at Temple University School of Pharmacy. During medical school he worked with the World Health Organization in vaccinating children in the island nation of Grenada. He was a team member of the physician relief program in Kendall, Florida after Hurricane Andrew in 1994. He has traveled the world, most recently to Gabon and Croatia working closely with teams of specialists to identify new plant life and natural products for possible human benefit. He has consulted for and created state-of-the -art nutritional supplements for multiple nutritional companies since 1999. He helped form Eden Laboratories Ltd. doing regenerative medicine research in Belize, CA. He is currently in private practice in South Florida where he resides with his family.

Higher bisphenol A (BPA) exposure is associated with an increased risk for all-cause mortality in a nationally representative cohort of U.S. adults, according to a study published online Aug. 17 in JAMA Network Open. Wei Bao, M.D., Ph.D., from the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues conducted a nationally representative study involving 3,883 adults aged 20 years or older from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003 to 2008 who provided urine samples for BPA level measurements. The researchers identified 344 deaths during 36,514 person-years of follow-up, including 71 deaths from cardiovascular disease and 75 deaths from cancer. The risk for death was higher for participants with higher urinary BPA levels. Comparing the highest versus the lowest tertile of urinary BPA levels, the hazard ratio was 1.49 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.01 to 2.19) for all-cause mortality, 1.46 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.67 to 3.15) for cardiovascular disease mortality, and 0.98 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.40 to 2.39) for cancer mortality. These findings were seen after adjustment for confounding variables, including age, sex, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, dietary and lifestyle factors, body mass index, and urinary creatinine levels.

Older adults who took a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement with zinc and high amounts of vitamin C in a 12-week study experienced sickness for shorter periods and with less severe symptoms than counterparts in a control group receiving a placebo. The findings by Oregon State University researchers were published in the journal Nutrients. The research by scientists at OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute involved 42 healthy people ages 55 to 75 and was designed to measure the supplement’s effects on certain immune system indicators. It also looked at bloodstream levels of zinc and vitamins C and D while taking the supplement, as these micronutrients are important for proper immune function. The immune indicators, including white blood cells’ ability to kill incoming pathogens, were unaltered in the group receiving the supplement. The multivitamin group showedimproved vitamin C and zinc status in the blood. Most intriguingly, illness symptoms reported by this group were less severe and went away faster than those experienced by the placebo group. The same percentage of participants in each group reported symptoms, but days of sickness in the supplement group averaged fewer than three compared to more than six for the placebo group.

Honey appears to be more effective in treating cough and cold symptoms than antibiotics, according to a new study.placeholder Honey is cheap and widely available, and researchers say it outperformed usual care for improving symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. It is safe for the majority of people, except for babies under 1 year of age and those with allergies, researchers noted. “Upper respiratory tract infections are the most frequent reason for antibiotic prescription,” study authors wrote. “Since the majority of URTIs are viral, antibiotic prescription is both ineffective and inappropriate. However, a lack of effective alternatives, as well as a desire to preserve the patient-doctor relationship, both contribute to antibiotic over-prescription.” The researchers from Oxford University said that antibiotics are associated with “significant adverse effects” in children and adults. They reported results from 14 studies of URTIs, though only two studies were placebo-controlled trials. In one study, patients ingesting honey reduced their duration of common cold symptoms by one to two days, compared to those receiving usual care. They also found that honey was particularly effective in improving cough frequency and severity. “In the comparison with usual care, the reductions in cough frequency and cough severity remained statistically significant,” they wrote.

Pharma companies have a unique opportunity to reset individual and industry reputations during the COVID-19 crisis. Positive consumer sentiment is way up, and people are rediscovering the value of the industry. But how do they capitalize on that and sustain it going forward? One branding executive says the time has come for pharma to reclaim its science, innovation and do-good reputation. Christina Falzano who last year joined Havas’ Conran Design Group as managing director, spent years working on big tech brands including Google, Wikipedia, Uber and Spotify in her career including as COO at Wolff Olins. Her job change has her thinking about the way tech brands are now perceived as the world’s do-gooders, a mantle once held by pharma. “Not to be opportunistic, but pharma brands need to think about why they seem less human than tech, and why they get less credit than tech for doing good in the world,” she said. “There’s a lot of talk today about purpose-driven brands, and that’s at the heart of pharma companies.” The reward for creating purpose-driven brands is they are more meaningful. Americans are more loyal to and feel more emotionally connected to purpose-driven brands, according to a Cone/Porter Novelli study. Further, more than two-thirds (67%) said they’d be willing to forgive a purpose-driven company if it makes a misstep.

COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc across our country. Previously quiet areas are aflame now with infections.  Hospitals are running out of beds just as it happened in March/April in New York City and my home town, Detroit, MI.  As of August 7, 2020 the CDC states that there have been 4,962,216 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2.  Furthermore, 2,446,799 have recovered. How did these people recover? I was on the front lines treating COVID-19 patients outside in their cars during March and April in Michigan.  We (my partners and nurses) were busy running outside in the snow, sleet, hail, and rain putting IVs in patients as they placed their arms out the car window.  We successfully treated 107 patients using nutritional and oxidative therapies.  My published paper, which was peer-reviewed, describes our treatment in detail:  https://www.publichealthpolicyjournal.com/clinical-and-translational-research. Dr. Fauci, who has been named America’s doctor, has been delivering information and guidance on this pandemic from the beginning.  He has promoted and spearheaded the ‘warp speed’ project to develop a vaccine to treat SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.  Dr Fauci has kept us informed about therapies being used to treat COVID-19 including steroids, Remdesivir, dexamethasone, and hydroxychloroquine.  He has convinced us, repeatedly, that a vaccine is the only way out of this mess and that we all must wait for a vaccine to be quickly brought to market.


Next Your Health Freedom Symposium: Has been moved to September 18-19, 2020. Mark your calendars!

We will screen “1986: The Act,” and have a live Q&A with Andy Wakefield. Dr. Brian Hooker will speak about the new vaccinated v. unvaccinated study. Learn about birthing, emergency herbal remedies, survival/winter gardening, and much more! Tickets go on sale Thursday, August 13th. The event will be held in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Be sure to check out all our tabs for information on vaccine exemptions, and other health-related information. Get educated and involved! Here’s to health! http://www.yourhealthfreedom.org


Remember Friends, The Power to Heal is Yours!



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covid-19

Warning of serious brain disorders in people with mild coronavirus symptoms | World news | The Guardian

Doctors may be missing signs of serious and potentially fatal brain disorders triggered by coronavirus, as they emerge in mildly affected or recovering patients, scientists have warned.

Neurologists are on Wednesday publishing details of more than 40 UK Covid-19 patients whose complications ranged from brain inflammation and delirium to nerve damage and stroke. In some cases, the neurological problem was the patient’s first and main symptom.

The cases, published in the journal Brain, revealed a rise in a life-threatening condition called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (Adem), as the first wave of infections swept through Britain. At UCL’s Institute of Neurology, Adem cases rose from one a month before the pandemic to two or three per week in April and May. One woman, who was 59, died of the complication.

A dozen patients had inflammation of the central nervous system, 10 had brain disease with delirium or psychosis, eight had strokes and a further eight had peripheral nerve problems, mostly diagnosed as Guillain-Barré syndrome, an immune reaction that attacks the nerves and causes paralysis. It is fatal in 5% of cases.

“We’re seeing things in the way Covid-19 affects the brain that we haven’t seen before with other viruses,” said Michael Zandi, a senior author on the study and a consultant at the institute and University College London Hospitals NHS foundation trust.

“What we’ve seen with some of these Adem patients, and in other patients, is you can have severe neurology, you can be quite sick, but actually have trivial lung disease,” he added.

“Biologically, Adem has some similarities with multiple sclerosis, but it is more severe and usually happens as a one-off. Some patients are left with long-term disability, others can make a good recovery.”

The cases add to concerns over the long-term health effects of Covid-19, which have left some patients breathless and fatigued long after they have cleared the virus, and others with numbness, weakness and memory problems.

One coronavirus patient described in the paper, a 55-year-old woman with no history of psychiatric illness, began to behave oddly the day after she was discharged from hospital.

She repeatedly put her coat on and took it off again and began to hallucinate, reporting that she saw monkeys and lions in her house. She was readmitted to hospital and gradually improved on antipsychotic medication.

Another woman, aged 47, was admitted to hospital with a headache and numbness in her right hand a week after a cough and fever came on. She later became drowsy and unresponsive and required an emergency operation to remove part of her skull to relieve pressure on her swollen brain.

“We want clinicians around the world to be alert to these complications of coronavirus,” Zandi said. He urged physicians, GPs and healthcare workers with patients with cognitive symptoms, memory problems, fatigue, numbness, or weakness, to discuss the case with neurologists.

“The message is not to put that all down to the recovery, and the psychological aspects of recovery,” he said. “The brain does appear to be involved in this illness.”

The full range of brain disorders caused by Covid-19 may not have been picked up yet, because many patients in hospitals are too sick to examine in brain scanners or with other procedures. “What we really need now is better research to look at what’s really going on in the brain,” Zandi said.

One concern is that the virus could leave a minority of the population with subtle brain damage that only becomes apparent in years to come. This may have happened in the wake of the 1918 flu pandemic, when up to a million people appeared to develop brain disease.

“It’s a concern if some hidden epidemic could occur after Covid where you’re going to see delayed effects on the brain, because there could be subtle effects on the brain and slowly things happen over the coming years, but it’s far too early for us to judge now,” Zandi said.

“We hope, obviously, that that’s not going to happen, but when you’ve got such a big pandemic affecting such a vast proportion of the population it’s something we need to be alert to.”

David Strain, a senior clinical lecturer at the University of Exeter Medical School, said that only a small number of patients appeared to experience serious neurological complications and that more work was needed to understand their prevalence.

“This is very important as we start to prepare post-Covid-19 rehabilitation programs,” he said. “We’ve already seen that some people with Covid-19 may need a long rehabilitation period, both physical rehabilitation such as exercise, and brain rehabilitation. We need to understand more about the impact of this infection on the brain.”

This content was originally published here.

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covid-19

8 days into semester, Notre Dame halts in-person classes as 146 students get coronavirus

The University of Notre Dame suspended in-person classes on Tuesday, eight days after the school’s fall semester began and after 146 students and a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said.

The two-week suspension, which is effective Wednesday for the school’s 12,000 students, came one day after the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill made a similar announcement and as Michigan State University on Tuesday ordered undergrads to stay home for the rest of the fall “effective immediately.”

“The virus is a formidable foe,” Notre Dame University President Father John Jenkins said in a news release. “For the past week, it has been winning. Let us as the Fighting Irish join together to contain it.”

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Since Aug. 3, 927 people have been tested for the virus and 147 have returned positive results, the school said.

Most of those students were seniors living off-campus who contracted the disease at gatherings where social distancing rules were not followed and masks weren’t worn, the school said, citing a contact tracing analysis.

None of the students have been hospitalized and the school said it would implement remote learning for two weeks.

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In Michigan, the university hadn’t yet begun their fall semester as they abruptly told students to stay away from campus. In a Tuesday letter to students, University President Samuel Stanley Jr. attributed the move to the “current status of the virus in our country — particularly what we are seeing at other institutions as they re-populate their campus communities.”

The school’s remote education will begin Sept. 2, he said.

On Monday, UNC-Chapel Hill became the first university in the United States to abandon in-person classes after reopening for the fall semester on Aug. 10. Five school employees and 130 students tested positive, the school said.

“Many students, graduate workers, staff, some faculty members and even the local county health department warned that this was going to happen,” said Lamar Richards, a student chairperson on the Commission on Campus Equality and Student Equity at UNC.

In an open letter, Richards said the school administration’s “carelessness and dereliction of duty” had caused the outbreaks.

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Coronavirus expert says Americans will be wearing masks for ‘several years’

Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano weighs in.

Health experts won’t ask Americans to take off their masks any time soon.

That’s the take of Eric Toner, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. He has been preparing for an outbreak like the novel coronavirus as part of his work for years.

Johns Hopkins practices virus simulations as part of is preparedness protocol, with the goal of offering public health experts and policymakers a blueprint of what to do in a pandemic. One of those simulations took place in October 2019, when Toner and a team of researchers launched a coronavirus pandemic simulation in New York, running through various scenarios on how residents, governments and private businesses would hypothetically react to the threat.

One thing that stood out to him: Face coverings are a vital defense to stop the spread of the virus. He believes COVID-19 won’t slow down in the U.S. even as states start to slowly reopen.

“There’s going to be no summertime lull with a big wave in the fall,” he said as part of CNET’s Hacking the Apocalypse series. “It’s clear that we are having a significant resurgence of cases in the summer, and they’ll get bigger. And it’ll keep going until we lock things down again.”

The U.S. recently added about 43,000 positive COVID-19 cases to its 2.9 million total, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine. The death total has surpassed 130,000.

Toner, contrasting the novel virus to seasonal influenza, said until there is a vaccine, communities’ best defense to fight it is through creating distance and wearing masks.

“I think that mask wearing and some degree of social distancing, we will be living with — hopefully living with happily — for several years,” he said. “It’s actually pretty straightforward. If we cover our faces, and both you and anyone you’re interacting with are wearing a mask, the risk of transmission goes way down.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top official handling the U.S. COVID-19 response, said recently he was cautiously optimistic that there could be a vaccine for the virus by 2021.

For those who refuse to wear a mask in the interim, Toner said they’ll eventually wise up.

“They will get over it,” he says. “It’s just a question of how many people get sick and die before they get over it.”

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Coronavirus stimulus: Trump signs executive orders extending benefits

Trump signs executive orders enacting $400 unemployment benefit, payroll tax cut after coronavirus stimulus talks stall

David Jackson and Michael Collins
USA TODAY
Published 8:01 PM EDT Aug 8, 2020

WASHINGTON – With stimulus talks with Congress at an impasse, President Donald Trump signed a series of executive orders on Saturday to provide temporary relief to Americans who are suffering from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

At a news conference from his golf resort in Bedminster, N.J., Trump signed four orders that will provide an additional $400 per week in unemployment benefits, suspend payments on some student loans through the end of the year, protect renters from being evicted from their homes, and instruct employers to defer certain payroll taxes through the end of the year for Americans who earn less than $100,000 annually.

Trump said he decided to act on his own and order the benefits after two weeks of negotiations with congressional Democrats collapsed without an agreement on a new coronavirus relief package. 

“We’ve had it,” he said. “We’re going to save American jobs and provide relief to the American worker.”

But questions remain as to whether Trump has the legal authority to take these actions – or the money to pay for them.

What’s in the 2 stimulus proposals: $1,200 checks? Money for schools? Breaking down what Republicans and Democrats want in the coronavirus stimulus plan

President Donald Trump
Evan Vucci, AP

Congress and the White House had struggled to reconcile Democrats’ $3.4 trillion coronavirus-relief plan and Senate Republicans’ far smaller $1.1 trillion proposal.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., met for more than two hours Friday with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in a last-ditch attempt to salvage discussions. But the talks appeared fruitless, with both sides admitting they were at a standstill with no real pathway forward. 

Afterward, Mnuchin announced that he and Meadows would recommend that Trump move forward with the executive orders, even though Democrats said the president lacks the legal authority to take unilateral action and that he doesn’t have enough money in the federal budget to accomplish his goals.

Trump had been threatening for days to provide relief through an executive order if negotiations failed to produce a deal.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have been meeting at the Capitol with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP

PPP ends: The Paycheck Protection Program expired Saturday. The future of the small business rescue plan is in limbo

Congressional lawmakers had interpreted Trump’s threat as a way to pressure negotiators into making a deal. Even some Republicans said they believed Trump was bluffing.

“I doubt if he’s serious,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told reporters on Thursday.

He was.

Here’s a closer look at what Trump’s orders would do: 

Congress approved an additional weekly unemployment benefit in the spring as the coronavirus took hold. It provided an extra $600 per week to Americans filing unemployment on top of what they received in state benefits.

But that benefit expired July 31, leaving many out-of-work Americans in a state of financial limbo. Trump’s order would allow states to provide up to $400-per-week in expanded benefits, 75% of which would come from the federal government’s disaster relief fund. States would have to pay the reaming 25% of the cost.

Democrats wanted to extend the full $600 benefit, but Republicans balked, arguing it was a disincentive for some Americans to return to work because they would receive more in unemployment than they earned on the job. Republicans wanted to bring the benefit down to $200. Trump’s decision to order $400 in benefits splits the difference.

States may pay for their portion of the benefits by using money provided to them under a coronavirus-relief package passed earlier this year, the executive order says.

Talks fall apart: Mnuchin said he’ll ask Trump make executive orders after stimulus talks fall apart

A federal moratorium on evictions expired July 24, putting at risk the tenants of more than 12 million rental units nationwide if they miss payments. 

Trump’s order instructs the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to enable renters and homeowners to stay in their homes. HUD also will provide financial assistance to struggling renters and homeowners, Trump said.

Student loans

Congress also suspended payments on some student loans due to the virus. The provision is set to expire at the end of September. Trump’s orders will extend the deferments through the end of the year.

Payroll tax cut

For months, the president has pushed for a payroll tax cut but has been met with blunt opposition from Republicans and Democrats in both chambers of Congress. Trump’s order instructs the Treasury Department to allow employers to defer payment of certain payroll taxes from Sept. 1 to the end of the year for Americans earning less than $100,000 per year.

Obamacare and Trump: Trump weighing executive order to force insurers to cover pre-existing conditions, something Obamacare does

Trump said he would make the payroll tax cut permanent if he’s re-elected in November, prompting alarms from some critics who noted that the tax currently funds Social Security and Medicare and that deferring it could worsen those programs’ budgetary woes.

“Donald Trump once promised that he would be ‘the only Republican that doesn’t want to cut Social Security,’” said Nancy Altman, president of Social Security Works. “We now know that what he meant is that cutting Social Security doesn’t go far enough for him: He wants to destroy Social Security.”

Trump’s orders don’t address several other popular coronavirus-relief provisions that Congress passed earlier, including $1,200 stimulus checks and the Paycheck Protection Program, which provided loans that helped keep more than 5 million small businesses afloat during the pandemic. That program expired Saturday.

Democratic congressional leaders – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. – called the president’s plans “meager” and urged the White House to return to the negotiating table.

“Meet us halfway and work together to deliver immediate relief to the American people,” they said in a joint statement. “Lives are being lost, and time is of the essence.”

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, noting that Trump signed the “half-baked” orders at his golf club in New Jersey, said they short-change the unemployed and trigger a “new, reckless war on Social Security.”

“These orders are not real solutions,” Biden said. “They are just another cynical ploy designed to deflect responsibility. Some measures do far more harm than good.”

Several Republicans showed their support for the $400-per-week in enhanced unemployment benefits, including Grassley, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and HUD Secretary Ben Carson.

“Great decision by President @realDonaldTrump,” Graham wrote on Twitter. “I appreciate the President taking this decisive action but would much prefer a congressional agreement. I believe President Trump would prefer the same.”

Grassley blamed Democrats for stalling the relief, saying their “all or nothing strategy jeopardizes the certainty Americans need to pay their bills.”

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said Trump “is doing all he can to help workers, students and renters, but Congress is the one who should be acting.”

The White House? Gettysburg? Florida?: Trump team looks at options for nomination speech

Political opponents questioned whether Trump’s orders are legal and whether they would be effective in any case.

“It’s nowhere close to enough to fix the problem,” Democratic strategist Eddie Vale said.

Josh Schwerin of Priorities USA Action, a political action committee that supports Democratic candidates, described Trump’s actions as little more than a political stunt.

“The idea that this is Trump leading is total hogwash,” Schwerin said. “House Democrats passed a relief bill two months ago and Trump has chosen to force the country deeper into a recession rather than take action. Trump has failed on the coronavirus, and he has failed on the economy.”

Laurence H. Tribe, professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, called Trump’s actions “cynical” as well as unconstitutional.

“Trump might as well have directed the distribution of $100,000 to every family earning under $1 million a year,” he said. “He obviously has no legal power to do that. But daring anyone to take him to court might be good politics.”

Chris Lu, who served as deputy labor secretary during the Obama administration, said “Trump’s unilateral actions to raid Social Security and cut unemployment benefits aren’t just terrible policy, but they also run roughshod over the Constitution.”

Contributing: Christal Hayes, Nicholas Wu, Ledyard King, John Fritze, Jason Lalljee

This content was originally published here.

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US Coronavirus: More than 97,000 children tested positive for Covid-19 in the last two weeks of July, report says – CNN

While some US leaders — including the President — have said the virus doesn’t pose a large risk to children, one recent study suggests older children can transmit the virus just as much as adults. Another study said children younger than 5 carry a higher viral load than adults, raising even more questions about their role in transmission.
At least 86 children have died since May, according to the new report. Last week, a 7-year-old boy with no pre-existing conditions became the youngest coronavirus victim in Georgia. In Florida, two teenagers died earlier this month bringing the state’s death toll of minors to seven.
And Black and Hispanic children are impacted more severely with higher rates of infections, hospitalizations and coronavirus-related complications, recently published research shows.

More than 1,000 daily deaths reported for 5 days

Some parents and educators have protested heavily against a return to in-person instruction at a time when the virus is still out of control across the country.
The US topped five million reported infections over the weekend and at least 162,938 people have died since the start of the pandemic — more than in any other country in the world.
The country reported more than 1,000 daily deaths for at least five days in a row until Saturday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Since July 21, there have been only four days during which the US recorded fewer than 1,000 virus-linked fatalities.
In Florida, which saw a staggering spike in cases over the summer, Sunday marked the thirteenth consecutive day the state reported more than 6,000 new positive tests in a single day, according to a CNN tally.
State and local officials have tied the resurgence in cases to large group gatherings and more infections among younger people.
Dr. Anthony Fauci implored young people last week to heed to guidelines, saying during a webinar with the Alliance for Health Policy, “don’t be the weak link in the chain.”
“That’s the message we’ve got to get to young people,” he said. “Obviously they’re not doing anything deliberately and maliciously, but what they’re doing is inadvertently — they’re propagating the outbreak.”

60 violations in bars and restaurants

Despite continued warnings, it’s still business as usual in some parts of the country.
Many Americans are still moving around as much as they did before the pandemic, according to Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
“If you look at the mobility data collected from cell phones in many parts of the country, we’re almost back to pre-Covid levels of mobility, so we’re just not being as cautious as other people are in other countries,” Murray previously told CNN.
Hundreds of thousands are on the move for a massive event in a small South Dakota town taking place this week: the 80th annual City of Sturgis motorcycle rally. City officials say the event has brought about 500,000 tourists in past years and while they have recommended guidelines like social distancing and limited capacity for bars, none of that is legally enforcable.
In other places, failure to follow safety precautions has led to repercussions.
At least 60 bars and restaurants in New York were issued coronavirus-related violations Friday and Saturday, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
“We need the NYPD to step-up and help in New York City and we need local governments across the board also to do their job, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
In Hawaii, Honolulu police were out and issuing citations after a new order by the mayor essentially closed beaches during the day in efforts to slow a recent rise in cases and hospitalizations.
Officers issued more than 200 citations Saturday to people who were at beaches, parks or involved in large gatherings, according to CNN affiliate KHON. People who received citations will have to appear in court, the affiliate reported.

This content was originally published here.