We’re likely to see 2,000 or more deaths per day in about a month, but we could easily see more. If you travel anyhow, here are some recommendations.

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Have you thought to yourself, “More people die from cancer or heart attacks every year, so why are Covid deaths so noteworthy?” I’ll tell you why.

You never get used to it, seeing someone die. Nor should you.

People who make caring for the sick their life’s work know one day they will lose someone. Whether irreparable harm has befallen someone in a car crash or chemotherapy ceases to work in someone who should have had more years ahead than behind, we accept that not everyone can be healed — no matter how hard we try.

Comparing COVID-19 deaths to those from other causes reveals that someone has missed what distinguishes the two. When people die of heart attacks, cancer, car accidents, it is despite society doing its damnedest to prevent their deaths. …


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Some states say they don’t have the supplies to comply with the federal government’s advice.

by Liz Essley Whyte for the Center for Public Integrity

The White House task force is doubling down on part of its strategy for halting the spread of the virus: widespread use of rapid tests.

As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations reached record highs, the task force last week issued advice to a number of governors: Begin using rapid tests on all young people, even those without COVID-19 symptoms, in counties with exploding numbers of cases. The guidance came as state officials and some scientists express doubt about rapid testing strategies.

The rapid tests, known as antigen tests, give results faster but are more likely to return false negatives than lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, and the Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved the rapid tests for use in patients who show no symptoms. But the nation’s testing czar, Adm. …


Disinformation Review

A roundup of the known Russian election-related disinformation circulating.

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EU Disinformation Review

While most world leaders and reputable international media have identified Joe Biden as President-Elect, the Kremlin and its media continue supporting claims on election fraud. Of 74 stories about elections fraud this week, they devoted 21 to the US elections.

Russian state TV declared without any evidence, that 1.8 million dead voters took part in the election. Someone should tell the zombies that Halloween is over.

Russian state radio noted that the US cannot be called a democracy because the USPS employees supported Joe Biden. The implication was that federal employees had falsified votes delivered by mail. …


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Peer-Reviewed Politics

An analysis of COVID-19-related tweets from American political elites, researchers analyzed 30,887 tweets written in Jan and Mar 2020 shows a brief chance we had to achieve bipartisan consensus.

The bitterness chewing our nation into bits of anguish has left many uncertain about where we go from here. To say that society hinges on us navigating out of this partisan nightmare no longer seems hyperbolic. The third wave in the US promises to bring devastation, the likes of which was have never seen. It doesn’t have to be that way and stopping it doesn’t mean living under 24/7 draconian “lockdown,” either.

The pandemic response in the US was so poor that Columbia and the National Center for Disaster Preparedness estimate that a US response at least as competent as peer countries could have saved 130,000 to 215,000 deaths. The number defies belief because we had everything needed to prevent it, but perhaps some part of our denial is because we don’t want to believe our failures cost so much. …


Tainted Tap, a report from October 2020, details the nitrate pollution related to America’s widespread groundwater pollution. Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), large-scale animal feedlots, generate massive amounts of waste that often go without sewage treatment. Instead, the waste may be applied to farming fields. The implications are serious.

“The National Groundwater Association estimates that 38 percent of the U.S. population relies on groundwater for its drinking water supply, and an estimated 42 million people in the country rely primarily on drinking water from private wells.”

from the report Tainted Tap

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Source: U.S. Geological Survey.

The Environmental Working Group estimated 12,600 cases of cancer per year may be linked to nitrate pollution in the US drinking water. Most of the cases were colorectal, with some ovarian, thyroid, kidney, and bladder cancer. …


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Photo by Claire Anderson on Unsplash

Peer-Reviewed Policy

Everything you should know about the history of health insurance and the ACA.

The US Supreme Court began work on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) case, formally known as California V. Texas on November 10, 2020. The Trump administration and the Department of Justice (DOJ) argue that the ACA “must fall” since Congress eliminated the tax penalty for people without insurance. Whether we can sever the mandate from the ACA is the central focus of the case and a question the Supreme Court will answer.

Millions of Americans' health insurance coverage and employment hang in the balance. The stakes have risen in this case since some 14.6 …


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Wallpaper Cave

NOTE: The following was adapted from an informal post I wrote and may contain errors. Expediency seemed more important than grammatical excellence.

BIG PICTURE:

A series of actions over time led many to suspect that the White House intended to challenge the election outcome. Federal agencies are being instructed to behave as if the President has won re-election essentially. A pattern of public manipulation and disinformation worried many that the White House intended to cast doubt on election results and from that hoped to be handed a win in the Supreme Court.

THE EVIDENCE:

Serious concerns about a plan to make fraud claim aimed at changing election results came when investigative reporters found that a conservative lawyer had been holding voter fraud meetings with state election officials. Emails painted a picture. The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky, whose work about voting fraud has been discredited, has been conducting private meetings for Republicans only. …


Peer-Reviewed Policy

Voters may receive suspicious calls deterring them from voting. If information is correct, local news and state governments should also carry the message. Report any robocalls to your state government.

Prank calls from foreign-states are the latest election hurdle facing Americans. Robocalls have reached millions of Americans telling them to “stay safe and stay home.” Around 10 million calls featuring a female voice have urged Americans to stay inside.

The chief spam-blocking officer for YouMail says the calls don’t mention the election but clearly aim to confuse people. “If you wanted to cause havoc in America for the elections, one way to do it is clearly robocalling. This whole thing is exposing [that] it can be very difficult to react quickly to a large calling volume campaign,” he remarked.

YouMail says the calls may be of foreign origin and have reached area codes in 280 and 317. There may be other affected area codes. The calls started in the summer and have ramped up since October. …


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This is from an internal HHS report, not shared with the public as it should have been.

Iowa, Montana, and New Mexico have both a high percentage of beds filled and the rate at which they are filling is increasing. The rate is not sustainable.

In my professional opinion, which does not reflect any other persons or institution, Iowa especially, will reach a point soon where medical doctors will be asked to make choices about who lives or dies.

In Louisiana they sent people home to die, people who might have otherwise been saved. They have also had to make similar choices in Texas and Utah. It didn’t have to be like this, and it doesn’t have to continue. …

About

E. Rosalie

Public health biologist studying at Johns Hopkins | Science writer & artist | Views reflect me alone | Subscribe @ Novel-Science.com

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