– Advertisement – Polls have closed in California, Washington, and Oregon, and while the full count will take a while, Joe Biden wins those states. California has a massive 55 electoral votes, Washington has 12, and Oregon has seven. California is vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris’ home state.- Advertisement –
– Advertisement – This will probably vary significantly from state to state. Let’s take them one at a time.AlaskaAlaska may well be the last state to be called, because officials there won’t even begin counting mail ballots, or early in-person ballots cast after Oct. 29, for another week. That being said, it’s a red state and isn’t really competitive. Mr. Trump will probably win here pretty easily, and Senator Dan Sullivan, a Republican, probably will too.ArizonaArizona will probably be called soon. Mr. Biden is leading by five percentage points with more than 80 percent of the estimated vote counted, and some news outlets, including The Associated Press and Fox News, have already called it for him. The New York Times and others have not done so, but Arizona officials expect to finish counting ballots on Wednesday, so we shouldn’t be waiting too long for an answer.Georgia- Advertisement – Six Senate races were uncalled in five states: Alaska, Georgia, Maine, Michigan and North Carolina.Georgia has two races, both involving Republican incumbents whom Democrats hope to unseat. One, between Senator David Perdue and Jon Ossoff, might be decided in the next few days or might go to a runoff in January, depending on whether a Libertarian candidate gets enough votes to keep both major-party candidates below 50 percent. The other race will require a runoff between the incumbent, Kelly Loeffler, and Raphael Warnock, a Democrat.When will we know the results?- Advertisement – Georgia might have been called already if not for a burst pipe at a site in Fulton County where election officials were counting absentee ballots, which delayed the counting process in and around Atlanta.Mr. Trump was ahead in the state by a little over two percentage points with 92 percent of the estimated vote counted, but the uncounted votes from such a heavily Democratic area could close the gap, and the secretary of state’s office cautioned against relying on the current results given that fact.
“I [felt] scared at the time; [the experience] made me question why I came [to the United States],” Letitia, also from Honduras, said in the report. When asked by advocates from AI Justice what they would say to CBP or the federal government about their treatment, many of the children said the same thing: to be treated like human beings. “I would ask the government, why do you mistreat the people in detention centers?” Cesar, originally from Guatemala, said in the report. “People come suffering along the journey, and then have to come to a place where it’s cold, or where the food is not good, where children are separated from their mothers.” He told advocates that there was a boy next to him “who would cry for his mother” after being separated from her. We cannot allow the abuses against children detained on our watch to go unanswered for. “We hope this piece uplifts their voices as AI Justice continues to advocate for the just treatment of migrant children and families in the United States,” AI Justice said in the report.- Advertisement – “Children described being held in frigid rooms, sleeping on concrete floors, being fed frozen food, with little or no access to medical care,” AI Justice said in its report, which also found that hundreds of children interviewed by the organization have been subjected to verbal abuse by officers. Nearly 150 others said they were physically assaulted. But children also described being cruelly denied necessary, basic needs.“The worst was being hungry and that we did not shower, did not brush our teeth, and could not change our clothes,” Teresa, who came from El Salvador, told advocates. Recall that a court last year unanimously had to inform the federal government that, yes, detained children do in fact need toothbrushes and soap. “We also could not call our families,” Teresa continued. “I only spoke to them twice at the beginning.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement – – Advertisement – Katty, originally from Honduras, told AI Justice that “[t]he worst was having to sleep on the floor with the cold.” For years, detained migrants and their advocates have referred to border facilities as hieleras, or iceboxes, because of how freezing cold they can be. “The most common complaint was that the border facilities are kept at frigid temperatures that leave the children cold and uncomfortable,” the report said. “I would tell them that I am a mother of a child, and it is very bad for [the officers] to tell mothers that they were going to take away their children,” Letitia continued. “They should not take children away from their mothers.” Sintia, a 17-year-old from Honduras, said “I would tell them it is not a place for a kid. I would ask them: Do my rights not matter or have value while I am detained [in their custody]?”They matter, and the 2020 presidential election represents our chance to finally hold this out-of-control agency, along with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), accountable for their abuses. “Congress should halt any additional funding for CBP in any future appropriations bill,” AI Justice said in one of its recommendations, “until CBP ensures existing resources are not misused and are allocated to significantly improving detention facilities, medical access and language access.”
– Advertisement – If you want a sporty way to look after your health, the Amazfit GTR 2 health watch is it. This stylish smartwatch features the Huami BioTracker 2, which monitors your sleep quality, stress levels, and physical activity. It tracks heart rate zones and sends warnings if it detects an abnormal elevation. Also, the GTR 2 keeps you aware of exercise’s effect on your heart, helping you avoid risks while working out. Additionally, this wearable has a blood-oxygen saturation measurement function that can let you know if it detects low levels. Best of all, the Amazfit GTR 2 is a watch that you’ll be proud to wear on your wrist. It boasts a 3D curved bezel-less design and a 1.39-inch HD color AMOLED screen for a clear and vivid picture. Therefore, the screen presents information clearly, whether you’re accessing health data or using your favorite apps.
The Biden administration needs to be able to hit the ground running on vaccine distribution—lives depend on it.“Of course it would be better if we could start working with them,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CNN’s State of the Union, comparing it to passing the baton in a relay race: “You don’t want to stop and then give it to somebody,” he said. “You want to just essentially keep going.” Trump’s extended refusal to admit the reality of his loss threatens that.- Advertisement – “We need to be talking to them as quickly as possible,” Biden’s incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain said on Meet the Press. “It’s great to have a vaccine, but vaccines don’t save lives: vaccinations save lives. And that means you’ve got to get that vaccine into people’s arms all over this country. It’s a giant logistical project.” Having that giant logistical project administered by the Biden administration, at least after the first month, will be a huge benefit for the nation. But Trump could throw a wrench into the process, and that’s just the kind of thing he’d enjoy doing. Moderna’s vaccine does have one significant logistical advantage over Pfizer’s. While it too needs to be stored at cold temperature, there’s a significant difference in how cold: minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit for Moderna, and minus 94 Fahrenheit for Pfizer. Moderna’s vaccine can also be refrigerated for 30 days and left at room temperature for 12 hours. That will make distribution easier, though other vaccines are in trials that don’t require refrigeration at all, and that require only one dose instead of two.- Advertisement – Good news is on the way, medically and politically. We need to hunker down, keeping ourselves and others safe through the coming dark, difficult months, and get through to the other side. – Advertisement –
The new plan lists four broad objectives: (1) Prevent contamination of fresh produce with pathogens, (2) minimize the public health impact when contamination of fresh produce occurs, (3) improve communication with producers, preparers, and consumers about fresh produce, and (4) facilitate and support research relevant to fresh produce. Listed steps for minimizing the public health impact of contamination include, among others, enhancing the capacity of PulseNet, an electronic network for sharing molecular fingerprinting (pulsed-field gel electrophoresis) data about foodborne pathogens. The document lists a number of specific steps in pursuit of each objective. For example, to prevent contamination, the FDA plans to develop additional guidance on safely producing, processing, and preparing specific kinds of produce; propose rules for minimizing foodborne illness associated with eating sprouted seeds; and launch programs to educate consumers about safe handling of produce. The FDA document cites a federal estimate that at least 12% of foodborne illness cases in outbreaks in the 1990s were linked to fresh produce. Brackett said people are eating more fresh produce in response to advice from health experts battling the obesity epidemic. Increased demand has spurred more produce imports and higher domestic produce production, he added. In the research area, the listed steps include studies of the relative risks associated with hazards that can occur during produce production and handling, such as environmental contamination during production, unsafe handling practices, unsanitary equipment, worker health and hygiene problems, and practices that hinder tracing of contamination. In 1997 the FDA launched an initiative to promote good agricultural practices for produce and imported food, Brackett told reporters in discussing the background of the new plan. “We wanted to expand this to include processors, transporters, retailers, and also food service, which is a very important group for food safety, and also inform consumers,” he said. See also: FDA’s 2004 action plan for produce safety “We’ve seen an increase in illnesses associated with fresh produce. We don’t want to discourage consumption of produce, but we want to make sure it’s safe,” said Robert Brackett, PhD, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), in a briefing about the plan today. The six-page action plan says little about new regulations, focusing mainly on FDA plans for providing more information and guidance to fruit and vegetable producers, processors, transporters, retailers, and consumers. Brackett said the agency in 1998 issued guidance on “Good Agricultural Practices” and “Good Manufacturing Practices” for produce. “What we’ve recognized in the past year is that a lot of the stakeholders were not aware of it, or perhaps weren’t really embracing it as well as they could,” he said. The plan deals only with fresh fruits and vegetables, including those that have had “minimal processing,” such as peeling or chopping. It does not apply to frozen produce, fruit and vegetable juices, or tree nuts. Oct 18, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – In response to an apparent increase in illnesses due to contaminated produce, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today released an “action plan” for reducing microbial contamination of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Sep 21, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – South Korea said last week that five workers who helped cull poultry nearly 3 years ago showed evidence of past infection with H5N1 avian influenza though they had never been ill.The Sep 15 report by South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said the five workers had tested positive for antibodies to the H5N1 virus but had never had symptoms.Samples from the workers were tested by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to a Sep 15 Reuters report.”The five did not develop major illnesses and have no strain to transmit bird flu,” Reuters quoted Korea’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention as saying.Four other South Korean poultry workers were previously found to have H5N1 antibodies without having been ill, bringing the total to nine, according to Reuters.South Korea had outbreaks of H5N1 disease in poultry in December 2003 and early 2004, but no human cases were reported. About 400,000 birds were infected and about 5 million were destroyed to contain the disease, the Reuters report said.At the time, the government sent samples from 318 poultry industry workers to the US CDC for testing, which identified the four workers who had antibodies, the story said. Korean officials reported last February that the four had never been ill.But the findings prompted Korean officials to send samples from another 2,109 workers to the US for testing, which led to identification of the five additional cases, according to Reuters.No outbreaks of H5N1 avian flu have been reported in South Korea since March 2004, say reports the government filed with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).Researchers have suggested that the H5N1 strain that struck Korea in 2003 and 2004 was less pathogenic for humans than the strains that infected people in Vietnam and Thailand.In a report in the March 2005 Journal of Virology, US and South Korean scientists said they had found differences between the Korean and Vietnamese H5N1 isolates in all eight viral genes. In addition, Korean and Thai strains of H5N1 differed in their surface protein (hemagglutinin and neuraminidase) genes, the scientists said. The researchers also found that the Korean strain had a low level of pathogenicity in mice.A few asymptomatic and mild human cases of H5N1 infection have been reported previously. When the virus first infected humans in Hong Kong in 1997, a small number of poultry cullers, household contacts of patients, and healthcare workers tested positive despite having no serious illness, according to reports in medical journals.In addition, two elderly relatives of H5N1 patients in Vietnam tested positive for the virus in March 2005, according to news reports at the time. And in January of this year, a World Health Organization official reported that two young Turkish brothers tested positive but were not sick, according to news services.However, recent serologic surveys of healthy people with a history of exposure to H5N1 have found almost no one with evidence of infection. Most recently, researchers reported that among 351 Cambodian villagers who had extensive contact with infected poultry, none had antibodies to the virus. Their study was published this month in Emerging Infectious Diseases.See also:March 2005 Journal of Virology article on H5N1 isolates from South KoreaSep 7 CIDRAP News story “Cambodian study suggests mild H5N1 cases are rare”Jan 11, 2006, CIDRAP News story “WHO says Turkish cases may yield new findings on H5N1″Sep 29, 2005, New England Journal of Medicine article with information on serologic surveys in people exposed to H5N1http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/353/13/1374Oct Emerging Infectious Disease article on Cambodian serologic surveyshttp://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/12/10/06-0424_article.htm
Mar 30, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – A doctor who treated an Indonesian boy who died of suspected H5N1 avian influenza is now being treated for suspicious symptoms himself, according to media reports today.The doctor had treated a 15-year-old boy who died on Mar 25 at a hospital in Bandung. Reuters reported. Indonesian officials said 3 days ago that initial tests indicated the boy had the H5N1 virus.Yusuf Hadi, head of the bird flu department at Hasan Sadikin hospital in Bandung, told Reuters that 2 or 3 days after treating the boy, the doctor fell ill with a sore throat, fever, and respiratory symptoms, despite having worn protective equipment.”He is in an isolation room, doing fine,” Hadi told Reuters, adding that the doctor no longer has a fever.Test results are pending for the doctor, along with three other patients, a woman and two children, Reuters reported.By the World Health Organization (WHO) count, Indonesia has had 81 H5N1 cases with 63 deaths. But since Jan 29, Indonesia has reported at least nine cases not yet recognized by the WHO. Those include five reported this week in which further test results were awaited.In other news, Bangladesh officials said avian flu has spread to five more farms, bringing the number to 16 in five districts, Reuters reported today. The country has culled 60,000 birds so far, the report said.A report yesterday from Indonesia’s Antara news agency said the Bangladeshi army had been called out to supervise and monitor the culling.According to a report today from Bangladeshi officials to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the country’s first H5N1 outbreaks began on Feb 2 and were confirmed on Mar 22. The report, which covers the first three outbreaks, says affected birds included layer flocks on poultry farms, all in Dhaka province near the Bangladeshi capital. The source of the outbreaks is unknown.The Asian Development Bank has been called in to help Bangladesh control the outbreaks, Reuters reported. The main laboratory at the Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute can’t conduct the range of H5N1 tests, and samples need to be sent to Bangkok for confirmation, the report said.So far, 100 poultry workers have tested negative for H5N1 infection, and 30 more from the newly affected farms are being monitored, Reuters reported. No human cases have been reported.Meanwhile, Egypt is considering banning the trade and transport of live birds to stem the spread of avian flu. Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak sent the law to the upper house of Egypt’s parliament for consideration 2 days ago, Reuters reported.Human H5N1 cases in Egypt have surged this year, with 12 so far. The country’s official WHO total stands at 29 cases, the third most, after Vietnam and Indonesia. Thirteen cases have been fatal.
A press release from the US Embassy said Supari’s claims “are preposterous and a grave injustice to the people of the United States,” the Post reported. Earlier this month, US Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt met with Indonesian officials, including Supari, during a tour of three Southeast Asian countries. In blog posts on his talks in Indonesia, Leavitt wrote that there were no breakthroughs in the vaccine-sharing stalemate, but that representatives from the United States and Indonesia would keep negotiating over the next 60 days. Leavitt wrote that Indonesia’s concern about equitable access to pandemic vaccines was legitimate but that he had the impression Indonesia wanted payment for its shared virus samples. “What she says she wants is for the contributing countries to be eligible for some share of the value commercial companies create out of the influenza samples they provide,” he wrote on his blog. He also warned that the virus-sharing controversy may never be resolved. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wrote a foreword to the book but later ordered Supari to recall copies of it, according to previous media reports. However, he has said he supports Supari’s calls for equitable international virus-sharing policies. Indonesia announced in early 2007 it had stopped sharing H5N1 virus samples with the World Health Organization (WHO). The country based its action on what it saw as a lack of access to pandemic vaccines that are produced by pharmaceutical companies in developed nations from the shared samples. Apr 23, 2008 (CIDRAP News) An Indonesian health official, responding to recent comments by the US health secretary, today denied that Indonesia wants financial compensation if it resumes sharing its H5N1 avian influenza virus samples. Apr 17 CIDRAP News story “HHS secretary blogs on impasse with Indonesia” He also suggested that the mechanism could be a multilateral trust, financially supported by governments, vaccine producers, and individual benefactors, to ensure that vaccine production and distribution are equitable, according to the AP report. However, Lukito told the AP that the talks between Leavitt and Supari may have been hampered by poor communication on both sides. Widjaja Lukito, an adviser to Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari, said the country wants governments and pharmaceutical companies to develop a mechanism to ensure that developing countries have access to affordable pandemic influenza vaccines, the Associated Press (AP) reported today. A WHO working group dedicated to solving the virus-sharing issue has met several times since the dispute arose, but has made little progress. The issue will likely surface in May at the WHO’s World Health Assembly, and the working group’s next formal meeting is scheduled for November, according to previous reports. In February, Supari published a 182-page book, Time for the World to Change: God is Behind the Avian Influenza Virus, that included the claims about the United States, as well as allegations that the WHO was conspiring to profit from H5N1 vaccines. In other developments, the US Embassy in Jakarta yesterday denied recent allegations in a book by Supari that the United States intends to make biological weapons out of avian influenza viruses, the Jakarta Post reported today. The embassy statement also said the United States is committed to working with other countries and international groups to halt the spread of avian flu, prevent a pandemic, and plan for pandemic-related health emergencies, according to the Post. “There are many types of benefit programs that can be discussed. One could be a kind of revolving fund developed by pharmaceutical companies,” Lukito told the AP. See also:
Jul 9, 2009HHS to fund $350 million for state preparednessThe Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plans to rapidly distribute $350 million that Congress recently provided for pandemic efforts by states, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said today. Speaking at a federal “flu summit,” Sebelius said HHS will announce the funding tomorrow. She said $260 million will go to state health departments for general and vaccine efforts and $90 million will go to hospitals for surge capacity. “We hope to push the money out the door by July 31,” she said.[HHS pandemic flu Web site]Thailand, Argentina launch community mitigation measuresThailand’s government has ordered more than 1,000 schools to close for 15 days starting Jul 13 and has asked Internet cafes, popular with youth, to close during the time to curb the spread of pandemic flu, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported today. Elsewhere, Argentina will close financial markets and banks tomorrow to slow the spread of the virus, Reuters reported yesterday. It encouraged private businesses to do the same. Today is a national holiday in Argentina.[Jul 9 ABC story]Tanzania, Zimbabwe confirm first novel flu casesTanzania’s health ministry today confirmed the country’s first novel H1N1 case, a British student who arrived in the country about a week ago and told immigration officials he felt sick, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Also, Zimbabwe’s state media today reported the country’s first two cases, an Asian man who had recently arrived from London and a squash player hospitalized in South Africa, the Kenya-based Daily Nation reported. It’s unclear where the player was infected.[Jul 9 AP story]New Zealand: flu season eclipses 12-year highAn official with New Zealand’s influenza center said today that flu activity has reached a 12-year high point and predicted the season hasn’t peaked yet, Bloomberg News reported. A flu surveillance report released today for the week ending Jul 5 notes that novel H1N1 makes up 80% of circulating flu strains in New Zealand, an increase from the 48% reported in the previous week’s report.[Jul 9 Bloomberg News story]Japan quarantines American university student groupJapanese health officials quarantined 20 American university students Jul 3 after two of their Japanese instructors were diagnosed as having novel flu, the AP reported yesterday. Authorities are monitoring the students’ health, but so far none have shown any flu symptoms. The students are from California colleges, and the quarantine is scheduled to end tomorrow.CDC updates home care guidanceThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday updated its guidance on caring for people who are sick with novel H1N1 flu at home. The revision incorporates interim guidance on facemask and respirator use that the CDC updated in late May. The updated home care guidance suggests that all caregivers, not just those in high-risk groups, who must have close contact with a sick person try to use a facemask or N-95 disposable respirator. The update also lists where to buy the items.[Jul 8 CDC home care guidance]