A recent study published by King’s College in London, which operates the ZOE COVID Study app to monitor COVID infection and vaccination rates, found that, as of July 15, 2021, there was an average of 15,537 new daily symptomatic cases COVID-19 among partly or fully vaccinated people in the United Kingdom—an increase of 40 percent from the previous week’s total of 11,084 new cases.1,2
Infections in Vaccinated People in U.K. Are Outpacing Infections in the Unvaccinated
The Zoe COVID Study, led by epidemiologist Tim Spector, MD, of Kings College in London, estimated that there were 17,581 new daily symptomatic cases of COVID-19 in unvaccinated people, or 22 percent less than the previous week’s total of 22,638 new cases.
According to a press release issued by the study’s authors, “With cases in the vaccinated group continuing to rise, the number of new cases in the vaccinated population is set to overtake the unvaccinated in the coming days.”3,4
On July 17, the U.K.’s Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, announced he had tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus despite having received two doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University’s experimental AZD1222 COVID vaccine on Mar. 17 and May 16.5 In a message posted on Twitter, Javid wrote:
“This morning I tested positive for COVID. I’m waiting for my PCR result, but thankfully I have had my jabs and symptoms are mild.”6
With a population of more than 66 million people, two-thirds of adults in the U.K. have received COVID-19 vaccine, representing a total of 82,592,996 vaccinations as of July 20. Some 46,349,709 Britons have received the first dose and 36,243,287 have gotten the second dose. The country is not vaccinating children.7
The U.K. is among the most highly vaccinated countries in the world, but it is experiencing a third wave of coronavirus infections reportedly largely due to the spread of the Delta variant of the virus.8,9 Other highly vaccinated countries like Israel are also experiencing a new wave of coronavirus infections due to the Delta variant.
Most Infections in Israel Are Among Vaccinated People
In Israel, about 60 percent of the country’s population of 9.3 million has received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. About 85 percent of adults in Israel have been vaccinated. Yet most of the new coronavirus infections are occurring in vaccinated people.10
In early-July, former Health Minister Chezy Levy, MD confirmed that “55 percent of the newly infected [people in Israel] had been vaccinated.”11
There has also been a concerning rise in the number of vaccinated people in Israel being hospitalized. An article in The Jerusalem Post last week noted that the Israeli Health Ministry reported 124 people had been hospitalized for COVID-19 on July 20 and that 65 percent of them were fully vaccinated. Of the 124 people, 62 were in serious condition and 70% of those patients were fully vaccinated.12
Earlier this month, the Health Ministry estimated that the Pfizer/BioNTech’s BNT162b2 COVID biologic was only 64 percent effective in preventing symptomatic infections of COVID-19, specifically those caused by the Delta variant. But the effectiveness rate for Pfizer’s experimental COVID vaccine in preventing infection (and transmission) could be lower.13
“We do not know exactly to what degree the vaccine helps, but it is significantly less,” said Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.14
Infections in Chile, Seychelles and Mongolia Mostly in Vaccinated People
Another example of a highly vaccinated country which has been experiencing a new outbreak of coronavirus infections mostly among its vaccinated population is Chile. Of the thousands of new coronavirus cases being reported daily in that country, 80 percent of them are in vaccinated people. Chile has fully vaccinated 55 percent of its population.15
The examples of the U.K., Israel and Chile, as well as other highly vaccinated countries like the Seychelles and Mongolia experiencing coronavirus infections mostly within the vaccinated segments of their populations pose a dilemma.16 The governments of these countries have to decide if the problem is that not enough of their people have been vaccinated, or that the vaccines are simply not as effective as initially assumed they would be.
Could Vaccinations Be Causing Rise in Infections?
There is also a third possible problem which was raised by French virologist and Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier, MD in May 2021. In an interview with Pierre Barnérias of Hold-Up Media, Dr. Montagnier said he believed that the mass vaccination programs for COVID may actually be causing SARS-CoV-2 mutations like the Delta variant and, thus, prolonging the pandemic.17
Dr. Montagnier explained that in each country that undertakes a mass vaccination campaign, “the curve of vaccinations is followed by the curve of deaths.” He said that the COVID vaccines create antibodies that force the virus to “find another solution” or “die,” adding that it is the variants that “are a production and result from the vaccination.”18
Dr. Montagnier’s views are admittedly controversial. The thought that vaccinations may actually be exacerbating the COVID pandemic is perhaps too difficult a concept for government officials to consider. But this possibility should not be dismissed outright.
One of the best explanations of this dynamic was given by Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) in a 2011 interview when she described the evolution of pertussis bacteria to evade the vaccines:
“[E]very life form wants to live, wants to survive. Universal principle. And viruses and bacteria are no exception. And when you put a pressure on a virus or bacteria that’s circulating, with the use of a vaccine that contains a lab-altered form of that virus or bacteria, it doesn’t seem that it would be illogical to understand that that organism is going to fight to survive, it’s going to find a way to adapt in order to survive.”19
Some academics say they’ve experienced a form of cancel culture, including censorship on social media and even losing their job. NTD spoke with a health expert in Belgium who was labeled an “anti-vaxxer” and then got fired.
BELGRADE—Bosnia’s outgoing international peace overseer decreed amendments to its criminal code on Friday to allow jail terms for the denial of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide, a frequently expressed view among nationalist Serbs.
The decree by High Representative Valentin Inzko sets jail terms of up to five years for anyone who “publicly condones, denies, grossly trivializes or tries to justify” the genocide or war crimes committed during Bosnia’s 1992–95 conflict.
In July 1995, Bosnian Serb forces seized the UN-protected enclave of Srebrenica in the country’s east and killed about 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys they took prisoner.
It was the worst atrocity in Europe since World War Two and was judged an act of genocide by two international courts.
Inzko, whose 12 years in office ended on Aug. 1 when he will be replaced by Germany’s Christian Schmidt, can impose laws and fire officials under the 1995 peace treaty that divided Bosnia into Bosniak-Croat and Serb entities.
“Genocide in Srebrenica, war crimes, and crimes against humanity … must not be forgotten or denied,” his decree read.
It was hailed by top Bosniak politicians and condemned by Bosnian Serbs. . . .
Santa Clara County, where the San Francisco 49ers train and play their NFL home games, has one of the highest COVID vaccination rates in California. As of July 11, more than 76% of its vaccine-eligible residents were fully vaccinated, partly because the county and the 49ers franchise turned Levi’s Stadium into a mass inoculation site where more than 350,000 doses were administered over four months.
The 49ers themselves, however, are not so enthusiastic about the shots. In June, head coach Kyle Shanahan said only 53 of the 91 athletes on the team roster — 58% — were fully vaccinated. The team has issued no updates since.
It’s a familiar story in the world of professional sports. Despite resources that other industries can only dream of, most pro leagues in the U.S. are struggling to get their teams’ COVID-19 vaccination rates to 85%, a threshold considered high enough to protect the locker room or clubhouse from spread of the disease. Only the Women’s National Basketball Association, at 99%, can boast a highly successful campaign to educate and vaccinate its players.
And while the public might expect sports figures, and the rich leagues they play for, to help rally the national vaccination effort, that’s not happening. Although the leagues and unions have advocated for players to get the shots, the industry clearly regards vaccination as a personal decision — not a responsibility.
“It’s everyone’s choice whether they want to get vaccinated or not,” Sam Darnold, the Carolina Panthers’ quarterback and a former USC star, said in June when revealing that he had not gotten a shot. “For me, I’m staying by myself right now. I don’t have a family or anything like that. There’s a ton of different things that go into it.”
Comments like Darnold’s and those of Buffalo Bills receiver Cole Beasley, who tweeted a long rant casting the COVID vaccines as a threat to “my way of living and my values,” have dominated news cycles. Meanwhile, the leagues themselves, whose overall vaccination numbers outpace those of the country at large, pad around the topic carefully.
“Push? No. Encourage,” said Tony Clark, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, when asked at an MLB All-Star Game news conference about the union’s position on player vaccination. “We’ve encouraged from the beginning.”
And most players have shunned the role of public health spokesperson, making the pro-vaccination campaign a largely faceless one. Few have publicly endorsed vaccination or acknowledged receiving shots, even though the league’s numbers suggest large majorities are vaccinated. Most don’t want to discuss it.
In May, NBA superstar LeBron James pointedly refused to answer questions about whether he’d been vaccinated, saying, “Anything of that nature is all family talk.” Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shaq Barrett said he and his wife had received vaccines, but as for encouraging teammates, “it’s to each their own. I don’t know why people wouldn’t get it, but whatever makes you comfortable, whatever helps you sleep at night, you do that.”
Zachary Binney, a sports epidemiologist at Emory University in Atlanta, believes pro athletes aren’t that different from the rest of us when it comes to vaccines: “A lot of them are vaccinated. A lot of them are willing to become vaccinated. Some of them have concerns. And some of them just are not going to do it — and they are never going to do it.”
In fact, most of the teams are doing well by overall U.S. standards. More than 70% of NFL and NBA players are at least partially vaccinated, according to reports. That puts both leagues’ rates higher than they are for young U.S. adults as a whole. . . .
More than 100 patients at a US nursing home and two hospitals have been infected with an untreatable fungus, including three victims who died, federal officials say.
The ongoing outbreaks of the drug-resistant “superbug,” Candida auris, at a Washington, DC, nursing home and two Dallas, Texas-area hospitals were reported by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday.
It appears that the drug-resistant strain, which brings fever and chills, spread from patient to patient for the first time in the US. Earlier cases diagnosed in New York in 2019 were also resistant to the drugs, but nothing indicated those patients had passed the bug to each other.
The harmful form of yeast was first identified in 2009 in Asia before spreading worldwide, according to a CDC fact sheet.
The 123 cases at the two Dallas-area hospitals and a nursing home in DC were identified from January to April. Three of the five patients who did not respond to treatment died, including two in Texas and one in DC, according to CDC officials.
Additional infections have also been identified since April, but those figures were not included in Thursday’s release. . . .
“Our schools are finalizing their proposed policies and procedures for the fall,” Commissioner Kevin Warren said at Big Ten football media days.
Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said the conference will take take a “decentralized” approach to COVID-19 protocols by allowing each school to put in place its own plan.
“Our schools are finalizing their proposed policies and procedures for the fall,” Warren said at Big Ten football media days at Lucas Oil Stadium. “We’ll get that information in early August, we’ll combine it, and then we’ll get together with our chancellors and presidents and other key constituents to make the determination as far as how we handle the fall.”
Warren also said there has been no determination on whether games would be forfeited — as has been suggested by the Southeastern Conference and Big 12 — if teams cannot play because of COVID-19 issues.
Last season, the Big Ten at first called off its fall football season because of the pandemic before reversing course and deciding instead to start in late October.
The late start left no room for games to be made up and numerous Big Ten games were canceled because of COVID-19 left teams short players.
Warren said the conference plans to hire a chief medical officer before football season starts.
Preseason All-Big Ten
The preseason all-Big Ten team released Thursday includes three Ohio State players among 10 players selected by a media panel.
Offensive left tackle Thayer Munford and wide receivers Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson are cornerstones for a Buckeyes program that has won four consecutive conference titles and qualified for the College Football Playoff the past two years.
Each were 2020 first-team All-Big Ten selections.
Olave returns for his senior year with 87 receptions for 1,435 yards and 19 touchdowns in three seasons. In two seasons, Wilson has 73 receptions for 1,155 yards and 11 TDs.
Other East Division players honored were Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. and Penn State wide receiver Jahan Dotson.
The West Division players include Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim, Northwestern safety Brandon Joseph, Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum, Purdue wide receiver David Bell and Wisconsin linebacker Jack Sanborn. Ibrahim and Joseph were first-team All-Big Ten last season.
Ibrahim rushed for 1,076 yards and 15 TDs on 201 carries as a junior. The scores rank fourth for a single season in school history.
Former Wisconsin athletic director and coach Barry Alvarez is joining the Big Ten as the special adviser for football.
Alvarez retired from Wisconsin after the past 18 years as AD and 16 seasons previously as coach of the Badgers. Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren announced Alvarez would be joining the conference, starting Aug. 2.
“I trust Barry Alvarez implicitly,” Warren said. “He means everything to this conference.”
Alvarez will work with Warren on College Football Playoff expansion, television and bowl contracts, scheduling, and player health and safety.
Alvarez led the Badgers to three Big Ten titles and three Rose Bowl victories as a head coach and went 119-74-4.
Warren also said Wisconsin Chancellor Rebecca Blank will replace Northwestern President Morton Schapiro as chairperson of the Big Ten Council of President and Chancellors. . . .
U.S. businesses and municipalities weigh vaccine mandates as N.Y.C.’s mayor calls for companies to require shots.
Mayor Bill de Blasio urged on Friday that New York City’s private businesses require their workers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus and signaled that he would introduce similar measures for hundreds of thousands of municipal employees.
The mayor’s comments came just days after he announced that all employees in the public hospital system would have to either receive a virus vaccine or submit to weekly testing.
The highly contagious Delta variant has fueled outbreaks among the unvaccinated across the United States and in recent days many local governments and private organizations have been grappling with whether to put vaccination mandates in place. Several organizations — including various hospital systems, schools, the city of San Francisco and professional football — have taken steps to require vaccinations.
The mayor’s new position reflected growing concern that New York, like much of the United States, is on the verge of another wave of the pandemic. In just a few weeks, case counts in the city have tripled, to more than 650 a day on average, while inoculation rates have leveled off.
“If people want freedom, if people want jobs, if people want to live again, we have got to get more people vaccinated,” Mr. de Blasio said on Friday during a weekly radio appearance on WNYC. “And obviously it’s time for whatever mandates we can achieve.” . . .
Female artist-scientist is named a finalist for one of the eight seats a Japanese businessman purchased and is giving away for SpaceX’s first civilian mission to the moon in 2023
- Dr Tracy Fanara has been named a finalist of Project dearMoon
- She is now in the running for a week-long mission around the moon in 2023
- Fanara is an engineer and research scientists who is now the Coastal Modeling manager for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- She also raps, creates space-themed art and has appeared in a Marvel comic Project dearMoon is a SpaceX flight purchased by billionaire Yusaku Maezawa
- Maezawa plans to take eight people with him for the mission around the moon
Concerned About BlackRock Pricing Out Home Buyers? Wait Until You Hear How Connected They Are To The Government
BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has become a prime example of the so-called revolving door between Wall Street and Washington, according to Business Insider. At least three former high-ranking employees of the New York-based firm hold prominent roles in President Joe Biden’s administration.
Biden nominated Brian Deese to serve as director of the National Economic Council (NEC). He previously served as deputy director of both the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the NEC under former President Barack Obama. After his stint in the Obama administration, Deese joined BlackRock as global head of sustainable investing, according to the WSJ.
Jeff Hauser, director of the Revolving Door Project, a group that monitors corporate influence in government, told Reuters in November 2020 that BlackRock’s stake in policy decisions could compel Deese to “be absent from big chunks of his job.”
Biden nominated Adewale Adeyemo to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury. He also worked in the Obama administration first as a senior international economics advisor in the Treasury Department and then as the former president’s deputy national security advisor for international economics. He later joined BlackRock as a senior advisor, according to WSJ. . . .