Are we planning for the next wave of Covid?

As we suffer through yet another Covid-19 variant surge, I wonder why we are still merely saving the drowning people instead of also looking upstream. Doctors and researchers have created great tools to help drown Americans — those who’ve already been infected by SARS-CoV-2. But even if we’re heading toward an endemic world, we’re still thinking small when we should be thinking big. The time to plan is now. It was a brand-new virus.

Covid is among the leading causes of death for all age groups in the U.S. The virus is still mutating, and there is no guarantee that future variants will. You can’t just catch omicron and ‘get it over with’ Covid doesn’t work that way. This is what many of us have been calling for since the early days of the pandemic: to practice public health at its best. Yes, we need people to be vaccinated, period and the Biden administration has done an incredible job of saving lives by making this first step happen. But more is needed.

Reference

How to fight the following new Covid variant after omicron? Plan for it now. https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/how-fight-next-new-covid-variant-after-omicron-plan-it-ncna1288649

Would you like to know that a human genome has finally been fully decoded?

The genome of a single sperm contains the genetic material of one pair of paternal chromosomes.

Researcher Kevin Bishop looks at zebrafish samples. Techniques used to sequence the human genome can also be applied to other species. Ernesto Del Aguila III / National Institutes of Health

Researchers are re-analyzing 92 percent of the genome to look for genetic variants that may be causing illnesses. “We identified many more, tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands” of new variants, says David Dennis. In addition, researchers can better investigate how centromere proteins assemble and what happens when they alter or lose function using the new genome. As part of his research, Evan Eichler aims to decode the genetic code on paternal and maternal chromosomes. By systematically sequencing a large number of individuals from diverse origins, he claims that it would be possible to better understand the genetic variation of the globe and identify relevant genetic variants.

Reference

A human genome has finally been fully decoded. https://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/human-genome-finally-fully-decoded-rcna22029?fbclid=IwAR0dGb_i9ckxLcACA777uZcg4BCAUPLDfwMJw2t65P_WNw2rxeHj_i9QU_E

Did you know that getting protein from a wide variety of sources may lower the risk of high blood pressure?

According to a new study, getting protein from a broad range of sources may help individuals reduce their chance of developing high blood pressure.

Dinner table spread of dishes containing different types of protein: fish, shrimp, chicken and pork
CREDIT: GETTY / BRETT STEVENS

According to the results, eating a well-balanced and diverse diet may assist in maintaining good cardiovascular health. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of mortality in the United States. Hypertension is one of the most critical risk factors. A study found that those who consumed four or more protein sources each week had a 66 percent decreased chance of having high blood pressure. However, people who consumed the least quantity of total protein were likewise at a higher risk of developing cancer.

This is not the first time that protein intake has been related to an increased risk of hypertension. The American Heart Association suggests consuming one to two servings (about 5.5 ounces) of protein each day to maintain a healthy weight. Plant proteins, fish or shellfish, low-fat or nonfat dairy products, and lean meats are all excellent choices for protein sources. There are a few basic actions you can take to help you increase the variety of proteins in your diet. Unfortunately, hypertension comes with a higher chance of acquiring various medical disorders like heart disease and stroke.

Incorporating new protein sources into your diet may help lower your chance of developing hypertension, but it is not the only approach to achieving this goal. Various other dietary and lifestyle adjustments have been demonstrated to effectively delay the onset of a hypertension diagnosis.

Di you know that study finds microplastics in blood?

It is possible that microplastics are present in food. We have all heard about how micro-plastics are becoming more prevalent in the food that we consume. Those microscopic particles have now made their way into our bloodstreams.

Photo credit pcess609/Getty Images

The bloodstream of an individual may include microplastics. Scientists from the Netherlands claim to have discovered microplastics in the blood, and they believe that they are on their way to human organs as well.

Several studies have been conducted on various types of drinking bottles. According to the findings of the study, which was published in the Journal Environmental International, the researchers discovered the plastics in 80 percent of the participants who participated in the study. Approximately half of them had polymers used in beverage bottles and a third contained polystyrene, which is used in Styrofoam.

According to them, this is the first time this has ever occurred during their testing. These plastic particles, according to the researchers, might enter our systems via food, air, water, toothpaste, or even lip gloss products.

Did you know that Antony Blinken often cites his family’s Holocaust history? The Russia-Ukraine war has him stuck between the personal and the political.

When Secretary of State Antony Blinken cited his family’s Holocaust-era history in explaining a matter of U.S. foreign policy on Monday, it was far from the first time he has done so.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., March 21, 2022. (Kevin LaMarque/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

“One of my responsibilities as Secretary is determining, on behalf of the United States, whether atrocities have been committed,” Blinken, who is Jewish, said Monday at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, where he announced that the Biden administration had determined that the Burmese military had committed genocide against the Rohingya. “It’s an immense responsibility that I take very seriously, particularly given my family’s history.”

That family history involves his stepfather, Samuel Pisar, the Holocaust survivor who became a renowned legal scholar and philosopher. Blinken has often described the late Pisar’s recounting of his rescue by American soldiers, saying it shaped his own idea of what the United States symbolizes worldwide.

“That’s the story that I grew up with, about what our country is and what it represents, and what it means when the United States is engaged and leading,” Blinken said.

Now America’s top diplomat contends with a conflict that puts these values to the test: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has involved mass killings of civilians.

He is also dealing with appeals from Ukraine’s Jewish president, Volodymyr Zelensky — who similarly cites the Holocaust as shaping his outlook — to do more to stop Russia’s attacks.

Zelensky has additionally made direct comparisons between the Russian onslaught and the Holocaust, while Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated his goal is to “de-Nazify” Ukraine.

Talking to American Jewish leaders, Zelensky called Putin’s actions “pure Nazism;” talking to Israelis, he likened Russian tactics to the “final solution”; and in his address to the U.S. Congress, he called the Russian invasion “the worst war since World War II.”

The Biden administration has imposed crippling sanctions on Russia. In addition, it is funneling billions of dollars in defense and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and deploying U.S. troops to NATO allies adjacent to Ukraine. But President Joe Biden will not accede to Zelensky’s top demands — including creating a no-fly zone over Ukraine to protect it — saying they could provoke a world war.’

On Wednesday, however, Blinken formally declared that the United States’ position is that Russian forces have committed war crimes.

“Many of the sites Russia’s forces have hit have been clearly identifiable as in-use by civilians,” he said. “This includes the Mariupol maternity hospital, as the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights expressly noted in a March 11 report. It also includes a strike that hit a Mariupol theater, clearly marked with ‘дeти’ — Russian for ‘children’ — in huge letters visible from the sky.”

Does Blinken feel the pressures of family history as he contemplates Ukraine? The State Department did not respond to multiple requests for an interview. But his speech at the Holocaust museum on Monday showed that it was on his mind.

“One of the unsettling truths of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is that there’s never a time I visit here when its lessons do not feel deeply resonant,” he said. “But I have to tell you, I can recall a few times when that history felt so urgent or the responsibility it imparts on us so pressing. As we meet, the Russian Government continues to wage its unprovoked, brutal war on Ukraine. Each day brings more brutal attacks, more innocent men, women, and children killed.”

The war’s risk to Holocaust survivors in Ukraine was especially poignant in Blinken’s telling.

“Ukraine is home to nearly 10,000 Holocaust survivors, including an 88-year-old woman, Natalia Berezhnaya of Odesa,” he said. “Here’s what she said in a recent interview, and I quote: ‘It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that in 1941, I had to hide in the basement of this building, and that I’m going to have to do that again now.'”

Blinken stopped short of accusing Putin of genocide as he did the Burmese military. Instead, he cast Russia’s predations as part of a welter of human rights disasters now proliferating.

“Even as we are working to increase international pressure on the Kremlin to end this unjustified war, we know there are many other places where horrific atrocities are being committed,” Blinken said. “Over recent weeks, as I’ve spoken with diplomats worldwide about Ukraine, I’ve also heard a constant refrain. Many of them say, ‘Yes, we stand with the people of Ukraine. But we must also stand with the people suffering atrocities in other places.'”

On Wednesday, the move to accuse Russia of war crimes is notable; noted Jewish foreign policy experts had been frustrated with Blinken’s language.

Josh Rogin, an influential foreign policy opinion columnist for The Washington Post, wrote that the hesitancy in Ukraine is reflective of a West that has allowed atrocities to be committed in China, Syria, and Burma. “The Ukraine example shows that ignoring atrocities anywhere is morally and strategically bankrupt,” he said this week before Blinken announced his war crimes designation.

Aaron David Miller, a longtime Middle East peace negotiator and a scion of one of Cleveland’s most prominent Jewish families, sounded a despairing note on Twitter.

“Never Again is Ever Ever Again,” he said. “The International Community has failed to even try to prevent any of the planet’s genocides/mass killings over past 100 years; Armenians; Holocaust; Cambodia; Rwanda; Congo; Sudan; Darfur; Myanmar; Uighurs; Syria….. Ever ask yourself why.”

Asked to expand on the tweet on CNN, Miller, now a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment, a foreign policy think tank, admitted that he understood Blinken’s predicament.

“A president of the United States weighing the consequences of humanitarian intervention in the case of Ukraine has more than just moral factors to take into account and the consequences of an intervention or not an intervention at least for American interests, that could affect millions of humans in the United States and in Ukraine, so it’s it’s a moral hazard,” Miller said. “It’s a complicated problem. And frankly, I think Ukraine will be another example of confirmation of the rule.”

Abe Foxman, the retired national director of the Anti-Defamation League and a Holocaust survivor, argued that Blinken’s approach made sense: One’s views on the Holocaust may shape policy but should not necessarily determine what the procedure is.

He was pleased to see Blinken knows, understands, is informed and instructed by his family history, by his Jewish experience, Foxman said in an interview. It does make a difference, but it cannot be determinative of action. This is a war. It’s not a holocaust or genocide. And it’s very, very important that if you know your history, you see the difference.

Reference

Antony Blinken often cites his family’s Holocaust history. The Russia-Ukraine war has him stuck between the personal and the political. https://www.jta.org/2022/03/24/politics/antony-blinken-often-cites-his-familys-holocaust-history-the-russia-ukraine-war-has-him-stuck-between-the-personal-and-the-political?fbclid=IwAR0vj-Q7Oys1vWBpQYcJm7Y0kjH_8dp7HgXidygq51dBq-SV2-rFeN_-4mw

Did you know that Omicron BA.2 subvariant will soon dominate in the U.S., but Fauci doesn’t expect another surge?

According to data published this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Omicron’s more contagious subvariant, BA.2, has more than doubled in prevalence in the United States over the last two weeks and now accounts for more than 34% of Covid-19 infections that have undergone genetic sequencing. Since February 5, when it comprised roughly 1% of genetically analyzed viral samples in the United States, BA.2 has been progressively increasing as a fraction of Covid variants circulating in the country. BA.2 probably already accounts for 50% of new infections in the United States since many individuals do tests at home that are not included in official statistics, according to Ali Mokdad, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. In addition, Walgreens data indicates that BA.2 is the leading variety, accounting for 51% of all positive Covid cases for the week ending March 19.

Reference

Omicron BA.2 subvariant will soon dominate in the U.S., but Fauci doesn’t expect another surge. https://www.cnbc.com/2022/03/23/covid-omicron-bapoint2-subvariant-will-soon-dominate-in-us-but-fauci-doesnt-expect-another-surge.html?fbclid=IwAR1PtlOWk2ebo9dnBoKtsqyiH_wbf5mMmWMnNjPqt03RYgVyEZ2HCwcjHtY

Did you know that Ginni Thomas, Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife, exchanged texts with Mark Meadows about efforts to overturn the 2020 election?

Following the 2020 presidential election, Virginia Thomas, a conservative activist married to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, urged White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in frantic text conversations during the crucial weeks following the vote to continue unrelenting efforts to reverse the result, according to copies of the texts obtained by CBS News top election and campaign reporter Robert Costa and Bob Woodward of The Washington Post.

This is what happens when individuals have a hidden agenda. Mrs. Thomas has not only gotten her husband into a pickle; she has gotten herself into one as well. Why would she jeopardize her status by doing such acts?

Reference

Ginni Thomas, Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife, exchanged texts with Mark Meadows about efforts to overturn the 2020 election. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/virginia-ginni-thomas-clarence-wife-mark-meadows-texts-2020-election/?fbclid=IwAR0WUTrGzb_8JHYuRc3lv3J4j1d9YbL7fNyMkfos-qagSeAZOaVEt5pkf3g

The United States will welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians

A senior administration official says that the United States will welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians and other people who have fled Russia’s aggression. There are now more than 3.5 million people who have fled Ukraine, says the UN refugee agency. They’ll also be able to get into the U.S. through other ways. Official’s words move will lessen the burden on the European countries already taking on so much of the responsibility. There have been more than 2 million refugees from Ukraine who have come to Poland from the west.

Reference

The United States will welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians. https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/24/politics/us-to-accept-more-ukrainian-refugees/index.html?fbclid=IwAR18cf3_SgAHx7T4D1z7gaIRQ5A-QcwShtcYYwDQeKbNkMwQB43O47ZripM

Why did Mike Braun clarify his assertion that states should decide the legality of interracial marriage?

Sen. Mike Braun, a Republican from Indiana, told reporters in his state on Tuesday that states should determine whether interracial marriage is allowed before claiming he misunderstood the questions and condemning “racism in any form.”

Mike Braun is interviewed in Bekah’s Westside Cafe in Lebanon, Ind., in April 2018.


Inquired as to whether or not he thought “interracial marriage should be left to the states, Braun said, “Yes, I believe that’s something — if you don’t want the Supreme Court to weigh in on matters like that, you’re not going to be able to have both your cake and eat it.” But, honestly, I don’t believe that’s right.” In 1967, the Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia, allowing interracial marriage in the United States.
Afterward, Braun was quizzed on his thoughts on the 1965 case Griswold v. Connecticut, which established a constitutional right to sexual privacy and made the use of contraception for married couples permissible under federal law. The states, according to Braun, should be the ones to decide.
It’s possible to mention a wide range of difficulties, Braun said. But, as far as what they’re going to be, I’m going to suggest that they aren’t going to be all going to make you happy in a particular state but that we’re better off letting forms express their points of view rather than homogenizing it throughout the nation, as Roe v. Wade did.”

“Initially limiting” Braun’s contention that the Supreme Court had seized states’ powers in 1973 with Roe v. Wade, the Times of Northwest Indiana reports. However, he maintained his position when asked about other decisions, such as the Loving v. Virginia case.
Braun afterward issued a statement indicating that he had “misunderstood” the questions asked.
“I misread a line of inquiry earlier at a virtual news conference that turned out to be about interracial marriage. To be quite clear, the Constitution forbids all forms of discrimination based on race. So the issue of racism isn’t even up for question, and I firmly oppose it at every level, from the state to the person. It was Braun’s opinion.
In a short interview on Wednesday, Braun told CNN that he doesn’t think states should decide on interracial marriage.
That’s not the case, Braun said. Even though one may be forgivable, he exposed his true identity. We learn a lot about him through his reaction. When a racist is apprehended, they immediately attempt to paint themselves as victims of their own ignorance since it would be so handy.

Reference

Mike Braun clarifies his assertion that states should decide the legality of interracial marriage. https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/23/politics/mike-braun-interracial-marriage-comments/index.html?fbclid=IwAR0jpCRaI0ml0-B9YMxOUafjGrKhdb8fxcqJcMgqxLw7BywL4207X-0bq-s

Did you know that they’re calling blood pressure medications due to cancer causing impurities?

Pfizer Inc. recalls a blood pressure medication due to possible cancer-causing impurities.

The Pfizer logo is displayed at the company’s headquarters in New York last year.
Mark Lennihan/AP

On Monday, the firm informed users about multiple contaminated batches of Accuretic and two additional forms of the drug-quinapril and hydrochlorothiazide tablets due to the presence of nitrosamine at levels over the recommended daily dosage. Nitrosamines can be found in water and food, such as cured and grilled meats, dairy products, and vegetables that have been cooked or smoked. According to the Food and Drug Administration, “everyone is exposed to nitrosamines. ” People exposed to these impurities for a long time may be more likely to get cancer. The drugs are used to treat hypertension to decrease the risk of cardiovascular events, most notably strokes and myocardial infarctions. According to the firm, the recall is voluntary, and as of Monday, the company has received no complaints of adverse occurrences associated with the medications. In addition, although chronic intake of N-nitroso-quinapril may be related to an elevated risk of cancer in humans, the FDA notes that there is no immediate danger to patients using this drug. Message from the Sponsor Pfizer urges customers who use the pills to see their physician or pharmacist determine whether they received a contaminated batch.

Reference

Pfizer launches a recall of blood pressure drugs due to a potential carcinogen. https://www.npr.org/2022/03/22/1088075045/pfizer-blood-pressure-recall-carcinogen?fbclid=IwAR19uBZdd6vxW64B7DDn-brE0LgmkdDr1BYJ6Mk8O9om4ION9hjfyf6SQDg