People flocking to NYC-area bars & beaches. Iran may have underreported to keep COVID-19 stats low. Biotech company claims it has discovered an antibody that blocks coronavirus. Epidemiologist slams coronavirus lockdowns.
Today’s update starts with the news that New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, who bravely challenged Schiff’s impeachment maneuvers with skillful cross-examination earlier this year, is now demanding a federal probe of Gov. Cuomo’s handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes.
Her call came after a new report showed the state quietly altered the way it publicly reports nursing home deaths from the virus.
In early May the state stopped counting nursing-home patients who died from COVID in hospitals in its official tallies of nursing-home fatalities, The Daily Caller reported. It now only includes those deaths that occur in the nursing home facility itself.
Cuomo is taking heat for vulnerable nursing home populations ravaged by coronavirus — with a state death toll of at least 5,300, and that’s with the state’s new counting method that ignores outside-facility deaths.
“Today I joined my @NewYorkGOP colleagues in the House to call for a federal investigation of Cuomo’s failed nursing home policies. NOW they admit they unethically changed the way they report nursing home deaths. An INEXCUSABLE tragedy for NY – NEED ANSWERS,” Stefanik, an upstate Republican, said in a tweet.
Today I joined my @NewYorkGOP colleagues in the House to call for a federal investigation of Cuomo’s failed nursing home policies. NOW they admit they unethically changed the way they report nursing home deaths. An INEXCUSABLE tragedy for NY – NEED ANSWERShttps://t.co/pHY98zlTN2
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) May 15, 2020
People flock to NYC-area bars, beaches as ‘quarantine fatigue’ intensifies
For all practical purposes, the lockdowns are over.
Lockdown-weary New Yorkers ditched the distancing to get social this weekend — transforming parts of the Big Apple into a raucous, late season Mardi Gras.
Yet the city’s COVID-19-be-damned attitude was nothing compared to the scene in Belmar, NJ, where huge crowds also flouted state-mandated guidelines to stay six feet apart to curb the spread of the bug — as they waited shoulder-to-shoulder on the boardwalk for their turn to buy beach badges.
Outside popular bars in the Upper East Side, the East Village and in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, booze-hounds came for the take-out cocktails, and then stayed, and stayed — sipping drinks on packed sidewalks — and soaking up lively scene, which rubbed those most vulnerable to the virus the wrong way.
“They don’t care about us,” said Ann Trent, 72, as she sat on a bench by the Brooklyn Bridge. “What happened to all of us protecting everyone else?”
Report suggests Iran may have misrepresented number of infections and deaths to keep COVID-19 stats low
Iran’s coronavirus data appear to be as reliable as China’s.
It is no secret that Iran has been hit hard by the coronavirus. Official government figures show that around 100,000 people were infected by the virus and around 6,500 have died. But a report by the research arm of Iran’s parliament said the number of cases could be eight to 10 times higher, making it among the hardest hit countries in the world. The report said the number of deaths could be 80 percent higher than officials numbers from the Health Ministry, about 11,700.
The Iranian government is currently reporting a decline in the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths in many areas, even though local authorities are expanding cemeteries in places like Tehran where the municipal council said it had to add 10,000 new graves to its largest cemetery, Behesht e-Zahra.
Interviews with more than 30 medical professionals and a review of communications by doctors on messaging apps and other documents by an Associated Press reporter in Cairo revealed many previously unreported details. The reporting paints a fuller picture of the roots and extent of the country’s disjointed response as the deadly virus spread throughout the population.
California biotech company claims it has discovered an antibody that can block ‘100%’ of coronavirus infections
Scientists at a California biotech company claim that they have found an antibody that completely blocks coronavirus in a discovery they called a ‘cure”.
Sorrento Therapeutics, based in San Diego, claims its STI-1499 antibody stopped coronavirus from entering 100 percent of healthy human cells in petri dish experiments.
It’s one of several antibodies planned to be combined for a drug ‘cocktail’ Sorrento is developing in collaboration with Mt Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
In a press release, Sorrento said it could produce up to 200,000 doses of the antibody a month – a production timeline that would likely make the drug available months sooner than a COVID-19 vaccine is expected.
Epidemiologist slams coronavirus lockdowns
Joining a chorus of doctors, an epidemiologist now challenges the need for a lockdown.
An epidemiologist known for his contrarian takes to the global response to the coronavirus pandemic is arguing that the ongoing government lockdowns meant to mitigate the disease are based on bad science, and that countries “could open up again and forget the whole thing” if they so desired.
Knut Wittkowski for several weeks has been among the growing chorus of scientists, epidemiology experts, statisticians and other intellectuals who are claiming that the broad economic shutdowns, restrictive policies and harsh mitigative measures put in place by world governments are doing more harm than good.
Public health authorities across the globe have argued that the lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, “social distancing” mandates and other policies are necessary to prevent the collapse of healthcare systems and the deaths of tens of millions.
These measures “most likely made the situation worse,” Wittkowski argued in an interview with Spiked this week.
“Firstly, we have the direct consequences: suicides, domestic violence and other social consequences leading to death,” Wittkowski said of the lockdowns. “And then we have people who are too scared to go to the hospitals for other problems like strokes or heart attacks. So people stay away from hospitals because of the Covid fear. And then they die.”
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