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China Says Wuhan Lab Deserves a Nobel Prize

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China Says Wuhan Lab Deserves a Nobel Prize

Originally published on National Review:

Late last week, the Chinese Academy of Sciences nominated the Wuhan Institute of Virology for its Outstanding Science and Technology Achievement Prize, specifically naming Shi Zhengli, a.k.a. “Bat Woman,” and Yuan Zhiming, director of the WIV’s Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory.

Chinese state-run media explained that, “The award is mainly given to individuals or research groups who have made or demonstrated significant achievements in the past five years . . . China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson stressed at Thursday’s press conference that scientists working at the WIV should be awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine, rather than being blamed for being the first to discover the gene sequence of the novel coronavirus.”

We must admit, the Institute’s work really has touched all of our lives, hasn’t it? And just think how many medical breakthroughs we’ve seen in the past 18 months from Pfizer and Moderna and Oxford and Johnson & Johnson that never would have occurred if hadn’t been for the earlier work of the Wuhan Institute of Virology? The WIV’s work literally brought the world to a screeching halt. It even made late-night television funny again.

Snark aside, the fact that the Chinese government insists the Wuhan Institute of Virology deserves celebration is another indicator that it intends to change nothing in the aftermath of the pandemic. In her recent brief interview with the New York Times, Shi Zhengli said that “bat viruses in China could be studied in BSL-2 labs because there was no evidence that they directly infected humans.” (Biosafety-level-2 laboratories are designed to work with moderately dangerous viruses such as staph infections, hepatitis, or HIV. Biosafety-level-4 facilities work with the most dangerous viruses, particularly contagious pathogens such as Ebola and Marburg.)

Shi’s argument wants it both ways. Part of the argument in support of the zoonotic theory of SARS-CoV-2’s origins is that new viruses jump from animals to people all the time, and thus that is what most likely happened in this case. (Note that past research by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, studying the people who lived closest to the known habitats of horseshoe bats in Yunnan Province, found that just 2.7 percent of people have antibodies indicating past exposure to bat viruses.)

One option is that indeed, it’s extremely unusual for bat viruses to infect human beings — which makes SARS-CoV-2 extremely different from most viruses found in horseshoe bats, suggesting something about the virus may have changed or been altered to make it more contagious among human beings. Or another option is that it isn’t so rare for bat viruses to infect human beings, which would suggest that these viruses shouldn’t be studied in BSL-2 laboratories. Pick one.

Read the full article on National Review.

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Massachusetts county first to use COVID-sniffing dogs.

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Massachusetts county first to use COVID-sniffing dogs.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Law enforcement officials in Massachusetts are using four-legged officers to sniff out COVID-19 much in the same way they look for heroin, explosives, and other dangerous items. 

The Bristol County Sheriff’s Office announced its coronavirus-detection K-9 team Thursday, saying it’s the first law enforcement group in the country to utilize dogs trained to detect the virus. 

“Bristol County and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have come so far since the pandemic started last year,” Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson said in a statement. “Today, festivals are happening, restaurants are full and concert venues are packed. We’ve made so much progress, and our new COVID-19 detection program is one way the people of Bristol County can stay ahead of the curve.”

DR. MAKARY: ‘THERE’S NO DATA’ TO SUPPORT FAUCI’S CALL FOR MASKING SMALL CHILDREN

Like drugs and weapons, COVID-19 has a unique odor, which two Sheriff’s Office canines are trained to find. The dogs – Huntah and Duke —  graduated training Wednesday. They are stepsiblings who were born two weeks apart with the same father but different mothers, officials said. 

The detection program was developed by Florida International University’s International Forensic Research Institute, which used a similar program for dogs detecting fungus in crops and adapted it to COVID detection.

The school uses dogs to detect COVID-19 on its campus. 

“This is all science,” Sheriff Capt. Paul Douglas said. “This program was developed by professors, doctors, and scientists at FIU, and we couldn’t be more proud or excited to execute it here in Bristol County.”

As part of the training, FIU used medical masks worn by COVID-19 patients. An ultraviolet system was used to kill the contagious portion on the mask but still leave the odor. The Sheriff’s office is working with the New Bedford Fire Department and EMS providers on acquiring masks worn by COVID patients for future use in training. 

The dogs can also detect advanced variants such as the Delta variant. 

“It’s best to think of it as a decontamination tool,” Douglas said. “The dogs can detect the COVID odor on a counter or table if it was recently touched by a COVID-positive individual, or even detect the odor on a tissue used by someone with COVID.”

In the coming months, Huntah and Duke will also be trained in locating missing people. 

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MACRON MANDATES ‘HEALTH PASS’ – FRENCH PROTESTS FOLLOW…

The key measure announced by Macron will make the EU Digital Covid Certificate — commonly called “health pass” — mandatory in all cultural venues, including cinemas, theaters and concert halls starting on July 21. Starting in August, the health pass will be mandatory in cafes, shops, restaurants, as well as trains and planes, among other places.

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MACRON MANDATES ‘HEALTH PASS’ – FRENCH PROTESTS FOLLOW…
  • President Macron introduced new coronavirus measures on Monday night
  • Covid-19 vaccinations will be mandatory for those working with the vulnerable
  • Care workers have until September 15 to get vaccinated after then ‘checks will be made and sanctions applied’ Macron said in a televised address on Monday
  • Vaccine passports will also be required from August 1 for anyone wanting to go out to eat or drink at a bar, café or restaurant, or travel on planes
  • Passengers on long-distance bus or train rides will also require a pass 
  • Just three days ago, France reopened its nightclubs as restrictions began to ease
  • It comes as the delta variant has started driving infection rates up across Europe 
  • Macron is set to announce a new law requiring health workers to get vaccinated 

Read More About the Mandates on Daily Mail

Residents in France are taking to the streets to protest the country’s new COVID-19 health pass, which requires that people show proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or that they are recovering from the virus before entering public facilities.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced the new health pass earlier this week, which will be required to enter restaurants, shopping malls or hospitals, and board trains or planes.

Macron also mandated that all health care workers in France must be fully vaccinated by Sept. 15 or they will be suspended without pay.

Read More About the Protests on The Hill

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‘Pregnant man’ featured in new Emoji…

Emoji use is at an all-time high in 2021…

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The ‘pregnant dad’ one is in the middle row in red

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