Discussion in 'The Signs of the Times' started by garabandal, Jan 22, 2020.

  1. AED

    AED Powers

    I'm so glad. An anniversary is a blessed day for sacramentally married. And to spend it on the Cabot trail....just wonderful.
    HeavenlyHosts likes this.
  2. Heidi

    Heidi Archangels

    Everyone I know is buying the hype.
    HeavenlyHosts and AED like this.
  3. AED

    AED Powers

    Yep. Same here. Honestly it is hard to know where the truth lies. I'm trying to be prudent because I am at risk but I do believe those at low risk should be out and about building immunity. I do NOT think we should shut down the economy again!
    Mario, HeavenlyHosts, Don_D and 2 others like this.
  4. Heidi

    Heidi Archangels

    I completely agree! Everyone is freaking out because cases in young adults are surging, supposedly, but I don’t think that is a bad thing. It will help build herd immunity, and 99+% of them won’t get seriously ill.
    HeavenlyHosts, AED, Sam and 1 other person like this.
  5. Donna259

    Donna259 Archangels

    I am a school nurse in the US. I have 700 children aged K to 5th grade. Also 100 staff members. It will be interesting to see if they mandate masks. I think it would be easier for the younger ones to have face shields.....
    HeavenlyHosts, AED and Jo M like this.
  6. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    Or they could simply ask that everyone carry a handkerchief and practice proper hygiene for coughing and sneezing. Like civilized people do.
    HeavenlyHosts, AED and Sam like this.
  7. Donna259

    Donna259 Archangels

    okay, you obviously have no idea what 21 five year old's with cold symptoms look like. It's a mucus festival. They can't wipe their noses half the time.
  8. Tanker

    Tanker Archangels

    LOL. Very true. We have to look at this whole thing. I guess I am the odd parent. All the years my kids went to school (one graduated and one still in HS) when they were sick, even a cold, they stayed home. I was a pain to their teachers because I insisted they were able to make up work but I did not inflict my sick kids on other kids. I am sure I am not the norm. People send their kids to school and church and parties when they are sick.o_O

    My problem is the prolonged mask use. I worry about that as this is the first time children will be using masks for prolonged periods. But I agree that kids are not the best at hygiene, even the clean ones :p
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  9. earthtoangels

    earthtoangels Powers

    Today "Q" alerts us to this news:

    Jun 29 2020 16:07:26 (EST) NEW
    Another Chinese special delivery?

    Flu virus with 'pandemic potential' found in China

    A new strain of flu that has the potential to become a pandemic has been identified in China by scientists.

    It emerged recently and is carried by pigs, but can infect humans, they say.

    The researchers are concerned that it could mutate further so that it can spread easily from person to person, and trigger a global outbreak.

    While it is not an immediate problem, they say, it has "all the hallmarks" of being highly adapted to infect humans and needs close monitoring.

    As it's new, people could have little or no immunity to the virus.

    Pandemic threat
    A bad new strain of influenza is among the top disease threats that experts are watching for, even as the world attempts to bring to an end the current coronavirus pandemic.

    The last pandemic flu the world encountered - the swine flu outbreak of 2009 that began in Mexico - was less deadly than initially feared, largely because many older people had some immunity to it, probably because of its similarity to other flu viruses that had circulated years before.

    That virus, called A/H1N1pdm09, is now covered by the annual flu vaccine to make sure people are protected.

    The new flu strain that has been identified in China is similar to 2009 swine flu, but with some new changes.

    So far, it hasn't posed a big threat, but Prof Kin-Chow Chang and colleagues who have been studying it, say it is one to keep an eye on.

    The virus, which the researchers call G4 EA H1N1, can grow and multiply in the cells that line the human airways.

    They found evidence of recent infection starting in people who worked in abattoirs and the swine industry in China.

    Current flu vaccines do not appear to protect against it, although they could be adapted to do so if needed.

    Prof Kin-Chow Chang, who works at Nottingham University in the UK, told the BBC: "Right now we are distracted with coronavirus and rightly so. But we must not lose sight of potentially dangerous new viruses."

  10. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    And you think they're going to keep a mask on? Give me a break.
  11. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    Here's an older article but its a good reminder with all these increased cases showing up again. I would not be surprised if some nurses in the US have done the same thing recently.

    Tanzania: President Says Faulty ‘Imported’ Test Kit Claimed Goat Had Coronavirus

    Tanzanian President John Magufuli denounced imported coronavirus test kits as faulty after he said they returned positive results for samples taken from a goat and a pawpaw, a fruit similar to papaya, Reuters reported on Sunday.

    The testing kits had “technical errors,” Magufuli said during an event in Chato in northwestern Tanzania on Sunday. The president added that the coronavirus testing kits had been imported from abroad but did not say from where.

    Magufuli said he told Tanzanian security forces to check the quality of the imported kits. They randomly obtained several non-human samples, including from a sheep, a goat, and a papaya, but assigned them human names and ages.

    According to the president, these samples were then submitted to a Tanzanian laboratory to test for the coronavirus. Laboratory technicians were not told that these were not human samples.

    Samples from the papaya and the goat tested positive for coronavirus, Magufuli said.

    He added that this meant it was likely that some people in Tanzania were falsely testing positive for coronavirus.

    “There is something happening. I said before we should not accept that every aid is meant to be good for this nation,” the president said. According to the report, Magufuli said he wants the imported testing kits investigated.

    In recent weeks, several countries around the world including the United States, Australia, Spain, Turkey, and the Netherlands have rejected coronavirus medical equipment imported from China as defective.

    On April 21, Indian health authorities told states to stop using coronavirus testing kits imported from China after a scientific investigation concluded they were wildly inaccurate. This rejection of Chinese-made goods by India was a demonstration of “prejudice” according to the Chinese embassy in New Delhi last week.

    “It is unfair and irresponsible for certain individuals to label Chinese products as ‘faulty’ and look at issues with pre-emptive prejudice,” Chinese embassy spokeswoman Ji Rong said in a statement.

    Last month, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) called on the world to “stop smearing Chinese [coronavirus] assistance” in an article published in the state-run newspaper Global Times.

    “I think the quality issue reported by some media has been politicized. They can’t prove the reported testing kits have quality issues, because the use and transport [of the kits] may influence their stability and sensitivity,” an employee at Beijing Beier Bioengineering, a test kit provider, told the newspaper.

    In Tanzania, Magufuli’s government has drawn criticism in recent weeks for failing to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously. In March, he said Tanzanians need prayer, not medical masks, to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

    Tanzania has not taken extensive measures against the coronavirus pandemic yet, unlike most other African nations. Markets, public transportation, and shops remain open in the country, although schools and universities have been closed.

    On April 29, a prominent Tanzanian lawyer was arrested for saying the coronavirus was “serious” and “a real threat” to the nation. News of the arrest came amid accusations from a Tanzanian opposition leader that Magufuli’s government was hiding the true number of coronavirus cases and deaths, both believed to be much higher than reported.

    At press time on Monday, Tanzania had officially reported 480 infections and 16 deaths from the Chinese coronavirus.
  12. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

  13. Tanker

    Tanker Archangels

    There are lots of stories from frontline people about the fudging of the numbers. Doctors and nurses, xray techs, etc that I have spoken to tell the same sad stories about the numbers being wrong. These stories don't make the news. these stories are personal stories and are usually counted as tin foil hat stories but they ALL can't be wrong.

    God is the only constant. God is the only truth. Of that I can be sure. Everything else is up for debate.
    AED likes this.
  14. AED

    AED Powers

    Yep. It's like riding out a storm on a ship rolling and heaving. Hard to keep our footing. I guess we need to lash ourselves to the mast (God) so we dont get thrown overboard. Sorry for the analogy but I keep thinking of boats and storms and this time we are in as the Seasick Time.
    Tanker likes this.
  15. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    Te Deum, Tanker and AED like this.
  16. Tanker

    Tanker Archangels

    It is definitely worth watching. Thank you Don for posting it.
    Donna259 likes this.
  17. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    FEMA Ordered $10.2 Million in COVID-19 Testing Kits It’s Now Warning States Not to Use
    The faulty lab equipment sold by a company whose owner has faced fraud allegations is being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general.

    by Ryan Gabrielson and J. David McSwane

    June 26, 5:29 p.m. EDT

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has warned states not to use COVID-19 testing supplies it bought under a $10.2 million contract after a ProPublica investigation last week showed the vendor was providing contaminated and unusable mini soda bottles.

    A FEMA spokeswoman said the agency is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to analyze test tubes filled with saline and sold to the government by Fillakit LLC, whose warehouse is near Houston.

    “Out of an abundance of caution, we recommend this media not be used at this time,” spokeswoman Alex Bruner said.

    ProPublica reported on June 18 that Fillakit was using plastic preforms, which are expanded with heat and pressure to become 2-liter soda bottles, to fulfill FEMA’s contract for testing supplies to be used by states. The bottles were shoveled into the warehouse, then filled with saline in what workers described as unsanitary conditions. Some of the states receiving the lab equipment told ProPublica that even if Fillakit’s tubes weren’t contaminated, they were simply too big to be used in lab machinery.

    A later story in The Wall Street Journal raised similar allegations. The Journal first reported on Friday that the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general is now looking into the contractor. Fillakit owner Paul Wexler previously told the Journal that allegations of unsanitary conditions were baseless and came from a disgruntled former employee.

    Teresa Green, a retired science teacher and former Fillakit employee, told ProPublica that she spoke with someone identified as a “special agent” with Homeland Security who told her he was looking into Fillakit’s operations. Green declined to elaborate.

    A spokesperson for the Homeland Security inspector general’s office said, “As a matter of policy, we do not confirm or deny open investigations.”

    The FEMA spokeswoman said the agency continues to provide “critically needed testing supplies in a timely manner to our state and local partners in response to the coronavirus.”

    FEMA signed its first deal with Fillakit on May 7, just six days after the company was formed by an ex-telemarketer repeatedly accused of fraudulent practices over the past two decades. Fillakit has supplied a total of more than 3 million tubes, which FEMA then approved and sent to all 50 states.

    Wexler has previously declined to comment. A ProPublica reporter visited the facility this month and confirmed that workers were using snow shovels to gather up tubes and filling them, all in the open air.

    Fillakit continues to advertise COVID-19 testing supplies on its website, including “Premier Leakproof Tubes.” The photos of tubes on its website look nothing like the larger soda preforms it has sold to FEMA, according to photos provided by state health departments and former employees.

    Read More
    The Trump Administration Paid Millions for Test Tubes — and Got Unusable Mini Soda Bottles
    The plastic tubes supplied for coronavirus testing by Fillakit, a first-time federal contractor with a sketchy owner, don’t even fit the racks used to analyze samples. And they may be contaminated anyway.

    Officials in New York, New Jersey, Texas and New Mexico confirmed they were not able to use the Fillakit tubes. Three other states told ProPublica that they received Fillakit supplies and have not distributed them to testing sites. FEMA had previously asked health officials in several states to find an alternative use for the mini soda bottles.

    Last week, Missouri health officials asked testing facilities there to not use the Fillakit testing supplies sent out by the state.

    ProPublica’s data analysis shows that federal agencies hastily awarded more than $2 billion dollars in COVID-19 contracts to vendors who had no prior federal deals.

    In total, the federal government has committed more than $16 billion to more than 4,000 contractors in its attempt to address the spread of the novel coronavirus. More than 1,800 of those deals were given without competitive bidding. Many companies, including Fillakit, had no experience sourcing medical supplies.

    ProPublica continues to update its searchable online database of all federal contracts awarded to address the pandemic.
  18. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    It's incredibly sad, I can not imagine the weight of what she has seen being passed off as treatment of patients. She is a fighter though and did the right thing to document via video and voice recording what she saw and spoke out repeatedly against with doctors and other nurses. Brave and courageous.
    Te Deum and Tanker like this.
  19. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    EXCLUSIVE: Internal HHS investigation finds CDC's early test kits were 'contaminated'
    by JAMES ROSEN, Sinclair Broadcast Group

    Friday, June 19th 2020

    WASHINGTON (SBG) - An internal investigation at the Department of Health and Human Services into why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shipped defective coronavirus test kits to public health laboratories in February – a failing some experts have cited as a hindrance to America’s critical early efforts to combat the outbreak – has concluded, according to a final report obtained by Sinclair, that CDC scientists likely used a component in the kits that was “contaminated.”

    A three-page summary of findings issued on official letterhead on June 19 by the office of HHS General Counsel Robert P. Charrow, who opened the investigation on orders from HHS Secretary Alex Azar on March 1, found that an “initial batch” of test kits produced by CDC relied on a “reagent” that was likely contaminated.

    Reagents are substances introduced into chemical tests to produce reactions that scientists can study to learn about other substances.

    The report said the faulty kits represented the second of two sets of test kits that were developed by the CDC starting in late January. The first set shipped off in limited numbers to public health authorities and was apparently used without incident.

    However, the review acknowledged that it was the second, defective batch for which CDC leadership harbored more ambitious plans. The faulty kits, the report stated, were “developed to be manufactured by CDC as a first wave of testing to be shipped to public health laboratories across the country until commercial laboratories and diagnostic companies were able to come online” with mass-produced kits of their own.

    “One of the three reagents in this initial batch of manufactured test kits was likely contaminated,” the general counsel’s office concluded. “These tests are so sensitive that this contamination could have been caused by a single person walking through an area with positive control material and then later entering an area where tests reagents were being manipulated.”

    VIDEO: Sanitizer opposed by CDC kills coronavirus “surrogate” in lab tests

    In a footnote, the general counsel’s office cautioned that the report’s use of conditional terms and phrases, such as “likely,” stemmed from the highly technical nature of the investigation. “We state our conclusions in likelihoods, rather than with absolute certainty,” the report said, “due to the inherent complexities of this presumptive contamination and of the underlying science.”

    In a statement to Sinclair, Michael R. Caputo, the assistant secretary of HHS for public affairs, defended CDC’s conduct, saying the agency began working to produce viable testing within days of receiving the genetic sequence of the coronavirus from China. “As a result of President Trump’s strong leadership, the United States now has the world’s most robust public-private testing system and is better prepared to respond to future global health threats,” Caputo said. “The CDC and our public health labs were not intended to bear the weight or capacity of nationwide testing on this scale. While it is possible that this contamination may have delayed the CDC’s ability to supply tests to the public health labs for a short time, we never had a backlog of tests in this country.”

    A CDC Spokesman declined to comment, directing Sinclair to the statement from Caputo.

    Dr. Emily Rose Smith, an epidemiologist affiliated with Harvard University’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health, agreed with critics of CDC who said the agency’s use of contaminated test kit components hindered the early U.S. response. “Anyone who's worked in a lab knows that contamination can happen, and certainly working under time pressures, that's more likely,” Dr. Smith said in an interview with Sinclair after the report was made public by HHS. “On the other hand, it does seem like a careless mistake that cost us a few weeks' time in terms of getting testing up and running.”

    The probe was led by a pair of HHS attorneys with scientific backgrounds, who reported to the general counsel. Their investigative team collected documents from various agencies and interviewed nearly a dozen officials, scientists, and consultants at CDC and the Food and Drug Administration who participated in the early development of coronavirus test kits. The interviews were transcribed, senior officials said, but the witnesses were not sworn because the general counsel’s office believed existing statutes already make it a crime for anyone to provide false statements to federal officials conducting an official investigative inquiry.

    Sources at HHS said the report was being circulated to key lawmakers on Capitol Hill, where CDC officials are certain to face renewed questioning over its conduct in combating the worst pandemic in a century.

    An aide to Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., chair of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    CDC acknowledged in February that the core issue was a defect “in the manufacturing of one of the reagents,” adding that the agency was “remanufacturing the reagents with more robust quality control measures.” CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said in a statement the following month, issued in response to reporting by Sinclair on the agency’s early problems with test kit development: “CDC rapidly developed a diagnostic test for CDC and the nation’s public health labs... CDC and our U.S. government partners are working 24-7 to protect Americans, their families, and their communities.”

    It was in January, amid early reports of the coronavirus emanating from China, that the Respiratory Virus Diagnostic Lab (RVD), an arm of CDC, undertook the task of developing a genetic test. RVD scientists designed genetic sequences for the reagents to be used in the process and asked another branch of the agency, the Core Facility Branch, known as “the Core Lab,” to manufacture them.

    However, RVD personnel also requested that the Core Lab shorten its sequences of positive control materials, in order that the agency might remain competitive with an outside private firm that had indicated its scientists might be able to produce such sequences within ten days. “The Core Lab initially declined” this request, the report found, citing “the time pressure,” but ultimately agreed to comply, producing three different reagents.

    A final set of reagents, requested by RVD, manufactured by the Core Lab and provided to RVD by January 28, arrived at a point when the diagnostic lab had already worked with positive control gents so intensively that it created “increasing opportunities for contamination.” It was at this point, when RVD processed and tested the latest reagents constructed by the Core Lab, that the components “were most likely exposed,” the report found.

    Once the defective test kits were received from CDC in early February, public health laboratories sought to gauge their accuracy before using them on what the report called “real specimens.” These performance tests of the test kits “could not validate” the results they produced, with the outcome, the report said, that “a negative control gave a positive result.” Following this discovery, the laboratories across the U.S. shelved the test kits. “No patient received an inaccurate test result” because of the lapse, the report concluded.

    Confronted on February 8 with the dismal findings of the validation experiments, CDC scientists alerted top agency officials, who reported the bad news to Secretary Azar “shortly thereafter.” Azar ordered CDC to identify the problem and fix it.

    The chronology established by the HHS investigation revealed that within two weeks, CDC recognized that the relevant tests “could be run without the contaminated reagent,” which in any case “was not designed to be specific to the COVID-19 virus.” At that point, CDC scientists engaged colleagues at the Food and Drug Administration to devise tests that excluded the contaminated reagent. “New, uncontaminated reagents manufactured by private laboratories for CDC,” the report said, “were distributed to public health laboratories beginning in late February.”

    EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Former Trump aide at HHS alleges CDC leaders “lied” about early test kit failures

    In March, a former HHS official for Preparedness and Response in the Trump administration, Christopher Meekins, told Sinclair in an on-camera interview that CDC’s early test kit failings were compounded by “lies” that agency leaders allegedly told to Secretary Azar and, by extension, President Trump, about CDC’s ability to rectify the problems. HHS and CDC officials denied that allegation at the time, saying Meekins was causing the public to be “misinformed.”
  20. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    I can't help but wonder why they were using a regent in these test kits that not only helped contaminate the test but included testing for strains of covid other than covid 19? Especially since they just yanked it out of the test completely after it was discovered to be causing false negatives.

    CDC coronavirus test kits were likely contaminated, federal review confirms

    David Willman
    June 20, 2020 at 1:22 p.m. PDT
    The test kits for detecting the nation’s earliest cases of the novel coronavirus failed because of “likely” contamination at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whose scientists did not thoroughly check the kits despite “anomalies” during manufacturing, according to a new federal review.

    The review, conducted by two Department of Health and Human Services lawyers, also said there was “time pressure’’ at the CDC to launch testing, and “lab practices that may have been insufficient to prevent the risk of contamination.’’ The lawyers, from the department’s general counsel’s office, were not named.

    Neither the review, released late Friday, nor an accompanying statement from President Trump’s chief spokesman at HHS assigned blame to any CDC scientist or official by name.

    The review is the first confirmation by the Trump administration that the original test kits were likely contaminated, and that the problem appeared to have occurred in late January within the CDC’s headquarters in Atlanta. In general, HHS has defended the administration’s efforts to counter the pandemic.

    Read the HHS review of the CDC’s handling of the coronavirus test

    The three-page review also acknowledged that, after weeks of delay, the likely contamination ultimately prompted the CDC to jettison a problematic component of the test kit. The component was intended to detect coronavirus strains other than the one that causes covid-19, the disease that has killed more than 119,000 Americans.

    The Washington Post reported on April 18 that the test kits had generated false-positive results — caused by the CDC’s contamination — at 24 of the first 26 public health labs that tried them out before analyzing samples from actual patients. The Post also reported that an examination by the Food and Drug Administration had concluded that the tests failed because of substandard manufacturing practices and that the CDC violated its own laboratory protocol in making the kits.

    The false positives arose during testing of “negative control’’ samples that contained highly purified water and no genetic material. That aspect of testing was essential to confirm that results would be reliable and not skewed by contamination.

    A spokesman for the CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the HHS review. The review was first reported Friday by Sinclair Broadcast Group.

    The CDC’s failure with the test added many weeks of delays to the rollout of widespread testing and hampered efforts by state and local public health labs to minimize harm before the coronavirus became widely established in the United States.

    The review was based on the HHS lawyers’ interviews “with nine CDC employees and contractors who were involved in the production of the test kits.’’ The lawyers also spoke with Timothy Stenzel, a top FDA official regulating diagnostic devices used for medical treatment, and “one other FDA scientist in a consulting capacity,’’ according to the review.

    The review identified several CDC labs involved with making the test kits. It said it was “possible’’ that contamination occurred during production of materials for the kits performed by the Biotechnology Core Facility Branch, known as the core lab.

    But the review noted that the core lab “took extreme precautionary measures . . . to minimize any risk of contamination.’’ The contamination “most likely’’ occurred in CDC’s Respiratory Virus Diagnostic Lab, during its processing and testing of the materials produced by the core lab, the review said.

    “It was at this stage of the manufacture, when the bulk reagent materials for the test kits were processed and tested at [the respiratory virus lab], that they were most likely exposed to positive control material,’’ the review said.

    According to the review, the respiratory lab “had already made multiple uses of positive control material at the time bulk test kit reagents were being handled, increasing the opportunities for contamination.’’

    The review also said that “a number of CDC interviewees and Dr. Stenzel of FDA described lab practices that may have been insufficient to prevent the risk of contamination, though it is likely that time pressure also contributed.’’

    There were signs of trouble before the tests were sent to the public health labs, the review found.

    Before they were shipped out, the test kits “began showing issues with negative controls showing positive results,” the review said. However, the kits were not vetted in advance with standard quality control and quality assurance, or “QC/QA,’’ procedures, according to the review.

    “It appears that time pressure to ship test kits out quickly — and before QC had been conducted on them — might have compromised sufficient QC/QA to identify certain anomalies in data and realize the possibility of contamination before shipment,’’ the review said.

    Asked by email if disciplinary action has been taken or is contemplated against any CDC employee involved with the test kits, an HHS spokeswoman declined to comment.

    Present and former federal scientists experienced with infectious-disease testing and a congressman who has sought answers about what went wrong at the CDC said in interviews that sending out the test kits without adequate quality control was indefensible.

    “They should have waited,’’ said Stephen A. Morse, a retired senior CDC microbiologist.

    Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, (D-Ill.), who has praised coronavirus testing efforts in South Korea, Taiwan and other countries, said, “We have to look back at those weeks in February as having been the critical period in which the [U.S.] government’s response totally failed.’’

    The top HHS spokesman, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Michael Caputo, said in his statement that “we never had a backlog of tests in this country.’’ In subsequent responses to The Post on Saturday, HHS touted “the Trump Administration’s historic coronavirus response.’’

    A separate audit of the CDC’s handling of the test kits remains underway by the HHS Office of Inspector General and is not expected to be completed until 2021.

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