New Glossary Entry: The AstraZeneca Effect

The AstraZeneca Effect describes the impact of the AstraZeneca CoViD Vaccine trials. The earliest “variants of concern” occurred in and only in the places where AstraZeneca did their trials:

AstraZeneca did their initial trials in the UK, Brazil, South Africa & India

The World Health Organizations initial variants of concern, alpha, beta, gamma & delta were first detected in the UK, Brazil, South Africa & India.

Just in case the articles disappear, here are the full texts:

 
astrazeneca.com

 

COVID-19 vaccine AZD1222 clinical trial resumed in Japan, follows restart of trials in the UK, Brazil, South Africa and India

 

The Phase I/II clinical trial for the COVID-19 vaccine AZD1222 has resumed in Japan after discussion with the Japanese Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA).

A standard review process triggered a voluntary pause to vaccination across all global trials on 6 September to allow review of safety data by an independent committee. Their recommendations have been supported by international regulators in the UK, Brazil, South Africa, India and now in Japan, who have deemed that the trials are safe to resume.

AstraZeneca continues to work with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to facilitate review of the information needed to make a decision regarding resumption of the US trial. The safety of trial participants is of paramount importance and we are committed to upholding the highest standards of conduct in clinical trials.

AZD1222

AZD1222 was co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spin-out company, Vaccitech. It uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector based on a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) that causes infections in chimpanzees and contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein. After vaccination, the surface spike protein is produced, priming the immune system to attack the SARS-CoV-2 virus if it later infects the body.

AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca (LSE/STO/Nasdaq: AZN) is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas – Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. Please visit astrazeneca.com and follow the Company on Twitter @AstraZeneca.

Contacts

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bbc.com

 

What are the Delta, Gamma, Beta and Alpha Covid variants?

By Michelle Roberts

By Michelle Roberts
Health editor, BBC News online

coronavirusimage source, Getty Images

An outbreak of cases of the Delta variant of Covid is causing concern in China.

More than 300 cases have been spotted in 10 days – leading to increased testing and travel restrictions.

What is the Delta variant?

There are thousands of different types – or variants – of Covid circulating across the world. One of them, known as Delta or B.1.617.2, appears to be spreading quickly in many countries including the UK, where it has become the dominant variant.

The UK classes Delta as a “variant of concern” – these are kept under the closest watch by health officials.

Other current variants of concern also include:

  • Alpha (B.1.1.7), first identified in the UK but which spread to more than 50 countries
  • Beta (B.1.351), first identified in South Africa but which has been detected in at least 20 other countries, including the UK
  • Gamma (P.1), first identified in Brazil but which has spread to more than 10 other countries, including the UK

Viruses mutate all the time and most changes are inconsequential. Some even harm the virus. But others can make the disease more infectious or threatening – and these mutations tend to dominate.

Graphic shows current names for covid variants and WHO's proposed Greek names

Is Delta more dangerous?

There is no evidence that Delta – or any of the other variants – cause more serious illness for the vast majority of people.

As with the original version, the risk remains highest for people who are elderly or have significant underlying health conditions.

But even so, if a variant is more infectious it will lead to more deaths in an unvaccinated population.

Vaccines offer high protection against severe illness with Covid-19, including infections caused by variants of concern. The shots also reduce the risk of infection. But they are not perfect and do not completely eliminate all risk.

It is unclear how many people in China are fully vaccinated, although authorities say more than 1.6 billion doses have been administered so far.

The advice to avoid infection remains the same for all strains: wash your hands, keep your distance, wear a face covering and be vigilant about ventilation.

How are the mutants behaving?

The variants of concern have all undergone changes to their spike protein – the part of the virus which attaches to human cells.

Delta has some potentially important ones (such as L452R) that might make it spread more easily.

There is no evidence to indicate it causes more severe disease or might make current vaccines less effective, say UK officials.

One mutation, called N501Y, shared by the Alpha, Gamma and Beta, seems to make the virus better at infecting cells and spreading.

Experts have found a small number of cases of Alpha with this change too.

Chart showing what the variants are and how they happen

Presentational white space

Will vaccines still work against variants?

Current vaccines were designed for earlier versions of coronavirus, which means they may not be the ideal match for new variants and so might not work quite as well.

But experts say they are still very effective at protecting lives by cutting the risk of severe illness:

  • An analysis by Public Health England found two doses of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine was more than 90% effective against hospitalisations for Covid-19 caused by Delta
  • A single dose, however, was less effective at preventing illness from Delta, compared to how well it worked against Alpha.

Doctors say it is vital that people get both doses to gain maximum protection against existing and emerging variants.

Do variants mean booster jabs are more likely?

Experts are confident existing vaccines can be redesigned to better tackle emerging mutations.

The UK government has a deal with biopharmaceutical company CureVac to develop vaccines against future variants, and has pre-ordered 50 million doses.

Depending on how variants continue to develop, these could potentially be used to offer a booster vaccine to older or clinically vulnerable people later in the year.

Glossary Term: Frontier Parenting

Truly we are on a new frontier–tech, surveillance, censorship, terrorism (however you define it!)…we don’t know the impact electronic devices will have on our kids, we don’t know what they’re watching, with whom they are communicating…we don’t know what their future world will look like – will they even need to know how to drive? How can we help them protect their health as plants now include animal genes and plastics and teflon (not to mention chemicals designed to kill plants and animals alike!) touch all of their food…as dialectics replace founding principles and all their books (and much more!) could disappear the moment the grid goes down…

How do we prepare our children to be safe, happy, good, strong, loving, principled, successful, generous, trusting, trustworthy, creative people, and everything else we want and hope for them, when we have no experience or understanding of the very different world they will face–face already–from the world we grew up in or our parents before us–which in turn was too different for many of them to really help us through this Age of Upheaval.

It’s daunting parenting here on the frontier….

New Glossary Entries

weinstein hillaryWeinstein Paradox
When the scandal broke about Harvey Weinstein’s casting couch and many, many incidences of sexual harassment, it also came out that dozens or even hundreds of people knew about it but stories were spiked, people silenced and a general atmosphere of don’t-ask-don’t-tell existed from coast to coast to keep his secret a secret. The power structure wins out! So why, I have to wonder, do millions of people accept this narrative yet deny very well-documented conspiracies from JFK to 9/11 under the argument that “someone would have talked” or that “that many people can’t keep a secret?” (Nevermind the fact that the Manhattan Project was a secret kept by over one hundred thousand people during the War, or the fact that five million people are reported to have government security clearance a la Edward Snowden–that’s a lot of secret-keepers!) It’s a paradox.

Shooting Star Families
My heart bleeds for Gold Star Families–families who have lost servicemen and women during their service. My heart bleeds for them because they have lost their best but also in part because of the deception and exploitation underlying all of our military action today and perhaps most if not all in our past. Their deaths-many of them-were not for the good. Although the idea of comparing these deaths with drug overdoses seems fundamentally wrong because druggies kill themselves, there is a certain similarity in that the Drug War, which is at the heart of these deaths (see my article about Hoffman v Halsted), is also based on government deception and exploitation, so I am going to go ahead and coin the term Shooting Star Family (actually, it was my brother George’s idea upon the overdose death of my sister Rosemary in 2017).

Normalcy Bias
The phenomenon by which most people will accept an explanation that seems normal over one that seems extraordinary despite where the evidence may point.

Identity Privilege
The goal and sometime reality where having a particular identity (ostensibly one that has suffered discrimination in the past) is the basis for getting preference, priority or privilege, presumably as restitution for past wrongs against members of the group. This is a fundamentally collectivist mentality I reject (justice should be meted out for and against individuals not interchangeably among members of a group), but I also reject the problem of ignoring basic principles of equality–this allows the pendulum to swing from oppression-privilege to privilege-oppression rather than to true justice for all time.

Lovejoy’s Law
When all other policy arguments fail, resort to “It’s for the children!” or “What about the children?!” Reminds me of when someone is losing an interventionist foreign policy argument and resorts to “But Nazis!” or “Because Hitler!”

Greasetrap = Scapegoat
Classically speaking, a scapegoat is an animal upon which all the sins of the community have been deposited and then it is ritually killed. That term seems to have morphed into an innocent person taking the blame for the sins of others. I coined “greasetrap” to mean the classic sense of scapegoat–a vessel into which sins are poured then emptied and the larger body cleansed. An example of this is to call the deep state “Obama Holdovers”–as if once that crowd is cleaned out there will be no more deep state. Ha ha ha.

Controlled Crisis
I was inspired to coin this term when Binkley discovered that the Atlanta I85 bridge collapse in 2016 was likely a disaster-readiness drill! Seems that the government actors who planned this felt justified in doing so as part of their jobs to be ready for any eventuality.

 

Resistance-Grade Weaponry (new glossary entry)

71eb06211dd3c2f5a77fa5117e463862--interesting-history-budapest
Hungarian Uprising 1956: Hungarian fighters battling Soviet armored troops in Budapest.

On my most recent show (which aired on WSB on Saturday, October 14, 2017, and will be posted as Propaganda Report Episode 73 at propagandareportdaily.com), I coined the term “Resistance-Grade Weaponry” to mean long guns, fast guns, big guns, even body armor–in other words, anything that would actually aid the people in resisting tyranny. Tellingly, gun control activists focus on these types of weapons and even purely defensive equipment even though it’s handguns which are used in the vast majority of gun deaths, both murders and, of course, suicides. My cynical theory is that if the government is after the Second Amendment for the same reason I think it is after the other amendments in the Bill of Rights–that is, to neutralize our ability to curtail our government’s drive toward tyranny–it would want to get rid of the weapons that “We the People” could use to resist and fight back. Small arms on the other hand, would not be effective in a full on battle with government, but would give government agents the excuse to open fire on those who rise up–perhaps that’s why they don’t mind if we keep them.

Two examples of first movers being mowed down en masse are The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and the Iraqi uprising, both of which the United States encouraged then failed to aid.

As a side note, I wonder if the NRA favors this kind of legislation (which is often does), because the less effective each of your weapons is, the more weapons you might want to buy.

Finally, #WTWOF: Trump has set the precedents of going behind the back of the GOP to work with Democrats as well as acting impulsively and emotionally…I expect him to sign some kind of gun control legislation in his first term, however minor it may seem.

 

Pecuniary Philosophy (glossary entry)

222222I heard Joe Atwill & Tim Kelly use this expression on their podcast Powers & Principalities and from what I gathered it means the idea that everything is about money, materialism, consumption, and that this philosophy has been the underlying value system for the United States if not the Western World for a century or more, and furthermore, it was knowingly imposed upon western culture by the moneyed class.

Hanlon’s Razor (glossary entry)

keep-calm-and-remember-hanlon-s-razor-1From Wikipedia: Hanlon’s razor is an aphorism expressed in various ways including “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity” or “Don’t assume bad intentions over neglect and misunderstanding.” It recommends a way of eliminating unlikely explanations for a phenomenon (a philosophical razor).

To me, Hanlon’s razor is a deliberate misdirection. I call it the incompetence canard.

Freedom Carcass (new glossary entry)

lady-liberty-dead_onblk_medOnce Obamacare is “Repealed & Replaced” – i.e. once the GOP ensures that we have socialized medicine against our will, the last hope, the Freedom Caucus and all that that implies (the Tea Party, the Liberty Movement, etc.) will die…that will be the Freedom Carcass.

Financial Fascism (glossary term)

5-Silver-Quarters-475x280I just published Semantic Infiltration as a glossary term and I nearly fell for it myself recently. I am an anarcho-capitalist and refuse to relinquish the word capitalism as if it means corporatism or cronyism, but there is an insidious plan afoot that has converted so much of the world’s production into financial wealth amassed among purely financial actors, that in describing it I nearly adopted the term of collectivism: Financial Capitalism. First of all, that’s basically a redundancy – capital is money, finance is money – but the phenomenon propagated by fiat money and fractional reserve banking through which the richest, most powerful people in the world create money, lend it to governments, corporations and individuals, multiply it and forever benefit from investing something they never had while the productive borrower pays out all his surplus in interest. This financial structure underlying every asset drives up prices so that we can only access those assets through financial instruments like school loans, mortgages, health insurance (all three fostered by government policy, I might add). But what to call this? I nearly fell for the trap and started calling it financial capitalism as if the “financial” didn’t transform the word capitalism into something bad, then it hit me – call it what it is – financial fascism, whereby cronies leverage the power of government to gain control of the financial system and grow it until it consumes all that is good. It’s fascism, not capitalism.

Update: I wish he had said anti-fascism!!

Matt Ridley’s ‘Case for Free-Market Anticapitalism

Ridley argues that the champions of markets need to recapture their radicalism.

http://reason.com/blog/2017/07/13/matt-ridley-the-case-for-free-market-ant

Update: Apparently Carrol Quigley himself coined financial capitalism in Tragedy & Hope. Click here for a great article the cites that.

Semantic Infiltration (glossary entry)

Repeal-and-Replace-Obamacare

Semantic infiltration is the “systematic distortion of meaning of certain words to confuse or mislead”.[1][2][3] According to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, it “is the process whereby we come to adopt the language of our adversaries in describing political reality”.[2][4] Eventually, “we pay for small concessions at the level of language with large setbacks at the level of practical politics”.[3]

The process of semantic infiltration occurs when a “skillful or persistent semanticist can persuade an opponent to accept his terms of debate…[and the] opponent thus unwittingly through repetition or willingly through persuasion adopts the semanticist’s usage of words and by extension, the ideas, perceptions and policies that accompany them”.[2]

Potlatch Culture (new glossary entry)

cookiesPotlatch Culture

A potlatch was a ceremonial feast among tribes of the Pacific Northwest who were so rich in resources that they demonstrated their wealth at big celebrations by wasting it, for example, by preparing mountains of fish and dumping them back in the ocean. I see alarming hints of this mentality in today’s consumer society as if our appetite for consumption is it’s own animal and cannot be satisfied simply by consuming what we desire, we must now waste.

I observed two examples of this recently. One, in an article in The Wall Street Journal:

What’s a Wedding Without 18,000 Cookies in 150 Varieties Made by 45 Helpers?
In pockets of the country, a reception is rated on the size and quality of its cookie table. ‘I wanted the biggest’

Unless there are 9,000 guests coming to this wedding, I don’t see how this is anything but a potlatch.

The second example I observed watching my husband’s new favorite channel, Velocity. There we watched a commercial for “figure-eight racing” – check it out (it’s actually better at 2x speed!):

I don’t know what exactly that is, but I can’t help but think our society is somehow too rich if we’re this bored!

 

Political Shooter (new glossary entry)

I can’t take credit for coining this one and I must admit, though I saw the PsyOp brewing for over a year, I didn’t see it ending in real violence–and that is only beginning, I suspect. In today’s Journal, Daniel Henninger coins a couple of phrases, Political Disorder Syndrome and Political Shooter, the latter in reference to the man who allegedly shot up the Congressional baseball game practice.

Emotionally Correct (new glossary entry)

I walked past a bakery recently and saw some outrageously priced coffee with some heavy marketing elements that said something to the effect that it was grown by desperately poor farmers who sacrifice their children’s food to give you organic, environmentally-friendly coffee (they left out “to fuel your hyper-productive, obscenely materialistic lifestyle,” but that would have ruined the vibe.) My thought was, “I hate emotionally correct products.” And so a glossary-entry was born 🙂