# Comparing Corona Virus Success Stories with Abysmal Failures

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39 minutes ago, MonDie said:

If we don't even send them some vaccines specifically intended for hospital workers etc., which we should have done months ago...

Which countries should we have sent it to months ago and why?

Edited by zapatos

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Because we're nice guys.
And we're waaaay behind in our vaccination targets.
( just got my 1st Pfizer shot today; second scheduled for Aug 23 !!! )

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'Niceness' notwithstanding, wouldn't that have put the US way behind in our vaccination targets? Personally I think you should have had the 1st vaccine globally, but that's not up to me.

I believe the US should be helping other countries, but if it means my vaccine gets delayed I'd like to know it's for a good reason.

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2 hours ago, zapatos said:

Which countries should we have sent it to months ago and why?

We should have had extras to spare.  They should have gone to experts at high risk of contracting.  India is a tinderbox.

On 1/10/2021 at 6:23 PM, CharonY said:

As a whole the flu season in Canada is very mild to almost non-existent. It is almost certainly related to isolation and distancing measures.

Even more risk, because most Indians speak English.

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1 hour ago, zapatos said:

'Niceness' notwithstanding, wouldn't that have put the US way behind in our vaccination targets? Personally I think you should have had the 1st vaccine globally, but that's not up to me.

I believe the US should be helping other countries, but if it means my vaccine gets delayed I'd like to know it's for a good reason.

Australia have sent a load of the vaccines to New Guinea where it is rife, and also Fiji. But we are also complaining about the roll out in our own country where thankfully, it has been generally well controlled.

Had my first jab of astr-zeneca at the end of March,[slight fever that night but quickly dissipated by morning]  the flu jab last week and due for the second coronavirus jab at the end of June.

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24 minutes ago, MonDie said:

India is a tinderbox.

How could we have known months ago that they would be a tinderbox today?

18 minutes ago, beecee said:

Australia have sent a load of the vaccines to New Guinea where it is rife, and also Fiji. But we are also complaining about the roll out in our own country where thankfully, it has been generally well controlled.

Did sending vaccines to others have much of an impact on Australia?

19 minutes ago, beecee said:

Had my first jab of astr-zeneca at the end of March,[slight fever that night but quickly dissipated by morning]  the flu jab last week and due for the second coronavirus jab at the end of June.

I got my flu shot in October and they placed the shot incorrectly. My arm is finally just about healed.

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22 minutes ago, zapatos said:

How could we have known months ago that they would be a tinderbox today?

Perhaps a better question is how did India avoid this covid calamity from happening all last year* and what led them to squander all that extra time they had where they could’ve been better preparing for this totally predictable outcome.

*early and overly brutal lockdowns clearly played a role, but that extra time could’ve been used stockpiling PPE and vaccines knowing those would be needed as soon as they loosened social restrictions and once pandemic fatigue had set in.

48 minutes ago, MonDie said:

Even more risk, because most Indians speak English.

I’m unclear on what you mean to convey here, or how it relates to the quote from CharonY you seem to be replying to. Maybe you can clarify?

Edited by iNow
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Vaccine rollout needed to be global to stamp out this threat. However, the opportunity for eliminating the disease may have posed as most countries did not manage to keep infections sufficiently low. Most folks I talk to think that it will become endemic and require continued management (like flu).

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2 hours ago, zapatos said:

Did sending vaccines to others have much of an impact on Australia?

Not really, we are now manufacturing our own...It's simply the roll out methodology and getting the vqaccine to outlet hubs that seems at times to have hit a snag...improving though as we speak/type.

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• 3 weeks later...

Promising news about a new breakthrough treatment from Australia:

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Queensland researchers and a US team have developed an antiviral therapy that has killed off the COVID-19 viral load in infected mice by 99.9 per cent.

Key points:

Gene-silencing RNA technology is used to destroy the COVID-19 virus genome directly and stops the virus replicating

The treatment could be available as early as 2023, depending on the next phase of clinical trials

The research has been published in Molecular Therapy

Lead researcher Professor Nigel McMillan, from Griffith University, called it a "seek and destroy mission" where the therapy genetically targeted the potentially deadly virus.

The international team of scientists from the Menzies Health Institute Queensland and the US research institute City of Hope began their collaborative research last April.

They used a "next-generation" viral approach using gene-silencing RNA technology to attack the virus genome directly, which stops the virus spreading.

"It causes the genome to be destroyed and the virus can't grow anymore — so we inject the nanoparticles and they go and find the virus and destroy it just like a heat-seeking missile," Professor McMillan said.

"This is the first time we have been able to package this up as a particle, send it through the blood stream to attack the virus.

Source:

Full Paper:

Edited by Alex_Krycek
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Sounds promising. I wonder if it would be made available prior to 2023, if it seems like it would work on humans, and/or for those likely to succumb otherwise?

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Fascinating.
Can they do the same with other viruses like HIV?
Probably a discussion that would warrant another thread.

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5 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

Fascinating.
Can they do the same with other viruses like HIV?
Probably a discussion that would warrant another thread.

The use if siRNA itself to knock down genes is universal and been discussed as an antiviral for quite some time. The tricky bit is the delivery to target sites. In this case, they took advantage of the fact that certain lipid nanoparticle compositions have been shown earlier to accumulate in lungs, so when delivered intravenously they were able enrich the siRNA in lung tissues. For other tissues and cell targets (which include HIV) it may be more difficult to deliver the siRNA there.

6 hours ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

Sounds promising. I wonder if it would be made available prior to 2023, if it seems like it would work on humans, and/or for those likely to succumb otherwise?

Difficult to tell, normally they need a controlled trial on humans first to make sure that it is safe. One issue of the paper is the use of a mouse model, which might have rather different results than in humans.

The target of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is the ACE2 protein, but the one in mice is sufficiently different to have reduced binding efficiency. Folks have expressed human ACE2 in mice (and the authors of the paper used such a mouse line) to improve their use as model. While on the symptomatic side they are closer to human infections than the wildtype mice, the transgenic mouse line has a few issues which and differences, which makes transferring treatments directly to humans without trials quite difficult.

However, there are other therapeutics in play, such as Plitidepsin which are already in trials (Phase 3) and have been established in similar animal models.

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• 1 month later...
On 3/21/2020 at 1:05 AM, CharonY said:

I would exclude Japan from the list for now. They have a very low testing rate and it is unclear whether it is well contained or not. With regard to 5) a key element is that many (if not all) of these countries had a task force established in the wake of SARS. Those have become a central coordination centers for tracking, stockpiling of supplies and so on.

What really annoys me is the fact is that while the epidemic raged in China, folks just looked on. It appears that folks still do not understand the concept of globalization. Just because their country dodged the bullet so far, does not make them immune. There were three months during which preparations could have been done, but apparently folks just started to realize it could hit them after Italy.

Millions of Americans voted for Trump because of his anti-globalization rhetoric. They simply could not have believed that his ability (and/or willingness) to turn back the tide of globalization fell THAT severely short of his promises. Especially when SARS' travel to the western world was comparatively limited in 2003; ironically, at a time when anti-globalization rhetoric didn't seem to be as quite as intense quite as often.

What's funny is, if no one ever left their home country, and/or if every other country cut off all trade and travel with China indefinitely (which they should have if only because of its human rights violations within its own borders) this disease would have been limited to China anyway, and millions of lives would have been saved. If the instant word of the pandemic broke all travellers who had been to China since December of 2019 were quarantined, the pandemic's spread would have at least slowed down, if not been contained. Globalization is one of the very few issues on which I (partly) agree with Trump supporters.

Edited by ScienceNostalgia101
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2 hours ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

What's funny is, if no one ever left their home country, and/or if every other country cut off all trade and travel with China indefinitely (which they should have if only because of its human rights violations within its own borders) this disease would have been limited to China anyway, and millions of lives would have been saved. If the instant word of the pandemic broke all travellers who had been to China since December of 2019 were quarantined, the pandemic's spread would have at least slowed down, if not been contained. Globalization is one of the very few issues on which I (partly) agree with Trump supporters.

What's traject is, what you said; our best chance is a coordinated global response.

What's funny is, xenophobia is a self imposed siege.

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13 hours ago, dimreepr said:

What's traject is, what you said; our best chance is a coordinated global response.

What's funny is, xenophobia is a self imposed siege.

Co-ordination between countries =/= co-ordination among ALL countries. The greater the influence of countries not even accountable to their own citizens, the more tainted is the overall response.

If SARS were a one-off, I could see the merit of continued faith in the W.H.O. But the similarities in failings (at best) between that pandemic out of China and this one suggest the whole thing needs to be replaced with something accountable to, and only influenced by, countries with some modicum of transparency. Cooperation between countries shouldn't require a middleman like the W.H.O. Individual countries make trade deals with other countries. They can make medical co-ordination deals as well.

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38 minutes ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

Co-ordination between countries =/= co-ordination among ALL countries. The greater the influence of countries not even accountable to their own citizens, the more tainted is the overall response.

If SARS were a one-off, I could see the merit of continued faith in the W.H.O. But the similarities in failings (at best) between that pandemic out of China and this one suggest the whole thing needs to be replaced with something accountable to, and only influenced by, countries with some modicum of transparency. Cooperation between countries shouldn't require a middleman like the W.H.O. Individual countries make trade deals with other countries. They can make medical co-ordination deals as well.

We have seen that depending on leadership, the US is not even transparent to its own citizen. So would the magic entity be? The other issue of course being that folks need to have a good system to detect diseases in the first place.

And considering how bad the US and Europe were in detecting and tracing cases, it seems that we need an organization led by a coalition of NZ, Taiwan and Vietnam. I do suspect that this is not what you had in mind.

What the pandemic has shown is that we are do not have a good system to contain asymptomatic spread. Of course, changing the world in a way that contain any travel would reduce spread of such diseases. But that is generally not acceptable to folks. Of course one potential system is to shut down travel from and to any country in which a new outbreak is detected. Though again, I think that economic considerations would take precedent.

And I will also note that some folks think that diseases only originate in far-away countries and as the recent epidemics and pandemics showed, it is clearly not the case (though tropical areas with rich wildlife have more reservoirs for zoonotic diseases).

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1 minute ago, CharonY said:

We have seen that depending on leadership, the US is not even transparent to its own citizen. So would the magic entity be? The other issue of course being that folks need to have a good system to detect diseases in the first place.

And considering how bad the US and Europe were in detecting and tracing cases, it seems that we need an organization led by a coalition of NZ, Taiwan and Vietnam. I do suspect that this is not what you had in mind.

East Asia in general; except for China; handled this pandemic well based on learning from what they got wrong with SARS. One decade's basket case is another decade's champion. Perhaps next time it'll be the US that comes out on top. Who knows?

Each democracy has its flaws, but they're all leagues more trustworthy than the origin country that could've saved millions of lives if they cut this off at the source, but decided to prioritize saving face instead. We need an alliance specifically of democracies.

If you want to find out what's going on in China, espionage is your only option anyway, they're never going to be transparent of their own accord without at least a complete replacement of everyone involved in the current government. (A replacement that probably isn't about to happen on its own in the near future, and probably couldn't be forced from outside without risking a large-scale conflict.)

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27 minutes ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

If you want to find out what's going on in China, espionage is your only option

You can’t be serious? This sounds rather naive even if I stipulate your premise that transparency is often hard to find in China. MANY people know what’s going on and they need to be 007 to do so.

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8 minutes ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

East Asia in general; except for China; handled this pandemic well based on learning from what they got wrong with SARS. One decade's basket case is another decade's champion. Perhaps next time it'll be the US that comes out on top. Who knows?

Many countries had established systems after SARS and those that did maintain them did better. Many countries reduced such monitoring efforts (including the US) after there are no outbreaks after a little while.

After the catastrophic start, China did actually control the virus somewhat well, and one does not need espionage to get at least rough ideas. At least not with a disease of this magnitude.

If folks opened up without having the disease under control, catastrophic failures of the medical system follows. That has not happened in China, which does not really have a brilliant system to begin with.

Moreover, excess death analyses of China during 2020 mostly found excess deaths in Wuhan, but little elsewhere. Considering the amount of travel to and from China (which is part of the issue) it is naïve to assume that the Chinese government could fully control tat type of information.

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• 1 month later...

Here is a (I think) a good article which echoes many of the frustrations on that matter.

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How did we get here? In a way, the failure was predictable. As instruments of coordination and cooperation, global institutions like the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the World Health Organization had proved fragile and toothless long before the pandemic. The explanation for this failure used to be geopolitical antagonism: Power blocs couldn’t come together when they had competing priorities and agendas. It was thus tempting to imagine that some common threat — perhaps an alien invasion — might make a reality of the United Nations.

The coronavirus, one might think, was precisely such an invasion. And yet faced with this common threat, cooperation failed. Rather than a concerted shutdown of global aviation, frontiers were closed on the fly; supplies of personal protective equipment were grabbed at airports; haphazard travel bans continue to this day. With America in the lead, the world was more divided than ever. America’s failure to coordinate a response was no mere sideshow. Like it or not, this continental nation-state, with the world’s largest economy, facing Europe, South America and the Pacific, is constitutive of globalism as we know it.

As a side point, it has also shown how much many European Health agencies often look toward the US CDC for guidance before getting into gear.

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The failure to develop a global vaccination program is not just dismaying. It ought also to be profoundly puzzling: It defies the self-interests of the richest countries in the world. Booster shots aside, the greater the volume of infection, the greater the risk of variants even more dangerous than Delta.

And the greater the economic damage, too. In July, the I.M.F. estimated that an investment of $50 billion in a comprehensive campaign for vaccination and other virus control efforts would generate some$9 trillion in additional global output by 2025 — a ratio of 180 to 1. What investment could hope to yield a higher rate of return? And yet none of the members of the Group of 20 have stepped up, not Europe, not the United States, not even China. Billions of people will be forced to wait until 2023 to receive even their first shot.

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The challenges won’t go away, and they won’t get smaller. The coronavirus was a shock, but a pandemic was long predicted. There is every reason to think that this one will not be a one-off. Whether the disease originated in zoonotic mutation or in a lab, there is more and worse where it came from. And it is not just viruses that we have to worry about, but also the mounting destabilization of the climate, collapsing biodiversity, large-scale desertification and pollution across the globe.

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Interesting article about Covid progress in Australia.  They're using a new drug called Sotrovimab, which is a type of monoclonal antibody treatment.

“Sotrovimab is an antibody treatment, and one that’s been shown in good clinical trials to have a dramatic impact in reducing people’s probability of progressing to severe disease,” Griffin said. “If there’s someone who’s high risk at developing severe symptoms, it can be given to them. It does need to be given early, before people are very unwell, but in those people it stops very significant progression through to severe disease.”

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Interesting video by Dr. John Campbell on the current state of affairs with Covid.

Edited by Alex_Krycek
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Excellent video. I did wonder about the 79% lab leak to 21% natural "voting" though. I guess my opinion might be just as good as anyone else with my same very limited information about how it all started...but it's not worth much at this point.

But it does outline some good points with data, including the importance of vaccinations.

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• 1 month later...

Not really surprising, but more details have emerged how the Trump administration actively inhibited efforts of the CDC to contain the pandemic.

Quote

The emails and transcripts detail how in the early days of 2020 Trump and his allies in the White House blocked media briefings and interviews with CDC officials, attempted to alter public safety guidance normally cleared by the agency and instructed agency officials to destroy evidence that might be construed as political interference.

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