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Fauci: Most vulnerable people will likely receive first COVID-19 vaccine doses by the new year

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the nation’s top infectious disease experts, said Thursday that some of those Americans who are most vulnerable to the novel coronavirus will likely have access to the first doses of a safe vaccine in December or January, Reuters has reported.

Dr. Fauci, speaking on a Facebook and Twitter livestream with director of the National Institutes of Health Dr. Francis Collins, said that those people who need the vaccine the most will likely receive the first doses of it “by the end of December or the beginning of January” assuming vaccine developers don’t experience any major delays.

The two leading participants in the race to develop a vaccine are the companies Pfizer and Moderna. Both companies have already been running clinical trials on humans for months, with the final stage having commenced back in July. Based on their estimates, Fauci said that it will likely be known “sometime in December whether or not we have a safe and effective vaccine.”

This comes as Moderna announced Thursday that it has already amassed $1.1 billion in deposits from multiple governments for a potential vaccine that it’s preparing to launch soon across the globe. It has been developing the vaccine with the assistance of the National Institutes of Health.

Additionally, Moderna’s Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks said on a Thursday earnings call that their trial is operating according to schedule and that an independent data-monitoring committee is expected to conduct an interim review in November, The Hill reports.

Pfizer, on the other hand, has experienced some delays. The company, according to Reuters, was originally expected to publish its interim data in October but is now doubtful that it can announce the data before the end of the month. Ultimately, that data might be released after the U.S. presidential election on November 3.

Assuming the trials yield a safe and effective vaccine, before the first doses can be distributed in the United States, both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will have to review the data and then offer their suggestions regarding which individuals should receive the first doses.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village

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Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.

But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.

Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19

The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.

Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China

The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”

Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World

The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”

In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.

While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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