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Scaramucci credits Biden for COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough

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Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech announced their mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccination. The news comes days after Joe Biden was announced as the projected winner over Trump in the 2020 election, which sparked a political debate over who to credit for the vaccine breakthrough.

Anthony Scaramucci, Donald Trump’s former Director of Communications, tweeted recognition to president-elect Joe Biden for developing a COVID-19 vaccination.

Scaramucci’s position as Trump’s Director of Communication was very brief as he was let go after 11 days. Scaramucci has been an outspoken critic of Donald Trump since.

Pfizer did not join Operation Warp Speed, a partnership initiated by the Trump administration, to facilitate and accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Pfizer put almost $2 billion of its own money into the development of the vaccine and started a $1.95 billion contract with the U.S. government to provide 100 million doses, contingent on the vaccine being effective.

This vaccine is the first to be tested in the United States to generate late-stage data.

The companies said an early study of the results showed that individuals who received two injections of the vaccine three weeks apart experienced more than 90% fewer cases of symptomatic COVID-19 than those who received a placebo.

Phase three of the study is ongoing and additional data could affect results.

To stay within guidelines of the Food and Drug Administration, the companies plan to file for an emergency use authorization to distribute the vaccine until half of the patients in the study have been observed for any safety issues for at least two months following their second dose. Pfizer expects to know more results regarding the safety of the vaccine by the third week of November.

Participants will continue to be monitored for long-term protection and safety for an additional two years after they receive their second dose.

There is no information yet on whether the vaccine prevents severe cases or whether it prevents people from carrying the virus asymptomatically. 

The vaccine does cause side effects, including aches and fevers, according to previously published data.

Initial supplies of the vaccine, if authorized, will be limited.

“Based on current projections we expect to produce globally up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021,” said Pfizer.

The vaccine may also face distribution challenges, as it must be stored at extremely cold temperatures. Pfizer, however, has said it is confident those issues can be managed.

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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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