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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REPORT: China has vast network of covert police stations around the world
China has a vast network of covert police stations abroad, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. These police stations serve consular functions, but are also used by China to crack down on what the CCP deems “illegal” activity of Chinese nationals abroad. The police stations include at least 38 run by the Fuzhou City police, and 22 run by the Qingtian City police. Cities housing these police stations include New York, Toronto (which has three stations), London (two), Paris (three), Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, and Tokyo.
Key findings of the report are below.
“Persuaded to return”
According to China, China has “persuaded to return [to China]” 230,000 Chinese nationals living aboard from April 2021 to July 2022 alone to face charges of fraud and telecommunications fraud. A Yangxia police station set up in Mozambique, for example, persuaded a Chinese national to return to China after being accused of stealing money from his employer. Chinese authorities also put pressure on the accused family to convince the accused to surrender.
Roughly 54,000 Chinese nationals were persuaded to return from northern Myanmar alone, in the first nine months of 2021. In July 2022, the government of Wenchang City warned that its citizens living in northern Myanmar must check in with their local police stations or face multiple penalties including blocking their children from attending urban schools back in China. Similarly, in February 2022, the government of Liayang City stated that Chinese “illegally staying” in northern Myanmar must return or the bank accounts of their immediate family members could be frozen.
The Nine Forbidden Countries
China has claimed that nine countries contain serious levels of fraud and telecom fraud perpetrated by Chinese nationals. Since November 2021, China has declared that Chinese citizens living in these nine countries must return to China immediately unless they have an “emergency reason” or a “strict necessity” to travel or stay in those countries. Those countries are: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the UAE, and Turkey. However, the report questions whether these countries are truly awash in such fraud, as most of China’s oversees police stations are in the West, and only one of the nine countries (Cambodia) has such a police station. Chinese staying in the nine forbidden countries, as well as threats to family members as stated above, creates a “guilt-by-association” atmosphere intended to repatriate the Chinese nationals.
According to the report, Chinese police stations abroad serve to bypass “bilateral extradition treaties or other mechanisms of judicial cooperation” to cooperate with CCP-linked NGOs which effectively “[sets] up an alternative policing and judicial system within third countries.” Instead of using international judicial cooperation, which establishes due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair trial, China uses the above “persuade-to-return” methods and transnational police stations to circumvent international law and coerce Chinese nationals to return to China for trials. These policies show the power of China’s long-arm oppression over its own subjects.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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