CDC reports record-low positive flu tests

As coronavirus cases surge nationwide, the flu has seen a remarkable dip. Reported cases of influenza reached record lows last week, with fewer than 40 diagnoses recorded during Dec. 13-19.

In week 51 of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “FluView” data monitoring system, 36 positive flu tests were documented. This marks a steep decrease from last year’s total of 7,703 cases during the same time frame. The positivity rate has sharply declined this calendar year as only 0.10% of tests taken this year came back positive. The five-year average is 15.80% positive.

The data comes in defiance of the “twindemic” concerns perpetuated by medical experts, or the idea that the raging coronavirus pandemic and the seasonal increase in reported flu cases would converge with catastrophic results. Dr. Brian Garibaldi, the medical director of Johns Hopkins University’s Biocontainment Unit, told the Washington Examiner that “we have to be concerned about the possibility of having a surge in flu at the same time as we’re seeing a surge in COVID.”

“In any given winter, hospitals are taxed by the flu,” Garibaldi said. “There’s always a concern that our emergency departments will be overwhelmed and ICU capacity will be strained [due to the concurrence of flu and COVID-19 outbreaks], particularly with people who have coexisting conditions that then get influenza.”

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The CDC’s Rules Let Teachers, Lawyers, Media Jump to the Front of the COVID Vaccine Line

Education sector “support staff members,” corporate tax lawyers, and magazine fashion editors will all jump to the front of the coronavirus vaccination line ahead of the general population, under recommendations issued in late December by the federal government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Self-interest dictates I should probably wait until after I get my immunity-producing doses before raising any questions about the prioritization. The government’s allocation strategy is such an inviting target, though, that it’s hard to resist taking, er, a shot.

How did we get here? On December 20, a government committee of highly educated, mostly academic experts known as the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted about who should get the vaccine first. The committee has 15 voting members. Twelve of them are medical doctors. One is a lawyer. Nine—a majority—are affiliated with universities, including Stanford, Vanderbilt, Baylor, and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Naturally, the committee of doctors decided that the first vaccines should go to healthcare workers. That might seem like common sense—emergency room or intensive care doctors treating Covid-19 patients deserve to be protected against the risk of catching the disease in the workplace. Healthcare workers, though, is a big, catchall category. It includes everyone from Beverly Hills plastic surgeons conducting elective cosmetic surgery to “administrative staff,” which might be the billing clerk in the plastic surgery practice, or some hospital accounts-receivable bookkeeper or fundraiser with no patient contact.

“Healthcare personnel” are in the CDC’s phase 1a. Educational sector support staff are next in phase 1b. That could include people who are currently working from home and who ordinarily have little or no direct contact with students—say, the employees who answer telephone questions about retired professors’ pension benefits.

The next phase, 1c, encompasses the “media” and “law” categories. Like healthcare personnel, these groups are so broad that they include essential frontline workers but also some others whose prioritization is difficult to justify.

Journalists covering the pandemic by doing on-the-scene reporting from nursing homes or hospital intensive care units probably do have a strong case to be vaccinated relatively early. So do criminal defense lawyers meeting clients in prisons or jails, or making frequent in-person courtroom appearances.

The “media” and “law” categories, though, also include the copyeditors at Vogue and the big-firm lawyers who rarely show up in court but spend their time instead writing memos and helping companies minimize their taxes. Their Covid-19 risk seems pretty small, or at least small enough that it’s hard to see the rationale for those workers leapfrogging ahead of the general population.

A cynic might suspect the vaccine committee put lawyers and journalists early in the queue as a way to avoid getting sued or attracting negative press coverage.

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CDC to encourage ‘Vaccinated for COVID-19’ buttons

If there are “I Voted” stickers, why not “Vaccinated for COVID-19” buttons?

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Zombie Preparedness

Wonder why zombies, zombie apocalypse, and zombie preparedness continue to live or walk dead on a CDC web site? As it turns out what first began as a tongue-in-cheek campaign to engage new audiences with preparedness messages has proven to be a very effective platform. We continue to reach and engage a wide variety of audiences on all hazards preparedness via “zombie preparedness”.

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CDC urges ‘universal’ indoor mask use when not at home

Lewandowski, Bossie added to Pentagon advisory board after latest purge

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday recommended the “universal use of face masks” as a key step to fighting the coronavirus pandemic, warning the U.S. has “entered a phase of high-level transmission.”

The agency recommended in a report that officials at the state and local level “issue policies or directives mandating universal use of face masks in indoor (nonhousehold) settings” as one strategy to combat the virus, a tactic President Trump and many GOP governors have resisted.

The CDC said wearing a mask is most important when someone is indoors somewhere besides their house and outdoors when six feet of distance cannot be maintained. Masks should also be used inside one’s household when someone is infected or has had recent exposure to the virus, the report said.

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The Johns Hopkins, CDC Plan to Mask Medical Experimentation on Minorities as “Racial Justice”

The main focus of this allocation strategy is to deliver vaccines first to racial minorities but in such a way as to make those minorities feel “at ease” and not like “guinea pigs” when receiving an experimental vaccine that those documents admit is likely cause “certain adverse effects…more frequently in certain population subgroups.” Research has shown that those “subgroups” most at risk for adverse effects are these same minorities.

The documents also acknowledge that information warfare and economic coercion will likely be necessary to combat “vaccine hesitancy” among these minority groups. It even frames this clearly disproportionate focus on racial minorities as related to national concerns over “police brutality,” claiming that giving minorities the experimental vaccine first is necessary to combat “structural racism” and ensure “fairness and justice” in the healthcare system and society at large.

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CDC Report: Officials Knew Coronavirus Test Was Flawed But Released It Anyway

On Feb. 6, a scientist in a small infectious disease lab on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention campus in Atlanta was putting a coronavirus test kit through its final paces. The lab designed and built the diagnostic test in record time, and the little vials that contained necessary reagents to identify the virus were boxed up and ready to go. But NPR has learned the results of that final quality control test suggested something troubling — it said the kit could fail 33% of the time.

Under normal circumstances, that kind of result would stop a test in its tracks, half a dozen public and private lab officials told NPR. But an internal CDC review obtained by NPR confirms that lab officials decided to release the kit anyway. The revelation comes from a CDC internal review, known as a “root-cause analysis,” which the agency conducted to understand why an early coronavirus test didn’t work properly and wound up costing scientists precious weeks in the early days of a pandemic.

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CDC says people sick with COVID-19 can break quarantine to vote in-person

Coronavirus patients can break quarantine Tuesday to vote in person, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed.

“Voters have the right to vote, regardless of whether they are sick or in quarantine,” the CDC stressed in safe-voting guidance posted Sunday.

While having the right to do so, those infected by the contagion “should take steps to protect poll workers and other voters,” the health agency said.

“This includes wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, and washing your hands or using hand sanitizer before and after voting,” the CDC guidance said.

“You should also let poll workers know that you are sick or in quarantine when you arrive at the polling location,” the agency said.

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New CDC Numbers Show Lockdown’s Deadly Toll On Young People

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed Wednesday that young adults aged 25-44 years saw the largest increase in “excess” deaths from previous years, a stunning 26.5% jump. 

The notable increase even surpassed the jump in excess deaths of older Americans, who are at much higher risk of COVID-19 fatality.

Moreover, according to the CDC, 100,947 excess deaths were not linked to COVID-19 at all.

Since such young people are at very low risk for COVID-19 fatality—20-49-year-olds have a 99.98% chance of surviving the virus, per CDC data—it has been suggested that the shocking increase in deaths is largely attributable to deaths of “despair,” or deaths linked to our “cure” for the disease: lockdown measures.

Former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, one of the most vocal and earliest proponents of lockdown measures, admitted this much during a Wednesday news appearance.

“I would suspect that a good portion of the deaths in that younger cohort were deaths due to despair, due to other reasons,” admitted Gottlieb (see video below). “We’ve seen a spike in overdoses, and I would suspect that a good portion of those excess deaths in that younger cohort were from drug overdoses and other deaths that were triggered by some of the implications of we’ve gone through to try to deal with COVID-19.”

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